It was first rumored over the weekend, and now that MTA has confirmed it: your weeknight travel this winter will be a miserable thing. Huge parts of the subway will be shut down for five weeknights in a row to allow for nonstop track work, starting at the so-called "late-night" hour of 10 p.m. and continuing through 5 a.m.
Starting in January, four lines will feel the burn: Eighth Ave (A,C,E), Seventh Ave (1,2,3), Sixth Ave (B,D,F,M) and Lexington Ave (4,5,6). From the MTA:
- The initial pilot is planned for the week of January 9th, and involves the Lexington Ave line, which will be suspended between Grand Central/42nd Street and Atlantic Ave.
- The Seventh Avenue 1, 2, and 3 trains will not run between 34th street and Atlantic Avenue, in Brooklyn, from February 13 through February 17.
- The Sixth Avenue B, D, F and M trains will not run from 69th street to West 4th street between February 20 through February 24.
- The Eighth Avenue A, C and E trains will not run from 59th Street to Jay street, in Brooklyn, from March 12 to March 16.
“We are one of the few transit systems that operate around the clock, so it’s always a challenge to find time to do work on the tracks, especially with ridership up on weekends and overnight,” said MTA New York City Transit President Tom Prendergast in a statement. “Closing segments of lines so that we can get in and get the work done quickly benefits everyone—it's safer for workers, less disruptive for riders and gets projects done more quickly for everyone.”
But not everyone is buying it: “It would take tough commutes and make them even tougher,” Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign told CBS. “You’re talking about people commuting in the dead of night…and asking them to walk a block, it may not sound like much, but at that hour of the morning many riders are going to be extremely inconvenienced.”