If you count on F & E Trains for getting around, changes are ahead, starting January 1st. Eight years after Superstorm Sandy, repairs are finally on track.
By David Stone
UPDATE, JANUARY 2ND, 2021: No new word from the MTA, but the subway changes announced below have not fully begun on schedule. As a result, at least for this weekend, Roosevelt Island gets double train service as Es join Fs in both directions. We will update as more information becomes available.
Superstorm Sandy slammed New York City on October 29th, 2012, but it wasn’t wind or rain that did the most damage. Instead, a tidal surge flooded the coastline. Damage was great in the Rutgers tunnel beneath the East River. Fixing that is what the changes are all about.
E & F Train changes are limited, but the project is big.
On the surface, the only difference for most of us will be riding different trains to familiar locations. And that’s limited to weekends and late nights, but it can be confusing.
“F trains will be rerouted via the E between 36 St (Queens) and W 4 St, and via the A/C between W 4 St and Jay St-MetroTech.” So says the MTA announcement.
And “E trains will be rerouted via the F between 36 St and Delancey-Essex Sts, the first/last stop for all E trains in Manhattan. This change allows us to maintain subway service at 2 Av and Delancey-Essex Sts.”
The changes run from January 1st through March 29th, and this rerouting means only two stations lose service.
That’s East Broadway in Manhattan and York Street in Brooklyn, and the MTA fills in with shuttle buses.
“While we’re working to fix the Rutgers tunnel and its infrastructure, we’re also installing and activating wireless cell service throughout the tunnel so that you can continue using your phone uninterrupted as you travel through the East River. In addition, we’re making accessibility enhancements to the East Broadway station including a widened staircase from mezzanine to platform for improved circulation and tactile platform edge warning strips.”
So, after eight years, E & F Train changes make fixing up Superstorm Sandy damages to the Rutgers tunnel. For most of us, that causes little more than momentary confusion.