Wait, this is the wrong MTA! (first impressions)

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Wait, this is the wrong MTA! (first impressions)

Postby STrRedWolf » Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:14 pm

Or alternatively titled "First impressions of the subway from that mook in Baltimore" (see my Chicago CTA L first take).

As some of you know, I was going up to NYC to see Weird Al. That was this weekend (Sept 24th), and I took the subway when possible. I mainly was around Manhattan, with a side-trip to Brooklyn (MicroCenter visit). My impressions mixed with my itinerary. Note, I'm more used to DC and Maryland MTA's subway cars.

  • Took the 1 from Penn Station to Times Square to transfer to the S. FFS that's a long convoluted maze of a walk! Down and up and down and up... Geesh, can we get some underground reconstruction going on? So.... much... walking...
  • The cars. Okay, apparently someone in Chicago ripped NYC MTA's designs off, chopped the car in half, made two cars with transverse seating(for obvious reasons up there), and called it modern. Roomy this is not. I think this is a legacy problem.
  • As much as I wanted to use the free wifi, I'd rather use LTE... so why is NYC behind DC in providing repeaters? You'd think with how much track work they do, adding repeaters would be a cinch. Maybe they need a Congressional Mandate...
  • Took the S to Grand Central, to get lunch (try looking for a half-decent hamburger, and McD's is quarter-decent; ended up with full decent Shake Shack) and trade an old iPad Mini 2 for cash off a new iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. Basically paid for the Pencil.
  • Headed to the Jane hotel off of Jane Street, taking the 4/5 to the L and then to 14th & 8th. Ugh, what a walk to the hotel (my comments on the hotel are best reserved for another forum). The signage to get where you're going is 90% good... but I kept ending up having to cross streets when signs saying "SE corner of 14th and 8th" really meant "NW corner of 14h and 8th" and I wanted the "SW Corner" but there's no signs there.
  • After some time to set things up (mainly hook the iPad Pro to the Jane's free Wifi and start upgrades/restores), I "Uber"ed to MicroCenter. That was a $42 and 50 minute mistake (traffic, as usual, was awful inside of Manhattan). I probably could of gotten there in 2/3rds of the time if I took the L to the R and walked from 25th R in Brooklyn.
  • Took the N (which was running local on the R) back up and transferred to the F at 4th & 9th... and had forgotten that the F was elevated. 4th and 9th is deceptive!
  • I was able to transfer again at West 4th to an E and get off at 14th street, in time to drop what I got, lighten up my load a bit more.
  • Headed back up, L to the F, to Radio City Music Hall for the concert. Even was able to get a bite to eat at Subway.
  • After the concert (did I say it was AWESOME?) took the F back down to the hotel. It skipped 23rd and the 14th street stops, but West 4th it stopped on. Easy enough, grab an A up... OMG TRANSVERSE SEATING! IT DOES EXIST! I must of gotten an older R-order car.
  • Today was my return trip, so I took the E back up to Penn Station. Got seating. Decent ride.

So in the end I got a $30 Metrocard with about $20 left on it and a $3 one-way (because I forgot said card). I wonder if my coworker has relatives in NJ who go into NY regularly...
I ride the (MTA Maryland) Penn Line (between Odenton and Baltimore). I used to work for MTA Maryland's IT department, and out of professional courtesy my responses may be limited. Wikimapia is wonderful (for track/interlocking locations)!
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Re: Wait, this is the wrong MTA! (first impressions)

Postby Allan » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:00 pm

"so why is NYC behind DC in providing repeaters?"

The NYC system is much older than DCs. The bulk of the NYC system was built between 1904 and 1940 (with smaller parts opened in 1968, 1988, 1989). Since Wifi and LTE etc were not even thought of back then (he tunnels were not constructed for anything other than having trains running thru. Wiring the tunnels would be a major undertaking and the MTA might be willing to have done it BUT none of the carriers (AT&T, Sprint etc) are willing to pay for it.

So for now everyone will have to be content with the underground stations being wired for Wifi (all underground stations are expected to be fully wired by the end of 2016). The Wifi carriers are paying for the stations to be wired.


I have never found getting to Grand Central from Penn Station to be be "a long convoluted maze of a walk". Take the 1, 2 or 3 to 42nd, up the stairs at the front of the platform, make a right, go down 4 steps and the shuttle is straight ahead. I guess you used a staircase in the middle of the platform at 42nd.

Transverse seating still exist on the R46 (usually A and R lines), R68 and R68A series cars (usually B, D and sometimes the F, N and Q lines).

As to the $20 left on your MetroCard - you know the card is valid until the date printed on the back. After that you have 1 year to exchange it for a new card (at no additional cost) at a booth or MetroCard Vending Machine. After the 1st year you can exchange it at a booth. By the 3rd year you have to mail it to the MTA for exchange.
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Re: Wait, this is the wrong MTA! (first impressions)

Postby GirlOnTheTrain » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:45 pm

There is no need for a congressional mandate to have cell service installed in the tunnels...it's bad enough listening to people have obscenely loud conversations on the above ground portions of the subway...let's not add to the cacophony when rattling down the 1 between 157 and 145, thanks.

There are also far more pressing issues facing the MTA than the luxury of in-tunnel cell coverage.

You probably could have saved a lot of money and grief by going to the Yonkers Microcenter...4 to Bedford Park Boulevard and a Beeline Bus to the Cross County Shopping Center.
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Re: Wait, this is the wrong MTA! (first impressions)

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:43 pm

Like the Port Authorty,the MTA wants a piece of the "action" before more "Leaky coax" is strung thru the tunnels for
Cell phone service. :P
I wish that guidebook based on the subway system was still published,that was done in the late '70's by the MTA.
That had diagrams of the Major transfer points in the system,which could have helped.
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Re: Wait, this is the wrong MTA! (first impressions)

Postby STrRedWolf » Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:52 pm

Allan wrote:I have never found getting to Grand Central from Penn Station to be be "a long convoluted maze of a walk". Take the 1, 2 or 3 to 42nd, up the stairs at the front of the platform, make a right, go down 4 steps and the shuttle is straight ahead. I guess you used a staircase in the middle of the platform at 42nd.


I think so. I was on the southern-most end of the 1 platform. Just a ton of stairs that just didn't make much sense. If "front" meant "all the way at the north end", then it would of been easier. Another point for some clearer signage ("S ahead at end of platform" and "8th & 14th SW corner").

As to the $20 left on your MetroCard - you know the card is valid until the date printed on the back. After that you have 1 year to exchange it for a new card (at no additional cost) at a booth or MetroCard Vending Machine. After the 1st year you can exchange it at a booth. By the 3rd year you have to mail it to the MTA for exchange.


It's okay on the card. I have a co-worker who has family in northern New Jersey. A relative of hers goes to NYC more often than I will, so the card will get used.
I ride the (MTA Maryland) Penn Line (between Odenton and Baltimore). I used to work for MTA Maryland's IT department, and out of professional courtesy my responses may be limited. Wikimapia is wonderful (for track/interlocking locations)!
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Re: Wait, this is the wrong MTA! (first impressions)

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:24 pm

Granted the "taggers" tend to use the Wayfinder signs as their "canvas" :( you should have seen the "S" and an arrow pointed in the right
direction to that platform at that corridor level,or did you go to the 7 line platform(down stairs)? :wink:
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Re: Wait, this is the wrong MTA! (first impressions)

Postby STrRedWolf » Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:41 pm

I think I went up, over to the N platform, down half, up half, around to the S platform. Not quite easy!
I ride the (MTA Maryland) Penn Line (between Odenton and Baltimore). I used to work for MTA Maryland's IT department, and out of professional courtesy my responses may be limited. Wikimapia is wonderful (for track/interlocking locations)!
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Re: Wait, this is the wrong MTA! (first impressions)

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:00 pm

That's your wrong turn(up to N,R,and Q platform)'it's a level walk to the steps down to the 'S' across the removeable plates
to allow Equipment swaps for the 'S'. :wink:
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Re: Wait, this is the wrong MTA! (first impressions)

Postby Allan » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:08 am

The removable plates only apply when going from the shuttle platform from track 3 to the shuttle platform for track 4.

People coming from the BMT platforms (N,Q, R and W [as of 11/7)] and the IRT platforms (1, 2, 3) don't have to worry about the removable plates (except if they have to go to track 4 for the shuttle train on that track - usually during rush hours).

BTW - only track 4 of the shuttle connects to the 7th Av uptown local track. At the Grand Central end, track 3 connects to track 1 (just west of the Grand Central platform) which connects to the downtown Lexington Av local track.
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Re: Wait, this is the wrong MTA! (first impressions)

Postby STrRedWolf » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:18 pm

They had the plates up, then. We were on the center track (track 3?).
I ride the (MTA Maryland) Penn Line (between Odenton and Baltimore). I used to work for MTA Maryland's IT department, and out of professional courtesy my responses may be limited. Wikimapia is wonderful (for track/interlocking locations)!
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Re: Wait, this is the wrong MTA! (first impressions)

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:31 pm

You were on track 2,track 1 is isolated,not in service,after checking the track charts.
http://www,nycsubway.org/wiki/New_York_ ... Track_Maps
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Re: Wait, this is the wrong MTA! (first impressions)

Postby STrRedWolf » Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:18 am

Huh... he updated the maps for 2016. I think I'll buy a copy...
I ride the (MTA Maryland) Penn Line (between Odenton and Baltimore). I used to work for MTA Maryland's IT department, and out of professional courtesy my responses may be limited. Wikimapia is wonderful (for track/interlocking locations)!
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Re: Wait, this is the wrong MTA! (first impressions)

Postby GirlOnTheTrain » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:31 am

I doubt the plates connecting to 7th Avenue were up, it's a production to make that move.
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Re: Wait, this is the wrong MTA! (first impressions)

Postby Allan » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:07 pm

Backshophoss wrote:You were on track 2,track 1 is isolated,not in service,after checking the track charts.
http://www,nycsubway.org/wiki/New_York_ ... Track_Maps



Look at the track charts again.

There is no track 2. The platform for track 3 at the TS shuttle station is on top of where track 2 used to be (look into the tunnel at the front of the platform heading toward Grand Central) and you'll see the roadbed. For those who may not be aware the Times Square station (now the shuttle station) was built as a local station.

Track 1 and track 3 are used most of the time. Track 4 is generally in service during rush hours only or if there is a problem with the trains on the other 2 tracks.

Most people don't realize that under the plates between tracks 3 and 4 are two steel girders. The plates alone could never support the weight of people going across them for very long. That is why it is a production to remove so they can periodically change out the equipment on track 4 as naugatroll mentioned.

BTW - the track maps that are on nycsubway.org are very old but even then the information about Times Square on the shuttle has not changed.
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