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The city and state are being forced to realign vast segments of the subway system in part to allow for construction work on the Manhattan Bridge.
Transit observers and advocates predicted initial confusion and longer trips for the riding public.
Neither the Transit Authority nor the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was eager to discuss the changes since the proposals have yet to be presented to the MTA board of directors or go before public hearings.
The new subway service, expected to begin operation next summer, would involve no new construction. It would establish new routes and rearrange trains on already existing tracks.
The changes, which in particular would usher in new routes for B and D line patrons, would introduce what would be known as the V line and the W line and were first reported in the Daily News.
The V line, which would be a permanent part of the transit system, would run as a local train from 71st Avenue in Forest Hills through the 53rd Street tunnel into Manhattan and make stops along Sixth Avenue to Houston Street and Second Avenue.
The Daily News said the W line would link Coney Island in Brooklyn with Astoria in Queens after running over the Manhattan Bridge into Manhattan. Southbound straphangers on B and D trains would be required to transfer at 34th Street and Sixth Avenue for further points. Presumably, the W line would exist until completion of work on the Manhattan Bridge, which is expected to go on for years.
Riders of the B train bound from Brooklyn to Manhattan would take W trains, which would use the B line tracks in Brooklyn. In Manhattan, W trains would run on Broadway rather than Sixth Avenue.
Manhattan-bound riders from Brooklyn would take Q trains, which would use Broadway rather than Sixth Avenue as they do now, ending their trips at 57th Street and Seventh Avenue.
Repairs on the Manhattan Bridge, under construction for nearly a decade, will ultimately cause a shutdown of IND subway tracks used by Q, B and D subway trains. Two long-unused tracks of the BMT on the bridge are to be put back in use pending completion of repairs and renovation of the nearly 100-year-old span.
The Daily News quoted both Transit Authority documents and Richard Borish of the Transport Workers Union Local 100 for much of the information, none of it announced by either the TA or the MTA.
Gene Russianoff, staff lawyer for the transit watchdog agency Straphangers Campaign, suggested the need for ads in the newspapers and signs to help riders confused and uncertain where the new lines would take them. He also predicted that riders would not like the changes that require transfers.
"They will have to give up the seat they have gotten and start all over again on the new trains after waiting on a platform a second time," he said.
New York City Public Advocate Mark Green called for public hearings before putting the V and W trains into operation.
"This would add five or 10 minutes to every ride that B and D commuters take above or below 34th Street," Green said in a letter to the MTA. Green predicted a loss of up to two hours a week in commuting time for those straphangers.
The Transit Authority last week said it would soon be able to add up to 15 trains an hour to ease congestion on E and F trains because of the completion of the 1,500-foot extension of the 63rd Street tunnel linking Long Island City, Queens and Manhattan.
©2000 Community Newspaper Group
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