Rockaways A train to resurrect in June

City Council members James Vacca (second l.-r.), Debi Rose and Peter Koo asked questions about the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's storm preparedness at a Transportation Committee oversight hearing Tuesday. Photo by Karen Frantz
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Normal A train service in the Rockaway Peninsula is expected to be restored in June, MTA President Thomas Prendergast said this week.

The development will be welcome news to Rockaway residents, who have been without regular subway service since Hurricane Sandy washed out the A train connection between Howard Beach and the peninsula more than three months ago.

The Rockaway connection is one of two subway service areas that are still disabled due to Sandy’s wrath, the other being the South Ferry station in Lower Manhattan.

“We’re working tirelessly to remediate the most serious damage,” said Prendergast, saying the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has made significant progress in restoring A train service to the Rockaways.

Prendergast made the comments at a storm preparedness oversight hearing of the City Council’s Committee on Transportation Tuesday.

The hearing was one of a series looking at how the city dealt with Sandy and its aftermath and how it can better prepare against future storms. Praise for the overall handling by the MTA of the storm’s aftermath was nearly unanimous among committee members.

“By almost all accounts the MTA’s response was excellent,” said Councilman James Vacca (D-Bronx), chairman of the Transportation Committee, noting that MTA subway, bus and train service was restored almost to normal within a few weeks and the agency has made strides in disaster planning since the 2010 blizzard.

But the damage that was done to the A train connection between the Rockaways and Howard Beach was extensive, Prendergast noted.

The MTA launched an extensive effort to rebuild the train track crossing over Jamaica Bay, which was breached in two places. It has also worked to remove storm debris along the tracks and rebuild the track bed that was damaged in the storm, Prendergast said. The agency also had to replace damaged and missing third rail protection boards and insulators and signal, power and communications equipment, he said.

In the meantime, a free H shuttle train has been replacing A service between the Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue station and Beach 90th Street and all intermediate stops. A temporary ferry service was also started between the Rockaways and Manhattan in November to help residents.

According to the MTA, the subway line between the Rockaways and Howard Beach serviced more than 30,000 riders per day before the storm.

Reach reporter Karen Frantz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4538.

Posted 12:52 am, February 15, 2013
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Reader feedback

Sweet Brown from Far Rockaway says:
I got to take a shuttle bus to get to work.

Feb. 18, 2013, 1:32 pm
Mike from Rockaway Park says:
Nice News......but why is the "H" train limited to Be 90 Street?........why can't it go to at least Be 105 St.? I understand Be 116 St. May be without power because of street level, but, be 105 and be 98 are elevated................just wondering..........................Mike on Be 107 St.
Feb. 19, 2013, 6:21 pm
Nate from Bayswater says:
Considering that the A to the Rockaways is out of service for over half a year, why did the MTA never allow the LIRR Far Rockaway line to be used by subway riders (at least to Jamaica), by cross honoring Metrocards. Cross honoring tickets is common among commuter lines and buses and the MTA has done so when Queens subways (E/F) or the LIRR have problems.
Feb. 19, 2013, 10:13 pm
Heidy from Rockaway park says:
It's ridiculous it's 'taking' them that long to get the A train running again.. Why June out of all months? Because June is when ridership starts getting high more money for them. So f*** all the residents who have to suffer to get to and from the rock. They honestly don't care about the people who have to commute and wait long times in the cold for buses that are overpacked because they're taking their sweet time 'fixing' everything.
Feb. 21, 2013, 11 pm
Christian from Richmond Hill, NY says:
Instead of talking ——, the MTA has to reactivate the abandoned LIRR rockaway beach branch. All of our needs are going to hell and nobody cares about it!
Feb. 25, 2013, 8:38 pm
jodie from far rockaway says:
This is just ridiculous. They only load one bus at a time. I'm pregnant and had to stand in the rain yesterday for 15 minutes before I could get on a shuttle bus. You never know when you will get getting to work. I regret moving to far rockaway
Feb. 28, 2013, 7:03 pm
jen from beach 38 says:
It's crazy that tho nothing is wrong with my apt I have been displaced due to the trains for 6 months.. I had to locked up my place & stay with family because there is no way of getting my son to school or me to work on time dealing with these shuttle buses n H train... So now because summer is coming n the city wants to make money from ppl who go to the beaches they hurrying up to fix the A train. But US residents have suffered & struggled for months.. its a shame....
April 3, 2013, 10:50 am
kerisha kerr from far rockway says:
This is truly ridiculous, the shuttle buses runs extremly slow takes almost 40mins to get to howard beach, where we still have to pay the regular fare when we get there giving our inconvenience, the shuttle trains stop running on weeknights before 10pm, this is total crap, we have no other means of getting into the rockways, we cant be compared to the south ferry station other subway stations were in close proximity!! Come on mta
April 12, 2013, 1:11 pm
Al Carfora says:
It is a shame that the MTA is missing a golden opportunity to really revitalize the Rockaways by totally eliminating subway service and restoring Tke LIRR throughout the peninsula .
May 13, 2013, 10:27 pm
Donna from Rockaway says:
It is ridiculous that fixing the A train is taking so long. Conveniently the MTA is looking to have it done in time for tourists... The transit alternatives in the meanwhile have been subpar. The Q52 is always crowded and often skips stations. Energy should be put towards restoring the Rockaway Park LIRR and making the Ferry a long term option.
May 16, 2013, 6:59 am

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