Weekend of Aug. 27th

Good afternoon. This weekend is slightly better than last weekend. There are few major diversions on the lettered lines. However, all of the work on the 2, 3, 4 and 5 lines will carry over from last weekend. That means there will be no 2 or 3 train service running between Manhattan and Brooklyn, while 4 and 5 local trains will pick up the slack in Brooklyn. Moving away from that service change, there are a few others to contend with. Once again, 5 train service is suspended between E 180 Street and Dyre Av. Also, Manhattan-bound D trains are running via the N-line between Coney Island and 36 Street. Remember, most stations along the Sea Beach line are closed in the Manhattan-bound direction, so you will have to double-back at 36 Street and not New Utrecht Av/62 St as per usual when this service change occurs. Finally in terms of reroutes, Queens-bound F trains are running through the 53rd Street tunnels.

As always, there are a few express/local-only sections scattered about. Use the map to avoid them, or at least know what’s going on.

Map for 08.27-08.29

The site is back on Twitter. Tweet me @Subway_Weekender. As always, enjoy the weekend.

Weekend of Aug. 20th

Good afternoon everyone. After last weekend’s relatively light list of service disruptions, we return to what passes for normality with a whole slew of major disruptions and diversions. First off, Fix and Fortify work moves to the Clark St tunnels. That means there will not any 2 or 3 trains running between Manhattan and Brooklyn this weekend. Service in Brooklyn will be provided by 4 and 5 local trains. Also to balance out the MTA internal workload, 2 and 5 trains are switching their northern terminals as well. 5 trains will run 241 St in lieu of the 2 trains, which are unfortunately terminating at E 180 Street due to track work along the Dyre Ave line.

Of course, that’s only one major disruption. D train service is suspended between Herald Square and the Barclays Center. There are no A trains running north of 168 Street. Finally, there are no L trains running between Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs and Rockaway Pkwy.

Moving away from the partial line suspensions, there are still a few major diversions to contend with as well. As usual, E trains are running via 63rd Street and 6th Avenue due to more Fix and Fortify work. Also, for what feels like the millionth time, all service along Queens Blvd is local-only. Finally, due to the aforementioned suspension of D train service, N trains will run local in Brooklyn all weekend.

Check out the map for a complete list of service changes.

Map for 08.20-08.22

Weekend of Aug. 13th

Good evening. This weekend will be more manageable than the previous few. That’s a good thing because this weekend will be a scorcher and I’m sure you don’t want to add a bunch of reroutes to an already uncomfortable trip. With that said, there are a few service disruptions to contend with. Once again, the 5 train is running between E 180 Street and Dyre Av, but really, that shouldn’t be all that new anymore. Also, L trains are not running along part of the Canarsie line. Fortunately, the closed off section is only between Broadway Junction and Rockaway Pkwy.

There are only a few more service reroutes in place. Brooklyn-bound F trains are running via the E-line between Roosevelt Av and Rockefeller Center. Also, all Broadway trains are running across the Manhattan Bridge, which means there will be no N or R trains in Lower Manhattan or Downtown Brooklyn.

Check out the map for the details.

Map for 08.13-08.15 Link updated.

Enjoy the weekend.

Amid Communications Improvements, MTA Weekender Stagnates

Eh, I’m trying something a little different. Perhaps I’ll continue as I see fit.

Recently, the MTA (and I suppose Governor Cuomo as well since all good things MTA-related come from his office apparently) has been on a kick of announcing their plans to improve communications with the general public. Their latest entry is the testing of the next-train countdown clocks and displays at several stops along the Broadway line. This push to get the MTA agencies into the 21st century got me wondering why such communication efforts have not been made toward clearly illustrating how the trains are running at any given time, especially during weekends when service changes dramatically due to planned construction work. After all, it is the reason why I have been maintaining this site for the past four years. While the MTA clearly sees their Weekender as the best thing ever, especially since it’s the first link on the MTA website every weekend, in reality, it’s about as useful as the 1972 map it’s based on. Much like its predecessor, the Weekender map is more of an art piece than a useful tool of conveying service patterns during weekend construction. A diagrammatic map with blinking dots for stations is not any better than a standard map showing normal service.

While I consider the maintenance of this site as something of a personal accomplishment, this is something the MTA should be doing in-house. Something I mentioned in a letter to them some time ago, which only resulted in the standard form letter that stated they appreciate my concern and are  looking into the issue. Or something like that; after all, it was a few years ago. But I digress. That was then and this is now. And nowadays, riders want to know just how their train is running, or if it’s running at all. With all the technology prevalent throughout the subway and the new technology that’s coming in the next few months and years, there is no reason why riders should deal with inferior maps or should have to turn to outside sources like myself to see the planned service patterns, even if I do appreciate your patronage.

And the thing is, creating these maps is not a complicated process in the slightest. I’m not sure how long you folks think I take creating a map every week, but let me assure you, it’s probably much less than you think. On average, it takes about a hour from start to finish manipulating the base map to properly illustrate how the trains are running. Sometimes it’s a bit more if there are new service changes or if there are a lot of them, but if this is something I can do in my spare time on a Sunday morning, there is no reason why somebody in the MTA offices couldn’t whip up something similar within the same amount of time, if not less. I’m sure they would have much more resources available to them than I could ever acquire. And yet, it seems they’re either unwilling or unable to do something that’s relatively simple. Few people expect them to create maps showing service for every unplanned service change, much like they did following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, but it shouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility for riders to get a real subway map PDF showing weekend service as it is affected by construction.

This post is not a knock at the MTA Weekender. It’s a okay tool and a great starting point, but much like the 1972 map it’s based on, it would work even better as a companion piece to a regular map modified to show real weekend service. Something this simple would go a long way towards improving communications with the average rider.

Subway Weekender – Four Years and Still Going

It has come to my attention that this weekend marks the four-year anniversary of me taking over for Shawn Lynch and continuing the Subway Weekender. It’s amazing how fast the time flies. And it’s amazing how far my skills at Adobe Illustrator have come in the intervening years. We’ve gone from my first foray with vector manipulation in my first post. I mean, look at that map; it’s so busy what with the streets retained from the official MTA map to my crude manipulations of the so-called bus bubbles that used to be prevalent on the PDF version of the subway map to show the service information. I feel that’s a far cry from what I give to you nowadays.

While I’m not usually one for self-congratulations, I feel that this is a a bit of an accomplishment, especially for someone doing this in their spare time for no money. After all, it’s not as though I have to do this. However, since the MTA will not or cannot come up with something similar to what I present almost every weekend, I will continue to illustrate just how the subway lines are affected by weekend construction. Thanks for sticking around for the past few years. It’s greatly appreciated.

As always, enjoy and stay safe.

Weekend of Aug. 6th

Good evening. It’s more of the same with a few more added for for good measure. 2 train service is still split at E 180 Street. A, C and E trains are rerouted due to Sandy recovery work. 1 and 3 train service is truncated to 14 Street and Utica Av respectively. Speaking of truncations, 4 train service is still not running to Brooklyn, but they are running express to Bowling Green.

For the full list of service changes, check out the map.

Map for 08.06-08.08
Enjoy the weekend.