MTA Set for Fastrack Work as Some Board Members Question Usage

As part of the next installment of the MTA's Fastrack program, portions of the Sixth Avenue Subway line will be shut down from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for the next four consecutive nights starting February 27, so that repairs and track maintenance can be completed uninterrupted. 

The MTA says there will be no service on the B, D, F and M lines from West Fourth Street to 57th Street in Manhattan.

D trains will run via the 8th Avenue line between Columbus Avenue and West Fourth Street.

In Brooklyn, D trains will operate between Coney Island and 6th Street, and via the R line between 36th Street in Brooklyn to Whitehall Street in Lower Manhattan.

F trains will operate via the E line between Roosevelt Avenue in Queens and West Fourth Street, in both directions. The Q will be extended from 57th Street in Manhattan to 21st Street Queensbridge.

The Fastrack program closes lines completely so crews can work on repairs uninterrupted. The closures inconvenience thousands of passengers.

At a monthly MTA Transit Committee meeting Monday, Board member Andrew Albert complained that during the last Fastrack some Number 3 subway line riders endured interruptions even though crews did no maintenance there.  "Why was it necessary to completely suspend the number three line, relegating those passengers on the Upper Lenox line to second class status and have to ride buses," Albert asked.

In response, MTA Chief Thomas Prendergast said he'd consider changing the program so that lines will be shut down only where the work is being done.

The MTA said shutting down entire lines for maintenance will save $10 million in labor costs this year, because more work is completed in a shorter amount of time.

The Board also heard from New York Police Department Transit Bureau Chief Joseph Fox regarding crime statistics. Fox told the Board that total major felonies in New York's subway system increased about 30 percent over the same time frame as last year. He said the majority of those increases come from electronic theft crimes, like "iPods and iPhones."

The NYPD reported that there were no murders or rapes in the subway either year.