NYTIP – enhancing the nyc subway, part 6: putting it all together

UPDATE (11.03.2019): Post revised for clarity. Some images updated.

Welcome back to my ongoing series on the New York Transportation Improvement Plan (NYTIP)! When I introduced NYTIP, I outlined a three-point plan for fixing the NYC Subway system: enhance, extend, and expand. This post summarizes the last five posts, which addressed the first point – enhance.

Let’s start with The Bronx.

NOTE: Click any image to enlarge.

[Fig. 1] The enhanced NYC Subway in The Bronx.

NYTIP enables significant service increases throughout The Bronx, as follows:

2/5 Swap

The 2/5 swap north of East 180th Street station eliminates a conflict between the 5 express and 2 local. It also simplifies service by eliminating the branching that led to infrequent service on the Dyre Avenue branch; all 2 service runs to Eastchester – Dyre Avenue and all 5 service runs to Wakefield – 241st Street. Owing to higher ridership along White Plains Rd, the 5 express will run with expanded hours (i.e. beyond rush hours and possibly on weekends) to encourage ridership, as needed.

C/D Swap

As part of the Central Park West de-interlining, the C becomes an 8th Avenue express train and replaces the D in The Bronx. This de-interlining enables significant service increases on the C, which would run full-length trains (600′) instead of 480′ trains. It also gives Bronxites direct service to several major transit hubs – namely, Port Authority Bus Terminal, Penn Station, World Trade Center, and Fulton Center. B local service serves The Bronx all day with increased service, preserving connectivity to 6th Avenue. The B will run on weekends to encourage ridership and discourage driving on the Grand Concourse.

161st Street – Yankee Stadium station enhancement

Yankee Stadium is the busiest station in The Bronx despite the fact that it is a local stop on the Concourse line. (The elevated station is also configured as a local stop with a center bypass track.) To further encourage ridership on the Concourse line, NYTIP recommends converting the lower level side platforms to island platforms.

[Fig. 2] 161st Street – Yankee Stadium lower level express conversion.

To minimize costs, NYTIP recommends preserving as much of the existing station infrastructure as possible. To achieve this, NYTIP recommends realigning the local tracks behind the existing side platforms, removing the side walls, and extending each platform to the center track. The resulting extra-wide island platforms should accommodate game-day crowds with room to spare. For better crowd distribution, NYTIP recommends additional exits at the station’s west end leading to either side of 161st Street, and widening existing staircases where feasible.


[Fig. 3] Overview of the Central Park West de-interlining.

[Fig. 4] The enhanced NYC Subway in Manhattan highlighting additional service improvements.

Central Park West de-interlining

The C/D swap removes conflicts on both express and local trains by having all 8th Avenue service (A/C trains) run express and all 6th Avenue service (B/D) run local. A consequence of this change is that A/C trains also run express on 8th Avenue, leaving the E as the sole 8th Avenue local service. I will explore options for increasing 8th Avenue local service in a future post.

Broadway de-interlining 

NYTIP simplifies service on Broadway by sending all Broadway express (N/Q) trains via 63rd Street and 2nd Avenue, and sending all Broadway local (R) trains via 60th Street. This gives the Second Avenue Subway a major service increase. As an additional enhancement, all W trains become R trains, enabling significant local service increases. N express trains no longer stop at 49th Street to avoid switching delays; however, the beefed-up R service results in a net service increase to the station.

F/M Swap

As part of the Queens Boulevard partial de-interlining, the F runs via 53rd Street and the M runs via 63rd Street. This change eliminates some conflicts with the E in Queens. On 63rd Street, service increases on the M offset the capacity reduction from the M’s shorter (480′) trains.

10th Avenue – 41st Street station

NYTIP provides an infill station at 10th Avenue and 41st Street on the 7 line – a station that NYC should’ve built when extending the line. The Hell’s Kitchen area is very active and would benefit from such a station.

Brooklyn and Staten Island

[Fig. 5] Overview of the D/Q swap and the new Rosebank station on the Staten Island Railway.

[Fig. 6] Overview of the 3/5 swap made possible by fixing Nostrand Junction.

[Fig. 7] The enhanced NYC Subway in Brooklyn highlighting a new in-system transfer and streamlined service through DeKalb Avenue.

South Brooklyn de-interlining

The D/Q swap removes several conflicts among the lines serving South Brooklyn (B/D/N/Q/R). Through this swap, all Broadway service serves the 4th Avenue line, with the Q replacing the D via West End. All 6th Avenue service serves the Brighton line, with the D replacing the Q as the Brighton local to Coney Island.

3/5 Swap

NYTIP recommends a capital investment to fix the Nostrand Junction with short track connections. These connections, combined with the 3/5 swap, reduce conflicts and enable service increases on the 2, 3, 4, and 5 lines. Under NYTIP, all 7th Avenue service (2/3) serves Nostrand Avenue and all Lexington Avenue service (4/5) serves Eastern Parkway and Livonia Avenue east of Franklin Avenue station.

Other Enhancements

NYTIP contemplates two in-system transfers – one between the 5 and L trains at Junius St/Livonia Ave, and one between the G and J/M trains at Hewes St/Broadway. An optional capital investment that could further improve J/M/Z service is converting the side platforms at Marcy Avenue station to island platforms to reduce switching delays:

[Fig. 8] Optional Marcy Avenue island platform conversion.

For Staten Islanders, NYTIP recommends an infill station at Rosebank to bridge the long gap between Clifton and Grasmere stations.


[Fig. 9] The enhanced NYC Subway in Queens highlighting Astoria and the G extension.

[Fig. 10] Overview of the Queens Boulevard partial de-interlining and M extension.

Astoria and Queens Boulevard

Under NYTIP, all R service serves Astoria, giving Astoria riders a major service increase. To preserve service levels at Queens Blvd local stations, NYTIP extends the G to Forest Hills to replace the R. The G would use full-length (600′) trains instead of its current 300′ trains. North of Astoria-Ditmars Blvd station, NYTIP contemplates a new storage yard for R trains within the Con Edison property; this yard also serves as an anchor for a future Astoria line extension to LaGuardia Airport (future post). To preserve connectivity between Queens Blvd and Broadway services, NYTIP contemplates an in-system transfer connecting the Queens Plaza and Queensboro Plaza stations.

Along Queens Blvd, the E and F run express and the G and M run local. As an additional enhancement, the M local extends to Jamaica – 179th Street to allow F trains to run express from there.

Taken together, these changes will enable service increases with existing rolling stock and achieve the initial baseline service levels contemplated by NYTIP on every line – peak service every 4 minutes or better and off-peak service every 8 minutes or better.

The enhanced NYC Subway incorporates both these changes and the yard extensions discussed in this post. Click here to download the enhanced NYC Subway service guide (Microsoft Excel file).

In my next post, I will discuss overnight service on the enhanced NYC Subway. Until next time!

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