May 4, 2018: Untitled Edition

A very abbreviated version of Signal Problems this week, due to a combination of me being out of town and not a whole lot happening on the NYC transit front. But far be it for me to deprive you of your weekly dog in a bag.

News You Probably Can't Use, But About Which You Can Certainly Brood

  • In last week’s board materials, NYCT revealed the 7 line upgrade to CBTC has been pushed back yet again, this time to the end of the year. A brief history of the 7 line CBTC delays:

    • In 2013, the target date was pushed back six months to mid-2017

    • Last year, that got delayed once again to the end of 2017

    • At the end of 2017, it got delayed to June 2018

    • Last week, June 2018 became November/December 2018

    I’m going to hold my broader thoughts on this until Byford reveals his Corporate Plan later this month, because I suspect it will address many the issues here. Stay tuned.

  • PSA: the 72nd and 86th Street B/C stops on the Upper West Side will be closed for approximately five months in what is definitely not a cosmetic station refurbishment, no siree. 72nd is closing next week while 86th will close in the beginning of June. There are plenty of alternatives around—the 72nd St 1/2/3, 81st St B/C, etc.—so if you live in the area I think you’ll survive the inconvenience (also please send me some Zabar’s).

  • POLITICO is back on the “Lhota has too many jobs” beat, this time by FOILing emails with MSG folk. I’ll let you be the judge of how egregious the actions here are.

  • NY State senate candidate Jessica Ramos conducted a survey to find out how much money working parents pay in daycare center late fees due to subway delays. NBC New York covered her findings—$17 on average—and an MTA spokesman replied that they are “not interested in political stunts. Our sole focus is on serving riders."

  • The M train resumed full service this week after eight months of service interruptions to rebuild two sections of the elevated structures that desperately needed it. The project was “on time and on budget” as the MTA bragged, but only just: the timeline for completion was “April 2018” and service resumed on the last day of the month. And as I wrote at the Voice this week, boy, did they cut it close.

  • My ongoing series Better Know A Screwed Subway Line During the L Shutdown continues at the Voice (I call it that, they have better editorial sense). Do you ride the 7? Yes, you, too, are screwed during the L shutdown.

  • People seem to like the new double decker bus.

  • “You just get way better decisions if you have women – and for that matter, people of color – on your executive team, rather than if you just have a team of clones of white men,” Byford said after appointing the first woman to lead the Department of Subways.

  • “We will no longer accept delays on this critical project,” an MTA spokesman told Crain’s about East Side Access. Reminder that the project was initially scheduled to be finished before America had a black president.

  • Philip Ashforth Coppola has spent 40 years sketching NYC subway stations and he now he has a book of them.

Your Upcoming Service Advisories, Provided by Lance from Subway Weekender

Note: the service advisories reflect the most disruptive changes. Be sure to check the maps or the MTA website for a full list of service changes.


  • 1 - No service between 137 St-City College and 242 Street

  • 2 5 - No service between E 180 Street and 149 St-Grand Concourse

  • 4 5 - All service is local-only in Manhattan

  • 6 - No service between 125 Street and Brooklyn Bridge

  • E R - Outbound service is express-only in Queens

  • F - No service between Church Av and Coney Island

  • N Q R - Downtown service is express-only between 57 St-7 Av and Canal St

  • Q - Brooklyn-bound service runs via R line between Canal St and DeKalb Av

 Full-resolution map here.

Late Nights:

  • 2 - No service between Chambers St and Atlantic Av

  • 3 - No overnight service (Tue. morning only)

  • 4 - No service between Utica Av and New Lots Av

  • F - multiple diversions

    • No service between 18 Avenue and Coney Island

    • Brooklyn-bound service runs via E line between Roosevelt Av and 5 Av-53 St

  • G - No service between Bedford-Nostrand Avs and Court Sq

  • J - No service between Chambers St and Broad St (Thu. morning only)

  • N - Manhattan-bound service runs via Q line between DeKalb Av and Canal St

  • R - multiple diversions

    • No service between Atlantic Av and Whitehall St

    • All service is express-only between Atlantic Av and 36 St/4 Av

Full-resolution map here.

MTA Mention of the Week

Chris O'Leary@ohhleary

A homeless person laying across the unflipped flip-up seats of the redesigned L Train at rush hour has to be some sort of metaphor for governmental failure.

May 1, 2018

Dog in a Bag

Have a dog in a bag photo? Reading this on the subway and see a dog in a bag? Take a picture and send it to

Photo credit: Veronica Chaffin

This has been another edition of Signal Problems, a weekly newsletter helping you figure out what is going on with the subway, made every week by Aaron Gordon, transit reporter for the Village Voice.

If you’re a new or prospective subscriber, head over to the Subway Knowledge Base page for an introduction to the state of the subway. And if you’re enjoying this newsletter, please share it with others. It’s the best way you can say thanks.

As always, send any feedback, subway questions, or Dog in a Bag photos to I’d love to hear from you. As someone on a stalled Q train once told me, we’re all in this together.