V (New York City Subway service)

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Sixth Avenue Local
V symbol
V map
Northern end Forest Hills – 71st Avenue
Southern end Lower East Side – Second Avenue
Stations 24

The V Sixth Avenue Local was a rapid transit service in the B Division of the New York City Subway. It was colored orange on route and station signs as well as the NYC Subway map, as it represented a service provided on the IND Sixth Avenue Line through Midtown Manhattan.

The V service debuted on December 17, 2001 when the connection from the IND 63rd Street Line to the IND Queens Boulevard Line opened as a replacement for the F train, which was rerouted via this new connection, on the IND 53rd Street Line. It was eliminated on June 25, 2010 as part of a series of service reductions to close a budget gap. The M train was rerouted from Lower Manhattan and South Brooklyn via the Chrystie Street Connection to replace the V, making identical stops except for Second Avenue.

Except for a brief period in early 2005, the V had the same service pattern during its eight-and-a-half-year history. It operated weekdays only from approximately 6:30 a.m. to midnight on an entirely underground route between 71st Avenue in Forest Hills, Queens and Second Avenue in Lower East Side, Manhattan, making all stops.

Service history[edit]

Initial service plan and controversy[edit]

The V made its debut on December 17, 2001. It was introduced to provide riders at local stations along the IND Queens Boulevard Line with direct service to Manhattan via the IND Sixth Avenue Line, and to resolve overcrowding issues at 23rd Street – Ely Avenue.

The V service added nine additional peak-hour trains coming into Manhattan from Queens Boulevard.[1] However, to make room for V trains on Queens Boulevard, the G train was given a new weekday terminal at Long Island City – Court Square and the F train was re-routed through the 63rd Street Tunnel. In Manhattan, the V and F made identical stops between 47th–50th Streets and the V train's Lower East Side – Second Avenue terminal station.

Forest Hills-bound V train of R46s at Roosevelt Avenue
2nd Avenue-bound V train of R42s at West 4th Street-Washington Square
Queens-bound V train of R32s at 23rd Street

The new service plan was designed to redistribute Queens-bound passenger loads in the heavily used IND Sixth Avenue corridor, by encouraging use of the additional local trains provided for shorter trips, and to improve service and transfer opportunities for passengers using local stations along Queens Blvd. The New York Times described the service plan as "complex and heavily criticized." New York Times columnist Randy Kennedy noted, however, that four months after it opened, the service was operating at only 49% of capacity. However, ridership had "increased 30 percent since it began, and every new V rider, as lonely as he or she might be, relieves crowding on the E."[2] Several years experience with the service running, has shown its value and seen further gains. V trains, while by no means consistently full, have taken some load off the F train; however, some riders have complained that the passenger load on the E train has worsened, while others said it has gotten better. In response to complaints from G riders who aired them at public hearings, (they were about to lose their transfer to Manhattan-bound trains at Queens Plaza), the MTA agreed to a number of concessions. MTA agreed to install an underground moving walkway between Court Square and 23rd Street – Ely Avenue (E M) on the Queens Boulevard Line. In addition, a free out-of-system MetroCard transfer to 45th Road – Court House Square (7 <7>) on the IRT Flushing Line was created at those two stations—one of only two such transfers in the system; the free transfer between the IRT and IND was eventually superseded by a physical transfer in June 2011.

The MTA also agreed to extend the G to 71st Avenue during evenings and weekends, and to operate the service more frequently. The authority "had spent several hundred thousand dollars on tests, trying to figure out a way to keep the G train running past the Court Square Station and farther into Queens on weekdays. But because of the addition of the V train, which will share space along the Queens Boulevard lines with the trains already there—the E, F and RG trains could not fit during the daytime, when service is heaviest."[3]

Not all F riders were happy. Columnist Kennedy sought out and interviewed some who were not happy with the V's debut:

Last week, there were two express trains (the E and the F) running along Queens Boulevard to 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue, the station where many people catch the Lexington line. Now, there is only one express (the E) and a local (the V) going to that popular station. And the other express (the F) detours to a less popular station, 63rd and Lexington, where you cannot transfer to the Lexington Avenue Line without walking outside for a few blocks.
So the questions being asked privately, and sometimes very publicly, in Queens stations yesterday were: Do I take a train not going where I'm going and — God forbid — transfer? Do I take a relatively uncrowded train that goes where I'm going but that gives me the scenic tour of subterranean Queens?[4]

On January 23, 2005, a fire destroyed the signal room of Chambers Street on the IND Eighth Avenue Line. V service was temporarily extended to Euclid Avenue until C service was restored on February 2.

Merger of V and M trains[edit]

In late 2009, the MTA confronted a financial crisis, and many of the same service cuts threatened just months earlier during a previous budget crisis were revisited. One of the proposals included completely phasing out M service and using the V as its replacement. Under this proposal, the V would no longer serve its southern terminus of Lower East Side – Second Avenue. Instead, after leaving Broadway – Lafayette Street, it would use the Chrystie Street Connection, a then-unused track connection between the BMT Nassau Street Line and the IND Sixth Avenue Line, and stop at Essex Street in Manhattan before serving all M stations to Metropolitan Avenue in Queens.

The MTA determined that this move, while still a service cut, would actually benefit M riders, as approximately 17,000 of them traveled to its stations in Lower Manhattan, whereas 22,000 transferred to other lines to reach destinations in Midtown Manhattan.[5] Additionally, this merger would open up new travel options for northern Brooklyn and Queens J/Z riders, in that it would allow direct and more convenient access to areas that are not currently served by those routes such as Midtown Manhattan.

On March 19, 2010, it was decided that the new service pattern would retain the M designation instead, which would now be designated with an orange symbol as an IND Sixth Avenue Line train, while the V designation will be discontinued. Many MTA board members opposed the elimination of the M designation, saying that riders would be more comfortable with an M designation rather than a V designation, and because the M has been around longer than the V.[6][7]

V service ended on June 25, 2010 with the last train leaving Lower East Side – Second Avenue bound for Queens at 11:33 pm.[8]

Final route[edit]

Lines used[edit]

The following lines were used by the V service:

Line From To Tracks
IND Queens Boulevard Line 71st Avenue Queens Plaza local
Queens Plaza Fifth Avenue / 53rd Street all
IND Sixth Avenue Line 47th–50th Streets – Rockefeller Center Lower East Side – Second Avenue local

Stations[edit]

For a more detailed station listing, see the articles on the lines listed above.

Station service legend
Stops all times Stops all times
Stops all times except late nights Stops all times except late nights
Stops weekdays only Stops weekdays only
Stops rush hours in peak direction only Stops weekdays in the peak direction only
Time period details
V service Stations Handicapped/disabled access Subway transfers Connections and notes
Queens
Stops weekdays only Forest Hills – 71st Avenue E all times F all times R all hours except late nights LIRR Main Line at Forest Hills
Stops weekdays only 67th Avenue R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only 63rd Drive – Rego Park R all hours except late nights Q72 bus to LaGuardia Airport
Stops weekdays only Woodhaven Boulevard R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only Grand Avenue – Newtown R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only Elmhurst Avenue R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only Jackson Heights – Roosevelt Avenue Handicapped/disabled access E all times F all times R all hours except late nights
7 all times (IRT Flushing Line)
Q33 bus to LaGuardia Airport
Q47 bus to LaGuardia Marine Air Terminal
Stops weekdays only 65th Street R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only Northern Boulevard R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only 46th Street R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only Steinway Street R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only 36th Street R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only Queens Plaza Handicapped/disabled access E all times R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only 23rd Street – Ely Avenue Handicapped/disabled access E all times
G all times (IND Crosstown Line at Long Island City – Court Square)
7 all times <7>rush hours until 10:00 p.m., peak direction (IRT Flushing Line at 45th Road – Court House Square; MetroCard-only transfer)
Manhattan
Stops weekdays only Lexington Avenue – 53rd Street Handicapped/disabled access E all times
6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction (IRT Lexington Avenue Line at 51st Street)
Stops weekdays only Fifth Avenue / 53rd Street E all times
Stops weekdays only 47th–50th Streets – Rockefeller Center Handicapped/disabled access B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times F all times
Stops weekdays only 42nd Street – Bryant Park B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times F all times
7 all times <7>rush hours until 10:00 p.m., peak direction (IRT Flushing Line at Fifth Avenue)
Stops weekdays only 34th Street – Herald Square Handicapped/disabled access B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times F all times
N all times Q all times R all except late nights W weekdays only (BMT Broadway Line)
PATH at 33rd Street
Note: W service discontinued
Stops weekdays only 23rd Street F all times PATH at 23rd Street
Stops weekdays only 14th Street F all times
1 all times 2 all times 3 all except late nights (IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line at 14th Street)
L all times (BMT Canarsie Line at Sixth Avenue)
PATH at 14th Street
Stops weekdays only West Fourth Street – Washington Square Handicapped/disabled access B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times F all times
A all times C all except late nights E all times (IND Eighth Avenue Line)
PATH at 9th Street
Stops weekdays only Broadway – Lafayette Street Handicapped/disabled access B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times F all times
6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction (IRT Lexington Avenue Line at Bleecker Street; transfer to downtown trains only)
Stops weekdays only Lower East Side – Second Avenue F all times

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kershaw, Sarah (December 2, 2000). "Proposed Line Would Lighten Subway Crush". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  2. ^ Kennedy, Randy (July 9, 2002). "When One New Train Equals One Less Express". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  3. ^ Kennedy, Randy (May 25, 2001). "Panel Approves New V Train but Shortens G Line to Make Room". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  4. ^ Kennedy, Randy (December 18, 2001). "Lonesome Newcomer, Taking It Slowly, Seeks Riders". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  5. ^ "2010 NYC Transit Service Reductions" (PDF). MTA New York City Transit. January 27, 2010. p. 9. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  6. ^ Grynbaum, Michael M. (March 19, 2010). "On the Subway, V Is for Vanished". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  7. ^ http://mta.info/news/pdf/NYCT_Summary_of_Revisions.pdf
  8. ^ DeJesus, Juan (June 25, 2010). "Last Stop: New Yorkers Bid Adieu to V and W". WNBC. Retrieved 2010-06-25. 

External links[edit]