Major Shutdowns Coming to the 1, 2 and 3 Subway Lines For Multiple Weekends, Including Total Shutdown for Two Weekends

An upgrade to the switches on the 1, 2 and 3 lines on the Upper West Side will cause major weekend shutdowns for the rest of the summer, the MTA said. For the next six weekends, there will be reduced service in the area, culminating on two weekends — August 16-19 and August 23-26 — without any service in the neighborhood on those lines.

The MTA explained on its website that the changes are necessary to modernize switches that were last replaced in 1990 and are “near the end of their useful life.”

“We’re completely replacing the switches at 96 St between the uptown local and express tracks,” the MTA said. “This intense work requires us to completely remove the switches and surrounding track, pour new concrete, and install new track along with the new switches. We need uninterrupted access to both tracks and track bed for the work to be done safely and quickly. Once replaced, the new, modern switches will help us run more reliable service.”

In the first phase (July 19-22 and July 26-29), the 1 will operate normally through the neighborhood, though it will be split into two sections farther north. The 3 will be shut down completely but the 2 will operate normally.

In the second phase (August 2-5 and August 9-12), the 1 will also operate normally but the 2 will only be available between 96th Street and Flatbush Avenue and the 3 will be shut down again.

In the third phase (August 16-19 and August 23-26), all three trains will be completely shut down in the neighborhood.

Each weekend, the MTA will provide free shuttle buses to replace lost train service.

For all those details on the buses and other changes, click here.

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NEWS | 50 comments | permalink
    1. mc says:

      I clicked on the link, and I think I must be missing something. There don’t seem to be any trains at all the weekends of August 16th and August 23rd, and I don’t see that they’re going to have bus service the entire run of the line.

      Could this be?

      • Thanks, MTA says:

        Correct–the story says there won’t be ANY 1-2-3s on either of those weekends. Sounds unbelievable to me, too, but nothing should surprise us when it comes to the MTA’s incompetence. Prepare for a hellishly packed C train with no elevator access and the B train making its typical weekend disappearance.

      • Mark P says:

        Bus service covers the gaps in service, not the entire line. You get off the bus and continue on the subway if needed.

        • mc says:

          Mark, thank you: but as I read it, during the last two weekends, there’s no service at all on the 1, for example. Which would mean that, let’s say, from South Ferry upward into Harlem, they’re going to have buses? Also nothing in Manhattan on the 2/3?

          On one hand, I appreciate all this advance warning. On the other, yikes for two full weekends. Some of us don’t have summer homes to escape to! 😀

    2. My two cents! says:

      MTA honcho Andy Hyford would be wise to take a lesson from the last failed brit invasion- the dieppe raid. This important battle demonstrated the need for the element of surprise. If the MTA posts notices for train shut downs well in advance of planned maintenance – they give whiney new yorkers more time to complain and that makes issues worse, Nobody wants to hear there neighbors griping in this heat.

      • NotImpressed says:

        My two cents – if you’re going to rant about New Yorkers, at least do so using good grammar and syntax.

        • allie says:

          Not to mention punctuation!

        • JerryV says:

          Sin Tax? My goodness. I thought that they had already taxed everything imaginable. A tax on sin, however, should be a good money maker for our fair City.

    3. Mark S. says:

      Great. Now can we get new trains with functioning AC on No. 1 line?

      • 90th Street Wise Guy says:

        What? It has to be functioning, too? Outrageous. Geez. I just love looking at the AC units, admiring their structure, and wondering if perhaps one day they’ll be more than just decoration. They do look so pretty.

      • Lol as if that is going to happen says:

        Probably not.

    4. Leon says:

      Both of those stretches in the third phase include Fridays and Mondays. I think that if this has to be done it was very wise of them to choose these weekends when there is no school and a lot of people will be on vacation, but I also hope that they run a lot of extra trains on the CPW lines to accommodate a lot more traffic.

      And they better make sure the air conditioning is working on those trains as it will be hot and crowded.

      • Anne says:

        I just checked the service status website and the shutdowns start at 11:30pm on Friday and end at 5am on Monday so they don’t include the business hours of those days.

    5. Charles says:

      Can’t wait for the shuttle bus experience in 100 degree heat in August. Should be absolutely tremendous.

    6. galdebord says:

      Interesting – no mention that the nighttime “scheduled” track maintenance for #1 north of 96th seems to have been extended indefinitely – or they’ve decide to just show a week at a time?

    7. HARRIET says:

      New Yorkers are so funny…and I’m one of them for 40 years. We want things to work perfectly but we don’t want to be inconvenienced by required maintenance. Who do we think is supposed to fix things, God, with a wave of her hand?

      • UWSHebrew says:

        how do you know the gender?!

        • Cato says:

          Besides, shouldn’t the “Her” have been capitalized, out of respect?

          • Ye Olde Englishe Teachere says:

            No, nooo, Nooooo!

            Haven’t you heard?

            We must NO LONGER use gender-specific terms, like “He”,”She”,”Him”,”Her” lest we offend someone’s fragile ego.

            Some have even suggested replacing “He” and “She” with “THEY”😳, so a sentence like “THEY does a great solo act” would be perfectly acceptable. 😳😳

            • EricaC says:

              Boy – you boys are easily triggered!

            • Nadine says:

              Are we really taking a post about subway shutdowns and managing to infuse anti-trans, rigid gender binary tripe into it? The UWS is better than to do that.

    8. Mary J Cahill says:

      Please put on extra no, 104 and no, 7 and 11 buses.

      • stu says:

        Why? There will be regular, constant shuttle buses stopping at each 1/2/3 station.

      • LEE APT says:

        YES!!! YES!!!! YES!!!!!! MORE BUSES! WE NEVER HAVE ENOUGH ON THE UWS. ONE BWAY BUS.

        THE EAST SIDE HAS FROM 2 – 5 BUSES ON EVERY AVENUE!

    9. robert says:

      While it will be an inconvenience for us for two weekends mech things need to be repaired and updated. The last time these were replaced was 30 years ago. The MTA is actually being proactive here and not waiting till they get into worse shape and fail. Also they are using the shutdown to do other work along the line that would have caused many other service disruptions. I was here in 1990 and guess what I survived that shut down and will this one. Perhaps plan ahead and don’t do things that weekend that require a subway trip

      • Sarah says:

        There was limited 2/3 service on the weekends and certain late nights for nearly two years from ~2016 to 2018. Why weren’t these problems addressed then?

    10. David says:

      July 19-22, 26-29, it is noted, will have the 1 train “running normally” through the neighborhood. Does this mean “normally” as it has been for weeks and weeks with last stop on 96th then skipping all the way up or all the local stops after 96th? Predictably, MTA info has been awful

    11. Kathleen says:

      Thanks for the heads up, WSR! Good to have time to make alternate plans.

    12. Lynn says:

      The Broadway shuttle buses are hopeless on the weekends. They are so crowded, one can’t board them at all. There should be more 104 buses, running every 5 minutes, at least.

    13. Josh says:

      I often wondered how any work ever got done at places like 42nd TSQ, where trains truly never stop running. Turns out we get to live through it; what a time to be alive!

    14. Amy says:

      They have had a shuttle bus for the closed station at 137th & it’s been working out really well. Air conditioned, not crowded, etc. Not a huge deal & it’s just the weekend. These things have to be fixed & there’s really no good time…

    15. Charlene Ray says:

      Thank you!!!

    16. Frustrated 110th st 1 user says:

      My biggest issue with the 1 train (as someone who lives near the 110th st stop) is that the lack of communication/transparency that the 1 train will skip stops after 96th st. If you aren’t on the train (and you CAN BARELY understand/hear him or her even if you are), you have no clue what the next stop will be. Can’t they have some electronic system that tells you it will be randomly skipping local stops? It’s absurd. I got on at 96th the other day and after the train left, we were informed the next stop would be City College. Total joke.

      • Woody says:

        There are service announcements posted all over the place and you can go to the MTA website for the most updated information. Stop acting so helpless and use the resources available to you.

        • StephieG says:

          So we have to check the MTA website every time we need to ride the subway?? Announcements are there to provide important service info, often last minute. It’s not whiney to say they should be understandable!

          • EricaC says:

            I can see your frustration- but there are apps that will make push announcements too, so you get an alert on your phone. I find they make commuting a lot more pleasant.

            • Dmitry says:

              Not everyone uses apps or even a (so-called) smartphone. And even if everyone did, Stephie’s point would still stand: Announcements should be clearly audible. Are you really going to argue otherwise?

        • Back says:

          These aren’t planned service changes. These are “this particular 1 train will randomly skip 6 stops.” The one behind it will run normally but you have no indication unless you are on the train and can hear the conductor.

      • Carlos says:

        I assume you are primarily referring to when two trains are back to back so they make the last-second decision to have the first one skip stops to spread them out? I agree with you – there should be better communication. They will often announce it on the train (which is barely intelligible) but if you are getting on the train, you have no idea except perhaps if you notice lots of people scrambling to get off.

        That being said, as one who is increasingly bothered by people who cannot be pulled away from their phones, it amuses me to no end to see people who are zoning out with their headphones on look up and realize they didn’t hear the announcement as the train blows past their stop.

    17. MTS says:

      Yes, the # 1 line even last week was stopping local stops between 96th and 137th street. There were no shuttle buses for the stops in between; the temperature was 90 degrees and humidity high. Then a regular 104 bus came by and the driver refused to let anyone on (there were about 15 of us) even though people got off and there was plenty of room. After that thee was no bus the entire time I walked up to 110th. What joke! And how mean!

    18. Howard Freeman says:

      Is this being paid for by Albany, who should have spent less on the LIRR extension than on the subways, or is the city paying? (And doing so with increased fares.)

    19. AC57 says:

      What needs to be done needs to be done.

      It’s not the incredibly wasteful ESI program, and it’s something that is necessary. (Hell, I would even prolong the 1 train shutdowns, and implement CBTC on the whole line like the L and 7 trains.) is it going to be disruptive? Of course, that’s an understatement, but something like signals which is one of the leading causes of delays should be updated.

      Andy Byford has done a fairly decent job of handling the subways, reducing the number if disruptions and delays, and getting on-time percentages above 80% for the first time in 6 years, (although that statement is still somewhat debatable.) and he’s made it clear that the progress made thus far isn’t enough. He’s had some slip-ups, but some progress has been made.

    20. AC57 says:

      I’m still hypercritical of the MTA, there are still a boatload if problems in that organization and they still have a lot to improve on and allowing private companies to throw their hats into the ring with oversight would also help, but signal fixes is crucial, and that should be dealt with as thoroughly as possible. These fixes are necessary and if they’re not done, there will be bigger problems down the road.

      Change and disruptions are annoying, but this is one time they’re necessary, and we’re getting heads up as well.

      And per the website, additional M104, M5, and M7 service will be implemented.

    21. Frequent Rider says:

      So now they tell us. The service cancellations have been happening over the past couple of weekends, with NO signs posted in subway entrances or platforms to inform patrons in advance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for modernized switches and everything else, but the riders shouldn’t be the last to know.

    22. J says:

      On a related transportation topic apparently the triathlon is happening this weekend.
      Have not seen any notice so folks will be unpleasantly surprised….

      In the past, 72nd Street has been closed off – so no north-south traffic allowed.

      That would mean no bus service…

    23. Melissa says:

      The continuing work on the 79th Street entry staircase has been a nightmare. It causes a logjam of commuters unable to exit at rush hour!

    24. Jan says:

      How wonderful to keep an intelligent humor about the
      whole thing.
      Let us not forget, these workhorse trains have been
      chugging along w/o interruptions forever!
      It’s time for maintenance, and must be done. We will
      make alternate plans. We’re Upper West Siders, we can
      do it!

    25. James Brummel says:

      so the same MTA that said the L train had to be shut down for a year says all 123 trains must be shut down in this area for 2 weekends.

      Try again.