Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Lost Again!

Well, I don't really ever get lost. I have never been lost on the New York Subway System. Did you know that the MTA provides a page about How to Ride the subway?

The D replaces the W in Brooklyn was one of the phrases used to promote the restoration of subway service over the Manhattan Bridge beginning last Sunday. The MTA went to great lengths to advertise the service change, and they did a good job.

In 2001 the causeway on the bridge was repaired to upgrade the subway tracks. Three of the lines on Sixth Avenue (B, D, Q) were dramatically changed during the reconstruction, and two lines (V, W) were created to accommodate transit needs between Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.

I was living and working in Manhattan and London during that time, so the changes had nominal impact on my travels. The B and D were the Sixth Avenue Express lines so it was odd to have lost them, but it was always said that the service would return in 2004. Now that service is restored, I no longer live on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, but the Sixth Avenue lines get me to my new address in Brooklyn.

I was excited by the publicity that The D replaces the W in Brooklyn because it meant an express train out of Manhattan! I would be able to skip stops and switch from the D Express to the F Local at 4th Avenue/Ninth Street. The D replaces the W in Brooklyn, hooray!

After work, I got on the D at 47-50 Streets at 6:19 PM. I was thrilled when we skipped 23rd and 14th Streets, and even happier when the train ran from Grand Street right over the Manhattan Bridge to Pacific Street! Even though that stretch took an ungodly and unnecessary 15 minutes while crawling over the bridge, we were still making great time and I had a seat the whole ride -- everyone had a seat. I was reading an article on my PalmPilot about Kevin Keegan's happiness with Robbie Fowler following City's 3-1 defeat of Bolton over the weekend and I really paid no mind when the conductor's voice announced 36th Street as the next stop.

Oh no! The doors were already closing when I realized the D would not stop at Ninth Street for me to switch to the 4th Avenue F stop! It seems The D replaces the W in Brooklyn is not completely accurate, because the W ran local in Brooklyn and the D runs Express in Brooklyn! This is the old N train route.

I detrained at 36th Street, walked the length of the platform and crossed over to get the R three stops back to Ninth Street where I could climb the stairs to await the arrival of the F on the 4th Avenue platform. The R and the F both arrived promptly, but the excitement of a new route home was destroyed. There will be no simple Express train to and from work for me.

I got to my final stop at 7:06 P.M., which meant my normal 35 minute ride on the local train took 47 minutes using a combination of express and local trains.

"The D replaces the W in Brooklyn" is a lie! The D replaces the W in Manhattan and the N in Brooklyn and ends at the old W Terminal in Coney Island is more accurate. I checked the online subway maps and the D will only stop at Ninth Street late at night. One should read the fine print! (Please, God, do not let me ever have to be on the D late at night!)

Maybe I will try the D to the R at Pacific Street to the F at Ninth Street. The D train did have empty seats . . .