2005-02-04 / Front Page

Rough Road Ahead For ‘A’ Train Riders

Commuters on the Rockaway Park A line will soon have a new headache to contend with – a track work project that will close the line for three months, according to New York City Transit.

The Rockaway Park line will be out of commission from March 14 through May 27, according to NYCT Spokesperson Marisa Baldeo. Workers will install new track and replace a switch between the Beach 90 Street and the Rockaway Park stations.

Shuttle buses will run from Beach 116 Street/Rockaway Park to the Beach 67 Street station, where commuters will be able to board regular A trains bound for Manhattan or Far Rockaway, Baldeo said. The shuttle buses will not go to Broad Channel because the narrow streets are difficult for drivers to negotiate in the large shuttles, according to NYCT Spokesperson Jim Anyansi.

The track work announcement is the latest blow to Rockaway’s A train riders. Shuttle trains to Broad Channel replaced express A trains from Rockaway Park following a January signal relay room fire in Manhattan, which brought the line that the A, C and E trains share to its knees. Express A train service remains suspended indefinitely.

The Wave received numerous calls this week reporting spotty S train service, crowded waiting room and trains at Broad Channel and snow-covered platforms.

“They’re running these shuttles whenever they feel like it,” Ellen Sullivan, a resident of 102-00 Shorefront Parkway, fumed this week. “Some people have to wait in the cold,” she added while describing the drab waiting area in Broad Channel, where commuters jockey for position around the ancient radiator.

Arverne resident Vicky Williams said she was panicked last Thursday morning when the fully loaded Q35 bus she was on – after giving up on the A – was surrounded by angry passengers at the Beach 169 Street stop. The mob, she said, refused to yield unless allowed to board, but the driver refused. “These people should have either been arrested or ticketed,” she said. It took her more than three hours get from the Beach 60 Street station to her workplace in downtown Brooklyn.

Surfside resident Arlene Handin said it took her two hours and 15 minutes to get home from the Broadway/ Nassau station in Manhattan one night last week.

“The whole thing has been horrendous,” Handin said.

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