Options For The A Train
The A train is returning...can I suggest small modifications to marginally improve our service?
The Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA (www.PCAC .org) held an open meeting last month to update on the restoration of A train service, which I others from The Rockaways attended. Interesting to hear how much damage was done by savage Sandy and how much work and money (many millions!) the MTA is putting into the restoration.
I followed up with a letter to this Advisory and Public Advocacy group, making one point and suggesting another. The Rockaway ferry, I mentioned, is awesome, and even though it is beyond their purview it's gotta be extended and expanded to weekend service too!
My main point though was to suggest: Revise the Rockaway route. I told them that I was astounded to discover that I could drive to Sheepshead Bay, park the car, take the 'B' or 'Q' and arrive downtown faster that my normal trip from Beach 116th Street to downtown. How could that be? And, on seemingly much cleaner subways with nobody shouting at me that the end of the world is at hand!
I suggested a minimally-modified route for the Rockaway 'A'...that is, after Aqueduct and the North Conduit, bypass the next four stations, to arrive next stop at Euclid Avenue. I reminded the committee there is a third track on the elevated Liberty Avenue line that goes unused, and why did the builders of the elevated build a third line if not to use it! I suggested that the Rockaway A use the 'third way' the same way the 7 line utilizes their third track in northern Queens - enormously helpful to regular 7 line riders, but also to Mets’ fans and New York Open fans, no?
Likewise, I suggested this modified route would help not just Rockaway riders but also those heading to the Big-A Resorts and to JFK. Why not? I suggested that the Liberty Avenue and Far Rock A trains can serve those bypassed four stations quite handily. I ended by mentioning to the committee that few tourists will take the A train to Rockaway, because why would they fight the maze, the filth, the sloppy schedules and then spend 60-70-80 maybe 90 minutes to get to the beach, but it sure will be helpful to Rockaway commuters.
I hope this public advocacy committee will support the Rockaways, and help us cut down the A-line commute.