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The V Sixth Avenue Local was a service of the New York City Subway. It was colored orange on the route signs (either on the front and/or side - depending on equipment used) and on station signs and the NYC Subway map, as it represents a service provided on the IND Sixth Avenue Line through midtown Manhattan. The V train operates weekdays, from 71st–Continental Avenue–Forest Hills to Lower East Side–Second Avenue, running local in both Queens and Manhattan on an entirely underground route. It did not operate late nights and weekends and all of the stations on its route are served full-time by at least one other service.
The V train was eliminated on June 25, 2010 as part of a series of service reductions to close a budget gap. It was replaced in its entirety by the M train, which was rerouted from Lower Manhattan and South Brooklyn via the Chrystie Street Connection. 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 between 71st Avenue in Forest Hills, Queens and Second Avenue, near the border of the East Village and the Lower East Side, Manhattan.
The following lines were used by the V train:
|IND Queens Boulevard Line from 71st Avenue to Queens Plaza||local||rush hours, middays and evenings|
|IND Queens Boulevard Line from Queens Plaza to Fifth Avenue–53rd Street||N/A||rush hours, middays and evenings|
|IND Sixth Avenue Line from 47th–50th Streets to Lower East Side–Second Avenue||local||rush hours, middays and evenings|
- It made its debut on December 17, 2001, running weekdays, replacing the G train on the local tracks of the IND Queens Boulevard Line in Queens, and replacing the F train on the 53rd Street Tunnel route to Manhattan. The F train was re-routed through the IND 63rd Street Line, which opened for full-time service the day before. In Manhattan, between 47th–50th Streets and the V train's Lower East Side-Second Avenue terminal station, V and F made identical stops.
- 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 via the Rutgers Street Tunnel until C service was restored on February 2.
- 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 at 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. 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 weren't served by those routes before 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 representing a 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.
- V service ended on June 25, 2010 with the last train leaving Lower East Side–Second Avenue bound for Queens at 11:33 pm.
The introduction of the V service added nine additional peak-hour trains coming into Manhattan on the IND Queens Boulevard Line. However, to make room for the V train 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.
The New York Times described the service plan as "complex and heavily criticized." In response to complaints from G riders, who lost their transfer to Manhattan-bound trains at Queens Plaza, the MTA agreed to install an underground moving walkway between Court Square and the 23rd Street–Ely Avenue station, where E and V trains are available. 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 R — G trains could not fit during the daytime, when service is heaviest."
The V's debut also made some F riders unhappy:
- 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 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?
Four months after it opened, the Times reported that the line 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."
For a more detailed station listing, see the articles on the lines listed above.
|71st-Continental Avenue–Forest Hills||always||E F G|
|67th Avenue||V all but late nights and weekends||E|
|63rd Drive–Rego Park||V all but late nights and weekends||E|
|Woodhaven Boulevard||V all but late nights and weekends||E|
|Grand Avenue–Newtown||V all but late nights and weekends||E|
|Elmhurst Avenue||V all but late nights and weekends||E|
|Roosevelt Avenue–Jackson Heights||always||E F G|
|65th Street||V all but late nights and weekends||E|
|Northern Boulevard||V all but late nights and weekends||E|
|46th Street||V all but late nights and weekends||E|
|Steinway Street||V all but late nights and weekends||E|
|36th Street||V all but late nights and weekends||E|
|Queens Plaza||V all but late nights and weekends||E G|
|23rd Street–Ely Avenue||V all but late nights and weekends||E V|
|Lexington Avenue-53rd Street||V all but late nights and weekends||E V|
|Fifth Avenue–53rd Street||V all but late nights and weekends||E V
|47th-50th Streets–Rockefeller Center||always||B|
|42nd Street–Bryant Park||always||B|
|34th Street–Herald Square||always||B|
|23rd Street||always||F V|
|14th Street||always||F V|
|West Fourth Street–Washington Square||always||B|
|Lower East Side–Second Avenue||always||F V
- ↑ Sarah Kershaw, "Proposed Line Would Lighten Subway Crush," The New York Times, December 2, 2000
- ↑ Randy Kennedy, "Panel Approves New V Train but Shortens G Line to Make Room," The New York Times, May 25, 2001
- ↑ Randy Kennedy, "Lonesome Newcomer, Taking It Slowly, Seeks Riders," The New York Times, December 18, 2001.
- ↑ Randy Kennedy, "When One New Train Equals One Less Express," The New York Times, July 9, 2002