Aug. 31, 2020 By Allie Griffin
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will replace thousands of feet of track along the E line in Queens next month, as subway ridership remains historically low due to COVID-19.
MTA workers will replace and install more than 5,500 feet of track and more than 7,800 feet of third rail along the E line beginning Sept. 19, the agency said Friday.
The Sutphin Blvd-Archer Ave. and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer stations will be shuttered through November, as workers replace the tracks.
The track is reaching the end of its useful life and needs complete replacement, which will improve service for Queens and Manhattan riders, the agency said.
The MTA will host virtual Zoom presentations to discuss alternate subway, bus and rail service for commuters who typically use the Sutphin Blvd-Archer Ave. and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer stations.
The meetings will be held on Monday, Aug. 31 and Tuesday, Sept. 8 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Customers can use the J and Z lines at at Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer and Sutphin Blvd/Archer Ave as an alternative.
They can also take a bus from either station to stations along the F line.
On December 22, 1988 the Archer Avenue subway line opened. The price tag was $440 million. This was paid for by a grant from the Urban Mass Transportation Administration, after 1991 known as the Federal Transit Administration. It makes sense 32 years later for these capital improvements to take place. One benefit of the Archcr Avenue subway three stop extension, was a direct connection from the Jamaica LIRR Station to NYC subway system. When service disruptions take place on the LIRR between Jamaica and Penn Station, LIRR riders have an alternative route for traveling to and from Jamaica via the E subway line. Eight of nine LIRR branches connect at Jamaica, Only the north shore Port Washington branch does not. It also provides a local cost direct connection for Kennedy Airport via the Air Train.
The Archer Avenue subway extension also permitted removal of the Jamaica Avenue El between 168th Street and 121st Street Stations. This opened up Jamaica Avenue to sunlight and new development. Introduction of the Z subway line on the Jamaica Avenue El, supported introduction of skip stop service during rush hour. This results in both the J and Z line providing a faster trip to Broadway Junction, East New York. Williamsburg and downtown Manhattan.
(Larry Penner is a transportation advocate, historian and writer who previously worked for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Office. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for grants supporting billions in capital projects and programs on behalf of the MTA, NYC Transit bus and subway, Long Island and Metro North Rail Roads, MTA Bus and NYC Department of Transportation along with 30 other transit agencies in NY & NJ).