This afternoon, the MTA announced that F Trains for 21st Street/Queensbridge through 57th Street in Manhattan will be detoured. Instead, they will be rerouted from Queens Plaza to 53rd St./5th Ave. on the E Line. The shutdown runs through the entire long weekend, from 9:45 p.m. on Friday, February 17th, until 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 21st.
by David Stone
The Roosevelt Island Daily News
UPDATE 2-20-23: Thanks to an abundance of shuttle buses from the MTA, crowding on the Tram has not gotten crazy, but today, Presidents Day, may be different because a lot of people going back to work with many tourists still around and competing for limited space.
Because RIOC abandoned all responsibility for holiday weekend support, lines piled up for balky MetroCard machines with only a single PSD officer around to help intermittently. The state agency run by Governor Hochul and Seldom Seen Shelton Haynes found time to advise the community of a crosswalk closure, but at no time did the duo issue a single word about the F Train shutdown.
So, if conditions worsen today, don’t expect any help from Team Hochul/Haynes.
And one final caution – it appeared that multiple times, Tram cabins took off while over the legal capacity for passengers and probably overweight. Board with caution.
END OF UPDATE
There will be some relief, however. As they have in the past, the MTA will run free shuttle buses between Roosevelt Island and Queens Plaza with a stop at 21st Street. The trips take only 5 to 10 minutes, and with multiple subway lines stopping here, including the F, transferring in any direction is easy.
During past shutdowns, the shuttle buses have been plentiful with little waiting time at either end. That’s no guarantee it will be the same this time, but the chances are good.
But Now, the Bad News Related to the F Train Shutdown
With past RIOC administrations, the state agency also helped, adding Red Bus shuttles that duplicated the Tram route. But that was then, and this is a very different now.
With Governor Kathy Hochul and Seldom Seen Shelton J. Haynes in charge of RIOC, the likelihood of the state offering any help is remote. This means many physically challenged people will be stuck at home because of the lack of working elevators and escalators at many alternate stations.
Making matters a bit worse, the upcoming is a 3-day holiday weekend. Tourists will be in town in high numbers, packing the Tram with sightseers.
Avoid long, uncomfortable lines by making full use of the MTA shuttles. The Tram’s still a good option if you pick your times and are willing to wait.
If there are any changes with the F Train, we will update you.