MTA looking to bring the W back to Astoria

The previously discontinued subway line would replace the Q in Queens

It’s 2010 all over again in Astoria.

The MTA is planning to restore the W subway line in city’s easternmost borough starting this fall to replace the Q train, which is being rerouted away from Queens as part of the ongoing Second Avenue Subway project in Manhattan.

In a release issued last Friday, the agency said it plans to hold a public hearing sometime in the spring to receive feedback on the idea from impacted residents on both sides of the East River.

“Adding the W line to the system,” the MTA said, “will provide more choices to Queens and Manhattan customers who use the Broadway N, Q and R lines, as well as allow New York City Transit to prepare for a seamless transition and connection of service between those lines and the Second Avenue Subway.”

The agency is proposing changing the northern terminus of the Q line — which runs in Queens between Queensboro Plaza in Long Island City and Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria — to 57th Street-7th Avenue in Manhattan until the new 72nd Street, 86th Street and 96th Street stations on the Upper East Side open in December.

In order to maintain service in Astoria, the W train — which was discontinued six years ago due to financial constraints — will run between Ditmars Boulevard and Whitehall Street in Manhattan on weekdays.

The subway will not run on weekends or late nights, forcing riders in Astoria to take the N train — which, along with the R train, would not be impacted by the alteration to the Q line.

“The changes, including the restoration of the W line, maintain service frequency and loading guidelines for customers in Astoria,” the MTA said, “and avoid significant deviations from current service that might confuse customers on those affected lines.”

The opening of the three new Manhattan stations are part of the Second Avenue Subway project’s first phase. When completed, the new line would run from 125th Street to Hanover Square in Manhattan.

In a Tuesday Facebook post, Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) called the MTA’s announcement “long overdue” and “welcome news for our residents.”

“When the W was taken out of commission in 2010, we held a funeral and called for the service to stay,” Constantinides said. “With this new proposal, our neighborhood will have the choices to get to and from Manhattan during weekdays, including service to Whitehall Street, and allow for an easy transition to the upcoming Second Avenue Subway.”

The cost of the service changes announced Friday will be $13.7 million annually, which, according to the agency, has been incorporated into NYC Transit’s approved budget.

The Second Avenue Subway project entails the creation of a new train line — provisionally called the T —that would run along the East Side of Manhattan between 125th Street and Hanover Square in the Financial District.


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