Five subway stations in Washington Heights and Inwood will be shut down, or have limited access, for a year or more, to replace aging elevators and repair communications and security systems, including fire alarms.
The shut-downs begin next week and will last for a year or more, depending on the station.
The stations are on the 1, A and C lines, between 168th St. and 190th St. That will affect service and access to the Port Authority Bus Terminal at the George Washington Bridge, Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, George Washington High School and The Cloisters, as well as impact local residents and businesses.
The work is being staggered by station to reduce impact, and local bus service will be increased to replace the closed stations.
The most major work is to replace elevators, some of which include parts that are 100 years old, more or less, dating to when the NYC subway system first opened and when the affected subway lines were originally called the IRT and the IND.
The service changes also affect riders to the Bronx.
Details of station shutdowns and service changes:
168th St. #1, A and C Station
Starting Saturday, Jan. 5th, #1 trains will not stop at the 168th Street as the MTA installs four new elevator cars, upgrades elevator shafts and carries out mechanical work at the station. The 1 platform at the station will remain closed through January 2020, but work will not affect A and C service at the station.
181st St. #1 and A Stations
The 181st Street #1 train station will then be closed from March 2020 to February 2022,
The 181st Street A station will follow with work continuing from October 2019 to October 2020.
During that time, elevator entrances to the station will be closed but A train service will still be available via non-elevator entrances.
190th St. A Station
The 190th Street A station will undergo work from November 2020 to November 2021 and be accessible via non-elevator entrances.
191st St. #1 Station
The 191st Street 1 station will remain operational while it undergoes work from February 2020 to February 2021 with elevator entrances closed for repairs. During that time, the platform will be accessible only via non-elevator entrances.
Increased bus service and free transfers
During the disruptions, M5 bus service will be increased and straphangers can get a free MetroCard transfer on the M3, M4 or M5 buses between 157th and 168th streets.
There is a free walking transfer between the #1 train stations at 215th Street or 207th Street and the Inwood-207th Street A train station.
For Bronx riders
Passengers wishing to get to the A line may take the Bx10, transfer to the Bx7 and then swipe into the A station at Inwood-207th Street on one fare (bus to bus to train),” the agency said.
Elevator ups and downs
The MTA says the extended closure is a result of the stations’ depth in the ground, and the fact that the existing elevator components are a century or more old.
“Replacing these elevators is long overdue and critical for reliable access to these unique ‘deep stations,’ and we’ve put together a schedule that takes care not to cause unnecessary inconvenience for customers,” said MTA New York City Transit President Andy Byford.
NYCOTC Editor Evelyn Kanter grew up in Inwood.
I remember getting stuck in one of the elevators at 181st St. when I was a little girl, and having to be rescued – along with my mother and other passengers – by the FDNY.
I also remember that for the rest of her life, my mother would not get into an elevator alone, alone with me, or alone with her grandchildren.
Subway accessibility issues:
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