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Steps taken to reduce wait at Pel Bay Station

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Councilman Jimmy Vacca and frustrated straphangers have been clamoring for the MTA to do something about the long wait for trains coming into Pelham Bay Station for years. The MTA is about to implement actions to address this complaint.

The Pelham Bay Park terminal consists of northbound and southbound service. Upon arriving at the station, trains are either pressed back into service or become “lay-up trains,” heading to the Westchester Yard on Waters Place for the night.

An inability to clear the trains of passengers and homeless individuals at the station has resulted in a substantial wait for trains coming into the Pelham Bay Station after passing the Buhre Avenue stop.

In the fall, after receiving a complaint from a local constituent who rides the #6 train every day, Vacca contacted NYC Transit to address the longstanding issue. 

 “This delay between Buhre Avenue and Pelham Bay Station has been happening for years, dating back to the 1980s, when the Community Board 10 office was on Westchester Avenue. There wasn’t a day that went by when you wouldn’t see a train waiting to unload passengers at Pelham Bay Station,” Vacca recalled.

In April, after contacting Transit, Vacca received a commitment from NYC Transit president Howard Roberts, who has begun to implement time saving measures for trains entering and leaving the station.

Beginning in June 2008, Transit will begin a new program at the terminal, which will include a new timetable and additional supervisory personnel who will assist train personnel in expediting all train traffic entering and departing the terminal.

In addition, in January, police personnel were assigned to Pelham Bay Station between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. to help the Department of Subways’ Homeless Outreach Task Force with the train’s sleeping homeless.

Transit said they have seen a noticeable reduction in delays since acquiring the on-site police presence. 

Furthermore, Transit assigned two additional conductors between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the station to assist in the dispatching of the “lay-up-trains” to Westchester Yard.

Trains also began leaving downtown from the station one minute sooner than they were scheduled, helping clear the terminal tracks for incoming trains.

“Since we became aware of this situation at Pelham Bay Park Station, we have been working to find and implement solutions,” said Transit spokeswoman Deirdre Parker. “We are confident that these initiatives will move us forward in our effort to minimize delays for our #6 line subway customers.” 

Vacca is pleased Transit is moving in the right direction, but vows vigilance.

“I’m thrilled the MTA has decided to address this longstanding problem,” Vacca commented. “But even though I’ve received these commitments, I’m going to monitor the #6 line very closely in the weeks and months ahead, so we can shorten the trip home for local straphange­rs.”  

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