Astoria, Transportation
Jan 08, 2016

Start Your F-Bombs, Astoria N/Q Subway Stations To See Major Temporary Closings

Well, looks like the subway is in store for some major changes. Gothamist reports on the recent slew of press conferences Governor Cuomo has attended, with the focus on transit and transportation. (…)

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Image source: Adam_T4 via the WHA Flickr Pool

Image source: Adam_T4 via the WHA Flickr Pool

Well, looks like the subway is in store for some major changes. Gothamist reports on the recent slew of press conferences Governor Cuomo has attended, with the focus on transit and transportation. We’ve learned that there’s some good stuff coming along some highly inconveniencing stuff.

I’m going to tell you the bad first, as it applies to Astoria N/Q train riders—the MTA is planning on shutting down all non-express stops for six to twelve months for an extreme makeover. That means 30th Ave, Broadway, 36th Ave, and 39th Ave will be affected; Ditmars and Astoria Blvd are not. R train riders, you are saved for the most part (Northern Blvd will also shut down). Here are some details:

MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast took to the podium Friday as well, promising to “re-invision” 30 subway stations by 2020. The MTA plans to make these stations “cleaner, brighter… easier to navigate, with better and more intuitive wayfinding, as well as a modernized look and feel.” This means more On The Go touch screens, new signage, new lighting.

Rather than close these stations on nights and weekends to accomplish this “renewal”—the Governor described the current approach as “piecemeal”—the MTA will shut down entire stations for an average six to twelve-months per station to expedite renovations. Will your neighborhood’s subway station be one of them? Read it and weep/breathe a sigh of relief.

An MTA spokesperson said the full shut-down plan may be modified at stations without an obvious alternative transit option nearby.

I think this news deserves a Crying Dawson.

Apparently they are going to pay for this work with funds in the 2015-2019 Capital Program. When exactly they’ll start the makeovers is unclear from the article.

Here’s some good stuff—along with the “modern look and feel” and related upgrades, there are technology updates in store for the greater transit system:

  • An expedited rollout of countdown clocks for lettered trains and the 7 line.
  • A new digital ticketing system, allowing riders to buy MetroCards online by 2018.
  • Mobile ticketing LIRR and Metro North (pledged in the next six months). Subways and buses will get it in 2018. This means you can enter the subway with your cellphone, just wave it in front of a contactless detector. Sounds like people with flip phones are probably out of luck with this.
  • Actual phasing out physical Metrocards.
  • System-wide Wi-Fi by the end of 2016. System-wide cellphone service in 2017.
  • USB charging stations in 600 subway cars by end of 2017.
  • Wi-Fi in all new buses, along with USB charging ports (over 1,000 by 2018).

Like I said, it’s unclear when the makeovers start. Here’s a map that gives you a bird’s-eye-view of all the stations that will be affected.


We’d love to hear what you think—leave us a comment here, on Facebook, twitter. We’d especially love to hear how you plan to handle your commute if you have to make adjustments.

MTA Will Completely Close 30 Subway Stations For Months-Long “Revamp” [Gothamist]

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.



I hope they add elevators to the stations. My heart breaks when i see the elderly struggling to climb the stairs up to the stations. This city needs to be accessible for all New Yorkers, not just the young.

Meg Cotner

Elevators have been something Astorians have wanted for years and years. Word on the street is they are planning to install one at Astoria Blvd eventually.

Brigid Wit

Come on! What about clean safe bathrooms in the stations? They manage it in Japan. Means a lot more to me than wifi, as others mentioned. Even the bathroom at 34 street Hudson Yards is now lacking maintenance. I think there are a lot of jobs to be created for maintenance — lets have fewer for electronic installations.


They plan to shut down all those stations simultaneously to do some minor upgrades? Of course when riders pass those stations, they will see no work being done most of the time. Damn politicians feeding the unions with busy work, as opposed to more productive projects. Nothing more corrupt than the relationship between politicians and unions.


Does he think it’s like AMTRAK where you’re on the train for hours? I don’t need a charger. I also don’t need people talking on their phones underground. It’s bad enough above ground.
What we REALLY need is for them to fix the 59th/Lex stop which seems to shut down an entire borough many times a year if it rains a little bit. We just need the train to run properly. 1.5 hours to get to work a few times a year isn’t good.


Well as far as certain stations closing in Astoria along the N/Q, clearly those people who live near the Bway station will instead walk over to Steinway for the M/R trains. This means (if the MTA were smart, which we all know they are not) that they should increase M/R service during the N/Q outage. Currently there are no M trains ‘late night’ (what ‘late night’ means is always purposefully vague by the MTA) or on weekends. Clearly they’ll need to do something to make up for N/Q passengers who will turn to the M/R line instead.

Also, the idea of USB chargers inside ….trains?? That sounds utterly stupid and wasteful. I can just see passengers all huddling around the few USB chargers all wanting to get their ‘turn’. Not to mention security issues…everyone will have to stand there holding their phone while it’s charging. Unless I”m not understanding something I just don’t see this working effectively.

I wish the MTA would focus on just better SERVICE…not all these bells and whistles. Give us more trains so there’s less crowding, fewer people practically falling off overcrowded platforms, and make the system work better so there are fewer breakdowns and sudden ‘service disruptions’. I;mprove the communcation system so that MTA employees know what the hell is going on within the system. Improve communicaitons to PASSENGERS so we’ll know what’s going on when an E train pulls in at our …L train platform?

Jon M

Living off the Ditmars stop, it’s a nice surprise when the train makes the express trip from QBP to Astoria Blvd. But 6-12 months, that’s a long time for the people off those stops to have to deal with morning/evening commutes. Rent prices could go down in that time period, however.


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