As F Train Remains Rerouted, Bottleneck Forms at Roosevelt Island Tram

The F train has remained all tangled up due to track construction since August 28, a process that the MTA says will last into the first quarter of 2024. Now, a city resident that stopped by Roosevelt Island alleges that these service disruptions have caused a serious bottleneck on the tramway, now the main transport system to the island from Manhattan.

| 14 Sep 2023 | 10:45

The F train has been significantly rerouted since August 28 due to a plethora of track replacement projects, a process that the MTA says will continue into the “first quarter” of 2024.

For residents of–or visitors to–Roosevelt Island, this portends changed commutes. A special shuttle F train will be available on days and evenings, although it won’t run overnight. Free Q94 and Q95 shuttle buses will be available to shepherd commuters from Queens.

Meanwhile, the Roosevelt Island Tram will be running from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays, ostensibly shutting in the early morning hours due to lower passenger volume.

However, one reader who seemingly commuted to Roosevelt Island from Manhattan has alleged to Our Town that chaos is beginning to reign due to these service changes, and that visible bottlenecks have formed.

Yuki Endo asserted that they now found the tram so overcrowded during a weekend trip that lines had reportedly begun to form to secure a seat, which they plausibly claim “is inconvienent for ADA, Seniors and Pregnant Women with baby strollers.”

Endo further proclaimed that commuters were mixing up the Q94 and Q95 shuttle buses, and that the temporary F shuttle train should be made free–especially if it’s slower to arrive.

Photos that Endo provided do not seem to show a line to the tram, nor was it evident if the tram was more packed than usual. However, considering the considerable duration of F train track repairs, it’s not out of the question that commuters to Roosevelt Island could face serious slowdowns that they would have little recourse for before next year.

Reached for comment by Our Town, the MTA pointed to another press release it issued on the service changes.

Specifically, the agency notes that “crews will remove existing direct fixation track and construct new concrete track and new direct fixation track, install new contact rail, protection boards, brackets and insulators, remove and replace cables, furnish and install new signal equipment, repair spalled concrete and cracks and seal active leaks. Crews will also install 25,643 feet of new third rail with protection board and cables.”

The project will also reputedly “improve reliability, mitigate leaks to prevent future corrosion and deterioration and extend the life of existing infrastructure.”

This construction means that the F train will be rerouted onto the E line “in both directions between 47-50 Sts-Rockefeller Center and Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av.” M train service will also be affected, with weekday routes only running between Middle Village-Metropolitan Av. and 57 St/6 Av. from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. M trains will be “suspended” between 47-50 Sts-Rockefeller Ctr and Forest Hills-71 Av.