Officials from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Tuesday hosted a Zoom meeting to update residents on how they can plan for a six-week shutdown of E train service at the Jamaica Center and Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue-JFK stations beginning on Sept. 19.
The MTA, through Nov. 2, will do major work to replace more than a mile of track and more than 7,800 feet of third rail.
Regular J/Z service will continue uninterrupted at both stations. Jamaica-bound E trains for six weeks will either stop at the Jamaica Van Wyck station near Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, or along the F line along Hillside Avenue through 179th Street.
“The stations will not be closed,” said Judy McClain of the MTA. “There just will not be E service.”
The F line on Hillside runs parallel to the E, three blocks to the north.
Jack O’Donnell of the MTA said the type of track the agency is replacing is secured to the railbed itself, rather than to wood ties.
It was installed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It represents about two percent of the MTA’s track inventory.
“It has deteriorated significantly since the 1980s and is in need of urgent repair,” said O’Donnell.
Phase 1, he said, requires 24-7 access, thus necessitating the shutdown. But he also said they moved the date in order to get the most work done during an anticipated reduction in ridership, thus causing as little inconvenience as possible.
J/Z service will allow Jamaica residents to still access the JFK AirTrain at the Long Island Rail Road’s Jamaica Station.
Free shuttle buses will run between Jamaica Van Wyck and Jamaica Center for the duration of the work, and the MTA will be increasing the number of regular buses on routes that connect Jamaica Center and Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue JFK with other stations on the E and F lines.
The nearest ADA-accessible stations are at 179th Street and Jamaica-Van Wyck.
In Phase 2, from November into December, there will be a single track running to and from Jamaica Center at all times but with reduced frequency on weekdays. E trains will continue to run to 179th Street every eight to 10 minutes during rush hours and every 10 minutes middays and evenings.
Weekends will see normal E service to Jamaica Center.
The MTA will post both print and digital signage in stations, along with making announcements in stations and on trains ahead of the scheduled work. Customer service notifications will be made on trains, posted at affected stations and posted on the MTA website, the MYmta app and social media. Customers can sign up for text and email alerts at myMTAalerts.com.