Queens subway signal projects advance 1

The M train, arriving in Forest Hills, is one of five Queens subway lines that will get modern signal upgrades sooner than planned.

Riders on four subway lines serving Queens can look forward to new signal technology a bit earlier than anticipated, according to updated capital budget forecasts released by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The projects will replace signaling equipment on sections of the E, F, G and M lines that is between 83 and 90 years old according to a document titled “MTA Capital Program 2020-2024 — Amendment #2” issued last week.

The MTA says a contract already has been awarded to replace 88-year-old signals on the E and F tracks along the Queens Boulevard East line between the terminus at Hillside Avenue and 179th Street in Jamaica and the Kew Gardens-Union Turnpike station.

The projected cost is $540 million with a “substantial completion date” in the second quarter of 2026.

The MTA also has added the Sixth Avenue and 63rd Street line project to the 2020-2024 capital budget. The project, which will include F and M tracks running through 21st Street-Queensbridge in Long Island City into Manhattan, will include replacing signals between 83 and 90 years old. A timeline still is to be determined.

Previously planned work on the G line between Court Square in Long Island City and the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station in Brooklyn has been moved up.

It will replace signals that are between 85 and 88 years old.

In the 10-page summary accompanying the MTA’s release, the agency states the the A, C and F lines “are currently the three least reliable lines in the entire system, measured by wait assessment.”

Two Forest Hills residents, waiting for the F last week at the Forest Hills-71st Avenue station concurred, and were pleased to learn that upgrades are coming.

Rebecca Kalani said she has been stuck on platforms waiting for trains and waiting in tunnels for whatever problem exists to clear up.

“Sometimes it can take 20 or 25 minutes to get to Roosevelt Avenue [from Forest Hills],” she said.

“I hope it happens soon,” said Richa Chowdhary.