While everyone else was freaking out about the L train, people who live and work in Washington Heights have been preparing for a shutdown of their own.
Two subway stations in the upper Manhattan neighborhood are slated to close for up to a year each as the MTA makes critical repairs to elevators that serve as the only point of access to the platforms.
The 1 train will skip the 168th Street stop beginning Saturday, with repairs expected to be completed by January 2020. The MTA will then close the 181st Street stop for similar work in March 2021.
City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the council’s transportation committee, said about 26,000 riders rely on the 168th Street station every week.
“The 168th Street station plays an important role as a transportation hub with heavy usage by residents, patients and staff at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, families and students who pass through the station on a regular basis,” said Rodriguez, who also represents the neighborhood. "It’s our job to ensure that they know what to expect during the time the 1 train will not be available at this 168th Street."
The MTA has suggested several workarounds residents and commuters can use to get to and from the area near 168th Street while the 1 train platform is closed.
- A and C trains will continue to stop at the 168th Street station during the 1 train repairs.
- Subway riders can also walk down to the 157th Street 1 station for service in both directions.
- Straphangers can transfer for free between the 1 and the A and C lines at 59th Street-Columbus Circle.
- A new free transfer will be available between the 207th Street A train and the 1 train at 207th and 215th streets.
- M5 service to and from 157th Street will be increased during the day.
- Service on the M5 also will operate overnight, including on weekends, between 168th and 157th streets.