By Bill Parry
The W train returned to Astoria Monday morning after a six-year absence. The MTA terminated the line during budget cuts in 2010, but it was restored and is running locally between Astoria-Ditmars and Whitehall Street-South Ferry in Manhattan.
The W replaces the Q, which will soon run on the new Second Avenue subway line, anticipated to open Dec. 31. While 20 fewer trains will travel to Astoria daily, the MTA said straphangers will not notice a decline in service from the Q because the line is much shorter.
“We expect W service to be more reliable because it’s not subject to possible issues in Brooklyn,” MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said. “Peak service remains the same. Headways stay the same or improve on 17 of 24 hours. The decrease in trains is attributed to the fact that the W ramps up service later and ends a bit earlier than the Q.”
N train service will be unchanged in Queens and Brooklyn, but trains will run express along the Broadway line between Times Square-42nd Street and Canal Street during weekday rush hours. The W will not be in service during late night or on weekends.
The W is expected to carry nearly 200,000 riders per week and the service change will cost nearly $13.7 million per year
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr