Last Stop: New Yorkers Bid Adieu to V and W

Riders host events to honor the lines' passing

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images/Spencer Platt
    Oh, W train, we hardly knew ye.

    For subways lines that New Yorkers have infamously expressed ambivalence about, the final runs of the V and W lines have inspired a wide array of mourning -- from funerals to parties.

    Friday morning City Councilman Peter Vallone gathered outside of the Ditmars’s Blvd station where he held a "funeral" for what the councilman called his “friends.”

    Last Stop for V & W

    [NY] Last Stop for V & W
    Commuters have taken their last ride on several subway lines, as they take off into the tunnel in the sky. (Published Friday, Jun 25, 2010)

    “Like most funerals we are here to say goodbye to the W and the V but this is also a beginning,” said the Councilman, “The is the beginning of longer waits, more crowded trains and of poor transit.”

    Vallone blamed the MTA for it’s mishandling of funds that he says caused the massive service cuts that will affect New Yorkers citywide.

    Mock Funeral For W Train

    [NY] Mock Funeral For W Train
    New York City Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. held a mock funeral for the W and V train today. The councilman noted the MTA's and Albany's incompetence in the handling of funds for the service cuts. Vallone and community officials vow to fight for the restoration of service to their Queens neighborhood. (Published Friday, Jun 25, 2010)

    But others took the opposite of Vallone's approach, sending off the trains with a bang -- not a whimper.

    "All cultures mourn in different ways. Some cultures wear black, others sing songs and eulogize the dead. Others pour out a 40 on the station platform at 36th Avenue," reads the description of The Final W train Ride Facebook group.

    The group is taking one last ride when the W train leave Ditmars Boulevard at 10:17 p.m. It will continue to Brooklyn and arrive at its 86th St. destination at 11:30 p.m., where its ends its short and complicated history. The W will be replaced by the Q train on Monday morning for weekday service.

    The groups description offers a brief view into what they think the W train means to the city, "Remember the day we were super late to work and the W went express from Astoria Boulevard to Queensboro Plaza, or the first time we met the "Have a Smile" guy. We'll remember the bad times, like when the W was named the "Worst Train in the MTA Subway" by the Straphangers Campaign, or when the blind guy who plays "The Girl from Ipanema" played so loud you couldn't hear your iPod."

    NYCentric has and Newmindspace will host an event to remember the W’s brother the V train. The V train is one of the youngest in the city only being in existence since December of 2001.   The group wants revelers to wear orange to commemorate the loss of the line. he last Forest Hills-bound V train is expected to arrive at its Queens terminal at 12:11 a.m.

    All this for two train lines that have a long of being disrespected if not despised by large swaths of New Yorker.

    The blog, Second Ave. Saga summed up what the changes mean for some New Yorkers, "For many New Yorkers, the deaths of these train lines will be unnoticed. V riders will hop the M without a second thought, and while some Brooklyn riders from Bay Parkway will miss the M, most people will go about their subway-riding lives with nary a thought to it."

    But that's not to say the new M line will win the hearts of new York.  The M has been recolored to orange to represent  It will also have its route changed to meet new needs. The M will cease its Manhattan-bound service Friday evening but on Monday, the train will not  head to Nassau St. or into Brooklyn. The train will also be the first in some time to use the Chrystie St. Cut  pass from Essex St. to the Sixth Ave. line.

    The Second Ave. Saga blog went on to say what many New Yorkers feel about the cuts handed down by the MTA:

    "One day, the MTA may restore service when its finances improve. Today, though, is a sad day for the millions of New Yorkers who depend upon the subways and buses to take them to work, school and fun. In a city so dependent upon transit, these cuts show just how ineffective our state government is. Will anyone be held accountable?"