The MTA has decided to extend its subway maintenance program through November, meaning major sections of subway lines will be shut down for 59 more nights -- a total of 413 hours of service -- this year.
The agency launched its Fastrack maintenance program as a pilot in January, but believes the plan has accelerated repairs throughout the system.
Under the extended plan, one or two major track areas will be closed for repairs from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on four consecutive weeknights each month of the remaining year except August and December, according to the Daily News, which first reported the extension.
Add it all together and it'd be like shutting down service for 17 days in a row.
By completely shutting down vast track sections on each line, the MTA can accomplish needed repairs in a matter of days rather than prolong the maintenance by having to stop and dodge individual trains.
Tracks are being inspected and may be replaced or repaired, and stations are getting spot painting and power washing.
This week, the 1, 2 and 3 lines between Penn Station and Nevins Street in Brooklyn are being worked on.
Ultimately, straphangers will benefit from more effective service and the cash-strapped MTA will save some much needed money because of Fastrack, the agency says.
"We know it's an inconvenience to our customers and we apologize for the inconvenience," MTA Senior Vice President of Subways Carmen Bianco told the Daily News in reference to the closures. "Hopefully, our customers will only have to walk a block, or two blocks at the most, to get alternate service."
Substantial alternate service is available via parallel subway corridors or free shuttle buses, though riders are advised to allow extra time for their trips.
The MTA describes the program in detail, including suggested detours, here.