Late-night workers stranded by MTA ‘Fastrack’?

"I’m really screwed,” said Pamela Wiznitzer, who tends bar at a SoHo eatery, but lives on the Upper East Side. “I don’t want to have to take a $12 cab every night.”

Fastrack? New Yorkers say the MTA is on the wrong track.

Starting tonight, the MTA will begin an unprecedented repair program called “Fastrack,” in which a large swath of the 4,5,6 subway line will be shut down in both directions.

The 6.7-mile chunk of the line between Grand Central and Atlantic Avenue will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. every night this week, until Jan. 13. As part of the plan, the MTA will shutter 15 stations along the route.

Fastrack will enable the MTA to perform repairs in a quicker and safer manner for track-workers, transit agency officials said.

But some riders who depend on late-night trains will be left out in the cold — literally.

“I’m really screwed,” said Pamela Wiznitzer, 27, a bar manager and student who lives on the Upper East Side. “I go to NYU and I need the 6 train. I don’t want to have to take a $12 cab every night.”

While the MTA says commuters will only suffer 20-minute delays, Bill Henderson, of the MTA’s Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee, worries the real delays will be much longer.

“If you miss a couple of connections, theoretically, you could add 40 minutes onto a trip,” said Henderson.

Safety is another concern. Wiznitzer, like many others in the service industry, gets out of work at midnight on weekdays and carries hundreds of dollars in tips.

“We have a lot of cash on us and people can just follow us from the restaurant,” she said. “We’re a prime target if we’re stuck waiting outside.”

Losing faith in 24-hour service?

Today marks the first time the MTA has ever shut down large sections of a subway line for maintenance.

“It’s a very big change for a 24-hour subway system,” said Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign.

Bill Henderson, an agency watchdog, worried the new plan would tarnish the reputation of a subway system meant to run 24/7.

“There is a real sense in the system that you can rely on it to go anywhere you need to go 24 hours a day,” said Henderson, “This chips away at that a little bit.”

More shutdowns

The following line segments will be closed this winter for track work:
The 1, 2, 3 from 34th Street to Atlantic Avenue will be the next to close nightly, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. from Feb. 13-17.
The F, D and B from 59th Street/Columbus Circle to West Fourth Street will be closed nightly from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. from Feb. 27 to March 2.
The A, C, E from 59th Street/Columbus Circle to Jay Street/MetroTech will be closed nightly from March 12-16.

Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter @EmilyatMetro.


Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking


K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.


Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.


Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.


Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.


Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…


Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.


Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.


2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…


Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.


Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.


Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.


Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.