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Old Jun 15, 11, 10:39 pm   #1
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Question Reduced frequencies on JFK Airtrain to Jamaica?

I couple of weeks ago I took the LIRR to the Airtrain to JFK. I was on an 8:09am train from Penn Station and did not get to the JetBlue terminal until an hour later.
The main reason -- a 15 minute wait for the Airtrain, smack in the middle of rush hour.

I just missed one Airtrain (partly because the LIRR was crawling into Jamaica), and various electronic signs indicated that the Airtrain runs every 10-15 minutes (IIRC, one said 10-15 another said 15).

Sure enough it was 15 minutes until the next train. I was hopping to say the least.

Anyone know if this is normal for certain times of the day (I would expect it for 2am, but not at 8:30am on a weekday)? On the return, about 6:30pm on Sunday, the Jamaica AirTrain was running much more frequently (seemed to be 5-10 minutes).

Any ideas? I think I may complain to the Port Authority. A 15 minute headway on the Airtrain really makes this mode of transport uncompetitive in many cases.
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Old Jun 15, 11, 11:07 pm   #2
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
I couple of weeks ago I took the LIRR to the Airtrain to JFK. I was on an 8:09am train from Penn Station and did not get to the JetBlue terminal until an hour later.
The main reason -- a 15 minute wait for the Airtrain, smack in the middle of rush hour.

I just missed one Airtrain (partly because the LIRR was crawling into Jamaica), and various electronic signs indicated that the Airtrain runs every 10-15 minutes (IIRC, one said 10-15 another said 15).

Sure enough it was 15 minutes until the next train. I was hopping to say the least.

Anyone know if this is normal for certain times of the day (I would expect it for 2am, but not at 8:30am on a weekday)? On the return, about 6:30pm on Sunday, the Jamaica AirTrain was running much more frequently (seemed to be 5-10 minutes).

Any ideas? I think I may complain to the Port Authority. A 15 minute headway on the Airtrain really makes this mode of transport uncompetitive in many cases.
The AT could have had mechanical problems (which is less frequent now than when it first opened). Also, the doors are very "fussy", if they don't close as scheduled (a pax holding them open) they take lots of extra time to close--causing delays.
PS: In DFW their Skylink runs every 2 minutes (during the day).
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Old Jun 16, 11, 5:00 am   #3
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My favorite is when the PA authority takes down the inter terminal train in the middle of the day and the Jamaica/Howard Beach train becomes like the Number 1 (subway) train at rush hour but with International travelers with steam trunks and bags large enough to fit a dead body.

And of course if you are going to T8 you can't get off at T1 and take the inter terminal train one stop, you have to go all the way around.

Finally, just wait to one day the entire Airtrain is down and its replaced by buses that are barely running.

My opinion (and some people I know that work with the PA) is that its a stupid organization full of really stupid people.
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Old Jun 16, 11, 6:50 am   #4
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A few Saturdays ago, I took the Howard Beach Airtrain around 10 a.m. My practice is to always look for an inbound inner loop train when entering the Terminal 1 stop as I am normally going to Terminal 7 and dislike taking "the grand tour". This time, I didn't see an opposite-direction train the entire time I went around all the terminals. I don't know if this was an indicator that the trains aren't running at full capactity or not.
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Old Jun 16, 11, 7:29 am   #5
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I thought the train operated on 4 minute headways during the day?
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Old Jun 16, 11, 8:24 am   #6
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Originally Posted by FlyinHawaiian View Post
A few Saturdays ago, I took the Howard Beach Airtrain around 10 a.m. My practice is to always look for an inbound inner loop train when entering the Terminal 1 stop as I am normally going to Terminal 7 and dislike taking "the grand tour". This time, I didn't see an opposite-direction train the entire time I went around all the terminals. I don't know if this was an indicator that the trains aren't running at full capactity or not.
I started doing this myself apx a yr ago, if I see the InterTerm pulling in I jump off the HB AT. I used to get off no matter what till

1 once I did and waited and waited for the IT to arrive

at best by switching maybe it saves 5 min, it seems alot quicker but really isnt, but if running late 5 mins can be the difference between making ones flight and now praying somehow to get out
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Old Jun 16, 11, 8:38 am   #7
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I started doing this myself apx a yr ago, if I see the InterTerm pulling in I jump off the HB AT. I used to get off no matter what till

1 once I did and waited and waited for the IT to arrive

at best by switching maybe it saves 5 min, it seems alot quicker but really isnt, but if running late 5 mins can be the difference between making ones flight and now praying somehow to get out
But when going all the way around you get to T4 and there are people with enough baggage to keep them clothed for a year. And then are confused about what train to take and they stand in the middle of the doorway with their ten body bags trying to figure it out.
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Old Jun 16, 11, 5:25 pm   #8
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But when going all the way around you get to T4 and there are people with enough baggage to keep them clothed for a year. And then are confused about what train to take and they stand in the middle of the doorway with their ten body bags trying to figure it out.
guess Im lucky I never ran into that, then again my UA flight usually leaves between 6am-8:15am and not much arrivals into T4 at that hour
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Old Jun 17, 11, 10:38 am   #9
  
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Last week I was on the train from LIRR to Jamaica. I missed the 1:35PM train because I was purchasing some food items and the next train out was 2:05 PM. The 1:49 PM train was nowhere to be found. More unexpected delays.......
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Old Jun 17, 11, 12:49 pm   #10
  
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Last week I was on the train from LIRR to Jamaica. I missed the 1:35PM train because I was purchasing some food items and the next train out was 2:05 PM. The 1:49 PM train was nowhere to be found. More unexpected delays.......
What day of the week was this? After the 1:35 PM train from New York Penn Station, depending on day of the week, the next train is at 1:45 PM or 2:05 PM.

The 1:45 PM train, operates Fridays only, leaving Penn Station New York for Jamaica (you mention LIRR, I assumed you departed Penn Station New York).

I do see a 1:49 PM train departure, but this train does not stop at Jamaica station. Schedule

Last edited by andyli; Jun 17, 11 at 12:54 pm Reason: updated based on review of PDF schedule
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Old Jun 18, 11, 6:07 am   #11
  
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My opinion (and some people I know that work with the PA) is that its a stupid organization full of really stupid people.
Dear newyorkgeorge, please remember that it was the Port Authority that got the World Trade Center complex built in the first place! They successfully run a massive set of operations in a city that is worthy of including alongside George.
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Old Jun 18, 11, 7:23 pm   #12
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Dear newyorkgeorge, please remember that it was the Port Authority that got the World Trade Center complex built in the first place! They successfully run a massive set of operations in a city that is worthy of including alongside George.
And the NYC subway when first built was way ahead of its time. Not now any more. When I tell people living in London, Sydney, Rio, Paris, Chicago etc. that NYC subway is just now getting clocks indicating next time arrival they laugh. Sydney and London have had arrival time info for more than 10 years. Point being that the PA is way behind the times when it comes to passenger transportation.
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Old Jun 18, 11, 11:43 pm   #13
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And the NYC subway when first built was way ahead of its time. Not now any more. When I tell people living in London, Sydney, Rio, Paris, Chicago etc. that NYC subway is just now getting clocks indicating next time arrival they laugh. Sydney and London have had arrival time info for more than 10 years. Point being that the PA is way behind the times when it comes to passenger transportation.
I don't think the Port Authority runs the subways -- someone will undoubtedly quickly correct me on this if I am wrong.
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Old Jun 19, 11, 9:32 pm   #14
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I don't think the Port Authority runs the subways -- someone will undoubtedly quickly correct me on this if I am wrong.
The MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) runs the subways and the commuter lines to LI and Conn. and a few other lines in NYS. The PA runs the Path line, linking Manhattan and a small area of NJ. NJ Transit has a more extensive network linking Manhattan and NJ.
The MTA is years behind London and Paris with subway "nicities". Many cities have waiting times for buses (also MTA in NYC), right now the MTA is experimenting with a few routes--the whole system is projected (when?)
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Old Jun 20, 11, 6:26 am   #15
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The MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) runs the subways and the commuter lines to LI and Conn. and a few other lines in NYS. The PA runs the Path line, linking Manhattan and a small area of NJ. NJ Transit has a more extensive network linking Manhattan and NJ.
The MTA is years behind London and Paris with subway "nicities". Many cities have waiting times for buses (also MTA in NYC), right now the MTA is experimenting with a few routes--the whole system is projected (when?)
Meaning that the PA (and the MTA also for that matter) have not kept up with times. Studies have shown that far fewer people from Manhattan use the Airtrain that originally planned. One of the original ideas was to get people out of cars and into mass transit to JFK. But time and time again I heard frustrations about the wait times for the Airtrain (in the middle of the day usually) and when the inter airline terminal is taken out of service at busy times (why not from midnight to 4AM).
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