MTA Brings Back The Old H Train To Save The Rockaways Residents’ Transit


Since Sandy hit, we’ve been on a constant MTA beat; the agency has never been in the spotlight more so than in this storm recovery, with the updated schedules, the revival of the L train, the not-so-revived R train and, most recently, the no-refund policy. Chairman Joseph Lhota has made a name for himself as the commander of a fleet that fixed most of a subway system at record pace and headlines to this day still account for the continued progress the MTA is making after the worst mechanical devastation it’s ever seen.

So, to add to that list is the most recent news from the guys who make sure we get from Point A to 34th St.-Herald Square: the MTA has revived the antiquated H train to help out with those still displaced in the Rockaways. The bus service will begin today at 4am and will be completely free to passengers.

The H line, which was originally blue, used to be the Howard Beach shuttle before being absorbed by the A line. It ran along the Broad Channel, all the way down to Beach 116th Street, and will now transport Rockaway residents to a bus in Far Rockaway, which then leads to the A line. It’s a long procession of get-ons and get-offs but, nonetheless, something is usually better than nothing.

Governor Cuomo made the H train announcement yesterday afternoon and included the part that it would be free service until regular trains start running again, whenever that may be. But the Rockaways is a different situation than the rest of the recovery we’ve seen: instead of tunnels being flooded like what we saw/see with the L and the R, the entire Broad Channel disappeared after the storm hit, leaving the displaced stranded for the time being.

However, the train will continue to be down between 1am and 4am on week nights, as the MTA workers continue to work on the line’s recovery. Until then, the H train will be the most the agency can provide for an area that bared the brunt of this disaster.

And another day with still no news on the Second Avenue Subway’s progress. Moving on…