Thursday, November 27, 2014

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Snow Makes For an Extra Tricky Commute on Pelham Line

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There was no escaping some weather-related hassles as commuters returned to work after the big snowstorm Wednesday, but for riders at a pair of closed Bronx subway stations the trip into work was even trickier. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

The Castle Hill Avenue station in the Bronx is one of two on the 6 line that remain closed for renovations until May. That's got riders hopping shuttle buses to take them to neighboring stations and, on Wednesday, waiting in the deep freeze and dreaming of warmer days.

"Can't wait. May can't come soon enough, hopefully," said one commuter.

"It's terrible. I just touched my face and it felt like cardboard. So I gotta keep moving, keep the circulation going," said another commuter.

The Castle Hill station and one at Middletown Road were closed as part of the first phase of a $109 million project to freshen up five elevated stations along the Pelham Line.

While the MTA says it's running extra buses from the closed stations at rush hour, commuters say they're now taking longer to get where they're going.

"If the train was here, I'd be there in 10 minutes. But with this bus, it will take 30 minutes," said one rider.

And during this bitterly cold winter spell, the wait to catch a shuttle to the Parkchester or Zerega Avenue stations felt especially long.

"When it's this cold, it can be a hassle, can be a hassle. It's a real inconvenience, but you gotta deal with it, I guess," noted one rider.

For Minerva Ramos, that means moving around a lot before she can to her job in Midtown Manhattan.

"Today was the bus to the shuttle to the train station. And now, we're on our way," Ramos said.

But not before first riding a free shuttle bus to Parkchester, where she just missed catching an express train.

"The cold waits, waiting for the bus. You know, five minutes in the summertime is not the same as five minutes in the wintertime," Ramos said.

Then there was a several-minute delay at Cypress Avenue. That would be a late arrival to work after leaving home at Seven Fifty in the morning.

And after the completing the trip from the Bronx to Manhattan in just under an hour and a quarter, Ramos said she'll be ready to do it all over again on Thursday while counting the days toward spring.

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