181st St. Subway to Close until Dec. 2021, Intercampus Shuttle Remains Suspended
The 181st St. 1 train subway station in Washington Heights will close for construction beginning Dec. 5 through Dec. 2021, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has announced. With the intercampus shuttle on hiatus, YU undergraduates are left with limited travel options between the Wilf and Beren campuses.
1 trains will skip the 181st St. stop — which is just over three blocks from the Wilf campus — in both directions for the next year, according to signs posted at the station. The scheduled maintenance will include “replacing elevators and related equipment while making critical structural upgrades to the elevator shafts.” The A train stop at 181st St. and Fort Washington Ave., as well as the 1 train stop at 191st St. will continue to run normally.
Since officially reopening their midtown and uptown Manhattan campuses on Oct. 21, YU has never formally addressed the shuttle ceasing operations this year. The service was not mentioned in the Reopening Plan brochure released in June nor in any emails from the administration. However, upon logging into yushuttles.com, users find a message declaring a “TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF CAMPUS SHUTTLE SERVICE.”
The university’s “local shuttle,” which in previous years has transported students to and from points within Washington Heights, is also unavailable.
“I have spoken to the security department about getting the shuttle running again,” Alex Friedman (YC ‘22), a member of the Student Life Committee, told The Commentator. “They expressed their support for the shuttle, but said that the decision is ultimately up to the administration. In every measure, the shuttle is the safer option, from both a health and public safety perspective. I hope the administration will do not only what is right, but what is safest for their students by restarting the shuttle.”
Some students, especially those on the Beren campus, expressed dismay at the lack of transportation. “Our access to the uptown library is severely limited and that information was not properly communicated to students,” said Rena Levinson (SCW ‘21). “It's hard to create a sense of community when the campuses are so divided. I'm also concerned for the drivers that lost their jobs.”
“We expect to provide transportation between the undergraduate campuses for events on the Wilf and Beren campuses to the extent practicable,” Chief Facilities & Administrative Officer Randy Apfelbaum commented. “We understand that our students are interested in having a more regular intercampus shuttle, and we are looking into options that will meet our health and safety guidelines for maintaining social distance and other protocols. Unfortunately, our regular van shuttle is not a feasible option due to the inability to provide appropriate social distancing.”
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article said the Fall Reopening Plan did not mention the shuttle. In fact, the plan stated the shuttle would be "operating with modified service,” although that is not the currently the case. This article has been updated to reflect this correction.
Photo Caption: The 1 train’s 181st St. station will close for construction on Dec. 5 and remain shuttered for a year.
Photo Credit: Elazar Abrahams