Monday, April 09, 2012
New York City Transit's FASTRACK is returning to the Seventh Avenue Line. Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit conducted four FASTRACK line shutdowns in the first quarter of this year resulting in an unprecedented amount of work. During the first late-night shutdown on the Broadway/Seventh Avenue 123 corridor, 800 maintenance workers completed more than 400 tasks each night, a monumental effort that would have taken months under normal operations. And, according to NYCT, there is still more work to be done.
Beginning Monday, April 9, shutdowns for the second quarter will begin with portions of the 1, 2 and 3 Lines. Service will again be suspended in both directions from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m., between 34th Street-Penn Station and Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn for four consecutive weeknights.
System-wide, NYCT's weeknight ridership is approximately 250,000. The closures will affect from 10 percent to 15 percent of those riders depending on the line segment.
The next FASTRACK overnight closure will be on the 8th Avenue Line ACE from 59th Street-Columbus Circle to Jay Street MetroTech (AC) and World Trade Center (E) from April 23 to 27.
When it comes to enlightening New York City subway riders about service changes, a new report says the MTA is doing better — but there’s a lot of room for improvement.
The New York City Transit Riders Council (NYCTRC) surveyed temporary signage at 48 stations last November. These paper signs, usually taped to support beams, station walls, and station exteriors, are one of the most tangible ways that the MTA informs riders about scheduled work that diverts trains. (The MTA also tweets planned service changes and maintains a list on its web site.) The NYCTRC report says “the level of compliance is mediocre at best.”
In 2010, the MTA began hanging posters that list all planned service changes on one sheet. The NYCTRC said these signs were a “significant improvement” that promised the MTA was paying more attention to the issue.
But, according to the report, not enough attention. “Particularly disappointing was the lack of postings at entrances, 38%, where riders need to make critical decisions about their subway travel,” the NYCTRC writes. “Worse, surveyors frequently found that they did not encounter signage about a specific service change affecting a station until they paid their fare,” notes the report.
The NYCTRC wants the MTA to improve its management system for posting signage — and use electronic display boards, known as SAID (for Station Advisory Information Display), throughout the system. Currently SAID boards are only located in a few high-trafficked areas, like Penn Station and Atlantic Terminal.
No comment yet from the MTA.
The New York City subway recorded 1.6 billion rides in 2011 — the system’s highest number since 1950.
According to the New York MTA, which posted 2011 ridership figures to its website, midtown Manhattan continues to be home to the most popular stations in the system. Times Square-42nd Street came in at number one, Grand Central was second, and stations along 34th Street occupied three separate spots on the top ten list.
Other trends of note: ridership to the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens has almost doubled since a racino opened last year, the G train is increasingly popular, and the Yankees are more popular with straphangers than the Mets.
Although the subways are booming, bus ridership continues to drop — not surprising, given the MTA’s elimination of dozens of bus lines as a cost-cutting measure in June 2010.
An off-the-cuff idea about re-tuning subway turnstiles is–pun alert!--striking a chord in New York.
Musical legend David Byrne and LCD Sound System co-founder James Murphy sat down at Yale last month for a moderated discussion on the evolving role of the artist in the digital age, during which Murphy floated the radical notion that the beep attending a MetroCard swipe need not be shrill and grating. Not only that, Murphy suggested turnstiles at a given station could be set to sound with a range of notes to give that station a particular sound, especially at rush hour, when the swipes come as swiftly as the notes in a Beethovian crescendo.
The notion has bounced around the blogoshere, including this post that reports on whether the NY Metropolitan Transit Authority would be interested in making the underground experience more sonorous. (No.)
Meanwhile, you can read about James Murphy’s turnstile plans — and listen the Soundcheck– moderated conversation.
All the subway turnstiles in New York City…make a beep. It’s a really unpleasant sound and the one that’s right next to it is slightly out of key with it. So, it’s like “ehhh….aehhh…uehhh” Unless you get it wrong and it’s like, “No!” Then it’s the sound of your bruised hip as you hit the thing…
So I thought, I love New York and I love its aggression, and I love that it doesn’t make it easier for you to be a member of the city…But, I wanted to change the sound of going through the turnstile to a series of notes – I could do a little program. I could be like, well, the dominant note is the root, this is the fifth, this is the third, have a couple of sevenths, throw a few sixths in there just to be crazy. And during rush hour it would make arpeggiated music. And each subway station could have its own key or tonal set. For me, for a new person going to work, I think it would just be nice. It would be hard not to like that more than “shut up, idiot, you’re walking so slow!”
It would be an interesting way to have people relate to the city and I didn’t think it would be that expensive…if anybody knows anybody?
The Yankees open their season in the Bronx on Friday — and to celebrate, the MTA is putting its four-car “Nostalgia Train” into operation between Grand Central and 161st Street-Yankees Stadium.
The Lo-V (low voltage) subway was first put into use in 1917 (when the Yankees finished the season in sixth place, out of eight teams in the American League, ahead of the St. Louis Browns). It was removed from regular passenger service in 1969 (Yankees record: slightly better at 80-81). The MTA press release points out that tomorrow’s Lo-V isn’t “air conditioned like the rest of NYC Transit’s 6,300 subway cars, but there will be plenty of fans on board–Yankee fans, that is.“
New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority's construction of the new Fulton Street Transit Centerthat will improve travel for nearly 300,000 commuters, residents and visitors to Lower Manhattan and better link 10 subway lines to PATH service and the World Trade Center site.
The Transit Center is more than 60% complete and on track for its scheduled June 2014 completion. The $1.4 billion project will feature 70,000 square feet of shops, restaurants and office space, as well as offer street-level ADA accessible entrances and include restoration of the historic Corbin Building, an 1888 landmark.
According to MTA officials, construction at the Transit Center building continues to progress well. The curtain wall of the building is being installed, with some of the steel mullions already in place and exterior glass delivery beginning this month. The installation of the parasols at the top of the Transit Center oculus, which will be used to direct sunlight down to the lowest levels of the Transit Center, has been completed.
Across the street from the Transit Center Building, the new Dey Street Entrance is nearing completion as finishes such as floor and wall tile work, stair treads and electrical work are installed. The Dey Street Entrance should open to the public later this summer.
Underground at the 4/5 Fulton Street Station the structural work at the northern end of the platform has been completed, strengthening a structure that was first opened to the public over 100 years ago as one of New York City’s first subway stations.
The Corbin Building, which is over 120 years old and is being restored and rehabilitated as part of the Fulton Street Transit Center project, is in the process of getting a central HVAC system installed for the first time in that building’s history.
The Fulton Street A/C Station mezzanine continues to receive new finishes, including floor tile and blue-tinted glass tiles on the mezzanine walls. Other components of the Transit Center have already been completed and opened for customer use, including the rehabilitated 2/3 Fulton Street Station, new 4/5 Fulton Street Station southern entrances, a new entrance at 135 William Street, as well as both platforms and a underpass at the R Cortlandt Street Station.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit finished work at three Queens stations three days early, just in time for the weekend. Manhattan-bound platforms at Sutphin Blvd (Hillside Avenue), Briarwood-Van Wyck Blvd. and 75th Avenue reopened at 3 p.m. Friday, April 13 instead of 5 a.m. Monday, April 16 as originally scheduled.
Track and tie replacement went more smoothly than expected. A project that could have stretched out over four weekends was done in seven days. During the seven days of work, transit workers removed 40 bags of debris, installed 1,016 plates and 40 tie blocks, in addition to 1,690 feet of continuous welded rail. This work will contribute to a much smoother ride.
Also on Friday, MTA NYCT wrapped up another FASTRACK line segment closure on the Seventh Avenue Line.
Transit workers were able to accomplish a multitude of tasks stretching from 34th Street-Penn Station to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. They inspected signals, fixed rails and ties, scraped roadbeds, cleaned stations and painted areas impossible to reach during normal train operation. Workers also took the opportunity to replace lighting fixtures and repair platform edges while performing intense levels of station cleaning.
During the four-night series of shutdowns, hundreds of maintenance workers each night completed work that included:
• 6,845 bags of rubbish removed;
• 99,900 pounds of scrap material and debris removed;
• Muck and mud scraped from 2,375 feet of concrete roadbed;
• Repaired air lines and expansion joints at 11 locations;
• Replaced 1,639 tunnel lights;
• Corrected 1,396 third rail defects. Cleaned, scraped and bagged 93,770 feet of track under and around the third rail;
• Installed 27 running rails, 1,028 plates, 1,882 friction pads and 92 tie blocks;
• Scraped 36,075 sq. feet, primed and painted 26,725 sq. feet at stations;
• Conducted preventative maintenance of elevators and escalators;
• Serviced and inspected 24 smoke detectors and alarms;
• Serviced 16 track switches and 59 signals;
• Replaced 134 sq. feet of ADA tile and 10 platform edge signs;
• Surveyed 80 manholes and
• Cleaned, adjusted and optimized 29 CCTV cameras and 15 monitors.
The area of operation stretched a distance of seven miles from Midtown Manhattan to Downtown Brooklyn and included nearly 20 miles of track.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer is the first 2013 New York mayoral candidate out of the box with a detailed plan for financing the city’s transit system. It’s a a mix of solutions — but the gist is this, there should be more financing for transit, and not just from transit riders.
Instead, Stringer wants to bring back the commuter tax, killed by Albany over a decade ago, as well as take a fresh look at congestion charging, bridge tolls, and other sources of funds for transit.
All of the taxes and fees would require approval by state lawmakers and Governor Cuomo. In the past, leaders of both parties and Governor Cuomo have not supported congestion charging, and Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver brokered the deal that killed the commuter tax.
Stringer’s proposals, delivered at a speech to the Association for Better New York Tuesday morning, now set a bar for the other candidates — City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, and former City Comptroller William Thompson.
Other than Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing proposal, transit funding has not been a big part of mayoral campaigns in the past. Stringer’s speech is a sign that that there will be more discussion to come in the next 19 months.
Among his proposed solutions:
Stringer says he’d spend the money on more bus rapid transit, light rail on 42nd street, and connecting Red Hook Brooklyn to the Navy Yard, an AirTrain to LaGuardia, and an “X” subway line connecting Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.
MTA Metro-North Railroad reported systemwide on-time performance (OTP) of 98.8 percent during the year’s first three months — the highest quarterly OTP in the railroad’s history, according to the agency.
A continual focus on providing the best service, a mild winter and an increasing number of new M-8 rail cars in service on the New Haven Line were among the many factors contributing to the record, Metro-North officials said in a prepared statement.
During the first quarter, Metro-North had only one day (Jan. 19th) when OTP dipped below 95 percent, and 59 days out of 91 when it was at 99 percent or above. Systemwide OTP was 98.9 percent in January; 98.8 percent in February and 98.8 percent in March.
Also in March, the Hudson Line OTP was 98.8 percent, the Harlem was 99.2 percent and the New Haven was 98.6 percent. Weekday OTP was 98.86 percent during all time periods, while on the weekends it was 98.78 percent, officials said.
Consist compliance — reflecting the percent of trains that have the right number of seats to accommodate customers — remained “excellent” on all three lines at 99.8 percent, they said.
“We will continue to strive to meet the same standard for the remaining nine months of the year,” said President Howard Permut.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A New York state lawmaker is looking to put Tasers in the hands of transit workers.
Now, the push is on to extend the legislation to bus drivers and subway conductors.
“I believe that if you’re allowing a train operator to control tons of equipment then truly we can allow them to control a small device, such as a Taser,” Adams said.
1010 WINS’ John Montone reports
Adams, a retired NYPD captain, is renewing the push following a rise in assaults on transit workers. There were 94 attacks on transit crews last year, up from 72 the year before, according to the Daily News.
The senator believes a Taser would effectively deter crime and it isn’t nearly as dangerous as a gun.
“A bullet you can’t control, but a Taser, the electronic probes are not designated until the person pulls the trigger, so if you don’t hit your intended target you are not going to hit an innocent person,” Adams said.
The idea played to mixed reviews from several commuters in midtown Manhattan.
Adele Williams, of Brooklyn, said she would feel safer if subway conductors were carrying Tasers.
“[If] there’s somebody disrupting the train they should have some kind of protection,” Williams said. “You got people riding trains that are crazy.”
“I would say it’s a good idea, make it a little safer for people,” one man said.
“[It’s] putting too much power in a regular person’s hands who aren’t trained properly,” one commuter said.
“It’s insane, you’re putting the power of authority in a civilian’s hands,” another said.
Commuter Elvis Morrison fears if conductors carry Tasers then the bad guys will arm themselves to the teeth.
“Now they feel threatened so they’re going to take means into their own hands,” Morrison said, adding that the best way to protect transit workers would be to put them in bullet-proof booths
The Queens man who admitted being the organizer of a plot to blow up subways in New York City in September 2009 appeared in court on Tuesday to testify at the terrorism trial of Adis Medunjanin, a high school classmate accused of helping him in the plot.
Najibullah Zazi, who has pleaded guilty to his role in the bombing plot, said he had traveled with two classmates to Pakistan intending to “do jihad” with the Taliban against American soldiers. But they ended up agreeing to requests from Qaeda leaders to return to the United States to fight for the cause.
Much of what he told the packed courtroom in Federal District Court in Brooklyn echoedthe testimony Monday of Zarein Ahmedzay, the third classmate, who is also cooperating with the prosecution. But Mr. Zazi added details about their radicalization, training in bomb-making and efforts to execute a suicide attack that federal officials have described as among the most dangerous plots since Sept. 11.
A lawyer for the defense, Robert C. Gottlieb, argued in opening statements that Mr. Medunjanin had a falling out with his friends and had pulled out of the plot. Mr. Medunjanin, a naturalized citizen from Bosnia, stoically took notes during the testimony.
Mr. Zazi said he and his two friends from Flushing High School grew more upset about American military interventions in the Middle East — he said he believed that the United States government was responsible for the World Trade Center attacks — and decided to travel to Afghanistan by way of Pakistan to fight against American troops.
In Pakistan, they got an offer to go to the Qaeda training camp after failing to cross the border into Afghanistan, Mr. Zazi said. “We looked at each other,” he said. “We paused. We said there can’t be a better offer than this.”
The testimony, which is scheduled to continue on Wednesday, also provided insight into the interpersonal dynamics of the men. In the training camp, they studied Islam, learned how to operate high-powered weapons and received advice about targets.
“We started the conversation on such targets as Walmart, the stock exchange, Times Square, movie theaters and buses,” Mr. Zazi said. He said he squabbled often with Mr. Medunjanin, frequently chastising him on his personal and religious habits.
“I probably hurt his feelings the whole trip by accusing him,” Mr. Zazi said. “He was drinking tea from a Pepsi bottle, and I told him it wasn’t the right way.”
The petty feuds brought the two to blows.
“We were talking and he was mentioning some of the stuff we did on the trip,” Mr. Zazi testified, referring to some of the things he had done to irk Mr. Medunjanin. “I don’t know what happened, but in a matter of seconds it turned into a fistfight.”
The tension caused a leader at the camp to say that traveling together could be hard. Mr. Zazi recounted his advice: “Anytime people like you guys come and they want to do jihad, they are very good friends, but they stay in a small place and they reject the other guys’ habits.”
The charges against Mr. Medunjanin include conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction and to commit murder abroad, providing material support to Al Qaeda and receiving military training from Al Qaeda. He faces life in prison if convicted.
Stephen J. Morello, who has served for the past year as deputy director of communications in the office of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, is joining the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as director of communications, government relations, and community affairs divisions of the MTA and its agencies. His formal title is counselor to MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota.
“Steve Morello will be an invaluable asset to the MTA,” Lhota said. “He has served three governors and one mayor, and I look forward to gaining his insights and guidance as we work to make the MTA more transparent and improve our image in the eyes of all our customers and elected officials.”
NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman Joe Lhota told planners at a Midtown conference that the first project on his “wish list” is extending the Number 7 subway train down 11th Avenue to 23rd Street.
“It’s something that I think would make sense because if you look at the demographics of the West Side, we shouldn’t just make one stop,” he told reporters after taking part in a workshop at the Regional Plan Association’s annual assembly, which was held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
Lhota said, “It’s important to have plans, to have a wish list.” But he cautioned there was no active push to send the 7 train from Times Square past its planned terminus at W 34th Street. “I’m not sure it can be done,” he said. “I’m not sure about how close you can get to the Hudson River.”
The $2.1 billion extension is scheduled to be done by December 2013 at a cost of $2.1 billion. It’s being built in conjunction with a massive development of the Hudson Yards immediately to the south.
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has also been thinking about boosting the capacity of New York’s transportation system.
Appearing Friday as a guest on WOR Radio’s John Gambling Show, he said “it’d be great” to offer free transfers to the city’s private ferries with a Metrocard. “It’s all one big thing in these days of technology,” the mayor said. “You could use one card and then revenue could be divided up” between the ferry operators and the NY MTA.
Lhota liked the idea of allowing ferry passengers to pay by Metrocard, noting that several non-NY MTA transit operators in the region already do that, from the PATH Train to New Jersey and a newly privatized bus system on Long Island. But he wasn’t keen on the idea of making the transfer free and sharing fares. “The NY MTA is in no position to share its revenue with the ferries,” he said.
The NY MTA is perennially cash-strapped and only recently received funding from the state for the last three years of a five-year capital plan.
Adis Medunjanin, 28, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison following his conviction on all nine charges, including conspiring to carry out a suicide attack on American soil, receiving military training from al Qaeda and plotting to kill U.S. soldiers fighting in Afghanistan.
Medunjanin's accused co-conspirator Najibullah Zazi was arrested in September 2009, just days before Medunjanin and a third member of the plot, Zarein Ahmedzay, were prepared to carry out what U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has called "one of the most serious terrorist threats" to the United States since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
As the verdict was read in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, Medunjanin looked over several times at his mother and sister, both of whom had testified on his behalf during the trial, and raised his hand in a reassuring gesture. Afterward his stoic mother and sobbing sister, who is a 30-year-old nurse, left the courtroom and declined to speak to the press.
Outside the court, Medunjanin's attorney, Robert Gottlieb, indicated that he planned to appeal the verdict, citing "some serious legal issues" that he wanted to address.
He also said even though his client was convicted of all charges, the case spotlighted the importance of trying a case before a jury rather than in a military tribunal, like the ongoing case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, accused mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
"The world and our national government should take note that this is the way crimes should be decided, whether or not someone is guilty - not in military tribunals, not in a star chamber, but in America."
Sentencing was set for Sept. 7.
AL QAEDA MISSION
Prosecutors during the trial had argued Medunjanin was "ready and willing to sacrifice himself to kill" at the command of al Qaeda, saying he committed to carrying out a suicide attack on American soil, a mission given to him by al Qaeda operatives he met in Pakistan.
"What he was willing to do was to strap a suicide bomb to himself, walk into a New York City subwayand blow it up," Assistant U.S. Attorney Berit Berger said in closing arguments last week.
Medunjanin, a U.S. citizen born in Bosnia and a resident of the New York borough of Queens, was accused as the third member of a plot to bomb the subways in 2009. His high school friends Ahmedzay and Zazi, both 27, both pleaded guilty to planning the attacks with him and are cooperating with the government, awaiting sentencing.
Gottlieb, the defense lawyer, said in his closing statement conceded that Medunjanin traveled to Pakistan in 2008 in an attempt to join the Taliban and seek vengeance for perceived wrongs against Muslims. But while Medunjanin was under the sway of al Qaeda propaganda, he never intended to follow through with his friends' plan, Gottlieb told jurors.
"Adis' intent was to fight and protect Muslims," Gottlieb said. "That was the extent of his formulated intent and plan in his own mind."
Jurors, who the judge allowed to remain anonymous for their safety, reached the verdict after starting deliberations on Monday
MTA New York City Transit on May 1 took delivery of the first of 28 new diesel-electric locomotives it is acquiring from Wabtec subsidiary MotivePower, Inc.
While better known to customers for its fleet of 6,300 subway cars, NYC Transit maintains a fleet of 62 locomotives to haul work trains and pumping equipment into sections of track where third-rail power has been turned off to facilitate construction, maintenance work, or damage repair.
The locomotive was loaded onto a flat car in Boise, Idaho, shipped cross-country over the rails, and off-loaded at NYCT's Linden Yard. The locomotive will be moved to the Coney Island Shop for testing.
All 28 locomotives are expected to be delivered by mid-2013. They will create new capacity and also replace units that have been working in the system nearly a half century.
In a square, one-room office on West 23rd Street, two rarely seen faces wield untold influence over the daily lives of millions of New Yorkers. They are Masamichi Udagawa and Sigi Moeslinger, and if you ride the subways, chances are that their work influences the quality of this most intimate human encounter.
Mr. Udagawa, 47, and Ms. Moeslinger, 44, are the principals of Antenna Design, the company behind the last major changes to New York’s subway cars, in 2000 and 2006. Of the city’s 6,374 subway cars, 3,504 bear the pair’s interior and exterior designs, as do MetroCard vending machines and other accouterments of underground life. These are people who obsess about the effects of steel dust on MetroCard readers or the ways light and color can influence riders’ moods.
“We subscribe to the idea of City Beautiful,” Mr. Udagawa said, referring to an architectural and urban-planning movement from the 1890s and 1900s that sought to use attractive design to make people better citizens. “It promotes the idea that a nice environment creates nice behavior.”
Doing that underground, in a crowded, smelly subway system, presents challenges. “A simple trick can go a long way,” Mr. Udagawa said. “The new trains have a glossy black floor and light ceilings and walls, which make the space feel bigger than it is.”
The two designed cars with digital station listings to help passengers track their progress, and with diagonal metal bars by the doors because, Ms. Moeslinger said, if the bars were horizontal, riders would climb them. “We’re trying to lead people to behavior,” she said. “But there are limits to how much design can control the situation. Then you have to come in with rules and regulations.”
The MTA has quietly increased the time that unlimited MetroCards can be swiped again in an effort to crack down on subway scammers, according to a published report.
Unlimited MetroCards have for years been locked out from a second swipe for 18 minutes after the first.
Officials have changed that time at turnstiles in 28 stations where fraud is believed to be high, the Daily News said Monday. Subway scammers with unlimited cards charge $2.25 for swipes and end up making a profit.
The MTA changed turnstiles to reject cards that had been used in the previous 36, 48 or 60 minutes
Officials believe if they increase the time, and therefore the number of cards that a scammer needs to make a profit, then that could cut down on the scam.
"We know the police are out there doing everything they can to address this problem, "MTA spokesman Charles Seaton said. "We think we can do some things internally to make this kind of fraud less financially attractive.
FIDDLING WITH METROCARDS
on May 8, 2012 in North America
Multiple-ride â€œmetrocardsâ€ in New York have been protected from illicit sales of rides to third parties by a usage time limit â€“ they could only be swiped once in 18 minutes. This has proved ineffective. Typically, fraudsters are lending their cards out at $2.25 a throw. This month, the Metropolitan Transit Authority has been quietly increasing the time limit â€“ to as much as 60 minutes on some lines â€“ in an effort to stop the practice. Travellers who genuinely need to use their cards more than once within this time-frame will face problems.
New locomotive arrives at MTA
08 May 2012 ⋅
On May 1st, the first of 28 new diesel-electric locomotives was delivered to NYCT’s facilities from MotivePower, Inc.
The locomotive was loaded onto a flat car in Boise, Idaho two weeks prior and shipped cross-country over the rails and then off-loaded onto NYCT’s tracks at Linden Yard.
The locomotive will ultimately be transported to the Coney Island Shop for completion of conformance testing and other commissioning activities.
All 28 locomotives are expected to be delivered by mid-2013.
The new locomotives will add ‘much needed resources to the existing fleet as well as replacing several units that have seen nearly a half century of service in the system’, MTA said.
Manufactured by MotivePower, Inc., this new fleet of diesel-electric switcher locomotives, termed R156, is custom designed and manufactured to meet NYCT’s unique requirements such as tight tunnel clearances and strict weight limitations for bridges and elevated tracks.
The units ‘boast enhanced crew comfort and safety features, improved reliability and maintainability, and produce lower exhaust-level emissions than older equipment’.
The R156 uses some of the latest NYCT subway passenger car components, which are service-proven and will result in more reliable operation and increased maintenance efficiency.
The locomotives offer significant technological improvements, including AC propulsion, higher-horsepower, improved fuel efficiency, advanced emissions reduction technology and microprocessor controls.
They also meet the latest crashworthiness and safety standards recommended by NYCT’s Office of System Safety.
Long Island Railroad riders might not see service to Grand Central Terminal on the East Side of Manhattan until 2019, a year later than expected.
Joe Lhota, chairman of the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority, told business leaders on Long Island that the tunnel project has bogged down beneath a railyard in Jamaica, Queens, where contaminated soil and an unexpected abundance of underground brooks and springs have slowed digging. He said the authority has brought in tunneling experts from Europe to help solve the problems.
The project, called East Side Access, will bring Long Island Railroad trains beneath the East River to Grand Central Terminal. Now, all LIRR trains go to Penn Station, on Manhattan’s West Side.
Lhota called East Side Access the first major expansion of the LIRR in 100 years. He said that, on completion, it would shave about 40 minutes off commuting time for Long Islanders who work on the East Side of Manhattan and would increase capacity of the railroad by 41 percent.
“There are 800,000 people per day that go through Penn Station,” Lhota said, according to Long Island Business News. “And 60 percent of those are Long Island Rail Road riders. East Side Access should relieve a lot of that burden.”
The project, which was originally scheduled for completion in 2015, has been delayed several times. (The NY MTA’s website still lists an obsolete end date of 2016.)
NY MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg slightly walked back Lhota’s remarks. He said, “Chairman Joe Lhota did say this morning that a very preliminary stdy that he saw has a risk of the deadline going into 2019. We’re in the process of re-evaluating the deadline on East Side Access and will report to board on it at the end of May.”
Lisberg said NY MTA engineers are looking at “several different types of studies” to determine whether to stick with or push back the current 2018 deadline. “It’s complex tech stuff and the experts don’t always agree,” he said.
The NY MTA has said previous delays were caused in part by conflicts with Amtrak, which is also working on construction projects at the Sunnyside Railyards in Queens, slowing digging for East Side Access. Lisberg said those problems have been solved. “In January, at one of our meetings, there was discussion of problems with scheduling work in coordination with Amtrak,” he said.” Now we’re very well coordinated.”
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
NEW YORK Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) chairman Mr Joseph Lhota confirmed yesterday that the completion of the $US 8.1bn East Side Access Project will be delayed until 2019, due to unexpected construction difficulties.
East Side Access will give Long Island Railroad (LIRR) trains direct access to Grand Central (on Manhattan's East Side), offering LIRR passengers the option of two New York City termini while providing better links to Metro-North services and the subway network.
The project deadline, initially set for this year, was put back to 2016 two years ago and later slipped again to 2018, although MTA says it has endeavoured to revise construction schedules to minimise delays.
Tunnelling at the Manhattan end is virtually complete, but difficulties in tunneling through soft rock and soils beneath Sunnyside Yards in Queens has hampered the project's progress, because of the need to minimise the impact on the existing line, which sees more than 800 train movements per day. Contaminated soil and unanticipated underground water sources, such as springs, reportedly also have slowed construction.
In a statement issued following Lhota's comments, MTA said: "The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is re-evaluating the risks in the construction schedule for the East Side Access project, and plans to present its findings to the Capital Programme Oversight Committee later this month. One preliminary analysis of risk factors has indicated the completion date may move to 2019."
East Side Access is the first major expansion of LIRR in more than 100 years, and is expected to attract 180,000 passengers per day when it is eventually completed. The project includes eight new platforms under the existing Grand Central station.
MTA New York City Transit has scheduled its final open house for May 10 to gather public comments as the Staten Island North Shore Alternatives Analysis Study nears completion. Light rail and Bus Rapid Transit are among the options examined.
"Passenger rail service on the Staten Island North Shore Branch ended in 1953. Freight service ended in 1989," notes NYCT. "The right-of-way has remained largely untouched since then. The AA study, funded by the Staten Island Borough President's Office, has been examining and evaluating potential modes of travel, including: light rail, such as Hudson-Bergen Light Rail [Transit, or HBLRT, pictured at left] and Bus Rapid Transit service, among others."
Attendees at the open house, which will be held at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, may offer suggestions as NYCT announces results of its study.
Last fall MTA NYCT culled three final options from a list of seven alternatives; those options included LRT, BRT, and improved bus service. The LRT option would run between St. George and Arlington, with trains continuing to West Shore Plaza along South Avenue, in mixed traffic with road vehicles.
Staten Island is not served by the city's subway network, though MTA NYCT does provide Staten Island Railway service along the borough's eastern shore, which links with Staten Island ferry service to and from Manhattan.
(New York, NY – WNYC) More than a third of all long subway delays are caused signal problems, according to an analysis of 3,000 text alerts sent by the NY MTA last year by the Straphangers Campaign.
The report tallied “significant incidents that often generated subway delays” of 8 minutes or more and found signal problems caused 36 percent of such delays, followed by mechanical problems at 31 percent. Rail and track problems caused a combined 19 percent of long delays.
Straphangers spokesman Gene Russianoff said he’s not surprised, given what he saw of the signals at one location. “The MTA took us on a tour of the West 4th Street Station, where 7 lines and hundreds of thousands of riders go through every day and we went to the dispatcher’s office where the signals are kept and they were built in 1932 and looked like the controls on the deck of His Royal Majesty’s ship, the Titanic,” he said.
The report only looked at delays in the control of the MTA and not incidents such as police actions and sick passengers. The lines with the most delays were the 2 and 5 trains, which each had 8 percent of total delays. The line with the fewest delays was the G, which connects Brooklyn and Queens and is the only line that does not go into Manhattan.
Manhattan had the most delays at 43 percent. The Bronx had the fewest with 11 percent.
The MTA said it is upgrading signals, tracks and subway cars as part of its capital construction program. The authority launched its free text alert system in November 2008; it has more than 76,000 subscribers.
The Straphangers Campaign is a public interest research group that advocates for improvements in mass transit.
MTA New York City Transit announced Thursday that the No. 7 subway extension to Manhattan's West Side, now 65% complete, has just received its first set of rails.
Rails delivered to the work site are 390 feet long and weigh 15,000 pounds, which limits each delivery to only four rails. The rails are delivered by work train from the the Linden Shop in Brooklyn. The trip takes about 48 hours because it travels during the midnight shift in order to avoid interrupting passenger service.
Strumming a guitar on a NYC subway platform can find you a bigger audience than weeks on the road playing bars or even some concert halls. So, it makes sense that there is stiff competition for officially sanctioned spots to busk in New York’s transit system.
On Wednesday, musicians will play their best songs in front of a panel of judges in Grand Central terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall in the hopes that they will be selected to be part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Music Under New York program.
TN partner WNYC is asking for submissions of your favorite subway musicians. Send in your suggestions here.
Did you know you can now record your sightings in our new Sightings module?