Wednesday, December 30, 2020

2020: Year In Review

By N Miller

NEW YORK, NY – Wow, just wow. 2020 has been one crazy, tumultuous year. The way how we live our daily lives has been flipped. This year was supposed to be the start of the roaring twenties, but it was the complete opposite of that. 2020 was somewhat not the year transit/transportation. The moment the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) commenced, our plans for the year changed. Schools, offices, and businesses shut down, Broadway shows and movies went on intermission, and the sports world was put on hold. The Olympics were postponed to last year. We have lost loved ones due to this horrible disease. Deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor has sparked cries to end racial injustice towards people of color. As we take a look back of 2020, we should all hope and pray that 2020 will get better.

We begin the year with January. In January, the MTA has been awarded two contracts for 357 new Prevost X3-45 buses (300 for MTA Bus and 57 for NYCT).  The new bus class will replace the 2001-2002 MCI D4500s and the 2004-2007 MCI D4500CLs. The manufacturing of the new buses has created up to 25 new jobs at the Prevost plant in Plattsburg, New York.  The R179s by Bombardier had its doors opened up to four feet mid-ride along the (C) subway line. Due to that incident, all of the cars that were on property were pulled out of service. The R32s and R46s provided coverage on the (A) & (C) Lines while the R143s and R160s covered the (J/Z) Lines. This also brought back the R42s in service along the (J/Z) lines as well. They were slightly longer wait times along the (A),(C), (J)/(Z) lines. NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer bashed the railcar company, stating that, “Bombardier sold us lemons.” Due to the fact that the train order was two years behind schedule, it was heavily rushed. So the comptroller blamed the TA for failing to purchase quality products, TA blamed Bombardier for faulty equipment, and the railcar company blamed its third-party company, Kanagi, for not calibrating the doors. The R179s returned to service three weeks later after the incident and the R42s went back to retirement. Actress Awkwafina (real name Queens-native Nora Lum) voice has been featured on the (7) Line in promotion for the new show “Awkwafina is Nora from Queens”, which premiered back on 01/22/2020 on Comedy Central. We took a brief look of the R262s, which will be all open gangway cars, and will run on the (4), (5), and (6) lines as well as the (2) line. This will be like the R211s for the B-division, which will replace all R46s and Staten Island Railway’s R44s. The Transportation Authority awarded $1.3B for a study of a new rail line to operate between Astoria, Queens and Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The Bronx Bus Redesign Network plan is in its final plans, while the Queens and Brooklyn Bus Plans are still in the draft phases. New York City’s MTA announced on December 15, 2019, that it has deployed the first phase of its new all-electric articulated bus fleet. The now historic 2020–2024 Capital Plan includes $1.1 billion to acquire 500 new electric buses to serve all 5 boroughs. NYCT President Andy Byford announced his resignation from his post due to his ongoing feud with Governor Andrew Cuomo.  On 02/12/2020, the MTA and the New York Transit Museum performed a final trip of the 1969 R42, which was manufactured by the St. Louis Car Company. The train took its last ride along the (A) Line from Euclid Av to Far Rockaway, then all the way up to 207th St, and lastly back to Euclid Avenue. The Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn got some of that transportation improvements. NYCT Transit has decided to reopen the Bedford Avenue entrance of the Nostrand Avenue (A)(C) station and the LIRR Nostrand Avenue station stop has been 100% fully renovated. Some teenagers and police officers got into a massive fight at the Jay St-MetroTech stop (A,C,F Platform). The officer was put on modified desk duty after slamming the teen down to the ground, causing serious bodily injury. There has been reports of vandals trespassing in unauthorized areas, tagging trains with graffiti. To make matters worse, people carrying e-bikes, couches, etc underground, plus the rise of crime has brought the police to the subway stations.

Andy Byford has stepped down from his position as NYCT President. Sarah Feinberg, the founder of Feinberg Strategies, LLC, a Federal Railroad Administrator, and a former Chief of Staff for U.S. Department of Transportation under the Obama Administration, has been appointed to be the Interim President of New York City Transit. March 2020, the rise of the coronavirus aka COVID-19. News got sent out of the coronavirus outbreak. The MTA decided to disinfect their entire fleet to combat this infectious disease. A water main break caused a major disruption on the L train subway line on Wednesday 03/04/2020, forcing transit officials to briefly shut service between Brooklyn and Manhattan and upending the morning commute for thousands of people. That incident happened at 4:30am in the morning. At that time, 23 MTA employees had tested positive for COVID-19. Later that month, a bus operator and a train conductor were the first two to pass away from the coronavirus. In order to avoid contact with passengers, transit allowed customers to enter/exit through the buses rear door, making bus rides free for five months straight. Ranging from late March all the way to June, a total 153 NYCT employees have passed away from COVID-19 compilations, with over 1,000 MTA being sick from it. One of the deceased was conductor Benjamin Schaeffer. He passed away just only days after his birthday. The reason for so many deaths and illnesses is because employees were getting mixed messages in regards of mask and gloves wear. Transit leadership did not want their workers to wear masks and gloves because it would “scare” the passengers. That right there was a load of baloney. They never had the proper PPE equipment to begin with. This was during the time when Cuomo put loads of elderlies who were sick with COVID from hospitals and dumped them into nursing homes, causing the largest nursing home deaths that we have ever witnessed. To make matters worse, homelessness infiltrated the subway stations mainly during the overnight hours, which sparked Transit to halt overnight service between the hours of 1 am to 5 am, starting back on May 6th. During the overnight closures, platforms, trains, and stations were disinfected. Cleaners from a third party were brought in by the agency to help out with the cleaning. Here is the thing right here, if transit leadership had cancelled overnight service the second the virus came to our land and had the health and wellbeing of their employees and colleagues, then then would not be so many deaths from COVID-19 and Train Operator Garrett Goble would still be alive today. Another way the MTA decided to combat this infectious disease, was to install Ultraviolet (UV) Lighting in the trains’ HVAC to detect and kill the coronavirus. Lastly, the MTA and the TWU Local 100 had come to agreement to payout $500K to families of employees who passed away from COVID related compilations while on duty. Cuomo canceled this at one point but later reinstated it after getting called out on his idiocy.  

On April 16th, all transportation agencies in the Northeastern region all did horn salutes at 3pm SHARP as a way thank all of the transportation employees to keep this region moving during the pandemic. The regional horn salute was done two more times. At least 59 agency employees have died of COVID-19 over the past three weeks. Now their families and those of future MTA coronavirus victims can be assured that they’ll be compensated. Families will also receive up to three years of health insurance from the MTA. During the time when the COVID-19 death count was on the rise, Chairman/CEO Pat Foye, Interim NYCT President Sarah Feinberg, and the one who appointed her, Governor Andrew Cuomo. Those three did not care for the well-being of employees and for the essential workers who used the system. If Andy Byford was still the NYCT President, he would have done the same procedures much earlier than it took these three to do later after so many employees deaths. Speaking of Byford, he currently in Wales, England and is the current commissioner of TfL (Transport For London). Not only Byford left NYCT, but Sally Librera left her post as the Senior Vice President of Subways. Frank Jezycki, the chief operating officer for subways, took over for Librera on an interim basis.

The pandemic also did a huge number on transit service. The (B), (C), (W), 42nd Street Shuttle (S), and (Z) services were all suspended. Ridership hit an all-time low. Service ran every 10-20 minutes and some segments were put on hiatus. Buses from various depots ran on bus routes around the city to help fill the void and due to the fact that 50% of the workforce was out due to the coronavirus. In early June, the city was slowly returning to normal phase by phase as well as bus/subway service was coming back to normalcy. The MTA requires funding up to at least $24B or more to keep services running. Failure to do so will result in massive service cuts, fare hikes up to 20% and job layoffs. Recently, congress just approved a $900B stimulus package. Included was $4B for NY MTA funding, so that is a start. This was inspired by transportation agencies across the nation to join forces to ask Congress to fund transportation, and it will hopefully be done under the Biden Administration. Earlier in the year, the Jamaica/Coney Island Fleet Swap happened; R46s to CI & R160s to Jamaica (some Siemens propulsion R160s are still at Coney Island). All 316 cars of the R179s arrived on property, which forced a much earlier retirement of the R32s. This is done in preparation for Queens Boulevard CBTC (Communications Based Train Control). Some 2016-2019 NovaBus LFS Artics have been decommissioned from Bus Rapid Transit duty and were assigned to local service. The (E) Subway Line in Queens between Jamaica Van Wyck and Jamaica Center had been suspended for a month due to urgent track repairs and replacement. Shuttle buses provided alternate service and some (E) service were rerouted to/from 179th Street-Hillside Avenue on the (F) Line. The bus class of the 2004-2005 Orion VII Old Generation Hybrid Electric Vehicles have retired from service with the arrival of the 2021 NovaBus LFS HEVs and New Flyer XDE40s. The deliveries will continue on into the new year going forward. Elevator repairs are still continuing in the Washington Heights stations and the M191 provided alternate service along Broadway and St. Nicholas Av between 191st and 181st Streets. The (L) Project was completed three months earlier than anticipated. New elevators and entrances were added to the Bedford and 1st Avenue stations as well as an escalator at 14th St-Union Square on the (L) Platform. New elevators came to the 86th St (4th Avenue) station in Brooklyn and the newly renovated Astoria Boulevard in Queens. With the (L) Project completed, the (F) was the last one standing. The closure of the Rutgers Tubes rerouted (E) service in Queens and Manhattan and the (F) between Queens and Brooklyn. The repairs are being done similar to the Canarsie tunnels. In June, the R179’s problems got worse. A 10-car set along the (A) decoupled heading into the Chambers Street station in Lower Manhattan. Due to this, all R179 sets were pulled from service. The R32s came out of retirement to run on the (J/Z) Lines. The (A) used 20 sets of the R160s from the (F) Line’s Avenue X yard to help fill the gaps left by the R179s. The R719s problems were fixed 4-5 months later, which sent the R32s back to retirement and the R160s back to Avenue X. With the overnight closures of the subways, three new overnight routes were created to keep the flow of overnight service flowing. The three routes were the B99 (which operates between Columbus Circle, Manhattan and Midwood, Brooklyn, paralleling the (2) line), the M99 (which operates between West 42nd Street Pier, Manhattan and East New York, Brooklyn, paralleling the (3)(A) & (L) Lines), and the Bx99 (which operates between Woodlawn, The Bronx and West Village, Manhattan, paralleling (4) & (D) Lines. Certain bus routes provided overnight service, and some routes got their overnight service ended due to low ridership. NYCT has launched Groundbreaking Live Subway Map, Creating Next Generation Map Following Iconic Hertz and Vignelli Designs.

Over on Twitter, I met an activist who goes by the name Progressive Action (real name Tramell Thompson). He has talked about the working conditions over at Transit as well as the unfair treatment that they have received from their superiors. Thompson has also planned the August 26th vigil in front of MTA Headquarters for Train Operator Garrett Goble and the employees who passed away from coronavirus compilations. There was a female worker who showed up to work pregnant and had a miscarriage while on the job. Multiple transit workers were assaulted while on the job on multiple occasions. Certain people on the subway were preforming lewd acts on one another. That was super disgusting. The TWU Union Local 100 needs to do a better job advocating for the rights and well-being of its members. Transit leadership seriously dropped the ball this year; not allowing their workers to protect themselves with the proper PPE equipment, allow them to be opened to abuse, and makes out any employee to be a total liar when they (the employees) speak up. It took Feinberg, Cuomo, and Foye to come to their senses after 100+ transit employe deaths from COVID-19 and infiltration of homeless people in the subways to suspend overnight service, which will not make a comeback until Summer 2021. 

Lastly, we will discuss crime in the system. The year of assaults, arson, and greed. At 8:15 am, an Inwood-207th bound R46 (A) express train pulled up at the 14th St-8th Av subway platform and got derailed. The cause of this derailment was some metal tie plates, known as D plates, which keep the tracks together, was intentionally thrown onto the tracks. Three passengers suffered minor injuries. Moments later, a suspect was caught and apprehended. 30-year-old Detemtrius Howard of the Bronx caused this derailment. He has an extensive criminal history and threw more clamps just as the (A) train roared into the station. Commuters saw the suspect laughing at the disaster he unleashed, sources said. Good Samaritans held him at the station until cops took him into custody. Police brought Harvard to NYPD Transit District headquarters at the Canal St. station on the A, C and E lines for questioning. He was later charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, assault and criminal trespassing. The brazen act caused one of New York City’s most catastrophic train derailments in years. The train’s first two wheel sets were thrown from the tracks and the front car slammed into four structural pillars, causing its metal siding to peel back like a can of anchovies and its front three door panels to be damaged. The person who caught the scoundrel, Rikien Wilder, caught Howard at the scene of the crime and held him along with some good samaritans for 15 minutes until police arrived. For his heroic deeds and troubles, he was rewarded free unlimited rides for a year and a shirt that says, "Hero Of The Subways" and "New York Tough".  Another crime that happened was people and transit employees getting assaulted for either confronting people for not wearing mask, targeting Asian-Americans for the coronavirus pandemic (i.e. spraying Lysol on an Asian on a Southbound (N) Train), and pushing people onto the tracks from out of nowhere. Back 11/19/2020, a disturbed man pushed a straphanger onto the tracks while she was waiting for the subway that morning. The 24-year-old man was pacing up and down the platform before coming up behind the woman, appearing to time the shove until the 5 train is pulling into the station. Two cars passed over her before the train could stop and the FDNY could pull her to safety. The 40-year-old victim survived and was taken to Bellevue Hospital for treatment. The suspect, who only recently came to NYC, was taken in custody.

March 27th, 2020 is a day that will forever be etched not in our minds, but also one of the most tragic events in New York City Subway History. In the early morning hours of that day, Train Operator Garrett Goble became a hero. He was performing his shift along the (2) subway line heading up towards the Bronx when the deadly fire transpired. He evacuated his train, saving the lives of his conductor and passengers. Unfortunately, he succumbed to the smoke inhalation from the fire. Goble is a brave soul and a hero and deserves every inch of our respect. He came to work to get essential workers moving from point A to point B while the pandemic was reaching its peak in terms of toll deaths. There was a Lenox Terminal-bound (3) train right behind. Everyone on board evacuated from that train. Weekend (March 28th-31st) service along Lenox Avenue was suspended and the station did not reopen until Monday, April 6th. Police from the Transit District 32, located in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn arrested 50-year old Nathaniel Avinger for allegedly groping a transit worker. He was later linked to the Harlem subway fire that claimed the life of 36-year old Train Operator, six-year transit employee, and devoted father of two, Garrett Goble. Avinger remained in police custody back on 12/18/2020 while awaiting arraignment in Manhattan on the murder charge. Online court records didn’t list an attorney representing Avinger in that matter. A message seeking comment was left with his lawyer in another pending case. He set fire to a Columbia University Music Center sixteen days earlier. This criminal has been hiding under the radar this whole time and we did not realize it until now or at least until he struck again. Avinger has been arrested thirty-times prior to these incidents. The arrests date back to 1987 for assault and robbery. I will NOT describe the full detail on how this incident went down. If you want to know the full details on how this tragic event unfolded, you can read it all about it here. Today, Avinger faces charges of arson (x2), unlawful touching (groping), property damage, and murder. As for Brother Garrett Goble, he will always honored and remembered as a hero. On December 21st, the Goble Family joined NYCT and TWU Local 100 at the Flatbush Avenue-Brooklyn College stop. A plaque and a mural will be placed in the station to honor Goble as well as a scholarship in his name sponsored by the TWU Local 100. King Goble will always be in our minds and hearts forever. 

In other news, the end of 2020 is here. The Moynihan Train Hall at 7th Avenue and West 33rd Street is now open. This is the last post as the Transportation Hub Blogger. On 1/1/2021, the Transportation Hub Blogger becomes the new Hub Chronicles. My new podcast series, Hub Talk will be launched on New Year’s Day 2021. It will be available on Anchor and Spotify. With that being said, I wish all of you a Happy and Prosperous New Year and see all of you next year at the next stop. 


Sunday, December 20, 2020

An Arrest Has Been Made In The Late-March Subway Fire Incident......Nearly Nine Months Later

By N Miller

Before you read about this incident, please check out these articles that explains the situation that is in today's story.

NEW YORK, NY-This is the moment we all have been waiting for. An arrest has finally been made in the late-March subway fire incident that killed a beloved train operator. The perpetrator was apprehended nine months after the incident. This was shortly before the number of COVD-19 deaths skyrocketed. Only essential workers were allowed to work their shifts, while everyone else stayed home. This criminal thought it was “real cute” to go inside a subway car, lit the lighter, and cause the train car to get incinerated, killing our brother. He had the audacity to commit more crimes and hide under the radar before getting arrested. Karma came around and kicked him where the sun doesn’t shine.

Nathaniel Avinger: The Career Criminal

Police from the Transit District 32, located in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn arrested 50-year old Nathaniel Avinger for allegedly groping a transit worker. He was later linked to the Harlem subway fire that claimed the life of 36-year old Train Operator, six-year transit employee, and devoted father of two, Garrett Goble. Avinger remained in police custody Friday while awaiting arraignment in Manhattan on the murder charge. Online court records didn’t list an attorney representing Avinger in that matter. A message seeking comment was left with his lawyer in another pending case. He set fire to a Columbia University Music Center sixteen days earlier. This criminal has been hiding under the radar this whole time and we did not realize it until now or at least until he struck again. The serial arsonist is due back in court this Wednesday.

For those of you who have been wondering how this deadly subway fire have happened for months now, here is a little detail to help you understand. The arsonist, Nathaniel Avinger, was on board the uptown (2) local train after 3am in the early morning hours on March 27th.  When the train reached Central Park North-110th Street/Lenox Avenue, Avinger thought it was a "good idea" to start a lighter (the lighter that we are talking about is no ordinary lighter; it is the lighter used for synthetic drugs like K2 etc.) and set a shopping cart on fire. The fumes from the burnt shopping went up to the train’s HVAC (which is located on top of the roof) and incinerated the entire subway car. The fire also burnt out the roof of four other subway cars surrounding that one incinerated car. Train Operator Goble got out of his operator’s cabin and evacuated his train, saving his conductor and passengers. Unfortunately for Goble, he was consumed by smoke inhalation from the burning train, and ended up passed out on the opposite train track. Firefighters and police arrived to scene. Firefighters put out the fire and found Goble lying on the track unconscious. He was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he passed away. Avinger was a convict in the making, who will have his day in court. During the month of March, he caused two fires (one deadly) and damaged property in the Bronx. With someone like him who has thirty-nine prior arrests, he should have never been let out onto the streets. Due to the fact we have careless politicians who value the lives of criminals more than hard working citizens like Goble, no one will be safe and that needs to change.

Garrett Goble: The Essential Hero

In the early morning hours of March 27th, 2020, Train Operator Garrett Goble became a hero. He was performing his shift along the (2) subway line heading up towards the Bronx when the deadly fire transpired. He evacuated his train, saving the lives of his conductor and passengers. Unfortunately, he succumbed to the smoke inhalation from the fire. Goble is a brave soul and a hero and deserves every inch of our respect. He came to work to get essential workers moving from point A to point B while the pandemic was reaching its peak in terms of toll deaths. There was a Lenox Terminal-bound (3) train right behind. Everyone on board evacuated from that train. Weekend (March 28th-31st) service along Lenox Avenue was suspended and the station did not reopen until Monday, April 6th.  

MTA New York City Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg said this in a statement:

“March 27 was one of the darkest, most painful days in New York City Transit history. There should be no tolerance for any form of violence in our transit system. Fires, sexual assaults, assaults on our workers — these are crimes committed against the very best of New York — the brave men and women who show up and serve this city each day and keep us all moving forward.”

TWU (Transit Workers Union) Local 100 President Tony Utano praised Avinger’s arrest as “great news” and “huge first step”. He said this in a statement:

“Garrett was a hero, and he was stolen from us. He was out there serving the public during a health crisis. He helped riders evacuate his train after the fire was set. This was a horrific, horrific crime, and Garrett deserves justice. His family deserves justice.”

I completely agree with both Interim NYCT President Feinberg and TWU President Utano. The early morning hours of March 27th will always remain as one of the darkest days in NYCT history. Garrett Goble was a hero to all who loved and cared for him. He deserves justice and this arrest that took nearly nine months to do is the first step in accomplishing that goal. We should also look forward to renaming the Central Park North-110th Street to Garrett Goble Way-110th Street to repay and honor him for his heroic deeds that fateful morning. The petition is still up and running with 10,000 signatures needed. Please click here to sign the petition to make this renaming possible in honor of a true hero. Lastly, please keep the Goble family in your thoughts and prayer as they are still reeling from this loss.

In other news, the Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum stop in Brooklyn will now be ADA Accessible. Winter Storm Gail came, saw, and conquered. She gave us a white Christmas earlier than anticipated and all of the MTA's sub-agencies were fully prepared. Read more all about it here. Lastly, great news from Congress. The Senate has just approved a $900B COVID-19 relief plan. The plan includes $4B for the MTA, so that is a start. 


Thursday, December 10, 2020

Rutgers Street Tunnel Rehabilitation To Enter The Final Phases Of Completion

 By N Miller

NEW YORK, NY – If you are a daily (F) train rider during mid-to-late evenings, overnight (until 1 am of course), and weekends, then your ride will get a lot easier come this spring. The TA has announced that the Rutgers Street Tube Recovery Work will conclude in April 2021. The work is being accordingly in the same fashion as the Canarsie (L) Train tubes. This will not only be the last of the agency’s tunnel rehabilitation, but also the fastest as riders will now be able to have fewer service interruptions on weekends and overnight, excluding the 1 to 5 a.m. subway closures.

This project has started back in August and riders are making the best of this detour as it is the final tube damaged by Superstorm Sandy back in 2012 to be completed. Hauling New Yorkers between the East Broadway station in Manhattan and the York Street station in Brooklyn, the MTA employed techniques adopted to redeem the Canarsie Tunnel on the L line with fiber-reinforced polymers devised by Cornell University.

MTA Construction & Development President Janno Lieber said this in a statement:

“We are making strong progress on the Rutgers tunnel using strategies similar to those we pioneered on the (L) Project: use state-of-the art technology and work smarter and faster so that the project costs less and impacts fewer customers. We also see from our experience with Superstorm Sandy recovery, where funds from Washington were a big part of the response to that national emergency, the positive impact when the federal government steps up during a crisis to assist mass transit agencies.”

The agency is now looking down the barrel of a $16 billion deficit in 2024 and $2.9 billion in potential loans to pay back to the federal government, the agency has been requesting $12 billion to fund their operations until better days. Better days, being a time when New Yorkers begin returning to the subways at pre-pandemic levels and the MTA again has cashflow from fares. But since April, the U.S. Senate, under the leadership of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has given public transit the cold shoulder. Hopefully, both sides of Congress can come to an agreement. Public transit is not a blue or red issue; it is a jobs issue. Service changes involving both the (E) & (F) trains can be found here.

The weeknight schedule for closures between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. will be as follows to commence in January of 2021:

January 4-7, 2021

January 11-14, 2021

January 18-21, 2021

January 25-28, 2021

February 1-4, 2021

February 8-11, 2021

February 15-18, 2021

February 22-25, 2021

March 8-11, 2021

March 15-18, 2021

March 22-25, 2021

In other news, the TA has determined full overnight service won't be restored until the summer of next year. The Greenpoint Avenue (G) Train station in Brooklyn is now ADA assessible. Oh, cellular service throughout the Rutgers St tunnel and improved accessibility improvements compliant with the Americans with Disability Act at the East Broadway station. Lastly, the MTA of NY, along with other transportation agencies across the nation has rallied for a huge, significant relief from Washington D.C. You can read the full transcript here

(R) Trains Operating To/From Whitehall St & Terminus Action @ Whitehall St-South Ferry. Please enjoy and subscribe to the Hub on YouTube today and turn on your notifications.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Believes That Slashing Unlimited MetroCards Would Cure Their Financial Problems + Five Employees Accused Of Overtime Fraud

 By N Miller 

NEW YORK, NY - New York and the tri-state region cannot catch a break. First, the MTA announces a massive service cut by 40% as well as job layoffs by up to 9,400 employees. Now, they just released information on the potential fare hikes that can possibly happen in 2021 if $12B of funding is not received from Congress. On top of that, the Georgia Senate race is still going on and it will not only determine the majority, but also the future of our agency. 

 This past Tuesday, A bipartisan spread of politicians, transit workers, straphangers and car drivers piled on MTA execs one by one Tuesday night to voice their opposition to possible fare and toll hikes at the first official public hearing on the topic. Zoom meetings on the proposed upcoming fare hike will be hosted every week. Transit officials have floated multiple options for fare and toll hikes next year, in line with the agency’s policy since 2009 to enact increases every two years. The newly unveiled plan includes the potential for a 2 or 4% fare hike. The agency is also suggesting that if the base fare for a MetroCard does not increase the price of 7 and 30 day passes would. On top of that, the agency is proposing increasing the "green" fee for new MetroCards above the current $1. Back in late 2010, the agency discontinued the 1-day fun pass as well as the 14-day unlimited MetroCard.

Riders Alliance Executive Director Betsy Plum said this in a statement:

“Governor Cuomo shouldn’t hike transit fares for essential workers and New Yorkers with no other option, especially as we face the real potential of a second COVID wave. Now more than ever, the subway and bus fare is a regressive tax. Rather than raising substantial new funds for public transit, higher fares will also drive potential riders away from the MTA and restrict our overall ability to recover economically. To advance an equitable recovery, the governor must bring back overnight subway service, double down on the services and supports New Yorkers most need, and hold the line against regressive transit fare hikes and doomsday service cuts.”

I totally understand Madame Plum and where she is coming from. As a second potential COVID-19 wave lurks in the background due to the bustle and hustle of this holiday season. We can combat that if we all work together by washing/sanitizing daily, wearing our masks, and practice social distancing, we can avert a second wave. Plus, this month alone, over 170,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available by December 15th for New York. Over a million doses will be out in 2021; both distributed by Pfizer. The subways overnight service is still suspended throughout the duration of this pandemic. Take into mind that 153 transit employees as well as less than 10 employees from other sub-agencies passed away from COVID-19 during the height of the pandemic.

The dates and times for hearings are as follows:

  • Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 5:30 p.m. (Passed)
  • Wednesday, Dec. 2, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. (virtual) (Passed)
  • Thursday, Dec. 3, at 10 a.m. (Passed)
  • Monday, Dec. 7, at 5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 8, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (virtual)
  • Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 5:30 p.m.
  • Monday, Dec. 14, at 5:30 p.m.
  • Monday, Dec. 21, at 10 a.m.

Besides increasing the $2.75 subway fare, transit honchos are mulling getting rid of time-based unlimited MetroCards, reducing the number of commuter rail fare zones and eliminating the Verrazzano Bridge’s Staten Island resident discount. U.S. Rep.-elect Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island), who testified in favor of maintaining the bridge discount.  This comes after the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge restarted booth tolling. All of this is bad timing for us to be having service cuts, job layoffs, and fare hikes. 

In other news, five MTA employees (four from LIRR; one from NYCT) are in hot water today. The defendants are Thomas Caputo (Retired), Joseph Ruzzo (Retired), John Nugent, and Joseph Balestra of LIRR and Michael Gundersen of NYCT. They have been accused of have been charged with fraud, accused of falsely claiming to have worked hundreds of hours of overtime. The amount that has been collected overall was over $105M; that is far more than what the MTA Chairman makes. This could be the main reason why the agency is facing such a huge deficit, which could result in cuts, layoffs, and hikes. This behavior is appalling, if you ask me. If convicted they can face up to ten years in prison. The FBI is currently investigating this matter. You can learn more about the defendants and full details of their actions here.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

New York City Transit Announces Work At The End Of The (E) Line In Queens Will Be Completed Two Weeks Ahead Of Schedule

 By N Miller 

QUEENS, NY- If you are an (E) train rider to/from Jamaica Center, then this is your happy moment. TA’s Construction & Development President Janno Lieber announced on Monday that the second phase of work to replace and install over 6,300 feet of track and over 9,800 feet of third rail at or near two stations at the end of the (E) line in Queens will be completed ahead of schedule and on budget. The project, originally expected to finish in mid-December, will now wrap up on Nov. 30. So, this means, full return of service at Sutphin Blvd and Jamaica Center stations.

The existing track had reached the end of its useful life and required complete replacement, which will lead to improved reliability and better service throughout the line in Queens and Manhattan. Since 2016, there have been 46 incidents between Jamaica-Van Wyck and Jamaica Center on the (E) line because of track conditions, resulting in 713 delayed trains. 

Lieber said this in a statement;

“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the MTA had begun transforming the way we do construction and brought that new approach to what we did here on the (E) line in Southeast Queens. We are taking advantage of the low ridership during COVID to get more work done, and to complete it faster. And more projects than ever before are being completed ahead of schedule and on budget. But to keep making progress in rebuilding the system, we need help from the federal government.”

Senator Leroy Comrie said this in a statement;

"I thank the MTA for not only wrapping up this project ahead of schedule, but also for working with locally elected leaders and Southeast Queens transit riders to cross honor tickets and implement alternative service via temporary shuttle buses and the LIRR during construction. This experience demonstrates the MTA's ability to meet the demands of riders while completing necessary infrastructure repair and modernization projects.”

Council Member I. Daneek Miller said this in a statement;

“We are pleased that this important track replacement work is finishing ahead of schedule and transit riders can now resume their usual routines. Any suspension in service at a major transit thoroughfare such as this can be difficult, but thanks to the working partnership with the MTA, our local elected offices, and community partners, we are confident that riders had sufficient alternate transit options, including cross-honoring on the LIRR.”

Phase 1 of the project was completed ahead of schedule in October, which allowed for an acceleration of Phase 2 work and limited train service at Sutphin Blvd/Archer Av-JFK and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer on Nov. 2. The MTA accelerated this project’s timeline from later in the 2020-24 Capital Program to take advantage of low airport travel and low general subway ridership due to the COVID-19 pandemic, minimizing the disruption of the work and impacting fewer riders.

In other news, if you are traveling this Thanksgiving weekend, please be safe and practice social distancing. The elevators at the 191st Street (1) subway station in Washington Heights-The Cloisters are fully renovated just two months ahead of schedule. In Bridges & Tunnels, the Robert F. Kennedy connection to the Harlem River Drive has now been open. Lastly, full wireless connectivity has been brought to the (L) line between Bedford Ave, Brooklyn and 1st Avenue, Manhattan. 

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Friday, November 20, 2020

MTA Outlines Massive Cuts To Service, Jobs, Revenue & Fare Hikes; Much Worse Than The 2010 Service Cuts

 By N Miller

NEW YORK- To my fellow commuters, we should be prepared for the worse if no funding comes our way. The MTA released its proposed 2021 budget and four-year financial plan amidst the worst financial crisis in agency history. The plan includes devastating service cuts, a drastic reduction in the agency’s workforce and a continued pause on the historic $51.5 billion Capital Plan. In the absence of $12 billion in federal aid. The MTA continues to face an unprecedented financial crisis. This pandemic has the potential to eclipse the Great Depression’s impact on transit revenue and ridership. The way how things are this will be far worse than the 2010 service cuts.

The MTA presented a worst-case 2021 spending plan at its November board meeting. There was no suggestion of additional federal emergency relief. At the same time, the agency is continuing its aggressive effort to secure $12 billion in federal funding. Should desperately needed federal relief arrive, the MTA will make any necessary budget adjustments during 2021. The November Plan includes favorable re-estimates from the July Plan as fare and toll revenues are projected to surpass the previous forecast by $319 million and non-labor expenses are projected to be lower by $295 million in 2020. Savings from vacancies attributable to an MTA-wide hiring freeze are expected to total $66 million. Debt service expense is forecast to be $31 million favorable in 2020, with savings through the remainder of the period covered by the four-year financial plan. Subsidies are slightly unfavorable through 2022, followed by improvements in 2023 and 2024. This brings the MTA’s projected deficits to $15.9 billion through 2024. The TA will be voting to enact on a new budget coming up next month.

The following reductions for each sub-agency could go as follow; Subway service reductions of up to 40%, which may result in reduced train frequency, suspension of service on some lines at certain times of day, and/or major weekend changes. The reduction in service may allow for a 35% subway fleet reduction, generating savings in maintenance, cleaning and inspection costs. There could a one-person train operation and an elimination of station agents. Bus service to decrease by 40% through elimination or consolidation of bus routes and reductions in frequency by up to 33% on the routes that remain.  Changes to routes would ensure that service is available within a half-mile of existing stops. These service reductions for NYCT will result in the elimination of nearly 8,300 positions (bus and subway combined).

Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North services may be downgraded by 50%, which may result in peak period train frequencies of every 20 to 30 minutes along busier line segments. It will be hourly at less busy line segments. Proposed reductions under consideration take into account the existence of nearby alternate service and maintaining adequate service for essential workers. Off-peak and weekend service may be hourly, reflecting current ridership levels while maintaining sufficient service to prevent crowding. The railroads’ service reductions would result in the elimination of a total of more than 900 positions.  

In other news, more incidents of crime in the subway system yet again. First, a female conductor gets punched in the face at the Prospect Avenue station in Brooklyn. She is currently recuperating at home and her attacker is on the loose. His face is blasted everywhere, so if you have information about who he is, give Crime Stoppers a call. Your call will be anonymous, as usual. A 36-year-old man was beaten and shoved onto the tracks at Bryant Park. An arrest has been made in that case. Worst of all, a woman was shoved onto subway tracks at Union Square station in Manhattan. She survived the ordeal. The stunning incident was caught on video. A suspect in that case was arrested at the scene. That happened yesterday. To all of my fellow New Yorkers, please be cautious out there. Especially the fact that we have to be “our brother’s keeper”.

Please enjoy this week's videos: 2016 NovaBus LFSA SmartBus #5439 & #5441 On The Bx1 LTD & Bx9 Bus Routes (Local Scheme) 2016 NovaBus LFS Artic #5439 (All Schemes-Through The Years)

Friday, November 13, 2020

NYCTA Announces New, Convenient Way for Access-a-Ride Customers To Request Taxi and Car Service Reimbursements

By N Miller

NEW YORK, NY - The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced a new process for customers to submit their Access-A-Ride (AAR) taxi and car service receipts online. The optional procedure saves time and stamps – and potential trips to the post office or a mailbox for customers who prefer digital transactions to mailing forms and receipts. The new, online reimbursement process will help customers keep digital records of receipts and be able to take care of transactions from their phones or other electronic devices without worrying about holding on to paper receipts and having to purchase stamps or go to the mailbox. The implementation is another way the MTA is working to provide convenient ways for paratransit customers to receive services. All authorization reimbursement rules still apply.

In order to provide efficient service and enable expedient travel, customers may obtain authorization from the Paratransit Command Center to use a taxi or other for-hire-vehicle if a scheduled AAR vehicle is not available to pick up a customer within a reasonable period of time. NYC Transit will authorize the customer to do so and give the customer a taxi authorization number. NYC Transit will reimburse the customer for the cost of the taxicab or car service, as described below. All taxi reimbursements must be pre-authorized.

AAR customers who use an authorized taxicab or car service will continue to obtain a valid receipt completed by the driver with the trip date, fare, car number, and driver’s signature and name and number of car service; or a metered receipt for taxicab customers. Customers using an app-based service like Uber or Lyft, will submit the detailed electronic receipt. Separate trips will require separate digital forms with the authorization number for that trip. Dedicated white and blue Access-A-Ride (AAR) vehicles were given access to bus lanes May 2019. As the city adds more bus-only lanes, AAR customers will reap the travel time benefits of being able to use them.

Customers may continue to safely choose how to book their trips via online trip management, the MYmta smartphone app or by calling the Access-A-Ride call center at 1-877-337-2017. Live agents, automated messages, online communications, and customer emails will include updates for customers and reminders about riding safely during COVID. Posters and signage will also be present on paratransit vehicles. You can go online and submit their trip information and a copy of your receipt, by submitting a digital reimbursement request.

In other news, the Democrats retained the House of Representatives, but not before the GOP flipped nine seats. Current NY-11 Representative Max Rose (D) conceded to winner Nicole Malliotakis (R). She will take Rose's place come January. A Coney Island-bound R46 (N) Train got derailed on the 2nd car last week during the overnight hours. Service was affected all day until 2:50pm that day. An NYCT conductor was among four men who got busted in a Brooklyn gun trafficking takedown. Lastly, the MTA honors their employees who served in the Armed Forces on Veterans Day. 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Metropolitan Transportation Authority To Start Frequent COVID-19 Testing For Its Employees (LATE POST)

By N Miller

*This was originally last week's post. My computer crashed. So here's last week's post for this week. Please enjoy.

NEW YORK, NY – Well, this is some news. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will be giving its employees testing for COVID-19. This is done due to a survey that was performed weeks ago by the New York University in conjunction with the Transit Workers Union (TWU). It states that 1 in 4 transit workers came in contact with the virus. The reason that they (the MTA) are doing this is because they want to mask up and deter the fact that had 153 employee deaths in their transit sub agency department and want to act like they had no idea where this virus come from. The TA is doing everything in their power for being lazy and complacent with the use of masks and supply of PPE’s by getting stations, trains, buses, and benches cleaned. We all know the
truth, MTA; you do not need to hide it.

The announcement was made back on October 27th. Thousands of employees will be tested on a weekly basis at a rotating set of workplaces, including train and bus depots, as well as at medical assessment and occupational health services centers. Not only death and despair took its toll on the transit workforce, but, all throughout spring and up to early summer, more than 10,000 employees called in sick due to exposure to the virus, which MTA leadership is downplaying. This caused services to be cancelled and longer wait times on various lines throughout the system. Testing will be RT-PCR and will take approximately five minutes for the nasal swab to be administered. The program is voluntary, but participation is strongly recommended. Turnaround time for results will be within 48 hours under normal circumstances and employees will receive their results in that timeframe. 

The MTA is partnering with BioReference Laboratories and Quest Diagnostics to perform testing. The initial phase of the program will include a goal of testing two thousand employees per week with priority focus on testing up to 15% of the frontline workforce. The COVID-19 Screening Program will begin at select field locations, MACs and OHS facilities and will be expanded to additional sites and scaled up in the coming weeks.  Employees must register to come into a MAC or OHS site if they are not already scheduled for a visit. Jon R. Cohen, M.D., Executive Chairman of BioReference Laboratories said this in a statement, “It is critically important to ensure that MTA employees are safe and healthy. A healthy workforce that is COVID-19 will help us continue to stop the spread of the virus and keep millions of New Yorkers safely moving forward." Employees experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should immediately see their personal physician or get tested at a local test site. Testing information can also be found at the New York State Department of Health, or by calling the NYS COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065. 

In other news, the fate of the MTA’s funding is at the hands of this crazy 2020 Election. We are still waiting for $12B worth of funding from the House and the Senate. If you are a veteran, then do the TA got good news for you. Starting today, 50,000 commemorative MetroCards featuring a Veterans Day image will be available for customers beginning on Friday, Nov. 6. The cards will be available at select MetroCard vending machines in high ridership stations in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx. A number of cards will also be available at MetroCard vending machines at the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island. The commemorative MetroCards, which were created by an in-house design team at New York City Transit, will also be given to each MTA agency’s Veterans Employee Resource Group to distribute at their Veterans Day events. The images on the cards will also be shown on digital display screens throughout the system. Lastly, to all of you out there, no matter which way the election goes, please be safe and be respectful to others.



Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Overnight Work Program, FASTRACK, Returns To The IND Eighth Avenue (A)(C)(E) Lines

By N Miller

NEW YORK, NY – The overnight line closure program, FASTRACK, will make its return to the IND Eighth Avenue Line next month. If you are an overnight (until 1 AM) (A) and (E) train customer, your ride will be along the Sixth Avenue Line. This is not the first time this particular line got the FASTRACK treatment. It has been getting this overnight work since the start of the program back in 2012. Also, take into mind that the IND Eighth Avenue Line will one of the five lines to equipped with Communications Based Train Control (CBTC).

The TA agency will be performing work on the (A), (C), and (E) line in Manhattan on the weeks of November 2nd-6th, 9th-13th, and the 17th-20th .  The work is being done during a period of low subway ridership, and during the ongoing overnight subway shutdown between 1 and 5 a.m., minimizing disruption and impacting as few riders as possible. While crews from MTA New York City Transit perform track maintenance, repair and cleaning in the corridor, MTA Construction & Development will use the track access created during this time to continue installing a modern computer-based signaling system and other upgrades on the Eighth Avenue line, which connects Manhattan’s West Side with Brooklyn and Queens and lines that interface with nearly every other subway line throughout the system.

Employees work their very best to get this line up to both speed and date. The agency at this time will still begging for that $12B funding from Congress. Track – remove debris and repair or replace tie blocks and running rails. FASTRACK work includes Third Rail Operations (clean and remove debris from under and around the third rail), Signals (perform general maintenance on signals and switches), Infrastructure (repair or replace handrails, signs, and tunnel lighting. Clean track drains and repair water damage/leaks), Electronic Maintenance (optimize performance of closed-circuit television monitors and cameras. Inspect and test public address system equipment), and Station Environment (perform high-intensity station cleaning and painting as well as perform elevator and escalator repair work. Clean vents and drains).

During those dates mentioned above, there is no service between 59th St/5th Av-53rd St, Manhattan and Jay Street-MetroTech (Brooklyn)/World Trade Center (Manhattan). So, the service changes will go as follow; (A) train service will operate local between 207th Street, Manhattan and Queens. Trains will run via the (D) line between 59 St and 34 St-Herald Square, then via (F) line between 34 St-Herald Square and Jay St-MetroTech in Brooklyn. (B) and (C) service will end early each night. (D) trains will run local in both directions between 59 St and 125 St. (E) train service will run via the (F) line in both directions between 47-50 Streets Rockefeller Center and 2 Av, which will be the last stop. For alternate service, you can use other lines which also serves the West Side of Manhattan.

In other news, a survey from New York University in conjunction with the TWU (Transit Workers Union) has stated that 1 in 4 transit employees have come in contact with the coronavirus. This week, NYCT has launched Groundbreaking Live Subway Map, Creating Next Generation Map Following Iconic Hertz and Vignelli Designs. I like the concept but the designs could be better. Volunteers go around the subways and hands out mask to people who needs them. Lastly, when you are using mass transit, please wear a mask. Its mandatory by the CDC and it will help save lives.


Friday, October 16, 2020

Service Changes For The IRT Eastern Parkway (Brooklyn) And IND Queens Boulevard Lines: What New Yorkers Need To Know

 By N Miller

*NOTE: This will be a double post since there was no post from last week. 

BROOKLYN, NY – The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will be performing major structural repair work along the IRT Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. Riders along the (2), (3), (4), and (5) lines are going to experience 33 months of service disruptions. This is all of part Governor Cuomo’s plan to accelerate construction on $2B in capital projects during low ridership caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which shocked our world. Preliminary work began in August during previously-planned outages for switch replacement on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line.

This comes during a time of peril. The MTA is facing a $12B deficit that needs to be covered by receiving funding from Washington D.C. If funding is not received, then we would be faced with service cuts, job layoffs, and fare/toll hikes. The agency is working with their contractors, organized labor and dedicated staff to complete projects at an unprecedented pace. Repairs are being done along the (4) line in Brooklyn between Borough Hall and Franklin Avenue-Medgar Evers College. Like any major piece of infrastructure, subway tunnels are periodically in need of repairs. Time, water damage, shifting earth, and normal wear and tear can cause structural issues. Repairs will incorporate upgrades such as installation of drip pans and guardrails using 33,500 square feet of concrete and 12,500 tons of steel. Defects being addressed include concrete conditions, structural columns, roof beams repairs and water intrusion. This requires some weekend suspension of (4) train service between Brooklyn and Manhattan and rerouted (2), (3), and (4) line service on Eastern Parkway. (5) trains do not operate to/from Brooklyn on weekends.

The repair work will continue on weekends until 2023. Elected local officials and community members have all been notified about these changes. For the remainder of this month and all of next month, (4) service would either not operate in Brooklyn, operate regular weekend service, and operate local between Franklin and Atlantic Avenues. (2) & (3) train service will operate via express in either indicated direction between Atlantic and Franklin Avenues. (3) train service will provide coverage whenever weekend (4) service is suspended in Brooklyn. All tracks will be worked on as per order of the planned service changes for that weekend.

QUEENS, NY – Last Friday, the MTA announced it is advancing the installation of a modern signaling system and track maintenance work along the Queens Boulevard Line, as well as other coordinated capital improvements to the power, lighting, and pumping systems. Just like with IRT Brooklyn, the agency is taking advantage of lower-than-normal ridership due to the ongoing pandemic to accelerate work to improve the reliability of the 53rd St Tube pump system, while also advancing with the signal modernization effort, power system upgrades and lighting improvements. Bolstering the readiness of the pump system will help ensure the effectiveness of the pumping system in a key tunnel under the East River during major storms. The pump system project was originally scheduled to start in mid-2021 and is now projected to finish a year ahead of schedule.

This portion of the overarching project to modernize the line is being funded with federal dollars allotted as part of Superstorm Sandy-related improvements. Eventually, the broader signal modernization and resiliency work along the line will allow more trains to operate per hour, increasing customer capacity and enhancing the reliability of train service on the line. MTA officials have conducted outreach to impacted communities and to local elected officials. Work in the 53rd St Tube under the East River is set to begin late Friday evening. This work will require changes in subway service on select weeknights beginning at 9:45 p.m. and ending the following weekday at 1 a.m. and weekends beginning at 9:45 p.m. on Fridays and ending each Monday at approximately 1 a.m.*. *Please note that overnight subway service remains suspended until further notice between 1 am and 5 am every night to facilitate system disinfecting. Also, this line is still in the process of signal modernization, better known as CBTC (Communications Based Train Control).

Weekends and weeknights from now until mid-November, all (E) trains will be running over the (F) line between Roosevelt Ave, Queens and West 4th Street in Manhattan. During the Thanksgiving weekend and the end-of-December holiday period, the 53rd St tube connector (which carries the E and M trains) will be closed. During that closure, the (E) will operate via the (F) line between West 4th St, Manhattan and Roosevelt Ave, Queens. (M) trains will operate between Metropolitan Av and Delancey-Essex Streets, then via the (J) line to/from Chambers Street, the last stop. On the following weeknights (Dec. 7-11, Dec. 14-18, Dec. 21-24, & Jan. 4-8), there will be no service between 50th Street (8th Avenue) in Manhattan and Roosevelt Avenue in Queens. (E) trains will run between Jamaica Center and Roosevelt Av. (F) trains will run in two sections; 179 St to Roosevelt Av, and 21 St-Queensbridge to Coney Island. (R) and (W) services will end early in Queens and Manhattan, replaced by the (N) train via Lower Manhattan. Shuttle Buses to serve closed stations in Queens: Roosevelt Av to Queensboro Plaza; 21 St-Queensbridge-Queensboro Plaza - Court Square. (7) and (N) trains will be available to provide alternate service.

In other news, the (E) Jamaica Reconstruction Project has completed critical track work. The Bronx Redesign Bus Network is on its final draft and has been released. 2.7 miles of bus lanes have been implemented on the 149th Street bus corridor in the Bronx. Elevators are now available on the Bedford Park Boulevard on the IND Concourse Line out in the Bronx. Lastly, the agency is testing State-Of-The-Air Filtration and Purification System on Commuter Rails.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

New York City’s Transit Network Is At Low Risk For Coronavirus Transmission

 By N Miller

NEW YORK, NY – New Yorkers should have nothing to worry about. Or do they? A report was recently released based on the recent research on the COVID-19 transmissions. No correlation was found between the coronavirus spread and the mass transit system. There was some controversy about whether the cause of the virus earlier in the year had anything to do with the subway and bus operations. The more people follow this protocol, the less transmission rate that New York will have.

An American transportation engineer, known as Sam Schwartz, conducted this research. He stated that risks are low on trains and buses because people spend short amounts of time on them, they don't talk during in transit and masks catch droplets and aerosols. He also argued airplanes, on which people spend long period of time, pose much higher risks to travelers and people face much greater risks in their workplaces than during their commute to work.  In the report, researchers looked at COVID-19 cases in New York City and ridership on the city's transit system between June 1 and August 18, 2020. Over that time period, the number of subway and bus rides increased from 1.25 million per day to 2.25 million per day.

Subway ridership is down about 70%. Bus and commuter rail ridership has also decreased by 50% and 75% respectively. Officials have taken several steps to ensure the public that it is safe to ride again. Millions of dollars have been spent cleaning and disinfecting trains, bused and high-touch point surfaces such as kiosks and turnstiles, and a $50 fine has been implemented for those who refuses to wear a mask during their ride. As if things cannot get financially worse, Mayor Bill DeBalsio has implemented a $1,000 fine for people who are caught without wearing a mask. This comes after reports of a spike of COVID-19 cases in various Brooklyn and Queens neighborhood.

The MTA ridership data also showed that traffic at bridges and tunnels is just 20 percent lower than 2019 averages, almost back to pre-pandemic levels. This implies that commuters have shunned subways, trains and buses. They have switched to using cars and taxi cabs. The report warns of 'long-term health consequences' if the public begins riding in cars rather than on transit systems. He added that cars contribute to air pollution and the acceleration of climate change more than transit. Lastly, he said that people consume more calories when they travel via automobile compared to subways or buses, walk to and from a station burns more calories. We should all heed advice from health officials or we would end up with a second wave of this horrid disease.

In other news, today is the first day of school for all city middle and high school students. Service on these following routes were increased on these routes. OMNY (One Metro New York) has surpassed 21 million taps-a new milestone to be proud of. This past Sunday, MTA Bridges and Tunnels officials have joined the late FDNY Stephen Stiller's family and Tunnel to Towers foundation in retracing the hero's last steps going through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel (now the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel) with a walk due to the race being cancelled this year because of the pandemic. Lastly, two Brooklyn (President St and Franklin Ave/Eastern Parkway) subway stations have been co-named in honor Medgar Evers, which is a CUNY school located in Crown Heights.

 MTA NYCT Podcast: Andy Byford & Sally Librera's Resignations And Its Impact On NYCT

QUESTION: I felt like this video was too long. Do you guys think that I should start a podcast series? And if so, would you guys listen? 

What do you guys think about this story? Please comment below. 


Thursday, September 24, 2020

Crime Runs Amok In New York City Subways And No Resolution Will Come Anytime Soon

 By N Miller

NEW YORK, NY- Crime in New York City has been on the rise. Its subway system has taken a full blunt of that spike. From Sunday until today, there has been a derailment on the (A) line that damaged the skin frame of the first car, the third rail, and loss of power, which left straphangers stranded near 34th St- Penn Station. A Brooklyn woman was assaulted on the subway by a male and a female just for telling them to wear their masks. A female straphanger gets attacked of thwarting attempted theft. An innocent man, waiting for the train, got pushed on to the track. This city is in total awry, thanks to Cuomo (dumb), DeBlasio (dumber), and their retarded a** bail reform/no bail policy.

The (A) Train Derailment

At 8:15 am, an Inwood-207th bound R46 (A) express train pulled up at the 14th St-8th Av subway platform and got derailed. The cause of this derailment was some metal tie plates, known as D plates, which keep the tracks together, was intentionally thrown onto the tracks. Three passengers suffered minor injuries. One refused medical attention, another was treated at the scene and the third was taken to Bellevue Hospital for further treatment. Train crew were not to blame for this incident. This is something a career criminal lunatic would do.

Moments later, a suspect was caught and apprehended. 30 year old Detemtrius Howard of the Bronx caused this derailment. He has an extensive criminal history and threw more clamps just as the (A) train roared into the station. Commuters saw the suspect laughing at the disaster he unleashed, sources said. Good Samaritans held him at the station until cops took him into custody. Police brought Harvard to NYPD Transit District headquarters at the Canal St. station on the A, C and E lines for questioning. He was later charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, assault and criminal trespassing. The brazen act caused one of New York City’s most catastrophic train derailments in years. The train’s first two wheel sets were thrown from the tracks and the front car slammed into four structural pillars, causing its metal siding to peel back like a can of anchovies and its front three door panels to be damaged.

Service was either rerouted, suspended, and/or split into two. The straphangers that were on the (A) that was heading up to 34th St-Penn Station, evacuated from the train safely. Crews had to use a diesel locomotive to tow the derailed subway train to a maintenance yard for repairs and further inspection. Workers also have to replace the large stretch of damaged and destroyed third rail and track components as well as make repairs to structural pillars. The person who caught the scoundrel, Rikien Wilder, caught Howard at the scene of the crime and held him along with some good samaritans for 15 minutes until police arrived. For his heroic deeds and troubles, he was rewarded free unlimited rides for a year and a shirt that says, "Hero Of The Subways" and "New York Tough".

Man Pushed Onto Subway Tracks; Helped By Four Samaritans

A man was pushed onto the subway tracks by a stranger in Columbus Circle Thursday morning,but got back onto the platform with the help of a good Samaritan. Raphael Mejias, 25 standing on the southbound platform at the 59th Street station around 5:40 a.m. when a man he didn’t know pushed him from behind. He told cops that no words were exchanged.

He was able to get back up onto the platform with the help of a good Samaritan and was taken to Mount Sinai West hospital with pain to the right leg and his rib area. The man who pushed him was described as standing about 6 feet tall and wearing a gray sweat suit. There were no arrests. If you know or seen the scumbag in this incident, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). 

Woman Assaulted By Couple After Asking Them To Wear Their Masks

Police is currently tracking down a man and a woman who allegedly assaulted a female after she asked one of them to wear a face mask at a Brooklyn subway station. It happened at the Union Street station on the (R) line around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday 09/15/2020. According to police, the victim told the woman to wear a mask, which sparked an argument that escalated into an assault and robbery. The male suspect allegedly stole the victim’s cell phone and threw it to the ground while the woman sprayed the victim in the face with an unknown substance. The victim was hospitalized in stable condition. She was petrified to ride the subways again, even though she has been riding the subways for a decade. The agency started issuing $50 fines to riders who are not wearing face coverings in the transit system.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.


Woman Thwarts Attempted Theft And Gets Assaulted For It

Cops are looking for a suspect who assaulted a woman after she thwarted his robbery attempt on a Brooklyn subway. At 5:30 a.m. on Sept. 20, a 53-year-old woman was riding a southbound (D) train from Columbus Circle when she saw an unknown man trying to take a backpack from a sleeping passenger. The woman told the passenger to wake up, which angered the suspect.

The suspect began to assault the woman by repeatedly kicking her in the face and body. The suspect de-trained at the Union Street station and fled onto a southbound R train, which he rode to the 25th Street station and fled to parts unknown. The victim sustained multiple non-life-threatening injuries to her head and body and was treated at NYU Langone Hospital/Brooklyn.

Photos and videos of the suspect were captured at both the Union Street and 25th Street stations in Brooklyn. The suspect is described as a man in his 30s with a dark complexion black hair and facial hair, a medium build, standing 6 feet tall, and weighing 220 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black durag, a black t-shirt, gray pants and gray sandals.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls are strictly confidential.

Crime in the NYC Subways has been on the rise. Its normal for scondrels to enter the subways and cause trouble because we have politicians who sit back and allow these thing to happen thinking that its normal. Its not and these dumba** politicians wonder why people are leaving NYC in drones. Mayor DeBozio got the nerve to say that the city is thriving; no it isn't. There won't be a New York City if things continue the way they are. In other news, three Metro-North employees are suspended without pay for turning a room beneath Grand Central Terminal into their "Man Cave" with a couch, a flat screen telly, and a fridge. New maternity leave will soon be in order for pregnant female workers. This comes after a female worker sued the agency for the loss of her unborn child while on duty. 

What do you guys think about these stories? Please comment below.   

Friday, September 18, 2020

(E) Train Service To Be Temporarily Suspended As NYCT Begins Phase I Track Work Of Critical Track Replacement Work In Queens

By N Miller. 

QUEENS, NY - If you are a commuter of the (E) Line in Queens, then you're in for one hell of a ride.
Starting on 09/19/2020, there will be no (E) train service between Jamaica-Van Wyck and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer due to track and third rail replacement work. There will be shuttle service, bus routes, cross-honoring by LIRR, and other train services to connect to JFK AirTrain. Some northbound trips will be rerouted via the (F) Line, weekdays and evenings, between 71st Avenue and 179th Street-Hillside Avenue, the last stop, making local stops.

This phase of the project is expected to take six weeks, continuing to the early morning hours of Monday, Nov. 2. Phase 2 of the project, which will restore some (E) train service in the two-station project corridor, is scheduled to begin in early November and last until mid-December. The project plan came into fruition after discussions with Southeast Queens residence and elected officials, along with a project microsite, and virtual community meetings (held on 08/31 and 09/08). The tracks and third rail are 40+ years old (the Archer Ave extension was constructed from the late 70s to the early 80s). It’s at the end of its life and now it’s the perfect time to perform the replacement work on that segment of the line since ridership (present day) is extremely low and air travel is limited.

The service change seeks to minimize impacts to customers. The MTA is making these upgrades now and coordinating alternative travel options in order to prevent emergency track work and unplanned service changes that would create bigger disruptions for customers than the outage being planned. Since 2016, there have been 46 incidents between Jamaica-Van Wyck and Jamaica Center on the (E) line because of track conditions, resulting in 713 delayed trains. The agency is accelerating the project’s timeline by taking advantage of traditionally low late-summer ridership, as well as low airport travel and low general subway ridership due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to minimize the disruption of the work and impact as few riders as possible. The impact on customers is further reduced due to the ongoing overnight subway shutdown between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., during which there is robust alternate service available on MTA buses.

The work will require a temporary suspension of E Subway train service at two stations: Sutphin Blvd-Archer Av, and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer. These stations both have multiple connecting bus lines as well as (J)/(Z) subway service. Sutphin Blvd-Archer Av connects with the Long Island Rail Road’s Jamaica station. MetroCards will be honored at the Long Island Rail Road for travel to and from Jamaica and these stations during Phase 1. These stations are Penn Station, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Hollis, Laurelton, Locust Manor, Queens Village, Rosedale, and St. Albans.

What You Should Know

No (E) train service at Sutphin Blvd-Archer Av and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer. Trains will run between World Trade Center* and Jamaica-Van Wyck from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m., all days. Trains also operate between World Trade Center and 179 St mornings, middays and evenings on weekdays. Keep in mind that during weekdays, 179th St-bound trains will operate local via the (F) line between 179th St and 71st Avenue in both directions. Jamaica-Van Wyck trains will run express between 71st Avenue and Jamaica-Van Wyck (in both directions), stopping at Union Turnpike, on weekdays.

Alternative Services:

  • (J)/(Z) service will continue to be available at Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer and Sutphin Blvd/Archer Av
  • Bus service will be connecting riders between Jamaica Center/Parsons Archer and Parsons Blvd (F) station using the Q25, Q34, Q65, Q83, Q110, Q111, Q112, Q113, & Q114 routes.
  • Bus service connecting riders between Sutphin Blvd Archer Av/JFK Airport and Sutphin Blvd (F) station using the Q20A/B, Q40, Q43, & Q44SBS routes
  • Customers who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices should use Jamaica-Van Wyck (E) Subway or 179 St (F) Subway.
  • Q54 and Q56 bus service will connect riders between Jamaica Center/Parsons Archer and Jamaica-Van Wyck.
  • For continuous service to and from Jamaica Center, customers are encouraged to transfer to and from buses between there and (F) train stops on Hillside Avenue.
  • Connection to JFK AirTrain is available at Sutphin Blvd/Archer Av via the (J/Z) Subway and LIRR, and at Howard Beach via the (A) Subway.
  • Shuttle bus between the Jamaica-Van Wyck and Jamaica Center-Parsons Blvd/Archer Av stations in Queens.
*At this time during the weekends, evenings, and (until 1am) overnight hours, (E) trains will be running over the (F) Line in both directions between 21st St-Queensbridge and Delancey-Essex Sts, the last stop. East Broadway and York St stations will be closed. (F) trains will be running via 8th Av/53rd St in both directions between Queens Plaza and Jay St-MetroTech, due to Rutgers Street tube maintenance. 

Commentary Video Review Of This Project:

In other news, the agency is begging for $12B from Congress to continue the work with third-party companies that does construction and development for them. Long Island Rail Road and MetroNorth are educating the masses on rail safety this week. The goal of National Rail Safety Week is to raise awareness of the need for rail safety education and empower the general public to keep themselves safe near highway-rail grade crossings and railroad rights-of-way. Participation in the national week-long education campaign is part of MTA Railroads’ TRACKS program (Together Railroads And Communities Keeping Safe), a joint venture between the safety departments of the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad to reach out to schools, camps, day care and community groups. Two guys went off on cops in the subways for not wearing their masks; one of them got called the male version of Karen. Lastly, NYCT's longest, beloved working employee, Frank Gurrera passed away, due to health problems. May his memory remain in our hearts and let his legacy carry on forever. .