Thursday, April 30, 2020

Homelessnes Has Taken Over The Subway System During The Pandemic; (L) Train Service Returns To Normal After 12 Months Of Tunnel Rehabilitation

NEW YORK, NY- NYC, WE HAVE AN INFESTATION; AN INFESTATION OF HOMELESSNESS IN THE SUBWAYS! So far for a good amount of over a week now, homeless people have infiltrated the subway system from each terminus ends of various lines. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the homeless in the subways situations has gotten worse, I mean, it was bad and a problem, but this has seriously gotten worse. Now, the city's incompetent mayor, Bill DeBlasio is now arguing with the TA and Sarah Feinberg on who should deal with the homeless issue. This is not DeBlasio first time butting heads when it comes to the transit system. He and our "esteemed" governor Andrew Cuomo had been going back and forth on who should fund the subway system, now Cuomo is now in the nix of this mess, asking the TA for solutions. Starting to regret driving Andy Byford away, eh Cuomo?

MTA Interim NYCT President Sarah Feinberg said this in a NY Post article she wrote;

 “So, it isn’t surprising that homeless individuals are seeking refuge in some of our subway cars, stations and tunnels. But just because it’s unsurprising doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. And the Big Apple’s attempts to ignore the existence of this vulnerable, often emotionally disturbed, population has made its presence in the system a growing frustration for essential New Yorkers riding the subways, not to mention the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s own hardworking employees.”

“The MTA has 71,000 employees, and in good times, we get more than 8 million people to work and school and back home again each day. We are North America’s largest transportation system. But we aren’t a social-services agency or health-care provider, and we have limited expertise in the unique challenges of mental illness or homelessness. Simply put, we are, under no circumstances, the right people to tackle this problem.”

“And we are changing our Code of Conduct to make it abundantly clear that the transit system must be used by people for transport only — not for sheltering, sleeping, storing belongings or panhandling. We will enforce these new regulations in close coordination with our NYPD partners and the MTAPD.”

“Our city must do better than this. We shouldn’t leave the most vulnerable to suffer quietly in a tunnel or on a train, and our workers shouldn’t be left to clean up the mess that is left behind. We need action — now.”

So now, she wants to say something after 100+ employees passed away due to this pandemic and its compilations. She and Foye need to be ashamed of themselves. Also, its the right thing for the agency to donate $500K to families of employees who passed away due to this deadly virus. The family of Brother Garrett Goble should also receive $500K for the sacrifice he did back on March 27th when he saved 16 people including his conductor in that deadly subway fire, have the station of the incident (Central Park North-110th St) renamed in his honor, and help the lazy NYPD (who don't do anything themselves) with the investigation in finding the person responsible and bringing him to justice, so that Brother Goble's family, friends, and colleagues can find peace and solidarity.    

Now onto Andrew "Evilized" Cuomo. According to this tweet down below here by the Progressive Action, Cuomo canceling the Federal Family Emergency & Medical Leave Expansion Act for MTA Workers and much more (link to the podcast is in the tweet). This chump, Cuomo, is out of his demoncrat blubbering mind. Why would you cancel something this crucial during a global pandemic. Now, I am truly convinced that him, Feinberg, and Foye wants transit employees to suffer badly. He can't cancel these acts; Cuomo needs to step down as Governor because he ran out a person that was fully capable and replaced him with someone that worked underneath him. That's crazy.
Last week, when I made a blogpost on Foye and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control Prevention) were shifting blames (all the blame is on Foye) for not properly prepping their staff and employees with gloves, mask, and other essential needs. 100+ employees passed away due to this deadly disease. This message that was left in the comments section of my FB page said this down below.

"I have been a NY subway operator with NYCT for over 13 years. I am writing in response to Chairman Foye's deflection piece published in your paper on April 22, 2020 (MTA chairman blames CDC as Coronavirus kills 83 transit employees). Chairman Foye shamelessly lies as he tries to use the CDC to cover for himself and the MTA. Any transit worker will tell you that we have seen this before. Once again, Foye and the MTA put business-as-usual above our very lives. They have done it for years, but it has come into stark relief with the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, with dozens of transit workers dead due to their inaction, they are scrambling to do damage control and point the fingers elsewhere. The problem with Foye’s narrative is that it focuses only on the masks and the CDC guidelines -- put aside, of course, that nowhere in the CDC guidelines did it say to forbid essential workers from wearing their own masks at work to reduce risk. His narrative ignores the many other failures of the MTA. On 3/3/20, the MTA proudly announced that they would be sanitizing the trains every 72 hours. Every 72 hours? Given how COVID-19 spreads, a cleaning every 72 hours is insufficient. In mid-March, many of us demanded that the MTA clean our operating positions after every round trip or give us wipes to do so (as many as approximately 15-20 different people could operate out of the same cab each day). They told us that we had to bring our own supplies to clean the trains. We said that it was the MTA’s responsibility to ensure this happens and that if they didn’t do it, the virus would spread through our workforce -- and our ridership -- like wildfire. We know what happened. The MTA has been cutting back on cleaners to save money for years, and now the consequences of their actions have become clear. Knowing that the pandemic was coming and that a great deal of cleaning would be needed, they could have done an emergency hire for station and car cleaners. Given the stakes, did they do it? No. What does that tell you? On 3/17/20 the MTA set up guidelines for social distancing but did not set up a comprehensive plan to insure social distancing at each work location and crew quarters. Even grocery stores were able to come up with compliance plans, but the MTA couldn’t be bothered. I confronted Foye on the Brian Lehrer show on 3/31/20 about closing off the train cars with our operating positions since our operating cabs circulate the same air as in the passenger cars (this measure has been enacted on the DC metro, NJ PATH, SEPTA, and other places). Foye’s only response was that it couldn’t be done because it would close off too many cars and the passengers in the remaining cars would be too crowded. He didn’t consider plans to limit entry to the subways to only verified essential workers in order to reduce ridership, thus showing he was willing to expose workers and riders to infection to keep service running.
With respect to the masks, how is it that transit workers knew better than the MTA/CDC? Many demanded masks and some brought their own, and yet in early March the MTA issued a memo saying that masks would not be allowed and that we could be disciplined for wearing them since it could ‘frighten the public’. Consistently, the MTA ignored the best scientific practices that were laid out in their 2012 pandemic response plan. Each time they did, they put transit workers at risk and we paid the price. They knew what would keep us safe, and they ignored it in order to keep their service running, sacrificing not only transit workers but the riding public. Additionally, transit workers have reported that the MTA has tried to shorten their quarantines, even for those who have tested positive. The MTA has not been consistent in telling workers who have been exposed to confirmed cases at work the facts and that they need to quarantine. Their goal is to keep people at work so they can provide service, regardless of best medical and scientific practice. Even today, different facilities frequently run out of masks, gloves, soap or sanitizer. There are many places where they have not figured out ways to give extra space for social distancing. And yet, at no point has Foye or the MTA managers said, “if we can’t do what is necessary to keep our workers safe, then we need to suspend service at those locations until we ensure that we are doing everything needed”. All of this together paints a damning picture: Foye and the MTA , chose running service over the health and lives of transit workers. This is why rates of infection among transit workers rose sharply, faster than any other group. It’s why we have been getting infected and dying in record numbers, much higher than other groups. Foye can try to deflect blame as much as he wants, but the reality is that there is blood on his hands: transit workers got sick by the thousands and died by the dozens, and he and the MTA are responsible. Now, Foye hides behind the CDC regulations, and his refusal to accept responsibility and tell the truth is a slap in the face to the family members of every transit worker who paid the ultimate price. We demand that those who exposed us to the virus, which has led to dozens of deaths be held responsible. We call for the termination of both Chairman Foye and NYCT Interim president Feinberg. Those who showed such reckless disregard for the lives of transit workers and riders cannot be allowed to continue in their positions without consequences. Too many of us have lost their lives and we will not accept one more unnecessary death."

When I read that whole message, I felt nothing but a massive mixture of sadness and anger. This is a transportation agency that treats their workers like expendables. How could Foye sit there and lie like that? Disgusting, purely disgusting. I am shocked and disappointed that the transit agency that I looked up to as a child all the way to present day would behave like this during a global pandemic where essential people needs transit the most. And the death toll increased again. As of yesterday (04/29/2020), we recently lost our beloved conductor, Brother Benjamin Schaeffer to COVID-19 compilations. This death truly breaks my heart because I would see him during museum train runs and when he operates along the (N) Line between Coney Island and Astoria. Please keep this king and his family in your thoughts and prayers. 
This next tweet, is about the city calling upon the MTA to close down select end-of-line stations during overnight hours for enhanced cleaning and targeted outreached.
I know for a fact that both sides want to tackle this issue but neither side wants to take action. We have management Foye and Feinberg who don't care about their workers overall and on the other side of the fence, we have nonchalant politicians like Cuomo and DeBlasio who don't do anything to address this issue head on. They all want to act like everything's all hunky dory in Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, while transit workers are dying, getting sick by the numbers and homelessness are calling the shots in the subway system. Cuomo said this, " If there's a problem in the subway system, we'll fix it." Uhhh HELLO!!! You know what the problem is! Homeless people in the subway system and train cars turning the whole system into their own personal beds and toilets! Cuomo, you are an absolute idiot and you should've NEVER acted shady around Andy Byford, making him feel very uncomfortable in his post and forced him to resignation. 

Now, here the best for last. MTA Chief Communications Officer Abbey Collins has put "mayor" Bill DeBlasio. Read the message in the tweet down below because its hilarious.

DeBlasio, of all people, should NOT be talking!!!! He's a total sellout! A disgrace and an embarrassment to New York City!!! He disrepects the people of NYC, shows total disregard for our city, and has no interest in our ailing transit system. He also disrespects the city's and the world's most prestigious baseball team, the New York Yankees by being a fan of our longtime rivals, the Boston Red Sox. That man has no clue that the homelessness in the subway issue has been going on for years on end and sat there and do nothing, but burning out emissions, riding around in his car. He's a joke of a mayor and the worst one we have by far. Also, Cuomo has decided for the subway system to be shut down (all 472 stations) from 1am to 5am for overhaul cleanliness.

In other news, 500+ TSA (Transportation Security Administration) worker has gotten a case of the coronavirus. Please keep the TSA workforce in your thoughts and prayers. Also, the TA has officially retired the R32s after over 55 years of service. No date for a final run has been announced yet, so stay tuned for that. If you're a fan of Train Sim World (TSW) and the Long Island Rail Road version of that game, the M3 EMU (Electric Multiple Unit) will be released on May 3rd.

What do you guys think about the homelessness takeover of the NYCT System? Please comment below.
NEW YORK, NY- If you are a (L) train rider in Brooklyn and/or Manhattan, THE WAIT IS FINALLY OVER. Within only a year, the Canarsie Tunnel, which carries (L) train riders under the East River between Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn and 1st Avenue, Manhattan. This lengthy work was originally scheduled to be completed by Summer (mostly July) of this year, only to be completed in Spring (April). During the span of rehabilitation, (L) Trains 20 minutes along the entire route, with 10 minutes between Rockaway Parkway and Lorimer Street, so that trains can use one track in both directions between 14th St-Union Square and Lorimer Street, while work is being performed on the track during evening, overnight, and weekend hours. Since work is completed, service has resumed operation in both directions between Brooklyn and Manhattan. While the (L) was a mess, other train routes as well as bus routes provided alternate service. If you want more information about the completion of the L-Project, then this post is for you. REMINDER: All services are back to normal and is currently operating on a modified essential service schedule.


M Service: Before the Canarsie Rehabilitation Project, trains ran every 10 minutes on weekends. Trains ran every 6 minutes during the (L) project. Alternate (M) Service has ended.

  • The M no longer serves the Second Avenue Line. The Q continues to provide service to/from 96 St-2 Av. 
  • M service along the 6 Av Line ends earlier on weekday evenings. The last M train to Brooklyn along 6 Av departs 34 St-Herald Sq at approximately 9 PM; the last M train to Forest Hills-71 Av departs Delancey-Essex Sts at approximately 9 PM. 
  • Between approximately 9 PM and approximately 11 PM on weekdays, and between 6:30 AM (Saturdays) or 8:30 AM (Sundays) and 11 PM on weekends, M service operates between Metropolitan Av and Delancey-Essex Sts. 
  • The F continues to provide 6 Av local service. After 11 PM, service operates only as a shuttle between Metropolitan Av and Myrtle Av-Broadway.

G Service: Before the Canarsie Rehabilitation Project, trains ran every 10 minutes on weekends. Trains ran every 6-8 minutes during the (L) project. There was no alternate (G) service during this project.

7 Service: Service along the (7) saw an increase in frequency during the weeknight hours; no route change. 

M14 +SBS: Extra M14A service connected to the Delancey-Essex Sts Station. During the L-project, the MTA launched the M14A/D +SBS. That route still remains. 

Various Bus Routes: The TA launched the B91 (counter-clockwise), B92 (clockwise), and B91A (combination of the two routes after their discontinuation), also known as the Williamsburg Link. After the folding of the Willamsburg Link, the B24, B62, Q54, and Q59 routes provided alternate service up to 04/26/2020.

Free Transfers: Between Livonia Avenue (L) and Junius Street (3) stations, which has been made permanent; Also, between Broadway (G) and Hewes/Lorimer Street (J)/(M) stations, which will last all the way up to May 31st, 2020. 

Now on to the repairs. If you have been following the (L) Project from its launch back in 2016, you would know that the TA had originally planned for an overall total of three years for the tunnel's rehabilitation with trains operating on one side of the tunnel, while the other side gets repairs done. That plan was scrapped in favor of this plan which was explained in this August 2018 article. (L) service was originally slated to operate between Bedford Ave and Rockaway Parkway, with both side of the tubes closed with no service in Manhattan. In January 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo had meetings with engineers from Cornell and Columbia Universities discuss ways on how to repair the Canarsie tunnel and that's how the plan that we had during the L-Project came into fruition. An article from Cornell News explained how the tunnel got rehabilitated within one year's time span. The last time a tunnel was finished rehabilitating early was the Montague Street tubes, which carries the (R) line between Brooklyn and Manhattan. Please check out all videos down below.


Here is a screenshot video recording from NYCT's Instagram story down below. Link to the survey is here.

How do you guys like the overall improvement on the Canarsie Tubes and the (L) line? Please comment below. 

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