Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Former New York City Transit President Andy Byford To Lead TfL (Transport for London); Will Byford's Projects That He Implemented In NYCT Ever Looked At?

By N Miller (Creator Of The Transportation Hub)

*Normally, I do posts on Thursday, but due to the popularity of this developing story, it will be posted on Wednesday, May 27th, 2020, which is today, lol.

LONDON - Sir Andrew "Andy" Byford has landed a brand new gig (or position) in his hometown of London, England. The former NYCT President and ex-CEO of Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has recently been appointed to be the new commissioner of Transport for London (TfL) to succeed Mike Brown (who is the current commissioner, who will be at his post until July 10th, due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Brown on the other hand, will become  Byford will begin his new post on June 29th. This is the second time Byford has now work for TfL since his career start in transportation back in 1989. He will earn the same salary as Mr Brown, which is £335,000 (in U.S dollars, that’s $409,604.50), plus a performance-related bonus worth up to half of his salary. He has chosen not to accept a relocation grant.

Andy Byford said this in a statement;

"I am delighted to be taking up the role of commissioner and to have been chosen to lead the organization where I started my transport career over 30 years ago. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, all transport authorities around the world will need to reimagine how their services and projects contribute to the safe and sustainable re-start of the social and economic lives of the cities they serve. It is a huge challenge, but I know that Transport for London has some of the best people anywhere in the world and we will meet these challenges and will together help build an even better city for everyone.”

I, for one, am truly happy for Andy Byford, because after stepping down from his post as our NYCT president, he went back to the U.K. and landed a post with TfL (Transport for London) as their new incoming commissioner. We all know that Andrew got the skills, plans and brains to modernize TfL, just like with Toronto Transit and New York City Transit. Speaking of NYCT, with Byford becoming the new TfL commissioner, the plans he instilled in the Subway Modernization plan within 10 years and redraw of the bus network hangs in the balance. Who's gonna pick up where Byford left off ? Not Foye. Not Interim President Feinberg, who was appointed by President Trump this week to run Amtrak. Wow, some promotion; listen, if Trump wants her for Amtrak, he can have her. We need a NYCT President who has the best interest at heart for the transit workers, riders, communities that the trains/buses serves just like what Byford did. I just hope that Byford does en excellent job running TfL, it'll put Cuomo to shame and make him feel guilty of how the way he treated him.

Today marks the 15th anniversary of the anniversary of the discontinuation of the (9) subway line and IRT Broadway Skip-Stop service for the (1)/(9) Lines. Here's the video of the podcast and an Instagram post down below here.

View this post on Instagram

15 years ago today, back in 2005, the (9) subway line and IRT Broadway (1)/(9) skip-stop service ceased operation due to major complaints from riders, low ridership, and zero benefits from the residents along that line. The (1) train makes all stops to this very day. What was your memory of the (9) subway line? ---‐-------------------------‐------------------------- Please note that this video was taken back on 03/18/2020 at the new South Ferry station, when the (2) ran between South Ferry and Dyre Avenue. ---------------------‐-‐------------------------------- #nyct #nycta #nyc #ny #nyclifestyle #nycphotography #nycstyle #nycphotographer #fox5ny #abc7eyewitness #nyctsubway #brooklyn #manhattan #queens #nyctrain #subwaylife #subwayphotography #nycgo #nylife #instagramnyc #imagesofnyc ##icapture_nyc #what_i_saw_in_nyc #onenewyork #topphotonewyork #nycprimeshots #ny1pic 
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In other news, a group of rowdy people, literally jumped a Bx42 bus that was bound for the Bronx Park Towers in the Throggs Neck section. Who on green earth are these people and who raised them to act like this. They really put the "Zoo" in Bronx Zoo. Interim NYCT President Sarah Feinberg was recently interviewed by the New York Magazine. She still commutes on the subways despite controversy. Byford is no longer NYCT Boss because of Cuomo; Feinberg is here as Interim President because of Cuomo. He had offer her a position to be the MTA Chairman (or Chairwoman); she declined due to the fact that she had a baby at the time.

What do you guys think about this week's story? Please let me know in the comments down below.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

MTA To Bring In Ultraviolet Technology To Fight COVID; Cleaners Are Subjected To Use Dirty, Used Cleaning Supplies

By N Miller (Creator Of The Transportation Hub)

NEW YORK, NY- Its time to take the fight to coronavirus with technology. The MTA announced this Tuesday that they'll be rolling out 230 far ultraviolet-C lamps on various trains and buses next week for testing to kill the virus that causes COVID-19. A demo for this was performed at the Corona Subway Maintenance Facility (home of the IRT Flushing 7 Line). The lamps will be used in view from the straphangers in yards and depots during overnight closure. Despite being less harmful than other UV rays, the UVC cleaning tests will still require the areas to be empty while being disinfected. UV lights have been used in hospitals and urgent-care facilities but have not yet been deployed to disinfect the coronavirus or on public transit. This will be conducted during three weeks from late May to early June.

The MTA said this statement via Twitter:

"The lamps use UVC, which is safe for humans but kills the virus responsible for COVID-19. In the coming weeks, we'll be evaluating the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of UVC technology while maintaining our strict protocols and procedures to ensure the safety of our employees and customers."

Something like this should've been brought to the table at the very least at the beginning of the 2nd week of April, when the COVID-19 deaths were at its peak. This agency should NOT cheering and patting themselves on the back, especially Sarah Feinberg, who said this ludicrous statement on Tuesday; "The MTA has been a global leader in protecting the health and safety of our employees". I find that statement to be asinine and hilarious because near 130 NYCT workers died from this deadly disease and no one at leadership level did anything to help strengthen the protection of the employees. Cuomo, Feinberg and Foye, please do all of us a favor by havimg several seats and keep quiet.  

Foye said the decision to advance the pilot comes after months of tests by the MTA and Dr. David Brenner, a professor of radiation biophysics and director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University. Manhattan’s popular Magnolia Bakery is also working with Columbia to test out the tech, known as “far-UVC” for short. The cash-strapped agency is paying PURO Lighting $1 million for the lamps. If the MTA decides to expand the program system-wide, PURO will have to bid against other companies for a long-term contract. We shall see how all this will play out within the next couple of weeks. 
NEW YORK, NY- "We're not killing the virus; we're spreading it". Contract workers cleaning the subways of COVID-19 say this late last week that the supplies they use are dirty and the personal protective equipment (PPE) they’re given is inadequate. One of the workers claims their lives are in danger while they’re not even able to make the subways safer. As we all know, TA hired 700+ non-union cleaners to disinfect and clean out the subway system not long ago, via a third party vendor, Professional Cleaning of LN Pro Services LLC.

A female worker has come forward and explains the unclean practices that takes place. She says she is fed up with being scared of working in conditions she claims are dangerous. She claims the company gives out the same old rags each day for an entire shift, and mops which are not cleaned properly after each shift, nor are they able to clean them during shifts. She also claims workers are given one face mask per day regardless if it breaks or gets dirty; gloves that fall apart frequently, which they cannot replace until they finish the car they're working on; and only Thursday, after two weeks of work, when they heard an inspector was coming, were they allegedly provided a disposable gown to clean in that they must reuse for each shift. They would use dirty used rags and utilize dirty black mop bucket water. That’s straight up trifling and disgusting.

Lily Sierra, the third vendor’s CEO said this in a response via e-mail:

“Our focus on our team's health has always been a priority and specially now working through this pandemic. We are always supervised heavily by our contractors and MTA personal at all times. They supervise the work that we perform and we are one of the top performing companies. If our cleaning resulted in infectious and dirty work, I am confident that the years of experience of the inspectors would have pointed out. We have never gotten this feedback. None of my employees have contracted the virus working within the trains during this pandemic ... We have managers who supervise our employees throughout their shift from start to finish. Their duty is to immediately replenish any gear that needs to be replaced."

MTA spokesperson Abbey Collins expressed this in a statement:

"Pursuant to MTA contracts, third-party vendors are required to provide proper PPE to all workers. We have conducted daily spot checks on these contractors, including observing LN Pro's operation last week, to ensure the quality of work and safety of employees, which is the MTA's number one priority. That said, we will investigate any claims and take whatever action is required.”

I don't know what's worse; the fact that the TA took at least two weeks to hire cleaners while workers were dying and the homeless made the subways their property OR the non-union cleaners making a bad situation EVEN WORSE by using dirty rags and mops. The fact that these cleaners are only allowed to have one mask per shift and gloves until the car is completely clean, also use the same gown that everyone else use really shows how disgusting the negligence is towards the workers.  If things continue the way they are now, there's going to be one hell of a major backlash and trust me, its gonna be real ugly. Treating the workers like expendables will come to haunt this agency in the worst way possible. 

In other news, a creative train operator closed down the two closest seat to his cab, same with the conductor, and gets threatened with disciplinary action. This shows how the MTA values death over safety. A couple decided to get rowdy and have @n@l s*x inside a train station in Brooklyn, putting on one hell of a show (please check at your own leisure).  Lastly, in the aviation world, Airbus opens it production for A220-100 and A220-200 for JetBlue and an A400M tactical/strategic airlifter and A330 Multi RoleTanker Transport carried perform life-saving medevac missions during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. 

What do you guys think about this week's stories? Let me know in the comments below and have a safe Memorial Day. 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

MTA Seeks Funding From Congress & What The Future Holds For New York City Transit

NEW YORK, NY - The MTA, alongside with other transit/transportation agencies around the US, now request over $9 Billion overall from Congress to compensate for the 90% decrease in ridership since mid-March. If the TA doesn't get the funding, the money could be coming out of the commuters pockets. So, here's how the funding plays out, $3.9B in federal emergency funding, $3.9B to keep service intact, and another $3B from Congress. The TA recently started overnight cleanliness of the subway system, just last week. The Trump Administration agreed to provide the MTA with the funding. The agency projects an $8.9 Billion loss of revenue in 2021. NYCT is not the only MTA sub-agency with a huge drop in ridership; there's also Long Island Rail Road and MetroNorth. Also, lets keep in mind that we are the largest mass transportation system in North America with over 8 million passengers daily.

Republican City Councilman Joe Borelli of Staten Island said this in a statement;

“These transportation revenue bonds rely on revenue to actually pay their debts, so these are debts that have to be paid through the collection of fare and tolls so when people aren’t riding the trains and people aren’t going over bridges as much as they used to, they just don’t have the ability to pay that.” He expresses his concerns for the commuters if the federal funding does not pull through. “You’ll see draconian(harsh/severe) service cuts. But since we have to pay those debts from our revenue, you’ll see the need for fare increases and toll increases, which is something nobody wants.”

Borelli's statement is saying that we (the MTA) needs to get the funding it so desperately needs from Washington D.C to keep the service that we do have intact, so that the agency doesn't take drastic measures, like cutting service or raising fares. In 2020, at the very beginning of this pandemic, ridership has taken a deep plunge, 90%. As New Yorkers, we have experienced the service cuts of 2010 and the overall fare hikes of 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019. Thank goodness that President Trump has decided to give the MTA the funding it needs so that we don't have to experience another service cut or fare hike* (even though us New Yorkers don't like Trump by a longshot). * The MTA will be having another fare hike in 2021. 
The Future Of The MTA

Due to this deadly COVID-19 global pandemic, all of the MTA's major projects are on hold. The only project that was done so far this year was the (L) Canarsie Tunnel Rehabilitation Project. The fleet swap between the Jamaica and Coney Island Yards has neared its completion as all R46s from Jamaica are now at Coney Island, while CI still got a few R160s left, sitting at the barn. The remaining R160s will be moved to the Jamaica Yard in Queens. Second Avenue Subway Phase II construction is on hold. The construction of the R211s are underway as the Kawasaki Plant House resumed work as of last month. We won't be able to see the first R211A train set until next year; the same also applies of the R211Ts (the open gangway cars). For all of you (N), (Q), and (W) riders that are complaining about the old trains (R46s) running on your line, know this, you are in for something much better later this decade, the R211s. Lastly, social distancing markings have been implemented on the plaforms of the 51st St (Lexington Avenue)/Lexington Avenue-53rd Street station, hope all goes well that.

The state of the buses. Recently, the TA installed plastic barriers to create distance between the driver and the passengers other than using chains. The retirement of the 2004-2005 Orion VII 2nd Generation Hybrid-Electric buses are on hold. The delivery and manufacturing of the new XDE40s by New Flyer and the LFS HEV and LFS by Novabus. The B1 bus route was originally up for route articulation back in April. That's also on hold. Just yesterday, the Flatbush Bus Depot in Brooklyn set up a bus outside of the Flatbush Junction station for subway employees, cramped underground with no space to practice social distancing. This COVID-19 pandemic has embolden criminals to assault transit employees with no consequence. A female conductor was sexually assaulted inside her cab on a (3) train at the Van Siclen Avenue station in Brooklyn by a male suspect and a male train operator operating the (2) train got stabbed after a crazed, knife wielding female broke into his cab under the East River heading into Brooklyn. Both the conductor and the train operator are doing fine, thank the Lord. The attackers have been arrested in both incidents. In other news, President Donald Trump has granted $500M of $3.9B in CARES Act transit funding to our transit system, to keep it clean and functional. He also to both Cuomo and DeBlasio to spend it wisely; can't wait to see how all this unfolds (That's an update of the whole funding from Congress) .

Now time for silly irrelevant stuff. A Tik-Tok video that surfaced on Twitter shows a grown man, who goes by the name of fckjoshy via Tik-Tok  spilling a container full of Fruity Pebbles cereal and milk on the train floor of a Woodlawn-bound (4) Train at 149th St-Grand Concourse. Here's the video down below.
Here is a second video of the same guy, apparently doesn't know how to wear a mask properly and being a MAJOR nuisance to the dear essential workers inside both a Duane Reade drugstore and a pizza parlor.
See this is the funny part here. This person, who is white, is acting out for clout, not wearing a mask, not following social distancing guidelines, and being a nuisance. Nothing happens to him, but if it was a black person doing this type of stuff, we all know what happens. If I was a supervisor, I would've let him clean up that train car, give him a mop, a bucket, and let him get to mopping. NYPD needs to ease off on people of color and arrest people, like this one here, being a major nuisance for fame and clout.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

New York City Subway System Shuts Down Overnight For Disinfecting And Cleanliness: Better Or Worse

NEW YORK, NY - For the first time ever in its 115-year long history, NYC's subway system, which is highly known for its 24 hour service operation, has closed down (all 472 stations) during the overnight hours of 1am to 5am. The reason for this closure is to an overall cleaning and sanitation of the subway system and the removal of the homelessness, who makes the subway system their home. Just last week Thursday, after outrage and outcry of the entire MTA community, ranging from the employees to the customers, our "esteemed" governor, Andrew Cuomo, decides to have the subway system shut down during the overnight hours. During the overnight hours, crews will be disinfecting subways cars, cleaning up station platforms, and remove the homeless out of the system, in conjunction with the NYC homelessness outreach program, which was launched back in November 2019.

After the deaths of over 100+ TA (Transit Authority) employees, as well as employee deaths from LIRR and MetroNorth sub-agencies, now Cuomo wants to take action. LIRR and MetroNorth disinfect their trains on a daily basis and still operates 24/7. The overnight NYCT subway shutdown began on Wednesday May 6th (which is Tuesday night). So, if you are an overnight essential worker, you should plan your trip wisely. So here's how this is going to operate; 1,168 overnight bus trips for essential workers, stations will close at 1 am and becomes exit-only. You need to be off the platform by 1am . Details of your line's last trips is currently available online. Bus alternatives to the subways; the TA will prioritize bus routes that has existing overnight service that serve hospitals, serve hospitals but do not have overnight service, and that parallel subways. In Brooklyn, 3 express + 17 local; Bronx, 5 express + 10 local; Manhattan, 10 local; Queens 3 express + 13 local. 11 interborough routes will be making additional stops During the overnight hours local/limited/+SBS operates every 20 minutes or better; express bus will operate 30 minutes or better. Bus routes that normally operates only during the day, will now operate during late nights.

So, this is how the overall disinfecting and cleanliness is going to go down. The TA is (or was; not sure if they still are) hiring over 700+ cleaners to disinfect the stations and subway cars in areas (spots) that are mostly touched on a regular basis. The cleaners would be working on a non-union  This cleanliness procedure is not only done overnight, but also on a regular basis 24/7, and this also applies to buses. There are three primary activities of the whole cleanliness procedure during the overnight hours and around the clock;

  • Daytime Terminal Car Cleaning: Cleaners will be at every line's terminus station cleaning and disinfecting throughout the entire day. (This one I have issues with is because germs can't get ridden of so easily. Its like wiping a car after a clear washing at the car wash). 
  • Overnight Yard Cleaning: Some trains will be removed after daytime service and shall receive a more comprehensive cleaning each night in the yards. Crews will remove garbage and graffiti, clean spills and bio-hazards, mop floors, clean seats, and disinfect surfaces. 
  • Overnight Terminal Car Cleaning: Some trains will continue to run, but instead of carrying passengers, they'll carry cleaning crews. The cleaning is the same treatment as it is for the trains in the yards. On an additional note, the TA will be utilizing different, innovative solutions including UV (ultraviolet), antimicrobials, and electrostatic sprayers and determining if they are effective and efficient.  

This was made possible and came into fruition when NY Governor Andrew Cuomo took a tour of the Corona Yard (home of the IRT (7) Flushing Line), trying to act like he's innocent and has the TA's best interest at heart when clearly that him, MTA Chairman Patrick Foye and Interim NYCT President Sarah Feinberg (who was at the yard with Cuomo this past weekend), and they're STILL lying through their teeth, according to the Progressive Action via twitter. A Facebook video from the Business Insider Today has various MTA employees that works in the bus and subway departments explains what we all been saying for the past 2-3 weeks now. The bosses are treating their employees like expendables, not sanitizing their equipment properly, workers passing away by the numbers because they're not getting the proper masks and has to keep on working in these bad conditions. An article from the New York Times reports that two employees from the Gun Hill Bus Depot, located in the Bronx has two employees that passed away from this coronavirus pandemic and a TA subway conductor tells here story about how she had the COVID-19 and how her colleagues are being treated like sacrificial lambs. Cuomo thinks he's the savior of the masses when really, he's the demon incarate, with Foye, Feinberg, and TWU's Tony Utano right behind him. He drove Andy Byford away earlier this year. We have over 100+ deaths within a span of over a month when this pandemic started and the death toll 2x as high as the NYPD & FDNY combined.  Even two homeless people, earlier this week, passed away on the (C) and (4) trains, collectively. It was from drug overdose, not coronavirus. An NYPD officer, by the name of Musquez, has been a social worker for several years before joining the force; now he is a part of their (NYPD) Homeless Outreach and Shelter Security Unit, helping to get the homelessness off of our streets and subways. Here is the twitter video below, and I can tell that he's one of the nice cops, and the ones that gives the police force a bad name.
Lastly, the MTA plans to hire more police officers of their own to help combat against the homelessness in the subways if the NYPD doesn't pull through, which doesn't click well with me at all. As we all know, just late last year, the TA has hired over 500+ police officers to ensure that people didn't evade the fares. Instead of hiring more cops to be used as damage control, you use the cops that you already have and create a homelessness outreach of your own, MTA. If the NYPD can create their own outreach program, so can you. 

What do you guys think about the NYC subway shutting down overnight for overall cleanliness and disinfecting? Please let me know in the comments down below.