Friday, June 19, 2020

New York's GOP Party Calls On McConnell To Provide Additional $3.9B Funding To The MTA (A Juneteenth Post Edition)

Written By N Miller (Creator Of The Transportation Hub)

NEW YORK, NY - Republican representatives of New York have called on U.S Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to provide an extra $3.9B funding for the MTA in the next round of stimulus. Eighteen of them, including Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and New York City Councilman Joe Borelli (R), an honorary state chair for the president’s 2020 campaign, as well as John J. Flanagan and Will Barclay, the Republican leaders in the state Senate and Assembly. 

In the conjoined MTA letter, the New York Republicans wrote;

“The MTA’s financial future is at risk without federal relief. COVID-19 has blown a massive hole in its budget. The global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. estimates the full 2020 impact to be between $7 billion and $8.5 billion due to massive revenue losses caused by disappearing ridership and the evaporation of state and local taxes that support the MTA. The agency has run out of avenues for support. Without assistance from Washington, the only option left for repayment of the MTA’s debt is fare and toll hikes. We can't put this burden on our constituents when so many have lost their jobs.”

"New York has been the epicenter of this crisis in the United States."The essential workers on the frontlines who have rightly received so much praise and appreciation depend on mass transit to get to their critical jobs. Healthcare providers, pharmacists, first responders and grocery store workers cannot be left stranded at the time when they’re needed most."

I have no political party affiliation, but its real nice to the Republican Party (GOP) of New York to come together on the same page for a greater cause. We need this $3.9B funding from Congress to compensate the loss of bus fare payments, funding for new subway/railcars, buses, and infrastructure that was suppose to start off the 2020-2024 MTA Capital Plan. If we don't get the funding that we need from Congress down in D.C., the base fare for riding transit could wind up being $9. I don't know about you guys, but I am NOT paying $9 to ride transit or more to use the commuter rails or drive over the bridges/tunnels. So, with that being said, if Mitch McConnell cares about his fellow republicans (especially the NY ones who adores Trump), then he should cough up that extra $3.9B that our ailing system needs.

In other news, today, we celebrate Juneteenth. Juneteenth (June 19th) is an annual celebration for the end of slavery in the U.S. In 1865, federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to ensure all enslaved people were freed. This occurred only two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. 47 states and District Of Columbia have by far either acknowledge this event as state holiday or a day of observance (North/South Dakota and Hawaii are the only states who does not acknowledge this holiday). Also, the MTA has created a panel for an overall inspection and review of the Bombardier R179s. 

What do you guys think about this story and Juneteenth being most likely a national observance? Please comment below. 



Friday, June 12, 2020

New York City Transit Ridership Up During Phase I

By N Miller (Creator Of The Transportation Hub) LATE POST=Originally for 6/11/20

NEW YORK, NY-Full weekday service has resumed, but with adjusted time intervals. On Monday,
the first day of New York City’s phase one reopening, more than 800,000 straphangers rode the subway. According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, June 8 became the highest ridership day since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The agency said ridership was up during afternoon peak hours between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., with Manhattan seeing a 20 percent increase in ridership from the week prior. However, this is still just 15 percent of regular ridership compared to last year. More people are taking the city’s buses, with local and express ridership jumping by 100,000 riders to 855,469 than previous weeks.

The transit sub-agency is encouraging only essential workers to take the subway and bus during phase one and has asked employers to stagger shifts and allow for remote work. The agency has also installed hand sanitizer dispensers and social distancing markers, with workers handing out free face coverings to anyone who needs one. Despite all of the deaths, homelessness, and complaints, at least, the agency is making some type of progress, something that should’ve been instilled shortly before the beginning of this pandemic. I know that I said some very harsh words in regards to the NYCT leadership and how they ran the system at the height of this pandemic. It’s because I grew up riding the subway system and it hurts me to see the system in such disarray, ranging from crimes to uncleanliness and disorganization. Like I said before, no one should be celebrating about something that should’ve been done from the beginning. But at least we can try to move forward to healing, and take a step in the right direction.

Earlier this week, statistics show the day-by-day ridership difference between this year and last year. These are all ridership estimates with the swipe of a MetroCard or a tap with an OMNY. Please read all about the uptick in ridership. With ridership increase comes precaution measures. The MTA's 13 point plan includes:

-Increased service
-Unprecedented cleaning and disinfecting
-Mandatory face coverings (was never implemented for the employees to begin with)
-Enhanced safety and security (nonexistent from the beginning).
-Nation-leading employee safety initiatives (wasn't installed in the beginning, but whatever)
-Innovative cleaning solutions
-Hand sanitizer, which will be in stations across the system (The MTA will also distribute mini bottles)
-Floor markings, directional arrows and new signage
-Staggered Business Hours
-2 million mask contribution from state, city
-Contactless payments
-New partnership and technology to make system safer
-Data dashboard to provide riders with daily ridership numbers

Approximately 800 NYPD school safety agents are deployed throughout the MTA system at high priority stations and are providing face coverings and promoting social distancing. Buses also returned to a regular weekday/school closed service in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. Buses are at 75% service in Manhattan, and express bus service has been restored. Please be reminded that all bus rides are free during this global pandemic and to board/exit at the rear door(s). Off peak traveling is allowed if you can do so. The overnight closures do not affect the Staten Island Railway, which will continue running during those hours. The MTA will continue to run enhanced bus service between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. to help get essential workers where they need to go. If bus service is not an option, essential workers can use the Essential Connector program.

Lastly, the city has approved 20 miles of new bus lanes around the city to improve the speed and reliability of buses in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. 14th Street busway is already a success transporting passengers along 14th St between 3rd and 9th Avenues in Manhattan. Here's a list of corridors that will be joining 14th Street as a busway corridor;

- Main Street before Sanford and Northern Boulevard in Queens

- Jamaica Avenue from Sutphin Boulevard to 168th Street in Queens

-          Merrick Boulevard from Hillside Avenue to Springfield Boulevard

- Fifth Avenue in Manhattan from 57th to 34th Streets in Manhattan

- Jay Street in Brooklyn from Fulton to Tillary Streets in Brooklyn

- E. 181st St. in Manhattan from Amsterdam Avenue to Broadway in Manhattan

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

Thursday, June 4, 2020

New York City To Begin Phase I Of Reopening June 8th; Is MTA New York City Transit Ready?

By N Miller (Creator Of The Transportation Hub)

UPDATE: At 2:30 pm Friday afternoon, MTA Chariman/CEO Pat Foye, Interim NYCT President Sarah Feinberg, LIRR President Phillip Eng, and MetroNorth President Catherine Ranaldi all had a press conference on a Action Plan For A Safe Return at Grand Central Terminal. They'll be ramping up service, continuing to deep-clean and disinfect stations and vehicles, reminding riders about precautions to keep everyone safe, including floor decals and station announcements, and making hand sanitizer, masks, as well as, other protective equipment available to riders in stations.

NEW YORK, NY - Amidst all of the anarchy, and violent protest in NYC preparing to implement Phase I on June 8th (can't wait to see how that all goes down), NYCT has yet to implement its own plan of reopening. The city's subway system is the key to economic recovery after over two months ridership decline, trauma, homeless infestation, and lack of leadership/action. The TA officials have yet to make a plan. I highly doubt that one would be implemented anyways due to the overnight subway shutdown, which is still in effect from 1am to 5am, and a curfew for NYC at 8pm. The curfew has been in place due to the rioting, looting, and destruction of property that transpired this past weekend. The TA leaders and Cuomo better think long, hard, and twice before putting anything into action.

Of course, the blame game commences. DeBlasio and NYCT Interim President Sarah Feinberg are now feuding on how the transit system should operate. DeBlasio said this in a short statement this past Friday,“We’re still not getting the answers we need from the MTA. We’ve got to make sure there’s maximum service levels; we’ve got to make sure there’s social distancing and limits on how many people can be in each subway car and in each bus.” First off, DeBlasio needs to SHUT THE HELL UP because years ago, he and that other knucklehead, Cuomo about who should fix and fund the subway system for two years from 2016 and 2017.  Feinberg made a statement in regards to wearing masks while on subway grounds,“If you come into the system and you’re not wearing one you should expect to either be told to put one on, or to leave this system.” Man, that's bold statement from somebody who told her employees during the start of this pandemic to not to wear masks, which contributed to the deaths of near 140 workers. She, nor other agency officials, did not say who would enforce the rules, and how, or whether the MTA would distribute masks to riders or force them to buy their own.

City officials expect 200,000 and 400,000 workers to return to jobs in construction, manufacturing, wholesale and curbside retail businesses when the June 8, Phase One reopening begins. Service will be increased from the reduced runs the pandemic forced upon it: a 90% drop in ridership and 9,000 workers quarantined. Commuters have the option of driving to work in light traffic. The issue came up last week when the New York Stock Exchange directed its employees to avoid subways and buses, and drive or take cabs to work, offering 30% discounts at a parking garage. Nighttime cleaning will continue across the fleet of all MTA sub-agencies.  Chairman/CEO Patrick Foye showered praises in regards to the Ultraviolet light to fight against COVID-19 saying that, “Actually the MTA led the way” and “We were really proud of that.” Oh yeah, Foye, you know what the MTA is also a leader in; DEATHS in the transit sub-agency, due to you, Feinberg’s, and Cuomo’s due negligence, lied about employees not having masks, and flip back-and-forth about whether employees should have mask and gloves or not. That is NOTHING for anyone to be proud of. 

In other news, an R179 signed as an (A) train decoupled itself near the Chambers Street subway station early Wednesday morning. This is another never-ending mishap story of the of Bomabardier R179s. Back in January, an R179 (C) train had one of its doors opened mid-ride by four feet. All fleets were pulled from service and were replaced by R32s, R42s (now retired), R46s, R143s, and R160s along the (A), (C), and (J)/(Z) Lines. Fast forward near five months later, a 10-car set decouples, draw-bar breaks, and the intercarbarrier springs stretches out. Bombardier has been a total disappointment since the R179s car order commencement. Two years behind schedule, rushed order, and now, cars are pulled from service once again. I like Bombardier but they have been nothing but turmoil and trouble when it comes to the R179s, not even the R142s caused this amount of trouble back in the early 2000s. It didn't have to be this way but I'm so glad that they are banned from future cars orders. Anyhoo, so, the city is going to reopen on June 8th. Please be mindful to practice social distancing, wear your masks and gloves and stay healthy. All bus and subway service will return to regular service, but please if you're not an essential worker, STAY HOME. 

Time for off topic stuff now.....Today, we honor and celebrate the life George Floyd. He was savagely murdered over a fake $20 bill that had nothing to do with him. Us, as citizens of the human race had to witness, on video, of that man, that brother, gasping for air, saying these words, " I CAN'T BREATHE" clear as day. The crime was inhumane, heinous, annimalistic, and purely disgusting.  It gives us New Yorkers an eerily memory of Eric Gardner back in 2014. It took NYC five years to fire Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Gardner; while in Minneapolis, it took protest and uproar to have all 4 cops fired a day later. All officers involved in this brother's death have been arrested and charged; the one cop who had his knee on Floyd's neck and back had been charged with 3rd (now 2nd) degree and manslaughter in the 2nd degree. The other three officers have charged with aiding and abetting. All of us will and should continue to fight of all people of color who were dealt injustice by police officers who abuse their power, and we can do it without the riots and looting. Racism needs to end and we need love, peace, and healing. With that being said, Fly High, King George Floyd, we love you and we miss you.