Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Bus Operator In Horrific Bronx Bus Crash Denies Claims Of Drug Test Refusal; Naked Underground Mayhem Ends In Death; MTA's Proposed Fare Hikes Put On Hold

By N Miller

Bus Operator Everton Beccan showing signs of injuries he sustained
in the accident; 2017 New Flyer XN60 #1020 dangling on the University
Avenue overpass. Credit: New York Post/Google Images

BRONX, NY – On Thursday 01/14/2021 at 11pm, a 2017 New Flyer XN60 Xcelsior CNG Articulated Bus Unit #1020 was in operation along the Bx35 bus route heading towards the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. The driver was driving along University Avenue. He tried to turn left onto a ramp to the George Washington Bridge, but instead, sped through guard rails, sending the accordion bus over the edge of an overpass above the Cross Bronx Expressway, leaving the bus dangling. Damage to the bus was done on the windshield, the front frame, and accordion section of the bus.

The driver of that bus was Everton Beccan, an 11-year veteran. He and all seven of his passengers were all injured as a result of that crash. Everyone made it out ok from that scary experience. Everton sustained a wired shut jaw, a swollen face, neck, and knee injuries in the crash. He denied claims that he rejected to take a drug test. Everton passed an alcohol breathalyzer test at the scene, but was uncooperative when the MTA asked him for a urine sample. Due to his refusal, he got suspended, without pay, further an investigation.

A union rep said on Saturday that Beacon submitted his urine sample at the hospital Friday morning around 10 a.m., and a blood test was taken at 4 a.m. that day. TWU Vice-President Richie Davis said they “have no idea” why the MTA would allegedly lie about Beccan. I noticed while reading this story and writing about it, there is a little back-and-forth banter going on between the MTA and its black employees. He said that he provided a urine and blood sample while TA officials said he rejected to offer his sample, which is mandated by both the FTA (Federal Transit Administration) and the MTA. Beccan claims that he is drug-free and also has a clean driving record.  We will know the truth about that when we cross that bridge.

The driver on Saturday also denied accelerating through the turn. The Bx35 bus was going between 17 and 26 mph at the time of the crash, officials said; the appropriate speed is between 3 and 4 mph, according to the agency. Beccan said he eased off the gas pedal as he was making the turn, but the bus accelerated instead. The union will investigate the cause of the crash, using the vehicle’s black box. For those of you who don’t know, a device, system or object which can be viewed in terms of its inputs and outputs, without any knowledge of its internal workings. We will keep our eyes open on this story when any developments come through. 


Malik Jackson, the naked attacker, scuffling with a straphanger
on the Central Park North-110th Street platform. Credit: NY Daily
News/Google Images

MANHATTAN, NY -  A naked maniac shoved a man off of a Harlem subway platform Saturday, but then also jumped down and zapped himself to death on the third rail during a crazed, on-the-tracks scuffle with a good Samaritan. There are a lot of mentally ill, unhinged running around New York City. ThriveNYC is an abject failure in keeping mentally-ill adults in check. It’s just another day in NYC where the mayor does NOTHING to contain the crazies running around this city. The following story contains violence, nudity and graphic content. Viewer discretion is advised.

The unhinged and unclothed man had been wandering through the (2) & (3) station stop at 110th Street/Lenox Avenue (Central Park North) when he pushed the man, a stranger, at around 3:40 p.m. The same station where the subway fire occurred back on March 27th, 2020. A brave fellow straphanger jumped down to the track bed to help. The brave man is a retired United States Army and had a scuffle with the naked attacker, who has serious mental issues. The mother of the naked attacker states that his son was a nice caring person who was off his medication.

The naked attacker was named Malik Jackson (aged 34). He scuffled with two people of the subway tracks and then made contact with the third rail. Jackson was instantly killed. A northbound (3) train was arriving into the station was the train operator hit the brakes on time after being waived by straphangers to stop the train. Tyler Hornell (age 55), a disabled Army veteran and Harlem resident, was praised as a good Samaritan. He said that he was traumatized by the whole experience, as well as everyone else on that platform who endured witness to the naked melee.

All victims were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where they made a quick and speedy recovery. Due to the graphic content of this incident, I will NOT be putting the full video here on this blog page. This is the video (via Twitter) where Jackson was lying on the tracks near to the third rail, dead (VIEWER DESCRETION IS ADVISED). The entity of the IRT Lenox Avenue line is the most troubling, problematic subway line in the system. Within a year, there was arsons, pushings, and stabbings that transpired in some of the stations. Police will be needed underground, especially at the 110th, 116th, 125th, 135th, and 145th Street stations. 


MTA ridership and traffic between March and December 2020. Credit: MTA

NEW YORK, NY – The Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York has decided to postpone their proposed fare hikes for several months because “people are suffering”. Wow, I never knew that the MTA ever cared so much for the financial well-being of this state. It was not too long ago that the agency was imposing these fare hikes if they do not the relief funding from Congress. All hope now lies with the incoming administration, whom the MTA hopes for another $8B to save service.

The MTA had mulled a number of proposals, including a fare hike on single rides from $2.75 to $3.00, increasing the price of weekly and monthly MetroCards, and either keeping the purchase of a new MetroCard at $1 or increase the fee to up to $3.00. In December, the MTA held eight public hearings and received 2,100 public comments about the possible hike. Even before the pandemic, the MTA had been projecting budget shortfalls for years, given hundreds of projects in progress. The MTA board passed a fare hike in 2019 that eliminated savings for weekly and monthly MetroCards, while keeping the $2.75 base in place.

Subway ridership plummeted at in March 2020, when the pandemic first started. When New York State went under a strict lockdown, many businesses have shifted to remote work or describing their in-person staff. Subway ridership has fallen by 90%. Over the summer, the MTA lost approximately $200 million in revenue each week. With the election of President-elect Joe Biden, the MTA had been holding out hope for federal aid. Last month, a federal stimulus package gave the agency $4.5 billion to balance its 2021 budget and avoid mass layoffs and radical reductions in service.

MTA Chairman/CEO Patrick Foye, said this in a statement: "Buoyed by President-elect Biden, incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the MTA also has hope for $8 billion in additional pandemic relief and continued federal investment in mass transit in 2021 and beyond. For these reasons, the MTA has decided to postpone the planned fare increase for several months. We plan to move forward with a discussion and vote on recommended toll changes in February."

I pray that we as a state, who rely on this agency to get us from point A to point B, get the funding that is so desperately needed. Knowing the MTA's history, they have a bad track record when it comes to finance. In other news, an MTA MetroNorth employee has been arrested at White Plains home for his role in the Capitol Hill riots, which resulted in death. I will give my thoughts about that on Hub Talk this weekend.


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