Archive for the tag 'public transportation'

Still from video shot by Instagram user boobjones.

Still from video shot by Instagram user boobjones.

A Q train struck and killed a man at Avenue M in Midwood Thursday evening.

The man was hit by a southbound Q train shortly before 7pm, the MTA told CBS News.

It was not immediately clear if he fell onto the tracks or if he jumped.

The outlet reports:

A witness, Joey Baghdadi, took an Instagram video at the scene.

He reported that he was on the train and it stopped suddenly when only two cars had reached the platform.

The victim’s identity had not been made public by yesterday evening.

ssn_f-g-train_subway_platform_4thAve-702x526.jpg

In news that will surprise no one, a lot of the city’s subways aren’t showing up on time — and it’s only gotten worse.

The MTA recently released some statistics that show you’re not going crazy when you think you’re waiting far too long for the next train. According to NBC New York, the report says that 25 percent of trains arrived at the end of the line five or more minutes behind schedule during the year covering October 2013 through October 2014 — which is a six percent increase from the year before.

There were 41,500 delays per month — which is, depending on the month, about 56 delays per hour. Yikes.

“The trains smell and they’re overcrowded,” straphanger John DiVito, telling it like it is to the Daily News. “They shouldn’t be slow. too.”

The MTA says all those delays are due in part to more people riding the subway, increased construction and maintenance projects (like the R train tunnel), and that they’re now doing more accurate reporting of arrivals and departures at the end of train lines.

THE COMMUTE: Sheepshead Bay and Manhattan Beach are prominently featured in a new series of MTA public service announcements denouncing texting while walking, cycling, and riding the city’s buses. I doubt it if the MTA realizes how ironic some of the locations that were chosen are. The cyclist begins his ride just 100 feet from where my friend crashed into a cyclist about 20 years ago. He was uninjured, but just a few blocks away another cyclist was killed earlier this year. The location in the video where the girl is “hit by the bus” while texting is just 200 feet from a real bus fatality four few years ago. The messages are clear and all should take heed. Texting does not go well with walking, cycling, or even standing in a bus if you are not holding on.

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The Fulton Transit Center. Source: Wikipedia

The Fulton Transit Center. Source: Wikipedia

THE COMMUTE: In answer to the question posed in the headline, it is because they don’t care enough, since they do not place themselves in the position of passengers who are making decisions. Customer service is just not a high priority. It is a theme we keep coming back to. The last time we discussed it was back in August. At the end of that article I linked to two posts from blogger David Gerber, in which he went into excruciating detail about how the MTA provides misinformation. He has since written three more posts detailing the MTA’s misinformation and / or lack of information. In part three of his series from this past August, he discusses passengers having to endure the cold because of inadequate public information regarding the MTA’s winter service plans. In September, he wrote about how track work on the M train resulted in conflicting announcements about the service change.

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A familiar sight: Next bus please! Source: afagen | Flickr

THE COMMUTE: Ever since I started riding buses more than 50 years ago, I noticed that service is erratic. I never knew the extent of the problem until I analyzed our origin and destination data as part of the study of southwest Brooklyn bus routes, which I directed for the Department of City Planning beginning in 1974. I included an open-ended question allowing bus riders to express comments. Service irregularity topped the list as the most pervasive problem with local bus routes.

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Nostalgia Train via MTA on Flickr

Nostalgia Train via MTA on Flickr

If you’re looking for fun outside of the neighborhood this weekend, and have a young (or old) train fan in your life, be sure to catch the MTA’s Holiday Nostalgia Train, running along the M line between 2nd Avenue and Queens Plaza on Sundays (10am to 5pm) through December 28.

The cars, originally in service between the 1930s and 1970s, ran along the lettered lines from the Grand Concourse to Coney Island and have everything from ceiling fans and padded seats to incandescent light bulbs and vintage advertisements.

It’s definitely a great (and inexpensive…there’s no admission outside of your normal subway fare) family activity to check out this holiday season.

For more information on the nostalgia train, and other special events taking place this month, visit the MTA website.

Photo via the MTA

- Christine Bush

Source: dtanist/Flickr

Due to ongoing construction, there are major service changes on the B, Q and F lines until next Monday, December 1. Making things a little crazier this week is Thanksgiving on Thursday, when most buses and subways operate on a Sunday schedule – meaning no B service whatsoever on that day.

B LINE

Until December 1: there are no B trains between Brighton Beach and Kings Hwy – take the Q instead. Additionally, there will be no service on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day.

Q LINE

All times until 5am Monday, December 1: there are no Q trains between Brighton Beach and Stillwell Av. Q service operates between 57 St-7 Av/Ditmars Blvd and Brighton Beach. Free shuttle buses provide alternate service, stopping at Brighton Beach, Stillwell Av, Ocean Pkwy and West 8 St.

F LINE

All times until 5am Monday, December 1: there are no F trains between Avenue X and Stillwell Av. F service operates between 179 St and Avenue X. Free shuttle buses provide alternate service, stopping at Avenue X, Stillwell Av, Neptune Av and West 8 St.

In an image from the 1950s, the Rockaway Beach Rail Line used to run from Rockaway to Rego Park. Source: The Forum Newsgroup

In an image from the 1950s, the Rockaway Beach Rail Line used to run from Rockaway to Rego Park. Source: The Forum Newsgroup

THE COMMUTE: Now that Queens College has released its year-long study of the feasibility to rebuild and reactivate the long dormant Rockaway Beach Line between Rego Park and Howard Beach, momentum to reuse the line for transit purposes is gaining traction. The New York Daily News is now a supporter. Other alternatives include the building of a High Line-style park named “Queensway,” and doing nothing. According to the study, restoration would cost between $600 and $900 million and would generate as many as 500,000 daily riders.

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Track work (Source: MTAPhotos/Flickr)

Southern Brooklynites are set to have their commutes bungled for the next two weeks, as the B, Q and F lines all see major service suspensions in the area while the MTA replaces a critical track switch at West 8th Street.

For two consecutive weeks, beginning at 11:00pm tonight and lasting until 5:00am Monday, December 1, the following changes will be in effect.

  • B trains will operate between Kings Highway and Bedford Park Boulevard only. For service between Kings Highway and Brighton Beach, riders will have to swap to a Q train at Kings Highway.
  • Q trains will not operate between Brighton Beach and Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue in either direction. Free shuttle buses will provide alternate service at Stillwell Avenue, West 8th Street, Ocean Parkway and Brighton Beach stations.
  • F trains will not operate south of Avenue X in either direction. Free shuttle buses will provide alternate service, stopping at Avenue X, West 8th Street, Neptune Avenue and Stillwell Avenue stations.

The suspension are in effect s.o that the MTA can replace a critical track switch just south of the West 8th Street station, necessary for the safe operation of trains along the Sea Beach (F line) corridor. The switch was installed in 1987. There will also be maintenance work that includes new track panels along the elevated structure, all as part of New York City Transit’s Capital Rebuilding Program.

“We appreciate the community’s patience as we complete this important switch replacement project, and necessary track maintenance work. Our goal is to complete this work as quickly and efficiently as possible,.” said NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco in a release.

Source: Flickr/haagenjerrys

Source: Flickr/haagenjerrys

Once again, the MTA has announced plans to raise fares and tolls - this time by 2 percent a year for the next two years. The 30-day MetroCard will definitely jump from $112 to $116.50, but the MTA is deliberating on whether to raise the price of the single ride MetroCard to $2.75, or keep it the same, effectively eliminating the bonus on the 30-day card.

Here’s a chart via Gothamist:

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As you can see, both options kind of suck.

Fares on the LIRR and Metro-North will also see varying increases, as will bridge tolls – including the dreaded Verrazano-Narrows Bridge toll, which may jump a dollar. You can read more about that on the MTA website. The MTA plans to make a decision in March after hearing from commuters next month.

If you’d like to tell the MTA to take their fare hikes and shove it, be at the Walt Whitman Theater at Brooklyn College, 2900 Campus Road (near the Flatbush junction), on Thursday, December 11. Registration is open from 5pm to 9pm. The hearing begins at 6pm.

Comments can also be submitted online through the MTA website, or by letter to MTA Government Affairs, 347 Madison Ave., New York, 10017.

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