MTA Plans To Reopen Subway Entrances

The number of days to the inevitable L Train shutdown are getting shorter & shorter. As they do, riders & local officials continue to question how the MTA is going to handle it.

One idea being highly suggested is to reopen subway entrances at a number of stations that will see an increase in service. This idea is something that NYC Councilman Rafael Espinal mentioned in a letter he penned to the agency earlier this month. Vincent Barone of AMNY has more:

When the L train shutdown hits Brooklyn, most displaced riders are expected to flock to other subway lines. However, elected officials and experts are questioning whether already packed stations can accommodate larger crowds.

There are more than a dozen closed stairways and entrances to stations on or around the L line in Williamsburg, as well as entrance points farther east in Brooklyn — many of which were shut down decades ago because of security issues, when ridership was lower and crime was higher, or as a way to save money by staffing fewer station agents.

With the L shutdown approaching, and after huge growth in surrounding neighborhoods, some of those access points should be reopened to ease the crush of commuters and improve service, experts and elected officials say.

The MTA plans to tackle some of them.

As part of its larger service plan for the 2019 shutdown, which will shutter L service to and through Manhattan, the MTA plans to boost service on nearby lines and reopen several long-closed entrances to Brooklyn stations that are expected to see upticks in ridership: the Metropolitan Avenue and Hewes Avenue stations.

About 225,000 commuters rely on the L each day to get between Brooklyn and Manhattan. Moving that many people on other lines will require more reopenings, according to Councilman Rafael Espinal, who represents neighborhoods including Bushwick, Brownsville and East New York. He’s penned a letter to the MTA, dated Jan. 8, requesting that it also reopen several more closed entrances, including the Halsey Street L station and Gates Avenue, Kosciuszko Street and Chauncey Street stations of the J, M and Z lines.

“This will help cut down travel time for New Yorkers walking to the train station and make sure the entrances aren’t over crowded with the new demand and new density we’re seeing in Bushwick and East New York while also improving the overall quality of live in the neighborhoods,” Espinal said. “We will see L train riders walk from the L train stations over to the J in the outer parts of the borough. This is way for all riders to be treated the same along the J line.”

Shams Tarek, an MTA spokesman, said that in total the agency expects to reopen or expand more than 24 station staircases, though exact details on those plans are unclear. He said the agency will be refining and tweaking its plan in the coming weeks and will consider feedback from upcoming public meetings.

“The MTA is committed to making sure that customers are able to move as easily as possible during the Canarsie Tunnel repairs,” Tarek said in a statement. “Public input from those and other meetings will help inform the final details of the mitigation plans that go into effect in 2019.”

Click here for the complete report.

I am glad the agency is already going to implement such an idea as it makes complete sense to do so considering the guaranteed increase that will come to the G Train J Train M Train Z Train lines during the shutdown. Hopefully after it is all said & done, they will continue to keep these entrances open as it would make the access to riders much easier.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Riders Demand Better Service On B24

Riders on the B24 are not happy with the MTA as they say service on their line is not living up to what is advertised. News12 Brooklyn has more in this report:

Commuters in Canarsie say the B24 bus never runs on schedule and are demanding the MTA do better.

Riders say buses park in lots instead of picking up more riders. They say other buses go out of service and just drive through and out of the lot entirely.

The MTA website says the B24 bus runs every four to 20 minutes. Riders say the wait is rarely that short and that they sometimes wait an hour to get where they need to go.

Click here for the complete report.

I watched the video report for this story & I can’t say I am surprised at the complaints lodged. I know a number of people who ride that line & they have expressed frustration with the service provided. I can say from first hand experience, I have seen many B24’s just park there & leave passengers waiting past the time they should or just leave them there altogether. Once in a blue moon, it could just be a random issue that crept up but when it is a regular occurrence, it clearly is a problem that needs to be addressed.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA Head Lhota Blasts LIRR

2018 has been very rough for MTA Long Island Rail Road commuters as the agency has seen service crumble throughout the system. Almost every day this year has seen service suspended on at least one branch during rush hour. This is not the kind of service that is acceptable by any means especially when you are forced to pay ridiculous prices for said service.

MTA Chairman Joe Lhota has been watching the chaos & mayhem unfold at the LIRR & he came down hard saying “the status quo absolutely cannot continue” and that he is “not happy” and will do something about it. Alfonso A. Castillo of Newsday has more:

MTA chairman Joe Lhota is promising to take corrective steps to address the recent spate of LIRR service meltdowns that have plagued the commutes of tens of thousands of Long Islanders — including, potentially, a shake-up in LIRR personnel.

Incensed LIRR riders have been sounding off on social media about what they say has been an abysmal beginning to 2018 — and to Amtrak’s latest infrastructure renewal project at Penn Station.

On Friday, Lhota said he, too, is “not happy” and plans to do something about it.

“The status quo absolutely cannot continue,” said Lhota, adding that he is “looking at the organization” as he considers ways to improve the LIRR’s recent poor performance.

“Evaluation and re-evaluation of staff is always high on my priority list, and I’m doing that now within the Long Island Rail Road,” Lhota added, while declining to speak in detail of what a staff reshuffling would look like.

Unplanned delays and cancellations, uncomfortable conditions on trains and at stations, and inaccurate service-information updates have marred nearly every rush hour over the last two weeks. During the time, the LIRR has suspended service on one or more branches at least 17 times — about as many suspensions as in November and December combined.

Statistics on LIRR’s performance so far in January, as compiled by islirrontime.com—an independent organization that aggregates data provided by the MTA. The LIRR has not released official on-time performance figures for December or January.

January, as of Friday:

— 199 trains canceled or terminated early

— 1,002 trains late

All of December 2017:

— 229 trains canceled or terminated early

— 1,916 trains late

All of November 2017:

— 142 trains canceled or terminated early

— 1,544 trains late

Unplanned LIRR service suspensions on all or part of one or more branches

January, as of Friday:

— 17

December 2017

— 10

November 2017

— 8

Click here for the complete report.

As someone who resides on Long Island, I know all too well how horrible & overpriced the LIRR is. The nightmares you hear & read about are the norm for riders who are forced to pay a high premium for very substandard service. Something needs to be done as the typical delays & overcrowding is unacceptable for what we are forced to pay.

How bad is it usually? I have heard from people who were so frustrated that they rather deal with the traffic on the LIE during rush hour versus dealing with the zoo that is the railroad. Now let that sink in……

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA Cracks Down On Litterers

Seeing trash all over the place whether it be on the platforms or the tracks is a part of the NYC Subway riding experience. The agency has spent many resources on trying to keep things clean but it is hard to fight the lack of care that comes from litterers.

However this is not stopping the MTA from cracking down on such pigs. Anna Sanders of the New York Post has more:

Since fines for littering on the subway doubled to $100 in mid-September, cops have been cracking down on sloppy straphangers.

MTA police issued 200 littering tickets between Sept. 14 and Dec. 28, and the NYPD gave out another 97 from Sept. 14 to Dec. 17.

That’s more than twice the 143 littering violations recorded in all of 2016.

This fall was the first time MTA police began enforcing littering laws in the subway system; until now, only the NYPD issued such summonses.

Click here for the complete report.

I am glad the agency increased fines as littering in the subway is completely inexcusable. All it does is cause an increase in rodents & lead to potential delays due to track fires. We all know the same pigs who are littering the stations will be the first ones to complain that their commute is delayed due to track fires. I would completely support the agency increasing the fines even more to really start to deter these filthy animals.

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Subway Action Plan On A C E Lines

MTA New York City Transit’s FASTRACK program returns with the first FASTRACK of the year on the A Train C train e train  lines between Midtown Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 15, an extensive amount of maintenance, cleaning and repair work to advance the MTA Subway Action Plan will be performed as New York City Transit’s FASTRACK program comes to stations along the A Train C train e train lines between 59 St-Columbus Circle and Jay St-MetroTech, for two consecutive weeks.  In order to minimize impact on customers and allow maximum efficiency with workers receiving unfettered access to tracks, this work will be performed for four consecutive weeknights, from 9:30 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., on Jan. 15-19 and again on Jan. 22-26.

The MTA Subway Action Plan is a comprehensive plan to stabilize and modernize the subway system by attacking the key drivers of 79 percent of delay-causing major incidents, strategically targeting additional personnel and equipment to focus on critical parts of the system.  Track and signal components are maintained and repaired, and massive amounts of debris are removed to reduce delay-causing track fires.  The Subway Action Plan also focuses on improving communications to help customers plan their trips.

FASTRACK was introduced in January 2012, devoting four straight weeknights to maintenance work in tunnels, stations and on tracks by suspending service within a given line segment for a seven-hour period between  10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.  During each seven-hour period, an army of maintenance workers will take advantage of train-free access to the tracks to perform dozens of tasks that are vital to providing safe and reliable train service.  These tasks include the repair and replacement of track, third rail, electrical and signal components, debris removal from tracks and under or around the third rail, and the repair of tunnel infrastructure.  Improvements to stations include painting, platform work, and repairs to signage, lighting fixtures and ADA components.

“The unfettered track access of FASTRACK enables us to advance Subway Action Plan goals and minimize customer impact by allowing workers to do more in less time,” MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said.  “We are on an urgent path to stabilizing and modernizing the subway system and intensive overnight work will help us get there.”

FASTRACK schedules have been designed around the careful determination that there is adequate alternate means of transportation, including enhanced services along some bus lines, during work periods.  Alternative transportation options will be detailed in announcements and posters on trains, in stations and on buses.

During this FASTRACK operation, A Train C train e train service will be suspended in both directions between 59 St-Columbus Circle and Jay St-MetroTech.  A Train e train trains will be run via the 6 Av  D train f tain line, and c train service will end early each weeknight.  Trains will operate as follows:

The most up-to-date information on MTA service status is always available at http://www.mta.info.  For immediate notice of service changes, sign up for email or text alerts at www.mymtaalerts.com, or use Trip Planner+ to plan your trip accordingly.

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