MTA Worker Describes Subway Bombing

Sean Monroe (Photo courtesy of Gabriella Bass)

Resilient is a word used often to describe New Yorkers. This was once again the case after a terrorist failed to get the impact he desired when he set off a self worn & made homemade bomb Monday morning at the 42nd Street-Port Authority subway station.

On this morning, a particular MTA employee put the well being of riders in front of his own when he helped guide passengers out of the station after the bomb went off. The hero I am referencing is 32 year old Sean Monroe, an MTA employee for just over one year. Danielle Furfaro & Natalie Musumeci of the New York Post have more:

A subway station cleaner who was there when a would-be suicide bomber detonated his pipe bomb in a passageway full of people described the moment the explosion happened.

Sean Monroe, 32, was on his way – broom and dust pan in hand – to clean up a spill in an MTA hallway near the Port Authority Bus Terminal and had just turned a corner when he suddenly saw a man explode.

“I looked that way, and the next thing I know I saw the explosion. The guy just went boom,” Monroe, 32, who has worked for the agency since Oct. of last year, recalled. “The people around [the bomber] fell to the floor. As soon as they fell, they got back up and started running.”

The cleaner said the noise was terrifying and very loud. His ears started ringing immediately.

“It was extremely scary,” he said. “You start to panic for a second, but when you see all those people you know getting up and rushing, your first instinct, especially with your training from MTA, your first instinct is to let me direct these people out of here as far away from the situation as possible.”

That’s when Monroe kicked into gear, directed those fleeing to the nearest exit.

“I pointed my arm out to the right and directed them to the right because that was the nearest exit from the station. I knew they were all about to scatter, so I directed them one way,” Monroe said.

Alleged bomber Akayed Ullah, 27, detonated the explosive device during the morning rush inside the subway passageway linking the Times Square and Port Authority subway stations.

Click here for the complete report.

Let me give the highest praise to Sean for a job well done in putting the life of straphangers in front of his own. I am glad that you were there to help out & I wish you nothing the best from here on out!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Terrorist Sets Off Bomb In Subway Station

Monday is a day dreaded by people all over especially in & around NYC as it is the beginning of another work week. Most commuters in the morning just hope to get to work on time & as stress free as possible. Unfortunately for some, this was not the case when a terrorist set off a homemade bomb at the 42nd St-Port Authority Bus Terminal subway station. The New York Daily News has more:

He rose before the sun in his Brooklyn home and strapped his deadly parcel to himself with zip ties and fasteners.

His goal: to send a twisted anti-American message and kill dozens of people at one of the world’s busiest transit hubs.

Akayed Ullah, his 27-year-old mind fermenting with thoughts of martyrdom for ISIS, donned a dark hooded jacket and a dark backpack to cover his homemade bomb and fell in with New Yorkers on a train beginning their regular work week.

The weapon he had chosen to sow death that morning was a 12-inch pipe, filled with powder and detonated by a pulse from a broken Christmas bulb, powered by a 9-volt battery.

At 6:25 a.m. Monday, a security camera captured him as he began to climb the stairs to the platform of the 18th Ave. subway station.

“He got on the train ready to go,” a law enforcement source said.

The Bangladeshi native living here legally switched to the A train at the Jay St./MetroTech station and exited the train at the Port Authority Bus Terminal stop. He walked east in the passageway that leads to the Times Square station.

Ullah told police he detonated the bomb after seeing a Christmas poster.

Click here for the complete report.

Thankfully the terrorist was unable to inflict the damage he was hoping for & that we ended up with no fatalities. Sadly the NYC Subway will continue to be a very easy target for such individuals who especially became more radicalized under President Obama, the worst president in U.S. history.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA Announces New NYCT President

Earlier today, the MTA announced that Andy Byford will become the next President of New York City Transit. Here is more via the press release I received:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced today that Andy Byford will become the next President of New York City Transit, the MTA agency responsible for New York City subways, buses, paratransit services and the Staten Island Railway.  A seasoned and highly regarded transportation professional whose work has taken him across three continents over nearly three decades, Byford joins NYC Transit after a widely hailed five-year stint as the CEO of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), the third largest transit system in North America. Byford began his transit career at London Underground where, over 14 years, he rose to the position of General Manager of the Central, Bakerloo and Victoria Lines, three of its busiest subway lines. He oversaw increases in customer satisfaction and operational performance at the main line UK railway system and was Chief Operating Officer of Australia’s largest transit system in Sydney. He will assume his position at NYC Transit in January.  The hiring of Byford comes after an extensive and international search.

“We are thrilled that Andy is going to lead NYC Transit during this time of great change,” MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said.  “Our transit system is the backbone of the world’s greatest city and having someone of Andy’s caliber to lead it will help immensely, particularly when it comes to implementing the Subway Action Plan that we launched this summer. In order to truly stabilize, modernize and improve our transit system, we needed a leader who has done this work at world-class systems and Andy’s successes in Toronto are evidence that he is up to this critically important task.”

“New York City’s public transit system has driven New York City to become the bustling, successful metropolis that it is, and it’s an honor to be trusted with the huge responsibility to modernize the system and bring it to the high levels of performance and customer service that New Yorkers truly deserve and rightfully expect,” Byford said.  “I look forward to working with my new colleagues and all the employees of New York City Transit and the MTA, and, most importantly, our customers.”

At the Toronto Transit Commission, Byford spearheaded several prominent initiatives including the development of a corporate plan aimed at completely modernizing the TTC and improving all aspects of operational performance. Under his leadership, subway delays have been reduced, customer satisfaction has hit record levels, and a number of major projects progressed, including the phased introduction of a modern signal system and the imminent completion of a major subway line extension. These improvements led to the TTC being named by the American Public Transportation Association as its Outstanding Transit System of the Year for 2017.

In June, Byford was a member of a panel presenting about international best practices at the MTA Genius Transit Challenge, where he described his successful efforts to modernize and improve Toronto’s subway system.

At NYC Transit, Byford will be responsible for leading the immediate and long-term modernization of one of the oldest and largest transit systems in the world, including ensuring the success of the Subway Action Plan, which aims to stabilize and modernize the subway system by targeting the key drivers of delays. The most recent permanent president for NYC Transit was Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim, currently MTA Managing Director.  NYC Transit has nearly 50,000 employees throughout the five boroughs. A native of the United Kingdom, Byford holds an honors degree from the University of Leicester.

MTA Managing Director Ronnie Hakim said:  “I look forward to working closely with Andy in his new role as President of New York City Transit. Having held the position myself I can say with certainty that it’s an immensely challenging job but also deeply rewarding. Andy is incredibly well regarded in the transportation world and did outstanding things in Toronto. I’m confident he will do the same here in New York.”

MTA President Patrick Foye said:  “To function as a first-rate transit system, you need a first-rate transit leader and Andy is precisely that. His command of urban transit issues is second to none and he is invested in getting the details right. NYC Transit faces serious issues, but Andy is up to the challenge and we are excited to have him on board.”

MTA Chief Operating Officer Phil Eng said: “Transit in a city as diverse as New York presents a unique set of challenges, and Andy’s global leadership experience make him well-suited for the task. I welcome him aboard and look forward to working alongside him as we strengthen and grow the transit system.”

TTC Chair Josh Colle said:  “Andy knows how to make tough choices and get people to buy in. He is the consummate leader: driven, fair, passionate, and highly effective. Toronto’s loss is New York’s gain and I have little doubt that he will bring world class leadership to the North America’s biggest subway system. While we are incredibly disappointed to see him go, we wish him the best in the Big Apple.”

I am very excited to see what Andy can do running NYC Transit since he has experience running a major city’s transportation system. If the results he produced in Toronto can be duplicated, the future for NYC Transit looks bright.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Service Diversions 11-20-17

I have updated the service diversions through the end of the week. Also make sure to read these posts for Thanksgiving 2017 service plan information for each respective service:

Long Island Rail Road

Metro-North Railroad

NYCT Buses & Subways

Staten Island Railway

Make sure to follow @TransitBlogger on Twitter as I am using it more often. Also if you are into indie music make sure to follow @IndMusicReview & @SurgeFM!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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NYC Transit Thanksgiving 2017 Service Plan

Here is the MTA NYC Transit service plan for Thanksgiving 2017:

New York City Subway Thanksgiving Day Service and Vintage Trains Through December

The New York City Subway will operate on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving Day. The 57  St F station will be closed for entry and exit from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. To prevent overcrowding on stairways and platforms, some subway entrances at 34 St-Herald Sq B, D, F, M, N, Q, R & W, 34 St-Penn Station 1, 2, 3, 59 St-Columbus Circle 1, A, B, C & D  and 72 St B & C may be closed or designated as exit-only.

MTA New York City Transit encourages the use of mass transit to the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The closest subway stations to the start of parade route are 79 St 1, 81 St B, C, and 59 St-Columbus Circle 1, A, B, C & D.  There will be additional service on the 42 St S Shuttle as well as increased early morning service on the 1 line to accommodate spectators.

The Thanksgiving weekend marks the start of MTA New York City Transit’s longstanding annual tradition of offering holiday vintage rides on subways and buses between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, all for the swipe of a MetroCard. On Sunday afternoons from November 26 to December 24, New York City Transit will run its “Shoppers Special” train consisting of eight cars from the 1930s that operated on the lettered lines until the late 1970s.

As part of the MTA’s celebration of this year’s opening of the Second Avenue Subway, the “Shoppers Special” will run on the Second Avenue Subway line from 96 St Q to Lexington Av/63 St F, Q, then make local stops along the Sixth Avenue B, D, F & M line to 2 Av F. The first run of each Sunday departs at 10 a.m. from 2 Av and the last run of the day departs at 5 p.m. from 96 St.

New York City Buses – Thursday/Friday Service Details and Vintage Buses on 42nd Street

Buses operated by MTA New York City Transit and the MTA Bus Company will operate on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving Day. Many routes do not operate on Sundays or do not run on part of the route at certain hours. Customers traveling on Thanksgiving Day should check Sunday schedules, lines and routes.

All bus service in Manhattan may experience delays, especially those routes operating near the parade route such as the M7, M10, M11, and M79 SBS. Details will be provided at mta.info under “Service Status.” On Friday, November 24, service will operate on a weekday schedule with some exceptions listed at mta.info.

MTA New York City Transit also will offer rides on its vintage bus fleet on the M42 route beginning Monday, December 4, to Friday, December 22. A variety of vintage buses will operate along the crosstown route between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, weather permitting.

 xoxo Transit Blogger

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