MTA Suspends Distracted Bus Rider

In the technology advanced world we live in today, one should assume that any & all actions have a high probability of being recorded. However a 21 year veteran bus driver did not think about this when he was recorded reading & writing while driving. Rebecca Harshbarger of the New York Post has more:

The “zero vision” city bus operator caught on video reading and writing while driving a packed bus was suspended without pay on Monday after The Post revealed his recklessness.

The driver, who has been behind the wheel since 1984, makes the top rate of $31.79 an hour, the MTA says.

“I think he has probably heard enough about coworkers being involved in fatal accidents during that time to know better,” said the disgusted rider who shot the footage. “I think it’s appropriate based on the dangerous situation he put the passengers and public in.”

The MTA has still refused to release the driver’s name as well as his full earnings in 2014. His suspension is pending disciplinary proceedings.

Click here for the complete report.

When I first saw the story on the news, my initial reaction was that he looked to be handling a bus run timesheet. I used to see them all the time as my father carried his throughout his nearly 30 year MTA career.

However even if I am right (the agency seems to think he was dealing with them), it does not excuse his carelessness while operating his vehicle. So the agency is well within their right to suspend him. While I understand his union will defend him, they really don’t have much to stand on. They should just accept the eventual ruling & move on.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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NYC Subway Ridership Surges 2.6%

While 2.6% sounds like a small number, NYC Subway commuters know how big of a surge that really is on a system that already does not have enough room for them to ride in peace. Here is some more surge details courtesy of a presser sent to me by the MTA:

Subway ridership in New York City grew 2.6% to 1.751 billion customers in 2014, the highest annual ridership in more than 65 years, according to new figures from Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City Transit. Some 5.6 million customers rode the subway on an average weekday and 6 million customers on an average weekend. Weekday ridership rose by more than 132,000 last year, and by more than 500,000 over the last five years. At its busiest, the subway system carried more than 6 million customers on 29 weekdays in the last four months of 2014 – a level not seen since the post-World War II boom.

This growth was seen across the city in all boroughs and all lines, with the highest percentage increase in neighborhoods seeing rapid residential development and population increases, such as Bushwick in Brooklyn and Long Island City in Queens. While ridership grew in every part of the day and every day of the week, weekday growth was strongest outside of the traditional morning and evening rush hours.

As subway ridership surges along with New York City’s population, the increased number of customers creates challenges for the MTA to operate the subway system while minimizing delays, crowding and inconvenience. The subway system has traditionally performed maintenance work during off-peak hours, which are now experiencing record ridership.

“The renaissance of the New York City subway is a miracle for those who remember the decrepit system of the 1970s and the 1980s, but moving more than 6 million customers a day means even minor disruptions now can create major delays,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “We are aggressively working to combat delays and improve maintenance, but the ultimate solution requires investing in infrastructure upgrades such as Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) signaling systems to accommodate every one of our growing number of customers.”

Brooklyn had the largest borough-wide average weekday percentage ridership increase (2.7% or more than 31,000 riders per weekday), followed by 2.5% growth in Manhattan, 2.1% in the Bronx and 1.9% in Queens.

In Brooklyn, every station on the L line saw a ridership increase last year, with ridership increasing 4.7%, or more than 5,600 customers, on an average weekday. The L is the MTA’s only line with CBTC signaling, which has enabled the MTA to add dozens of trains per week to handle the ridership spike in recent years. The Bedford Av station in Williamsburg saw 27,224 average weekday customers, more than any other station on the L in Brooklyn, but the largest weekday percentage increases occurred farther east on the line in Bushwick at Bushwick Av-Aberdeen St (11.5%), Wilson Av (9.9%) and Jefferson St (9.3%).

The M line in Brooklyn serves some of the same areas and also saw rapid growth, with average weekday ridership up 6.2% at stations between Marcy and Metropolitan avs. M stations from Queens through Brooklyn have seen average weekday ridership grow 23.6% since 2009, after the M was rerouted to serve Midtown Manhattan in 2010.

New residential development is driving ridership growth in Long Island City, Queens. Weekday ridership grew by 12%, or 1,500 customers per day, at the Vernon-Jackson Av 7 station, and by 9.7%, or nearly 2,000 customers, at the Court Sq EGM7 station. Ridership at the Vernon-Jackson Av station has more than doubled since 2000. The MTA is installing CBTC on the 7 line, which will allow more trains to run closer together, carrying more customers while also providing countdown clock information.

In the Bronx, the 2 and 5 lines grew by 3.7%, or nearly 4,800 customers per day. In Manhattan, the Lenox Avenue 2 and 3 lines through Harlem saw 3.7% growth, or more than 2,100 customers per day.

For those inclined to see actual ridership stats, click here for an Excel file with those numbers.

This one piece of evidence is more than enough reason to show that the agency needs more funding. Ridership continues to grow not only in the subway but other facets of the agency’s services yet our elected officials continue to shaft us all in terms of funding.

Hopefully we will get more champions to our cause of better funding as way too many people rely on services that are bursting at the seams in many areas.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Service Diversions 04-17-15

Get an early start on your weekend travel plans as I have just updated the Service Diversions through all of next week.

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

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Service Diversions 04-10-15

Get an early start on your weekend travel plans as I have just updated the Service Diversions through all of next week.

Make sure to follow @TransitBlogger on Twitter by clicking the button in the sidebar 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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Service Diversions 04-03-15

Get an early start on your holiday weekend travel plans as I have just updated the Service Diversions through all of next week.

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

Have a great Passover, Great Friday & Easter!

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