Metro North Makes East Of Hudson Changes

The MTA Metro-North Railroad has made some schedule improvements to East of Hudson service. Here is more via the official press release I received:

Metro-North’s East of Hudson schedules will be changing on April 3, 2016 to improve on-time performance during peak travel periods, support critical track and infrastructure work and address customer requests.

Certain morning and evening rush hour trains on the New Haven, Harlem and Hudson Lines will be adjusted by between 1 and 4 minutes. These minor adjustments will decrease train dwell time at stations, relieve congestion, increase train speed, help prevent the cascading impact of minor delays and improve on-time performance.

“After conducting a comprehensive point-by-point analysis of performance on East of Hudson lines, we made changes to existing schedules.” said Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti. “Refining the schedule allows us to continue to improve upon train reliability, giving our customers service that they can count on.”

The new schedule change also means a quieter ride for more Metro-North customers. “The response to our quiet car program has been incredibly positive,” said Giulietti. “We listened to our customers and expanded the ‘Quiet CALM-mute’ program.”

Starting on April 4, two Quiet Cars® will be available on every weekday train, both rush hour and non-rush hour service. On all weekday inbound trains, the last two cars will be designated Quiet Cars®, and on all weekday outbound trains, the first two cars will be designated Quiet Cars.® Quiet Car is the registered service mark of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) and is being used by permission.

A summary of the planned weekday schedule changes follows:

Harlem Line:

• Eight morning rush hour trains will be adjusted by 2–4 minutes.
• All four evening rush hour Wassaic through trains will have intermediate times adjusted by 1–2 minutes. Wassaic arrival times remain the same.

Hudson Line:

• The 5:35 a.m. train from Poughkeepsie to Grand Central Terminal will depart 2 minutes earlier at 5:33 a.m.
• Arrival time of the 4:54 p.m. train from Grand Central Terminal to Croton-Harmon will be adjusted 1-2 minutes later from Morris Heights to Croton-Harmon.

Metro-North responded to travel needs of our customers and added service. Due to the high volume of customers traveling to the Manitou and Breakneck Ridge stations in good weather to hike, three additional round trips will make these stops on weekends.

New Haven Line:

• Twelve morning peak hour trains will be adjusted by 1-4 minutes.
• Five evening peak trains will be adjusted by 1-3 minutes.

To accommodate needed repairs to the Devon movable bridge and catenary wire work, the temporary station at Devon Transfer will be reactivated through October 2016. All Waterbury Branch customers who usually transfer to main line trains at Bridgeport will instead get off at the Devon Transfer; travel time on the Waterbury branch will not be impacted. This bridge and track work being coordinated by Metro-North and the Connecticut Department of Transportation will help ensure the on-going reliability of the New Haven Line.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA To Rebuild Aging Sections Along M Line

Earlier today, MTA NYC Transit announced plans to rebuild aging sections in Brooklyn & Queens along the M Train. Here is more via the official press release I received:

MTA New York City Transit is preparing to rebuild two crucial sections of the M line in Brooklyn and Queens in order to ensure that two decades-old deteriorating overpasses remain safe for travel.

The vital construction will occur at two sections: a metal bridge between the Fresh Pond Rd and Middle Village-Metropolitan Av stations will require a two-month shutdown. The work will begin in summer 2017 in order to cause the least possible disruption for students at nearby Christ the King Regional High School.

The second section of construction will occur at the century-old concrete viaduct that carries the M line between the Myrtle Av and Central Av stations. That section will be shut down for 10 months beginning in summer 2017.

“These temporary closures are vital to the long term viability of the M line in Brooklyn and Queens,” said NYC Transit President Veronique ‘Ronnie’ Hakim. “Both of these structures have deteriorated to the point that there is simply no other option than complete replacement, and undergoing this step will ensure a safe, more reliable experience for customers for decades to come. We will work closely with the affected communities, their elected officials and other representatives to minimize the disruption and address their concerns, and we will do our utmost to complete this work as quickly as possible.”

In order to ensure that the M line and supporting infrastructure remain safe – the MTA’s top priority – this work cannot be postponed because the structures have already severely deteriorated. The construction calls for rebuilding both sections using new material that will last longer than the original material, which is considered subpar by today’s building standards. The work will also include replacing steel girders, track beds and the platforms that carry the tracks. Because both structures are being completely replaced, the work requires the entire shutdown of the line during the construction.

“The 103 year-old Bushwick viaduct was not built to last forever. It remains safe for subway riders today but severe deterioration of the concrete deck and other components require that it be replaced,” Hakim said.

Contingency Plans for Customers

The MTA will offer robust shuttle bus service and subway service changes to customers affected by the closures.

Phase 1:

In the first phase of work during summer 2017, there will be no M service between Myrtle Av and Middle Village-Metropolitan Av for two months (nearby Christ the King Regional High School will not be in session during this time).

Two new shuttle bus routes will serve closed stations along the line, while a third shuttle bus route will operate between the Flushing Av JM station and the Middle Village-Metropolitan Av M station with an intermediate stop at the Jefferson St L station.

Phase 2:

When the metal bridge has been replaced, the second phase of work will commence for eight more months until spring 2018. During this phase, an M shuttle will run between Middle Village-Metropolitan Av and Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs, where customers can transfer to the L train. The Knickerbocker Av and Central Av stations on the M line will remain closed during this period, and will be served by a shuttle bus between Myrtle Av and Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs. Those stations are also within a 10-minute walk of alternate subway stations on the L and JZ lines.

During the shutdown, M trains to and from Manhattan will be rerouted along the J and Z tracks from Marcy Av to Broadway Junction, though peak hour frequency will be reduced by 25 percent. To accommodate displaced M customers, J and Z trains will make all stops between Marcy Av and Broadway Junction, while L trains will operate at peak frequency for extended durations each day.

Finally the MTA will address the aging infrastructure along the line as it has been in a state of disrepair for way too long.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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NYCT Names New Head Of Subways

MTA NYC Transit has named a new permanent Head Of Subways. Here is more via the official press release:

Wynton Habersham, the Acting Senior Vice President of the Department of Subways, has been appointed to fill the role permanently. The Senior Vice President of Subways is responsible for planning, directing and controlling the subway and its safe operation.

Habersham, a 33-year veteran of NYC Transit, filled the vacancy after Joseph Leader retired in December 2015. Previously, Habersham was Vice President and Chief Officer for Service Delivery. His diverse background in NYC Transit includes a stint as the Vice President of the Maintenance of Way division, which saw a significant decrease in fires and employee accidents during his tenure, and work in subway operations and capital programs. The son of a retired Transit subway conductor, Habersham began his career at Transit in the signals division.

“Wynton knows this system inside and out, and his expertise and guidance helped get us through a major snowstorm in January 2016, when we shut down outdoor portions of the system for a snowstorm for the first time,” said NYC Transit President Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim. “He effectively managed the partial shutdown and the quick resumption of service, which helped protect our fleet and equipment, but most important, our employees and customers. He knows the system and as a native son of the Bronx, Wynton understands the needs of our customers.”

Habersham’s appointment comes as NYC Transit prepares for the opening of the Second Avenue Subway in December 2016 and sweeping changes to upgrade a century-old subway system that is experiencing record ridership. These improvements include hundreds of new subway cars, the replacement of antiquated signal equipment with Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC), and new technology such as underground cell phone service and Wi-Fi connectivity. All of these improvements are being implemented against a backlog of repairs and fortification projects necessitated by Superstorm Sandy-related damage.

“The challenge before me is looking at ways we can do better,” Habersham said. “Our record ridership shows we are doing things right, but it is also putting a strain on our resources. We must find ways to make improvements, whether it’s getting information on service changes out faster and in more ways that are accessible to our increasingly tech-savvy customers, or accelerating our fleet maintenance schedule to ensure the equipment is keeping up with this increase in wear-and-tear. I am excited to take on this challenge.”

“This is the job of a lifetime and my initial goals are the ones that I will carry with me during my entire tenure — to meet or exceed the demands and expectations of the nearly six million customers who ride the subway each day,” Habersham added. “Our most important asset to achieve these goals is our employees, and you can’t put a value on who they are or what they do. Despite the age of the system, they go out every day and make this work. More than any other time, more is expected of us and we are all excited about meeting these new challenges.”

Habersham’s appointment is effective immediately marking the first African-American to lead the subway division.

Congratulations to Mr. Habersham on his permanent appointment to the position he had been filling in. Hopefully he will continue to help the agency improve arguably its most important asset.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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LIRR St. Patrick’s Day 2016 Service Info

Here is the St. Patrick’s Day 2016 service info for the MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR):

MTA Long Island Rail Road has scheduled 16 extra trains – six westbound morning trains and 10 eastbound afternoon trains to accommodate thousands of LIRR customers who will be traveling to and from the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Manhattan on Thursday, March 17. The additional trains will
supplement the LIRR’s regular weekday schedule.

No Alcoholic Beverages Allowed:

In an effort to maintain orderly travel for customers, alcoholic beverages will not be permitted on trains, platforms or at stations from 12:01 a.m., Thursday, March 17 through 5 a.m., Friday, March 18. Any alcoholic beverages found by MTA Police on trains, stations and platforms will be confiscated.

Buy Your Tickets Before Boarding the Train:

LIRR customers are advised to buy round trip tickets including MetroCards for connecting subway and bus service in advance in order to save time and avoid lines at LIRR ticket windows and ticket machines. Customers purchasing tickets onboard the train will be charged a higher step‐up fare. The following trains are being added to the regular weekday schedule:

6 Extra Morning Westbound Trains to Penn Station

Babylon Branch:

8:41 a.m. from Freeport train making all stops through Lynbrook, then stopping at Jamaica and Penn Station.

9:23 a.m. train from Wantagh making all stops through Rockville Centre, then stopping at Jamaica and Penn Station.

9:30 a.m. train from Wantagh making all stops through Rockville Centre, then stopping at Jamaica and Penn Station.

Port Jefferson Branch:

9:00 a.m. train from Hicksville, stopping at Westbury, Mineola, Merillon Ave, New Hyde Park, Jamaica, and Penn Station.

10:15 a.m. from Huntington, stopping at Hicksville, Jamaica, and Penn Station.

Ronkonkoma Branch:

9:25 a.m. train from Farmingdale, stopping at Bethpage, Hicksville, Mineola, Jamaica, and Penn Station

10 Extra Afternoon Eastbound Trains from Penn Station

Ronkonkoma Brach:

1:49 p.m. train from Penn Station stopping at Woodside, Jamaica, Mineola, Hicksville and all stops to Ronkonkoma.

Huntington‐Port Jefferson Branch:

2:08 p.m. train from Penn Station stopping at Jamaica, Mineola, Carle Place and making all stops to Huntington.

2:29 p.m. train from Penn Station stopping at Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Jamaica, New Hyde Park, and making all stop to Huntington.

3:24 p.m. train from Penn Station stopping at Jamaica, Mineola, Westbury and Hicksville.

Babylon Branch:

2:19 p.m. train from Penn Station operating express to Rockville Centre, then making all stops to Babylon.

2:32 p.m. train from Penn Station operating express to Lynbrook, then making all stops to Babylon.

3:00 p.m. train from Penn Station to stopping at Jamaica, Rockville Centre, then making all local stops to Babylon.

3:31 p.m. train from Penn Station operating express to Rockville Centre, then making all local stops to Babylon

Port Washington Branch:

3:40 p.m. train from Penn Station stopping at Woodside, Flushing Main Street and making all stops to Great Neck.

Far Rockaway Branch:

3:48 p.m. train to Far Rockaway stopping at Locust Manor, then making all stops to Far Rockaway.

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NYC Transit St. Patrick’s Day 2016 Info

Here is the St. Patrick’s Day 2016 service info for MTA NYC Transit:

New York City Subway:

At the 77th Street station on the 6 line, near the parade’s end point at 79th Street and Fifth Avenue, the NYPD may designate some staircases at the station as entry/exit only on both the uptown and downtown platforms for crowd control.

New York City Buses:

The following NYC Transit and MTA Bus routes will be detoured in the area along the parade route: M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M31, M42, M50, M57, M66, M72, M79, BxM2, BxM3, BxM4, BxM6, BxM7, BxM8, BxM9, BxM10, BxM11, Q32 and most Staten Island express buses.

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