MTA Raises Certain Subway Speed Limits

Long time NYC Subway riders remember the days when certain stretches of the system had trains speed through what felt like at the speed of light. Unfortunately some accidents mainly due to human error caused the agency to overreact & implement signal timers which led to severely reduced speeds. This was especially evident on express runs that felt like a glorified local minus the doors opening & closing at select stations.

Fast forward to the end of 2018 & New York City Transit President Andy Byford is sticking with his promise to look into speeding up commutes safely. The agency plans to increase the speed limit in certain corridors as testing deems fit to do so. Jose Martinez of NY1 has more:

The MTA is trying to put some zip into your plodding subway trip by increasing the speed limit in 100 subway corridors as part of a major push to cut delays and improve service.

The agency began increasing the speed limits in selected locations over the weekend after months of testing to determine where trains could speed up without compromising safety.

“Even a small saving of seconds can result in a significant change because that is felt over the course of the entire line,” said Sally Librera, the chief officer of the MTA Staten Island Railway. “So we’re looking for seconds everywhere we can get them.”

The first speed limit increase came along the N and R line in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Trains that had been operating no faster than 15 miles an hour beneath Fourth Avenue can now operate at up to 20 or 30 miles an hour.

“All we’re doing is we’re looking at areas where we can actually advise train operators that they can travel faster and still be within those same speed regulations and operate safely,” Librera said.

The problem of slow trains dates to the 1990s, when safety devices called signal timers were installed along the tracks after two major subway accidents. If a train travels too fast, the devices automatically activate the emergency brake.

Click here for the complete report.

I am glad they are looking into increasing the speed limit in certain sections while removing the signal timers. However I feel more of this needs to be done as the system contains a lot of areas where these signal timers were unnecessarily installed. Having nearly 3 of them for every single mile of track is beyond ridiculous & a big reason as to why rides on the subway have come to a near crawl these days.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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5 People Sickened By Pepper Spray

Yesterday was anything but a typical ride along the Lexington Avenue lines after 5 people were sickened by pepper spray. 4 of the 5 victims were MTA workers.

The incident started around 7pm last night when a train pulled into the Grand Central station. When the doors opened, a man sprayed pepper spray on a rider he was fighting with. 4 platform conductors ended up being sickened by the spray while trying to help diffuse the situation.

Here is more via John Annese of the New York Daily News:

A rider blasted another with pepper spray on a crowded Manhattan subway Tuesday night, sending straphangers running and sickening four transit workers, polices said.

The chaos unfolded on a Downtown No. 4 express train pulling into Grand Central at about 7 p.m., cops said. Two men started fighting, and one of them sprayed the other with pepper spray, then ran off.

Four Metropolitan Transportation Authority platform conductors inhaled the noxious chemicals, and were taken to Bellevue Medical Center for treatment, officials said.

The man who got sprayed made his own way to an area hospital, cops said.

One of the platform conductors said she saw people running off the train in a panic, according to officials with the Transport Workers Union Local 100.

Click here for the complete report.

Sadly these kind of incidents are the types of things transit workers face on a daily basis all over the system yet many look down on these ladies & gentlemen who keep the city moving based on the actions of a small percentage of individuals.

In terms of this case, hopefully the suspect is caught & receives the stiffest penalties applicable by law.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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7 Train Riders Face 2nd Day Of Delays

7 Train train riders once again faced a nightmare of a commute on Tuesday as the line was plagued by delays. The first issue began shortly before 6am when a train’s emergency brakes were automatically activated.

Nearly an hour later, Manhattan-bound express service was suspended due to a train being stalled near Queensboro Plaza. Afterwards the delays went up & down the line leading to severely over packed cars & some trains skipping stops altogether.

The last 2 days of nightmarish commutes are the last thing riders want to come back to from their Thanksgiving vacation. Hopefully the commute will be smoother tomorrow.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA Holds First Fare Hike Public Hearing

In what my opinion comes as nothing but theater, the MTA held the first public hearing on what will most likely be the latest fare hike aka financial burden for the region.

My good friend Greg Mocker of Pix 11 has more:

Since 2009, fare and toll increases have been budgeted by the MTA. At the November meeting, the board reviews the next budget and announces the proposals.

The Board will discuss and vote on the plans in January. It is set to take effect in March.

There are two options for subway and bus riders. The base fare could increase to $3 or stay the same. The bonus from pay-per-ride swipes would be eliminated in that case.

Railroad riders would see a 3.85 percent maximum increase for weekly and monthly tickets. There would be a cap of $15 for monthly and $5.75 for weekly tickets with no increase for passes above $500.

Click here for the complete report.

I find it hard to believe we won’t see a fare increase as it seems overdue based on the MTA’s history. Now whether the increase is justified is a completely different story when you look at the amount & quality of service received. While I find the subway still a bargain at its current prices, the real losers are suburban commuters who pay extremely high prices for subpar service with no end of such misery in sight.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I would like to take this moment & wish each & every person a Happy Thanksgiving! May you all have a great holiday filled with great food & even greater memories!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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