Service Diversions 05-14-15

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

You might enjoy reading these related entries:

LIRR Riders To Experience Significant Delays

Nearly 40.000 LIRR riders can expect significant delays this weekend when service is completely suspended for 48 hours between Hicksville & Mineola. Here are more details via an official release I received:

An estimated 40,000 Long Island Rail Road customers face significant delays over the weekend of Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17 when the Railroad suspends train service between Hicksville and Mineola during demolition of the Ellison Ave. Bridge in Westbury. Hockey fans planning to take the train to Madison Square Garden for the New York Rangers’ Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Tampa Bay at 1 p.m. on Saturday will need to plan their travels with this service disruption in mind.

The 48-hour service outage affects all LIRR branches but will primarily affect the Ronkonkoma and Port Jefferson Branches where customers are facing 40-60 minutes of extra travel time because their regular route to and from New York City takes them right through the demolition zone in Westbury. However, all Long Island Rail Road branches will be affected with revised departure and arrival times for weekend trains. Special weekend timetables will be in effect on all branches.

As an alternative, LIRR President Patrick A. Nowakowski urged Ronkonkoma and Port Jefferson Branch customers to use other LIRR branches if possible, including the Babylon, Far Rockaway, Hempstead, Long Beach, Montauk, Port Washington, Oyster Bay or West Hempstead Branches, during the two day construction period. Those branches will experience minor only scheduled adjustments.

“We regret the inconvenience, but for obvious safety reasons, demolition of the bridge requires a complete suspension of train service between Hicksville and Mineola,” Nowakowski said. “We are working hard to minimize the impact by providing bus service and re-routing trains. Everyone should consult the special May 16-17 weekend branch timetables to pinpoint the departure and arrival times of their trains and allow for plenty of extra travel time.”

The LIRR is replacing the obsolete bridge as part of a $17.5 million project to improve safety for railroad customers as well as the thousands of motorists and pedestrians who use the 74-year-old span each day. The project includes replacement of the bridge, a new roadway, sidewalks, curbs, fencing and paving and is being financed by the MTA Capital Program. The new bridge is scheduled to open by April 2016 and all construction activities, including site restoration, will be completed by June 2016.

Local elected officials and community leaders have lobbied for years for the bridge’s replacement, citing the ever-worsening condition of the roadway.

State Senator Jack M. Martins, long a proponent of a new bridge, said: “After decades of waiting, the Westbury/Carle Place community is one step closer to having a new, state of the art bridge. While this project, like any major construction project, will cause some temporary inconvenience, it will be far outweighed by the long-term community benefits in terms of safety, economic development, and job creation. I thank the Long Island Rail Road for continuing to move forward and for working with Westbury Mayor Peter I, Cavallaro and I to ensure this vital project is completed.”

Mayor Cavallaro said: “The Village and surrounding residents are happy that the bridge work is underway. This weekend is a crucial one for the project, as the bulk of the bridge will be taken away. We appreciate the continuing efforts of Senator Martins and his staff in monitoring this project, and we are very happy with the way that LIRR and its contractor, Posillico, have conducted the project so far. We continue to work with them, and all involved parties, to minimize any local impacts and to make sure that the project proceeds according to plan and can be completed in a timely manner.”

Summary of Changes for Weekend of Saturday & Sunday May 16-17:

Ronkonkoma Branch

Midnight – 7 AM:

Buses replace trains between Hicksville and Mineola.

7 AM – Midnight:

Bethpage customers will be bused between Mineola and Hicksville. Ronkonkoma through Farmingdale customers will travel to/from Penn Station by train without transfers, as trains will be diverted via the Central & Babylon Branches.

Huntington/Port Jefferson Branch:

Buses replace trains between Hicksville and Mineola for the entire weekend. Trains between Huntington and Port Jefferson will operate every two hours instead of the usual 90-minute intervals. Service between Huntington and Penn Station will operate hourly instead of the usual 30-minute intervals. Carle Place and Westbury will be served by buses only.

Traffic Detours:

The Ellison Avenue Bridge, long the bane of motorists and truck drivers because of its badly deteriorated roadway, was closed to vehicular traffic on April 14. Since then, the LIRR and its contractors have been preparing for the demolition. During the year-long closure, only local traffic will be allowed on Ellison Ave. All other vehicles will be detoured to Post Ave. and Cherry Lane in Westbury. For the grade crossing improvement work, vehicular traffic will be diverted from School St. to Urban Ave. and Post Ave. for the entire weekend.

Attention New York Mets Fans Heading to CitiField:

To avoid busing and delays to Mets home games on May 16 & 17, take south shore branches or the Port Washington Branch. At Woodside, eastbound customers must board trains in the first two cars all weekend. Ronkonkoma trains will not stop at Woodside all that weekend.

Parking at Hicksville Station:

The Town of Oyster Bay parking lot on the north side of Hicksville Station will be closed on Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17 to accommodate MTA shuttle buses transporting customers between Hicksville and Mineola. Parking will be available in the Town of Oyster Bay parking garage just east of Hicksville Station.

School St. Grade Crossing & Other Work in the Vicinity:

In addition, the LIRR will take advantage of the 48-hour train service suspension by performing other critical work in the vicinity during the outage. This additional work will include switch improvements in Hicksville, rail welding g and drainage work between Carle Place and Hicksville and replacement of the School St. grade crossing in Westbury. To accommodate the grade crossing improvement work, vehicular traffic will be diverted from School St. to Urban Ave. and Post Ave. for the entire weekend.

Pick Up the Special Timetable for Your Branch:

For specific departure and arrival times for trains operating during the May 16-17 weekend, customers should pick up a copy of the special timetable for their branch or view it online at www.mta.info/lirr.

This is definitely a weekend to avoid the LIRR if you can!

xoxo Transit Blogger

You might enjoy reading these related entries:

MTA Bond Credit Rated AA+

Earlier this afternoon, the MTA sent out word that their bond credit rating was scored at AA+ by the Kroll Bond Rating Agency. Here is more about that via an official press release:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that bonds issued through its Transportation Revenue Bond (TRB) credit have been rated AA+ by the Kroll Bond Rating Agency in its inaugural assessment. AA+ is among the rating agency’s highest possible measures of debt creditworthiness, and it is an indication that MTA bonds have been “determined to have minimal risk of loss due to credit-related events,” and that MTA bonds “are deemed very high quality.”

The rating applies to the MTA’s Transportation Revenue Bonds, which are backed by a diverse pledge of revenues, including fares, tolls, and government subsidies and dedicated taxes.

In making its determination, Kroll exhaustively evaluated the MTA’s finances, levels of customer demand, management history, debt issuance structures, transparency in financial disclosure, history of commitment from the New York State Legislature, and measures of the MTA’s importance to the continued functioning of the Western Hemisphere’s largest economy.

“MTA provides a critical transportation network for over 15 million people in the greater New York Metropolitan area, which is essential to the economic and social fabric of the area,” the rating agency noted in its guidance to bond buyers. “MTA has a well-defined governance and management structure, which includes specific policies governing the budget process, multi-year financial and capital planning and debt management.” The rating report continued: “MTA management has a strong track record of balancing its operating budget over changing economic cycles and unforeseen events as well as managing complex capital programs designed to improve and expand the system.”

On key credit strengths, Kroll noted that “…it views the monthly deposits of revenues with the Trustee, prior to the payment of operating expenses to be a strong security feature of the TRB Resolution”. Kroll’s high rating of MTA’s Transportation Revenue Bonds reflects its recognition of the significance of non-operating revenues in the pledge and, hence, gives more weight to the gross pledge of revenues that provides tremendous coverage to bondholders.

In response to the receipt of the rating, MTA Chief Financial Officer Robert E. Foran said: “Much of the public discourse surrounding the MTA finances focuses on the total volume of debt outstanding, but Kroll’s rating is based on a deeper look into the soundness of the MTA’s underlying financial fundamentals, both now and in the foreseeable future. The sterling rating is recognition of the bottom line fact that the MTA has, and can be expected to have, the resources available to repay its bondholders while continuing to operate its $1 trillion network of trains, buses, bridges and tunnels in service of the New York region.”

The MTA’s Transportation Revenue Bond credit is rated “AA-” by S&P, “A2” by Moody’s and “A” by Fitch.

The MTA also issues bonds under three other credits: Dedicated Tax Fund Bonds that are backed by taxes collected by the State of New York and dedicated to the MTA, and Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority Bonds (through senior and subordinate liens) that are backed by tolls collected at MTA Bridges and Tunnels’ nine water crossings. MTA’s portfolio of outstanding bonds has a weighted average cost of 3.91% and is predominantly in fixed-rate mode.

xoxo Transit Blogger

You might enjoy reading these related entries:

Service Diversions 05-08-15

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

You might enjoy reading these related entries:

Service Diversions 04-27-15

Sorry for the service diversions not being posted this weekend as I was out of town However they are fully updated for this week.

xoxo Transit Blogger

You might enjoy reading these related entries:
Page 2 of 52912345...102030...Last »