MTA Worker Falls To His Death

St. Clair Richards Stephens (Facebook)

Never does a time exist where it is easy to report sad news. Unfortunately a young MTA worker fell to his death this morning in a subway tunnel near the 125th Street stop on the 4 Train 5 Train 6 Train. Here is more via the New York Daily News:

A hulking MTA track worker fell to his death on the tracks of an East Harlem subway station when a protective wooden railing broke early Tuesday, authorities said.

St. Clair Richards Stephens, 23, was only on the job for six months when co-workers heard a scream — and then saw their mortally wounded colleague lying flat on the ground, authorities said.

The weeping father of the 6-foot-3, 270-pound worker fretted that his son’s massive size played a part in the shocking subterranean death.

“He should’ve took care of himself,” said his namesake dad St. Clair Richards Stephens. “I told him always has to be aware. That’s why I wanted him fit, and not too overweight.

The father, with tears streaming down his face, said he hadn’t spoken with his oldest child for a year in a dispute over the younger man’s girlfriend.

“Maybe if I had talked to him more, kept talking to him, maybe this wouldn’t have happened,” said the distraught dad, who still shared his home with the victim.

“I was thinking if I would have told him before he left this morning, ‘Be careful’ … I can’t believe this. I really can’t.”

Click here for the complete report.

My deepest condolences go out to the family & friends of St. Clair Stephens Richards for this horrible accident that led to the loss of an innocent man. No words will bring him back but hopefully they can one day find peace from this unfortunate tragedy.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA Launches Bus Dashboard

In a continued effort to better reach customers, earlier today the MTA announced a new bus dashboard showcasing rider focused metrics. Here is more information about the dashboard via the press release I received:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today launched a new online dashboard detailing customer-focused performance metrics for bus routes as part of MTA New York City Transit’s strategy to improve service across the city’s bus network.

The data on the bus performance dashboard is based on farebox, GPS and other information and can be filtered by borough, types of service such as local/limited, express or Select Bus Service, and time periods such as weekday peak or off-peak hours. No other transit system in the world is considered to provide the same level of detail in an online dashboard.

MTA New York City Transit President Andy Byford cited improvements to bus service in all five boroughs as one of his top four goals when he started his position in January. Although service reliability for buses is largely dependent upon road conditions and traffic law enforcement, NYC Transit is committed to making improvements to its fleet, safety, service management, customer amenities, transparency and customer service, as well as working with city government and community partners to make routes more efficient.

“Good bus service is critical to millions of New Yorkers and this new dashboard gives both customers and MTA management a good idea of the service we have now and how to improve it,” said MTA Managing Director Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim.

“When I came to New York City Transit, I immediately recognized the importance of bus service because millions of our customers rely on buses as a viable mode of transportation, and New York City presents one of the largest and most challenging bus operating environments in the world,” said New York City Transit President Andy Byford. “While we look to our partners in City government to help address congestion and traffic enforcement, we are doing everything we can to improve the performance and transparency of our system. This new tool will help us measure and track the customer experience in meaningful ways that will help lead to improvements in the system.”

The dashboard is live now at http://busdashboard.mta.info and displays data on multiple metrics including:

  • Average bus speeds (new metric)
  • The average time customers wait at bus stops longer than scheduled (new metric)
  • The average time customers spend on trips longer than scheduled (new metric)
  • The percentage of customers whose trips are completed on time (new metric)
  • Percentage of service delivered vs service scheduled
  • Mean distance between bus equipment failures
  • Passenger environment quality

“I am very pleased to see that New York City Transit is serious about providing better service and greater transparency to customers with this new bus performance dashboard,” said Andrew Albert, New York City Transit Riders Council chairman and MTA Board member.  “Now more than ever, riders are holding the MTA accountable, and having this bus performance data helps them advocate for improvements and track when promises are being delivered. I am excited to see how this data will help customers and the other strategies in the works to improve bus service in all the boroughs.”

I plan on checking out the dashboard to see what kind of useful information is being shared. On paper it sure sounds like a very usable tool to help inform riders. However as much as it might be, it still will not replace actual improvements that riders can truly see & experience first hand in their commute.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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New Metro North Schedules Start Mar 18

MTA Metro-North riders need to remember that new schedules will start on March 18 due to accommodating the White Plains Station Enhancement Project & track improvements. Here is more via the press release I received:

Metro-North Railroad reminds customers that changes to Harlem Line schedules, minor changes to Hudson Line schedules, and minor changes to New Haven Line schedules take effect this Sunday, March 18.

The new schedules allow Metro-North to begin an extensive three-year project to transform the White Plains station, making it safer, brighter, cleaner and easier to navigate.

The general scope of the $94 million investment in the station includes improved station entrances, new signage, platforms, energy efficient LED lighting, benches with USB chargers, station dashboards and totems to provide convenient access to information, upgrades to customer restrooms, as well as Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity.  The station’s interior will get a major make-over; crews will install new wall panels, ceiling tiles and fixtures.

The White Plains Station is located in two-track territory. Indeed, the two-track segment across the nearly five miles between the vicinity of Scarsdale and North White Plains is the busiest segment of two-track railroad in Metro-North’s system, with more than 200 weekday trains.

For the duration of the White Plains project, one of the two tracks will be removed from service during off-peak and weekend hours to allow construction crews to have access to the platforms and to perform their work safely. The construction will not affect peak-hour weekday service, and peak-hour schedules remain unchanged.

While the first phase of improvements to the White Plains station is underway, Metro-North crews will also be out in force rehabilitating track between Scarsdale and Hartsdale. This work lays the foundation for plans to begin refurbishing both stations next year and requires off-peak single-tracking between Scarsdale and Hartsdale.

Elsewhere along the line, between Brewster and Southeast, crews will replace switches. This work requires single-tracking on weekends for three months for approximately 10 miles of track between Goldens Bridge and Southeast stations. To accommodate this track work, off-peak service will be reduced from half-hourly to hourly.

Details of the changes by line are as follows:

Harlem Line, Weekdays:

  • Twenty-eight Saturday and twenty Sunday local trains to and from North White Plains will no longer operate between Crestwood and North White Plains.
  • The northbound schedule pattern for most trains is revised to accommodate train meets at the ends of the single-track segments. As is the case during off-peak hours on weekdays, certain trains to and from Southeast that currently operate express between Harlem-125th Street and White Plains will add stops at Hartsdale, Scarsdale and/or Crestwood.
  • To accommodate the switch replacement project near Brewster, service between Grand Central Terminal and Southeast is reduced to hourly except inbound in the morning, and outbound in the late afternoon/evening. Half-hourly service will be restored with the Fall 2018 schedule change.
  • The through train service between Grand Central Terminal and Wassaic on weekends in both directions (one train in each direction each day) is replaced with shuttle trains between Southeast and Wassaic, with connections at Southeast. Overall travel time between Wassaic and Grand Central Terminal is about 10 minutes longer than on the through trains.
  • Up to four minutes of running time has been added to account for speed restrictions and to operate at reduced speed past track and station construction-workers on the adjacent track and platform.

Harlem Line, Weekends:

  • Twenty-eight Saturday and twenty Sunday local trains to and from North White Plains will no longer operate between Crestwood and North White Plains.
  • The northbound schedule for most trains is revised to accommodate train meets at the ends of the single-track segments. As is the case during off-peak hours on weekdays, certain trains to and from Southeast that currently operate express between Harlem-125th Street and White Plains will add stops at Hartsdale, Scarsdale and/or Crestwood.
  • To accommodate the switch replacement project near Brewster, service between Grand Central Terminal and Southeast is reduced to hourly except inbound in the morning, and outbound in the late afternoon/evening. Half hourly service will be restored with the fall 2018 schedule change.
  • The through train service between Grand Central Terminal and Wassaic on weekends in both directions (one train in each direction each day) is replaced with shuttle trains between Southeast and Wassaic, with connections at Southeast. Overall travel time between Wassaic and Grand Central Terminal is about 10 minutes longer than on the through trains.
  • Up to four minutes of running time has been added to account for speed restrictions and to operate at reduced speed past track and station construction-workers on the adjacent track and platform.

Hudson Line: Weekend

  • Northbound weekend trains to Poughkeepsie depart Grand Central Terminal two minutes later and trains to Croton-Harmon depart one minute later in order to support rescheduled Harlem Line service.

New Haven Line: Weekday

All weekday inbound trains will make stops at Rye, Harrison and Mamaroneck one minute earlier to support track work in the area.

 

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA NYCT St. Patrick’s Day 2018 Info

Here is the MTA NYC Transit’s service plan info for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday via the press release I received:

The following subway and bus changes will be in effect from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday:

At the 77 St 6 line station, some staircases may be designated as entry/exit only, on both the uptown and downtown platforms due to crowd control.

If you’re traveling to the parade from Astoria, Queens, please note that n service will be suspended in both directions between Astoria-Ditmars Blvd and Times Sq-42 St due to critical track replacement work. As an alternative, free shuttle buses will operate between Astoria-Ditmars Blvd and Queensboro Plaza, and the 7 train will be available at Queensboro Plaza. Details about these changes are available on the Weekender app and website.

As a reminder some subway lines do not run on weekends: there will be no 67 express service.  b trains will not run, and customers are reminded to use the j instead of the z

The following NYC Transit and MTA Bus routes will be detoured in the area along the parade route:  M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M31, M50, M55, M57, M66, M72, M79, M86, X1, X10, X17, X27, X28, BM1, BM2, BM3, BM4, BM5, BxM2, BxM3, BxM4, BxM6, BxM7, BxM8, BxM9, BxM10, BxM11, Q32 and most Staten Island Express buses. 

 

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA LIRR St. Patrick’s Day 2018 Info

Here is the MTA Long Island Rail Road’s service plan for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday via the press release I received:

The LIRR will operate 38 additional trains to/from Penn Station to help customers seeking to attend the parade. The schedules for these trains are available via the LIRR Train Time app and the LIRR website at http://web.mta.info/lirr/Timetable/. Scroll down to “NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade March 17, 2018 Only” to find in the left hand column PDF files showing special schedules for eight branches.

An overview of the extra trains follows by branch.

Babylon Branch & Montauk Branch (14 Extra Trains)

  • Three extra trains will depart Babylon at 8:47 a.m., 9:47 a.m. and 10:47 a.m., making all stops through Rockville Centre, then Lynbrook, Jamaica and Penn Station.
  • An extra train will depart Speonk at 8:55 a.m., making all stops through Babylon, then Amityville, Massapequa, Bellmore, Freeport, Jamaica and Penn Station.
  • Three extra trains will depart Babylon at 9:18 a.m., 10:18 a.m. and 11:18 a.m., making all stops through Rockville Centre, Jamaica, Woodside and Penn Station.
  • Six extra trains to depart Penn Station at 2:38 p.m., 3:38 p.m., 4:38 p.m., 5:38 p.m., 6:38 p.m. and 7:38 p.m. will stop at Woodside, Jamaica, Lynbrook, Rockville Centre then all stops through Babylon.
  • An extra train to depart Penn Station at 5:11 p.m. will stop at Jamaica, Freeport, Bellmore, Massapequa, Amityville, Babylon then all stops to Speonk.

Long Beach Branch (Two Extra Trains)

  • An extra train will departing Long Beach at 10:55 a.m., making all stops through Lynbrook, then Valley Stream, Jamaica and Penn Station.
  • An extra train to depart Penn Station at 5:16 p.m. will stop at Jamaica, Valley Stream, Lynbrook then all stops to Long Beach.

Port Jefferson Branch (Six Extra Trains)

  • Two extra trains will depart Huntington, at 10:18 a.m. and 11:18 a.m., making all stops through Hicksville, then Mineola, Woodside and Penn Station.
  • An extra train will depart Port Jefferson at 8:25 a.m., making all stops through Hicksville, then Jamaica and Penn Station.
  • Two extra trains to depart Penn Station at 5:42 p.m. and 6:42 p.m. will stop at Jamaica, Mineola, Hicksville and then all stops to Huntington.
  • An extra train departing Penn Station at 4:02 p.m. will stop at Jamaica, Mineola, Hicksville, then all stops to Port Jefferson.

Port Washington Branch (Two Extra Trains)

  • Two extra trains will depart Great Neck, at 10:14 a.m. and 11:14 a.m., making all stops through Flushing, then Woodside and Penn Station.

Ronkonkoma Branch (14 Extra Trains)

  • Four extra trains will depart Ronkonkoma at 8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., making all stops Ronkonkoma through Bethpage except Pinelawn, then Hicksville, Westbury, Mineola, New Hyde Park, Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills and Penn Station.
  • Three extra trains will depart Ronkonkoma at 8:55 a.m., 9:55 a.m. & 10:55 a.m., making all stops Ronkonkoma through Bethpage except Pinelawn, then Hicksville, Jamaica and Penn Station.
  • Five extra trains to depart Penn Station at 3:35 p.m., 4:35 p.m., 5:35 p.m., 6:35 p.m. and 7:35 p.m. will stop at Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Jamaica, New Hyde Park, Mineola, Westbury, Hicksville, Bethpage then all stops to Ronkonkoma except Pinelawn.
  • Two extra trains to depart Penn Station at 5:29 p.m. and 6:29 p.m. will stop at Woodside, Jamaica, Bethpage then all stops through Ronkonkoma except Pinelawn.

 

xoxo Transit Blogger

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