Was Mayor de Blasio Hit?

This is the question being asked in some transit circles after a NYC Subway conductor was pulled from duty & tested for alcohol & drugs after allegedly closing the doors on & hitting Mayor de Blasio. Jillian Jorgensen & Dan Rivoli have more in this New York Daily News exclusive:

Mayor de Blasio is no stranger to being slammed by the MTA, but this time he swears it didn’t happen.

Still, a conductor was yanked from duty last week and given a drug and alcohol test after a transit worker accused him of hitting Hizzoner with a train door, the Daily News has learned.

De Blasio was at the bustling Atlantic Ave.-Barclays Center station on Thursday to announce a new community policing initiative in the subway system.

While boarding a northbound No. 5 train around 3:52 p.m. to get to Gracie Mansion, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority platform worker accused the train’s conductor of hitting de Blasio with the closing train doors.

“I was standing alongside the mayor and the doors never closed on him or anyone I saw,” De Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips said.

Still, the accusation got the attention of the dispatcher on duty and it went up NYC Transit’s chain of command.

The conductor was then pulled from service for drug and alcohol tests and put on restricted duty, according to a source familiar with the incident.

The source called the testing “normal protocol,” but added that “everybody kind of wanted to cover themselves” because de Blasio’s name was raised.

Click here for the complete report.

Ignoring the fact that de Blasio is a complete joke & one of the worst mayors in NYC history, I am fascinated to know what really happened. We have two different versions of what went down. With so many witnesses, how could a concrete story not be available? Also the station has cameras, could they not look at the footage & see what actually happened? At first glance, yanking this conductor off the job sounds a bit personal.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Retired MTA Bus Driver Found Dead

These posts are always the hardest to write. I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the the family & friends of 46 year old Otis James, a retired MTA bus driver who was found stabbed to death in his Bushwick home yesterday. Here is more via a report from Ashley Soley Cerro of PIX 11:

The body of a man who was stabbed to death was discovered by his wife and daughter in his Brooklyn home, police said Wednesday.

Otis James, 46, was identified by police as the man found dead in his home on Central Avenue near Cornelia Street at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

James’ wife and her daughter discovered his body next to a knife, police said.

He had been stabbed several times and his death has been deemed a homicide, according to police.

James was an MTA bus driver from 2005 to May 2017, when he retired on disability, transit officials said.

Click here for the complete report.

Police have a person they want to question. Here is more about that via a report from News 12 Brooklyn:

A man is wanted for questioning in the death of a former MTA bus driver.

Otis James, 46, was discovered fatally stabbed inside his Central Avenue Brooklyn home Tuesday.

Neighbors say James retired from the MTA last year and used a wheelchair to get around.

Click here for the complete report.

I hope the person responsible for this reprehensible crime is brought to justice & faces the stiffest penalties possible. May Otis rest in peace on the other side.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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When It Rains It Pours

Yesterday saw the tri-state region get pummeled by rain with many spots getting multiple inches of it. Sadly when such heavy rain occurs, NYC Subway riders expect to see flooded stations & big leaks. These expectations were sadly met as multiple stations throughout the system had their share of issues.

Here is the big example of what a disaster the rain was to the subway as a video posted to Twitter by Josh Guild went viral with over 1M views:

I understand such things occur from time to time in terms of heavy rain as it is mother nature after all. However I have seen lesser storms produce flooding & leaking issues at subway stations including ones that were newly reconstructed & revitalized. So this is an issue the MTA needs to address as it is 100% inexcusable for riders to have to deal with such conditions.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Woman Fatally Struck By LIRR Train

Shortly after midnight today, a 37 year old woman, whose identity has not been revealed, was fatally struck by an east bound train just west of the Speonk train station.

Based on the initial pictures I have seen online, it does not look like a car was involved in the accident. The first thing this piece of evidence leads me to ask is why was she on the tracks?

xoxo Transit Blogger

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New LIRR President Phillip Eng

Last Thursday, the MTA announced that Phillip Eng would become the new Long Island Rail Road President after Patrick Nowakowski announced his resignation that was effective as of Friday after the agency’s disastrous run of issues over the last few months.

Today marks the first official day for Mr. Eng who is stepping in at a time the agency is swirling with questions about how to fix its crumbling infrastructure in the long term while addressing in the immediate future its current woes that have frustrated commuters over the last few months.

I personally feel that Mr. Nowakowski had the right head for the job & did what he could to get things going in the right direction. However his biggest liability is that he did not know how to play the public game in terms of communication as he tended to have his head stuck in the books on trying to find solutions. While that is all well & good, communicating with the public has to go along with that in a strong manner, something his predecessor Helena Williams did very well.

I think Mr. Eng will do some good things as his past work in the NY transportation has shown him to be an effective leader who not only got things done but had the foresight to spearhead much needed projects that would benefit many. If the MTA gives him good enough resources, I feel he can lead a much needed turn around for the deservedly much maligned LIRR.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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