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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LIRR Extends Ticket Refund Period

In the midst of the 4th Nor’easter in 3 weeks for local residents, a little known transit story did not get much attention. The full MTA board voted to approve a plan that the LIRR Committee had greenlighted on Monday which would extend the refund period for unused tickets. Alfonso A. Castillo of Newsday has more:

The Long Island Rail Road on Wednesday extended its ticket-refund policy by two years, allowing customers a lot more time to get back money for never-taken trips.

LIRR tickets previously had been refundable only up to six months after their purchase, depending on the type of ticket.

The full Metropolitan Transportation Authority board voted to approve the refund plan Wednesday at its Manhattan meeting. On Monday, the MTA’s LIRR Committee had greenlit the proposal.

The change reflects an amendment made in December to the state’s Public Authorities Law, giving “any person who purchases a fare the ability to transfer any remaining balance for two years after such fare is deemed expired.”

Because the LIRR lacks the ability to transfer value from one ticket to another — unlike with a MetroCard — the railroad is seeking to comply with the law in extending the period in which customers can obtain refunds for unused tickets.

Click here for the complete report.

I am glad the agency voted to extend the period as it should have never been changed in the first place. However I wish they would do away with the bogus $10 processing fee for refunds even if the ticket costs under $10. They rip us off enough already as it is!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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