People Climate March Service Advisory

With the turnout expected to be big this Sunday for the People Climate March, MTA NYC Transit will be adding extra service to the E Train & S Train. Also some bus routes will be rerouted. Here are the details:

The People’s Climate March will be held on Sunday, September 21, between 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in midtown Manhattan. The March’s route will begin at Central Park West, between 65 St and 86 Sts, with participants travelling through Midtown and Times Square, ending at 11 Av between 34 St and 38 St, near the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Attendance could reach upwards of 60,000 people for this event.

The following NYC Transit and MTA Buses that serve the area will be affected by reroutes and customers should anticipate some delays: M5, M7, M10, M11, M12, M20, 34 SBS, M34A SBS, M42, M66, M72, and M104.

From 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Bronx-bound D trains will run local between 59 St-Columbus Circle and 125 St. Additionally, due to scheduled weekend work, subway commuters are reminded that 7 train service will be suspended between 74 St-Broadway and 42 St-Times Sq in both directions.

However, additional service will be provided on the E line between Manhattan and Queens as well as on the S 42nd Street Shuttle.

In order to prevent overcrowding on stairways and platforms at subway stations along Central Park West, 34 St-Penn Station and 34 St-Herald Sq, some subway stairways may be designated as “entrance or exit only.”

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA To Get Over $1B In Federal Funding

Earlier today, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state will receive $1.915 billion in storm resiliency funding from the federal government. Approximately $1.6 billion of the funding will go to the MTA. Here are the details:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State expects to receive $1.915 billion in storm resiliency funding from the federal government. The funding from the Federal Transit Administration will support the Governor’s goal of improving the State’s storm resiliency and building back better in the aftermath of major storms.

“Adjusting to the new reality of extreme weather is a collaborative effort, and the more than $1.9 billion awarded today by the federal government will help us build a stronger and more resilient New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “Superstorm Sandy taught us the importance of preparing for the worst and the need to reimagine our state to meet the challenges of a changing climate. Over the past few years we’ve focused on everything from storm-proofing homes and electrical stations to protecting subway entrances and other vital infrastructure from the effects of major flooding. This funding will ensure that our State has the resources it needs to continue building back stronger and better than ever before.”

Of the $1.915 billion in funding from the Federal Transit Administration, approximately $1.6 billion supports projects managed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and approximately $212 million supports projects managed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The New York City Department of Transportation is also expected to approximately $200 million.

MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast said, “With each passing day, the MTA puts Superstorm Sandy further behind us as we restore service and repair our infrastructure. But we also know that similar events are ahead, so we are building back better, making our transportation network stronger, more resistant to major storms and thus more resilient. This is a new way of thinking at the MTA and one which must become a permanent feature of how we plan the future of the transportation system that is the backbone of our regional and state economy.”

Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership the Port Authority has committed to building back better and more resilient in the face of extreme weather events. Today’s FTA Tier 3 awards allow us to move forward on critical resiliency projects at the WTC Transportation Hub and Moynihan Station, both vitally important to the regional transportation network and the New York State economy. I thank Governor Cuomo for his steadfast commitment to protecting New York and the region from future super storms.”

MTA Projects:

Mitigation of Flooding in Rail Yards ($617 million):

Superstorm Sandy’s tidal surge inundated yards throughout the system, damaging power and communications systems, switches, signals and track, sometimes flooding into tunnels to further damage assets. This project will protect ten rail yards in flood-prone areas with a design to meet or exceed the 100-year design standard, improving perimeter protection, drainage improvements and pumping. The yards are in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens and support the entire New York City subway system with facilities for repair, cleaning, maintenance, restoration and storage of thousands of subway cars.

Protection of Street-Level Openings ($301 million):

The MTA has identified more than 500 openings serving stations in Lower Manhattan alone which allow water into the subway system. These necessary openings, such as stairwells, elevators, escalators, sidewalk vents and manholes – through which millions of gallons of salt water entered the system during Sandy – will receive fixed or deployable emergency flood covers.

Rockaway Line Storm Protections ($137 million):

The severe storm surge during Sandy caused extensive damage, including more than three miles of flooded rail line across Jamaica Bay and a quarter mile breach that disrupted service, and necessitated a seven month shut-down of the subway link to the Rockaways. Work to date includes a steel seawall to protect against future storm surges. However, two flood prone stations and other assets critical to the Rockaway Line require protection and flood mitigation: Howard Beach Station and Broad Channel Station, the right of way between the stations and related substations and a relay room. Further improvements will include a new signaled crossover at Beach 105 Street Station to provide service flexibility after storms.

River to River Rail Resiliency for Long Island Rail Road and Amtrak ($81 million):

This project is a joint effort by two of the nation’s largest railroads with the support of New Jersey Transit to protect the rail tunnels and yard system that serve the railroads and ensure the connectivity of service on both commuter railroads and the entire northeast corridor. The affected assets range from the western portals of the North River Tunnels in Weehawken to the eastern portals of the East River Tunnels in Queens and include Penn Station and the West Side Yards, a system through which some 560,000 commuters travel each weekday.

Emergency Communications Enhancements ($75 million):

This funding will support the upgrading of New York City Transit’s Emergency Booth Communications system to allow faster and more reliable emergency communications to customers and among personnel during emergencies. The system will provide instant two-way communication between stations and the Rail Control Center. The project also includes a Backup Power Control Center to minimize risk of power outages and will also enhance backup systems to the Rail Control Center, the nerve center of the subway system, and central control for dispatching and monitoring all subway service.

Long Island City Yard Resiliency ($19 million):

This yard was restored to service following Superstorm Sandy with temporary measures, but requires permanent protections and repairs in order to be relied upon by the total daily LIRR ridership of approximately 250,000 commuters.

Protection of Tunnel Portals and Internal Tunnel Sealing ($43 million):

This project will prevent incursion of water through three vulnerable tunnel portals, at 148th Yard in Manhattan, 207th Street Yard in Manhattan and Hunters Point in Queens, as well as an internal stairway at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue that is subject to flooding.

Other MTA projects supported by today’s funding include:

• Hardening of Substations ($112 million) – This project will seal access hatches and manholes in underground substations and above ground buildings at 29 locations.

• Pumping Capacity ($24 million) – This project will finance additional pump car conversions to enhance the system’s current storm water pumping capacity and add mobile deployable pumping equipment, mobile generators and equipment at 11 new pump sites at critical locations.

• Right-of-Way Equipment Hardening ($64 million) – This project involves improvements to 17 circuit break houses, 78 pump rooms, 65 signal rooms and towers, including installation of watertight doors, conduit sealing and drains with backflow preventers.

• Internal Station Hardening ($20 million) – This project involves improvements at 54 signal, communications and other equipment locations, including watertight doors and conduit sealing.

• Flood Resiliency for Critical Bus Depots ($45 million) – This project involves drainage, flood gates, deployable barriers and other equipment to prevent water intrusion to vulnerable bus depots.

• Metro North Power and Signals Resiliency ($38 million) – This project involves elevating and waterproofing power and communications equipment, primarily along the Hudson Line.

• Flood Resiliency for NYC Transit Critical Support Facilities ($24 million) – This project involves perimeter protection for warehouses, bus maintenance, and other facilities.

Port Authority Projects:

The Port Authority received $84.675 million for its World Trade Center site Flood Mitigation and Resiliency Program. The program offers significant flood protection improvements to secure the site, the WTC PATH Terminal and other nearby intermodal transit connections from future catastrophic storm events. Specific measures taken by the program include modifications to adapt many of the WTC’s street level bollards to accommodate installation of flood barrier panels, localized structures below grade to protect essential mechanical and electrical equipment and other essential operational systems and enhanced water collection, drainage systems. Governor Cuomo received an overview of the program during his visit to the WTC site on the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.

In 2012 the WTC construction site was inundated with millions of gallons of water from storm surges during Superstorm Sandy, forcing crews to work around the clock to de-water the site in order to resume construction within days.

An additional $40.2 million was awarded to protect critical life safety and electrical equipment in the Penn-Moynihan Station Complex from catastrophic damages during heavy rains and future superstorms. The funding will be used to waterproof the existing concrete moat slab and sidewalk, and to install a green roof with irrigation on the moat slab. The funding will also help to protect critical electrical equipment, mitigating a potential loss in rail service along the most heavily traveled rail corridor in the nation and preserving existing electrical and life safety systems being installed as part of the first phase of the Moynihan Station project.

The Port Authority also received nearly $87 million in funding for projects to protect PATH rail facilities from future storm events.

This is great news as the MTA & its riders can’t afford for the infrastructure to not hold up to future storms. While no amount of money can guarantee damage will not occur, hopefully these investments help mitigate the amount that can be done.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Patterson Grade Crossing Renewal

This weekend the MTA Metro-North Railroad will be conducting a grade crossing renewal on the Wassaic branch in Patterson. Here are the details:

The complete replacement of the State Route 311 at-grade crossing over the Metro-North train track in Patterson will require substitute bus service between Southeast and Wassaic from Friday night through early Monday morning, September 19, through September 22.

Metro-North Railroad Maintenance of Way employees will begin work Friday night after the 10:23 p.m. train leaves Southeast for Wassaic.

Crews will remove the thick rubber mats around the track, rip up the track, remove the ties, then dig out any accumulated mud and finally vacuum out the old ballast, the loose stone that secures the rails in place. After this complete excavation, another crew will begin Saturday morning to lay out 40 brand-new ties and attach brand-new, galvanized hardware. Then they will connect the new running rail to the ties. New ballast stone will be dropped and the track will be resurfaced to the correct specifications for a smooth, safe ride.

On Sunday, crews with cranes will lay new, prefabricated concrete slabs on either side of the track. These are more durable than the old rubber mats they replace.

Train service will resume for the Monday morning peak with the 5:10 a.m. departure from Wassaic. But midday service on Monday will be bused. Full, regular train service resumes Monday with the 5:07 p.m. from Southeast, due Wassaic 5:52 p.m.

Metro-North also will be doing other maintenance work to take advantage of the track outage, including tamping and surfacing various locations on the branch to stabilize the track structure and repair of insulated joints.

This weekend, customers should allow extra travel time, as bus times are about 10 minutes earlier than train times to ensure a good connection with trains at Southeast. There will be sufficient buses to carry the approximately 500 people who use the Wassaic Branch on Saturdays and 750 customers on Sundays.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Subway Pervert Arrested

Well that was fast…. Early yesterday afternoon I blogged about the disgusting subway pervert who looked up the skirt of a woman he eventually threw down the stairs & assaulted.

Fast forward a few hours later & the disgusting pervert identified as 61 year old James Barnes of Brooklyn has been arrested. Ashley Edwards of Pix11 has more:

Police arrested a man they said sexually assaulted a woman, threw her down a flight of stairs, then brutally attacked her at a Brooklyn subway station.

Brooklyn man James Barnes, 61, has been arrested and charged with assault and sexual abuse.

Cops say the woman was walking up the stairs leaving the Dekalb Avenue ‘D’ and ‘M’ train station at 10 p.m. August 8 when the man put his head up her skirt.

When the victim tried to push the suspect away, he threw her down the stairs and began punching and kicking her before fleeing the scene.

The woman suffered bruises and wasn’t hospitalized.

Thankfully this worthless piece of trash is off the streets.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Metro North To Upgrade Harlem River Bridge

Harlem River Bridge
Harlem River Bridge; photo courtesy of the MTA.

Just a short time ago, the MTA Metro-North Railroad announced it will be upgrading the Harlem River Bridge. Here are the details:

Starting September 15, the Harlem River Lift Bridge will not open for boats for six months while workers replace 60-year-old cables that lift the bridge and install all new electrical components designed to increase their resiliency to potential storm surge flooding.

The railroad bridge, located about 4 ½ miles north of Grand Central Terminal, connects the island of Manhattan to the Bronx mainland.

“This vital bridge is used by more than 280,000 Metro-North customers on 700 trains each weekday,” said Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti. “This project will improve the reliability, efficiency, and safety of the bridge and allow us to meet our obligation to keep the bridge’s moving parts moving.”

Although there are only 6 to 10 openings per year as commercial shipping on the Harlem River has steadily declined, Metro-North is obligated by Coast Guard regulations to keep the bridge operational. It is the railroad’s only moveable bridge in New York State. (The State of Connecticut owns five movable bridges on the New Haven Line.)

In addition to replacement of all the original cables that lift the two, 340-foot-long, three million pound spans, the project includes a new electrical control system and wiring and a new third rail power supply system. The new Facility House electrical components, damaged during Superstorm Sandy, will be installed to increase their resiliency to potential storm surge flooding, thanks to a $5 million federal Sandy Emergency Relief grant.

Outdated electro-mechanical controls will be replaced and computerized with the installation of a dual-redundant, programmable logic control system. The elevators from the track level up to the operator’s rooms at the counterweight level also will be rehabilitated. New multi-conductor, copper and fiber optic cables will be pulled through a micro-tunnel under the Harlem River that was bored under a prior Capital Program.

The entire $47 million project is being paid for by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s 2010-2014 Capital Program with help from federal grants of $24 million (including the $5 million Sandy grant).

The two-year project has been scheduled to take full advantage of the six-month Coast Guard outage and minimize impacts to Metro-North customers.

Most boats, including the Circle Line tours, can navigate underneath the unopened bridge, which provides vertical clearance of 25 feet at high tide. When opened, the bridge provides 135-foot clearance.

The bridge was built in the 1950’s by the New York Central Railroad and completed in 1954 to replace an earlier swing-style span. The bridge has parallel lift spans, each with two tracks. The spans operate independently. At either end of the bridge are steel towers that contain the machinery to hoist the spans.

In all, 128 main cables, each 2⅜ inches in diameter and 185 feet long, connect the ends of the bridge spans to their balancing counterweights high above in the lift towers. Spools of replacement cables, each weighing more than a ton, will be brought to the bridge on barges, lifted to the platform by crane, and hoisted into place by electric winch.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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