Bx5 Weekend Service Extended To Bay Plaza

Starting this September, MTA NYC Transit will extend weekend service on the Bx5 from Pelham Bay Park to Bay Plaza. Here is more on the change:

Beginning September 6, 2015, MTA New York City Transit will extend weekend Bx5 bus service from Pelham Bay Park to the Bay Plaza Shopping Center. The extension on weekends will provide a “one-seat” ride for South Bronx customers who currently do not have direct access to the Plaza.

“The MTA continuously works with communities and area stakeholders to address new and emerging transit needs,” said New York City Transit President, Carmen Bianco. “As a result of keeping close watch on changing ridership trends and listening to our customers, this service enhancement will improve weekend service and provide South Bronx residents with a direct link to a major business and retail destination.”

The Bay Plaza Shopping Center is a major destination for shoppers throughout the Bronx. A part of the shopping center, the Mall at Bay Plaza, was expanded significantly in August 2014, bringing new jobs and more shoppers to the area. Extending weekend Bx5 service to the Shopping Center will serve the growing needs of those working and visiting the shopping center.

Currently, the Bx5 bus route provides daily local bus service between Hunts Point in the South Bronx, operating primarily along Southern and Bruckner Boulevards, Bronx River and Story Avenues, White Plains Road and Lafayette and Castle Hill Avenues, to its terminus at the Pelham Bay Park 6 line subway station.

On weekends, Bx5 service will continue after stopping at its current terminal at the Pelham Bay Park 6 station and proceed along the Bruckner Expressway/New England Thruway to its new terminal at the Bay Plaza Shopping Mall.

Bay Plaza is also directly served from the northern and central sections of the Bronx by the SBS Bx12, Bx23, Bx26, Bx28, Bx29, Bx30, Bx38 and Q50 bus routes, all stopping within or adjacent to the Plaza.

The extended route will result in increased bus operating costs of $300,000 annually

xoxo Transit Blogger

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B26 & Q58 Route Change To Start June 28th

A route change for the B26 & Q58 in Bushwick & Ridgewood will go into effect on June 28th. Here are the complete details:

In an effort to address safety concerns and improve the flow of traffic in the area, effective Sunday, June 28, 2015, MTA New York City Transit B26 and Q58 buses will be rerouted in Bushwick and Ridgewood. The NYC Department of Transportation will establish a new traffic pattern, prohibiting right turns from Wyckoff Avenue to Palmetto Street, in an effort to make the intersection safer for both motorists and pedestrians. Both MTA New York City Transit and the NYC Department of Transportation are jointly committed to creating the safest bus routes to protect both bus customers and pedestrians.

Wyckoff Avenue, Myrtle Avenue and Palmetto Street is a six-point intersection, with two subway lines above, six bus routes, and a high volume of pedestrians, making it one of the most challenging and complex intersections in the city. Since 2009, there have been two pedestrian fatalities at this intersection, and three pedestrians severely injured from 2009-2013.

In July 2014, DOT implemented a street safety improvement project at the intersection of Myrtle Avenue, Wyckoff Avenue and Palmetto Street. Following the pedestrian fatality in October 2014, NYC DOT and MTA NYC Transit reviewed the intersection to further improve the safe operation of B26 and Q58 buses. The route change will restrict right-turning bus movements (northbound Wyckoff Avenue to Palmetto Street), which will improve safety for all road users.

Currently, the B26 and Q58 routes share a last stop and terminal on Wyckoff Avenue. After leaving the terminal, both routes turn right from Wyckoff Avenue to Palmetto Street to enter the Ridgewood Bus Terminal. With the safety improvement, NYC Transit is rerouting the B26 and Q58 routes along Putnam Avenue, Ridgewood Place and Palmetto Street, effective Sunday, June 28. The existing shared stop and terminal on Wyckoff Avenue at Palmetto Street would be discontinued, and the new B26 last stop and terminal would be located on Palmetto Street, far side of Wyckoff Avenue, with the new Q58 last stop and terminal located on Palmetto Street, near side of Wyckoff Avenue.

The new B26 and Q58 bus routes will operate as follows:

B26 Eastbound: Buses will operate on the existing route to Wyckoff Avenue, then make a left turn on Putnam Avenue, right on Ridgewood Place, right on Palmetto Street to stand on Palmetto Street, midblock, between Myrtle Avenue and St. Nicholas Avenue.

B26 Westbound: From the bus stop on Palmetto Street, buses will make a left on St. Nicholas Avenue to the existing route.

Q58 Southbound: Buses will operate on the existing route to Putnam Avenue, then make a right turn on Ridgewood Place, right Palmetto Street to stand on Palmetto Street, near side of Wyckoff Avenue.

Q58 Northbound: From the bus stop on Palmetto Street, buses will make a right on Cypress Avenue to the existing route.
NYC Transit is continuously working with communities in order to address transit and safety needs in their neighborhoods. Elected officials and community leaders were notified of this upcoming reroute, and appropriate signage will be posted at all affected bus stops.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Buses Replace Port Washington Trains

Riders of the LIRR’s Port Washington line this weekend will see buses replace trains for part of the trip & have service reduced from every half hour to every hour due to construction. Here are the complete details:

Some 18,000 MTA Long Island Rail Road customers who travel on the Port Washington Branch during the weekend of June 20-21 will face service reductions while contractors demolish the 115 year-old Colonial Road Bridge in the Village of Thomaston near Great Neck Station.

Bus service will replace trains between Port Washington Station and Great Neck Station from 12:04 a.m. on Saturday, June 20 continuing through Sunday, June 21 until train service is restored at 3:15 a.m. on Monday, June 22. At the same time, service on the entire Port Washington Branch will be reduced from half-hourly to hourly during that time period.

The weekend work is part of the LIRR’s $45 million Colonial Road Improvement Project which kicked off in March when the bridge, which spans the tracks in the Village of Thomaston near Great Neck Station, was closed to vehicular traffic. Colonial Road will be closed for one year while the LIRR builds a new bridge, makes significant improvements to drainage problems at track level by building a new retaining wall, and extends an existing pocket track to improve operational flexibility.

LIRR President Patrick A. Nowakowski said: “Approximately 18,000 customers travel the Port Washington Branch every weekend, so we wanted to get the word out early about the shuttle buses between Port Washington and Great Neck as well as the reduced service branch-wide. We urge customers to allow extra time for travel on the Port Washington Branch the weekend of June 20-21 or use the LIRR’s Oyster Bay Branch or the Main Line as an alternative. The LIRR is making a major infrastructure investment in the Port Washington Branch, one that customers will greatly appreciate in the form of more reliable rush hour service.”

Eastbound to Port Washington:

Port Washington Branch service is reduced from half-hourly to hourly. Passengers traveling to stations Manhasset, Plandome and Port Washington will get off the train at Great Neck and board buses or vans to their final destinations. Passengers will arrive up to 25 minutes later usual depending upon destination.

Westbound to New York:

Port Washington Branch service is reduced from half-hourly to hourly. Passengers boarding at Port Washington, Plandome or Manhasset will board buses or vans up to 25 minutes earlier than normal for Great Neck where normal train service will resume.

Many Port Washington Branch trains will operate on alternate tracks and platforms – so customer should also play close attention to platform signage when departing.

The entire project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2018. The LIRR’s construction plan was developed in close consultation with Village of Thomaston and local residents as well as neighboring villages in the Great Neck area, the Town of North Hempstead, Nassau County, as well as the New York State Department of Transportation. While most of the Colonial Road Improvement Project is being carried on weekdays during off-peak hours, the demolition work will run continuously, day and night, from the start early Saturday morning until train service is restored after 3:15 a.m. on Monday, June 22 in time for normal Monday morning rush hour service.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco To Retire

Just a short time ago, MTA NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco announced that he will be retiring later this year. Here is more via the press release I just received:

Carmen Bianco, President of Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City Transit, announced today he plans to retire later this year from his position running the largest mass transit system in North America. In his time as President, Bianco transformed the agency’s organizational culture to align management strategies, enhance safety and improve customer service to advance the subways, buses, paratransit and Staten Island Railway in New York City.

Bianco and his team guided the agency through significant snowstorms, Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, which took a critical toll on significant areas of the 110-year-old infrastructure. Despite more than $4 billion in Sandy-related damage, 80 percent of subway service was restored within five days.

As New York City Transit works to deliver consistent service to daily ridership that has steadily expanded to more than 8.2 million people, Bianco’s leadership team is planning service for the future by evaluating ways to deliver higher-capacity, more environmentally friendly and technologically advanced trains and buses and improved levels of customer service.

“There is no more challenging job in the American transportation industry than keeping New York City moving every day and positioning it well to serve our customers for decades to come,” Bianco said. “It has been a privilege to lead our 48,000 employees who work so hard around the clock. I owe each of them a debt of gratitude, and it’s been an honor to have served New York City Transit.”

Bianco, 63, became Acting President of New York City Transit in April 2013 and was permanently appointed to the position in September 2013 following a nationwide search. He had previously served since March 2010 as Senior Vice President of the Department of Subways.

“Carmen Bianco is a one-of-a-kind leader as well as a trusted friend, and while I understand why he is ready to retire now, we will all miss his detailed experience, his thoughtful perspective and his constant drive to make transit better for both our customers and our employees,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “Through initiatives like establishing the FASTRACK program for subway maintenance and aggressively bringing new technology into the system, Carmen made the organizational culture of New York City Transit reflect the priorities that our customers expect. He will be missed.”

Bianco was the seventh person to serve as New York City Transit President since the position was created in 1980. He previously served as head of New York City Transit’s Department of System Safety from 1991 to 1995. Bianco has also held senior safety positions at Amtrak and NJ Transit.

Bianco has submitted a retirement letter effective in August 2015, to allow the MTA to conduct a nationwide search for his replacement and ensure a seamless transition.

Mr. Biano had a pretty good run at the helm as he & his team faced major issues including Hurricane Irene & Superstorm Sandy which saw them come through in the clutch.

Hopefully his successor will continue the streamlining & cost effectiveness measures that have been put in place to help the long term future of the agency.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Man Falls Down Subway Grate

Some people just never learn that anything involving the NYC Subway can be dangerous. Hopefully this is a lesson now understood by an unidentified man who fell down a subway grate this morning in Queens. Samantha Tata & Greg Mocker of Pix11 have more:

A man fell at least 20 feet into a subway grate in Queens Tuesday after opening the grate in an attempt to grab his keys which had fallen through the slats , emergency officials said.

The call came in about 10:50 a.m. about a person who tumbled down the opening at 24-20 Jackson Ave., EMS said.

The unidentified man has been rescued and taken to a hospital. The extent of his injuries was not immediately know.

Fire officials at the scene said the man dropped his keys into the grate and opened it himself to try to grab them. But when he did, he plummeted down the chute.

I understand that your keys are important. The same can be said for things like a cell phone, wallet, etc… However instead of trying to play the hero & retrieve it yourself, call in for help so it can be properly & safely retrieved. Hopefully the injuries suffered will be minor at best.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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