Former MTA Union Boss Stole Nearly 50K

I have many fond memories of time spent at the NYC OTB from my teenage years until it finally shut down a couple of years ago. Safe to say the fond memory sentiment will not be shared by former MTA Union leader John Earvin who is charged with stealing nearly $50K in members dues. Stephen Rex Brown of the New York Daily News has more:

The former boss of a tiny union representing MTA inspectors pocketed at least $48,012 of members’ money, some of which he spent at Off-Track Betting sites, Manhattan federal prosecutors charged Tuesday.

John Earvin, president of the United Federation of Law Enforcement Officers from 2007 to 2010, set up a secret bank account of union money that only he had access to, according to an indictment.

On 18 occasions, the 67-year-old withdrew money from the account using cash machines at OTBs throughout New York State, prosecutors said.

Click here for the complete report.

The alleged actions of Mr. Earvin are unacceptable. He should be punished to the fullest extent of the law including having to refund the members he stole from. Anything less will not be good enough!

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Service Diversions 03-27-15

Get an early start on your weekend travel plans as I have just updated the Service Diversions through all of next week.

Make sure to follow @TransitBlogger on Twitter by clicking the button in the sidebar as I am using it more often. Also if you are into indie music make sure to follow @IndMusicReview & @SurgeFM!

Have a great weekend!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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FASTRACK Returns To Queens Blvd

Starting this Monday. MTA NYC Transit’s FASTRACK program will be returning to the Queens Boulevard corridor. Here are the complete details:

On Monday, March 30, MTA New York City Transit’s FASTRACK program returns to the EFMR lines in Manhattan and Queens for two consecutive weeks. Beginning Monday, March 30, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., for four consecutive weeknights, and from Monday, April 6, to early Friday morning, April 10, E service will be suspended between Roosevelt Av and World Trade Center. F service will be suspended between Roosevelt Av and 21 St-Queensbridge. M service will end early between 71 Av and Essex St each night. R service will end early between 71 Av and 36 St in Brooklyn each night.

How trains will operate:

• E service will operate in Queens between Jamaica Center and 74 St/Roosevelt Av.

• M service ends early between 71 Av and Essex St. M shuttle service between Metropolitan Av and Myrtle Av will run all night.

• R service ends early between 71 Av and 36 St in Brooklyn. R shuttle service will run all night in Brooklyn between 95 St and 36 St.

• F service will operate in two sections as follows:

Between Jamaica-179 St and 74 St-Roosevelt Av.
Between Coney Island-Stillwell Av and 21 St-Queensbridge.

Travel alternatives:

• Take the 7 between Manhattan and 74 St-Roosevelt Av or Queensboro Plaza.

• Take the N between Manhattan and Queensboro Plaza.

• In Manhattan, transfer at 5 Av/42 St-Bryant Pk 7F, Times Sq-42 St/Port Authority 7ACN, and 34 St-Herald Sq FN.

• In Manhattan along 8 Avenue, take the A Local or C instead of the E.

• Along 53 St, use the D or nearby 6 and N stations instead.

• Free shuttle buses run local between Queensboro Plaza and 74 St-Roosevelt Av making station stops at Queens Plaza, 36 St, Steinway St, 46 St, Northern Blvd, and 65 St.

• In Queens, transfer between shuttle buses and trains at 74 St-Roosevelt Av 7EF or Queensboro Plaza 7N.

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Minor Metro North Schedule Changes

On April 26th, the MTA Metro-North Railroad will undergo some minor schedule changes. Here are the official details:

Metro-North Railroad’s new train schedules effective Sunday, April 26, improve reliability and put more trains in service, making travel more convenient for customers. The schedules also will temporarily lengthen weekend travel times by up to five minutes to provide the appropriate track
outages necessary to perform critical track maintenance work and capital construction projects.

Harlem Line:

On weekends, Metro-North is adding a new train from Grand Central to Southeast, and is extending five trains that currently begin or end their runs at Mount Kisco, meaning more trains stopping at more stations.

The new train will depart Grand Central at 1:22 p.m. and make select stops between Scarsdale and Southeast. The 2:22 p.m. and 3:22 p.m. trains from Grand Central will be extended to Southeast, stopping at Bedford Hills, Katonah, Goldens Bridge, Purdy’s, Croton Falls and Brewster. The southbound trains that originate at Mount Kisco at 4:02 p.m., 5:02 p.m. and 6:02 p.m. will instead originate at Southeast, increasing service availability to those stations as well.

On weekdays, to reduce crowding on the 6:51 a.m. train from Southeast, the train will instead originate at Goldens Bridge. Approximately 220 customers who normally board at Southeast, Brewster, Croton Falls or Purdy’s will be able to take the 7:01 a.m. train from Southeast, which makes fewer stops and arrives at Grand Central Terminal just two minutes after the 6:51 a.m. train. To avoid the potential for overcrowding on the 7:01 a.m. train, it will no longer stop at White Plains. And to reduce the potential for congestion in this time period, the 6:00 a.m. from Wassaic will depart eleven minutes earlier, at 5:49 a.m.

New Haven Line:

To better serve more Danbury Branch customers, a direct train to Danbury will depart from Grand Central at 8:01 p.m. This train will replace a Danbury-bound shuttle train that had originated at South Norwalk at 9:18 p.m. To allow for equipment to be in place for this new train, the 4:29 p.m. Danbury-bound departure from Grand Central, will be replaced by a Danbury-bound train originating in Stamford at 5:18 p.m. (with connecting service from Grand Central). Ridership studies found that only 9% of the riders of the 4:29 p.m. train who boarded at Grand Central were using it for travel to Danbury Branch stations.

The new 8:01 p.m. train from Grand Central to Danbury will take the place of the current 8:03 p.m. train to New Haven. As a result, the existing 8:06 p.m. train to New Haven will make additional stops at Stamford, East Norwalk, Green’s Farms, and Southport, and will depart one minute later.

On the Waterbury Branch, two major construction projects will impact train service between April and October.

• From April 25 through May 3, track work will be performed on the single-track Waterbury Branch. Substitute bus service will be provided at all times during this nine day outage. Bus schedules will be communicated to customers via special seat notices and other customer communications methods.

• From May 4 through early October, a steel repair project on the Devon Movable Bridge will prevent Waterbury Branch trains from accessing the main line between the junction point and Bridgeport station, where connections are normally made between main line and Waterbury Branch trains. During this time a temporary platform will permit transfers between Waterbury Branch and main line trains at a temporary station known as “Devon Transfer,” located where the Waterbury Branch track connects with the main line west of Milford.

Hudson Line:

In response to customer requests, the weekday 7:39 a.m. train from Irvington will begin stopping at Greystone, at 7:50 a.m.

The weeknight 10:55 p.m. semi-express from Croton-Harmon will be combined with the 11:00 p.m. local from Croton-Harmon. Counter to a general ridership increase, ridership at this time of night in this direction has declined, and this change will allow the railroad to better position its
trains to improve reliability at busier times.

The train that currently departs Poughkeepsie at 8:59 a.m. on weekdays will now depart at 9:15 a.m. This train will also add stops at Ossining and Tarrytown, similar to other off-peak Poughkeepsie trains.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Subway Clerk Saves Stabbing Victim

Richard Singleton will be waking up to his new role as a hero today after the 18 year MTA veteran saved a 30 year old man who had been stabbed at the 28th Street 6 Train Station. Pete Donohue & Caitlin Nolan of the New York Daily News has more:

Clerk Richard Singleton rushed out of his booth and stopped a 27-year-old man from slashing a 30-year-old man Sunday morning in a Manhattan subway station, officials said.

“I grabbed his arm and held his wrist and the knife fell to the floor,” Singleton said of the 27-year-old suspect, Donald Cheatham. “I got on top of him and held him until the police showed up.”

The men were arguing in front of a token booth at the 6 train subway station at 28th St. and Park Ave. South about 8:15 a.m. when one of the men took out a knife and attacked the other, police said.

Singleton, a transit worker for 18 years, had just arrived to take over from another clerk who said two men were arguing on the platform. The dispute started when one man accused the other of stealing his phone, Singleton said.

The two exited through the turnstiles and continued arguing.

“They were arguing and it escalated into a physical altercation and one of them pulled out a knife and started stabbing in front of the booth,” said Singleton, of the Bronx.

The victim, whose name wasn’t released, was cut in the head and neck.

“The only thing I thought was, ‘Am I in a position to save this person’s life?’” Singleton recalled. “Everything else happened so fast but I knew I couldn’t let someone get stabbed to death in front of me.”

Transport Workers Union Local 100 Vice President of Stations Maurice Jenkins praised Singleton.

Jenkins said the attack proves that station clerks are necessary because cameras can’t stop crime.

“Technology can enhance the experience but never replace people in the system,” he said. “This man is a hero.”

Click here for the complete story.

A big round of applause to Richard Singleton for doing the right thing & stepping up to help someone in need. Many say New Yorkers are a rough bunch but when push comes to shove, I know we have a lot of good people who would do the right thing.

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