Metro-North Reaches Ridership Record

East of Hudson service on the Metro-North set a new ridership record in 2013. Here is more:

Metro-North’s annual east of Hudson ridership last year was the highest in the railroad’s history, at 81.8 million, surpassing the previous east of Hudson record of 81.5 million rides that was set in 2008.

This is an increase of 0.7% above calendar-adjusted 2012 levels. Combined ridership on the east and west of Hudson markets was 83.4 million.

In 2013, the Harlem Line was the fastest growing line with a 1.2% increase and carried 26,949,667 riders.

The New Haven Line was up 0.5% and recorded its highest ridership ever in 2013 (carrying 38,975,052 customers) an increase of more than 1 million annual rides since 2008, and 175,000 more than in 2012, the previous record year when the line carried approximately 38.8 million customers.

The Hudson Line grew 0.3% in 2013 and carried 15,877,559 customers.

During the past year, commutation ridership grew 1.8%, reflecting the strengthening regional economy, while non-commutation ridership decreased 1% from the previous year, due to a variety of factors including weather and major service disruptions.

Metro-North rail ridership in the West of Hudson territory including the Port Jervis and Pascack Valley lines was down, falling 2.3% to 1,576,227 rides in 2013. Individually, ridership on the Port Jervis Line fell 3.6% and ridership on the Pascack Valley Line was essentially unchanged from the previous year. While the ridership drop is not as pronounced as in previous years, it reflects a customer base that has been slow to recover since Hurricanes Sandy and Irene. West of Hudson ridership peaked in 2008 at almost 2.1 million.

It is nice to see the service being utilized as much as it has. To be honest, I feel if more of an investment was made in terms of infrastructure, we could see the full potential of service. However seeing such an investment is just a transit dream in the current economic climate.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Cause Of Disruption Identified

Metro-North has been on a roll lately & not of the good kind. Yesterday was more of the same for the much maligned agency as riders had to endure a 2 hour service disruption.

Just a short time ago, the agency announced what caused that disruption. Here are the details:

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast said today that the cause of last night’s two-hour service disruption on Metro-North Railroad has been traced to human error during an electrical repair project.

“Last night’s failure was unacceptable, pure and simple,” Prendergast said. “The project should have been analyzed for risks and redundancy before it began, and it should not have been performed when thousands of customers were trying to get home in cold weather.”

The computers that run the railroad’s signal system lost reliable power at 7:45 p.m. when one of two main power supply units was taken out of service for replacement. Technicians performing the work did not realize that a wire was disconnected on the other main power supply unit. This destabilized the power supply system for more than an hour until a backup supply could be connected.

“Metro-North customers deserve better, and I extend my sincere apology to all of them,” Prendergast said. “I have directed Metro-North to bring in an independent consultant to examine how and why these mistakes were made, and to recommend any necessary changes to operating procedures to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.”

More than 50 trains were forced to halt for safety reasons when the signal system went dark. Rail traffic controllers instructed engineers to slowly bring their trains to the closest station. Trains were not allowed to proceed through switches until signal maintainers could respond and manually ensure the switches were lined up correctly, which delayed some trains further.

All trains had light, heat and power during the disruption, and no customers were ever in danger. Customers were able to get off trains when they reached a station. Trains began moving by 9:30 p.m. and full control over the signal system was re-established by 10:30 p.m. Significant delays continued throughout the evening hours, and service returned to normal this morning.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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LIRR To Add 8 Trains To Schedule Tonight

Although the LIRR will continue to run a weekend schedule for the rest of today, the agency has announced they will add 8 trains to the schedule tonight. Here are the complete details:

The Long Island Rail Road will continue to operate on a weekend schedule for the rest of the day today (with the addition of bus service on the West Hempstead Branch and between Ronkonkoma and Greenport). The railroad will shift to a regular weekday schedule at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, January 23. To supplement train service on Wednesday’s rush hour, the LIRR will add eight eastbound trains departing Penn Station between 3:32 p.m. and 6:09 p.m. today.

Details on the extra trains are as follows:

Ronkonkoma Branch:

An extra train will depart Penn Station at 3:32 p.m., stopping at Woodside, Jamaica, New Hyde Park, Mineola, Westbury, Hicksville, Bethpage, Farmingdale, and then all stops to Ronkonkoma.

Babylon Branch:

Four extra trains will depart Penn Station, at 3:40, 4:40, 5:40 and 6:09 p.m. These four trains will stop at Jamaica and Rockville Centre, and then make all stops to Babylon.

Port Jefferson Branch:

Two extra Huntington-bound trains will depart Penn Station, at 5:07 p.m. and 6:06 p.m. These two trains will stop at Woodside, Jamaica, New Hyde Park, and then make all stops to Huntington.

Port Washington Branch:

An extra Great Neck-bound train will depart Penn Station at 5:03 p.m. stopping at Woodside and then making all local stops to Great Neck.

Snow Clearance Continues; Station Waiting Rooms Are Open

LIRR station waiting rooms will remain open around-the-clock through Friday afternoon, January 24, to accommodate customers waiting for trains during cold and inclement weather.

Customers are advised to allow extra travel time and use caution on platforms and stairs and while boarding/exiting trains.

The LIRR personnel are continuing to work around the clock to clear snow from tracks and station platforms. Switch heaters remain activated and we are operating special anti-freeze trains to coat the tracks with de-icer in an effort to prevent ice build-up on the rails. Extra LIRR personnel have been assigned to critical locations so they can respond quickly if problems occur.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA To Run Modified Schedule Tomorrow

The MTA has just announced that they will be running a modified schedule system wide. Here are the complete details:

The Metroppolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced tonight that it expects to run modified service Wednesday, January 22, as the region digs out from today’s heavy snowfall amid sub-freezing temperatures and strong winds. Service patterns will differ across the MTA network based on how the operating agencies were affected by the storm, which ranged from light snow in the lower Hudson Valley to large bands and heavy drifts on Long Island.

The New York City subway system expects to run close to normal service Wednesday, with express service restored during the morning rush hour as trains that were stored on express tracks begin to move.

New York City buses will run at 80% to 90% of normal levels, depending on customer demand. All articulated buses and most standard buses will have chains on their tires. Service is subject to change based on street conditions.

The Long Island Rail Road will operate on a Weekend Schedule, which provides approximately 60% to 65% of the trains available on a regular weekday. Metro-North Railroad will operate 80% to 85% of its normal weekday service with some trains will be combined and some delays possible based on the condition of track and power systems, the number of train cars available and the availability of crews.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA Railroad Service Plan Info 01/21

With the snow storm upping its intensity after an early arrival, the MTA has decided to change its service plans for the Long Island Rail Road & Metro-North. Here are the details as of now:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced today that its railroads – Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road – are changing service after the evening rush hour tonight as snow accumulations make operating trains difficult. Reducing the number of trains is aimed at preventing trains from becoming stranded in accumulated snow, and to allow personnel to concentrate resources on trains that will continue to operate.

The LIRR will reduce service on a branch-by-branch basis after 8 p.m., consistent with its policy to curtail or suspend service if snow accumulations reach 10 to 13 inches. The forecasted heavy snowfall and high winds will generate snow drifts that could force some trains to suspend service short of their final destinations after 11 p.m. Customers who must travel should leave as early as possible and monitor www.mta.info for service status.

During rush hour, Metro-North is running a regular outbound evening rush hour schedule. Metro-North personnel will be counting the number of passengers aboard all outbound trains; if trains get too crowded, Metro-North is adding trains as needed.

After 8 p.m., service will be reduced. Specifics for each Metro-North line’s schedule are below.

New Haven Line:

After 8 p.m., 15 trains on the New Haven line, where the greatest snow accumulations are expected, will be combined or canceled.

Westbound Toward New York City:

Five express trains from New Haven will be combined with five local trains from Stamford, making all local stops from New Haven to Grand Central Terminal.

• The 7:56 PM train from New Haven is combined with the 9:03 PM train from Stamford, making all local stops from New Haven to Grand Central Terminal.

• The 8:49 PM train from New Haven is combined with the 10:03 PM train from Stamford, making all local stops from New Haven to Grand Central Terminal.

• The 9:46 PM train from New Haven is combined with the 11:03 PM train from Stamford, making all local stops from New Haven to Grand Central Terminal.

• The 10:46 PM train from New Haven is combined with the 12:03 AM train from Stamford, making all local stops from New Haven to Grand Central Terminal.

• The 11:36 PM train from New Haven is combined with the 12:55 AM train from Stamford, making all local stops from New Haven to Grand Central Terminal.

Eastbound Departing Grand Central Terminal:

Three express trains to New Haven will be combined with three local trains to Stamford, making all local stops from Grand Central to New Haven. Other eastbound trains will be canceled as indicated below.

• The 8:03 PM train to New Haven is combined with the 8:06 PM train to New Haven.

• The 8:32 PM train to New Haven is canceled. Customers may take the 8:06 PM or 9:07 PM train to New Haven.

• The 9:09 PM train to Stamford is canceled. Customers may take the 8:39 PM or 9:39 PM trains to Stamford.

• The 9:34 PM train to New Haven is canceled. Customers may take the 9:07 PM or 10:07 PM trains to New Haven. Customers connecting to stations on the Danbury and Waterbury branches should take the 10:07 PM train from Grand Central, which will have a connection for Danbury at South Norwalk, and a connection for Waterbury at Bridgeport.

• The 10:09 PM train to Stamford is canceled. Customers may take the 9:39 PM or 10:39 PM trains to Stamford.

• The 10:31 PM train to New Haven is canceled. Customers may take the 10:07 PM or 11:22 PM trains to New Haven.

• The 11:09 PM train to Stamford is canceled. Customers may take the 10:39 PM or 11:39 PM trains to Stamford.

• The 12:07 AM train to New Haven is combined with the 12:09 AM train to Stamford, which will depart at 12:09 AM and make all local stops to New Haven.

• The 1:07 AM train to New Haven is combined with the 1:09 AM train to Stamford, which will depart at 1:09 AM and make all local stops to New Haven.

• The 1:47 AM train to New Haven is combined with the 1:53 AM train to Stamford, which will depart at 1:53 AM and make all local stops to New Haven.

Harlem Line:

Six express trains to or from Southeast will be combined with local trains to or from North White Plains, making all stops of each train. Two trains will be canceled.

Southbound:

• The 10:13 PM train from Southeast is combined with the 11:06 PM train from North White Plains, making all local stops from Southeast to Fordham, then Harlem-125th Street and Grand Central Terminal.

• The 11:13 PM train from Southeast is combined with the 12:06 AM train from North White Plains, making all local stops from Southeast to Fordham, then Harlem-125th Street and Grand Central Terminal.

Northbound:

• The 9:22 PM train to Southeast is canceled. Customers may take the 8:52 PM or 10:00 PM trains to Southeast.

• The 9:52 PM train to Southeast is combined with the 10:00 PM train to North White Plains, which will depart at 10:00 PM and make stops at Fordham, Mount Vernon West, and then all stops to Southeast. This train will have a connection to Wassaic at Southeast.

• The 10:22 PM train to Southeast is canceled. Customers may take the 10:00 PM or 11:13 PM trains to Southeast.

• The 11:04 PM train to Southeast is combined with the 11:13 PM train to North White Plains, which will depart at 11:13 PM and make stops at Fordham, Mount Vernon West, and then all stops to Southeast.

• The 12:04 AM train to Southeast is combined with the 12:30 AM train to North White Plains, which will depart at 12:30 AM and make all local stops from Fordham to Southeast. This train will have a connection to Dover Plains at Southeast.

• The 1:04 AM train to Southeast is combined with the 1:16 AM train to North White Plains, which will depart at 1:16 AM and make all local stops from Fordham to Southeast.

Hudson Line:

There are no changes to the southbound Hudson Line schedule. In the northbound direction, three express or semi-express trains will be combined with local trains, and will make all stops of each of the combined trains. One northbound train will be canceled. Details follow:

• The 8:33 PM semi-express train to Croton-Harmon is combined with the 8:37 PM local train to Greystone, which will make all stops to Croton-Harmon.

• The 9:13 PM express train to Croton-Harmon is canceled. Customers may use the 9:20 PM local train to Croton-Harmon.

• The 9:47 PM train to Poughkeepsie is combined with the 9:50 PM train to Croton-Harmon, which will continue on to Poughkeepsie and make the stops of both trains.

• The 10:47 PM train to Poughkeepsie is combined with the 10:51 PM train to Croton-Harmon, which will continue on to Poughkeepsie and make the stops of both trains.

Make sure to follow my official Twitter feed @TransitBlogger which I will be updating & retweeting throughout the storm.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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