Service Diversions 10-11-13

Get a head start on your plans for the weekend as I have just updated the Service Diversions.

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 which has extensive coverage of the upcoming CMJ Music Marathon!

Have a safe & wonderful weekend!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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7 Line Changes For 5 Fall Weekends

Earlier this week, MTA NYC Transit announced that due to continuous work on the Flushing CBTC project, 7 Train service will be disrupted for 5 weekends this fall. Here is more via the release I received:

MTA New York City Transit announces this coming weekend will be the first of five planned service suspensions on the [7] line between Queensboro Plaza and Times Square this fall. There will be no [7] subway service between Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza from 11:45 p.m. Fridays through 5 a.m. Mondays during the weekends of October 11-14, October 18-21, October 25-28, November 8-11 and November 22-25. The [E] [F] [N] [Q] [S] and free shuttle buses will provide alternate service.

As we continue our installation of Communications Based Train Control (CBTC), we will need to suspend [7] line subway service between Manhattan and Queens from time to time not only during this fall season but also in the years to come. This automated train control system will ensure the safe operation of trains using wireless data communication that will allow for more frequent service and the use of countdown clocks in the future. We realize this will be an inconvenience to our customers, but the work is necessary to modernize and improve the reliability of the [7] line.

During the service suspensions, customers should use the [E] [F] [N] or [Q] to travel between Manhattan and Queens. [Q] service will be extended to and from Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free shuttle buses will operate between Vernon Boulevard-Jackson Avenue and Queensboro Plaza, making stops at Hunters Point Avenue and Court Square. In Manhattan, the 42nd Street [S] shuttle will operate overnight throughout the weekend.

Customers may follow this link for on-line information: http://web.mta.info/nyct/service/building7update.htm. Remember that TripPlanner+ provides travel information that takes all service diversions into account. In addition, customers can receive customized subway diversion e-mails delivered to their inbox by signing up for the E-mail Subscription Program. Just log on to the NYC Transit homepage at http://www.mta.info/nyct and click on the Know Before You Go banner.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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BusTime Expands To All Manhattan Lines

Earlier this morning, I received word from the MTA that its real time bus tracking system, BusTime has been expanded to cover all Manhattan bus routes. Here is more via press release:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that its live bus tracking service, MTA Bus Time™, has expanded to cover all Manhattan bus routes. Customers can get the locations of Manhattan buses in real time via smart phone, web and text message. This is the third borough to offer MTA Bus Time™ on its buses, and the MTA is on track to offer MTA Bus Time™ on every bus route in New York City in the next six months.

“MTA Bus Time™ is a game changer and a service that greatly enhances our customers’ experience with bus travel,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “MTA Bus Time™ has turned your phone into a tool that tells you when to start walking to the bus stop so you can get there right when the bus does. Meet your bus, don’t wait for it.”

“MTA Bus Time™ helps our customers make the most of their valuable time,” said Carmen Bianco, President of MTA New York City Transit. “Our customers can now spend less time waiting for a bus if they know when it’s coming. Know before you go.”

“The real-time data that customers receive on their phones, PC’s and tablets is another example of our firm commitment to bring our system into the 21st century,” said Darryl Irick, Senior Vice President for Buses for MTA New York City Transit and President of the MTA Bus Company. “Taking the guesswork out of riding a bus through real-time arrival information is a logical step toward that goal, and I look forward to seeing every bus in the City equipped with MTA Bus Time™ next year.”

The routes added today are the: M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M7, M8, M9, M10, M11, M14A, M14D, M15, M15 SBS, M20, M21, M22, M23, M31, M35, M42, M50, M57, M60, M66, M72, M79, M86, M101, M102, M103, M104, M106, and M116.

The M34 and M34A are already equipped with MTA Bus Time™ along with 21 Bronx routes and 20 Staten Island routes that have a Manhattan portion to their trip. Brooklyn and Queens bus routes which operate a portion of their service in Manhattan will be added when those boroughs add MTA Bus Time™ to their routes in the next six months. Approximately 93 percent of all Manhattan bus customers can now access MTA Bus Time™.

Today’s expansion adds nearly 1,800 bus stops to the MTA Bus Time™ system bringing the total to 6,000. Crews have now installed enhanced GPS hardware in 2,852 buses operating in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island.

MTA Bus Time™ began serving all bus routes on Staten Island in January 2012 and Bronx routes last November. It also continues to serve two routes in Brooklyn, the B61 and B63. The MTA is working to bring MTA Bus Time™ to the remaining routes in Brooklyn and Queens within the next six months.

MTA Bus Time™ uses location data provided by an enhanced global positioning device mounted inside each bus. That information is transmitted wirelessly to a MTA Bus Time™ server using onboard cellular equipment. The server integrates bus location data with bus route info, schedules and map files to output the information received by bus customers.

MTA Bus Time™ is easy to use in three ways: Click it. Text it. Scan it.

• Click it: From any web-enabled smart phone or desktop computer, just go to bustime.mta.info and enter a bus route, intersection, street address, landmark, or bus stop code. You’ll get a map showing where buses are located within the specific route or region you’ve searched. Click on a bus stop or a bus for more detailed information.

• Text it: Text an intersection or street address to 511123 from any cell phone to receive a message listing local bus routes. Select a route and direction to learn the location of the closest bus stop and how far away the next buses are. Bus distances are given in terms of miles away if the bus is far, in terms of bus stops away if it’s close.

o Tip: You can save a step by texting a bus stop code instead. Bus stop codes are provided in text responses, are online at Bus Time’s website, and printed on the Guide-A-Ride schedules posted at bus stops.

• Scan it: If you have a smart phone with a QR Code reader, scan the QR Code printed on the Guide-A-Ride schedules posted at bus stops. Without touching a button, your smart phone will instantly take you to information about buses approaching the stop where you’re standing. Because of Hurricane Sandy and the nor’easter, some bus stops do not yet have Guide-A-Rides showing the QR Codes and bus stop codes. They will be updated soon.

MTA Bus Time™ servers also feed raw data to app developers free of charge. Now that data is available for Manhattan bus routes, a number of apps that already provide real-time information about buses can expand their offerings to cover Manhattan as well. Try out these apps by downloading them via the iTunes app store or the Android Marketplace:

• iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch: All Aboard NYC; All Schedules Free; Bing Mobile; Bus New York City; Google Maps for Mobile; In Time Staten Island; Ride On Time NYC; Roadify; Transit Times.

• Android: Bus Tracker Pro – MTA NY; Sched NYC.

MTA Bus Time™ is made possible by a number of contractors, including Cubic Transportation Systems, Cambridge Systematics, Verifone, Open Plans Transportation, and Mobile Commons. For more information, go to http://bustime.mta.info/.

My initial reaction is about time! It is a shame that a world leading city like New York has been decades behind smaller cities in terms of transit technology. Here is to hoping that riders use BusTime to its full advantage.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Full New Haven Service Restored

Commuters on the MTA Metro-North’s New Haven line will wake up to good news as full service on the line will be restored for the morning rush. Here is more via press release:

MTA Metro-North Railroad announced today that full train service on the New Haven Line will resume Monday morning, October 7, following successful initial overnight tests of a major new electrical substation at Mount Vernon.

The failure September 25 of a 138,000 volt Con Edison feeder cable knocked out train service in an eight-mile section of the New Haven Line, the busiest passenger rail line in the country. The outage occurred during the construction and commissioning of the new, long-planned, $50 million substation installation that will enable the railroad to increase service on the line.

“As soon as Con Edison fixed the power failure, Metro-North was on the ground speedily restoring service,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “On behalf of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, I want to thank our customers for their patience in the face of an unprecedented, 12-day service disruption. While authorities continue to investigate the cause of this failure, I want to thank the hundreds of people who worked tirelessly and safely to make needed repairs.”

“We have coped with many challenging situations in the past, including blackouts, but this persistent power outage was especially challenging, both to our customers and to Metro-North employees who worked relentlessly to provide the best possible alternative service,” said Metro-North President Howard Permut. “We are grateful to Metro-North workers who expedited testing of the new substation once Con Edison completed its work and we are grateful most of all to our customers who persevered with us through this latest adversity.”

For the remainder of this weekend, Metro-North will provide about 70% of normal New Haven Line service while activation and breaking-in of the new substation continues.

Soon after the outage occurred, Con Edison and Metro-North electrical engineers determined that the fastest way to restore power was to expedite completion of the new substation rather than repair the failed feeder, which is not expected to be returned to service until October 22.

The railroad quickly established limited diesel train service between Stamford, CT., and Grand Central Terminal, a shuttle bus service to the Harlem Line, which was not affected by the outage, and a network of park and ride lots to get people to other subway and rail lines. Customers from New Haven had to transfer from electric trains to diesel-hauled coaches at Stamford for the remainder of the trip to New York City.

Within days, Con Edison was able to activate three huge, temporary transformers that provided limited power to the section and enabled some electric trains to operate through the affected area between Mount Vernon and Harrison stations.

Last week, the railroad carried about 80%-90% of its normal New Haven Line ridership, although most trains were crowded and travel times were longer than usual due to mostly local service.

After a special vote of the Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Oct. 1, procedures were established for New Haven Line weekly and monthly ticket holders to obtain prorated credits for their future ticket purchases.

The magnitude and duration of the impact of this non-weather related event make this disruption unique in the history of the MTA and Metro-North.

Customers can apply for this credit until March 31, 2014. There will be no processing fee charged for these credit transactions.

For information about train service and the credit process, check the website at mta.info or contact Customer Service at 511 (From Connecticut, 877-690-5114).

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Service Diversions 10-03-13

Get a head start on your plans for the weekend as I have just updated the Service Diversions.

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 safe & wonderful weekend!

xoxo Transit Blogger

You might enjoy reading these related entries:
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