Bus Driver Sues MTA

54 year old bus driver Alberto Rosario was falsely accused of roughing up a man. Even though charges were never filed, MTA bosses tried to have the driver fired anyhow. Here is more in the brief report by Josh Saul of the New York Post:

A city bus driver is suing the MTA for trying to fire him after he got into an altercation with a man outside his bus, court papers say.

Alberto Rosario, 54, claims he was falsely accused of roughing up a man named Stephen Lopez, who had been furiously banging on the bus door before the February incident, the driver’s Brooklyn federal court suit claims.

Rosario says that when he left the bus, Lopez tried to punch him but missed. When cops arrived, Lopez accused the driver of assault, but cops didn’t press charges.

Despite no police action, Rosario’s MTA bosses moved to fire him for “assaulting a passenger, incompetence, failing to report an incident . . . based on Lopez’s accusations,” the federal papers state.

The termination is in arbitration. Rosario wants $30 million and to keep his job.

Growing up around a dad & grandfather who were bus drivers for the MTA, I know their protocol when such incidents do occur. The only thing I could see them having Alberto on is for not reporting the incident if that was even the case.

However how could they try to terminate him for “assaulting a passenger” when law enforcement clearly felt he did not. Their word by default is more legitimate versus the opinion of the MTA. It should come as no surprise that a lot of politics occur at depots all over the city. For all we know, this could be them trying to get rid of someone who is not an ass kisser & such.

I hope that Alberto prevails in what comes off as a severe injustice to him from his own employer.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Rant Leads To Arrests

Any veteran rider of the NYC Subway has come across the occasional idiot ranting on about all sorts of topics. Unfortunately riders on a Brooklyn-bound D Train train not only had to deal with such a person but the melee they caused which led to arrests. Here is more via CBS2 New York:

Five people were arrested, and one person was injured, after a man began ranting and got into a confrontation with other passengers on a subway train this week.

As 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said the man on the Brooklyn-bound D Train was ranting at people and pushing them in the Thursday night incident.

Others became involved, and the emergency brake was pulled just past the Grant Street station, the MTA said.

One person was injured in the melee, the MTA said.

Five people were ultimately arrested at the DeKalb Avenue station, the MTA said. Police have not indicated why they were taken into custody.

I have to admit that I am curious as to what led to so many people being taken into custody. Hopefully the reasons behind that come out in the coming days.

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Metro North Announces Safety Improvements

Late Sunday evening, the MTA Metro-North Railroad announced immediate safety improvements to critical locations. Here is more via the press release sent out:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that MTA Metro-North Railroad is making immediate improvements to reinforce safety at critical curves and movable bridges along the railroad’s right-of-way. These improvements were directed Friday by Governor Andrew Cuomo in a letter to the MTA and by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in its Emegency Order.

“Metro-North is taking important steps to improve safety for its customers and employees, and I expect the railroad will continue searching for ways to improve its operations and fully restore its commuters’ confidence,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast.

These improvements were made as part of an agreement reached between Metro-North and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT).

Signal crews have installed new protections at the Spuyten Duyvil curve, the site of last week’s fatal derailment, which will warn train engineers of the approaching speed reduction and will automatically apply the train’s emergency brakes if speed is not lowered to the 30 mph maximum in the curve. (Photos of this work are available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtaphotos/sets/72157638485865565 ). The signal improvement at Spuyten Duyvil was done simultaneously and in coordination with work to restore track, power and signal systems there after the derailment. Those protections will be operating on all trains by Monday morning.

By Tuesday morning, all Metro-North trains will enhance communication between train engineers and conductors to ensure trains are operated at safe speeds at four other critical curves as well as at five movable bridges. Conductors will stand with engineers at each train’s control cab through the critical curves to verbally confirm that speed limits are adhered to. Where the train layout prohibits the conductor from reaching the engineer in a locomotive, they will communicate by radio. They will also communicate by radio at the five movable bridges.

Metro-North engineers are developing new signal protections to automatically enforce speed restrictions at the other four critical curves by March, and at the five movable bridges by September. The four critical curves are at Yonkers on the Hudson Line, White Plains on the Harlem Line, and Port Chester and Bridgeport on the New Haven Line. All five movable bridges are on the New Haven Line.

Metro-North has also surveyed its tracks and will reduce the maximum authorized speed at 26 locations in order to eliminate all locations where the speed limit drops by more than 20 mph. Signs will be posted along the right-of-way to alert engineers of reductions in maximum authorized speed at the four curves by December 16.

In addition, Metro-North has committed to enhance its monitoring of compliance with speed restrictions. This monitoring is accomplished by reviewing the event data recorders from randomly selected trains, by sending supervisors to ride trains and observe speeds, and by operating radar gun enforcement at locations throughout the Metro-North network.

“These actions, combined with investments in the infrastructure and a hightened focus on safety with all employees, are critical to ensure the confidence and trust of all of the stakeholders in the Metro-North rail system. It is our expectation that Metro-North will continue to make safety and reliability their primary focus and demonstrate this through regular and transparent actions and communications,” said ConnDOT Commissioner James Redeker.

Two-thirds of Metro-North’s operating fleet is equipped with alerter devices in the engineer’s position to ensure engineers remain attentive, and the remaining one-third is equipped with dead man’s controls. Within the next year, all equipment without alerters will be either retrofitted to include them or replaced with new equipment that includes alerters.

At the FRA’s direction, Metro-North has also committed to implementing a confidential close call reporting system, a measure which will allow employees to anonymously report safety concerns without fear of reprisal in order to identify potential problems before they can cause an accident or injury.

Additionally, Metro-North has conducted safety stand-downs for 4,500 employees in over 200 sessions at more than 80 locations. These sessions emphasized to all employees that safety is the most important factor in railroad operations and that all employees must operate and communicate effectively with safety as the ultimate goal. These safety stand-downs will be conducted every quarter in the future.

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Service Diversions 12-05-13

Get a head start on your weekend plans 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!

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Metro North Restores Full Hudson Line Service

Late this afternoon, the MTA Metro-North Railroad announced that it has restored full service on the Hudson Line for Thursday morning. Here are the details via press release:

Crews from Metro-North Railroad have completed the reconstruction of a second Hudson Line track in the area of Sunday’s derailment, allowing resumption of full service Thursday morning.

The work, including new ties, ballast, running rails, third rails and signal system, was completed in mid-afternoon and it was inspected by the Sperry Rail Car, which uses ultrasonic technology.

“I want to thank our customers for their patience during the railroad’s recovery from this most tragic accident,” said Metro-North President Howard Permut. “And I want to thank the dedicated men and women of Metro-North who worked long and hard to achieve this reconstruction.”

A full AM peak service will be provided on the Hudson Line Thursday. The three trains that did not run on Wednesday morning will be restored to the schedule.

Reconstruction of Track 4, the most seriously damaged, will continue for the remainder of the week.

Ridership on the Hudson Line was about 25% below the normal AM peak on Wednesday, possibly as some customers diverted to the Harlem Line. The railroad expects customers to return on Thursday.

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