MTA Announces New Safety Initiatives

Earlier today, the MTA announced new safety initiatives for passenger & worker safety. Here is more:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced a series of initiatives to improve safety throughout its operations by strengthening reporting responsibilities, emphasizing management oversight and installing automatic speed protections.

Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast announced he is creating the position of Chief Safety Officer, a new senior management post reporting directly to the Chairman and CEO, to ensure safety is a top priority throughout all MTA operations. The MTA will also create a new Safety Committee on its board to provide focused oversight of safety issues.

In addition, each MTA agency will ensure its top safety official reports directly to the agency’s president, to reinforce that safety is a prime concern for every agency’s management. At Metro-North Railroad, where safety and security now report to the same position, the responsibilities will be separated and a new position of Chief Safety Officer will be created.

“The safety of our customers and employees is unquestionably the top priority for the MTA, and these steps will make sure this emphasis on safety is built into the operations of every MTA agency,” Prendergast said. “The events of the last year have made clear to everyone in the MTA how important it is to create a culture where all employees act to eliminate risks, and changing our executive structure will ensure safety remains a dedicated agency value.”

Agency presidents discussed their safety programs at today’s meetings of MTA Board committees, detailing how they monitor the condition of crews and equipment, search for potential problems and fix those that they discover. Key among the presidents’ efforts is emphasizing and improving the safety culture within their agencies, so all operations have safety as their primary objective.

All MTA agencies have re-examined their safety-related operations over the last year. Prendergast, who has spent 10 years of his career in safety positions, convened a Blue Ribbon Panel of outside experts to study MTA safety practices in September.

In addition, Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road announced they have installed automatic speed controls at 10 critical curves and one moveable bridge since the Dec. 1, 2013 Metro-North derailment at a curve in Spuyten Duyvil. These controls work with existing signal systems installed in every train cab to enforce speed limits at those locations.

“The MTA has a long tradition of safe and reliable operations, which is why our customers and our employees are rightly upset with the failures we’ve seen in the last year,” Prendergast said. “We are making these and many other improvements so our customers and employees can be confident on the MTA network. Safety is a mindset, not a checklist, and these improvements are important actions to ensure the MTA earns the trust of our customers and employees again.”

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Brooklyn & Queens Bus Time Coming Soon

Real time bus tracking a.k.a. BusTime will be coming to Brooklyn & Queens as of March 9th. Here is more courtesy of the MTA:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that its live bus tracking service, MTA Bus Time™, has expanded to cover all Brooklyn and Queens’ bus routes. Customers can get the locations of Brooklyn and Queens’ buses in real time via smart phone, web and text message. The MTA has fulfilled its promise of offering MTA Bus Time™ on every bus route in New York City during the 1st Quarter of 2014.

“MTA Bus Time™ has added a new dimension to bus travel in Brooklyn and Queens, completing installation citywide,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “MTA Bus Time™ allows you to use your computer or phone to ‘Know Before You Go’ to keep you informed of your bus’ expected arrival at the bus stop.”

“MTA Bus Time™ is yet another way we are trying to improve service for our customers,” said Carmen Bianco, President of MTA New York City Transit. “As we have seen with train arrival information in the subway, customers appreciate when they know when that train or bus will show up at the station or stop.”

“Removing the guesswork from the bus trip bus through real-time arrival information is exciting for me, and I look forward to seeing every bus in the City equipped with MTA Bus Time™.” said Darryl Irick, Senior Vice President for Buses for MTA New York City Transit and President of the MTA Bus Company. “The implementation of MTA Bus Time™ is another way we’re improving the customers’ experience.”

The routes to be added March 9 are the: B1, B100, B103, B11, B12, B13, B14, B15, B16, B17, B2, B20, B24, B25, B26, B3, B31, B32, B35, B36, B38, B39, B4, B41, B42, B43, B44, B44-SBS, B45, B46, B47, B48, B49, B52, B54, B57, B6, B60, B62, B64, B65, B67, B68, B69, B7, B70, B74, B8, B82, B83, B84, B9, BM1, BM2, BM3, BM4, BM5, Q1, Q10, Q100, Q101, Q102, Q103, Q104, Q11, Q110, Q111, Q112, Q113, Q12, Q13, Q15, Q15A, Q16, Q17, Q18, Q19, Q2, Q20A, Q20B, Q21, Q22, Q23, Q24, Q25, Q26, Q27, Q28, Q29, Q3, Q30, Q31, Q32, Q33, Q34, Q35, Q36, Q37, Q38, Q39, Q4, Q40, Q41, Q42, Q43, Q44, Q46, Q47, Q48, Q49, Q5, Q52, Q53, Q54, Q55, Q56, Q58, Q59, Q6, Q60, Q64, Q65, Q66, Q67, Q69, Q7, Q70, Q72, Q76, Q77, Q8, Q83, Q84, Q85, Q88, Q9, QM1, QM10, QM11, QM12, QM15, QM16, QM17, QM18, QM2, QM20, QM21, QM24, QM25, QM3, QM4, QM5, QM6, QM7, QM8, X27, X28, X37, X38, X63, X64, and X68

The expansion adds more than 9,000 bus stops to the MTA Bus Time™ system bringing the total to more than 15,000. Crews have now installed enhanced GPS hardware in 5,500 buses operating in all boroughs.

MTA Bus Time™ began serving all bus routes on Staten Island in January 2012, all bus routes in the Bronx in November 2012, and Manhattan in October 2013.

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; Bus New York City; Google Maps for Mobile; In Time Staten Island; Ride On Time NYC; Roadify; Transit Times; Bus NYC.

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

• Web: IRideNYC.com

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/

xoxo Transit Bloggger

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Service Diversions 02-20-14

Get a head start on your weekend 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 safe & wonderful weekend.

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Metro North To Add Extra Trains Tonight

Although the Metro-North is still running on a Saturday schedule due to the storm, the agency has announced it is preparing to add extra trains tonight. Here are the details:

MTA Metro-North Railroad will provide additional trains Friday afternoon to accommodate customers and alleviate the crowding conditions on some Friday morning trains. MTA Long Island Rail Road and MTA New York City Transit subways and buses plan to operate on normal schedules.

Metro-North is operating a Saturday schedule for the afternoon rush, which will provide 58 percent of regular rush hour capacity. The railroad will augment that service with additional trains prepared to run extra service from Grand Central Terminal, bringing available capacity up to 77 percent of normal. As of 11 a.m., Metro-North ridership was 68 percent of a normal weekday.

Metro-North operated a Saturday schedule on Friday morning, representing 40 percent of regular weekday morning rush service, as a result of the winter storm that left more than a foot of snow in many portions of the railroad’s service area. The railroad also ran 14 extra trains through the morning – nine on the New Haven Line, four on the Harlem Line and one on the Hudson Line – bringing service up to 55 percent of normal.

“Based on forecasts of up to a foot of snow falling overnight, we were conservative in planning schedules to help reduce the chances that trains could become stranded or would have to be canceled,” said Joseph Giulietti, President of Metro-North Railroad. “When the sun shone through this morning, we had more customers than anticipated, particularly on the New Haven Line. We apologize for this morning’s crowding and expect to do better this afternoon.”

Train times are available on Metro-North’s schedules page. Customers should also check mta.info Service Status and the news media for updates, listen for station announcements, sign up for email alerts, and download the Metro-North Train Time App for iPhone and Android.

Customers should listen to public address announcements in Grand Central Terminal for information about train departures. Additional customer service representatives will be stationed in the terminal to assist customers as well. Please use caution when entering and exiting trains, as well as on platforms and staircases, and allow for additional travel time.

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Service Diversions 02-14-14

Get a head start on your holiday 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. I know I will have a great one as it is my birthday weekend!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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