Service Diversions 09-25-15

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

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MTA May Reroute 25 Bus Routes

The MTA has announced that they might reroute 25 bus routes due to the visit to NYC by Pope Francis. Here are the details:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) plans to reroute portions of up to 25 bus routes – some of them in more than one location – during Pope Francis’ visit to New York City from the evening of Thursday, September 24 to the morning of Saturday, September 26.

All of the affected routes are in Manhattan, including Manhattan segments of the Q32 bus from Queens. The New York City Police Department has announced extensive traffic closures throughout Manhattan during the pope’s visit, and traffic is also subject to unannounced closures, diversions and frozen zones for the United Nations General Assembly.

“Pope Francis’ visit to New York will be a time for celebration throughout the city, and we are preparing our bus network to move customers efficiently despite challenging traffic and road conditions,” said Darryl Irick, President of MTA Bus and Senior Vice President, MTA New York City Transit Department of Buses. “These routes may experience delays and crowding at times, so we encourage our bus customers to plan alternate routes if possible.”

Bus customers are urged to travel by subway if possible throughout this period. Local and Express buses in Manhattan will experience delays, detours and closures near papal events across the borough, and some bus stops may be temporarily relocated. While Staten Island Express Buses are scheduled to operate normally, customers may consider using the Staten Island Ferry and connecting to the subway network to avoid street congestion.

Access-A-Ride will be operating full service during the entire papal visit, but customers should expect delays and congestion during this period, and should postpone travel if possible. Access to areas and roadways near papal events will be uncertain, limited and in some cases blocked.

Customers on all MTA services should plan additional time for their travels, purchase round-trip MetroCards or rail tickets at the start of their journeys, and prepare for crowded conditions. To stay informed of service changes and diversions, visit to view service status and sign up for email and text message alerts for all MTA services.

The MTA will run extra service on Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road on Friday, September 25 to accommodate travelers to papal events. The New York City Subway can accommodate additional customers and will have additional personnel available to assist customers and adjust service if necessary. MTA Bridges and Tunnels will fully staff its seven bridges and two tunnels with toll collectors and Bridge and Tunnel Officers to ensure safe travels for those who choose to drive during Pope Francis’ visit.

Bus diversions for Pope Francis’ visit are described in general below. Detailed descriptions of those diversions will be available at

Fifth – Madison Avenues:

Pope Francis will travel to St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue for Evening Prayer (Vespers) in the evening of Thursday, September 24. He will later stay at a residence on the Upper East Side until his departure on the morning of Saturday, September 26. When Fifth Avenue is closed during those times, the M1, M2, M3, M4 and Q32 buses that usually travel on Fifth and Madison avenues will instead use major cross streets to travel to Lexington and Third avenues. The M5 will travel south on Seventh Avenue, then take 42nd Street to Fifth Avenue.

These diversions may take effect before papal events begin to accommodate preparations, but those routes are scheduled to run normally during the Thursday morning rush hour. Intermittent road closures could occur at any time.

Throughout the papal visit, the M72 will be diverted to the 79th Street Transverse across Central Park. Eastbound buses will use Amsterdam and Lexington avenues to reach this diversion, and westbound buses will use Third and Columbus avenues.

United Nations:

At all times during the General Assembly, northbound M15 and M15 SBS buses will bypass stops on First Avenue between 39th Street and 50th Street. During certain United Nations events, northbound M15 and M15 SBS buses will be diverted from First Avenue to Third Avenue between 34th Street and 57th Street.

The eastbound M42 will turn short to avoid the United Nations during the entire General Assembly. The bus will turn at Second Avenue if possible, and if not, at Lexington Avenue, before returning on Third Avenue to westbound 42nd Street.

Throughout the papal visit, the M50 will be diverted between Sixth and Lexington avenues. Westbound buses will travel on 42nd Street and eastbound buses will travel on 57th Street. This is in addition to other diversions in place between Madison and Lexington avenues during the General Assembly, when westbound buses will travel on 47th Street and eastbound buses will travel on 52nd Street when possible.

Lower Manhattan:

The M9, M20 and M22 bus routes will curtail service short of Battery Park City during the multi-religious service late Friday morning at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site. The M9 and M22 will terminate near City Hall, while the M20 will travel southbound on Broadway and northbound on Church Street.

East Harlem:

Several bus routes will be diverted during Pope Francis’ visit to the Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem on Friday afternoon. The M96 eastbound will be diverted to 106th Street between Madison and Lexington avenues. If 106th Street is closed, the M96 and M106 eastbound will be diverted to 116th Street between Madison and Lexington avenues.

If Second or Third avenues are closed through East Harlem, additional diversions will take effect. The M15 and M15 SBS southbound would divert to Lexington Avenue between 116th and 86th streets. The M98 and M103 northbound would divert to First Avenue between 96th and 116th streets. The M101 and M102 northbound would divert to Madison Avenue at 96th Street.

Central Park:

Buses along Central Park West will diverted throughout Friday during preparations for Pope Francis’ procession through Central Park. The M5, M7, M10, M20 and M104 will be rerouted along 57th Street to Columbus and Amsterdam avenues; the M10 will return to Central Park West at 81st Street.

The M66 will be diverted eastbound to 57th Street between Broadway and Madison Avenue, and westbound between Lexington and Amsterdam avenues. The M72 will be diverted eastbound to 81st Street and then via the 79th Street Transverse between Amsterdam and Lexington avenues, and westbound to the 79th Street Transverse and then 81st Street between Third and Columbus avenues.

Madison Square Garden:

Several routes will be diverted from streets near Madison Square Garden from late morning through late evening Friday to avoid the Papal Mass being celebrated there Friday evening.

The southbound M4 and Q32 routes will turn in a loop using 23rd St. and Sixth Avenue to reach 32nd Street and their normal northbound route. The southbound M7 and M20 will be diverted from Seventh to Ninth avenues between 41st and 24th streets, and the northbound M20 will be diverted from Eighth to Tenth avenues between 23rd and 40th streets.

The M34 SBS and M34A SBS routes will be diverted to 23rd Street between First and Tenth avenues. Waterside Plaza customers can reach the buses at the FDR Drive and Avenue C.

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Idiot Charged With Reckless Driving

Car Fire on LIRR Tracks in Queens
The remains of Ronny Mora’s car after it caught fire on LIRR tracks in Long Island City.

Honestly the word idiot might not be strong enough to describe Ronny Mora of Corona Queens who was charged with reckless driving after purposely driving on LIRR tracks & leaving his car to burn after it caught fire when it struck a 3rd rail. Here is more on the story via the MTA:

The MTA Police today announced the arrest of a 25 year-old Queens man who allegedly drove his car for a mile on the Long Island Rail Road tracks in Long Island City stopping only when his vehicle struck a third rail and burst into flames.

Ronny Mora of Corona was apparently drunk when he entered the LIRR right of way at the Borden Ave. railroad crossing shortly after 11 p.m. and then drove the car on the tracks east for about three quarters of a mile, past the LIRR’s Hunterspoint Ave. Station, according to police.

Police said Mora abandoned his car as it smoldered and finally caught fire walking back to the crossing where he told LIRR employees that he was “sorry” but had left his car on the tracks.

The fire forced the Railroad to suspend service between Penn Station and Jamaica for nearly three hours while the New York City Fire Department extinguished the blaze and LIRR personnel repaired the damaged third rail.

MTA Police said that Mora was charged with unlawful interference with a train, criminal mischief. Reckless endangerment, criminal trespassing, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

The best part is how he walked back to the crossing & just said “sorry” as if that was supposed to make it all okay. He should also be forced to pay for any costs that the MTA had to pay due to his idiocy. He should have his license permanently revoked as he clearly has zero business behiind the wheel!

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Metro North Schedule Changes Starting Oct 3 & 4

The Metro-North Railroad has announced schedule changes that will start on October 3rd & 4th. Here are the details via official press release:

New timetables are coming to Metro-North’s New Haven Line and Harlem Line on Sunday, October 4, and to the Hudson Line on Saturday, October 3. On the New Haven Line, Metro-North is creating a better morning rush hour connection to Greenwich for Shore Line East customers. On the Hudson Line, weekend track work will mean special timetables for seven weekends. Customers on all three lines should look for other, minor scheduling changes.

New Haven Line

Metro-North is making it easier for Shore Line East commuters to reach Greenwich. Commuters who ride Shore Line East’s 5:50 a.m. departure from New London, Conn., making all stops to West Haven, then Bridgeport, then arriving at Stamford at 8:03 a.m., will now be able to change at Stamford for an 8:14 a.m. train to Greenwich. The connecting train previously originated in New Canaan at 7:58 a.m. and ran express after Stamford. To allow for the added stop at Greenwich, the train will depart from Stamford and all New Canaan Branch stations two minutes earlier. It will now originate at New Canaan at 7:56 a.m.

Waterbury Branch Update

Metro-North will issue updated New Haven Line timetables effective November 16, reflecting the decommissioning of the temporary transfer station for Waterbury Branch customers at Devon and the conclusion of work on the Devon Movable Bridge. At that time, normal Waterbury Branch service will resume.

Hudson Line

The 9:15 a.m. weekday train from Poughkeepsie, which had been adjusted in April to accommodate a construction project, returns to its former schedule, departing Poughkeepsie at 9:00 a.m.

Temporary Schedule for Weekend Construction, October 3 to November 15

Beginning Saturday, October 3, and continuing through Sunday, November 15, Metro-North crews will replace an important complex of track switches near Yankees-E. 153rd Street. As a result, two of the Hudson Line’s three tracks between Marble Hill and Harlem-125th Street will be out of service for seven weekends, and train service will operate with schedule changes.

For electric train service south of Croton-Harmon, local trains will operate normally, but the semi-express trains will operate only between Croton-Harmon and Marble Hill. Customers riding these trains will transfer at Marble Hill to continue their trip, and will experience an increase in travel time of up to six minutes.

Customers using diesel trains that operate north of Croton-Harmon will need to make a cross-platform change of trains at Croton-Harmon. Three southbound trains from Poughkeepsie (the 9:40 a.m. train on Saturdays, and the 10:40 a.m. and 3:40 p.m. trains Saturdays and Sundays) and three northbound trains to Poughkeepsie (the 4:14 p.m. train on Saturdays, and the 5:14 p.m. and 6:14 p.m. trains Saturdays and Sundays) will not operate for the duration of the work.

Metro-North will issue new Hudson Line timetables effective November 16, at the conclusion of this project, and at that time normal weekend service will be restored.

Harlem Line

Trains that stop at Bedford Hills at 4:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays will bypass the station starting Sunday, October 4. Metro-North added these stops for the first time this past spring, and found that it was difficult to allow for essential track maintenance activities with the heightened level of service. Customers from Bedford Hills will continue to have the hourly service that has long existed at the station, with trains departing at 3:35 p.m., 4:35 p.m., 5:35 p.m., and 6:35 p.m.

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LIRR To Streamline Ticket Procedures

The MTA Long Island Railroad has announced that it is streamlining its ticket procedures. Here are the complete details via press release:

The Long Island Rail Road wants customers to know that a number of changes to little-used ticketing procedures that have faded in popularity are taking effect at the beginning of October. Most of the changes were previously announced when they were approved by the MTA Board in July.

WebTicket, which allowed LIRR customers to order tickets online and have them delivered by mail within 7 business days, will no longer be available beginning Thursday, October 1. The popularity of WebTicket has declined significantly, representing only 0.1% of the LIRR’s ticket sales. Monthly ticket buyers are encouraged to sign up for Mail&Ride, the LIRR’s convenient ticket-by-mail subscription service. Other customers are advised to allow time to buy tickets at easy-to-use LIRR ticket machines and staffed ticket windows, where available.

Monthly Tickets: Validity will now start at 12 midnight on the first day of the month, rather than at 8 p.m. on the last day of the prior month. (This does not affect the first business day of the month courtesy, which allows monthly ticket holders to surrender the previous month’s ticket on a morning rush hour train, then buy their new monthly ticket at their destination before the commute home. This practice will remain in effect.)

Weekly Tickets: Validity will now start at 12 midnight on Saturday mornings, rather than at 8 p.m., on Fridays.

One-Way Tickets, which are valid for 60 days from date of purchase, will now expire at 11:59 p.m. on the 60th day. (Previously, they expired at 4 a.m. on the 61st day.)

Stop-Overs at intermediate stations are no longer permitted with one-way or round-trip tickets starting October 1, 2015. This seldom-used option had allowed customers who purchased one-way or round-trip tickets to exit the train at an intermediate stop, and re-board later in the day using a single ticket.

Going forward, customers should purchase separate tickets for each leg of their trip. To save money, buy before boarding at a ticket machine or staffed LIRR Ticket Window, since tickets bought onboard the train cost up to $6.50 more than the station price. Monthly and weekly ticketholders are not affected by this change.

What this should be called in most instances is the LIRR finding ways to give less for more to its customers which comes as no surprise to myself or any LIRR regulars who know how they operate.

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