NYC Transit To Add 180 New Buses

MTA NYC Transit has announced that will be adding 180 new state of the art buses to its current fleet. Here is more via the press release I received:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board voted today to purchase 180 state-of-the-art articulated buses equipped with pedestrian safety technology and modern customer amenities to increase the capacity of New York City Transit’s bus fleet as the agency works to improve bus service citywide and prepares for enhancing service during the Canarsie  Tunnel repairs.

The MTA Board voted to award two contracts totaling $150 million to New Flyer and Nova Bus for the wheelchair-accessible, low-floor, 60-foot articulated buses that will feature visibility improvements for bus operators and safety technology such as pedestrian turn warning systems. These buses will also be equipped with technology to allow NYC Transit’s in-house crews to quickly install traffic signal priority (TSP) equipment once the buses are delivered, as part of NYC Transit’s goal to equip the entire bus fleet with the speed-enhancing technology.

“The MTA is moving aggressively to update our fleet with reliable new buses that have the latest state-of-the-art technology,” MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said.  “Whether it’s traffic signal priority, contactless payments, or conveniences like digital information screens and USB charging, these fully accessible buses are ready for the future.”

Customer amenities include digital information screens, Wi-Fi capability and USB charging ports, which are consistent with other new MTA buses. The buses are expected to be delivered from September 2018 to September 2019, replacing older 40- and 60-foot buses that have reached the end of their 12-year life-cycles.

Articulated buses, which are longer than regular 40-foot buses, have an accordion feature and can increase capacity on high-volume routes, helping to meet peak-service demand and reduce overcrowding without adding more buses on high-traffic city streets. Articulated buses also help reduce overall fleet operational costs by reducing the total number of miles driven by regular 40-foot buses and related maintenance costs for fewer buses.

New Flyer will provide 108 buses for a total of $90.1 million, and Nova Bus will provide 72 buses at a cost of $60 million. The split contract allowed MTA New York City Transit to negotiate more competitive pricing for the buses and allowed both companies to deliver the buses at a faster rate rather than a single firm providing all 180 buses.

The expedited delivery schedule is vital to NYC Transit’s alternative service plans during the Canarsie Tunnel repairs, which are scheduled for 15 months beginning April 2019. Transit’s mitigation plans, which are in development with local communities and NYC DOT which is responsible for the building of dedicated bus lanes and other street enhancements necessary for faster bus service, will include robust bus service for  line customers traveling between Manhattan and Brooklyn with options for customers traveling to the Lower East Side or 14th Street.

New buses are part of the MTA’s initiative to revitalize bus operations, with plans for adding a total of 2,042 state-of-the-art new buses over five years. The new buses replace nearly 40 percent of the MTA’s current fleet and represent a $1.5 billion investment of Capital Program resources. The new buses included in the plan are already in service in all five boroughs, with new vehicles delivered continuously since 2016.

I am always excited to hear when new equipment is being added. Hopefully they are quality products that will provide many years of quality service for the agency & its riders.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Metro North Port Jervis Line Work Scheduled

Just a short time ago, the MTA Metro-North Railroad announced the scheduling of track work on the Port Jervis line this weekend which includes switch installation & repaving. Due to the work, the agency will be providing substitute bus service between Harriman & Port Jervis. Here is more via the press release I received:

MTA Metro-North Railroad track maintenance crews will install a new switch between Campbell Hall and Middletown this coming weekend, Oct. 27-29, and will resurface track on the Port Jervis Line to provide a safer, smoother ride. As a result of the work, buses will substitute for trains between Harriman and Port Jervis from late Friday evening, October 27, until Sunday evening, October 29.

Buses will follow train schedules, substituting for the following trains:

Westbound from Harriman to Port Jervis:

Friday, October 27:   

  • Buses will substitute for the 11:30 p.m. and 2:09 a.m. trains from Harriman, making all scheduled stops to Port Jervis.

Saturday, October 28:  

  • Buses will substitute for all trains between Harriman and Port Jervis. Buses will follow train schedules.

Sunday, October 29:  

  • Buses will substitute for the 10:28 a.m., 12:28 p.m., 2:44 p.m., 5:11 p.m. and 7:20 p.m. trains from Harriman. Train service resumes with the 10:55 p.m. train from Harriman to Port Jervis.

Eastbound from Port Jervis to Harriman:

Saturday, October 28 and Sunday, October 29:

Buses will substitute for the 4:45 a.m., 7:24 a.m., 8:44 a.m., 10:44 a.m., 3:05 p.m. and 5:27 p.m. trains from Port Jervis, making all scheduled stops to Harriman. Customers will connect at Harriman with train service to Hoboken. Customers traveling from Salisbury Mills will board buses to Ramsey-Rt. 17, where they can connect with train service to Hoboken. Regular service will resume with the first scheduled train on Monday, October 30.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA Statement On Subway Homeless Issue

Most of us living in & around NYC know how clueless Mayor Bill de Blasio is based on his countless actions during his term. This continues to be the case when he tried to steer the blame for the NYC Subway homeless issue on the MTA even though handling it is out of their control. MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota just released a statement that was sent to be by the MTA:

The Mayor was asked about the homeless sleeping on the subways and one of his first words in response was “MTA.” New Yorkers get the Mayor is making every attempt to distance himself from the Transit Authority, but they aren’t fools. The fact is that since 1995 the NYPD has been the police force charged with enforcement in the subway system.

The MTA board gave Mayor Giuliani the authority to consolidate the Transit Police within the NYPD, giving the City primary jurisdiction. That’s a fact. Recently, the MTA has repeatedly asked the NYPD to help the expanding number of homeless people in the system find shelter outside of the trains and stations.

The NYPD needs to enhance its homeless outreach efforts in the subways. We all know that homeless people need help; clean shelters, job training, mental health services, and leaving them on the trains is degrading for all. The response is not to defend or excuse the presence of the homeless, but to get them the help they desperately need.

Every New York City Mayor since Koch has realized this except our current Mayor. We again are asking the NYPD to step up their presence and increase enforcement and the city must stop running from its responsibility. We hear from subway riders all day long and their opinion is unanimous: Mayor, fund the subway repair plan and get the sleeping homeless off the ‎trains. It’s the Mayor’s job.

I am not surprised at the idiocy from de Blasio has he truly has a strong chance to go down as one of the worst mayors NYC has ever had. He has continuously showed that he has zero issues with letting his narrative reign supreme over actual facts & reality.

His statement trying to put the blame on the MTA for this issue even though it is out of their actual control proves that. Great job de Blasio, no one can deny that you are consistent even if it is at being a flat out fool.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA Starts Seasonal Fight Against Leaves

The MTA has announced the beginning of their seasonal fight against leaves. Here is more via the press release I was sent:

Autumn may be a time of natural beauty for our region, as green foliage gives way to hues of yellow, orange and red. But for the region’s railroads, colorful leaves signal a return to heightened concern over the impact that fallen leaves have on railroad safety and operations.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced the official start of leaf-fighting season, with crews from the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and the Staten Island Railway operating work trains that spray water jets to clear tracks of slimy leaf debris. Windy wet weather predicted for tonight may nevertheless blow leaves onto the rails, creating isolated locations with slippery conditions.

A specialized Metro-North work train sprays water at high pressure, and specially equipped highway/rail trucks use rail scrubbers to remove crushed leaf residue from the tracks. On-board Metro-North diesel passenger trains, “sanders” automatically drop sand onto the tracks to help improve traction and reduce wheel slippage. On the LIRR, a specialized train then applies a traction gel onto the freshly cleared rails that allows train wheels to maintain traction, even in the presence of crushed leaf slime.

For video of the LIRR’s leaf-fighting train performing a demonstration:

For still photos:

During autumn when falling leaves land on the running rails of MTA tracks, they can be run over by trains, compacted by the weight and crushed into a gelatinous, slime-like substance that reduces the normal amount of adhesion train wheels have on the rails. This creates a condition known as “slip slide,” which prevents trains from stopping normally when engineers apply the brakes. To ensure safety, the railroads institute slower speeds for trains passing through an area where an engineer has reported slip-slide conditions, which can cause train delays.

“Anyone who has ever driven a car and tried to brake on a patch of ice knows something of what it feels like for a train engineer who applies the brakes to a train on a patch of rails coated in liquefied leaf residue,” said MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota. “As autumn begins we turn our attention to fighting leaves that have fallen on our tracks, but throughout the year we work to combat vegetation along the rails.”

The first step to reducing these delays for the LIRR, Metro-North and the Staten Island Railway is to trim or remove trees and vegetation alongside the tracks, either through railroad personnel or by hiring outside trained and licensed vegetation management contractors. About two thirds of the leaf matter that interferes with railroad operations on Long Island comes from invasive species such as ailianthus trees, black locust trees, Norway maples, and bamboo.  In the region served by Metro-North, the majority of the leaves come from oak, sugar maple and birch trees, and sumac.

The Long Island Rail Road alone plans to engage contractors to trim back vegetation along 80 miles of track in 2018 and 94 miles in 2019. Bushes and trees on LIRR property are subject to removal, and tree branches extending onto railroad property may be pruned as well.

But despite those continuous annual efforts, of course it’s impossible to completely prevent leaves from falling onto the tracks. So each fall, the LIRR, Metro-North and Staten Island Railway use the specialized trains to spray jets of water to push leaves from the rails, and either scrub the tracks clean, as on Metro-North, or, as on Long Island, apply a mixture known as sandite, a traction gel that has the consistency of pancake batter and provides improved traction.

The MTA has programmed its newest commuter railroad cars – the M7’s and M8’s – to allow their braking systems to better adjust to slip-slide conditions, and train crews and dispatchers communicate continuously to identify slip-slide problem areas where trains need to slow, and where the specialized leaf-fighting trains may need to travel next.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Metro North To Make Upper Harlem Line Improvements

The MTA Metro-North Railroad has announced it will be making improvements along the upper portion of the Harlem Line this weekend. Here is more via the official press release I received:

MTA Metro-North Railroad today announced that crews will perform critical work between Wassaic and Southeast this weekend, October 20-22. Metro-North crews are renewing the Cornwall Hill Road grade crossing in Patterson, replacing the crossing surface, rails and ties. Elsewhere along the tracks, crews will cut brush and weld rail joints.

To accommodate this track work, after 10 p.m. on Friday, October 20, buses will replace trains at all stations between Wassaic and Southeast. Normal train service will resume with the first scheduled train of Monday, October 23.

Service details are below:


Starting with the 11:28 p.m. departure from Wassaic on Friday, October 20, and for all departures on Saturday and Sunday, October 21-22, buses will substitute for trains from Wassaic to Southeast, making stops at the following stations: Tenmile River, Dover Plains, Harlem Valley-Wingdale, Pawling and Patterson. Bus service will operate 15-30 minutes earlier than normally scheduled train times.


Starting with the 8:52 p.m. departure from Grand Central on Friday, October 20, and for all departures on Saturday and Sunday, October 21-22, trains from Grand Central to Southeast will connect with bus service at Southeast. Buses will make each train’s stops at: Patterson, Pawling, Harlem Valley-Wingdale, Dover Plains, Tenmile River and Wassaic. Customers should allow for later arrival times.

For a bus and train schedule, customers can visit:

xoxo Transit Blogger

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