Service Diversions 08-05-17

I have just updated the Service Diversions for the rest of the week.

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Metro North Schedules Public Hearing

In continuing with the Metro-North news theme, the agency has announced that it has scheduled a public hearing for August 23rd on the possibility of making additional service at the Melrose & Tremont stations permanent. Here is more via the official press release I received:

MTA Metro-North Railroad today announced that it will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, August 23, inviting customers to comment on a plan to permanently increase service levels at the Melrose and Tremont stations on the Harlem Line. The hearing will be held at 5 p.m. at agency headquarters on 2 Broadway in Lower Manhattan.

In an effort to build ridership and provide Bronx residents with more convenient travel options, on October 2, 2016, Metro-North implemented a pilot program that increased service at the Tremont and Melrose stations from a two-hour frequency to hourly frequency during off-peak and weekend travel times.

The public hearing on August 23 is a necessary step in making the pilot expansion program an enduring schedule change, and service at Melrose and Tremont will remain consistent with other Bronx stations.


In addition to the increased frequency, the service day will stay extended, with earlier inbound service on weekdays and significantly later outbound service on weekdays and weekends.

Details of increased service at Melrose and Tremont stations are below:

  • Weekday inbound service will be expanded from: 7:20 a.m. – 10:41 p.m., to: 5:51 a.m. – 12:47 a.m.
  • Weekday outbound service will be expanded from: 5:38 a.m. – 9:25 p.m., to: 5:38 a.m. -1:20 a.m.
  • Weekend inbound service will be expanded from: 6:44 a.m. – 10:44 p.m., to: 6:44 a.m. – 12:44 a.m.
  • Weekend outbound service will be expanded from: 6:25 a.m. – 9:25 p.m., to: 6:25 a.m. – 1: 20 a.m.

Details on the date, time and location of the hearing are below:

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Hearing begins at 5 p.m.

Registration is from 4:30 6 p.m.


Metropolitan Transportation Authority

2 Broadway

William J. Ronan Board Room, 20th Floor

New York, NY 10004


Directions to 2 Broadway:

By rail: Metro-North Railroad to Grand Central Terminal, then transfer to the subway to Bowling Green.

By subway: to Bowling Green; to Whitehall St;  to South Ferry; or  to Broad St

By bus: M15 (Local or SBS), M20, X1, X10, or X17

By ferry: Staten Island Ferry to Whitehall Terminal

For more information, to pre-register to speak, or to submit comments:
Those wishing to be heard must register in advance, either by telephone by calling 646-252-6777, registering online or in person at the hearing. Verbal presentations will be limited to three minutes. You may present verbal testimony or submit written statements in lieu of, or to supplement oral testimony concerning the proposed project. Email comments will be accepted online.

Comments may also be submitted via postal mail to:

MTA Government & Community Relations

Attn: MN Melrose & Tremont Stations Pilot Program

2 Broadway, 20th floor

New York, NY 10004

All written statements must be submitted by 6 p.m. on August 23, 2017. Comments received after that date and time will not be considered.

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Lower Harlem Line Work Coming Up

Earlier today, the MTA Metro-North Railroad announced upcoming work on the lower portion of the Harlem line which will see buses replace northbound trains between the Melrose & Tremont stations. Here is more via the official press release I received:

MTA Metro-North Railroad today announced that to ensure the on-going reliability and safety of the Harlem and New Haven Lines, crews will perform critical work on the Bronx Drainage project, installing a series of drain pipes, inlets and connections to city sewers.

The drainage facilities are installed both beneath and outside the tracks between Melrose and Tremont, which requires removing one of the tracks from service for this crucial work.

As a result of this infrastructure improvement work, northbound trains will not be able to stop at the Melrose platform between 6 a.m., Saturday, August 5, and 5 a.m., Monday, August 7.  During this time, Metro-North will provide substitute buses from Melrose to Tremont, where passengers may board northbound trains to their Bronx, Westchester and Dutchess destinations. Buses will depart Melrose approximately 15 minutes earlier than scheduled trains. Regularly scheduled northbound train service will resume at Melrose at 5 a.m. on Monday,   August 7.

To Melrose, Saturday, August 5 – Sunday, August 6:

Customers traveling from Grand Central Terminal and Harlem-125th Street to Melrose will take the train to Tremont and then switch to a southbound train back to Melrose. The connecting train to Melrose will board on the “Inbound to Grand Central Terminal” platform at Tremont, requiring passengers to walk from the “Outbound to White Plains/Wassaic” platform, up to the street and to the staircase leading to the “Inbound to Grand Central Terminal” platform.

*Note: Passengers on the trains scheduled to arrive at Tremont at 11:58 p.m. and 1:37 a.m. will transfer to a bus for the return to Melrose.

Service details are below:

From Melrose, Saturday, August 5 – Sunday, August 6:

Customers traveling from Melrose station to Westchester, Bronx or Dutchess stations will take a bus to the Tremont station for continuing northbound service.  The buses will operate approximately 15 minutes earlier than scheduled trains.

Note: southbound service at the Melrose station will be unaffected by this service change. Customers may continue to board their southbound train on the inbound platform to Grand Central Terminal.

Service details are below:

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MTA Allegedly Uses Secret Cleanup Crews

Last Friday the MTA lost a case against Manuel Reyes who was allegedly suffered disabling injuries due to an accident on a Queens bus back in 2007. However the verdict of the case is not what is sending shockwaves through the transit world, it is the allegation that the MTA has secret cleanup crews to cover up accident scenes. Susan Edelman of the New York Post has more:

The MTA has mobile crash squads around the city that swoop down on the scenes of bus collisions — and orchestrate cover-ups, a lawyer charges.

“It’s all about damage control,” said attorney Michael Gunzburg, who represents an injured bus rider. No less than 10 MTA investigators descended on the crash site where his client was hurt — several arriving even before ambulances.

An army of MTA supervisors in every borough — at least five in Queens alone — are given cars and assigned to pounce when bus accidents happen, according to court testimony. They do measurements, interview witnesses, take photographs and write reports for risk management and claims.

Queens MTA worker Victor Santiago told a court last week he’s dashed to hundreds of bus accidents — “one or two a day or more” — now mostly “high-profile” crashes.

In his case, Gunzburg argued, the MTA either failed to gather evidence or hid it.

“They come in and try to cover up the accident,” he told a Queens civil court last week. “This is how they handle all accidents.”

The jury agreed. On Friday, it found the MTA and bus driver Dameion Soman 100 percent negligent in the 2007 crash on Parsons Boulevard and the Grand Central Parkway service road. It allegedly caused disabling injuries to passenger Manuel Reyes, 43, a former cabby and father of two.

Gunzburg cited the MTA’s missing or faulty evidence. Among the examples:

  • No MTA photos showed where the bus stopped after the crash. Reyes testified it careened across two southbound lanes. But an MTA diagram suggests it stayed in the northbound lanes, and photos show it in different spots. “They moved the bus,” Gunzburg said.
  • MTA investigators took statements from all or most of 14 bus passengers, including five at the hospital, but produced only Reyes’ statement.
  • Santiago testified a colleague downloaded a “black box”-like device, which records the bus’ speed and braking, but that information wasn’t provided.

“There were 10 [MTA responders] there. What happened to all their work product?” Gunzburg said after the verdict.

Click here for the complete report.

This is some extremely troubling information if true. While I have personally heard some stories about this, I could never confirm with 100% certainty. However the testimony during this case seems pretty damning. I find this alleged behavior to be 100% reprehensible & anyone who would partake in such actions should be criminally prosecuted for fraud.

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MTA Workers File Grievance

The job of a MTA employee especially those who work underground can be very tough & sometimes downright brutal & toxic. I personally know many such workers personally over the years who have complained to me about the conditions. So when I saw an exclusive report by Nicole Johnson of Pix11, it came as no surprise to hear its content:

Some MTA employees say they literally can’t get a break while working their shifts. With a lack of bathrooms and lunch breaks, their patience is running short.

Train operator Kim McLaurin and her colleagues — conductor Tramell Thompson and train operator Trevor Logan — told PIX11 in an exclusive interview that their working conditions are unbearable.

“There are no accommodations for pregnant women down there imagine what happens when you have to use the bathroom,” McLaurin, who’s spent nine years working as a train operator, said.

Thompson filed a grievance on behalf of a pregnant employee he said was denied a bathroom break.

Click here for the full report including the exclusive sit down interview.

As I mentioned earlier, the content of this report came as no surprise to me. I have been hearing of such complaints for years from subway workers & similar issues with bus drivers as well.

Growing up in a family that has worked for the MTA, I have seen first hand how employees are looked at as nothing more than a number or as pieces of meat with no regards for their overall well being. Sadly I can’t say the union has always had the backs of their fellow man as a number of higher ups tended to be more concerned with their pockets & stroke versus being the best representative they could be. Hopefully this will change in the near future even though if past history is any indicator, employees still have a ways to go!

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