Proof The NYPD Has Nothing Better To Do!

I am sure by now you have all heard of the operation being run by the NYPD called “Operation Lucky Bag”. The purpose of this operation is to catch people who would steal goods such as cell phones, an Ipod, or wallets after they were dropped by an innocent straphanger. The operation starts when an undercover officer drops a cell phone, Ipod, or wallet in a subway station. When someone picks up the item, cops pounce on the unsuspecting person. When they pounce on the unsuspecting person, they frisk the individual, demand ID, & run a criminal background check.

The New York Daily News featured a story on photographer Carlos Alayo. Mr. Alayo was a victim of “Operation Lucky Bag” as he was frisked, forced to show id & had a criminal background check run because he picked up a wallet he found on a platform at the Grand Central station. Mr. Alayo felt & was treated like a criminal for being a good Samaritan. His face turned colors as tons of rush hour straphangers watched the situation unfold. He was eventually released after his background check came back just fine.

Now can someone tell me what the hell is the point to this operation? How does the genius behind this idea sleep at night knowing they are now making good Samaritans think twice about doing what is right? How do they feel knowing they are wasting resources on a pointless operation? Unfortunately they & the rest of the NYPD seem to sleep fine as they consider this operation a success so far. They are proud of the fact that 100 people have been detained during this operation & 58 had rap sheets.

Are you kidding me? This is the reason why they think it is a success? Have these clowns ever heard of probability? Pick a random sample of 100 people from anywhere & some are bound to have some sort of rap sheet. Why do they need an idiotic operation such as this to tell them that? This operation accomplishes nothing productive unless they had having more people hate them as a goal! Seriously ths has to be one of the dumbest ideas I have ever heard or seen executed & that is saying something! I hope Mr. Alayo & any of the other 42 who were wrongfully detained sue the pants off the NYPD as they would deserve it!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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C- Over Here, Come Get Your C-!


Jamaica/179th St. bound F train approaching the Ditmas Ave. station. Resized photo courtesy of Eye On Transit

It is sometime after 5 am so I felt the newspaper delivery boy headline would work. If you don’t like it, sue me! Now that I have gotten that out of the way, lets get down to business. To no one’s surprise another subway line scored a C- in its 2007 “Rider Report Card”. Today’s culprit is the F which brings riders on a long journey from Jamaica/179th Street to Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue. Now lets go straight the full breakdown of the results along with my analysis.

Top 10 priorities that train riders’ would like to see improvement on:

01. Reasonable wait times for trains
02. Adequate room on board at rush hour
03. Minimal delays during trips
04. Station announcements that are easy to hear
05. Train announcements that are easy to hear
06. Cleanliness of stations
07. Cleanliness of subway cars
08. Sense of security in stations
09. Station announcements that are informative
10. Sense of security on trains

Now here is the entire order of train riders’ priorities:

01. Reasonable wait times for trains
02. Adequate room on board at rush hour
03. Minimal delays during trips
04. Station announcements that are easy to hear
05. Train announcements that are easy to hear
06. Cleanliness of stations
07. Cleanliness of subway cars
08. Sense of security in stations
09. Station announcements that are informative
10. Sense of security on trains
11. Working elevators and escalators in stations
12. Comfortable temperature in subway cars
13. Train announcements that are informative
14. Courtesy and helpfulness of station personnel
15. Lack of scratchitti in subway cars
16. Ease of use of subway turnstiles
17. Signs in stations that help riders find their way
18. Signs in subway cars that help riders find their way
19. Availability of MetroCard Vending Machines
20. Lack of graffiti in subway cars
21. Lack of graffiti in stations

Now here is the graded breakdown of all 21 categories:

Minimal delays during trips C-
Reasonable wait times for trains C-
Adequate room on board at rush hour D
Sense of security in stations C
Sense of security on trains C
Working elevators and escalators in stations C-
Signs in stations that help riders find their way C
Signs in subway cars that help riders find their way C
Cleanliness of stations D+
Cleanliness of subway cars C-
Station announcements that are easy to hear D
Station announcements that are informative D
Train announcements that are easy to hear D
Train announcements that are informative D+
Lack of graffiti in stations C+
Lack of graffiti in subway cars C+
Lack of scratchitti in subway cars C-
Courtesy and helpfulness of station personnel C
Comfortable temperature in subway cars C
Ease of use of subway turnstiles B-
Availability of MetroCard Vending Machines B-

I think this report card was graded quite accurately. The F is a line I frequent quite often whether it is for railfanning purposes or traveling to the Lower East Side to go hang out or catch (if not both) my friends perform. I happen to have filled out a report card for the F online & my top 3 priorities matched the overall results.

In my experiences, wait times for the F train are hit or miss. If things are going good, I will arrive just as a F is pulling into the station, starting to approach the station, or arrives within 1-2 minutes. However when things are not going good which seem to be the majority of the time, I am just missing the F train & waiting for a good 10-15 minutes before the next one arrives.

As far as having adequate room on board, this is a problem way beyond just rush hour. I have taken the F at all times of the day & night & I rarely get a seat. I only tend to get a seat on the F if I am getting on at or near the beginning of the line on either end. Unfortunately most times I am not railfanning so I am getting on the train somewhere along its long route.

The delays for me tend to happen when I am riding the F in Queens. The express run can be great but most times it is slowed down by train traffic ahead of it. I understand that the line shares track space with the E for the better part of the day but I feel like the traffic is definitely from the E. I say this as it seems to be long gaps between F trains at times. The best time for the express in my experiences is late at night when the F can spread its wings on the express tracks. However this does not come as a surprise since the E is relegated to the role of a local to service Queens Boulevard all by itself which is a problem in of itself if you ask me.

For the most part I think all of the categories were graded fairly as it is hard to argue with any of the results. As usual though the F did get the free B grade of some sort for the availability of Metrocard vending machines (MVM). As far as improvements are concerned, I think riders are going to be disappointed by what I have to say however it must be said. I wouldn’t expect the F to improve on this grade for a few years. If anything the grade might deteriorate due to all the services changes riders will be faced with it in the near future due to the necessary repairs on the Gowanus Viaduct.

However to be fair, I think the riders should give the MTA some slack as the intention seems to be there to improve service along with adding the G & V to the mix in big ways. I also would like to say it was nice to see the 10,000 barrier mark be broken as far as report cards received by the MTA. The barrier was beyond broken as a whopping 13,101 sent in your report cards in whether by mail or online. While the number is low compared to how many depend on the line, this is a huge improvement from the previous response totals!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Disturbing Yet Not Surprising Video…..

Last night I happened to have my television on CW11 so I caught the first couple of stories on the 10pm newscast. Normally I am watching My9 news at 10pm but I did not get the chance to turn the channel. One of the first stories in the newscast was about the beating on the A train that was caught on video & posted on You Tube that was brought to light by The Smoking Gun.

First off I found the video disturbing although not surprising. As I said in my analysis of the C train “Rider Report Card”, I find that the A like the C tends to have extremely shady individuals riding it especially in Brooklyn.  So this was no surprise to see that the incident took place on one of the 8th Avenue lines. These kind of antics are nothing new on the subway & further illustrate why one must be prepared for anything every split second.

I am amazed at the restraint this man showed while being attacked. I do not condone hitting women but in cases of self defense, all bets are off especially with complete strangers. One has no idea if they have a weapon such as a box cutter, knife, or even worse a gun! If I was in his shoes, I would have struck back. I am quite confident the encounter would not have lasted long considering I am a pretty strong guy. Some might scream about how a man should never hit a woman, well you know what, these are not women! Real women do not go around looking for fights for no good reason! These women although they don’t deserve the label, clearly showed they want to act like men so let them get their ass kicked like men!

On a related note, it is quite pathetic when people use incidents like this to bring out their racial prejudices. I was reading a brief article about this video on the website for the Newsday. I noticed that the article contained a number of comments & unfortunately most seemed to be written by idiots playing games or bringing up their racial prejudices.

Lets see we have people pretending to be Rev. Al Sharpton, Bernie Goetz, & Charles Bronson. If that was not enough, we get idiotic statements such as “Who can possibly see this and not conclude that blacks are animals. They are worthless monkeys.” Thankfully at least 2 replies of the 17 that are there don’t show complete ignorance. Here is the link to read the comments.

I would like to end this by urging all of my readers to practice common sense & prepare yourself for anything while riding buses & subways. I wish all of you safe travel at all times!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA Criticized For Its Plan To Cut Emergency Workers

3 days ago, I wrote about the MTA’s plan to eliminate an evacuation program along with approximately 100 emergency workers. As I & others expected, critics have come out panning the MTA’s plans. Yesterday, Manhattan Democrat Assemblyman Micah Kellner joined The Disabled Riders Coalition & the Straphangers Campaign in decrying the plan as they feel station personnel is needed for disabled riders when panic bars on emergency exits are broken.

As I stated in the entry linked above, I do agree with the MTA looking to cut this plan. However I will say I have some concern about the broken panic bar issue for disabled riders. I have noticed an increase in those panic bars being broken over the last 6 months. I feel that the main culprit is the continued misuse of emergency exits by lazy straphangers who are so desperate to save 5 seconds, that they use the exit instead of the turnstiles.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Staten Island Railway Express Service Expansion Debuts

Yesterday marked the debut of expanded morning express service on the Staten Island Railway. This is not exactly new news as I wrote an entry last month about the MTA’s plans to expand express service. However the MTA issued a press release on Tuesday announcing the debut. So here is that press release courtesy of the MTA:

MTA New York City Transit today announced the expansion of Staten Island Railway’s (SIR) morning rush hour express train service. The expansion is in response to a surge in SIR ridership, which has seen a 10.2 percent increase in ridership during the 3rd Quarter of this year. By comparison, ridership on heavy rail systems nationally grew by only four percent.

Evening express service was the first to be phased in during November, expanding express service by an hour and 20 minutes. Now, the morning expansion will provide additional service to commuters who rely on SIR express and local service to and from the Staten Island Ferry while also providing an alternative to construction-related delays on area highways.

On Wednesday, December 5th, morning rush hour express service will be expanded with the first express train to connect with the boat departing St. George Terminal at 7:00 a.m., instead of the current 7:15 a.m. boat. Express service will continue to connect with ferry boats departing St. George at 7:15, 7:30, 7:45, 8:00, 8:15, and 8:30 a.m., with additional express trains now connecting with the 8:45 and 9:00 a.m. ferries departing St. George Terminal. In all, the span of express service will be extended by 45 minutes, with three additional express trains added to the morning schedule.

Express service toward Tottenville will also be introduced in the morning rush hour with five express trips connecting with boats departing Whitehall Terminal between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. Additional local service is being added to the morning schedule as well, with five local trains stopping at Huguenot, Annadale and Eltingville Stations. Those trains will connect with boats departing St. George Terminal at 7:00, 7:15, 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. New customer timetables are available at the St. George Terminal and on the MTA website at www.mta.info.

As I stated last month, this is great news for the riders who depend on the Staten Island Railway.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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