MTA Advertising Goes Digital

Before I get to this entry, let me apologize for the lack of updates over the last 48 hours. I was extremely busy & couple that with some broadband issues that seem to be squared away. So let me get back to business.

This past Tuesday, Holly M. Sanders of the New York Post wrote an article about the MTA’s plans to use GPS based digital screens to advertise on the sides of buses. The ads would target specific neighborhoods & even individual blocks. Lets take a look at her report:

The MTA is looking to put high-tech digital screens on the sides of buses so it can target ads to neighborhoods and even individual blocks.

Right now, the MTA is testing the screens on the M23 bus route in Manhattan. If the test is a success, the agency will install the digital displays on some 200 buses beginning in the first quarter of next year, an MTA spokesman said.

Titan Worldwide, which has a 10-year, $800 million-plus contract to sell ads throughout the city’s bus and commuter-train systems, said that using GPS technology, it can wirelessly beam ads based on the bus’ location and the time of day.

For instance, the screens can show an ad for Saks Fifth Avenue while in Manhattan and change to Target in Brooklyn. The ads can even change languages according to the ethnicity of a neighborhood

“In the morning, we can show Starbucks, and on the way home from work, a Budweiser ad,” said Dave Etherington, Titan’s global marketing director.

Click here for the complete article.

The deal that the MTA secured is nice as it not only brings in cash over a set period of time automatically but they can reap even more based on actual ad sales. So what is the problem you ask? Well I question the tactics being used to determine the ads shown. I do not think it is wise to use a electronic way of determine the ethnic makeup of neighborhoods. What do you do in areas with a diverse mix of ethnicities? Do you only showcase ads of the majority which could be seen as potentially racist towards the minority ethnicities? Why even take a chance on something like that occurring?

Lets look at neighborhoods like Harlem & Washington Heights. Historically these neighborhoods are considered to be dominated by African Americans & Latinos. However over the last few years, many more Caucasians have flocked into both neighborhoods. While the majority in both areas continue to be African Americans & Latinos, the number is dropping as time goes by. How will these ads address that while not coming off potentially as racist?

This deal could blow up in their face. For now we will just have to see how it all plays out. I hope it goes well but with the MTA involved, that scenario rarely plays itself out.

xoxo Transit Blogger

You might enjoy reading these related entries:

MTA NYC Transit Renames Crew Room in Memory of Late Employee

The NYC Transit division of the MTA has just sent out a press/photo opportunity for tomorrow. The opportunity is in relation to the ceremony where they officially rename a crew room at the Astoria-Ditmars Blvd station on the N Train & W Train in memory of the late Michael A. Moore. Here are the details:

MTA NYC Transit, in an unusual move, is renaming a crew room in the Astoria-Ditmars Blvd. station in memory of Michael A. Moore, a veteran train operator and conductor on the N line.

WHO: Howard H. Roberts, Jr., President, MTA New York City Transit, and Roger Toussaint, President, TWU Local 100.

WHAT: MTA New York City Transit renames a crew room the Michael Moore Crew Room.

WHEN: Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: Astoria-Ditmars Blvd. station platform.

xoxo Transit Blogger

You might enjoy reading these related entries:

Port Washington Branch Service Advisory Revision

Earlier today I shared a press release that I received from the LIRR. The press release was to announce that service on the Port Washington Branch would be affected over 2 weekends due to track work on the East Side Access project. The LIRR has just sent out a revised press release regarding this within the last 5 minutes. Here is the revised press release:

The MTA Long Island Rail Road is completing the work to install a new switch and track configuration (called Wood Interlocking) just east of the East River Tunnels in Sunnyside, Queens, during the weekends of November 1-2 and November 8-9. The construction work is an important part of the East Side Access Project that will eventually bring MTA Long Island Rail Road service to Grand Central Terminal.

“In order to meet our future service needs, especially those linked to our East Side Access Project, the Wood Interlocking work is vital to the railroad’s successful operations,” said LIRR President Helena Williams.

During the weekend of November 1-2, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills and Woodside customers will use temporary platforms to board and disembark from their trains. During the weekend of November 8-9, most Port Washington Branch customers will take # 7 subway service to complete their trips.

Weekend of November 1-2:

As part of the work, two of four tracks between Jamaica and Harold Interlocking (just east of the East River Tunnels) will be out of service for this weekend. Temporary platforms will be installed at Kew Gardens, Forest Hills and Woodside Stations. No other service impacts are anticipated.

Weekend of November 8-9:

Both tracks between Harold Interlocking (just east of the East River Tunnels) and Shea Stadium on the Port Washington Branch will be taken out of service for this weekend. Most Port Washington Branch customers will take the NYCT # 7 Subway train to complete their trips as follows:

Eastbound:

Customers may take LIRR service from Penn Station to Woodside where they will have a free transfer to the NYCT # 7 Line for service to Willets Point/Shea Stadium and then transfer back to LIRR Port Washington Branch service to points east. Or customers can choose to take the NYCT # 7 Line directly to Willets Point/Shea Stadium from Manhattan where they can transfer back to LIRR Port Washington Branch service to points east. Customers should anticipate increased travel time of up to 41 minutes.

Westbound:

Customers boarding at stations Port Washington through Flushing-Main Street will board their regularly scheduled trains at their stations and then transfer at Shea Stadium to NYC Transit’s # 7 Line for service to Grand Central Terminal. Or customers can choose to transfer back to the LIRR at Woodside Station for service to Penn Station. Customers should anticipate increased travel time of up to 58 minutes.

Affected customers should obtain a copy of the special November 8-9 Port Washington Branch timetable at their station or at Penn Station. Customers can also contact the LIRR’s 24-hour Travel Information Center in New York City at 718-217-LIRR, in Nassau County at 516-822-LIRR or in Suffolk County at 631-231-LIRR. The Travel Information Center’s TDD telephone number for the hearing impaired is 718-558-3022. Customers can also consult the LIRR website at www.mta.info.

xoxo Transit Blogger

You might enjoy reading these related entries:

Port Washington Branch Service Affected By East Side Access Work

The LIRR just issued another press release within the last couple of minutes. The release which should hit their site sometime today was to announce that service on the Port Washington Branch will be affected due to track work related to the East Side Access project. Here are the complete details:

The MTA Long Island Rail Road is completing the work to install a new switch and track configuration (called Wood Interlocking) just east of the East River Tunnels in Sunnyside, Queens, during the weekends of November 1-2 and November 8-9. The construction work is an important part of the East Side Access Project that will eventually bring MTA Long Island Rail Road service to Grand Central Terminal.

“In order to meet our future service needs, especially those linked to our East Side Access Project, the Wood Interlocking work is vital to the railroad’s successful operations,” said LIRR President Helena Williams.

During the weekend of November 1-2, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills and Woodside customers will use temporary platforms to board and disembark from their trains. During the weekend of November 8-9, most Port Washington Branch customers will take # 7 subway service to complete their trips.

Weekend of November 1-2:

As part of the work, two of four tracks between Jamaica and Harold Interlocking (just east of the East River Tunnels) will be out of service for this weekend. Temporary platforms will be installed at Kew Gardens, Forest Hills and Woodside Stations. No other service impacts are anticipated.

Weekend of November 8-9:

Both tracks between Harold Interlocking (just east of the East River Tunnels) and Shea Stadium on the Port Washington Branch will be taken out of service for this weekend. Most Port Washington Branch customers will take the NYCT # 7 Subway train to complete their trips as follows:

Eastbound:

Customers may take LIRR service from Penn Station to Woodside where they will have a free transfer to the NYCT # 7 Line for service to Willets Point/Shea Stadium and then transfer back to LIRR Port Washington Branch service to points east. Or customers can choose to take the NYCT # 7 Line directly to Willets Point/Shea Stadium from Manhattan where they can transfer back to LIRR Port Washington Branch service to points east. Customers should anticipate increased travel time of up to 41 minutes.

Westbound:

Customers boarding at stations Port Washington through Flushing-Main Street will board their regularly scheduled trains at their stations and then transfer at Shea Stadium to NYC Transit’s # 7 Line for service to Grand Central Terminal. Or customers can choose to transfer back to the LIRR for service to Penn Station. Customers should anticipate increased travel time of up to 58 minutes.

Affected customers should obtain a copy of the special November 8-9 Port Washington Branch timetable at their station or at Penn Station. Customers can also contact the LIRR’s 24-hour Travel Information Center in New York City at 718-217-LIRR, in Nassau County at 516-822-LIRR or in Suffolk County at 631-231-LIRR. The Travel Information Center’s TDD telephone number for the hearing impaired is 718-558-3022. Customers can also consult the LIRR website at www.mta.info.

xoxo Transit Blogger

You might enjoy reading these related entries:

LIRR’s Diesel Fleet Shows Improvements

Last October a consultant named Donald N. Nelson told the Long Island Rail Road in a report that its diesel fleet was in “serious trouble” due to frequent breakdowns. This led to a call to arms by the agency which has led to some nice improvements since last year. In a press release that was just sent out within the last couple of minutes & which should appear on their site sometime today, they talk about these improvements:

The MTA Long Island Rail Road’s diesel fleet has shown marked improvement in reliability as new maintenance procedures have reduced delays and down time for the engines.

“While we still have additional improvements to make, we are encouraged that our focus on this issue has produced tangible results for our customers in the form of fewer breakdowns and delays,” said LIRR President Helena Williams.

Consultant Donald N. Nelson last October issued a report saying the LIRR’s diesel fleet of 45 locomotives was in “serious trouble” with too frequent breakdowns. The 22 Dual Mode locomotives – which allow trains to be run on either electrified or non-electrified tracks – pose a “major concern.” On average the Dual Modes were breaking down every 12,425 miles rather than the targeted 30,000 miles, said Nelson. Following Nelson’s report, the LIRR hired an outside train maintenance expert to identify recurring problems and recommend solutions. That consultant, Booz Allen Transportation, issued one dozen recommendations to improve maintenance specific to the Dual Mode engines that were manufactured for the LIRR.

A special task force headed by LIRR Senior Vice President of Operations, Raymond P. Kenny, has overseen the reliability enhancement program and most of those recommendations were implemented in the past year with good results.

An update on the diesel fleet repairs was presented Wednesday to the Long Island Committee of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The key solution was reorganization of the LIRR’s diesel maintenance operation. All diesel fleet functions are now headed by a newly established position, the General Manager – Diesel Shops and Yards, reporting directly to the Chief Mechanical Officer.

In the last year – there have been 32 percent fewer repeat maintenance problems in 2008 compared with the same period of 2007. Previously, locomotives that had a problem in the field were brought into the shop, but were not held long enough for a proper diagnosis. The train was released back into service “with a trouble not found” ticket only to have the problem re-occur.

A major part of improving the diagnosis includes upgrading the LIRR’s Morris Park facility, where locomotive maintenance is done. The Morris Park maintenance shop was built to repair steam locomotives of the late 19th Century and needed to be upgraded to maintain today’s equipment. As part of the new procedures, better tracking of defective parts and computer software was implemented to create a case history of recurring maintenance problems and what solutions worked.

The LIRR is also improving training of its mechanics and is arranging classes with the equipment manufacturer to complement in-house trainers. Improved communication between engineers and crew members with maintenance personnel has helped to quicken the diagnosis after a debriefing of what mechanical problem happened in the field.

The new diagnostic repair procedures have worked as there have been, 119, or 30.2 percent fewer delays for diesel trains in the first seven months of 2008, compared to the same period in 2007.

In another area, there were zero incidents of Dual Mode locomotives being unable to switch from diesel to electric mode between January and June of this year. There were 16 such incidents for the same six-month period in 2007. There was a 55 percent reduction in the total number of Dual Mode failures resulting in a delay – with 30 in the first six months of 2008, compared to 66 for the same period of 2007.

The new maintenance program put the brakes on a trend of steady increases of diesel train delays from 2002 to 2007, averaging 9.5 percent increase each year – with more than 700 delays last year. However, there is a 31 percent decrease through July, 2008 as the new maintenance procedures were implemented.

The update provided to the Long Island Committee indicates that the diesel fleet shows a turn-around trend in terms of fewer delays and better performance.

The press release contained a report with a few pages worth of graphs to illustrate the progress made. You can see those images by clicking the links below:

Page 1-2

Page 3-4

Page 5-6

xoxo Transit Blogger

You might enjoy reading these related entries:
Page 448 of 604« First...102030...446447448449450...460470480...Last »