Horrific Crash Kills 2 & Hurts 2

13 days ago a horrific crash occurred at the intersection of Hillside Avenue & 168th Place. The accident which involved a car & a MTA Long Island Bus killed 2 people while hurting 2 others. Here is an article about the accident courtesy of Newsday:

NEW YORK – A Queens Village man, driving the car he received just days ago as a Christmas present, was killed along with his passenger when the car collided with a bus early Sunday morning.

Christopher Boyd, 23, and his passenger, 25-year-old Eric Richmond of Queens, were returning home from a Brooklyn birthday party in Boyd’s 1992 Ford Thunderbird. Boyd was driving east on Hillside Avenue at about 4:15 a.m. when the vehicle lost control, police said.

The Thunderbird swung sideways into the path of an N6 Long Island Bus driving west on Hillside Avenue at 168th Place, police said. A police spokesman said Boyd’s vehicle might have been speeding at the time of the incident.

Both Boyd and Richmond were pronounced dead at the scene. The 39-year-old bus driver and one of his passengers, a 24-year-old man, suffered minor injuries and were taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica. The driver has since been released, said Aaron Donovan, an MTA spokesman. Donovan could not say how long the driver has been working for the MTA.

According to motor-vehicle records, Boyd had a valid license at the time of the crash. His license was suspended after he failed to pay a fine, but it was reinstated in 2005, according to the records.

Reached at her Maine home, Boyd’s stepmother, Wendi Boyd, described him as a “bright young man” who “loved life.”

“He loved sports, basketball,” said Boyd. “He was an expert swimmer.”

She said her stepson, whom she had raised since he was 4 years old, moved from Maine to New York after he graduated high school so he could pursue training as an automotive mechanic.

The car he and Richmond were riding in, Wendi Boyd said, was a Christmas gift for him from her and his father, Glenn Boyd.

“He was so happy with the car,” she said through tears. “We just picked it out because he’s been wanting a car and we figured he’s been doing so well and working and it was going to be something good for him to have.”

In Queens, Yvette Richmond remembered her son as a faithful young man who – like Boyd – aspired to become an automotive mechanic and was an avid collector of Matchbox toy cars.

“He liked cars from the day he was born,” the grieving mother said of Eric Richmond. “He always had a car in his hand.”

Richmond said her son also was a born-again Christian who spent every Sunday with his family at Good Tidings Gospel Chapel in Brooklyn.

Lloyd Allwood, an elder at the church, said Eric Richmond was a former Marine who proudly attended the church in his uniform while on leave.

The young man was popular with the church’s young people, Allwood said, and was planning on attending a camp retreat in February with them.

“He had a lot of friends come here this morning, and most of the young people were crying,” Allwood said.

Yvette Richmond said her the two men knew each other for years, and described the pair as “very good friends.”

The two had attended a birthday party for Eric Richmond’s nephew in Brooklyn before they were killed, she said.

Yvette Richmond said she wasn’t told anything more about the collision.

“They were on their way home,” she said sadly.

My condolences to the family & friends of the 2 people who died. I also wish nothing but the best for the bus driver & his passenger who was hurt in the accident.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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6 Train Service Alert (Updated: 11:39 am)

The MTA has posted a service alert for train service in the Bronx. Here is the service alert:

Due to a police investigation at the Hunts Point Avenue Station, Brooklyn Bridge-bound trains are running express from the Parkchester Station to the 3rd Avenue-138th Street Station.

Stations being bypassed: St. Lawrence Avenue, Morrison-Soundview Avenues, Elder Avenue, Whitlock Avenue, Longwood Avenue, E 149th Street, E 143rd Street-St.Mary’s St, Cypress Avenue, Hunts Point Avenue and Brook Avenue.

For service from the bypassed stations, customers are advised to take the Pelham-bound trains to the Parkchester Station and then take a Brooklyn-Bridge-bound 6 train.

Please expect delays in service on the trains at this time.

The investigation taking place has to do with a gas leak that occurred at Hunts Point Avenue. The site does not state this as of yet but Pelham Bay bound trains are bypassing Hunts Point Avenue as well. All trains are to proceed slowly through the area.

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Updated: 11:39 am

In the next few minutes this should hit the MTA website. train service is suspended in both directions between 3rd Avenue-138th Street & Parkchester due to the gas leak investigation.

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Updated: 12:22 pm

Look for service to be restored on M & 3 track respectively shortly as power is about to be restored. When service is restored look for all trains to continue to bypass Hunts Point Avenue. The spill is on track 2 & is a mix of 70-75% water with the rest being a mix of gasoline & kerosene.

==========

Updated: 12:31 pm

Service has officially been restored. All northbound trains will run local as usual between 3rd Avenue-E.138th Street & Pelham Bay Park while continuing to bypass the Hunts Point Avenue station. All southbound trains will run express from Parkchester to 3rd Avenue-E.138th Street while continuing to bypass the Hunts Point Avenue station.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA Extends Staten Island Express Bus Route

Earlier this month, MTA New York City Transit issued a press release to announce the extension of the X16 which is a Staten Island Express Bus route. Here is the full press release courtesy of the MTA:

MTA NYC Transit announces that beginning Monday, January 7, 2008, the Staten Island X16 express bus route will be extended from the current Post Avenue/Jewett Avenue terminal to Castleton Avenue/Jewett Avenue in order to improve service reliability.

Currently, the X16 operates in the morning peak with little or no supervision between the Port Richmond terminal and the main service area on Forest Avenue. The extended route will run past the dispatcher post at Castleton and Jewett Avenues. With this added supervision at the beginning of the line, the dispatcher can better monitor the route and adjust service as needed. In addition, by adding new bus stops, it will make the route more accessible to customers in the Port Richmond community.

New Bus Stops Manhattan-bound:
– Castleton Avenue at Jewett Avenue, far side
– Castleton Avenue at Heberton, near side
– Port Richmond Avenue at Charles Avenue, far side
– Post Avenue at Jewett Avenue, near side

New Bus Stops Staten Island-bound:
– Port Richmond Avenue at Albion Place, near side
– Castleton Avenue at Heberton, near side
– Castleton Avenue at Jewett Avenue, near side

Eliminated Manhattan-bound Bus Stop:
– Jewett Avenue at Post Avenue, near side

For all MTA NYC Transit travel information, customers may log on to www.mta.info or call Travel Information at 718-330-1234.

I really have nothing to add as I rarely go to Staten Island & when I do, I never use any public transportation while there. The only thing I can say is I hope the riders enjoy the extension.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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LIRR Prepares For Possible Amtrak Strike

Earlier this month, Newsday had a piece about The Long Island Rail Road preparing for a possible Amtrak strike. Unfortunately at this time the strike is still a strong possibility. Anyhow here is the article courtesy of Newsday:

The Long Island Rail Road is working on contingency plans in case of a strike by Amtrak workers at the end of the month, according to railroad officials.

If a strike does take place, the LIRR, along with the New Jersey Transit system, would be swept up in the national work stoppage – Amtrak owns the tracks at Pennsylvania Station, and the strike would effectively shut it down.

The strike cannot happen before 12:01 a.m. Jan. 30, since the two sides are in a 30-day cooling-off period mandated by federal law. Amtrak workers have been without a contract since 2000.

“The LIRR is closely monitoring the situation with Amtrak and is developing contingency plans with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in the event of a strike,” LIRR president Helena Williams said in a statement. Details of the plans have not been finalized. About 85,000 LIRR riders commute to Penn Station during the morning rush hour, according to an LIRR official.

“It will be a complete and utter nightmare,” said Gerry Bringmann, president of the LIRR Commuter Council, an advocacy group. He said people who work in Midtown, for example, and now walk a short way to their offices might have to take the LIRR to Jamaica station and then the E train to the 34th Street stop. “You’re adding half an hour into the commute, easy,” he said.

Subways would continue to run during the strike.

On Dec. 1, President Bush empaneled the five-person Presidential Emergency Board to investigate the contract dispute between Amtrak and nine unions representing such craft workers as signalmen, maintenance workers, firemen and oilers. The report, released Thursday by the White House, recommends that Amtrak employees receive back wages and pay increases, and there be no substantive work rule changes.

“All the unions will be prepared to make settlements based on the recommendations, and the ball will be in Amtrak’s court,” said Joel Parker, vice president of the Transportation Communication Union. “The unions do not want to strike,” he said. “The recommendations provide the basis for a settlement.” A strike would affect Amtrak trains across the country, he said.

An Amtrak official said the railway plans to carefully review the recommendations of the PEB, but is worried about covering the increased costs. “Amtrak’s concern has always been the railroad’s ability to make pay increases retroactive and to achieve efficiencies through work rule reform, and we’ll be looking closely at the recommendations, particularly as they relate to these issues,” an Amtrak official said in a statement.

Do you want to see utter chaos up close & personal? If so, go to the Sutphin Blvd./Archer Ave. station & see the madhouse on the platforms for the E train. I wouldn’t count on the chaos to really spill over to the J & Z since most ignore the line although it is a great alternative especially if heading to Lower Manhattan! I do not want to see a strike but if one does take place, I will be checking out the scene at Jamaica & photographing it for Eye On Transit.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Some People Never Learn……

So it is time to go on a tear & catch up with all the transit news from the last few weeks. Lets start with the accident that briefly shut down service on the New Canaan Branch on New Year’s Eve. A Metro-North train clipped a van at a crossing shortly after 9 a.m. Here is a brief story of the incident courtesy of the New York Daily News:

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – A Metro-North train clipped a van at a crossing Monday morning, briefly shutting down the commuter railroad’s New Canaan branch.

Metro-North spokesman Dan Brucker says the collision occurred at 9:11 a.m. at the Crescent Street crossing in New Canaan.

Brucker says the gates were down as the train approached, but the driver apparently went around the gates and the train clipped the van’s rear. Brucker says the van’s driver was taken to an area hospital, but the injuries were not reported to be serious.

One run of the train service between New Canaan and Stamford was eliminated, but normal service had resumed by mid-morning.

It never ceases to amaze me that drivers continue to think they can beat oncoming trains. The same goes for people on foot. How many accidents & deaths does one have to hear or read about before the message gets through to their thick head? The train vs. you = a win for the train either lightly or convincingly. Either way the results are not good for you so enough already with the idiocy!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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