MTA Unveils New Anti-Terrorism Advertisements

Just a short while ago the MTA unveiled their new anti-terrorism advertisements. The new ads are an update to the award winning “See Something, Say Something” campaign. The press release to talk about them should be up later today but here are the details now (including a link to the new ads):

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today unveiled its newest round of print, television and poster advertisements intended to remind customers to remain alert while using MTA services. An update of the MTA’s award-winning “See Something, Say Something” security awareness campaign, the new material will be seen on television beginning immediately and in print in two weeks.

Building on the success of earlier ads produced under the widely-recognized campaign, this new round uses stark and minimalist images that reflect the seriousness of the message. The ads show images of unattended packages in transit facilities with passengers busily walking back and forth but apparently not reacting to its presence.

“The security of our customers is our paramount concern,” said Elliot G. Sander, the Executive Director and CEO of the MTA. “These new ads remind our customers not to be complacent about what they see around them. They also reinforce the important role our customers play in ensuring the safety of transit users throughout the entire MTA system.”

The campaign, designed by Korey, Kay & Partners, includes three separate 15-second television spots as well as in system and print ads.

Since its introduction, the trademarked “If You See Something, Say Something” tagline has been licensed by the MTA to 37 domestic and international transportation providers and government agencies for use in their own anti-terrorism campaigns.

View advertisements here: mta.info/mta/security.html

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Bus Detours Due To 9/11 Memorial Service

As everyone knows by now, tomorrow is the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that forever changed the world. Every year there is a memorial service in downtown Manhattan for the victims of the September 11th attacks. Due to this memorial service, some bus routes will have to be detoured. The MTA will post the press release with details later today but I have them for you now:

On Thursday morning, September 11, 2008, there will be a Memorial Service for victims of 9/11 in downtown Manhattan. Buses that usually travel along Trinity Place between Battery Place and Church Street and on Church Street between Liberty and Vesey Streets will be affected from 12:01 a.m. through the day until the ceremonies have ended.

The Manhattan-bound X27, X28 and X29 buses will travel via the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, turn right on West street, right on Warren Street and left on Church Street. The M1, M5 and M6 buses will make stops on West Street at Carlisle Street and Murray Street. No other stops will be made until the buses are back on the regular routes.

East-bound BM1, BM2, BM3, BM4, QM1, QM1A, QM11, QM25 and the north-bound BxM18 will have the following changes: The Greenwich Street at Morris Street bus stop will be made on West Street at Carlisle Street. The Park Place at Church Street bus stop, the Church Street at Cortlandt Street bus stop and the Church Street at Dey Street bus stop will be made on West Street at Murray Street.

West-bound BM1, BM2, BM3, BM4, QM1, QM1A , QM11, and QM24 will have the following changes: The Greenwich Street at Morris Street bus stop will be made on West Street at Carlisle Street. The Church Street at Cortlandt Street bus stop and the Church Street at Dey Street bus stop will be made on West Street at Murray Street.

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NYC Transit EasyPayXPress MetroCard

Soon the MTA will post a press release to talk about their EasyPayXpress Metrocard which automatically refills itself. Here are the details of that press release:

The last lazy days of summer have given way to a return to the hectic pace of work, school, after-school activities, sports and studying. While it’s going to take a few weeks for parents and students to get used to the new “old” routine, commuters can still ‘take it easy’ when it comes to purchasing their fares for local and express bus and subway service by enrolling in MTA New York City Transit’s EasyPayXpress MetroCard program.

EasyPayXpress MetroCard is a Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard that automatically refills itself. Originally designed with express bus customers in mind, EasyPayXpress MetroCards are proving popular among riders who use the subway and local buses. Enrollment in EasyPayXpress has grown steadily in 2008, from slightly more than 4,400 at the beginning of the year, to more than 10,500 and counting, with most of that growth occurring since March. While the majority of trips taken with EasyPayXpress MetroCard are express bus trips, riders’ use of the card for exclusively local subway and bus trips has grown significantly.

“Last year at this time, only 14-percent of EasyPayXpress accounts were exclusively local bus and subway trips. That number has tripled this year, to where 46-percent of EasyPayXpress accounts are exclusively local,” said Paul J. Fleuranges, Vice President of Corporate Communications for NYC Transit. “That shows us that our customers have become increasingly familiar with linked programs, which in the case of EasyPayXpress is a more convenient and user-friendly way to pay for their fares.”

With EasyPayXpress, riders can scratch those recurring MetroCard purchases off their to-do list for two years; signing up is simple and convenient. Customers simply link a debit or credit card to their EasyPayXpress MetroCard account, so they never run out of rides.

When riders go the Easy Way with EasyPayXpress:

• No more waiting in line at vending machines or station booths.

• No more worrying about leftover balances on pay-per-ride cards; it never runs out of rides.

• No loss to the customer if the card is lost or stolen.

• No more multiple card purchases—customers sign up once and never think about it again.

• Account balances can be viewed online at any time.

When customers apply online for the card, NYC Transit will charge $40 to their credit or debit card in order to fill the EasyPayXpress MetroCard account. Plus, they’ll receive the 15% bonus, so the card starts off with $46 in value. The EasyPayXpress MetroCard works like any other Pay-Per-Ride card, except users never have to worry about running out of rides. When the card balance reaches $30, it triggers an automatic $40 refill.

Customers can apply for EasyPayXpress MetroCard by visiting www.mta.info. Once they link the EasyPayXpress account to a credit or debit card, they can begin using the card as soon as it arrives in the mail. Easy Pay. It’s the Easy Way.

I have not tried this new service but it seems promising. My only complaint would be the amount that triggers an automatic refill. I feel the current trigger balance price of $30 is quite high. I feel a better amount to trigger the automatic refill would be in the $10-$20 range.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Federal Government Is Getting Serious On Mass Transit Financing

One of the rallying cries from this blog & many others like it is for all levels of government to get serious with financing mass transit throughout the country. Today’s edition of the Wall Street Journal looks into this as the U.S. Senate looks to increase funds for mass transit through the “Saving Energy Through Public Transportation Act of 2008“. Christopher Conkey of the Wall Street Journal has more on this issue in his report:

Momentum is building in Congress to increase funding for public transportation as transit agencies struggle to accommodate increased demand from Americans seeking to escape high gas prices.

The Senate banking committee will hold a hearing Tuesday to examine how the government can strengthen mass-transit options as a way to reduce dependence on imported oil. Meanwhile, House and Senate leaders debating a new energy bill are considering a range of incentives and new funding for transit agencies.

On Monday, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said a measure that would provide as much as $2 billion in grants and other funding for public transportation appears likely to be included in energy legislation that could be voted on next week. The House has already approved a bill that would provide an additional $1.7 billion to transit agencies over two years. If Congress fails to pass a new energy package this month before adjourning for its election-season recess, a transit-funding boost could still be included in an end-of-session budget resolution.

The legislative push comes as high gas prices are spurring Americans to drive less and use public transportation more. Data being released Tuesday by the American Public Transportation Association show the number of riders on mass-transit systems is growing at an accelerating clip. After rising 2.5% in 2007 from 2006, public-transportation use increased 3.4% in the first quarter of 2008 from the same period a year earlier, and 5.2% in the April-to-June period.

The increased demand is straining many transit agencies, which are already coping with higher prices for fuel, steel and other commodities.

Click here for the complete report.

As I’ve stated previously, it is refreshing to see the government take a serious interest in helping fund mass transit. This for me goes beyond my region as I understand how vital mass transit is regardless of what state you reside in. This country is filled with too much pro auto agendas spearheaded by people with the clueless belief that most people have no interest in mass transit. However if these agenda ridden fools would take a second to actually understand a basic concept, they would see how flawed their logic is. How can anyone expect people to be interested in taking mass transit if you don’t give them the option to do so. You can’t ride what does not exist.

When you think about it, it is quite sad to see that it took ridiculously high gas prices for mass transit to possibly get the funding it deserves. However I’m at the point that I & many other mass transit advocates will take any victory we can regardless of how we got it.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Is The Q Becoming The Next L?

Q train at 21st St-Queensbridge station during a G.O.
Q train at 21st Street-Queensbridge during a G.O. Resized photo courtesy of EyeOnTransit.com

Today’s edition of The New York Observer had a very interesting piece in the real estate section. The article took a look at the Q train & posed the question, can the Q be the next L? As you know all too well, the L train & the majority of neighborhoods it serves has gone under a major transformation over the last few years.

With the loads of gentrification that has occurred in Williamsburg, East Williamsburg, Bushwick, & such… the line & neighborhoods have become a mainstay for the artists, hipsters, & such who seem to take over neighborhoods & leave their lasting tough. Whether this is good or bad depends on who you ask.

Today’s article looks at how the Q could soon become the next L as many are finding the Q & the neighborhoods it serves to offer the right balance of suburban like peace & quiet combined with the close proximity of local community entertainment while being a short ride from Manhattan itself. Here is a look at a piece of Nicole’s article:

I love the Q train. O.K., I love the B, too, but it’s the Q that’s stolen my heart.

When I moved back to Brooklyn in January, the biggest factor in finding an apartment was its proximity to this train line, and especially to the 7th Avenue station (a nice change of pace after riding the G train for three years). It’s just far enough into Brooklyn that I am in a quiet, residential neighborhood, but also only the third stop into the borough, easily depositing me anywhere I need to go in Manhattan.

Like the L train of the early ‘00s, the neighborhoods along the Q/B line have seen new crops of people popping out of its stations along a path rumbling through central and southern Brooklyn, from Downtown, Park Slope, Midwood and Ditmas Park, through Sheepshead Bay and, via an expert right turn, Brighton Beach and Coney Island. The Q line even has some of the same digitally enhanced trains that graced the L line a few years back.

“I was delighted to be looking at an apartment off the Q/B line as it provided quick service to all of the major destinations in my life,” said Jennifer Rajotte, a special events coordinator for a nonprofit, of her move to Flatbush, off the Church Avenue stop, two years ago. “Both trains offer a quick ride to Atlantic-Pacific, where I can hook up with a ton of lines or quickly walk to the G or C, if I have to.”

Not only is the Q/B line convenient, with a recent sighting by Page Six Magazine of Brooklyn celebrity darling Michelle Williams dining with new beau Spike Jonze at popular Ditmas Park eatery The Farm on Adderley (off the Cortelyou Q stop), the perception of southern Brooklyn seems to be getting a makeover.

Click here for the complete article.

It is nice to see NYC neighborhoods being portrayed in a positive light. My only concern is I don’t want to see every neighborhood overrun with hipsters, trust fund babies, etc… with their holier than thou attitude. While I’m not calling for a crime ridden area, it would be nice to be able to live in areas that offer a more diverse & mature attitude without the pretentiousness of a Williamsburg or Park Slope. Lastly when I do move back to the city, I would like to find an area not inflated due to these same people. It seems where they go, increased costs go!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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