MTA NYC Transit Honored

Just a short while ago, the MTA issued a press release to announce an award that was earned by the bus division of MTA NYC Transit. The safety award was given out by the New York State Public Transit Association and the Bus Association of New York. Here is the full press release courtesy of the MTA:

Providing safe and reliable surface transportation for the 2.4 million daily passengers who rely on bus service in the five boroughs is New York City Transit’s Department of Buses primary goal. Today, one of the Department’s key managers was recognized for an industry-leading commitment to safety, receiving the 2008 Senator Norman J. Levy Bus Public Transportation Safety Award. The award, sponsored by the New York State Public Transit Association and the Bus Association of New York, was presented today by PTSB member John S. Delaney at the New York State Public Transit Conference in Utica.

Patrick Sullivan, General Manager of Road Control for MTA NYC Transit and MTA Bus, received the award for his dedication to reducing fatalities, pedestrian accidents and injuries that result from accidents and bus collisions.

“Pat Sullivan is truly an industry safety innovator,” said Joseph J. Smith, Sr. V.P. of Buses at NYC Transit. “Pat and his team have charted a clear course for this department to follow in our ongoing efforts to ensure that we are providing the safest service possible both for our employees, customers and pedestrians,” added Smith.

Prior to his current position, Sullivan was Chief Officer of Safety and Training between 2005 and 2007. In that position he initiated a multi-pronged approach to safety that resulted in a 71-percent decrease in fatal accidents in 2007. Utilizing training, safety awareness, equipment enhancements and direct in-service intervention techniques, Sullivan and his team were able to achieve significant safety improvements.

In addition to a reduction in fatal accidents, Sullivan and his assembled team of mangers from across the bus division also produced a 29-percent reduction in pedestrian accidents as well as a 19-percent reduction in injuries as a result of bus collisions during the same period.

Among some of the team’s achievements was the creation of a Unified Task Force of managers from each division and borough to come together to conduct focused safety blitz campaigns on Bus Operator performance; facilitated invention and/or modification to mirror improvement to eliminate blind spots while simultaneously pursuing new lighting systems which are being incorporated into new bus procurements; created a Hybrid Deceleration Program to reduce the take off speed of the Hybrid equipment which contributed to a spike in customer injuries on these model buses, and; worked with the Office of Corporate Communications to produce BusTalk cards for display on buses, as well as development of Take-One materials to educate customers on how to prevent injury while using our system, including a targeted public outreach to Senior Citizens (which accounted for 80% of the fatality incidents).

According to Sullivan, the true recipient of this award is really the NYC Transit and MTA Bus operators. “They have the toughest job of all, driving a bus day in and day out in New York City is no easy task,” said Sullivan. “We gave them the tools needed to improve their safety performance and fortunately they accepted the challenge and rose to the occasion,” added Sullivan.

“Patrick Sullivan and the staff and management who support him at MTA New York City Transit deserve to be commended for their success in making improvements that have saved lives,” said NYSDOT Commissioner Astrid C. Glynn. “Mr. Sullivan spearheaded changes in driver training, supervision and equipment that have made the city’s transit system safer for passengers, pedestrians, bus drivers and other motorists.”

The Public Transportation Safety Award program was initiated in 1996 to recognize both individuals and public transportation systems that have demonstrated excellence in developing and promoting safety initiatives for their systems. Award categories are leadership in transit safety, excellence in transit safety and transit system safety.

Transit Blogger salutes the men & women who helped the bus division earn this award!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Bus Service To Replace Service On Port Jefferson Line

The MTA issued a press release earlier this afternoon to announce that bus service will replace normally scheduled weekday midday trains on the Port Jefferson line between Kings Park & Port Jefferson for a little over 2 months. During the scheduled times,  the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) will be replacing over 14 miles of track ties along with refurbishing the Lawrence Aviation Rd. grade crossing in Kings Park. Here is the full press release courtesy of the MTA:

The MTA Long Island Rail Road will provide bus service in place of trains on the Port Jefferson Branch between Kings Park and Port Jefferson from Monday, June 16 through Friday, August 29 when major track work will affect four eastbound and four westbound midday trains.

Working weekdays after the morning rush, the LIRR will be replacing track ties over 14 miles of track between Kings Park and Port Jefferson. The Lawrence Aviation Road grade crossing in Kings Park will also be refurbished. Westbound customers will depart on buses up to 20 minutes earlier than regularly scheduled trains. Both westbound and eastbound customers should expect up to 20 minutes additional travel time.

Off Peak Service Changes

Eastbound

Customers on the 8:54 AM, 10:24 AM, 11:54 AM and 1:24 PM trains from Huntington to Port Jefferson will transfer to buses at Kings Park to complete their trips for stations Smithtown, St. James, Stony Brook and Port Jefferson.

Westbound

Customers for the 10:10 AM, 11:37 AM, 1:10 PM and 2:37 PM trains from Port Jefferson will board buses up to 20 minutes earlier than their regularly scheduled trains at stations Port Jefferson, Stony Brook, St. James and Smithtown and transfer to trains at Kings Park to complete their trips.

Customers should pick up a copy of the June 16-September 1 Port Jefferson Branch timetable at their station or at all LIRR terminals. They can also contact the LIRR’s 24-hour Travel Information Center in Suffolk County at 631-231-LIRR, in Nassau County at 516-822-LIRR or in New York City at 718-217-LIRR. The Travel Information Center’s TDD number for the hearing impaired is 718-558-3022. Customers can also consult the LIRR’s website at www.mta.info.

Hopefully the buses being used to carry passengers are coach buses. I remember dealing with what some call “bustitution” years ago on the Ronkonkoma line. Coach buses were used to bring passengers to the Hicksville station. I must admit we made good time to Hicksville & the ride was comfortable. If I recall correctly, we got there faster by bus compared to the normal train service.

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Service Diversions Have Been Updated

I have updated the service diversions with the latest information from the MTA.

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2 Hour Train Ride Between NYC & D.C. Coming Soon?

Such a super express might become a reality in the coming years.  This project is just one of many which could get funding from the $!4.4 billion dollar rail investment package that passed the House Of Representatives on Wednesday. The New York Sun has more:

A two-hour rocket train between New York and Washington is a step closer to reality after the House passed legislation requiring the federal government to solicit proposals for its financing and development.

The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act, which passed the House of Representatives yesterday by a vote of 311 to 104 with the backing of New York City’s delegation, calls for $14.4 billion in rail investment in the next five years. Some of those funds could go toward the development of the high-speed passenger train, as well as other local projects, such as a renovated Pennsylvania Station to be named after Senator Moynihan.

The bill includes provisions that would allow the private sector to make proposals to develop, construct, and finance the high-speed rail service. It also leaves open the possibility of Amtrak bidding for, or becoming a partner in, the service.

“This should start a whole new era for rail transportation in the country, and New York is probably the biggest beneficiary of what we did,” the top Republican on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. John Mica, who proposed the high-speed rail service and co-sponsored the bill, said in an interview.

Mr. Mica met with Mayor Bloomberg, who said he strongly supports the idea of a high-speed train, last month in New York. The initial high-speed train route would be between New York and Washington, and would serve as a test program for the development of additional high-speed rail service in other corridors throughout America.

The Senate approved a similar bill on October 30, 2007, 70 to 22, with Senator Schumer in favor and Senator Clinton absent. Provisions that would allow for the rocket train and private sector control of part of Amtrak’s routes still must pass through conference committees. To become law the bill would also have to be signed by President Bush, who has threatened to veto it.

The legislation calls for the Department of Transportation to solicit proposals for financing and development of the high-speed train. The department would then convene a commission of state, local, federal, rail, and rail labor stakeholders to evaluate proposals and give recommendations to Congress.

In addition to a new high-speed rail corridor, the bill authorizes $500 million a year for a new state grant program focusing on intercity passenger rail projects. New York’s stalled Moynihan Station plan in Midtown would be eligible to apply for the grants.

In a statement before the vote was conducted, a member of the transportation committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who represents parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, pledged his support for a bill that he said would dramatically change rail service in America.

“Investing in high-speed rail is an urgent issue. We must accelerate investment in our rail infrastructure,” Mr. Nadler said in a statement. “This bill finally starts to authorize rail investments at an adequate level, and it makes eminent sense as part of a rational energy and transportation policy.”

The bill would also reauthorize Amtrak’s rail service for five more years.

Lets hope this bill has the legs to stand up to any opposition & come out on top. Investing in our transit infrastructure is something we need to do more of since it benefits so many in the long run.

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2 Train Service Alert

The MTA has posted a service alert regarding the 2 train. The service alert reads

Due to ongoing signal problems at the Hoyt Street Station, please expect delays in service on the Wakefield-bound 2 and Harlem-bound 3 trains at this time.

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