MTA Think An Underground Reservoir Can Help

Last Tuesday, the New York Daily News featured a story on how the MTA is considering building an underground reservoir. The agency is considering the project in hopes it will help deal with severe flooding which is prone to happening & causing delays on all the Queens Boulevard lines. Here is the article courtesy of the New York Daily News:

Stung by catastrophic subway flooding, the MTA Monday said it may build an underground reservoir in Queens to relieve the seemingly never-ending problem.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority may buy land near the flood-prone Parsons Blvd. subway station on the F line to build holding tanks to store water diverted from the tubes.

“To be honest, when it rains, I take the express bus – it’s a mess down here,” said Margaret Bonair, 45, of Cambria Heights. “It’s about time they did something about the water.”

“Whenever it rains, it’s guaranteed I’m late to work,” added Patrick Goin of Queens, who works in Greenwich Village.

The reservoir idea could be a major step to relieve chronic flooding in the low-lying area, which can cause a domino effect throughout the subway system.

Even though the F train runs through the Parsons Blvd. station, delays on that line can affect the E, R and V trains that run along Queens Blvd. as well.

All those lines were severely affected by the disastrous floods that virtually shut down the subway system on Aug. 8.

MTA spokesman Paul Fleuranges said engineers are still examining several different approaches to easing the flood woes citywide.

The idea was revealed on a day when heavy downpours caused scattered morning rush-hour delays across the system.

Hours after the rain stopped, huge puddles of water collected near the entrance to the Parsons Blvd. station. A dozen bus lines converge on the busy station, making it a major transit hub for southeastern Queens.

“If it’s raining, I don’t even take the train,” said Lavern Moore, 40, a teacher who’s been using the station for 10 years. “You’re asking for trouble.”

The water-storage plan is still in its early stages, and the agency must try to negotiate to buy the land from the owners of two car lots that occupy the site.

I think any idea that could possibly fix the entire problem or most of it in regards to flooding should be looked into. I feel bad for riders who depend on the E, F, G, R, & V along Queens Boulevard when it rains. It has come to the point that any sort of significant rain must strike fear in their hearts since their lines are sure to be delayed or shut down in some way. This is one of the big reasons I do not want to live along those lines in Queens although for the most part the areas are decent to live in. I do wonder is part of the problem out of the MTA’s control. If so, shouldn’t the city foot the bill?

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Stay Tuned

I had a list of entries I had planned to write for the blog. I was able to write out most of them but I must get some rest before taking care of some business. Look for a few more entries later today including ones about the MTA’s attempt to deal with flooding along the Queens Blvd lines as well as the heroes who were honored by the MTA.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA Proposal Might Mean Cuts In Service & Loss Of Job Positionings

This morning the New York Times is running a story about a MTA savings proposal that will result in service cuts in bus service for a number of major holidays including Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year’s. The proposal also calls for the elimination of all elevator operator positions in 5 stations in Upper Manhattan. Here is the entire article courtesy of the New York Times:

Straphangers could be forgiven if they see something Grinchlike about the Metropolitan Transportation Authority this holiday season.

The authority’s board will vote on a proposed fare increase on Dec. 19. And just five days later, on Christmas Eve, a little-noticed proposal to reduce bus service on holidays could take effect.

Budget documents released this week show that the authority is planning to reduce the number of buses operating on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King’s Birthday, Thanksgiving Day and the day after Thanksgiving, one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

“I guess we’re getting the coal in our stocking,” said Gene Russianoff, the staff lawyer for the Straphangers Campaign, a rider advocacy group.

The service change will save an average of $250,000 per day, amounting to $1.8 million a year. It is part of a series of budget cuts that includes removing all elevator operators from five subway stations in Upper Manhattan. The number of operators staffing the elevators has been a contentious issue in the past amid worries about crime and safety. Because the stations are deep underground, all passengers must use the elevators.

The board will vote on the proposed cuts the same day it takes up the fare increase, which would raise the cost of subway and bus rides. The $2 base fare would not go up, but unlimited ride MetroCards would.

The holiday service change would take effect immediately. The removal of the elevator operators would occur next year, but officials did not give a date.

Three of the days scheduled for cuts — Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day — already have limited service but would apparently have further reductions. Others, including Martin Luther King’s Birthday, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, have operated under normal weekday service schedules in the past.

“I think on certain holidays it may be justified, but the day after Thanksgiving, when everyone is out shopping and out and about, it isn’t justified,” said Andrew Albert, a member of the authority’s board who represents transit riders. It was not clear from the documents how many buses would be taken off the streets. The budget said the authority would provide an “intermediate level of service, sufficient to meet ridership demands.”

Transit spokesman Paul Fleuranges said the changes should not be viewed as cuts at all.

“It’s not a service cut,” he said. “It’s matching service with the number of riders we have.”

Barry Feinstein, the chairman of the transit committee of the authority’s board, said that although the changes would cause some riders to wait longer for buses, service would be sufficient to avoid overcrowding.

Asked about starting the cuts within days of voting on a fare increase, he said, “Any money we save now will save us more money later on.”

The bus schedule changes are noteworthy because the authority’s new administration, which took over this year, has been adamant about not cutting service at a time of growing ridership.

The move also contrasts with an effort in 2005, when the authority encouraged holiday ridership with a special MetroCard discount program.

Both the bus and elevator changes were quietly inserted into a revised budget hundreds of pages long. It said the elevator operators would be removed from five stations with deep platforms that can be reached only by elevator: 191st Street, 181st Street and 168th Street on the No. 1 line and 190th Street and 181st Street on the A line.

The elevators at those stations were once run with operators stationed inside, but the authority removed many of them in 2004. Many subway riders protested, and the authority agreed to keep one elevator in each station staffed at all times.

Mr. Feinstein said removing the elevator operators had not resulted in an increase in crime.

But some straphangers said removing them altogether would make them feel less safe.

“It’s good to have someone have an eye on things if anything fishy happens,” said Andrew Thompson, 41, a Washington Heights resident.

I will briefly say that at first glance this does not sound like a good idea. The thought of cutting some service on a few of those holidays does not sound pretty. However before I fully establish my position on the issue, I would like to dome some research into what the actual cuts would be. As far as the elevator operator jobs are concerned, I can see the points of both sides in what has always been a lively debate between the two points of view.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Mets Express To Return Next Season

Shea Stadium
Sign at the Willets Point-Shea Stadium station; Resized photo courtesy of Eye On Transit

Yesterday the MTA made an announcement that will have many New York Mets fans smiling from ear to ear. At the City Council Transportation Committee hearing, New York City Transit Senior Director of Operations Analysis Larry Gould had plenty to say about the “Mets Express” that served as an experiment last year after weeknight home games. Here is what he said:

The express, most people would say it has been a success. I mean, we learned some things, as to how exactly when to start it, relative to the end of a game and such. But about 70 or 80 percent of the customers chose the express. And so the odds are that experiment will continue.”

He also went on to say that the MTA will consider adding weekend express service after games. However amidst all of this great news, Flushing Democrat City Councilman John Liu, who happens to be the chairman of the Transportation Committee, chimed in with a request. He requested the MTA look into adding express service for patrons of the U.S. Open. He stated, “I would just encourage you to take a look at the Mets experience. It’s not that difficult to make the leap to the U.S. Open matches.” Mr. Gould said the MTA would look into the option.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA Gives The Gift Of The “Nostalgia Train” This Holiday Season

The MTA is obviously in a giving mood this holiday season. Why do you ask? Well simply because they are giving straphangers, especially railfans like myself the gift of the”Nostalgia Train” as a gift this holiday season. The MTA will run the “Nostalgia Train” on the between the hours of 10 am & 5 pm every Sunday from December 2nd to December 30th.

I am excited for this event as I the railfan that I am have never taken a ride on or photographed a vintage train. This is an event I will definitely not miss out on. I do not have the exact Sunday I will attempt to chase this train down. One thing I can tell you is expect to see an entry right here on Transit Blogger about my adventure. Also be on the lookout for a “Chronicle Of Time” & photographs from the day which will be featured on Eye On Transit. I can’t wait!

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