Service Alert 4 & 7 Train (Updated: 8:37 am)

Due to an ongoing police investigation at the 170th Street Station, Crown Heights-bound train service is on the express track between the Burnside Avenue Station and the 149th Street- Grand Concourse Station.

As an alternate, customers are advised to use Bx1 and Bx2 buses along the Grand Concourse or nearby and trains service.

In addition, due to switching problems, Times Square-bound trains are running with residual delays.

Please expect delays in and train service at this time.

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Update: 7:45 am

The MTA has not updated their website yet but I just heard that service is suspended in both directions between Woodlawn & 149th Street-Grand Concourse due to a passenger injury at the 170th Street station.

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Update: 7:59 am

Service might be suspended for awhile as EMS is on the scene at the 170th Street station. The “passenger injury” is actually a nice way of saying there was a “12-9″ or that there is a person under the train which means someone committed suicide by jumping in front of & getting run over by a train. Thanks to Allan from Subchat for pointing out the use of “passenger injury”. I am used to it being referred to as a “12-9″ over the air, not a “passenger injury”.

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Update: 8:04 am

Also, due to someone requiring medical assistance at the Canal Street Station, Astoria-bound n trains and 57th Street-bound trains are running on the local track between the Dekalb Avenue Station and the Canal Street Station.

Please expect delays in , 7, n and q train service at this time.

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Update 8:15 am

The service alert has not been updated yet but service is still suspended between Woodlawn & 149th Street-Grand Concourse. Uptown trains are terminating at 149th Street-Grand Concourse & being turned around for service to Utica Avenue. The body has been removed & power might soon be restored to the express tracks to enable Brooklyn bound service to resume. The is running with residual delays.

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Update 8:34 am

They are in the process of restoring power. Some service should be resuming shortly.

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Update 8:37 am

Service is now restored along the line in the Bronx as extras will be starting at select stops & running normally to Utica Avenue with residual delays. Also the is running normally after an earlier incident. The is still running with delays due to switching problems.

xoxo Transit Blogger

 

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MTA & Gov. Spitzer Giving Out Screwjobs For The Holidays

In approximately 4.5 hours, the MTA will host the much talked about “Public Engagement” online seminar. The online seminar is billed as a chance for people to have a “real time” conversation with MTA leadership to discuss their financial situation, the capital plan, & their new fare & toll hike proposal. However thanks to William Neuman of the New York Times, we can now know how big our screwjobs will be. Here are the key points from his article:

Straphangers should be prepared to see a 6.6% increase in the price of 30 day unlimited Metrocards. Under the new proposal, these cards will rise to $81. The 7 day unlimited Metrocard will see a 4.2% increase as the price will rise to $25. The MTA will also create a 14 day unlimited card which will debut at the price of $47.

Metrocard bonuses were not left out of the mix as straphangers should be prepared to see a decrease in their bonus from 20% to 15%. However the amount needed to qualify for the bonus will drop from $10 to $7. According to the example given, $7 Metrocard purchases will reflect a balance of $8.05. Unfortunately straphangers will have to prepare to see many visuals of an uneven balance. Under this new pricing scheme, straphangers will have to buy 7 rides before earning a free ride. This is a far cry from the simpler process of only needing to buy 5 rides to earn a free ride. To read William’s article, you can click here.

Who would like to join me in singing the praises of the MTA & Gov. Spitzer for giving us the good ol’ screwjob for the holidays? The majority of riders did not want a fare hike even though it was obvious we would have to endure one anyhow. However as much as we expected one, I don’t think any of us were prepared to get such a screwjob. Why is it that this fare hike punishes the loyal riders who make up a huge majority of the ridership while letting the minority (14%) along with drivers off the hook?

The saddest part of the supposed heroics of Gov. Spitzer is that his intervention actually ends up costing the majority of riders in the long run. Under the proposal that will be discussed during the seminar, the majority of riders are being asked to shoulder more of the burden than we would have originally if the fare was raised to $2.25. Lets not also forget that the proposed 6.6% increase is more than what drivers will have to face at the MTA’s bridges & tunnels. Nice!!!!

So lets see if I get this straight, I along will millions of others who make up the 86% of riders who qualify as your most loyal customers are expected to carry the burden of a fare hike. We get to watch the 14% minority pay no extra money out of pocket to ride the same system we are loyal to. We also get to watch drivers deal with a lower increase in costs. I figured I was overreacting in criticizing this nice screwjob gift for the holidays by the MTA & Gov. Spitzer. I thought if I repeated the details of it, I would start to be thankful for this holiday treat. Well guess what, I am even more pissed!

I along with millions of others are expected to support a fare hike to supposedly help our system & its finances. However your best way of convincing us is to screw your most loyal customers who just happen to make up 86% of your ridership! Good one! Can you do me a favor & tell me what business/P.R. school you attended so I can slap the hell out of the person who created it. Thanks!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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NYC Para Transit Drivers Officially On Strike

5 days ago, I wrote about the possibility of NYC Para Transit drivers going on strike on Monday if both sides did not return to the bargaining table. Unfortunately Monday is here & the drivers are officially on strike. Here is a brief article about the strike courtesy of 1010 Wins:

A union representing 1,500 drivers for the disabled and chronically ill went on strike Monday.

The companies they work for serve nearly half of the passengers who cannot use mass transit for health or physical reasons.

Carolyn Daly, a spokeswoman for the managers, confirmed the strike began after midnight. The union could not immediately be reached for comment.

A union representing 1,500 drivers for the disabled and chronically ill said a strike was all but certain Monday after management refused to meet for round-the-clock negotiations.

The Para Transit Drivers and Mechanics of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181-1061 rejected a contract offer in the fall. Since then, the union said, management has turned down requests to resume talks.

“Rather than commit to collective bargaining, the bus companies have deliberately brought us to the picket line,” said Tommy Mullins, a union vice president and trustee of the local.

The private bus companies claim an internal union struggle is behind the walkout threat.

Yesterday the MTA issued a statement on the possibility of a strike on behalf of their NYC Transit division. Here is their statement:

NYC Transit is aware that Amalgamated Transport Union Local 1181-1061 has threatened to call for a job action or strike against four Access-A-Ride carriers on Monday, December 10, 2007. Those carriers are: Atlantic Paratrans, Inc.; Maggies Paratransit Corp. ; Mv Transportation, Inc., and; Transit Facility Mgmt Corp.

These carriers, under contract with MTA New York City Transit provide approximately 50 % of Paratransit daily scheduled services. However, this is a private labor dispute between the ATU and the carriers. NYC Transit is not a party to these negotiations.

Access-A-Ride will continue to schedule trips for users of the service who rely on these contractors. However, this is subject to change as we determine the availability of drivers and vehicles and other delays that could arise in the event of a job action.

If there is a job action against these providers, NYC Transit will reassign affected subscription trips, especially medically essential trips (i.e. dialysis treatment, chemotherapy, etc.). NYC Transit also has contingency plans to utilize supplemental service provided by private ambulette carriers. Where possible, the Paratransit Command Center will rely on additional vehicles and drivers provided by other Access-A-Ride providers.

This added capacity will also be used to address customers whose return trip is affected by any job action. Paratransit will also respond to customer inquiries and authorize taxi or vouchers for car service to those affected customers who call to make alternate arrangements. But customers will only be allowed to book next day trips in advance.

Lets hope this issue is resolved as quickly as possible where both sides are satisfied. The disabled riders need every bit of service this provides even if it is sub par in many ways.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Rider Report Card Briefs

NY1 has posted a few brief notes on the “Rider Report Card” results for the , , & Staten Island Railway. I continue to wait for the MTA to post the full results for the R, & V as I have seen links to them for a good 3-4 days now. However the links continue to open a “Page Not Found” page. As of now, here is what we know about the results.

The R & V both finished with an overall grade of C-. They also both earned a D for station & train announcements. As far as the Staten Island Railway goes, it earned an overall grade of C+. The highest grade earned was a B for minimal delays. The lowest grade was a C- which it earned in 3 categories. The three categories were station announcements, train announcements, & graffiti in cars. The top 3 priorities were adequate room on board during rush hour, a sense of security in stations, & trains arriving/departing on time. As usual, you can expect a full breakdown of the grades along with my analysis when the results are posted.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA Names The Initial General Managers….

Continuing with news on the big transit story of the last 24 hours, the MTA announced the initial general managers for the 7 & L lines as part of their testing of a new management reorganization. The two men named as initial general managers are Greg Lombardi & Lou Brassica. Mr. Lombardi will be using the wisdom gained in his 28 years of experience to lead the charge for the L train.  Meanwhile Mr. Brassica will be using the wisdom he gained in his 26 years of experience in leading the 7 train.

The two men officially start their new post on Monday but are already starting to get to work. They both will be visiting each station along their respective lines to hear suggestions & complaints. They will also be using the results of their respective report cards (7 train & L train) to help them learn what needs to be done to ensure the satisfaction of their ridership.

Personally I hope the promised communication option of reaching the general managers directly via the MTA website starting next week is a reality & not a sham. I like many others will hopefully have our voices heard when he offer suggestions via the website. I know as of now the responses are typically automatically generated which serves no purposes. Lets hope that the change on paper is what will actually take place in reality.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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