MTA Looking Into Station Sponsorships Again

The MTA is looking under every rock to find ways to bring more money in. Last month I wrote about their plan of looking to ads to add financial muscle. Today’s edition of AMNY features an article by transportation writer Matthew Sweeney which talks about the idea of selling station sponsorships to companies. Here is a brief sample of his article:

Imagine Mickey Mouse greeting passengers as they step onto the platform at a “Disney Times Square” station or “CitiStation” beneath Citigroup Center at 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue.”

In the midst of a financial crisis, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is looking at corporate sponsorship of subway stations to help fill its massive budget gap.

“We’re looking to see what more we can do to raise revenue through station advertising,” MTA CEO Elliot Sander told amNewYork.

Sponsorship, little more than a sketch on paper at this point, could become the most visible component of the agency’s aggressive push to increase advertising revenue, which currently brings in a little more than $100 million a year.

Click here for the entire article.

I support this idea of sponsoring stations. The kind of revenue this could bring in if done right would be huge for the MTA. Major companies would not pass up an opportunity to target a subway system that moves millions of people around daily.

Outside of the money factor, I feel this would be a great way to help fund the complete cleanup & repair of stations throughout the system. Do you really think Disney for instance would spend millions on advertising & have their station look like utter garbage? I sure don’t think so.

As far as overdoing it is concerned, I don’t think that applies in this case. Riders see advertisements every single day so what would be different about this? It is not like the MTA will allow a company to turn a station into an amusement park. Riders should seriously look at the bigger picture instead of worrying about such inconsequential things. As far as Playboy is concerned, do you really think the MTA would allow them to advertise? People should think before saying something so stupid. Lets hope the MTA does not blow this golden opportunity to rake in the dough.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Gov Patterson Flexes His Veto Muscle

If you happen to keep up with Long Island politics, you would have heard about the battle over building a truck-rail yard in Brentwood. The proposed truck-rail yard is to be built on part of the property where the former Pilgrim State Hospital currently sits.

Gov. Patterson has supported this project as he sees it as a viable way to help decrease the reliance on trucks & the traffic they bring to the island. The bill he vetoed would have killed any plans for such a facility as it called for the property to be added to the Oak Brush Plains Preserve. Elizabeth Moore of Newsday has more on this story with the report she filed earlier today:

Gov. David A. Paterson has vetoed a bill that would have killed plans for a truck-rail yard on part of the former Pilgrim State Hospital property in Brentwood by adding the land to the Oak Brush Plains Preserve instead.

Paterson says he believes environmental reviews should continue on the proposed Long Island Truck/Rail Intermodal, or LITRIM, which would reduce truck traffic by 156,000 truck trips per year by shifting more freight to the rail lines. That would reduce carbon emissions by 3,448 tons, since trains use less fuel than trucks, he said.

“Enacting this bill would end this process and forever block the only opportunity to build LITRIM at Pilgrim, a project that may have enormous benefits for the residents of Long Island in improving congestion and air quality,” the governor wrote in his veto message, delivered to lawmakers Thursday.

Click here to read the entire article.

The battle over this project comes from your typical neighborhood residents crying about any sort of development. The mentality in many of the suburbs in the tri-state area is of the selfish kind. Once they find a neighborhood to call their own, damn to anyone who attempts to bring in anything that could help the overall population of a region. It is all about what it does or does not do for their desires. Yet one could safely bet that many of these same people are of the green mentality & wanting to help the environment. Well if that is the case, why go against a project that would clearly help out the environment? They can’t have it both ways….

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA #3333 Service Is Fading Into Oblivion

Millions of straphangers depend on the NYC Subway to get them from “Point A” to “Point B”. Sometimes service diversions throw a wrench into the best laid plans. The MTA for years has provided immediate access to straphangers in case of such an occurrence through their 3333 service. The service which is only accessible from Verizon payphones inside subway stations. Unfortunately in an age of cellphones, Blackberries, PDA’s, etc…. this vital service has started the ultimate nosedive into oblivion. AMNY Transit Reporter Matthew Sweeney has more in this report:

Known to few, often forgotten, and slowly making its way toward the technological dustbin is the subway payphone #3333 service.

Dialing #-3-3-3-3 brings up a free recording of scheduled transit service changes.

Introduced in 2001, and once heavily advertised, the service is still available at some 4,000 payphones maintained by Verizon, transit officials said.

Currently, riders continue to count largely on signs and announcements, which can sometimes be confusing, to say the least. Few remember #3333.

Click here for the complete report.

It is sad that more people are not taking advantage of this free service. There is no reason as to why the service gets such a small amount of calls when millions of people use the subway. One would think that even in a world with such advanced technology, riders wound find use out of such a service. It is fine to carry a Treo (like myself), Blackberry, Sidekick, etc… but when you are underground & get no signal, they are virtually worthless.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA Has A Groping Change Of Heart

In the middle of last month, I wrote about the MTA outhinking themselves when they decided against going through with their anti-groping advertising campaign. Patrick Gallahue of the New York Post brought the original exclusive story to us all has once again got exclusive news on the MTA’s change of heart. Here is the brief report from Patrick:

New York City Transit is finally moving against perverts who use crowded trains as an opportunity to grope women.

Weeks ago, The Post exclusively reported that agency officials were holding back on an ad campaign against sicko straphangers out of internal fears that it could actually provoke the deviants. But the agency has now opted to roll out the campaign next month.

The posters read, “Sexual harassment is a crime in the subway, too – a crowded train is no excuse for an improper touch. Don’t stand for it or feel ashamed, or be afraid to speak up. Report it to an MTA employee or police officer.”

The first 2,000 posters will be distributed throughout the system and should remain up for at least three months to “assess its impact,” said NYC Transit spokesman Paul Fleuranges.

The campaign was sparked by a report last year by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer that found 10 percent of women surveyed claimed to have been sexually abused and 63 percent reported having been sexually harassed.

I am glad the agency had a change of heart although I question what took them so long. The main reason given for not going through with the campaign was the fear of copycats or encouraging perverts to take their chances. They now want to “assess their impact” which is pretty much saying they still have fears of copycats. The right attitude is to just say the safety of our passengers is & will always me more important than the chance of idiotic perverts being encourage by ads calling them out.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MetroCard Vending Machine Trouble Deja Vu

Riders at the 47-50 Streets-Rockefeller Center & 49th Street N and R stations must have been feeling like yesterday was a case of deja vu. Once again customers who wanted to purchase or refill their MetroCards with their credit or debit card were unable to do so. Peter Cox of the New York Post filed this brief report:

Riders ran into trouble yet again yesterday using their credit and debit cards at two major subway stations, but officials said that the snafus were not related to major breakdowns in the system last week.

From 6 to 8 a.m., MetroCard machines were cash-only at the 47-50 Streets-Rockefeller Center station and the 49th Street N and R station, workers said.

It appears that there were problems in the connection between the local stations and the central system, officials said.

“It unfortunately happens,” a spokesman said. “It is an inconvenience, but it was not a systematic failure.”

But straphangers must have been suffering flashbacks after last week’s debacle left thousands of riders running for the ATM. A problem in processing charges caused system-wide disruptions in credit and debit charges, including some cases where people were charged without receiving their fare cards.

The glitch was fixed and all the money refunded, New York City Transit said.

On the bright side, the issues were contained to only two albeit frequently busy stations. However the consistent malfunction of the machines to process credit or debit card purchases is totally unacceptable. The MTA really needs to get together with the company in charge of processing the transactions & figure out what the problem is. If they need to temporarily shut down the ability to use credit or debit cards to purchase fares so be it. I would rather have a temporary shutdown to iron out the difficulties than a consistent breakdown which could occur at any unannounced moment.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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