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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MTA Responds To Comptroller DiNapoli’s Report

The MTA has issued a press release within the last 45 minutes responding to New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s report about the agency paying out over $1.1 billion dollars in claims over the last decade. Here is the press release:

Protecting the safety and security of our employees and customers is the MTA’s top priority. The MTA has made great strides in improving safety over the past ten years, and we continue to pursue new initiatives. Since 1996, the employee injury rate has been reduced by 60% and in 2007 the MTA achieved its lowest employee injury rate ever. Customer injuries have also decreased. Since 1996 the number of customer injuries per million customers has decreased by 28% even while the MTA ridership is at record numbers.

As a result, the MTA’s ultimate incurred cost for employee and customer accidents is less than what would have been expected, a savings of approximately $335 million from 1997-2007. In addition, two of the causes identified by the Comptroller of higher recent claims – gap incidents and torn clothing due to armrests on the commuter railroads – have both been addressed.

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F Train Service Alert

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

Due to signal problems at the Bergen Street Station, please expect delays in service on the trains at this time.

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