10 days ago, I wrote about the MTA’s plan to increase emergency training. The purpose of the training was to better prepare employees to be able to identify & report suspicious activities as well as deal with crisis situations.
Today reports have started to surface about some of the training. The central message from these sessions was for employees to think like terrorists. To help facilitate this sort of thinking, the employees who were apart of the first session were provided excerpts from seized Al-Qaeda documents.
They were also shown an actual surveillance tape from a thwarted attack in 2001 against U.S. military personnel who depended on buses to get to a transit hub in Singapore. The terrorists saw that certain bike racks at the hub had storage containers & they saw that as a great place to hide explosives. The plan was for the explosives to go off as commuters passed through the hub.
Some more details about the 3 hour session enlighten us that the employees were taught about the following:
How terrorists select targets
How terrorists gather surveillance
How they plan & carry out attacks
An article by New York Daily News transit reporter Pete Donohue shares some more interesting tidbits including more details as to why terrorists focused on that transit hub in Singapore in 2001. Here are some excerpts from the article:
“They do their homework,” Turner, an employe of the EAI Corp., which along with the feds, MTA and the National Transportation Institute created the curriculum. “These plans take days, weeks, months or years.”
The detective also played a dramatization showing a “plot” to bomb a major transportation hub in the U.S. that included some strategies terrorists have used in the past, including extensive surveillance.
In that scenario, a conductor spotted one of the pieces of unattended luggage. A rapid response included the evacuation of passengers and moving the train to a more remote location. Turner said a major thrust of the course was to get transit workers, who in years past griped their training was lacking, to focus on behavior more than exterior appearances.
AMNY also has a featured story about the first emergency training session. Their main transit reporter Marlene Naanes has written an article about the session which includes having a discussion with Q train operator James Gamble. Here are some excerpts from her article:
Q train operator James Gamble is equipped with excerpts of al-Qaida training manuals and a rundown of a terrorist attack in Japan.
The first round of security and emergency response training classes for transit employees began last week, a reiteration of MTA protocol for some, but eye-opening for others. “A lot of it we already do,” Gamble said after a class Wednesday. “Showing people how terrorists plan their attack, that’s new.”
Transport Workers Union Local 100 President Roger Toussaint shared his opinions about the training session by saying:
“For too long, we have stood by ourselves in demanding that transit workers are trained to react and respond to the dangers they face on the job every day. This initiative gives our members some of the tools they need to face the new reality of our transit system after 9/11.”
I personally agree with Roger in saying it is about time. I feel it is quite pathetic that it has taken the MTA & government 6+ years to provide such a detailed training session. These sessions should have happened at worst by the end of 2001! One could argue that months would have been too long. If that is the case, what words can describe a 6+ year delay! This is inexcusable & whomever is responsible for taking this long to implement such a common sense protocol should be fired immediately!You might enjoy reading these related entries:
- MTA Increasing Emergency Training
- Toussaint Shoots Back At Mayor Bloomberg
- MTA To Put Cameras In 400+ Buses
- MTA Plans To Eliminate Program & Safety Workers
- NYCT & TWU Task Force Reveal Safety Recommendations For Subway Track Workers
This morning’s edition of AMNY has a story about the Hudson Rail Yards. The story mentions that bids are due today for anyone wanting the rights to the 26 acre property. These 26 acres are considered to be a sacred opportunity that will never be available again in Manhattan’s future. The land’s developments are seen as a crucial project for Manhattan’s future.
While many of the biggest names in New York real estate are expect to submit different bids, the vision for the land will not be different amongst them. Developers hope to turn the 26 acres into a thriving waterfront filled with hotels, housing, office towers, shopping, & parks.
Why can’t the property remain as rail yards? What is the obsession with building the same things on every square inch of NYC? I am all for development & rebuilding neighborhoods. However I do not support every bit of free space being seen as potentially developed properties. Why do some have the desire to see everyone in NYC squished together like a family of roaches? Sometimes I wish I was back in the suburbs where I had plenty of space & a sense of non squished freedom!You might enjoy reading these related entries:
- Hudson Rail Yards Receive 5 Bids
- MTA Finalizes Hudson Yards Deal
- MTA Looking To Get $150M For 347 Madison
- On Display: Plans For The Hudson Rail Yards
- The Related Companies Finds Their Guy
The MTA released a report this past Friday detailing possible plans to expand service on 4 lines. The purpose of the expanded service would be to accommodate the projected additional riders the system would receive in relation to the proposed congestion pricing plan.
The 4 lines that would see increased service would be the 1, C, E, & F. The agency expects approximately 78,000 car trips a day to be taken off the road within the 5 boroughs due to the congestion pricing plan. Here are the proposed service expansions by line:
- 1: Increase service to accommodate riders who choose not to drive within the congestion pricing zone during the afternoon hours
- C: Expand trains from 8 to 10 subway cars to accommodate Brooklyn neighborhoods with a high number of commuters who drive
- E: Add 4 additional trips around the start & end of the morning rush hour to accommodate southeast Queens commuters. The additional trips would kick in 30 minutes before & after the morning rush.
- F: Add 4 additional trips around the start & end of the morning rush hour to accommodate southeast Queens commuters. The additional trips would kick in 30 minutes before & after the morning rush.
According to the report, the MTA would need to purchase an additional 46 subway cars to implement these proposals.You might enjoy reading these related entries:
- Gov. Spitzer Says Not So Fast…..
- Congestion Pricing Plan Just Won’t Go Away
- The MTA Is In Deep Doodoo
- Congestion Pricing Has Nine Lives
- Fare Hike Should Not Affect Congestion Pricing Plan….
What should be the final service alert regarding this afternoon’s complete shutdown of the 7 train, the MTA has announced that express service on the has been fully restored between Times Square-42nd Street & Flushing-Main Street.You might enjoy reading these related entries:
- 7 Train Service Alert Final Update (Hopefully)
- 7 Train Service Alert
- 1, 2, & 3 Service Alert (Updated)
- Nostalgia Train To Mark The Final Season Game At Shea Stadium
- 7 Train Outage Details
(Flushing-Main Street bound 7 train @ Queensboro Plaza; resized photo courtesy of Eye On Transit
The MTA has posted what we all hope is a final update to the 7 train service alert. The final update states
Following an A/C power failure affecting signals along the Flushing Line, service has been restored between the Flushing – Main Street Station and the Times Square Station in Manhattan.
There is no Main Street bound Express service at this time. All trains are running local.
Customers should expect some residual delays in service.
We apologize for any inconvenience and thank our customers in advance for their cooperation.
So the good news is that 7 train service is back in time for the rush hour. The bad news is that no express service will be running for what might be the entire rush hour period.
Some interesting notes as to what caused the complete loss of 7 train service. The complete loss of 7 service starting at approximately 1:35 p.m. was due to an electrical power failure to some signals along the line. This is according to the New York Times City Room Blog which has been on top of the entire situation. I did not get a chance to check out their blog today as I usually do. So I would like to thank Second Avenue Sagas who was also on top of this alert for the tip.You might enjoy reading these related entries: