Wesley Autrey & His Attorney Drop Dueling Lawsuits

A few months back, everyone’s favorite NYC Subway hero Wesley Autrey sued his attorney Diane L. Kleiman and her business partner Marc Antonio Esposito, of Marco Antonio Productions. Mr. Autrey accused the pair of having him sign an unfair contract that gave them most of any money he earned because of his new fame. Ms. Kleiman in turn sued Mr. Autrey for legal fees and compensation for damage to her reputation.

According to the Associated Press, all parties involved have agreed to an agreement known as a “stipulation”. The stipulation voids any oral or written contracts involving Mr. Autrey, Ms. Kleiman, & Mr. Esposito. State Supreme Court Justice Bernard J. Fried signed off on the stipulation and filed it within the last week.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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D Train Is Below Average, Where Have We Read That One Before??????

205th Street Bound D train approaching Bay 50th St. station
205th St. bound D train approaching Bay 50th St. station; Resized photo courtesy of Eye On Transit

With the fear of sounding repetitive, the D train is below average! As you probably figured out, the D train earned a C- overall in its 2007 rider report card. The D’s report card was littered with grades in the C & D range with its lowest being a D for “Station announcements that are easy to hear”. The highest grade earned was a B- which it earned in 2 categories, “Availability of MetroCard Vending Machines” & “Ease of use of subway turnstiles”. Lets breakdown the entire report card:

Top 10 priorities that D train riders’ would like to see improvement on:

01. Reasonable wait times for trains
02. Minimal delays during trips
03. Adequate room on board at rush hour
04. Station announcements that are easy to hear
05. Train announcements that are easy to hear
06. Cleanliness of stations
07. Sense of security on trains
08. Sense of security in stations
09. Cleanliness of subway cars
10. Comfortable temperature in subway cars

Now here is the entire order of D train riders’ priorities:

01. Reasonable wait times for trains
02. Minimal delays during trips
03. Adequate room on board at rush hour
04. Station announcements that are easy to hear
05. Train announcements that are easy to hear
06. Cleanliness of stations
07. Sense of security on trains
08. Sense of security in stations
09. Cleanliness of subway cars
10. Comfortable temperature in subway cars
11. Station announcements that are informative
12. Working elevators and escalators in stations
13. Courtesy and helpfulness of station personnel
14. Train announcements that are informative
15. Lack of scratchitti in subway cars
16. Availability of MetroCard Vending Machines
17. Signs in subway cars that help riders find their way
18. Ease of use of subway turnstiles
19. Signs in stations that help riders find their way
20. Lack of graffiti in subway cars
21. Lack of graffiti in stations

Now here is the graded breakdown of all 21 categories:

Minimal delays during trips C-
Reasonable wait times for trains C-
Adequate room on board at rush hour D+
Sense of security in stations C
Sense of security on trains C-
Working elevators and escalators in stations C
Signs in stations that help riders find their way C+
Signs in subway cars that help riders find their way C
Cleanliness of stations D+
Cleanliness of subway cars C-
Station announcements that are easy to hear D
Station announcements that are informative D+
Train announcements that are easy to hear D+
Train announcements that are informative D+
Lack of graffiti in stations C
Lack of graffiti in subway cars C+
Lack of scratchitti in subway cars C-
Courtesy and helpfulness of station personnel C
Comfortable temperature in subway cars C
Ease of use of subway turnstiles B-
Availability of MetroCard Vending Machines B-

I think that the D riders nailed this report card with deadly precision. I have used the D a lot over the years & always felt it needed a lot of improvement. The biggest issues I always had with the line were the wait times & having adequate room on board at just about any time of the day. To be honest, choice #3 in the priority list could easily be #1 & I am sure many would agree.

Personally I have always found the west side express trains to be inferior to those on the east side. For some reason I always seem to be waiting for way too long for an express train on the west side especially during rush hour. I like many others find it inexcusable when one has to wait for almost or over 10 minutes for a train during the rush hour! It has gotten to the point where I purposely use the local if I can as I feel it will get me to my destination faster. If anything I feel the D should have earned an F in both wait times & having room on board especially during rush hour.

As far as the response is concerned, the MTA only received 4,084 report cards. I am so sick of the lack of passion from riders who want things to change. If you want changes made, do everything in your power to facilitate such actions! I can only hope that the turnout will be better overall for next year’s report cards.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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TWU Wants Strike Penalties Lifted

MTA workers striking at the Parkchester Station on day 2 of the 2005 transit strike.
MTA workers on strike at the Parkchester Station on day 2 of the 2005 transit strike. Resized photo courtesy of Eye On Transit

As I wrote about at the beginning of last month, the Transport Workers Union is continuing its fight to get their strike penalties lifted. The TWU is now down to only a couple of penalties with the biggest issue still being their checkoff power.

According to court papers filed on Halloween, the state attorney general & MTA supported the TWU regaining “due checkoffs” but only on a probationary basis. They want the due checkoffs privilege revoked if the TWU strikes again. Here is a comment from Mayor Bloomberg who sides with the state attorney general & MTA on the stipulation:

What they’ve submitted so far, if you read it very carefully, number one, it’s not the union, it’s the president of the union, and number two, it simply says they acknowledge that they don’t have the right. They don’t say they won’t.”

The issue is a big one to the TWU as they said they have lost over $1 million dollars due to the penalties.

I personally don’t know if they should go for such a stipulation. They would weaken their power if they were to promise not to strike again. They should seriously consider all options before such a proposal. The case is expected to be heard in the Brooklyn Supreme Court later this month.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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The MTA Wants Developers To “Be In Beacon”

The MTA’s Metro North Railroad division is looking for developers to become partners with them in a Transit Oriented Development (TOD). The “TOD” is to be situated on approximately 18 acres at the Beacon Station in Dutchess County. Here are a few comments on the project:

MTA CEO & Executive Director Elliot Sander – “Transit Oriented Development is a win-win for the MTA and New York, promoting increased transit use and helping to make the region more sustainable. We hope this is the first of many opportunities to promote transit-accessible development throughout the MTA’s transportation network.”

Metro North President Peter A. Cannito – “Clustering development around train stations is nothing new. Just look at the thriving hamlets all over the region we serve. We hope to go back to the future in Beacon. Metro-North wants to be an integral part of that city’s very bright future.”
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MTA Looks To Speed Up Bus Service….

B64 idle at the Mermaid Bus Loop in Brooklyn.
B64 idle at the Mermaid Bus Loop in Brooklyn; Resized photo courtesy of Eye On Transit

This past Tuesday, the MTA dealt with its annual embarrassment courtesy of receiving the “Pokey” award from The Straphangers Campaign. What made it worse this year is that the group debuted a new award called the “Schleppie” so it was double the embarrassment. However the MTA chose not to sit around & do nothing about it as they chose this day to announce their plans of speeding up bus service.

The agency is working with the NYC Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) on multiple initiatives to help speed up bus service. Some of these initiatives include signal light prioritization & Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). Here is the full press release:

MTA New York City Transit bus customers could soon benefit from a series of initiatives aimed at making city bus service faster and more dependable than it has ever been. Combining technological advances with methods of bus operation new to the region, the era of slow bus service could eventually be left behind.
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