A Victim Possibly Identified?

Brooklyn bound A train entering 2nd Avenue station during a G.O.; Resized photo courtesy of Eye On Transit

Has the victim seen in the infamous train video beating been identified? There is a possibility that this might be the case if you believe 27 year old Rafael Cruz. According to the New York Police Department Transit Bureau, Mr. Cruz filed a complaint on Monday saying he was the victim seen in the video being taunted & assaulted. He said he did not fight back because he did not want to hit a woman.

I think I need to have a long talk with Mr. Cruz & any other man who feels it is ok to not fight back when you are clearly being assaulted by a “so called” woman. In certain cases, you must throw all rules out the window & protect yourself which is a right you will always have!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Possible Hate Crime Occurs On The Q Train


Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue bound Q train entering the Neck Road station. Resized photo courtesy of Eye On Transit

Yesterday a disturbing story came over the AP wire. The story was about a possible hate crime that occurred on a southbound Q train at Canal Street According to the cops, four Jewish subway riders were showered with anti-Semitic comments & beaten after wishing riders “Happy Hanukkah”. Here is the full story courtesy of the AP & posted on AMNY:

An attack on four subway riders during Hanukkah last week is being investigated as a possible hate crime, police and prosecutors said Tuesday.

Four people were approached Friday night by another group who began yelling anti-Semitic remarks at them and assaulting them on a southbound Q train at Canal Street in Manhattan, police said.

Police caught up with the train at the Flatbush and DeKalb avenues station in Brooklyn and arrested eight men and two women, ages 19 and 20. They were arraigned Saturday on third-degree assault and menacing, second-degree riot and harassment, and disorderly conduct, the Brooklyn district attorney’s office said. The case was being handled by the office’s civil rights bureau, and charges could be upgraded to a hate crime, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The two men and two women who were attacked had bruises and welts on their faces and heads, but were not hospitalized, police said.

One of the men charged, Joseph Jirovec, 19, pleaded guilty last year to attempted robbery as a hate crime and was awaiting sentencing, prosecutors said. Jirovec, who is white, was part of a group that yelled racial epithets and assaulted two black teenagers in the Gerritsen Beach section of Brooklyn, prosecutors said.

Jirovec’s lawyer, Peter Mollo, said Tuesday it was very unlikely his client would attack another person because he or she was Jewish. “His mother was Jewish,” he said. “It’s very unlikely he would do something like this at all.”

State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who represents Brooklyn, said he was disturbed by news of the incident.

“Where is this coming from when young people are involved in this kind of behavior?” he asked. “You would think we’ve learned from the past. Something rotten is going on.”

I am glad that the scumbags who assaulted these innocent riders were arrested. I hope the justice system gives these scumbags a severe ass kicking to match the beating they gave the 4 riders & then some! There is no place for these kind of crimes in today’s society even if we do not agree with the faith of others.

One last thing, you have got to love the lawyer for one of the scumbags who uses the “my client could not have done this routine due to _______ enter any b.s. reason you can come up with” defense. I find it downright laughable that he mentions his client’s mother is part Jewish which would make it impossible for him to perpetrate such a crime. Last I checked wasn’t one of Adolf Hitler’s right hand men Jewish? I know someone in that regime was, so sorry buddy I would come up with a new defense. You get paid enough money so you have to come up with a better plan!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Both Sides To Return To The Bargaining Table

Here is the latest news on the Paratransit drivers strike which has affected thousands of chronically ill & disabled riders. According to The Para Transit Drivers and Mechanics of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181-1061 & Paratransit Operators Coalition, both sides will return to the bargaining table later today. The union which has 1500 members will continue to strike while both sides try to hammer out a deal.

Lets hope both sides can come to a satisfiable agreement for both sides so full service can be available to the approximately 8000 people who depend on this service daily.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Metro-North Finalizes A Collective Bargaining Agreement

In the last piece of Metro-North news for Tuesday December 11th, the MTA announced that the Metro-North has finalized a collective bargaining agreement with the Association Of Commuter Railroad Employees Division 166. Here is the full press release courtesy of the MTA:

Metro-North has reached agreement with the last of its 19 bargaining units, the railroad announced Monday.

The 222 members of the signalmen’s union, the Association of Commuter Railroad Employees Division 166, ratified the contract last month and the agreement was approved by the board of directors of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority at its last meeting.

“With wages and working conditions settled for Metro-North’s 4,900 union-represented workers through 2010, the railroad and its employees can better focus on continual improvement of the safe, reliable service we provide every day,” said Metro-North President Peter A. Cannito.

Work rule and productivity gains were achieved in this round of talks.

This contract, which is retroactive to January 1, 2007, was extended six months beyond the usual three-year term to June 15, 2010, to help pay for some of the contract changes, notably an improved pension plan similar to that offered to management employees.

The ACRE signalmen were the last to sign because of work rule issues unique to their craft, the railroad said.

It is nice to know that an agreement was reached. It is never a bad thing to have all of your ducks in a row as far as agreements are concerned. Now ladies & gentlemen, lets get to work!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Metro-North Announces Reconstruction Plans For 3 Stations

Continuing with the latest Metro-North news, the MTA issued a press release to announce their reconstruction plans for the Ossining, Philipse Manor, & Scarborough stations. Here is the full press release courtesy of the MTA:

 The ongoing rehabilitation of Hudson Line stations has reached Ossining, Scarborough and Philipse Manor, MTA Metro-North Railroad announced today.

Working from south to north, with work just finishing up at Hastings-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley-on-Hudson, and Irvington, 13 Hudson Line stations have now been completely rebuilt.

The overhauls continue with a $67 million upgrade planned for Ossining, Scarborough and Philipse Manor, where new platforms, canopies, shelters, enclosed staircases, lighting, benches, public address systems, audio-visual information systems and trash receptacles are planned for each station.

The overpass at Scarborough will be demolished and replaced with a new one that has elevators on either side, making the station fully accessible to the disabled for the first time. At Scarborough, which is sandwiched between Kemey’s Cove and the Hudson River, a temporary station will be built south of the existing one. Contractor access to the west side will be to drive across the tracks at a temporary at-grade crossing. With equipment, materials and construction trailers occupying the space at the foot of the northbound platform, a temporary platform will be built in the parking lot behind the outbound local track.

Another temporary inbound platform will be built directly atop of track four, which will be out of service. They will be connected by a temporary overpass.

During this work, a dozen parking spaces will be out of service. The Village of Briarcliff Manor is instituting a valet parking service during construction with parking in the drive aisles.

At Ossining, where an historic brick station building straddles the four tracks below, six new and one rehabilitated staircase will connect the station and Secor Road with the platforms. Four new elevators will be built. Two elevators will be installed in shaft ways that long ago held baggage handling elevators and will connect the elevated walkway on the north side of the station building to the two island platforms. Two new elevators will connect Secor Road overpass with the parking areas east and west of the tracks.

In a separate but related project, Metro-North will begin to restore the architectural integrity of the Tarrytown Station building. Inside, the station building is in good shape, but outside, much structural work is needed. Most importantly the building’s foundation, which was settled in the northeast corner, will be corrected and stabilized.

In addition, three roof dormers that were removed from the track side of the building in the 1980s will be rebuilt during the roof replacement to bring daylight back into the waiting area. A porte-cochere that existed years ago on the front or east side of the building also will be rebuilt, subject to a traffic study.

Windows will be refurbished or replaced in kind. Exterior columns and eaves will be restored. Copper gutters and leaders will be replaced in kind.

The design for repairs at Tarrytown is being prepared for review in January by the State Historic Preservation Office of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Advertisement for a construction contractor is expected next spring with work to begin in summer. The station and ticket window will remain operational during the restoration.

Work on the platforms, staircases, elevators and overpasses at Tarrytown is planned to will be undertaken as a single project beginning in mid-2009. Tarrytown is the only station in the interlocking north of Irvington and south of Philipse Manor.

During construction at Philipse Manor, Scarborough and Ossining, morning customers will be boarding southbound trains on the opposite platform. Signs will be posted at the stations and announcements will be made directing customers to the correct platform

Scheduling of station construction projects is dictated by the track layout. To work on platforms, the adjacent track has to be taken out of service. To do that, trains must be routed onto other tracks at switches, also called interlockings. Often the distance between interlockings is several miles and may include several stations. So it makes sense to bundle work at stations within a given interlocking to take advantage of the track outage.

That’s why work at Hastings-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley-on-Hudson, and Irvington was done simultaneously and why works at Ossining, Scarborough and Philipse Manor will be undertaken as a single project.

That’s also why Track 4, the western-most, riverside track, also known as the inbound local track, will be taken out of service on January 15, 2008 for 18 months during work at Ossining, Scarborough and Philipse Manor. During this outage, customers will board AM peak trains from the opposite side, Track 3, also known as the outbound local track.

While I am sure some customers will complain about the temporary changes at their respective stops, they will hopefully enjoy the upgraded facilities to help create a better railroad.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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