FASTRACK Returns To G On 9/8/14

G Train train riders take note that FASTRACK will be returning this Monday & last through 5 AM Friday. Here are the complete details:

On Monday, September 8, MTA New York City Transit’s FASTRACK program returns to the G line in Brooklyn. G service will be suspended between Bedford-Nostrand Avs and Church Av from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for four consecutive weeknights from Monday, September 8 to early Friday morning, September 12. Free shuttle buses, and F trains provide alternate service.

Travel alternatives:

• Free shuttle buses operate between Bedford-Nostrand Avs and the Jay St-MetroTech F station making station stops at Classon Av, Clinton-Washington Avs, Fulton St, and Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts.

• Transfer between G trains and free shuttle buses at Bedford-Nostrand Avs.

• Take the F for service between Jay St-MetroTech and Church Av.

• Transfer between free shuttle buses and F trains at Jay St-MetroTech.

• A service is also available between Hoyt-Schermerhorn and Jay St-MetroTech.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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LIRR Services Resumes To Belmont Park

Horse racing fans take note that getting to Belmont will once again be easy as the Long Island Railroad resumes service the historic track as of tomorrow. Here are the details:

The thoroughbreds are back from Saratoga and the MTA Long Island Rail Road’s ‘Belmont Special’ is at the starting gate and ready for the fall racing season at beautiful Belmont Park. The LIRR is partnering with The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) again this year to provide regular train service for racing fans for the start of the Fall Meet Friday, September 5, and continuing through October 26. Through the partnership, NYRA is subsidizing the cost of operating the LIRR Belmont service for racing fans.

Belmont Park is only a half-hour train ride from midtown Manhattan and the LIRR’s “Belmont Special” ticket package entitles LIRR customers to a $1 discount off the regular $3 grandstand admission.

First race post time at Belmont will be 1:05 PM from September 5 through September 21 and 12:50 PM from September 24 through October 26. There is no racing on Mondays and Tuesdays, with the exception of Columbus Day, Monday, October 13 when a full racing program is scheduled. There is also no racing on Wednesday, October 15 nor on Wednesday, October 15.

LIRR Service to Belmont Park:

Trains to and from Belmont Park will run at the following times.

Saturdays & Sundays

Eastbound:

• 11:04 AM train from Penn Station, stopping at Woodside at 11:16 AM and Jamaica at 11:29 AM will arrive at Belmont Park at 11:43 AM.

• 11:57 AM train from Penn Station, stopping at Jamaica at 12:20 PM, will connect with the ‘Belmont Special’ train departing Jamaica at 12:30 PM, arriving Belmont Park at 12:43 PM. A connecting train also departs Woodside at 12:03 PM with a transfer at Jamaica.

Westbound:

• 4:41 PM train from Belmont Park stops at Jamaica at 4:58 PM where transfers are available for trains arriving at Woodside at 5:25 PM, and arriving at Penn Station at 5:36 PM.

• 6:12 PM train from Belmont Park, stopping at Jamaica at 6:28 PM, Woodside at 6:39 PM will arrive at Penn Station at 6:49 PM. (Note: The departure time for this train is approximate, since this train is scheduled to depart 30 minutes after the last race. On Jockey Club Gold Cup Day, Saturday, September 28, the last race is at 6:20 PM.)

Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (and Monday, Oct. 13)

Eastbound:

• 10:58 AM from Penn Station, stopping at Woodside at 11:10 AM and Jamaica at 11:19 AM will arrive at Belmont Park at 11:33 AM.

• 11:40 AM from Penn Station, stopping at Jamaica 12:01 PM, will connect with the ‘Belmont Special’ train departing Jamaica at 12:20 PM, arriving Belmont Park at 12:33 PM. (A connecting train departs Woodside at 11:51 AM with a transfer at Jamaica)

Westbound:

• 3:42 PM from Belmont Park stops at Jamaica at 3:55 PM where a transfer is available for a train arriving at Woodside at 4:12 PM, and arriving at Penn Station at 4:22 PM.

• 6:25 PM train from Belmont Park, stopping at Jamaica at 6:40 PM and Woodside at 6:57 PM will arrive at Penn Station at 7:07 PM. (Note: The departure time for this train is approximate, since this train is scheduled to depart 30 minutes after the last race.)

Buying LIRR Belmont Package Tickets

Belmont Package Tickets are available at LIRR ticket offices as well as from the gray, blue, and green Touch Screen ticket machines at stations – just press the “Deals & Getaways” button on the first screen; then select “Belmont Park.” Payment can be made with cash, ATM/Debit or Credit Cards (blue machines don’t accept cash). The LIRR ticket office at Belmont Station is closed and there are no ticket machines at Belmont.

Weekly and monthly ticket holders can use their tickets for travel to Jamaica and need only purchase a $11 round-trip package ticket at an LIRR station prior to boarding the ‘Belmont Special’ to cover the fare between Belmont Park and Jamaica. Round-trip tickets are not sold on-board trains. A one-way ticket from Jamaica to Belmont, purchased at an LIRR station to use in conjunction with a monthly or weekly ticket, is $7. One-way tickets for travel between Jamaica and Belmont, sold on trains to use in conjunction with a monthly or weekly ticket, are $12.

Buy Your Ticket Before You Board the Train
To avoid higher on-board fares and save time, customers should purchase round-trip tickets in advance. (Please note: CityTicket is not valid for travel to or from Belmont Park.)

LIRR Train Fares to Belmont Park by Zone:

From New York, Brooklyn, and Woodside:

Purchased at Station: One Way – $8.00 / Round-trip- $14.00

Purchased On-Board Train: One Way- $14.00 / Round-trip – Not sold on train

From Jamaica:

Purchased at Station: One Way – $7.00 / Round-trip- $11.00

Purchased On-Board Train: One Way – $12.00 / Round-trip – Not sold on train

Round-trip fares from Long Island with transfer at Jamaica: (not valid on peak trains)

Zone 3 – $11.00 (Rosedale, St. Albans, Queens Village, Hollis)

Zone 4 – $13.00 (Far Rockaway, Lynbrook, Hempstead, Mineola)

Zone 7 – $15.00 (Long Beach, Massapequa, Hicksville, Oyster Bay)

Zone 9 – $18.00 (Babylon, Deer Park, Huntington, Northport)

Zone 10 – $24.00 (Bay Shore, Sayville, Ronkonkoma, Patchogue, Port Jefferson)

LIRR tickets are good for 60 days from date of sale; refundable within 60 days from date of sale and are subject to a $10 refund processing fee per transaction.

Accessibility

The LIRR’s Belmont Station is not wheelchair accessible, and there are no elevators and only limited escalator service. It is necessary to use a staircase to and from most train platforms at Belmont Station.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Minimum Of 21 Bedbug Subway Sightings

The bedbug problem on the NYC Subway does not seem to be going away anytime soon if August is any indication. As I wrote about last week, a Brooklyn-bound N train was taken out of service after a conductor was bit by one while on duty.

Days later we got a report that the agency had at least 21 reported sightings in August. Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News has more:

Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials have been very reluctant to talk about bedbugs in the transit system. It’s a story they wish would just go away.

So we’ll rely on undercover transit sources to bring you the first-ever BugStat.

There were at least 21 reported bedbug sightings or encounters in the subway in August — including a few incidents in which a bloodsucker bit a conductor or a rider, sources said.

According to these transit insiders, there were nine sightings on N trains, three on Q trains and two on No. 6 trains.

The itch-inducing insects also were spotted once each on Nos. 3, 4, 5 and L trains, the sources said.

In addition to riding the rails, bedbugs were found in transit worker crew rooms and subway offices in Astoria, Queens, and Coney Island, Brooklyn (N and Q lines), and Euclid Ave., East New York, also in Brooklyn (A line).

Click here for the complete report.

Like I mentioned last week, I am surprised this had not become a big issue in the past considering how NYC has a problem with them. The MTA has downplayed the issue which is to be expected from their PR aspect. However they clearly are taking the issue seriously when you look at the internal reactions to the sightings.

I do feel the agency should keep an official list of sightings & make it available to the riding public. It is a shame they seem more concerned about their image versus getting the word out. Thankfully some insiders are doing the right thing & letting people know.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Business Owner Rips Off The MTA

Admittedly I have always had a skeptical eye on the contracts awarded by the MTA to businesses as I figured a decent percentage if not a majority were sweetheart deals or flat out ripoffs.

The latter turned out to be the case as 61 year old Joseph Ioia admitted to ripping off the MTA by providing low-grade fluid for city buses yet charging the agency for the high-quality version. Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News has more in this report:

Joseph Ioia, 61, also will cut a check to cover $863,618.25 as part of a plea deal formalized in court with Manhattan prosecutors Thursday.

As the owner New York Commercial Lubricants on Arlington Ave., Staten Island, Ioia won a contract to provide high-quality transmission fluid for Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses.But he delivered a lower-grade lubricant in 2010 and 2011, he admitted in court.

Click here for the complete report.

I am upset the agency got ripped off yet it is not my biggest complaint of the whole situation. What really rubs me the wrong way is how he gets off so easy to the point of getting weekend only jail time. If that was any average person with a lack of wealth & contacts, I am sure we would have to serve a 24×7 jail sentence for however many years we were convicted for.

I see zero incentive for him or others in similar positions to not try & rip off the MTA again as all you will get if caught is a slap in the wrist of repayment & minimal jail time. You have to love our criminal justice system as they once again give out one more win for the good guys!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Greenpoint Tubes Restortation Complete


MTA crews working on repairs in the Greenpoint Tubes on August 22, 2014.
Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit

G Train line riders finally rejoiced earlier this morning when service was fully restored in the Greepoint Tubes after being closed for months due to Hurricane Sandy related repairs. Here is more courtesy of a MTA press release:

Regular weekday G service resumed between Court Sq and Nassau Av this morning, following a full-phased closure of the Greenpoint Tubes that began on July 25th to allow crews to make Fix&Fortify resiliency repairs to the damaged tubes, which were flooded during Superstorm Sandy nearly two years ago.

“Superstorm Sandy’s devastating impact on our Subway network posed a challenge never before faced by our organization, however we rose to this challenge and are rebuilding our system better and stronger than before,” said NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco. “The dedication of Transit personnel in rebuilding the Greenpoint Tubes and ensuring safe, reliable G train service for our customers is part of our continuing efforts to reinforce the system’s infrastructure and safeguard the most vulnerable areas of our subway system for decades to come.”

While Shuttle Buses ferried customers between Long Island City and Greenpoint, crews from every major division of the Department of Subways performed necessary repairs that included installing communication lines, laying down new track and third rail, repositioning signals, rebuilding tunnel infrastructure and performing station rehabilitation work.

“The timely restoration of G service and the infrastructure improvements completed during the shutdown is a testament to our team’s hard work,” said Joe Leader, Senior Vice President Department of Subways. “I thank each and every one of the hundreds of employees who worked so hard over the past five weeks to get the job done.”

The tubes suffered extensive damage during Superstorm Sandy when three million gallons of salt water flooded the tunnel at the height of the storm. Tracks and equipment were totally submerged, and the tunnel’s pump controls, electrical, communications, fan control and signal equipment all incurred serious damage.

Power cables immersed in salt water corroded from the inside, while corrosion on rails and fasteners increased the potential for delay-causing failures. The controls for ventilation, lighting and communication systems were all destroyed and have yet to be restored to their level of pre-Sandy reliability. While the MTA worked tirelessly to restore service as quickly as possible after the storm, it was immediately clear that future, more extensive work would be necessary to repair and rebuild these vital systems in order to ensure safe and reliable service.

Fix&Fortify work to return these and other components to pre-Sandy condition, while providing for improved resiliency and reliability, touched every aspect of the tunnel and its operations. Among the work completed prior to this morning’s restoration of service:

Track:

• Installed over 14,000 feet of continuous welded rails (CWRs)

• Cleaned 9,000 feet of track

Third Rail Operations:

• Replaced 1,125 insulators

• Cleaned 9,000 feet of third rail

Electrical:

• Installed about 128,000 feet of cable and wire

• Removed about 27,000 feet of cables and wire

• Supported relocation of five signal locations in the flood zone and eight signal heads

Electronic Maintenance Division:

• Installed 17 new emergency alarms and telephones with diverse routing for improved reliability and survivability

• Installed 44 new telephone jacks

• Replaced integrated fiber optic cable

Infrastructure:

• Installed all new tunnel lighting and power receptacles between Greenpoint Av and 21 St – Van Alst Stations

• Completed over 2,500 feet of structural repairs

• Demolished and rebuilt 970 feet of duct bank

Stations:

• Scraped and painted 43,580 square feet at 21 St – Van Alst

• Completed total rehabilitation of 14 stairways at 21 St – Van Alst

• Scraped and painted 52,700 square feet at Greenpoint Av

• Completed total rehabilitation of 14 stairways at Greenpoint Av

Rapid Transit Operations:

• Provided over 4,000 hours of construction flagging support

• Provided over 28,100 hours of work train operation support

• 602 work trains deployed

During the work, resiliency program management had the herculean challenge of scheduling and coordinating all the various work crews to ensure that not only did the work plan get completed, but that it was done so in as safe a manner as possible.

Sandy’s damage to the subway system was historic. The Fix&Fortify project is designed to restore and rebuild damaged infrastructure and the delicate equipment that was submerged, while reducing the system’s vulnerability in the event of future severe weather.

Overall, the MTA has been allocated nearly $3.8 billion in funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for repair, resiliency, and disaster relief work. In addition to the work inside the Greenpoint Tubes, the MTA’s Fix&Fortify campaign will also address issues in other under river tubes to make the system more resilient. Planning and design work is also underway for flood mitigation at NYC Transit facilities in low-lying areas of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens as well as similar flood prevention and mitigation work at the entrances to several stations in Lower Manhattan.

Hopefully this work will stand up when the next major storm hits us as loss of service is a blow NYC can’t really handle for long periods of time.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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