MTA Conductor Punched In The Face

The dangers of working for the MTA are always on the mind of the thousands of employees who keep riders moving 24×7. Stories like these hit home for me more as my dad & his dad both worked for the MTA as bus drivers for over 30 years. The latest incident happened shortly after midnight on a Pelham Bay Park bound 6 at the Whitlock Avenue station in the Longwood section of the Bronx. CBS2 NY has more:

An MTA conductor was punched in the face during a stop at a Bronx subway station.

It happened around midnight at the Whitlock Avenue station in the Foxhurst section.

Click here for the complete report.

I hope the low life who is responsible for this senseless act is caught & brought to justice. Sadly I doubt that will happen though with the liberal policies of letting criminals right back onto the streets of NYC.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Cuomo Ineptness Led To Rise In OT Costs

The ineptness of the worst governor in U.S. history still rears its ugly head today even with the piece of shit out of office. I am referring to Fredo himself, Andrew Cuomo. The latest of his failures comes in the form of MTA Police overtime coasts soaring due to his failed policies according to the MTA Inspector General. Jose Martinez of The City has more:

The MTA police force’s overtime jumped over 20% last year — to $33.3 million — due to a mismanaged surge of “special projects” pushed by the Cuomo administration, the transit agency’s inspector general charged.

The report, obtained by THE CITY, accuses the MTA of failing to properly monitor both regular and overtime costs that came with efforts to police fare evasion and homelessness in the subway between 2018 and 2020.

High overtime costs among the agency’s 1,000 police officers — who until recently only patrolled Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station, the MTA’s two commuter railroads and the Staten Island Railway — have repeatedly been flagged by watchdog groups and MTA board members.

“It needs to be fixed once and for all, if the MTA is going to have any credibility at all in convincing riders and taxpayers that they are spending money in a wise and frugal manner,” Larry Schwartz, a Cuomo appointee who chairs the MTA board’s finance committee, told THE CITY. “Overtime needs to be under control.”

In 2019, the report says, the governor’s office and management at the transit agency directed the MTA Police Department to help outreach workers direct homeless people in subway stations into other forms of shelter.

Click here for Jose’s complete report.

I am not the least bit surprised to see coasts soar as I knew his idea was a terrible one from the jump after speaking with insiders at MTA Police & former NYC police officers who did transit work at some point during their career. The problem with idiots like Fredo is that they won’t listen to those with experience as it is all about them & their ego. Who gets left holding the bag, the tax paying public.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Elevators Coming To Broadway Junction

However the question is when? Let us first get into the initial details as the scumbag piece of shit New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries were out touting the federal government disbursing $15M to help install elevators at the Broadway Junction A, C, J, L & Z station. Clayton Guse of the New York Daily News has more:

Federal funds will boost the MTA’s plan to build elevators at Brooklyn’s busy Broadway Junction station — but it may still take the better part of a decade before the work is complete.

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries on Monday trumpeted a recent disbursement by the U.S. Department of Transportation that sends $15 million to help pay for the project, which will add seven new elevators to the station to serve the underground A and C line platforms and the elevated L, J and Z line platforms.

Click here for the complete report.

I just have to say that elevators are long overdue at this station. However it is complete bullshit by all parties involved for the completion of this project to take as long as it will. Why will it take over a year to award a contract much less begin work on the project? Stories like these are why the MTA is so frowned upon by New Yorkers. In this case, can you blame them?

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Access A Ride Driver Scammed MTA For 70K

The old saying of someone scamming someone happens every day of the year continues to ring true. The latest scammer is James Laverty, a 72 year old Access A Ride driver who scammed the MTA for nearly $70,ooo dollars. Erik Bascome of The Staten Island Advance has more:

An Access-A-Ride driver has been charged with submitting hundreds of fake ride claims to the MTA to the tune of nearly $70,000, authorities said.

On Friday, MTA Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny and Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that 72-year-old James Laverty has been charged with grand larceny in the second degree, identity theft in the first degree and falsifying business records in the first degree for allegedly submitting bogus claims to the MTA for phony rides.

In 2019, the MTA partnered with Curb Mobility to give Access-A-Ride users the opportunity to request on-demand Access-A-Ride trips through a smart phone app.

According to Katz, sometime in September 2020, a Queens woman downloaded the app and requested two rides — for both Laverty was the driver.

An analysis of Laverty’s monthly reimbursement requests showed that he had claimed to have picked up the same woman 661 times over a six-month span, from September 2020 through February 2021.

The MTA issued reimbursements to Curb for those 661 trips, which totaled $69,860.

However, upon investigation from the Office of the MTA Inspector General, Laverty was observed driving alone in his car during times in which he claimed to be transporting the woman.

If convicted, Laverty faces up to 15 years in prison.

Click here for the complete story.

I hope he gets charged & serves the maximum sentence to show that these actions will not be tolerated.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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PTC Coming To Waterbury Branch

Earlier today, the MTA announced it has installed signals, Positive Train Control (PTC) and passing sidings along the Waterbury Branch. Here is more via the press release they sent me:

Historic Upgrade Will Enable Service Increases, Reaffirms Commitment to Rail Service for Naugatuck Valley Communities

Project Completed in Collaboration with the Connecticut Department of Transportation Eliminates Final Manual Signal System on Railroad

Metro-North Railroad today announced it has installed signals, Positive Train Control (PTC) and passing sidings along the Waterbury Branch. The completion represents a historic upgrade to a branch that was built in 1849, underscores the State of Connecticut’s commitment to maintaining and upgrading the branch, and eliminates the final segment of Metro-North Railroad that had been operating without an automatic signal system.

Though the Waterbury Branch had been exempt from PTC because it lacked a signal system, Metro-North and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) nevertheless brought signals to the branch allowing for PTC to be activated on Nov. 20. PTC automates key operational functions and reduces the potential of human error to contribute to train accidents. With the activation of the Waterbury Branch, all parts of Metro-North are now operating in PTC.

“The successful installation of the new signal system on the Waterbury Branch allowed us to bring the final segment of Metro-North online for PTC, increasing passenger safety, while also giving us the ability to provide more service on the branch in the future,” said Catherine Rinaldi, President of Metro-North Railroad. “I would like to thank CTDOT for being great partners throughout this project and am excited for our Connecticut customers to reap the benefits of a smoother commuting experience.”

“Simply put, PTC and signalization mean better safety and better service,” said Joseph Giulietti, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation. “Metro-North has been an essential partner in advancing the Waterbury Branch into the future and helping lay the groundwork for expanded train service. We thank them for playing an important part in helping us move Connecticut forward.”

The new signal system, known as Centralized Traffic Control (CTC), was brought online this month by Metro-North crews at the direction of the CTDOT, which provided funding. The CTC system allows trains to safely travel at speeds of up to 60 mph. The signalization project was recognized as the Infrastructure Project of the Year by the Connecticut chapter of the Construction Management Association of America.

Work on the project began in April 2019 and finished at the beginning of November. In that time crews completely upgraded the signal system on the entire branch. Crews replaced more than 13,000 rail ties to keep train tracks in a good state of repair, and passing sidings were added where trains can pass each other at Derby, Beacon Falls, and just south of Waterbury, with a fourth to be installed at Devon. The siding installations give Metro-North the potential to increase train service and provide more flexibility to reduce congestion during peak periods.

Since Metro-North started operating service on the Waterbury Branch in 1983, trains have operated under a Manual Block System, the industry standard for rail lines without an automatic signaling system. That system required a Rail Traffic Controller at Metro-North’s Operations Control Center to provide authority to each train’s crew to proceed between various points (or “blocks”) on the line. The new CTC system is a significant upgrade, allowing additional capacity and safety on the line. 

CTDOT looks to build on the signal-system installation with plans to install two-way rail service on the branch in the coming months. With the signaling-system upgrades and the addition of the passing sidings, service can increase on the branch to as many as 22 trains each weekday beginning as early as the summer of 2022. Increased service on the Waterbury Line was funded by $1.23 million in Connecticut state funding; $1.3 billion in federal funds will further enhance and expand these efforts.

History of the Waterbury Branch

The Waterbury Branch can trace its roots back to the original Naugatuck Railroad opened in 1849 between Bridgeport and Winsted, CT. The line was acquired by the New York, New Haven & Hartford in 1887, becoming fully integrated into their system in 1906. Control of the line passed to Penn Central in 1969 and to Conrail in 1976. Metro-North took over the contract for operating commuter service between Bridgeport and Waterbury on behalf of Connecticut Department of Transportation in 1983.

In 1982, CTDOT invested for the future by purchasing the tracks to preserve them for future rail service. After freight service was abandoned north of Waterbury in 1995, the new Naugatuck Railroad began operations in 1996, providing freight service to local businesses and also bringing tourism revenue to the area by operating seasonal passenger excursions utilizing the historic fleet of trains maintained by the volunteers of the Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston, CT.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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