Subway Supervisor Had A Role In Transit Worker Death

A recent investigation has led to the demotion of superintendent Lloyd London. His demotion comes as the result of his actions which investigators feel led to the death of track worker Marvin Franklin. If you do not recall the tragic death, you can read about it here. Here is a story about the investigation courtesy of the NY Times:

The superintendent who investigators said was partly responsible for the death of a subway track worker has been demoted and will be assigned to a job as a cleaner, a person with knowledge of the disciplinary action said yesterday.

The superintendent, Lloyd London, was in charge of a small group of workers at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station in Downtown Brooklyn on April 29, when a G train struck and killed Marvin Franklin, 55, a veteran track worker.

Mr. Franklin and another worker, Jeff Hill, were carrying a heavy piece of equipment across the tracks when the G train suddenly appeared around a curve. The train also struck Mr. Hill, who survived with injuries.

A board of inquiry impaneled by New York City Transit found that Mr. London had “the greatest culpability” for the accident.

The investigation found that Mr. London had told the workers that he would act as a flagman and watch for oncoming trains, but then failed to do so.

In carrying the equipment across the active tracks, the workers were breaking several safety rules, and the investigation found that Mr. London should have ordered Mr. Franklin and Mr. Hill to take a safer route.

Mr. London denied saying that he would act as a flagman, but the investigators said his account was contradicted by the testimony of other witnesses.

According to a person with access to documents relating to Mr. London’s disciplinary proceeding, Mr. London agreed on Thursday to be reassigned to a job as a cleaner, rather than be fired.

The action also barred him from ever holding a “safety-sensitive” job at the agency, including working on the tracks or operating a train.

Mr. London had been a track worker for several years before receiving training as a supervisor in May 2006. He had been a supervisor for less than a year at the time the accident occurred.

A spokesman for Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union, which represents Mr. London, said union officials would not comment on his case.

A spokesman for New York City Transit could not be reached last night.

The most pathetic thing is how Mr. London can sit there & deny what he said. A life was lost but instead of seeing that, he worries about covering his own ass. In my opinion, the man should be fired as he clearly is not mature enough to accept responsibility for his actions!

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Oh No!!!!

September 5th & 6th might be days I stay away from the subway! Two days after a major vacation season & Labor Day weekend end, the Taxi Workers Alliance plan to strike! The TWI is going to strike due to the Taxi and Limousine Commission plans to install GPS technology in the city’s 13,000 taxis. Here is an article with more details about the planned strike courtesy of NY1:

Less than two weeks from now, the city may find itself without a major form of transportation. Some yellow taxi drivers announced Thursday that they are set to go on strike over a controversial new technology. NY1’s Transit Reporter Bobby Cuza filed the following report.

The Taxi Workers Alliance says that at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, September 5th its members will go on a 48-hour strike.

“No taxis would be operating on the roads,” said Taxi Workers Alliance Executive Director Bhairavi Desai. “We’re asking drivers to keep their cars parked either on the streets or leave them at the garage.”

At issue is a new GPS system, a satellite-tracking technology the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission is requiring in all 13,000 of the city’s yellow cabs. It’s just one in a package of technology improvements that also includes a credit card reader and a video screen in every backseat.

The TLC says GPS will allow riders to track their trip on an electronic map, and make it easier to recover lost property. But the Taxi Workers Alliance calls it an invasion of privacy, arguing drivers’ movements could be tracked even while off-duty – and that any technological snafu will cost them.

“The technology, if it shuts down, the meter shuts down,” said Desai. “If the meter shuts down, the drivers cannot pick up a fare.”

Right now, the group claims about 10,000 members and is working to recruit more.

Whether the TWA can get all 44,000 of the city’s yellow cab drivers to go out on strike is not entirely clear. One rival group, the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, said on Thursday that its members will continue to drive.

“We are going to let our drivers know, there is no strike. Go to work. Do what you have to do. Put food on the table for your family,” said NYS Federation of Taxi Drivers President Fernando Mateo.

But Mateo’s group only claims about six or seven thousand drivers. And some drivers without any allegiance might still participate in a strike.

“The GPS does not bother me,” said one cab driver NY1 spoke to. “The credit card thing does not bother me. The whole thing doesn’t bother me. I don’t know what’s the sweat’s about. [But], I wouldn’t cross the picket line, no.”

TLC Chairman Matthew Daus points out drivers have benefited from two taxi fare increases in the last few years.

“Riders have paid an additional $1 billion directly to drivers’ pockets, (and) were promised technology enhancements in return,” said Daus in a statement.

With the TLC apparently unwilling to budge, it seems some kind of strike is a real possibility, though just how widespread is anyone’s guess.

– Bobby Cuza

I can actually see both sides of the issue here (save the John Kerry jokes please). On one hand, the updated equipment can be seen as a huge victory for passengers. On the other hand, I can see how such an expensive upgrade can eat into what is already a stretched thin pool of money. One major concern I can agree with is the possible loss of fares.

As of now, if the new machines go down, it is taking the fare meter with it. If the fare meter goes down, drivers would lose out on fares. In my opinion, drivers should not have to lose money based on city mandated technology. This is a huge issue that needs to be addressed. Maybe some sort of insurance fund can be set into place for lost fares. However this fund should come at no extra cost to the driver.

The flip side of this debate comes from individuals who feel this is a non issue. Some are of the feeling that the drivers have won out with recent fare hikes. So with this being the case, it is time to give back to the consumer.
Either way this will be a definite hot button issue for the next couple of weeks!

I wonder if livery cabs will worm their way deeper into Manhattan to make some extra money. I know I would if I was them!

I can only imagine the hell that will be the NYC Subway during this strike! Imagine the scene of snobs who think they are too good for the subway having to ride with the so called “common folk”. Can anyone not see at least a couple of incidents stemming from this strike!

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Google Transit Coming Soon…..?

So Google Transit will soon be mapping the entire New York City Transit system. Here is an article about it courtesy of Bloomberg:

Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) — Google Inc., owner of the most popular Internet search engine, provides online transit guides for more than a dozen U.S. cities including Dallas and San Diego. Now it may take on the biggest.

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New Jersey Transit, which together carry more than 9 million people a day, are working with the company to give users one place to go for maps, schedules and trip planners. The agencies serve the five New York City boroughs and suburbs in New Jersey, Connecticut, Westchester County and Long Island.

“We are always looking for ways to incorporate technology in what we do,” Jim Redeker, assistant executive director of New Jersey Transit, said in a telephone interview from Newark. Google has “good experience at making this work.”

Google, based in Mountain View, California, introduced its online guides in 2005. They are designed to show transit users how to navigate systems, and to boost Google’s revenue from selling ads to restaurants, hotels and other local businesses.

U.S. companies spent about $922 million last year to place ads alongside local searches and maps, according to Kelsey Group Inc., a market research firm in Princeton, New Jersey. That will almost triple to $2.61 billion by 2011, the researcher says.

Thinking Local

Google probably got about $500 million in sales last year from local ads, or about 8 percent of its U.S. revenue of $6 billion, said Greg Sterling, an analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence in San Francisco.

Google doesn’t disclose its local ad revenue, and Christoph Oehler, product manager for maps and transit, declined to say whether the company is negotiating with the New York and New Jersey agencies.

New Jersey Transit plans to share maps and schedules with Google as part of a pilot program to post more information about the system on the Web, Redeker said. MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin confirmed the New York agency is also working with Google Transit. He declined to give specifics.

The company’s shares rose $2.81 to $515 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. Google’s stock has climbed 12 percent this year.

The metropolitan New York market would be the biggest and most complicated Google has tried to crack with its online guide. The New York MTA had 8.27 million daily riders as of Dec. 31 and runs the city’s subway and buses and the Long Island and Metro- North railroads, the busiest U.S. commuter lines. The system has 468 subway stations, 35 fewer than in all other U.S. cities combined.

New Jersey Transit, the largest statewide public transportation system in the U.S., carries about 857,000 passengers daily on buses, commuter trains and light-rail lines.

Door to Door

With the Google Transit online trip planner, a user enters a start and end address or landmark and gets automated directions, including schedules and transfer points. Bus ridership in Duluth, Minnesota, increased 12 percent since the Google system was added to its Web site last year, said Tom Elwell, marketing director for the local transit authority.

“Customers don’t care what agency is running what, they just want to know how to get from one door to the next,” said Allison de Cerreño, director of New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management.

Some agencies, including New York’s MTA and New Jersey Transit, have trip planners on their own Web sites, as does HopStop.com Inc., a New York company started in 2004 that offers planners for cities including New York, Boston and Chicago.

Travelers may be more inclined to get directions from Google because they already use its other mapping services, rather than trying to navigate local transit Web sites.

“Most people know Google,” said Cerreño, who walked more than 20 blocks to her job when she came to New York two decades ago because she was daunted by the subway. “That’s actually a very powerful way to get the information in one place, in a way that most people are familiar with.”

My question is what can’t Google do?…………….

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J, Z, & L You’re Up!

Starting today & through Thursday, the MTA is handing out rider report cards for the J, Z, & L lines. If you don’t know or remember what rider report cards are, here is an entry about them.

I will be the first to say I do not ride these lines on a daily basis. Actually I have never rode the Z train! So I will comment on them based on my experiences.

I have always seen the J train as a line that does just enough but could & should do much more. My main beef with the line is the waiting times. It seems like no mater when I ride the J, I have to wait at least 10 minutes before it shows up. This is unacceptable at most times of the day!

The L line is a little bit better as far as waiting is concerned. My main problem with the L is the lack of seating. I would say a good 95% of the time I ride this line, I am forced to stand. The only reason this isn’t a big deal is because I am usually getting off within 2-4 stops from where I got on.

I do have one question about these report cards though. The report cards are handed out it seems one line or trunk line at a time. Why is that happening when all the lines are up for voting on the MTA website? Anyone have an answer for me? I’m quite curious!

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Victim 1 Subway Pervert 0

So here we have a typical subway pervert spreading himself around to another unfortunate victim. However this time the tables were turned on him. Here is the story courtesy of the NY Post:

VICTIM NAILS ‘PERV’
SUBWAY ‘FLASHER’
By JAMIE SCHRAM and LORENA MONGELLI

August 22, 2007 — A Brooklyn woman who was stalked and molested by an aggressive subway flasher went from victim to vanquisher with the snap of a cellphone camera, police sources said yesterday.

The woman – who’d been harassed by the brazen exhibitionist on the B and Q trains – managed to get a picture of her attacker that could help send him to jail.

Based on that photo, Jay Arungah, 24, was arrested for menacing, stalking, sex abuse and public lewdness, officials said.

“I was really shocked,” said the Sheepshead Bay victim, whose name is being withheld by The Post. “I just couldn’t believe this was really happening.”

The 30-year-old woman’s ordeal began Monday at about 8 p.m. as she was waiting at the Avenue M station.

She said she immedi ately became frightened when she noticed a strange man staring at her.

When they boarded the train, Arungah lit a ciga rette – and then exposed himself to her, she said.

She said she tried to change seats, but he followed her, still exposing himself.

“You could tell by his face he was just really creepy,” she said.

When the train pulled into the Kings Highway station, the woman tried to escape, but Arungah crept behind her and pressed himself against her, police said.

She tried to get a fellow rider to help her by yelling, “Mister! Mister!”

But the straphanger just looked up, saw the fracas and promptly stuck his nose back in his book.

When the doors finally opened, she rushed onto the B train, only to be followed by Arungah – still exposing himself, police said.

That’s when she snapped Arungah – in all his naked glory, the woman said.

“I was nervous, but I guess I wasn’t too nervous,” she recalled.

She disembarked at the Sheepshead Bay station – and so did her attacker.

She then called 911 and was told cops were on their way.

When police arrived, she pointed out her alleged attacker, and they nabbed him.

Arungah was held in lieu of $2,000 bond after his arraignment last night in Brooklyn Criminal Court, where he wore a bright-pink polo shirt and had to be taken out of the courtroom once for failing to pay attention.

Additional reporting by Tashara Jones

The sad part is I’m sure this guy will be on the subways exposing himself within 6 months. For some reason crimes like these never equal long jail sentences.

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