New Ferry Service

Starting today, a new ferry service run by New York Water Taxi takes to the water. The commuter ferry will provide service between Rockland County & Lower Manhattan. The ferry will start from the pier at Haverstraw Village & make stops in Yonkers, The World Financial Center, & end at Pier 11, near Wall St.

The ferry service will make 2 runs in the morning to NYC with the first leaving Haverstraw at 6:15 a.m. The second ferry leaves 55 minutes later at 7:05 a.m. The ferry service will make two evening runs to Haverstraw with the first ferry departing Pier 11 at 5:30 p.m. The second ferry will depart Pier 11 at 6:30 p.m.

The schedule indicates it will take 45 minutes to reach Yonkers, 90 minutes to the World Financial center, & 102 minutes to Pier 11. Tickets prices (Haverstraw – Lower Manhattan) are $15: one way, $130: 10 trip book, & $450: 40 trip book. There is a promotion offering 1 free week of commuting. Check out their website for more details.

The plan for this service is to attract commuters who are tired of driving to a bus or Metro North station to get to lower Manhattan. My question is with such prices, are they really saving any money with this service? What about the commuters who don’t live anywhere near Haverstraw but live within Rockland? What about the length of the commute? 102 minutes seems like a long time on a ferry. I can only imagine how much slower the service will be when the weather gets bad, that is if service even runs!

So many question that have me wondering how much of a success this new service will be. Only time will tell…..

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Teen Shot To Death In Astoria

Broadway train station in Astoria
(resized photo courtesy of Eye On Transit

Labor Day is supposed to be a day for people to enjoy that one last summer memory or rest from what was a great weekend. Unfortunately neither scenario played out for 19 year old Jose Sierra. 19 year old Jose Sierra was shot to death at the Broadway train station in Astoria. Here is a quick article about the incident courtesy of NY1:

September 03, 2007

Police are searching for suspects in the shooting death of a teenager at a Queens subway station early Monday morning.

The shooting happened just after 1 a.m. near the MetroCard booth at the Broadway station on the N line in Astoria.

Police say Jose Sierra, 19, was shot in the head and pronounced dead at the scene.

Police are looking for four or five men that were seen running away from the scene. As of Monday night, no arrests had been made.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Here is another quick article about the story courtesy of 1010 Wins:

NEW YORK (AP) — A 19-year-old man was shot to death early Monday while standing inside a Queens subway station, police said.

Police responded to the elevated Broadway stop on the N line in Astoria after a report of shots fired at 1:15 a.m. They arrived to find Jose Sierra, 19, of the Bronx mortally wounded from a gunshot wound to the head, police said.

There was no apparent motive in the slaying. Police said a group of up to five men were seen fleeing the scene after the shooting, although no arrests were made and the investigation into the Labor Day killing was continuing.

I would like to offer my condolences to the family & friends of Jose Sierra. I also hope the people responsible for this horrific crime are brought to justice!

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7 Train: Your Grade Is In!

The report card has been filled out & the overall grade was not that good. While the 7 train didn’t fail, the riders felt it barely passed! According to the MTA, they received 16,000 responses out of the 88,000 report cards they handed out. At first glance, the returns seem low. However if you think about it, an 18% response rate is pretty impressive. I feel it shows that commuters want their voices heard in regards to transit issues. Here are the top 10 categories that straphangers want to see improvement from:

    1. Adequate room on board at rush hour
    2. Minimal delays during trips
    3. Reasonable wait times for trains
    4. Train announcements that are easy to hear
    5. Station announcements that are easy to hear
    6. Cleanliness of stations
    7. Working elevators and escalators in stations
    8. Sense of security on trains
    9. Cleanliness of subway cars
    10. Sense of security in stations

Here is the graded breakdown for all 21 categories on the report card:

    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 C-
    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 C+
    Availability of MetroCard Vending Machines B-

Based on these results, it shows that most straphangers are thinking along the same wavelength. This is of no surprise to people like myself who blog about our transit system. I am not one to defend the MTA blindly but I feel I must in regards to one of the top 3 complaints.

My defense of the MTA mainly focuses on item #3: “Reasonable wait times for trains”. I call bullshit on this complaint. While I do not ride the 7 daily, I have ridden it enough to know how that line operates. I also know many who ride it daily. I can’t recall ever hearing regular complaints about wait times, especially during rush hour. Every line has unforeseen delays but if you base it on regular service, 7 riders have it good.

During the rush hour I have seen trains come literally within 30 seconds of each other. This has been a scene that I have scene for quite sometime. Even during non rush hour periods, I’ve noticed the trains usually come within a few minutes. I really don’t see the justification in the majority of riders complaining about wait times. What do they want, a train coming every 5 seconds? This isn’t possible & even if it was, we all know they would shift their complaint to the trips being slow!

Overall I think the report cards serve some sort of purpose. If improvements can be made based on complaints, it only benefits the straphangers. However if this is going to be a success, I feel these complaints should be as legitimate as possible!

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Intentional Walker

I was reading AMNY this past Thursday & came across an interesting article on page 05. The article was about a Staten Island resident named Dan Icolari. He is now known for blogging about how walking is a form of transportation. His journey began 3 years ago on a Friday night after leaving his synagogue.

He was waiting for a bus after his synagogue let out. Unfortunately the bus never came & he walked 3.5 miles to his home in St. George. He actually ended up being empowered by his journey home. This new found empowerment has turned into a his own personal blog which you can read here.

I must say that the story brought back some memories. I remember how I used to love walking all over the place when I had the most comfortable shoes ever made! I wanted to cry the day I outgrew those shoes as I have yet to find anything even 10% as comfortable as those shoes were. Oh those were the days………

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The Straphanger Singer…..

No, I did not run into “The Straphanger Singer” again. For those who do not know who “The Straphanger Singer” is, please visit this entry for all the important information.

I finally got around to uploading some of the audio recordings I made of him singing. Thankfully my mp3 player has a built in microphone or you would not be able to marvel in such an amazing talent! So here are 2 mp3’s for your listening pleasure!

Unknown Song

Umbrella

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