Metro North Ticket Policy Changes

Just a short time ago, the MTA Metro-North Railroad announced some ticket policy changes due to the Tappan Zee Bridge closure. Here are the details via the press release I received:

Metro-North Railroad today announced that because of this afternoon’s crane accident and closure of the Tappan Zee Bridge, a number of changes to ticketing policies and procedures are being made for the remainder of the day:

• Metro-North’s Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry and Newburgh-Beacon Ferry will honor TAPPAN ZEExpress (TZx) bus tickets. Customers who normally depart from Grand Central Terminal (GCT) to connect to the TZx bus at Tarrytown should consider staying on train to Ossining, where they can connect to the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry, on should catch an express train to Beacon, where they can connect to the Newburgh-Beacon Ferry. Hudson Line tickets to Tarrytown will be honored for travel at all stations on the Hudson Line, as far as Poughkeepsie.

• NJTRANSIT and Metro-North are cross-honoring Hudson Line tickets on the Pascack Valley Line.

Stay tuned for any further updates regarding the AM commute tomorrow.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Gov Cuomo Reveals Ambitious Subway Plan

Just a short time ago, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed his ambitious subway plan that includes redesigned subway cars & stations. Here is more via the official press release I received:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today unveiled the design features of 1,025 new and reimagined subway cars – including vital enhancements to the exteriors and interiors of regular cars, wider doors, as well as the addition of up to 750 “Open Car End” designed-cars, which will reduce wait times and increase capacity. The Governor also previewed key elements that will be featured in the renovation of 31 subway stations throughout the New York Metropolitan Area, and announced that the first of several Requests for Proposals will be issued this week. The MTA is using design-build contracts to expedite the process and ensure the shortest timeframe for project completion. These vital investments are part of the $27 billion, five-year MTA Capital Program to renew and expand the MTA network. Governor Cuomo unveiled the ambitious design-plan at the Transit Museum in Brooklyn.

“New York deserves a world-class transportation network, worthy of its role as the heartbeat of the 21st century economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “The MTA design team developed a bold and visionary reimagining of the quintessential commuter experience, incorporating best practices from global transit systems, and focusing on our core mission to renew, enhance and expand. We are going to do more than renovate – we are bringing subway stations to a higher standard than ever before, and the new vision for subway cars will increase capacity and reduce overcrowding and delays. I congratulate the MTA for thinking creatively and working with the kind of passion and urgency it takes to move this state forward.”

“The Governor gave the MTA a mandate to implement new, world-class designs as quickly as possible for all new subway cars and that’s what you’re seeing today – innovation making the lives and commutes of all New Yorkers easier,” MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast said. “Coupled with new methods for redeveloping our stations at the Governor’s direction, customers will see us get in, get done, and return new and improved stations to them in the most efficient way possible.”

Reimagined and Enhanced Subway Cars

Later this week, the MTA will issue an RFP for the construction of 1,025 new subway cars, which will highlight that the timeline of design and production, as well as cost-effectiveness, will be central factors in awarding the contract.

The RFP will also emphasize the need to align with MTA design guidelines, which were established after a review of best practices in a number of major metropolitan areas from around the world, and identified several key elements for use in the New York system, including:

Open Car End Design: The MTA anticipates that out of 1,025 new cars, up to 750 will feature an Open Car End designed. The Open Car End design replaces the door between cars with an accordion-like connector in order to create longer, open spaces, allowing for greater passenger flow movement and increasing capacity in the process. These cars have become an international standard: in London 31 percent of cars will be Open Car End by the end of the year; in Paris the figure climbs to 37 percent; and in Toronto to 56 percent.

Wider Doors: The door width of the new cars will be expanded from the current MTA standard of 50 inches to 58 inches. Wider subway doors can reduce delays by allowing customers to enter and exit more quickly, and have become an international standard. According to a computer simulation of passenger flow conducted on behalf of the MTA, in crowded scenarios wider doors can reduce a train’s ‘dwell time’ in the station by 32 percent.

Customer Amenities & Security: The interior of new cars will also feature a host of new amenities, including WiFi, USB chargers, full color digital customer information displays, digital advertisements, illuminated door opening alerts and security cameras to promote passenger safety.

Exterior Features: Design elements for the exterior of the new subway cars include a new blue front with large windows, LED headlights, and a blue stripe with gold accents along the sides.

Improved Subway Stations

The announcement highlighted key elements of the Governor’s initiative to create a new and improved design standard for subway stations, and undertake extensive renovations at 31 stations from across the five boroughs. The 31 stations included in the program build upon a larger campaign, designed to improve the customer experience, and includes component and renewal work at more than 170 other stations. Design elements include:

• Enhanced lighting throughout the stations;

• Improved signage to make it easier for customers to navigate stations, including digital, real-time updates on on-time performance at subway entrances, before customers even enter the station;

• Inclusion of amenities, such as count down clocks, improved cellular connectivity, Wi-Fi and new art; and

• Renovations will also consider the architectural legacy of each station, and remain sensitive to historical elements as the stations undergo redesign.

Key elements for each station type include:


Street Level Entrance Canopy and Totem

Control Area Dashboard

Transparent Windscreens

LED Light Fixtures Throughout

Furniture with Integrated Charging Stations

Contemporary Art


Street Level Entrance Canopy and Totem

Control Area Dashboard

Glass or Mesh Fare Array

LED Light Fixtures Throughout

Furniture with Integrated Charging Stations

Contemporary Art


Street Level Entrance Canopy and Totem

Control Area Dashboard

Glass or Mesh Fare Array

LED Light Fixtures Throughout

Furniture with Integrated Charging Stations

Contemporary Art

RFP for First Three Stations in 31 Station Renovation Program

The MTA will issue an RFP for the first package of three stations located in Brooklyn later this week:

• Prospect Avenue Station

• 53rd Street Station

• Bay Ridge Avenue Station

RFPs for the remainder of the 31 stations will be released over the next twelve months, and will be distributed across the five boroughs. The first contract is expected to be awarded in the fall. Station closures will be limited to a six-month period.

Design Build Contracts

At the direction of the Governor, the MTA is using design-build contracts for all 31 stations. Design-build contracts call for a single team to be responsible for the design and construction of an entire project in order to ensure that coordination is seamless, and that work is completed in the shortest possible time frame.

President of NYC Transit, Veronique (Ronnie) Hakim, said, “With design-build contracts, one team is responsible for both design and construction of the station. From a construction perspective, that means that there’s a seamless connection between various phases of a project, enabling the contractors to limit miscommunications, and speed the completion of the project. From the perspective of our customers, it means that they get a completely renovated station that is brighter, better, and more functional in the shortest possible time frame.”

Design Consultants

The MTA worked with distinguished and world-renowned design consultants, who hold extensive international design expertise in train and transit facilities, for its new rolling stock and station enhancements. The lead designer, Antenna Design, and engineering consultant, CH2M, have created the new subway car design. Lead designers, Grimshaw Architects, and Arup, program managers – both with offices in London and New York – spearheaded the stations’ initiative.

Click here to see high resolution renderings of the station & subway car designs.

When comparing the images to the stations & features we have today, the plans do seem ambitious even though realistically we should have already had such setups by now.

However that point aside, my initial reaction is where is the money going to come from for all of this work? Considering the funding issues that continue to plague the much maligned agency which stem a lot from the lack of desire to respectfully invest in mass transit, are these goals realistically feasible in the near future? I have my doubts….

xoxo Transit Blogger

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LIRR PM Rush Advisory

The MTA Long Island Rail Road has just issued a PM rush hour advisory due to the derailed maintenance car incident from earlier:

MTA Long Island Rail Road customers should expect delays and possible cancellations for this evenings rush hour. Repairs are ongoing, but may not be fully completed before the evening rush. We will provide further updates as the PM peak service period draws closer later in the day.

I will post the next update as soon as I receive it.

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Service Diversions 07-08-16

I have just updated the Service Diversions for the weekend & through the end of next week.

Make sure to follow @TransitBlogger on Twitter as I am using it more often. Also if you are into indie music make sure to follow @IndMusicReview & @SurgeFM!

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Metro North Providing Weekend Bus Service

Some Metro-North Railroad passengers need to be advised that the agency will be running some substitute bus service this upcoming weekend. Here are the details via the press release I received:

After 10 p.m. on Friday, July 8, buses will replace select trains on Metro-North Railroad’s upper Harlem Line at all stations between Wassaic and Southeast. From Saturday, July 9, through 2 a.m., Monday, July 11, substitute bus service will be provided for all trains between Southeast and Wassaic. Buses will operate 15-30 minutes earlier than scheduled trains. Customers should listen for announcements and check local or express bus service to their destination while boarding.

After 11 p.m., on Friday, July 8, Grand Central Terminal-bound trains will not stop at Metro-North Railroad’s Melrose station on the lower Harlem Line. Regularly scheduled train service will resume at 5 a.m. on Monday, July 11.

This weekend’s service change will help ensure the on-going reliability and safety of Harlem Line trains. Improvements to the upper Harlem Line include: tree trimming, renewing the South Street Pawling grade crossing, surfacing track to prepare for the replacement of two bridges in Patterson later this year and replacing wooden cross beams on the Mountain Brook bridge. On the lower Harlem Line, crews will be making improvements to the drainage system near the Tremont station.

Substitute Bus Service Between Southeast and Wassaic

Southbound, Friday, July 8

Buses will replace the last train from Wassaic to Southeast, making stops at the following stations: Tenmile River, Dover Plains, Harlem Valley-Wingdale, Pawling and Patterson. Bus service will connect with the 12:18 a.m. train at Southeast and will operate up to 30 minutes earlier than normally scheduled train times.

Northbound, Friday, July 8

The 8:52 p.m., 9:52 p.m. and 12:10 a.m. trains from Grand Central to Southeast will connect with bus service departing from the Southeast station at 10:23 p.m., 11:23 p.m. and 1:44 a.m. respectively, making stops at: Patterson, Pawling, Harlem Valley-Wingdale, Dover Plains, Tenmile River and Wassaic.

Southbound, Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10

Substitute bus service will be provided for all trains departing Wassaic and the following station stops: Tenmile River, Dover Plains, Harlem Valley-Wingdale, Appalachian Trail, Pawling and Patterson.

At Southeast Station, customers will connect with continuing train service to Grand Central Terminal. Buses will operate up to 30 minutes earlier than normal train times.

Northbound, Saturday, July 10 and Sunday, July 11
Customers will connect with substitute bus service at the Southeast station for the following station stops: Paterson, Pawling, Appalachian Trail, Harlem Valley-Wingdale, Dover Plains, Tenmile River and Wassaic.

Substitute Bus Service to Melrose:

To Melrose, Saturday, July 9 – Sunday, July 10

Customers traveling from Westchester or Bronx stations to Melrose will transfer to buses at the Tremont station for continuing service to Melrose. Buses are scheduled to connect directly with arriving trains.

From Melrose, Saturday, July 9 – Sunday, July 10

Customers traveling from the Melrose station to Harlem-125th Street and Grand Central Terminal will take buses to the Tremont station for continuing train service. Buses will depart at the same time as regularly scheduled trains.

*Note: northbound service at the Melrose station will be unaffected by this service change.

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