Starting Wednesday, about 250,000 lucky commuters will be able to fly away with “Tickets to Mars,” a keepsake MetroCard released by Spotify as part of its David Bowie subway takeover. The limited-edition cards feature five iconic images of the music legend from the new exhibit honoring Bowie’s life at the Brooklyn Museum. The MTA stocked booths and vending machines only at Broadway-Lafayette and Bleecker Street with the special cards, and they will be randomly dispersed. Additionally, Spotify is giving New Yorkers an immersive, underground subway experience with lots of wall-sized Bowie-inspired art and special codes to listen to Bowie through the streaming service.
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A map showing T-REX’s new crosstown connections, via RPA
When NYC’s three commuter railroads–the Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit, and Metro-North–were built more than a century ago when the metropolitan area was less than half its current size. Today, the systems are crumbling, both in their physical infrastructure and politics. The latest suggestion for how to fix the issues comes from a new Regional Plan Association report that wants to take advantage of the fact that these railroads “share an amalgamation of rail lines” and thereby create one integrated regional rail network. Dubbed T-REX, short for Trans-Regional Express, the 30-year, $71.4 billion proposal would add 60 new train stations and more than 200 miles of new tracks.
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When the Duch settled New York City as New Amsterdam in the 17th century, it was the area’s waterways that drew them in. Four hundred years later, the city is once again reclaiming its waterfront locale, with countless new developments rising on the Hudson and East Rivers, increasing the need for more transit options. The booming NYC ferry, which, in 2017, served nearly three million riders across its four routes currently in operation, has exceeded the projected number by approximately 34 percent or 800,000 riders.
As the subway system quickly and publicly goes down in flames, along with the congestion pricing plan for alleviating traffic, New York City’s ferries are showing the transit world how it’s done, with politicians, commuters, and communities all on board. In honor of NYC Ferry’s #ferryearthweek, an effort to promote the green and sustainable features of the ferry from April 16-22, 6sqft decided to take a deeper look at the success of NYC’s ferry system, how it’s changed the transit landscape of the city, and what’s to come in the near future.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo oversees an MTA worker testing a magnetic wand at the 9th Ave subway station in Sunset Park; photo via the governor’s Flickr
The Metropolitan Transporation Authority will deploy 700 additional “magnetic wands” to clean hundreds of pounds of steel dust from insulated joints on tracks, which accumulates when the brakes are applied. When dust builds up on joints, it can trip the circuit on the joint and cause red signals, sending a ripple of delays throughout the system. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday tested out the wands at a Sunset Park subway station and announced a plan to buy additional wands to clean all 11,000 insulated joints deemed a priority, using funds from the recently funded-in-full emergency subway action plan.
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Photo courtesy of NYC DOT/Flickr
The day before Earth Day, on Saturday April 21st, 30 blocks of Broadway will be closed to vehicular traffic, from Times Square to Union Square, from 9am to 3pm. This third annual Car Free Day aims to promote sustainability and protecting the environment by promoting walking and eco-friendly modes of transportation, like cycling and mass transit. Citi Bike will be offering free day passes for their bikes, in partnership with Mastercard, and the Department of Transportation will host a slew of free events along the route.
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Grand Central Terminal; image via Wikimedia
Last year, when Amtrak first announced eight weeks of infrastructure repairs at Penn Station, all hell broke loose. Gov. Andrew Cuomo predicted the planned work would cause a “summer of hell” for commuters and even asked President Donald Trump for emergency federal funds. But, to the surprise of many, the disruption proved to be mild and the repairs even finished ahead of schedule. Promising another painless process, Amtrak announced on Tuesday plans for track work at Penn Station again this summer. From May 26 to Sept. 4, trains that run along the Hudson River will be routed from Penn Station to Grand Central. Schedules for Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North trains will remain unaffected.
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Via NY Transit Museum
Before the Woodlawn station opened a century ago, the surrounding area of Norwood in the Bronx was mostly rural with lots of farmland. While residential development began with the opening of the Woodlawn Cemetery, the neighborhood’s transformation really took off when the subway was extended to reach this part of the city. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first train pulling into the northern terminal of the IRT Jerome Avenue Line, the New York Transit Museum is giving guests the chance to travel on World War I-era cars to relive this important part of subway history.
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Photo courtesy of Friends of the BQX
With the unveiling of its inaugural prototype last fall, things were looking up for the Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX) streetcar, a proposed light-rail trolley that would run 16-miles along the East River between the two boroughs. The Friends of the BQX even held an event to show off the ultra-sleek, 46-foot long prototype car. However, studies into the project’s construction feasibility, as well as its ability to pay for itself, are still underway, according to the Daily News. At an event at NYU, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said the administration is still determining the project’s ability to be self-funding.
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Photo via Dan Phiffer’s Flickr
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority released late last year its mitigation plan for the 15-month shutdown of the L train, set to begin in April of next year, calling for an all-bus, no-car corridor on 14th Street between Third and Ninth Avenues. The city says the MTA will have to run 70 buses every hour across the Williamsburg Bridge in order to accommodate the projected 84,000 daily bus riders. According to the New York Times, this would make 14th Street the busiest bus route in the country. In response, a coalition of Lower Manhattan neighborhood groups on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against the MTA and the city’s Department of Transportation in attempt to stop repairs of the L train, claiming the agencies failed to conduct an environmental review before releasing its plan.
Photo via joiseyshowaa/Flickr
Congestion pricing is dead in the water again. But New York City’s traffic and subway problems continue to get worse while the population and Cuomo and De Blasio’s battles continue to grow. Something has to give. With that in mind, the question remains, if congestion pricing ever happens, what is the relationship between congestion pricing and NYC real estate?
HEAD OVER TO CITYREALTY FOR THE ANALYSIS…