Last January, Governor Cuomo announced a massive undertaking to “modernize and fundamentally transform” the MTA and the subway by adding more countdown clocks, contactless payment by next year, Wi-Fi at all stations (mission accomplished, here), and other high-tech features. It also included news that 30 stations would be revamped, requiring them to shut down entirely for six to 12 months, instead of just on nights and weekends. As of Monday, as amNY tells us, the first three on this list– the R train stations at 53rd Street in Sunset Park, Bay Ridge Avenue, and Prospect Avenue–will close for half a year for a combined $72 million renovation.
The least affordable U.S. city for public transit isn’t NYC (and more fun facts about the cost of commuting), Thu, March 23, 2017
In light of NYC’s recent subway fare hike that bumped the price of a monthly pass to $121, the data jocks at ValuePenguin took a look at public transportation systems throughout the U.S. and ranked them according to affordability, based on the cost of a pass as a percentage of income and the median income of the city’s commuters. Among the findings: New York City’s transit system isn’t the most unaffordable; that honor goes to Los Angeles. Washington D.C. topped the most affordable list among large cities, followed by San Francisco and Boston.
Read on for more insight on the cost of a commute
Swiping a fellow New Yorker through the subway turnstile with your MetroCard is practically a New York pastime. But is it actually legal? As DNAinfo reports, the NYPD and MTA say it’s completely lawful to help another rider gain access to the subway, as long as you’re not charging them for the swipe. And for those looking for a free ride? Last year, the city changed their policy on “fare-begging,” which lowered the consequence for riders asking for a swipe from an arrest to a ticket or summons.
Finally, there’s some good news for the nearly 225,000 daily L train riders commuting to Manhattan. This weekend the Metropolitan Transit Authority announced that the Canarsie tube, which carries the L train between Manhattan and Brooklyn, will be closed for 15 months instead of 18, three months ahead of schedule. As reported by the Daily News, the MTA plans to begin rehabilitating the tunnel in April of 2019.
It’s difficult to imagine the hustle and bustle of New York City without its culturally-iconic yellow taxicabs. And while it’s obvious companies chose the color yellow to be more visible to ride-hailers, a study conducted in Singapore found that not only are yellow cars harder to miss, they get in fewer accidents (h/t Mental Floss).
For the first time in 100 years, ferry service will be available to all five boroughs as part of a two-year $325 million initiative by Mayor de Blasio. As the Wall Street Journal reported, the plan will add at least 200 jobs to the city’s economy. Half of these available jobs will pay at least $50,000 per year or more, according to the mayor. The plan for the citywide ferry service, launching this summer, will be managed by the Economic Development Corporation and Hornblower Cruises, who will hire deckhands, captains and other crew members.
After initial skepticism and half-hearted arguments from bike-haters and snide remarks from bike snob cities like Seattle and San Francisco, New York City’s first official bike sharing system has turned out to be a success–that much we know. The numbers compiled by Priceonomics Data Studio for their client Spin reveal some surprising numbers when it comes to how we’re using those bikes. D.C., for example, beat the other cities handily on most metrics, with San Francisco and Seattle consistently at the bottom of the list. Ok, so the research was done for a bike sharing startup hoping to expand its station-less system (more on that, too), but it’s interesting to compare statistics of share programs in the nation’s biggest adopters of this new public transportation option–and get a chance to see how Citi Bike fares.
West Side Cowboy on Death Avenue, via Kalmbach Publishing Co.
The now-defunct elevated train lines of Manhattan are well known today thanks to their reincarnation as the High Line. But before this raised structure was put in place, the west side was home to a deadly train system appropriately referred to by locals as “The Butcher.” The full-size railway line ran from 1846 to 1941 between 10th and 11th Avenues without barriers, fences or platforms, earning the route the nickname “Death Avenue” before it was taken out of operation for causing more than 430 fatalities–deaths that not even true western cowboys could stop.
There’s even more to love about the NYC subway this week, as Hypebeast and The Cut report on the branded collaboration between cult skatewear brand Supreme and the MTA. The limited-edition Supreme-branded Metrocards arrived at stores and select stations on Monday and limited outbreaks of mayhem have ensued as fans scrambled to buy the custom cards from Metrocard machines. The cards cost $5.50, though according to the MTA they’re sold out, and it’s reported that they’re selling for
$1,000 $38.88 on eBay.
As far back as 2015, 6sqft reported that the Port Authority was considering fees for vehicles pulling up curbside to drop off or pick up passengers at New York City’s airports as a way to reduce the congestion that has worsened since services like Uber and Lyft have arrived. The city’s airports are among the only ones in the U.S. that don’t charge curbside access fees. Now the Daily News has obtained a Port Authority draft proposal outlining the proposed fees. Taxi and hired car passengers could be hit with a $4 charge for each trip in and out of Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports as early as next year. The fee would be charged to the car operators and would presumably be passed to passengers
It’s that time of month again when the MTA cleans house and gathers up all the stuff collecting dust in their offices and puts it up for public auction. While past offerings from the agency yielded all sorts of cool items ranging from vintage subway signs to old tokens to shiny grab holds, one eagle-eyed Reddit user noticed this month’s selection includes a very curious lot: 350 bags of “Mixed Non-Ferrous Metal Foreign Coins & Slugs.”
The Port Authority Board of Commissioners yesterday approved a $32.2 billion, 10-year capital plan–the agency’s largest ever. The major allocations include: $3.5 billion to begin the planning and construction of a new Port Authority Bus Terminal; $10 billion towards improving trans-Hudson commuting, including a $1.5 billion Goethals Bridge replacement, completion of the $1.6 billion Bayonne Bridge rebuilding, and a $2 billion rehab of the George Washington Bridge; $11.6 billion in major airport upgrades, which factors in $4 billion for the new LaGuardia Terminal B, a plan to extend the PATH train from Newark Penn Station to the Newark Airport, and the beginning of Cuomo’s JFK overhaul; and $2.7 billion towards the Gateway rail tunnel project.
We already know that the MTA holds monthly online sales of ephemera–including everything from retired subway cars to vintage tokens–but apparently individuals with their own collections of transit collectibles can also make a pretty penny selling the goods. Take for example this 100-year-old subway sign that Gothamist spotted for sale on Etsy for $150,000. Sure, the price tag may seem fair for a century-old relic, but the 8′ x 11″ piece is a simple white sign with black letters that read “Times Square.” And it’s authenticity isn’t actually confirmed…
For those who thought removing subway station garbage cans as a means to decrease litter and rats seemed counterintuitive, you were right. The Post looks at how things have fared since the MTA took out cans in 39 stations in 2012, and since this tactic was nixed by the state Comptroller’s Office in 2015. Despite the latter attempt to course correct, a new state report shows that the situation is still just as bad in many stations, with the amount of litter on the upswing and an increased number of track fires.
Despite the fact that NYC today has more than 8.5 million residents, the subway system had some of the highest ridership numbers back in the 1940s. In fact, a 1948 record was only recently beat in 2015 when 5.7 million rode the train daily, with annual ridership hitting 1.7 billion–another high not reached since the 1940s. To show just how packed the subway was 60 years ago, 6sqft has uncovered this 1949 film footage of daily subway operations from the New York Transit Museum Archives, which shows the crew working all the angles to keep trains running on time, while crowds jostle and shove to get to where they’re going.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget includes a “hidden” $65 million cut to state funding headed for the MTA, the Daily News reports. The $244 million in funding–compared to $309 million in 2016–represents a 21 percent drop in money from the state’s general fund intended to shore up the MTA after a drastic 2011 payroll tax cut on regional businesses the transit agency serves. The funding cut comes on the heels of data that show subway delays have more than doubled during that same time period according to the New York Times.
A real-time plow update today
With close to 10 inches of snow already on the ground and more to come, Winter Storm Niko is certainly making getting around a challenge. But before taking a chance and entering that winter wonderland, check out the city’s handy interactive map called PlowNYC, which tracks the progress of the Department of Sanitation’s 2,300 salt spreaders and plows.
New Yorkers living in the outer reaches of Brooklyn and Queens may soon find some relief when it comes to their daily commutes. The MTA’s New York City Transit Riders Council (NYCTRC) is looking to make travel more efficient and affordable for those residing in the city’s transit deserts through a “Freedom Ticket” pilot initiative that will, says Gothamist, temporarily offer discounted flat-fee tickets for bus, subway and commuter rail travel with unlimited free transfers.
The George Washington Bridge outfitted with the new LED lights
“This is very exciting. This project is going to blow people away,” Governor Cuomo told the Post about his plan to outfit the city’s bridges and tunnels with multi-colored, energy-efficient LED lighting systems. In fact, he went so far as to say that these toll crossings would become the city’s newest tourist attraction. Part of his larger $500 million New York Harbor Crossings Project, the lighting program called “The City That Never Sleeps” will take on different colors and patterns, be choreographed with music for holidays and events, and be visible from miles away.
Environmentally friendly technology is becoming more popular among developers, because of global warming. That is the case of Mexican entrepreneur Alberto González who recently came up with a startup dubbed Greencode. He created the so-called Urban GC1, the world’s first bike made of recycled paper. According to the developer, this bicycle is cheaper than average urban bikes, is resilient and you don’t have to worry if it gets wet.