The rehabilitation of the Canarsie Tunnel is on track to wrap up months ahead of schedule and restore full L train service by April—roughly one year after the revised “slowdown” started—but service will get a little worse before it gets better. As the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) prepares to finish their work, partial L outages will impact service during three weekends in January, February, and March.
A R179 A train at Broad Channel; Photo by Mtattrain on Wikimedia
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority pulled nearly 300 new subway cars from service this week because of problems with the door’s locking mechanism, officials revealed Thursday. The entire fleet was decommissioned after two recent incidents were reported of doors opening while the trains were still moving. During a press conference on Thursday, Andy Byford, the president of NYC Transit, said the MTA plans to hold manufacturer Bombardier “fully accountable” and hire a third-party review to investigate the inspections before the cars are cleared to return to service.
Rendering via NYCEDC
The city is once again inching forward with its plan to bring a streetcar to run between Brooklyn and Queens, a problem-plagued $2.7 billion proposal first presented five years ago. The New York City Economic Development Corporation on Thursday launched a new website for the Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX) with information about public community meetings planned for February and March. According to the website, the city expects a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) on the project to conclude in the spring of 2021, with the final statement ready by that fall. But questions about the logistics of constructing the streetcar’s 11-mile route and its growing price tag.
Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit / Flickr
By the close of 2019, the MTA had installed its OMNY tap-to-pay fare system at 64 subway stations across Manhattan and Brooklyn and all Staten Island busses. Some of the busiest spots that already have the contactless payment system include all 16 stations on the 4, 5, and 6 lines between Grand Central-42nd Street and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center, as well as Penn Station-34th Street. According to a new press release, OMNY will now expand to 60 more stations by the end of January–including Herald Square, Bryant Park, World Trade Center, and Jay Street-MetroTech–bringing the total to 124 stations.
After having been closed to car and truck traffic during the busiest times of day since November 29th, West 49th and West 50th streets between Fifth and Sixth avenues–the two streets on either side of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree–may become permanently car-free if some city officials have their way. Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that he believes the vehicle-free streets were safer for the estimated 750,000 pedestrians who were expected to traverse the plaza each day during the crowded holiday season, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Rendering of new entrance on 8th Avenue to Penn Station via Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is returning to one of his favorite infrastructure proposals: the overhaul of Penn Station. During an event on Monday hosted by the Association for a Better New York, the governor announced plans to build the Empire Station Complex, a station that would link a modernized Penn Station, the soon-to-be-open Moynihan Train Hall, and a new terminal one block south of the existing site. The plan, first introduced by the governor in 2016, would add eight new tracks and increase train capacity by 40 percent at the station, which currently serves more than 650,000 passengers each day.
On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced a sweeping draft plan that will completely redesign the Queens Bus Network for the first time in a century. The agency took a “blank slate” approach to completely redraw the routes, which were mostly adapted from old trolley lines from the turn of the 20th century. The plan focused on creating faster North-South connections between Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx and increasing service speed by expanding the average bus stop from 850 feet to 1,400 feet.
Tomorrow roughly one million people will brave the cold and uncomfortable conditions to witness a quintessential New York celebration: New Year’s Eve in Times Square. The event is free and open to the public but NYPD will begin restricting traffic in the area as early as 4 a.m. and the viewing areas will start filling up around 11 a.m. so planning ahead is crucial. Here’s what you need to know.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday vetoed a bill that would have legalized electric bikes and scooters, despite overwhelming support from lawmakers and advocacy groups. Approved by Albany in June, the bill legalized e-bikes and e-scooters, capping their speeds at 25 and 20 miles per hour, respectively, for riders aged 16 years and older. But Cuomo said the bill, sponsored by Assembly Member Nily Rozic and State Sen. Jessica Ramos, left out safety measures he had sought.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday revived a decades-long proposal to bring high-speed rail to New York. As part of his 2020 State of the State agenda, the governor said he will convene a group of experts to “reexamine and rethink strategies” to connect New York City with cities across New York. Despite being called a priority of New York leaders for decades, including former Gov. Mario Cuomo in the 1990s, the high-speed rail proposal has failed to materialize due to exorbitant costs and logistical issues.