A new app wants to make it easier for riders and operators of New York City’s unofficial transportation system to get around, the New York Times reported. Since 1980, dollar vans have catered to communities underserved by the city’s subway and bus system, offering commuters in neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens an affordable (a trip typically costs $2 compared to the subway’s $2.75) way to travel. Since much of the system operates underground, riders learn of routes and pick-up spots through word-of-mouth. Developers of a new app, Dollaride, hope to make finding a ride easier for the 120,000 daily dollar van commuters, as well as open up the service to more people.
Courtesy of Matthews Nielsen Landscape Architecture, P.C. with attribution to W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, LLC
In May, the city announced plans to make Hudson Street between Canal and West Houston Streets in Hudson Square into a grand boulevard with wider sidewalks, parking-protected bike lanes, and small outdoor “living rooms” with seating surrounded by greenery are moving forward with design and construction teams on board. And now, work has officially commenced on the first phase of the project, shortly after Disney revealed its forthcoming Hudson Square headquarters, which will bring 5,000 new employees to the area.
Rideshare service Uber took a year-end look at some of its most requested destinations throughgout the world, revealing some surprising facts. For tourists using Uber, the Empire State Building stands as tall as it ever did: The Big Apple icon beat out the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Disneyland as the most requested endpoint on the planet (the Freedom Tower came in at second place). In the state of New York, the most requested destination overall wasn’t a tall tower but a bustling mall in Elmhurst, Queens, according to the New York Post.
A jet snow thrower in action via MTA’s Flickr
No matter how today’s weather pans out, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is more than ready to clear subways, buses, and commuter railways of snow. The MTA maintains a fleet of super-powered snow throwers, jet-powered snow blowers, and specially designed de-icing cars to tackle the icy mess. For today’s winter storm, there will be “more than 500 snow melting devices at switches, over 1,600 3rd rail heaters, about 10 snowthrowers, four jetblowers, and seven de-icer train cars,” according to the MTA.
Photo by Marc Hermann, Courtesy of the New York Transit Museum
Every Sunday between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, the New York Transit Museum will run its Holiday Nostalgia Rides, departing from the 2nd Avenue F train station. The 1930s R1-9 train cars have a “Depression-Era Art Deco aesthetic,” complete with “rattan seats, paddle ceiling fans, incandescent light bulbs, roll signs, and period advertisements,” the announcement tells us.
Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel times across the country and can be especially overwhelming in NYC. With the annual Macy’s parade taking over Manhattan on Thursday (despite a windy forecast threatening the parade’s iconic balloons) and Black Friday frenzy, your commute is sure to be affected whether you’re planning on staying in the city or venturing out. Ahead, we’ve rounded up the service changes that will impact the city’s subways, buses, train service, and more.
After the U.S. Coast Guard halted service on nearly two dozen New York Waterway ferries for safety issues over the weekend, commuters on Monday faced extensive delays and modified routes. On Sunday, the Coast Guard said it suspended 23 of 32 ferries operated by the company after multiple inspections found them to be “operationally unfit.” As of Monday afternoon, 15 ferries remained out of service.
The city will expand pedestrian space around Rockefeller Center and Radio City Musical Hall during the holiday season, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday. Starting Nov. 29, 49th and 50th Streets, as well as Fifth and Sixth Avenues, will be partially closed to cars to alleviate congestion caused by the roughly 800,000 people who visit the Christmas Tree every day during the season. The expansion marks the first time the city has created a defined pedestrian space for the area.
This week marks two years since the R179 subway cars went into service, but records show the MTA’s newest cars end up breaking down more frequently than those that have been running for decades, THE CITY reports. The cars—which run on the A, C, J, and Z lines and cost about $2 million each—failed an average of every 127,374 miles between March and October before improving slightly to a 156,962-mile breakdown rate last month. By contrast, the R62 cars that have been running along the 1 and 3 lines since 1984 run into problems every 265,324 miles.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is looking to increase the capacity of one of the country’s busiest bus lanes by employing self-driving vehicles. The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the agency will test autonomous buses in the Lincoln Tunnel’s exclusive bus lane, which runs 2.5 miles along New Jersey Route 495. The Port Authority estimates the tech could allow for 200 more buses to run during each morning weekday rush, giving 10,000 more NJ commuters a ride to the Midtown terminal.