MTA

City Living, Transportation

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.

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holidays, Transportation

How to get around NYC this Thanksgiving weekend

By Alexandra Alexa, Tue, November 26, 2019

Image by Peter McConnochie via Flickr

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.

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Transportation

Photo by rhythmicdiaspora on Flickr

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.

More info

Policy, Transportation

Photo by rhythmicdiaspora via Flickr

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Thursday unveiled its proposed $17 billion 2020 budget and its four-year financial plan as the agency grapples with massive impending debt. With a projected operating deficit of $426 million by 2023, the MTA wants to lay off 2,700 workers and raise fares twice by four percent over the next four years. Despite the impending financial crisis, the agency plans to spend nearly $250 million over the next four years to hire 500 police officers to patrol subway stations.

Details here

Technology, Transportation

Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit / Flickr

At the end of May, the MTA rolled out its new tap-to-pay fare system, called OMNY (One Metro New York), at 16 subway stations on the 4, 5, and 6 lines between Grand Central-42nd Street and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center, in addition to all Staten Island buses. After a successful pilot–OMNY surpassed three million taps last week–the agency has now announced that it will add the contactless payment system at 48 more subway stations next month, including Penn Station, Whitehall Street, and all stops on the 1 train between Rector Street and 59th Street-Columbus Circle.

See the full list of additions

Events, Transportation

Image by Martineric via flickr via Wikimedia cc.

The TCS New York City Marathon hits the streets Sunday, November 3rd, so it won’t be business as usual if you’re trying to get from point A to Point B. The MTA has released a subway map–complete with pre-race highlights, runner-specific activities and events and prime viewing locations to make your Marathon Sunday travels easier. Whether you’re running, watching or just trying to get around town, check the map and visit the MTA website for all the weekend changes.

Marathon subway map, transit changes and street closures this way

Bronx, Policy, Transportation

Photo by Adam Moreira on Wikimedia

Four hundred local bus stops in the Bronx will be cut as part of a major system redesign, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Tuesday. The large reduction is an attempt to speed up travel times by moving bus stops further apart, from an average of 882 feet to 1,092 feet between them. The new plan also brings two new local routes and an express route to the borough, providing commuters better peak-hour service between north Bronx and Midtown.

Details here

Transportation, Urban Design

Photo by Shinya Suzuki on Flickr cc

The MTA and the Partnership for New York City have announced the second round of the Transit Tech Lab accelerator program that launched earlier this year. The inaugural run selected six finalists to participate in an eight-week program dedicated to developing innovative, private sector solutions for the challenges facing our subway, bus, and rail services. Of those six, four companies have already started piloting their products with the MTA. The new round of submissions is specifically seeking entrepreneurs with products that improve accessibility (a major component of the MTA’s recently unveiled capital plan), enhance traffic coordination, or create new sources of revenue. Submissions are open through November 30.

More details

Bay Ridge, ridgewood, Transportation

The Bay Ridge Branch crossing Ralph Avenue in Canarsie, photo by Jim HendersonWiki Commons

Since the 1990s, the Regional Plan Association has been advocating for the restoration of passenger service to a rail line that runs from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to Ridgewood, Queens and is now used as a freight line. Known as the Bay Ridge Branch, the line is owned by the Long Island Railroad, but at the end of the year, the MTA hopes to begin a study to determine if this idea is feasible. The RPA’s Kate Slevin explained to NY1, “We don’t have unlimited resources here in New York City, as we know, so the fact that we already have tracks there, that are underutilized, really means a lot.”

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Policy, Transportation

Photo by Ed Schipul / Flickr cc

In June, Governor Cuomo advocated for an MTA task force that would specifically address issues related to subway speeds. After an initial analysis, the Speed and Safety Task Force found that subways in 2019 were running slower than they did 20 years ago due in large part to a flawed signal system and deficient posting of speed limits. Using that information, the Task Force released this week its preliminary findings, which note that “train speeds could be increased by as much as 50 percent” if these issues are fixed.

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