MTA

Policy, Transportation

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

Nearly three miles of dedicated bus lanes equipped with transit signal priority technology and enforcement cameras opened in the South Bronx last week, part of the city’s plan to speed up the system’s notoriously slow travel times. The new lanes run along East 149th Street between Southern Boulevard and River Avenue and are used by four heavily-used bus routes, the Bx2, Bx4, Bx17, and the Bx19. The bus improvement project is the fourth to be completed since Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his Better Buses Restart plan in June amid the city’s coronavirus pandemic recovery.

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History, Transportation

Interior of the money train via Wikipedia

In order to collect fares from various stations, the MTA created a special armored train that moved all the subway and bus fares collected to a secret room at 370 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn. As Untapped Cities learned, the money trains, which ran from 1951 to 2006, had 12 collecting agents and one supervisor, all of whom were armed and wearing body armor. After the Metrocard arrived, the revenue collection system changed, and the final armored train rode in January 2006 on the same day the Money Room closed.

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Policy, Transportation

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

Riders on public transit in New York who refuse to wear a face mask will now be fined $50, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Thursday. Starting Monday, riders of the city’s subway and buses, the Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North will be subject to the new penalty for not complying with the mandatory face-covering rule, put in place by executive order in April.

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Policy, Transportation

Photo: Patrick Cashin / MTA New York City Transit

A recent rule change by the Federal Emergency Management Agency could take away funding for disinfecting subway cars and city schools, Sen. Chuck Schumer said on Thursday. New guidance from the agency says states need to cover the costs of disinfectants, personal protective equipment, temperature scanners, and other cleaning-related items that have been reimbursed by FEMA since March, the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. Schumer called the change a “downright dirty decision” made during a time when New York and the rest of the country continues to fight against the spread of the virus.

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Policy, Transportation

Photo credit: Billie Grace Ward via Flickr

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Wednesday laid out a grim plan detailing service cuts and fare hikes that could be implemented without additional federal aid. Without at least $12 billion in funding from Washington, subway and bus service could be cut by up to 40 percent, a devastating blow to millions of New Yorkers and the city’s economy. During a board meeting on Wednesday, Chair Pat Foye said the coronavirus crisis has had a far larger toll on ridership and revenue than the Great Depression a century prior.

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Policy, Transportation

Sally Librera, Senior Vice President of Subways, distributing free face masks to transit customers on July 23; Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit on Flickr

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Sunday asked Apple to develop a more simplistic face-recognition system to prevent riders from removing face coverings to unlock their smartphones while commuting. An update to the company’s Face ID feature is currently in the works, but in a letter to CEO Tim Cook, MTA Chair Pat Foye requested the technology be expedited. “We urge Apple to accelerate the deployment of new technologies and solutions that further protect customers in the era of COVID-19,” Foye wrote, according to the Associated Press.

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City Living, Transportation

MTA installs free mask dispensers inside buses

By Dana Schulz, Thu, July 30, 2020

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

In a continued effort to COVID-proof public transportation, the MTA has installed mask dispensers at the entrance to city buses. The pilot program is now on 100 buses in the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island, and it will expand to 400 buses in all five boroughs by next month. The free surgical mask dispensers–each of which holds 50 masks and will be refilled daily–are mounted at the front door of express buses and at the front and rear doors of SBS and local buses. Masks are required to ride any bus or subway.

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Policy, Transportation

Photo: Patrick Cashin / MTA New York City Transit

In May, for the first time in its history, the New York City subway system shut down overnight as part of a nightly disinfection plan to kill traces of the coronavirus on trains and buses. To ensure the subway resumes 24/7 service, seen as an integral part of the city that never sleeps’ DNA, the State Senate on Thursday passed legislation that would require nonstop subway service when a state of emergency is not in effect.

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Technology, Transportation

Screenshots taken from the MTmta app

Many New Yorkers are having to start heading back to the office, and part of that anxiety is how they get there. For some, that means switching from the subway to the bus in search of more social distance. In fact, the New York Times recently reported that in April and May, bus ridership in NYC was higher than that of the subway for the first time in more than 50 years. And for those making the switch, it just got a lot simpler to feel at ease. The MYmta app now includes real-time data for the number of passengers on an arriving bus.

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Transportation

Photo by Patrick Cashin courtesy of MTA via Flickr

After one year of service disruptions, the much-talked-about L train “slowdown” wrapped up in April. The MTA has now turned its attention to the F train’s Rutgers Tube, which is the last of 11 subway tunnels to be rebuilt after suffering damage from Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Using the same tactics as were employed for the L train, the Rutgers Tube will only be shut down on nights and weekends, affecting F train service from August 2020 through March 2021.

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