nyc subway

Transportation

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.

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Technology, Transportation

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.

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Policy, Transportation

Photo by Asael Peña on Unsplash

Next month, more New Yorkers will be able to buy discounted MetroCards. The city will launch open enrollment for its Fair Fares program on Jan. 27, allowing all eligible individuals at or below the Federal Poverty line to purchase half-price MetroCards, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced Friday. Currently, the program, which began early this year, only applies to some residents of the city’s public housing, CUNY students, veteran students, or New Yorkers receiving city benefits like SNAP.

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Astoria, Transportation, Washington Heights

MTA New York City Transit President Andy Byford at the 168 St Station on Monday, December 23, 2019, along with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Assemblymember Al Taylor. Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit

After a year, the 168th Street 1 train station has finally reopened, marking the first complete elevator replacement at this stop in more than 100 years. In addition, last week, the MTA announced that the Astoria Boulevard N, W station has reopened after nine months and the completion of the first phase of its station modernization.

More info

Policy, Transportation

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Less than 25 percent of the NYC subway’s 472 stations are accessible, but the MTA has pledged to increase that percentage to roughly 40 under it’s proposed $51.5 billion 2020-2024 Capital Plan. Back in September, the agency revealed the first 48 stations it would make fully ADA accessible, and now they have announced 20 more (the final two will be announced at a later date), all of which will receive a $5.2 billion investment. Through the upgrades, the MTA’s goal is to ensure that no rider is more than two stops from an accessible station.

See the full list of stations

Policy, Transportation

Photo by rhythmicdiaspora via Flickr cc

When the MTA unveiled its proposed $17 billion 2020 budget and four-year financial plan in November, one of the biggest takeaways was a proposal conceived by Governor Cuomo to increase the number of MTA police officers in subway stations by 500–a 20 percent increase–over the next four years. Though he said it was necessary to address “quality of life” issues such as homelessness, panhandling, and fare evasion, those in opposition pointed to its $249 million price tag, which will only add to the MTA’s projected operating deficit of $433 million by 2023. In the lead up to the plan being approved yesterday, elected officials also expressed concern over how the plan will affect low-income New Yorkers. “Arresting hard-working people who cannot afford a $2.75 fare is, in effect the criminalization of poverty,” wrote Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a letter to the Governor.

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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.

More this way

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

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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