Are subway platforms really as hot as the inside of a rotisserie, or does it just seem that way? On Thursday, August 9, 2018, the Regional Plan Association (RPA) sent out an intrepid task force of staff and interns to measure the temperature in the city’s ten busiest subway stations. The temperature outside was 86 degrees. The data they collected helped to inform a report titled, “Save Our Subways: A Plan To Transform New York City’s Rapid Transit System.”
In 1981 the MTA rolled out 7,000 pure white subway cars to curb graffiti and guess what happened next, Fri, August 10, 2018
Image courtesy of the NY Transit Museum Collections.
Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, New York City struggled with infrastructure failure, poverty, crime and garbage. One front in what seemed like a constant battle against total chaos was the attempt to keep subway cars graffiti-free. Inspired by a single white car sitting in a train yard in Corona, Queens that somehow managed to remain tag-free for two months (behind a security system that included a chain-link fence, barbed wire and guard dogs, but never mind that) in September 1981, the MTA rolled out one dozen all-white 7 trains–7,000 cars in all. The new program was dubbed “The Great White Fleet,” and officials hoped the bright white cars would do their part to keep graffiti at bay.
Photo via Wiki Commons
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Monday morning began work on the N, R and D line tunnels running in Brooklyn from 36th Street to 59th Street, causing massive delays. But the agency never told rush-hour commuters, who checked the MTA’s website to find it labeled it as “good service” on the yellow lines. Only after about an hour of frustrated tweets directed at the MTA did the agency announce the long-term structural project, via Twitter.
When it comes to New York City’s subway system, you may think you know the letters (A,B,C,D,E,F,G,J,L,M,N,Q,R,S,W,Z) and numbers (1 through 7), all too well. But a few of the fun facts and staggering stats that add up to the seventh busiest public transit system in the world might surprise you. From the longest route (the A line is 31 miles) to the world’s highest rapid transit station at Smith-9th Streets (it’s 88 feet above street level), there are plenty of figures that even the most well-versed New Yorker likely doesn’t know.
Photo via The New L Train
As the doomsday clock ticks down the minutes to the dreaded L train apocalypse–the line is being shut down between 8th Avenue in Manhattan and Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn for Hurricane Sandy repairs starting in April of 2019–the powers that be have been telling us to take the bus, take the bus and take the bus or ride a bike. But Gothamist reports that a service called The New L hopes to keep us out of commuter hell by offering ultra-luxe commuter vans with professional chauffeurs at the wheel plus wi-fi, breakfast bars, and phone chargers.
Image by Ged Carroll via Flickr CC
Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials announced Wednesday it will stick with its plan to increase fares and tolls that net four percent in 2019 and 2021 as the agency faces budget deficits in the coming years, the Daily News reported. The MTA said it expects to lose roughly $376 million over the next four years, or $90 million per year, due to a drop in ridership. Between 2016 and 2017, there was a loss of 69 million rides on the city’s subway and buses. The fare hike would be the sixth since 2009 when the state legislature approved a plan that included increasing fares every other year.
Image: Todd Shaffer via Flickr.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the MTA has presented data showing that lower New York City mass transit use numbers matched up with an uptick in taxi and ride-hailing trips. Even as the city’s population grows, subway and bus ridership has been declining. New York City Transit Executive Vice President Tim Mulligan explained in a presentation Monday how dips in weekday subway ridership between 2016 and 2017 coincided with increased use of taxi and for-hire vehicles.
MTA to launch 14th Street Select Bus Service to help move 50K more daily riders during L train shutdown, Tue, July 24, 2018
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) have announced that Select Bus Service will be available to riders on 14th Street in Manhattan as of January 6, 2019 ahead of the planned April 2019 L train tunnel closure for repairs to due to damage from Hurricane Sandy. The M14 is expected to become the busiest bus route in the nation during the shutdown, with more than 50,000 additional daily riders expected to move above ground along 14th Street. According to NYC Transit President Andy Byford: “Launching Select Bus Service on 14th Street is a critical part of a multi-faceted service plan to keep thousands of customers moving safely and efficiently as they commute crosstown.”
Photo via rhythmicdiaspora on Flickr
Despite spending over $300 million on system repairs over the last year, the New York City subway is showing little improvement, with its on-time rate just around 65 percent during the weekday, the New York Times reported. Last summer, after a train derailed at 125th street and left 30 people injured, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. And while the MTA and its chair, Joseph Lhota, unveiled an $800 million action plan to fix the subway, and new NYC Transit Chief Andy Byford later laid out an aggressive plan to modernize the system, the subway’s “summer of hell” seems far from over.
Photo via Flickr cc
According to new documents, the next leg of the extension of the Q line to 125th Street that comprises the second phase of the Second Avenue Subway will be done in 2029, the Daily News reports. And that completion date only holds if work is begun on time, in mid-2019, according to the same document from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Federal Transit Administration. The expected phase two completion date is nearly a decade after Governor Andrew Cuomo opened the first section of the project in 2017. That 2029 date refers to the time all construction equipment has left the site; MTA officials hope to begin running trains through the tunnels, bringing vital service to Harlem, in 2027.