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  #41  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2008, 7:10 PM
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Four stations are taking part in the pilot program. The escalators can be found at the Herald Square station, the Roosevelt Island station, the Jamaica Van Wyck station, and the Jamaica Center Parsons Archer Station.
I guess don't want to touch the 53rd St. and Lexington Ave. escalators right now.
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  #42  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2008, 8:48 PM
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  #43  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2008, 5:34 PM
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MTA Unveils "Sleep Mode" Escalators



August 11, 2008

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has unveiled a new escalator technology that will go into effect today.

The escalators are equipped with sensors, telling escalators to slow down to a crawl when no one is using them, and to speed up when a rider approaches.

The technology, which uses infrared motion sensors, aims to save on energy costs. The MTA estimates that it will save $2,000 a year.

However, some riders who spoke with NY1 said they were hesitant about the success of the new escalators.

"The escalators don't always work, so I don't know what use [the new technology] will be," said one subway rider.

"It's much better than them not working at all!" said another. "If in fact it goes really slow when I'm not on it and actually works when I'm on it, so much the better."

Transit officials also say the new machines will need less maintenance.

"The system that we just put in is going to put less wear and tear on the escalators, which is a crucial issue because we're going to a slower mode when you don't have that demand," said MTA Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Elliot "Lee" Sander.

Four stations are taking part in the pilot program. The escalators can be found at the Herald Square station, the Roosevelt Island station, the Jamaica Van Wyck station, and the Jamaica Center Parsons Archer Station.
I would have thought the stop/ start would wear the motor down more. Roosevelt island makes sense, its not that busy a station especially late night and its so deep. but Jamaica and Herald Sq seem so busy that the escalators would be running constantly anyways.
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  #44  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2008, 8:06 PM
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City Proposes Tracking All Vehicles Entering Manhattan



Plans are in the works for a sweeping new security plan that would include photographing every vehicle entering Manhattan in an effort to prevent a terror attack.

The plan, called Operation Sentinel, calls for photographing and scanning the license plate of every vehicle at all bridges and tunnels and using sensors to detect radioactivity. The information on each vehicle would be sent to a command center in Lower Manhattan where it would be indexed and stored for at least a month.

According to the New York Times, some of the technology is still being perfected.

While some privacy concerns have been raised, most drivers NY1 spoke with this morning said they did not have a problem with the plan.

"Anything for security. It doesn't bother me a bit," said one driver. "It should bother the people who have something to worry about."

"If you have nothing to hide, how can it hurt?" said another.

"I'm liberal when it comes to I don't like Big Brother watching everything you do, but you know in these times, what are you gonna do?" said a third.

"As long as everyone's safe. That's number one," said a fourth.

The proposal is just one element of the latest security plan that's mainly focused on the World Trade Center site. It includes placing the entire area within a security zone, in which only specially screened taxis, limousines, and cars would be allowed through barriers manned by police officers at five entry points.

According to the New York Times, the barriers raised concerns among downtown companies that say it will make doing business in the area more difficult.

The New York Police Department says that people entering every day will be able to enter a program where their cars can be pre-screened.

The NYPD insists that the program will not be disruptive to pedestrians.
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  #45  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2008, 8:07 PM
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Three Accused Of Selling MetroCards From Broken Machine



Three straphangers are accused of turning a malfunctioning Metropolitan Transportation Authority ticketing machine into an $800,000 free-fare windfall.

Agency officials say the scheme started in 2005, when the MTA says a Long Island woman stumbled across a machine in Penn Station that gave her free cards and rail tickets.

An MTA spokesman says it was a one-in-a-million glitch related to the specific machine, her low debit card balance, and an out-of-area bank account.

The agency says that from September of 2005 until last May, the woman, her husband, and a Manhattan man got free tickets from the machine and sold them to a list of clients.

Straphangers who spoke with NY1 had mixed reactions to the scam.

"They don't have very good auditors. Something's wrong with the computer system perhaps," said one New Yorker.

"They got away with it for so long it's not their fault," added another. "They just used their means, what they had at the time, but at the same time, it's not right to steal."

"It's unethical, it's immoral, so they should suffer the consequences," added a third.

They were caught when a routine audit found the glitch.
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  #46  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2008, 7:23 PM
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MTA's Plan To Prevent Flooding Faces Opposition



08/27/2008 10:47 AM

It was just over a year ago that flooding from a sudden rainstorm crippled the subway system, knocking out service on virtually every line at the height of the morning rush. The MTA is now taking steps to prevent a repeat, but NY1 transit reporter Bobby Cuza reports, the plan is running into some community opposition.

It was the kind of deluge that's so rare, it's known as a 100-year storm – and for something that has happened so infrequently, some say one of the MTA's solutions makes no sense.

"The proposed solution to a 100-year flood risk is a permanent solution, so we're going to have to live with it for the 99 and 3/4 years that we don't have floods,” said Roger Byrom of Community Board 1.

That permanent solution is new street furniture that elevates the sidewalk grates, preventing water from cascading down into the system. The design also features benches and bike racks. In the next week or so, a prototype will be installed on West Broadway, with many more to follow.

But the local community board says the MTA should have a better response plan for heavy rains, instead of installing permanent structures they say will crowd the sidewalks and detract from a historic district. Then again, those 100 year storms aren't so rare anymore.

"I think what we've found is that we've been having 100-year storms a lot more frequently than every 100 years,” said MTA Deputy Executive Director Christopher Boylan. “In fact, some of the locations that we're looking at, we've had numerous instances of flooding over the last year, year and a half, two years and so we need to do something."

One prototype has already been installed on Hillside Avenue and Sutphin Boulevard, to be unveiled soon. It's bound to be an improvement over the MTA's short-term fix in the neighborhood: laying down blue tarp over the grates, weighed down with buckets of cement.

Plans to install benches and bike racks also sparked opposition on the Upper West Side, where the MTA planned to install them not on the sidewalks, but on the center mall at 79th, 86th and 91st Streets.

One objection there was that the design would clash with the existing wooden benches. The MTA is now reconsidering the design, but points out it worked with several other agencies in developing the concept.

"We worked with the arts commission, we worked with the landmarks preservation commission, they liked those designs. We're hoping the public will, and we're interested in some of the feedback when we put the prototypes out,” says Boylan.

Based on that feedback, the MTA says it may tweak the design, but says the most important thing is keeping the water out.
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  #47  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2008, 7:28 PM
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Transit Worker Claims He Must Choose Between Using The Bathroom, Keeping His Job



By: Bobby Cuza


While most people take it for granted that they can use the restroom at work when they need it, one subway worker says he's been forced to choose between using the bathroom and keeping his job. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.

For subway conductor James Mitchell, it all started on a downtown R train some nine years ago. He says he needed to use the bathroom, so he held the train at the City Hall station, and used the facilities in a dispatcher's office.

He said it took no more than four minutes, but he soon had two disciplinary claims filed against him – neither one for the brief stop.

"The Transit Authority cannot discipline an employee for using the bathroom, so what they do, they manufacture a rule violation," said Mitchell.

While those charges were dropped, it was not the end of his trouble. Mitchell was diagnosed with irritable bowl syndrome, and over the past nine years, he's stopped his train several times to use the bathroom.

That has led to more problems. Mitchell is currently reassigned to platform duty and says management is trying to fire him, using trumped-up charges that he filed medical forms that were not filled out properly.

"Every time he has anything related to this disability, which is a documented disability, supervision tries to get him fired, one way or another," said attorney John McHugh.

"It's as if they want to penalize you for being sick," added Mitchell.

Mitchell has sought treatment for his condition. In 2007, he underwent surgery to remove more than a foot of his intestines, and he says altogether he's been hospitalized seven times.

As for the passengers left waiting during Mitchell's bathroom breaks, he says they were told only there was a delay and the train would be moving shortly.

"I can understand that the passengers have to be where they want to go, but at the same time, I can't operate a train safely if I have a sudden urgency to use the men's room," he said.

Mitchell tried unsuccessfully to sue NYC Transit, and has filed several grievances. He's says the agency owes him about $12,000 in back pay, and he argues the delays he's caused are not significant.

"In the nine years or eight years this has been going on, he's stopped the train, I think, four times, for a total of less than 20 or 30 minutes – total," said his attorney. "And kids holding doors in rush hour hold trains up for longer than that."

NYC Transit said it could not comment on internal disciplinary matters. Mitchell's case is now going to arbitration.
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  #48  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2008, 1:20 AM
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I don't think we should put someone with an illness like that in the driving seat in the first place.
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  #49  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2008, 8:54 AM
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NY1

MTA Unveils "Sleep Mode" Escalators



August 11, 2008

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has unveiled a new escalator technology that will go into effect today.

The escalators are equipped with sensors, telling escalators to slow down to a crawl when no one is using them, and to speed up when a rider approaches.
This is new? I know several places in Stockholm that already has this. Older ones you have to get on before they get going, but renovated ones are fast on the uptake and are going almost full speed by the time I get on. Sitting alone on a station with all the escalators shutting down from lack of use in the last 5 minutes is... eerie. And kinda cool.
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  #50  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2008, 6:36 PM
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08/28/2008 05:44 PM

New Video Screens To Alert Subway Riders



Transit officials are testing a new program to alert subway riders with digital announcement boards in the event of delays.

Straphangers at six stations on the 7 and L lines will see video screens inside token booths as part of a pilot program.

For now, they are only broadcasting public service announcements, but officials say they will provide up-to-the-minute information on service disruptions.

The Station Agent Information Display program, or SAID, cost the MTA $30,000 so far.

Officials at the rail control center will be able to send messages to individual stations, or groups of stations using wireless technology.

"This SAID program is a way to provide better-quality, more timely information to our customers,” said 7 Line Deputy General Manager John Hoban. “It helps our agents to be more involved in the dissemination of information in the stations. And it takes the place of an old tried-and-true technology, which is that grease board behind the agent."

White boards will remain in the booths for now as a backup.

If the program is deemed a success, it could be expanded elsewhere in the transit system.
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  #51  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2008, 6:52 PM
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Airport Landings Auction Halted



The Federal Aviation Administration's effort to auction off prime landing slots at the city's major airports was recently stopped.

The FAA's Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition delayed a slot auction planned for next week at Newark airport, after a request from the airline industry.

The airline industry says the auctions are unfair, but the FAA argues that they are necessary to promote competition and reduce congestion.

Earlier this week, the Port Authority asked to join the Air Transport Association's lawsuit against the federal government over the auctions.

No word when the auction at Newark will be re-scheduled.
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  #52  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2008, 11:43 AM
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Transit Worker Claims He Must Choose Between Using The Bathroom, Keeping His Job



By: Bobby Cuza


While most people take it for granted that they can use the restroom at work when they need it, one subway worker says he's been forced to choose between using the bathroom and keeping his job. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.

For subway conductor James Mitchell, it all started on a downtown R train some nine years ago. He says he needed to use the bathroom, so he held the train at the City Hall station, and used the facilities in a dispatcher's office.

He said it took no more than four minutes, but he soon had two disciplinary claims filed against him – neither one for the brief stop.

"The Transit Authority cannot discipline an employee for using the bathroom, so what they do, they manufacture a rule violation," said Mitchell.

While those charges were dropped, it was not the end of his trouble. Mitchell was diagnosed with irritable bowl syndrome, and over the past nine years, he's stopped his train several times to use the bathroom.

That has led to more problems. Mitchell is currently reassigned to platform duty and says management is trying to fire him, using trumped-up charges that he filed medical forms that were not filled out properly.

"Every time he has anything related to this disability, which is a documented disability, supervision tries to get him fired, one way or another," said attorney John McHugh.

"It's as if they want to penalize you for being sick," added Mitchell.

Mitchell has sought treatment for his condition. In 2007, he underwent surgery to remove more than a foot of his intestines, and he says altogether he's been hospitalized seven times.

As for the passengers left waiting during Mitchell's bathroom breaks, he says they were told only there was a delay and the train would be moving shortly.

"I can understand that the passengers have to be where they want to go, but at the same time, I can't operate a train safely if I have a sudden urgency to use the men's room," he said.

Mitchell tried unsuccessfully to sue NYC Transit, and has filed several grievances. He's says the agency owes him about $12,000 in back pay, and he argues the delays he's caused are not significant.

"In the nine years or eight years this has been going on, he's stopped the train, I think, four times, for a total of less than 20 or 30 minutes – total," said his attorney. "And kids holding doors in rush hour hold trains up for longer than that."

NYC Transit said it could not comment on internal disciplinary matters. Mitchell's case is now going to arbitration.

But Mitchell was a conductor or motormen ?
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  #53  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2008, 7:25 PM
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Subway conductor.
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  #54  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2008, 9:46 PM
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Rider Say City Bus System Needs Improvement



City bus riders said in report cards that the bus system needs great improvement.

New York City Transit says more than 22,000 riders responded and gave the entire city bus system an average grade of C-minus.

Customers gave overall C grades to the buses’ cleanliness and smoothness of ride, while bus operators got a C-plus for courtesy
Riders say wait times for buses need the most improvement, and that they need to run more on schedule.
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  #55  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2008, 9:47 PM
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Updated 3:49 PM

MTA Test Drives Double-Decker Buses



Some double decker buses are being rolled into service in the city for a 35-day trial run.

Officials say the 13-foot buses are cheaper to maintain, carry more passengers, and are more efficient than the extra-long buses currently in use.

"This bus is used around the world. It does a great job in both express and local. We're try it on several routes in the city," said MTA bus president Joseph Smith. "We have to get a few trees trimmed here and there, but this bus, from an environmental standpoint, carries more people that any other."

"I think it's great. It's one of the best buses they've had so far and they've been testing a few buses out, which is good," said a New Yorker.

"It's progressive management here and I think they're really on the right track.

Buses like these disappeared from city streets in the 1950s and made only a brief return in the 70s.

The new buses will run on select routes along First, Second and Fifth Avenues in Manhattan, and they will be on Staten Island as well.
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  #56  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2008, 2:17 AM
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The whole concept of the NYC Bus seems nutty to me at rush hour.

And IBS conductor man needs to find a new job. I'd be raising a stink if I'm late for something because you've gotta go potty. He's an adult - he should know that jobs where there may not be instant bathroom access aren't for him.
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  #57  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2008, 7:49 AM
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Updated 09/19/2008 10:05 AM

Tenth Avenue Subway Station Scrapped



Transit officials dropped plans to build an additional 7 subway line station in Midtown Manhattan Thursday.

Officials eliminated the plan to build a station at 10th Avenue and 41st Street when they were unable to obtain the $450 million to complete the project.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration, which previously offered to fund half of the costs, said Thursday that a station is not necessary since the neighborhood is already developed.

Advocates for the station do not think that is an excuse to stop construction.

"Is that the only reason we build subway stations now, to spur development? How about to serve the people that are already in a neighborhood? I just don't buy that logic at all," said Andrew Albert of the NYC Transit Riders Council.

Supporters of the station claimed it could cost three to four time more to build in the future, once current work on the 7 line is completed and would be more disruptive to the neighborhood.

In a statement, the MTA said, "While we would prefer to include a station at 10th Avenue, it is not critical to the success of the overall project. If funding is identified at a later date we will revisit the issue."

Plans for one additional station on the 7 line are still underway and construction should be complete by 2013.

The project is being financed by the city, and officials hope it will spur development at the Hudson Yards project south of the Javits Center, which is the mayor's pet project.
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  #58  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2008, 6:37 AM
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How the hell does ONE STATION cost $450 million? That amount builds an entire light-rail line in other cities. I mean, I know it's a subway, but I still can't see why it's more than $150 million at the absolute top. Rebuilding a subway station in Chicago from the ground down costs $67 million.
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  #59  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2008, 8:24 PM
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How the hell does ONE STATION cost $450 million?
Welcome to New York City.
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  #60  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2008, 5:32 PM
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MTA Board Votes To Pull E-ZPass Perks



The full Metropolitan Transportation Authority board voted today to revoke free E-ZPass tags for city employees – a perk which has been offered for decades.

The board barely passed the measure, 7-6.

The MTA's finance committee narrowly approved a plan earlier this week, which requires police, fire, and other agencies to get their own pre-paid E-ZPass accounts, just like other drivers.

The committee voted 3-2 in favor of the plan, with Mayor Michael Bloomberg's appointees both voting against it.

The vote comes as transit officials are planning for the worst, as they deal with a nearly $900 million deficit. And that could lead to cuts in subway, bus, and commuter rail service.

Agency heads are being told to target management-level expenses, but MTA officials acknowledge it would be tough to cut the budget any further without cutting service.

The MTA has already proposed fare and toll increases that would go into effect in July.

Meanwhile, the MTA inspector general is investigating the bid process that lead to the agency being charged more than three times what it paid last year for fuel for city buses.

It negotiated a one-year contract extension in August with Sprague Energy, after it did not receive any other bids on a contract to deliver the custom-made diesel fuel, designed to minimize pollution from buses.

Officials say they agreed to pay $200 million for the contract because officials worried the system would run out otherwise.
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