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Thread: The New York City Subway

  1. #31

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    hehe, nice article,

    Thanks for the read

  2. #32
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    Newsday

    Riders losses are MTA's gains

    BY TOM MCGINTY
    STAFF WRITER

    May 27, 2005

    They're scattered around the city -- probably around the world, in fact -- hidden in coat pockets and old purses, jammed in wallets between business cards, buried in landfills.

    And they once were worth $55 million.

    They're the millions of MetroCards that expired over the past three years before their owners used the full balance for subway or bus trips.

    The riders' losses are the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's gains -- $21 million last year alone -- and it's possible that many straphangers took that hit because they were unaware of a little-publicized policy allowing the balance from an expired card to be transferred to a fresh one.

    "They should make it more public," Herbert Byrd of Long Island City said Thursday as he waited for a train at the Queensboro Plaza Station. "A lot of people throw those cards away and are losing money. It doesn't seem fair."

    New York City Transit spokesman Charles Seaton said the MetroCards have expiration dates because they deteriorate over time. The forfeited fares, which were detailed in the agency's 2004 financial reports, all came from either full-price, single-ride cards or pay-per-ride cards, which give one free trip for every five purchased, he said.

    The balance on an expired MetroCard can be transferred to a new one up to a year after the expiration date, but it requires filling out a questionnaire and mailing the card to NYC Transit, which provides postage-paid envelopes at ticket booths.

    NYC Transit couldn't say Thursday how many riders had done that, but it's clear from the financial reports that millions didn't.

    The pile of forfeited fares grew as MetroCards supplanted tokens as the primary method of payment, going from $9 million in 2002 to $25 million in 2003, the year tokens were done away with completely. In 2004, expired cards contributed $21 million to the agency's coffers.

    Seaton said the issue of forfeited fares is "really no gain to the transit authority because it doesn't effect the amount of service we put out."

    But Martin Robins, director of the Vorhees Transportation Policy Institute at Rutgers University, said the revenue does provide "a net benefit to the MTA.

    "I wouldn't call this, by any means, an abuse," said Robins, a former deputy executive director of New Jersey Transit. "I think the one point they could be called upon [to correct] is for the refund process to be posted more conspicuously near the token machines."

    Transit advocate Gene Russianoff, staff attorney of the New York Public Interest Research Group's Straphangers Campaign, also said he didn't fault the MTA and theorized that many of the expired cards were bought by tourists who left town before they were used up.

    "I have a typical New York attitude toward tourists: They're on the their own," Russianoff said. "The more they help the system out the better, and I don't stay up late at night worrying about them."

    He also said he didn't think mailing in expired cards was too onerous.

    "I guess you could argue you should be able to hand in your card to the station booth clerk," he said. "There's no system that's going to be perfect and there are going to be people who are going to be unhappy."

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    NY1

    MTA Converting All Number 9 Trains To 1 Trains To Speed Commute

    May 30, 2005

    Say good-bye to the Number 9 subway train.

    Starting Tuesday, all Number 9 trains will become Number 1 trains in a move that the Metropolitan Transit Authority says will make the former 1/9 line more efficient.

    The line runs from Van Cortlandt Part in the Bronx down the west side of Manhattan before ending at the South Ferry terminal in Lower Manhattan.

    The MTA says the change is designed to help speed the overall commute time for customers who had to wait for skip stop service, where 9 trains stopped at stations that were skipped by 1 trains.

    Starting Tuesday, the 1 will be making all stops.

    The MTA will convert all Number 9 trains into 1 trains, which officials say will improve service for all riders.

  4. #34
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    NY Times
    June 28, 2005

    Watch Those Changing Rules: Finish Sodas on the Platform

    By SEWELL CHAN
    Subway riders afflicted by broken air-conditioning, foul odors, children selling candy bars for occasionally dubious causes and even the random groper have long sought relief by quickly switching cars.

    No more.

    Moving between cars - as well as resting one's feet on the seats, sipping from an open container (even a cup of coffee) and straddling a bicycle while riding the subway - will be prohibited under a new set of passenger rules adopted by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's transit committee yesterday, the first such rule changes since 1994.

    While riding between cars is already forbidden, managers at the authority said they wanted to make clear that even quickly darting from one car to another while the train is in motion is dangerous.

    There is only one way, they said, to move safely to another car - exiting the train at the next station and then quickly re-entering it, even if passengers making a such a dash could face other perils, like tripping, smashing a finger or losing a purse between rapidly shutting doors.

    And there is the fact that it is simply inconvenient. "Let's say you get on the train in the front, but you're in a hurry, and you need to exit in the back," offered Manny Guzman, a 15-year-old high school student from East New York, who was observed yesterday moving between two cars on an uptown No. 2 train. "It is unsafe, but I do it all the time." Banning this practice, he added, "makes no sense."

    The transit committee, part of the authority's governing board, also weighed in on a host of other activities that vex or enrich the lives of riders, depending on one's point of view. Those who like to sip their coffee during their 6 a.m. commute might be annoyed, while others, who find that their commute is not improved by the addition of a man on a large bike, might embrace them.

    Taking photographs, an activity viewed with suspicion by the authority last year, is now acceptable, as is registering voters. (But not on catwalks, which extend beyond the end of the platform, or emergency stairs, both of which will be officially off limits.) Sitting on a bicycle, riding a skateboard or wearing in-line skates on a moving train? Out. Drinking a soda on the platform is fine - but not on the train. (Food and drink vendors who rent space in stations would balk at a ban on their products, thus the clause that permits platform sipping.) Putting feet on the seat, once merely rude, is now illegal.

    Then there are the sort of people who believe that because they hold a valid MetroCard, they are entitled to jump the turnstile if they are in a hurry or are foiled by malfunctioning equipment. The new rules make it clear that this is not an acceptable defense.

    The rules, to take effect on Oct. 1, are enforceable by any police officer, who can issue a civil summons. Violators, who face fines of $25 to $100, can appeal to the Transit Adjudication Bureau.

    The new rules were suggested in May 2004; at the time, they included a ban on unauthorized photography and videotaping, provisions that attracted criticism from civil libertarians, tourism promoters, artists and historians. That proposal, made ostensibly to thwart terrorism, created a yearlong controversy that delayed the final rules. The new set, which drops the photo and video ban, is expected to be passed by the authority's full board tomorrow.

    Its members, who rarely debate even major spending issues put before them, found themselves in a lively discussion over both the fairness of the new rules and the authority's ability to enforce them.

    Mark Page, the city's budget director, who represents Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on the board, observed: "It is, from time to time, convenient to absent oneself from a car or from a particular group of people."

    Riders like Beatrice McCants, 30, said they had faced many such occasions. Ms. McCants, who works as a newspaper distributor in Midtown, said she was riding a Brooklyn-bound No. 3 train Wednesday when a man began masturbating in plain sight. "I thought, 'I've got to get off this train,' " she recalled. "Now I'm going to get a fine for that, for running from a flasher? I won't pay it!"

    Assistant Chief Henry R. Cronin III, the commander of the Police Department's Transit Bureau, said police officers would use common sense in deciding whom to cite for violating the rules. Nearly three-quarters of the fleet of 6,182 subway cars have unlocked doors between cars; 1,649 cars have locked doors.

    Over the last decade, 13 people have been killed, and 117 injured, while riding or moving between subway cars or riding outside them, said Lawrence G. Reuter, the president of New York City Transit, part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He said at least two were killed last year alone. Officials said that some riders have successfully sued for injuries suffered between cars, and that explicitly banning moving between cars could strengthen the agency's position in such lawsuits.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyo
    NY Times, June 28, 2005

    Watch Those Changing Rules
    Subway riders afflicted by broken air-conditioning, foul odors, children selling candy bars for occasionally dubious causes and even the random groper have long sought relief by quickly switching cars.

    No more.
    I wonder how many of the people who make these decisions EVER ride the subway?

    Or stand on platform in the summer where its 95+ degrees and get into a car with no A/C where its also 95 degrees?

    Or enter a car where some poor unfortunate soul who hasn't bathed in days has taken up camp?

    If these decision-makers took the trains and ever encountered these and other situations where the only sane response is to switch cars STAT, then they would be the first to pull open the doors and step between cars.

    Go ahead, arrest me. And the 10 others who got the hell out of a uninhabitable car.

    (Interesting to note that there is no mention of baby strollers on trains as a ticketable situation -- even though it is currently against regs to bring an open stroller into a car. I guess they knew that would cause an uproar, so they've conveniently chosen to enforce regs on a piecemeal basis. Typical.)

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    And, what about bicycles during rush-hour?

    Or, the trombone player after a long day of work?

    And, the performances by kids doing parallel bar routines over my head?

    Or, those drunk blind idiots who rub their faces against the poles because it is "nice and cold"?

    Oh yeah, what about eating a gyro or falafel?

    How about NO LEANING on poles during rush hour. I want to hold on too!

    Create a $100 fine for unattended brats running all over as mom naps in the corner - wait, better yet, DOUBLE that fine and issue one per kid!

    Personally, I think they should forget about fining people for walking between cars and just remove the safety chains and hand rails. How exciting would it become to watch some one walking from one car to another while moving?

    Also, we must fine motormen and motorwomen who have failed to master smooth braking techniques. I object to being violented jerked into a station.

  7. #37
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    Subways begin getting video security system


    September 23, 2005

    (AP) — A Manhattan security company on Friday said it started installing a subway video surveillance system in a pilot project for the New York City Police Department.

    The news sent shares of MSGI Security Solutions Inc. up $1.93, or 42.5%, to $6.47 on the Nasdaq, where it was the top percentage gainer in the morning session. The stock has traded in a range of $4.02 to $10.20 in the past 52 weeks.

    The surveillance system features covert wireless video surveillance aimed at observing criminal activity underground, MSGI said.

    Police officials will use the new system over the next 60 days to monitor subway platforms at undisclosed locations throughout Manhattan that were selected based on historical crime statistics. The system has already been deployed in three subway stops and led to two arrests within the first hour of operation, MSGI said.

    New York City police also will use the system to combat terrorism in high-profile areas, the company said.

    The pilot project with MSGI comes a month after New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. a $212 million contract to build a surveillance system for the city's subway and bus lines and two major commuter rail lines.

    The MTA's deal with Lockheed followed the July 7 London subway bombings, which killed 52 people.

    Spokesmen for MSGI and the NYPD were not immediately available to comment on where the new surveillance system would be deployed.


    ©Copyright 2005 Associated Press.

  8. #38

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    Here's what needs to be done with the NYC subway:



    Theres all this talk about connecting JFK, have we all forgotten about LGA?

    Most importantly it provides a cross town connection above 50th street, it would act as a huge stimulus for upper Manhattan.

  9. #39
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    ^ I think thats a terrefic idea! A new line that connects to all major stops that connects many other subway lines. Especially LGA. This plan I will put first than the second subway avenue.

    I am assuming they will have to dig out a new tunnel. But this is really important. IMO.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyO



    New York City Transit spokesman Charles Seaton said the MetroCards have expiration dates because they deteriorate over time.
    Which doesn't explain why BART cards, using the same technology, never expire. I have saved BART cards for up to six years, gone back to SF and used the value still held on the card. Plus the remaining value is always printed on the card, like DC METRO. So there.

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    ^ I don't find the expiration to be a problem; when I re-fill the card the machine tells me if it is set to expire and easily transfers the balance to a new card.

  12. #42

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    125th St definately needs a crosstown rail line.

    As for LGA service though, I'm thinking the MTA should just say **** you to Astoria and extend the Astoria line to LGA, and maybe even on to JFK after that.

    If not that, then perhaps the Port Authority can extend the Airtrain to LGA from Jamaica. Have a branch to the LIRR Flushing Main St station too so the PW line has an airport connection.

    Also, continue the line to the planned LIRR Sunnyside station, and then to the underground trolley terminal at 59th and 2nd Av in Manhattan.

  13. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stern
    Here's what needs to be done with the NYC subway:



    Theres all this talk about connecting JFK, have we all forgotten about LGA?

    Most importantly it provides a cross town connection above 50th street, it would act as a huge stimulus for upper Manhattan.

    I love it. The 125th St segment could be done concurrently with the 2nd Av Subway which is slated to end at 125st/Lex Ave. Nice use of the Hell Gate and Triboro Bridge. If the Grand Central Parkway were used from the Hell Gate viaduct to LGA and beyond the NIMBYs would shut up. I was also thinking of how we could use a new upper deck on that bridge for an N extension to the Bronx. The LIC Business District and the Hunts Point Hub in the Bronx would greatly benefit from a cross-boro service. Any thoughts on that?

  14. #44

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    I also was thinking of subway service via the Hell Gate, but then I figured it'd work nearly as well with the commuter rail belt idea that I had(from Bay Ridge to Astoria, and then over the Hell Gate and to New Rochelle). Open all the old stops and some news ones, and have full time city ticket($2.50).....or metrocard for this "commuter rail line"(basically, it can't be an actual subway because the line is used by NYA, CSX, and Amtrak, but I guess it can still be part of the metrocard system, kind of like Staten Island Railway).

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    I think Stern's idea is a interesting alternative, but "subway" or "subway extension" just doesn't cut is as a airport link. Airport trains need to be design to provide seating, luggage storage areas and on-ging good and accurate airport info. The subway is not and has never been an alternative and can't be considered one for the future.

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