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Transportation Nation

NYC Vintage Buses Called into Service -- For Holiday Spirit

Friday, December 07, 2012

(Photo courtesy of the NY MTA)

The New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority has a sprawling collection of vintage trains and buses. Many of the rail cars sit on display at the NY Transit Museum. Sometimes they get special assignments like carrying fans to big Yankee games, or to host a rolling costume swing dance party.

Buses are not to be left out. The MTA just released their plans to unleash a fleet of nostalgia omnibuses open to the public. Naturally, they'll run on the tourist filled routes, and through Midtown Manhattan where the average speed of cars -- let alone buses -- is below 10 m.p.h., so it shouldn't be too taxing for the antiques.

From the MTA:

This season’s vintage fleet ranges from 1949 to 1968 and represents models that served New Yorkers from 1949 through 1984.  A Mack bus will hit the road as well as a 1956 General Motors bus that, if it could talk, would boast of being the first air-conditioned bus to operate in New York City.  Staten Islanders will get a special treat riding one of the first Staten Island express buses.  A nice bus for the day, but it’s a far cry from our modern MCI and Prevost coaches in terms of comfort and efficiency.

All of these vintage buses will operate along the M42 (42nd Street Crosstown) Monday through Friday, departing from 42ndStreet and 12th Avenue at 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and again in the afternoon at 2:30 p.m. The fare is $2.25 in cash or swipe a MetroCard, just like our more modern, but far less interesting buses.

Aside from the in-service buses, a static display will be on view between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at 6th Avenue and 35th Street and 14th Street at Union Square.  Buses will be parked at these locations for the viewing and picture-taking pleasure of New Yorkers who rode them and New Yorkers too young to remember them.

If you take a ride, tweet us a pic of yourself and the bus, to @transportnation.

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Transportation Nation

PATH Officials: Several More Weeks Before Hoboken Service Is Back

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Closed Hoboken PATH train station (Brigid Bergin/WNYC)

(Brigid Bergin - New York, NY, WNYC) PATH train service in and out of Hoboken, New Jersey, remains suspended leaving commuters with options like pricier ferry trips or longer bus rides to get into Manhattan. Nearly a month after Sandy, Port Authority officials who operate the PATH Train system brought reporters down into a tunnel below Hoboken on Tuesday to see just why the repairs are taking so long.

Officials said the whole PATH train system suffered $300 million dollars worth of damage. They predicted it will be several more weeks before the Hoboken station reopens.

Huge spools of cable were sitting on flatbed cars where the PATH train would normally be. The turnstiles and vending machines were covered in clear, plastic tarps. The Hoboken station is currently an active construction site. So PATH officials began with a safety briefing and distributed hard hats and neon vests.

Before leading reporters nearly a quarter mile into one of the damaged tunnels, Stephen Kingsberry, acting PATH Train System director, pointed to a display of photographs from the storm. One showed water rushing down a set of steps even though a pressurized flood gate appeared to be in place.

"Water came down everywhere," explained Kingsberry. "And it was so much water that it flooded the track area which is beneath us."

Eight feet of water destroyed switches, corroded cables, and took about a week just to pump out. Since the city of Hoboken itself flooded, Kingsberry said there was no way to keep the station dry.

"I mean it wouldn't flood if we could move the station above ground and put it somewhere in the sky," Kingsberry said.  "But since we need to be underground where the trains are, we're doing what we can do to fortify what we have so the water won't penetrate as much."

Right now crews are working day and night. They're replacing damaged cables, switches and fixing broken equipment. Then the whole system will need to be tested before service is restored.

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Transportation Nation

Flooded Out Staten Islander Preps for Second Blow From Nor'easter

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Stephen Drimalas surveys his flooded-out home in Ocean Breeze, Staten Island. (Jim O'Grady/WNYC)

Staten Islander Stephen Drimalas is one of thousands of New Yorkers who are still without power. He's digging out from Sandy, showing up sporadically to his city job and, as of Wednesday, riding out a nor'easter.

The 46-year-old Drimalas lives alone in a small house in Ocean Breeze, Staten Island, a neighborhood that the storm submerged under eight feet of water. He works for the city Department of Transportation, installing signs and Muni meters. Seven years ago, he moved from Brooklyn to this modest beachfront neighborhood on Staten Island's east shore because it was cheap, beautiful and near the water.

He knew flooding was a possibility. So a year ago, he built a new foundation and raised his house by four feet. The night Sandy hit, he stepped outside to smoke a cigarette and check on conditions.

"As soon as I opened the door, the water started pouring down," he said. "By the time I got to my car, the water was up to my shin. Another minute or two and I wasn't getting out. That's how fast it came in."

Drimalas fled with the clothes on his back and some papers he managed to grab. Everything else was destroyed, including a set of appliances he'd just loaded into his house at the end of a year-long renovation.

He escaped but his neighbor, 89-year-old Ella Norris, did not. "She lived with her daughter here on Buel," Drimalas said on Monday as he stood outside Ella's house, his neighbors circulating around him as they cleaned and salvaged what they could. "She and her daughter got trapped in the house. Her daughter survived. Ella's in the funeral home right now. They're having a service for her, as we speak."

Drimalas has spent the last ten days piling garbage on the street and digging out from the mud, calling FEMA and trying to contact his insurance company. On nights when a friend can't put him up, he sleeps in his car.

Now comes a nor'easter with snow and slashing rain, high winds and forecasts of flooding. When reached by cell phone, Drimalas described how he was preparing for a second blow.

"I'm getting all the garbage out in case any winds pick up," he said. He added that he was hoping to stay with a friend, before cutting short the call. "I'm working outside," he said. "I gotta go."

To see more photos of Drimalas and his neighborhood, go here.

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Transportation Nation

New Storm Moves Into Northeast; Track It Here

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The New York City region will be experiencing another 'weather event' Wednesday and Thursday. From City Hall:

"A significant storm is forecast to impact New York City today from approximately mid-day Wednesday through Thursday morning. Although only an inch of rain is forecast, sustained winds will reach 25 to 40 miles per hour, with gusts up from 55 to 65 miles per hour. The wind will cause a storm surge ranging from 3 to 5 feet at high tide Wednesday afternoon, with the highest surge levels forecast for the Western Long Island sound; surge levels are forecast to be slightly lower at high tide Wednesday night.

"The City is taking significant precautions in advance of the storm, including halting all construction, closing all City parks, encouraging drivers to stay off the road after 5:00 PM, or to use extreme caution if they have to drive and employing door to door operations to urge people without heat to take shelter to stay warm."

Expect flight cancellations and delays.

We'll be keeping our Transit Tracker updated; check back frequently for any updates. You can check out area flood gauges below.

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Transportation Nation

(LISTEN) MTA Head Joe Lhota: How We Fixed the Flooded Subway

Monday, November 05, 2012

MTA chairman Joe Lhota (L) speaking with an MTA worker. (Photo by MTA via flickr)

Listen to the conversation with WNYC's Amy Eddings below.

(New York, NY) Just one week after Hurricane Sandy turned New York City's subway tunnels into something out of Waterworld, service is back up and running on almost every line. But how?

MTA chairman Joe Lhota told WNYC the credit belonged to the agency's employees. "The workers of the Transit Authority...I will tell you I've never seen a bunch of people work so hard to get the system back up and running."

And here's how they did it: "They've been cleaning [signals] by hand, literally," he said. "First you had to pump out the water, then you had to wipe down the mud that was left down there, then you had to literally wipe down the rail, and then fix each and every one of the switches by cleaning them and making sure there was no salt to prevent the electric conductivity."

Lhota said after that process, the MTA then powered up the system and ran test trains before resuming service.

"We're making progress every day," he said, adding that the rest of the lines would be operating "soon."

"That's our intent, to be able to...get the L later in the week, get the G later in the week, getting all the other trains later in the week. We want to get the #1 train eventually down to Rector Street, we'll try to do that by the middle of the week...inch by inch, rail by rail, we're going to get there," he said on WNYC radio.

Later in the conversation Lhota told WNYC's Amy Eddings -- who relies on the G train to get to work: "You'll get the G soon. Can't tell you exactly when, but you'll get the G real soon."

What probably will take a little longer: retooling New York city's infrastructure to withstand future floods. "There are some more substantive things that need to be done," said Lhota, and "not just for the subway should be a concerted effort on the part of the city and the state and taking the best minds in the architectural world and the water mitigation world and figure out what exactly can we do to prevent this from happening again?"

Any effort to prevent flooding, he said, "It's not just going to be limited to the subways. It shouldn't be."

Want to know what's running and what's not? Check our Transit Tracker.


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Transportation Nation

Line By Line: Here's What's Running For Monday's Commute: MTA Subways, Buses, LIRR, Metro North, NJ Transit

Sunday, November 04, 2012

The MTA says more than 80 percent of the subway network has been restored, but "it will carry less than 80 percent of normal capacity" on Monday.  Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg and transit officials are all warning customers to expect delays and crowding during the morning commute.

Jerome Hauer, NYS Commissioner of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota discuss the response to Hurricane Sandy before a press conference at the Jacob Javits Center

Jerome Hauer, NYS Commissioner of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota discuss the response to Hurricane Sandy before a press conference at the Jacob Javits Center, Sunday, Nov. 4. (Photo: MTA/Adam Lisberg)

The numbered trains are in the best shape -- service on the 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 lines is running normally, with few delays and problems this weekend.  The 1 train is the exception in Manhattan -- service was slowly being restored south of 14th Street Monday morning.  On Sunday, Gov. Cuomo announced that “the South Ferry station, which at one time was a large fish tank, has been pumped dry.”

Riders on the C, G and L trains will likely have the hardest time this week -- the MTA is not releasing an estimate for when problems on those lines will be resolved.

Here is a map of subway service, as it stands now.  More information below:

The L train from Brooklyn to Manhattan and G train from Brooklyn to Queens are unlikely to be carrying passengers early this week.  MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said the flooding in the L tunnel was "of particular concern" and was "hopeful" for restoration this week.  Service on both lines is suspended with no estimated time for resuming service.  From Williamsburg and Bushwick to Manhattan, the best alternative to the L is the J and the M, which were restored Sunday.  The L is running in Queens, between Broadway Junction and Rockaway Parkway.

N, Q and R trains: There is no service in Manhattan south of 34 Street.  A temporary ferry service may fill in gaps for some rush hour commuters between the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and Wall Street/Pier 11 and East 35th Street.  Here's schedule and fare information.  The Q began running again on Sunday and is now restored from Kings Highway in Brooklyn to Ditmars in Astoria over the Manhattan Bridge.

B, D, F and M trains: The F will be ready for the morning commute.  It returned to full service Sunday, with the exception of Coney Island at the end of the line in Brooklyn, where trains stop at Avenue X, instead of Stillwell Avenue.  D trains are also running normally, with the exception of Coney Island -- the last stop in Brooklyn is Bay Parkway.  Riders on the M train can get into Manhattan from Queens, but trains were not going south of 34th Street Sunday.  B train service remains suspended.

A train: in Manhattan, there is no service on this line below 34th Street and above 168th Street, to Inwood.  Service picks back up in Queens, where passengers in Ozone Park can get on at Lefferts Boulevard and ride to Jay Street/MetroTech.  There is no service to JFK or the Rockaways through Howard Beach.  In the Rockaways, the A train remains suspended because of "extensive damage" around Broad Channel.  The MTA hopes to restore limited train shuttle service from Beach 116 Street to Mott Avenue with trains they bring back onto the Rockaway Peninsula by truck.  Passengers would still have only a shuttle buses to get them from the Rockaways to the Howard Beach station, once service is restored there.  Today, the MTA said "no timetable has yet been established for this service."

C and E trains: Service was restored late Sunday night on both lines through Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn.

J and Z trains: J trains will run between Jamaica Center and Essex Street, but had some signal problems Sunday.  Z trains remain suspended.

Franklin Avenue Shuttle: restored


NJ Transit will only be able to operate 13 trains into New York during the peak period tomorrow morning -- normal level would be 63.  "Emergency Bus Service" will run in Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City and Manhattan Monday.  Gov. Christie says the temporary move aims to "provide approximately 50% of NJ TRANSIT’s normal rail rush hour service."  Routes will end at ferries, light rail and shopping areas.  Here's pickup, dropoff, schedule and route information.

One piece of good news for riders with monthly passes: NJ Transit announced that it will honor October monthly passes until Friday.

NJ Transit says 90 percent of its bus service is now operating again.  The largest obstacle for remaining lines are power outages, which have left traffic lights out and led drivers to declare the routes unsafe.

Here's the latest, line-by-line from NJ Transit on Sunday evening:

Montclair-Boonton Line: service remains suspended, with a bleak outlook.  Overhead wires, especially on the Montclair Branch, suffered heavy damage in the storm.  Flooding in Kearny has caused also rail washouts, making rail traffic impassable.

Morris & Essex Line:  service remains suspended, with a bleak outlook.  Summit, Milburn, Denville and Morristown took big hits to overhead wires.  The flooding in Kearny is also affecting service here.

North Jersey Coast Line: service resumed Sunday between Woodbridge and Penn Station New York, currently on a modified schedule.

Raritan Valley Line: service resumed Sunday between Raritan and Newark Penn Station.  On Monday, it will also follow a modified schedule.  Rail service between High Bridge and Raritan remains suspended.

Northeast Corridor Line: service between Trenton Transit Center and Penn Station New York on a modified schedule.

Main/Port Jervis Line: service resumed Sunday between Port Jervis and Secaucus Junction, currently on a modified schedule.

Pascack Valley & Bergen Line: service remains suspended, due mostly to power outages affecting signals, switches and crossing gates.  As power comes back on, these lines are expected to run again quickly.


All PATH service remains suspended due to damage to signal, control and substation equipment in multiple stations.


Metro North trains are running from Poughkeepsie on the Hudson Line, Southeast on the Harlem Line and New Haven on the New Haven Line.

Monday, Metro-North will resume regular service on the Wassaic Branch of the Harlem Line.  Service will also resume from Waterbury and Danbury in Connecticut.  The New Canaan Branch will be served by buses

West of the Hudson, The Port Jervis Line is running trains between Port Jervis and Secaucus Junction, but there is no service to or from Hoboken

The Newburgh-Beacon Ferry and the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry will return to service Monday morning, but service remains suspended on the Pascack Valley Line.


Sunday night, the Long Island Railroad said travelers should expect 10-15 minute delays systemwide during Monday morning's commute.

Trains will operate on a modified schedule Monday on all branches except the Long Beach Line. The Ronkokoma Line will not run east of Ronkonkoma, and the Montauk Branch won't be running east of Speonk.

The October monthly ticket will be valid for travel on Monday, November 5.

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Transportation Nation

Subway Flooding Predicted, Eerily Matches Climate Change Model

Thursday, November 01, 2012

The subway map after flooding in 7 tunnels and a power outage suspended service to much of Manhattan in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Nov 1, 2012

Compare that map with this one we posted a year ago after Hurricane Irene gave us a taste of what water could do to a transit system.

With Sea Level Rise, Subways Flood in 40 Minutes During Intense Storms (Map Courtesy LDEO & Civil Engineering, Columbia University)

Four days after Hurricane Sandy slammed New York, a huge chunk of New York’s subway remains closed.  Experts say the cost to the economy could run to the hundreds of millions.

Turns out they say the threat of rising sea levels coupled with big storms like Sandy’s to the city’s subway system – and its economy – was both predicted and predictable under models of rising sea levels.

New York’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo says New York has to rebuild its subway system to make it less vulnerable to storms like Irene and Sandy, which hit New York just fourteen months apart. “Part of learning from this is the recognition that climate change is a reality, extreme weather is a reality, it is a reality that we are vulnerable,” Cuomo said.

On Monday night, as Sandy’s storm surge hit, salt water rushed into all five subway tunnels linking Manhattan with Brooklyn.

More people ride through those tunnels then ride through every other transit system in America. MTA Chief Joe Lhota described the scene the next day. “The MTA faced a disaster as devastating as it has ever faced in its history.”

The MTA had been aware of the danger.

About a year ago I spoke to Columbia University’s Klaus Jacobs. He modeled a storm like Sandy and brought his findings to the MTA. “And there was a big silence in the room,” Jacob said. “Because the system is so old. Many of the items that would be damaged by the intrusion of the saltwater into the system could not recover quickly.”

That’s a prediction that came eerily close to reality. Without power, pumping out the tunnels is slow. MTA officials need to dry out the parts, and then check each one of them before fully opening the subway.

More than a year ago, Jacobs produced a subway with the flooded lines colored in deep blue, looking like skeletal fingers under the East River. Last night, the MTA released its own map of the new subway. The closed lines almost exactly reflect Jacob’s model.

By Thursday none of the five flooded tunnels under the East River had reopened, though Lhota said two were within hours of operation if power could be restored.  In the subway, announcers intoned: “Ladies and Gentlemen, there is no train service between Brooklyn and Manhattan.”

Officials set up shuttle buses to replace the subways, but the transfers were choked. A line at Brooklyn’s brand new basketball arena, Barclays Center, stretched fully around the arena – the same day the Arena was to host the Nets v. the Knicks season opener.

Damage to the MTA New York City Transit system in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

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Transportation Nation

Ferry Update: East River Ferries Coming Back, SI Ferry No Timeline

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

UPDATED Wednesday 8:20 pm: East River Ferry service is coming back Thursday broken into two loops. The northern loop connects Long Island City and North Williamsburg to 34th Street. The southern loop connects North Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Wall Street.

Ferry landings in Greenpoint and South Williamsburg will remain closed due to Hurricane damage.

The ferries will run from 7 a.m. to 6.p.m.

POSTED Wednesday 5:45 pm: The NY DOT is still repairing the Staten Island Ferry terminals and doesn't have an estimate for getting the boats out on the water again following Hurricane Sandy's storm surge on Sunday night.

New York Waterway  resumed some ferry service along the Hudson River Wednesday.

The NY Department of Transportation, the agency that operates that Staten Island Ferry explained, “"There was considerable damage to the terminals and to the electrical components of the docks that operate the movable ramps, all of which were submerged in the storm surge. As we've cleaned the terminals around the clock and closely assessed and repaired each slip we're getting closer to having all the pieces necessary to restore service safely. We still have more damage assessment and recovery left at St. George in particular before we will have a firm estimate on when service will resume." The agency hopes to make an announcement "soon."

The ferries themselves were undamaged in the storm and are ready to go. That was achieved by mooring them at a maintenance facility with full crew and engines online throughout the storm.

On Sunday, 47,000 runners will head to Staten Island to start the New York Marathon ... most will want to use the SI Ferry.

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Transportation Nation

Here's the New Subway Map, and Other Hurricane Sandy Recovery Details

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

(IMPORTANT NOTE: The text is in this post doesn't reflect the latest service additions, which are occurring rapidly.  For full updates, please keep an eye on our transportation tracker.  The subway map above is self-updating, but there's a lag between service updates and the map. We're updating the tracker regularly.)

As of 11/2: The New York City subway opened Thursday for the first time since the nation's largest transit system preemptively shut down Sunday evening in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. When power is restored, Governor Cuomo says service can be restored in two hours. Partial commuter rail service on Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North, and NJ Transit has restarted, joining city buses that have been running since Tuesday night.  Through Friday, all New York service will be free. A pdf map of the latest service can be found here.

Subway Service is operating on the 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, the Times Square Shuttle, A, D, F, G, J, L (but not in Manhattan), M, N, and R trains. There will be no service on the 3, B, C, E, G and Q lines. Subways will run every ten minutes. There is still no subway service in Manhattan below 34th Street.

There will be 330 buses forming the "bus bridge" from Brooklyn crossing on the Brooklyn Williamsburg Bridge and heading up 3rd Avenue. Stops will be at 54th St, 42nd st, 33rd st, 23rd St, 14th St, 9th st, Delancey and Bowery, Spring and Bowery.  The buses will travel on special bus priority lanes, with 24 hour enforcement by NYPD, the NYC DOT says.

The Atlantic Avenue and Jay Street routes will operate via a new, two-way bus lane across the Manhattan Bridge and into Manhattan via bus-priority lanes on Bowery and Third Avenue all the way up to East 55th Street.  Outbound buses will travel down Lexington, East 23, and Third Avenue.

The shuttle bus from Hewes Street will operate over the Williamsburg Bridge and Delancey Street, then via Bowery and Third Avenue before returning downtown via Lexington Avenue, East 23rd Street, Third Avenue, and Bowery.
Per Governor Cuomo:

1 trains are operating local between 242nd Street (Bronx) and Times Square-42nd Street.

2 trains are operating between 241st Street (Bronx) and Times Square-42nd Street, with express service between 96th Street and Times Square.

3 trains are suspended.

4 trains will operate in two sections making all local stops: · Between Woodlawn (Bronx) and Grand Central-42nd Street
· Between Borough Hall and New Lots Avenue5 trains will operate express in Brooklyn between Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center and Flatbush Avenue.

5 trains are operating between E. 180th St and Dyre Ave in the North Bronx; also in Brooklyn

6 trains are operating local between Pelham Bay Park and Grand Central-42nd Street.

7 trains are now running between Main Street and 74th Street - Broadway

42nd Street Shuttle S trains will operate between Times Square and Grand Central.

A trains will operate in two sections making all local stops:· Between 168th Street (Manhattan) and 34th Street-Penn Station
· Between Jay Street/MetroTech and Lefferts Blvd.
B and C service is suspended.

D trains operate in two sections:· Between 205th Street (Bronx) and 34th Street-Herald Square making all local stops
· In Brooklyn, between Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center and Bay Parkway making express stops between Pacific Street and 36th Street

E trains are suspended.

F trains operate in two sections making all local stops:· Between 179th Street (Queens) and 34th Street-Herald Square
· In Brooklyn, between Jay Street-MetroTech and Avenue X

G trains are suspended.

J trains operate between Jamaica Center and Hewes Street making all local stops.

L trains operate between Broadway Junction and rockaway Parkway making all local stops.

M trains are running in two sections operate between Myrtle Avenue-Broadway and Metropolitan Avenue.

N trains operate between Ditmars Blvd. (Queens) and 34th Street-Herald Square making all local stops.

Q trains are suspended.

R trains operate in Brooklyn between Jay Street-MetroTech and 95th Street making all local stops.

Both the Franklin Avenue and Rockaway Park S shuttles are suspended.

All shuttle buses will operate north on 3rd Avenue and south on Lexington Avenue.
1. Between Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center and 57th Street-Lexington Avenue via the Manhattan Bridge
2. Between Jay Street-MetroTech and 57th Street-Lexington Avenue via the Manhattan Bridge
3. Between Hewes Street and 57th Street-Lexington Avenue via the Williamsburg Bridge

(We always put the latest updates in our Transit Tracker, so check there before you plan your commute.)

According to the MTA, buses will bridge the gaps in subway service, going over the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges. Commuters should add at least an hour to their commute times.

Three of the seven East River subway tunnels that were flooded have been cleared. The MTA is reporting that the tunnels carrying the 4, 5 and F trains are now dry. There will be no subways south of 34th Street in Manhattan where most neighborhoods are still without the power needed to run the subways.

MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said service would increase. "There will be more on Friday and even more on Saturday," he said Wednesday afternoon. He acknowledged that buses this morning were "packed" and "tight" as the the MTA tried to accommodate some of the 5.5 million daily subway riders without their normal way to work. Lhota said he would have bus ridership numbers later in the day, even though buses were not charging fares.

He said he is talking with city officials about instituting dedicated bus lanes.

Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad has begun to provide service. Metro-North is operating close to regularly scheduled service on: the Hudson Line, the Harlem Line, the New Haven Line. The LIRR info is below.

LIRR service will operate as follows:

The LIRR is providing hourly service on its four busiest branches: the Port Washington Branch, the Port Jefferson Branch from Huntington to Penn Station, the Ronkonkoma Branch and the Babylon Branch.

Brooklyn - (Jamaica-Brooklyn): Hourly service

City Terminal – (Jamaica - Penn Station): Suspended (anticipate shuttle between these stations later tonight)

Babylon Branch: hourly service between Babylon and Penn Station. Westbound trains depart Babylon at 35 minutes after the hour; the first train is at 12:35AM. Eastbound trains depart Penn 4 minutes after the hour; the first train is at 12:04AM. Schedule info here.

Huntington Branch: hourly service between Huntington and Penn Station. Westbound trains depart Huntington at 35 minutes after the hour; the first train is at 12:35AM. Eastbound trains depart Penn on the hour; the first train is at 12:00AM. Schedule info here.

Ronkonkoma Branch: Westbound trains departing Ronkonkoma 37 minutes after the hour. Eastbound trains depart Penn Station 9 minutes after the hour.

Port Washington Branch: Shuttle train service between Port Washington and Penn Station is continuing with westbound trains departing Port Washington every 35 minutes past the hour and eastbound trains departing Penn Station every 14 minutes past the hour.

SUSPENDED for now: service on the Montauk Branch, Hempstead Branch, Long Beach, Far Rockaway, Oyster Bay Branch, West Hempstead.

Keep checking our Transit Tracker for the latest information on service restoration.

Click for PDF of what subway service will look like Thursday

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Transportation Nation

VIDEO: South Ferry Subway Station, Post-Sandy

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New York's MTA just released a startling video of the extent of the flooding at the South Ferry - Whitehall station, located at the southern tip of Manhattan.

The station recently underwent a $530 million overhaul. When it reopened in 2009, it created a new connection between the 1 train to and N/R line and was the first new subway station in the city to open in 20 years.

Below, for comparison, a photo of the station pre-Hurricane Sandy.


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Transportation Nation

(UPDATED) NY MTA: Some, Not All Buses Back, No Timetable for Subways

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

10:11am: A beheaded subway entrance. (photo by Jim O'Grady)

UPDATE: Tuesday 4:50 PM: The MTA's Charles Seaton says not all bus routes will be running Wednesday morning, that limited routes will be running. Those will be announced later Tuesday evening.

UPDATE Tuesday 11:50 AM: The latest on MTA and NYC transpo is always at our Transit Tracker.

Some bus service will begin at 5 p.m. on a Sunday schedule.

There is no timetable yet for subway service resumption. Governor Andrew Cuomo and MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said in a joint press conference Tuesday morning they hope to have full bus service restored Wednesday morning. No fares will be charged through Wednesday.

Portions of subway service will return in pieces as it is able. Buses will be used to connect fractured sections.

Flooding could keep east river crossings shut for some time. The Clark, Steinway, Rutgers and Strawberry Street tubes under the East River are all flooded. Lhota said pumps are clearing the Joralemon Street tube and will have it dry in a few hours.

No buses or trains were damaged because of effective shut down preparations. Assessment of the extent of the damage on the tracks "will take a little bit more time than we thought," Lhota said.

Lhotoa said flooding at the South Street subway station was "literally up to the ceiling."

Pumping is underway in the Battery Tunnel.

Metro-North has no power from 59th Street to Croton.


POSTED Tuesday 9:05 AM: MTA chair Joe Lhota spoke to WNYC's Soterios Johnson Monday morning about the extent of the damage to the subway system. Listen to the interview below, and read the partial transcript of his remarks.

Lhota said he knew last night there was a problem. "Last night I was downtown and it was pretty obvious...I saw the water surge coming up, realizing that the systems were going to be affected. Our electrical systems, our alarm systems, tell us when there's water down there. They basically shut off. It's an automatic system...they would only shut off if there was water down there."

Johnson asked Lhota just how bad the flooding was. "The assessment is ongoing. Dawn is just cracking right now," Lhota said, adding that the sunlight would help with the assessment process, "which is going to be ongoing. We'll report back to New Yorkers later in the day as to what we have assessed, and determine how long it's going to take to get the system back up and running. One thing I do want everyone to focus on is the fact of how dynamic and how robust the New York City subway system is." And New Yorkers need to understand: "We're going to be flexible, we're going to try to be creative. Those systems that can be up and running, those portions of the system that can be up and running -- I want them up and running as quickly as possible. Then use our bus service and our buses -- re-route them in such a way that they supplement and complement each other. And that's what I mean by creativity: if there's a portion of  the system that's going to take longer to repair, that doesn't mean the whole system is down...we're New Yorkers, we adapt very very well."

Johnson asked if salt water had flooded the subways. "I can't imagine that it's fresh water, it's going to be at best brackish, but for the most part it's salt," Lhota said. "Water and electricity never mix properly, but when you add salt to it, once the water is gone, the salt leaves a film...the way electronics work on the subway system is two pieces of metal running together conducting electricity. And it there's anything in between those two pieces of metal -- like film left over from salt -- that needs to be cleaned off because the connections need to be clear and straightforward for us to manage the process of making the subway system safe."

Johnson asked Lhota what his worst-case scenario for restoration of subway service. "I literally can't answer that until later today," Lhota said. "his happened overnight, it's been ongoing, the assessment's been ongoing, and we've called...all of our workers backs." "Are we talking days or weeks?" asked Johnson. "It's unfair to me -- I'm going to  try to get this up and running as quickly as I possibly can," said Lhota. "I really don't want to be tied down to answering that question the way you've asked it because it'll be something that will linger out would be a scientific wild guess on my part to answer it that way and I just need to get better information and then determine it."

As to when the bridges and tunnels will be open: "I literally just sent a text message to Pat Foye, the head of the Port Authority," said Lhota. "He and I need to figure out how to open up the bridges, how to open up the tunnels. The wind has calmed down significantly...the tunnels, if they're dry, the assessment can be relatively straightforward. [But] the bridges, given the extent of the wind, we're going to need a couple hours having the engineers assess that there's no damage to any of the bridges. We experienced at the Triborough - RFK bridge wind gusts over 100 miles an hour last night. That's extraordinary. We've got to make sure that the integrity of the bridge is there. I'm confident that it is, but out of an abundance of caution we're going to need at least two hours for our engineers to go through and assess to make sure that the bridges are safe. I think they're safe -- in fact I'm almost positive they're safe -- but out of an abundance of caution, we will do the work we need to do."

Johnson asked about the Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road commuter rail lines. "First off," said Lhota, "we're trying to count the number of trees that are downed on Metro North and it's going to be in the hundreds...we're going up in a helicopter today to assess the entire system from the air to determine where we have our problems. The Long Island Rail Road experienced an enormous amount of flooding all through the South Shore, the Babylon branch all the way out to ...Montauk. We're assessing that right now and will determine how far we can go." He continued: "I am very worried about power....the power is a problem. It's an electric subway system for the most part. Some of our commuter rail system is electric as well, some it's diesel, or a combination...we need electricity to run. So this power problem in the tri-state area is significant for getting us up and running on the commuter rail front...the power on Metro North is down from 59th Street in Manhattan all the way up to Croton-Harmon on the Hudson line, all the way up to New Haven, Connecticut on the New Haven line. We have no power on the system at this time."

In terms of the actual conditions of the rails: "We're going to have to evaluate it," Lhota said. "We're going to have to walk ths system to determine the extent of it and we're also going to have to cut up all the trees that are in the way and get them out of the way."

With reporting by Alex Goldmark


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Transportation Nation

Hurricane Sandy (aka Frankenstorm) Could Shut Down NYC Subway

Friday, October 26, 2012

The NY MTA began placing service advisories in subway stations Friday.

UPDATE 2:43 p.m. ET Saturday: NY Gov Andrew Cuomo has ordered the NY MTA to begin the preparations needed for a total subway and transit system shutdown. Full details here.

ORIGINAL POST: (New York, NY -- WNYC) The New York City subway system will be running Saturday, but Sunday ... that's wait and see. As Hurricane Sandy bears down on the mid-Atlantic region charting an ominous course north, transit agencies in the New York area are getting ready for potentially crippling rains. Subways, buses, railroads, bridges, tunnels could all be affected.  (See below for full MTA press release)

New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg said the NYC subway system -- which turns 108 years old on Saturday -- could be shut down if Sandy brings sustained winds of higher than 39 mph, according to a standing MTA hurricane action plan. As of Friday at 4 p.m., no decisions on shut downs had been made, though warnings, cautions and caveats were flowing from all levels of government.

“Our first priority is always safety, and the MTA is taking no chances with the safety of our customers, our employees and our equipment,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota in a statement.

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency across the state. "With unpredictable weather conditions, we are taking the greatest precautions – especially after our experience from last year’s storms,” he said, referring to tropical storms Irene and Lee.

If Hurricane Sandy holds course toward New York City, it threatens to be especially dangerous because it would join with a second winter storm, creating what the National Weather Service called Frankenstorm.

Hurricane preparation for a large subway system is long and elaborate process that takes at least 8 hours once ordered.

Last year, the subway system shut down a day ahead of Tropical Storm Irene to allow MTA staff to flood proof tunnels and move trains and buses out of harms way. (See photos) A report following a 2007 storm, found that subway drainage systems are designed to handle no more than 1.75 inches of rain an hour.

This time, MTA workers began flood-prevention preparations Friday afternoon -- two days ahead of the storm's expected arrival -- by covering subway ventilation grates with plywood in low lying areas. After severe flooding crippled the subway in a 2007 storm the transit agency began the slow process of raising subway grates a few inches above street level, but many are still at street grade.

An MTA statement listed what else would need to happen this weekend:

"The Hurricane Plan also contains detailed protocols for New York City Transit, Metro-North Railroad, the Long Island Rail Road, Bridges and Tunnels and Capital Construction to prepare for the onset of a storm by moving equipment such as rail cars and buses from low-lying storage areas or vulnerable outdoor tracks; by staging recovery equipment such as generators and chainsaws near areas where they would be needed; by clearing catch basins and sewer lines; and by installing protective barriers to keep floodwaters out of buildings, tunnels and storage yards."

Most planned construction in the subway system is cancelled. The  NY Buildings Commissioner ordered a similar halt to all exterior work at construction sites in New York City starting Saturday at 5 p.m.

Amtrak said all trains are operating as usual as of Friday afternoon and had not made any plans to cancel service, though some equipment was being moved into place for emergency action if needed.


Here's the full MTA Hurricane Sandy Press Release:


MTA Prepares for Hurricane Sandy


Service Shutdowns Possible as Forecasts Develop; Subways, Buses, Railroads, Bridges and Tunnels Preparing for High Winds and Heavy Rain


Monitor, Media Outlets and Call 511 for Latest Transportation Information


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is monitoring the progress of Hurricane Sandy and taking necessary precautions to protect its transportation network. The storm is tracking toward New York and holds the potential for high winds and heavy rain that could make it unsafe to operate subway, bus and railroad lines, as well as to allow vehicles on the MTA’s seven bridges and two tunnels.


The MTA is working closely with the Governor’s office, the Mayor’s office and state and local Offices of Emergency Management to prepare for the storm and respond in a coordinated manner.


“Our first priority is always safety, and the MTA is taking no chances with the safety of our customers, our employees and our equipment,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota. “We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. Whatever happens, we’ll be ready.”


The MTA Hurricane Plan calls for an orderly shutdown of service before the arrival of sustained winds of 39 mph or higher. No decision has been made whether to suspend some or all service in advance of the storm, but ample notice will be provided of any suspension. Customers and the media should monitor the website, which is updated continuously with service information as it becomes available. Customers can also call 511 for service information.


The MTA last suspended service during Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011, when it successfully helped people get to safety before the storm, then shut down its transportation network in an orderly manner to protect employees and equipment.


The Hurricane Plan also contains detailed protocols for New York City Transit, Metro-North Railroad, the Long Island Rail Road, Bridges and Tunnels and Capital Construction to prepare for the onset of a storm by moving equipment such as rail cars and buses from low-lying storage areas or vulnerable outdoor tracks; by staging recovery equipment such as generators and chainsaws near areas where they would be needed; by clearing catch basins and sewer lines; and by installing protective barriers to keep floodwaters out of buildings, tunnels and storage yards.


Details of each agency’s storm planning are provided below.


New York City Transit


Most scheduled weekend subway service changes for construction projects have been cancelled, with the exception of changes planned for the 7 and J lines, which are now scheduled through Saturday only. Crews are inspecting and clearing main drains and pump rooms throughout the subway system. Personnel are checking and cleaning all known flood-prone locations and these areas will continue to be monitored.


Extra workers and managers are prepared to staff New York City Transit’s Incident Command Center, situation room, satellite desks, depot operations and facility operations as necessary. The Incident Command Center will be activated starting at 8 a.m. Sunday. Among those present in the ICC throughout the duration of the storm will be Customer Advocates, who will ensure that all decisions made during the event will reflect a focus on customers. They fill a position created after reviews of the agency’s performance during Tropical Storm Irene.


Trains will be removed from outdoor yards prone to flooding and moved to more secure locations. Subway ventilation grates vulnerable to flooding will be sandbagged and tarped over. Many station entrances and ventilation grates in low-lying areas have been successfully modified in recent years to raise them above street level, making it more difficult for floodwaters to enter the system.


All portable pumps and emergency response vehicles will be checked, fueled and made ready for service. Outside contractors have been asked to prepare their work sites for heavy weather.


Bus operators are ready to move buses that normally park in low-lying depots to areas of higher ground.


Metro-North Railroad


Metro-North personnel are stockpiling material in preparation for possible washouts or bank erosion, and are securing road crossing gates when necessary.


Much of Metro-North’s territory runs along rivers and the Long Island Sound With nearly 800 miles of tracks to take care of, Maintenance of Way workers have already begun preparing for Sandy at known trouble spots.


Culverts are being cleared of fallen limbs and other debris. Ditches and swales are being cleaned out. Pumps are being tuned up and put in place at known low spots such as New Haven Yard and Mott Haven Yard, while generators at all rail yards are being fueled and tested.


Cranes and excavators and back hoes are being positioned along the tracks, and a tree service contractor is on call to respond rapidly if needed.


Long Island Rail Road


Long Island Rail Road is preparing facilities and infrastructure by clearing drains, securing work sites against possible high winds, fueling equipment, stocking supplies and making plans to move equipment and supplies away from low-lying areas. Chain saws, generators and pumps are ready for use as well.


The LIRR’s scheduled track work this weekend for the replacement of concrete ties between Jamaica and Queens Village, and the resulting bus service for Queens Village and Hollis customers, is now scheduled to end at 11:59 PM Saturday evening.


Extra personnel will be assigned to report for duty before the storm is forecasted to make landfall on Long Island.


Crews will be prepared to remove crossing gates from LIRR crossings in advance of the storm if necessary, to protect them from high winds and assist in a quicker recovery. Service must be suspended if crossing gates are removed.


Bridges and Tunnels


All roadway and drainage systems at Bridges and Tunnels facilities are being checked and cleared of debris. Construction areas will be secured, backup generators are in place, and wrecker trucks and other response vehicles are readied to help motorists who may become stranded. In addition, staffing levels were checked and emergency personnel have been put on standby.


Motorists are advised to reduce speeds when winds are between 40 and 49 mph in dry conditions, and 30 to 49 mph in windy and wet conditions.


When the winds are 50 mph or more in dry or wet conditions, certain vehicles will be barred from using MTA crossings. These include motorcycles, tractor trailers, step vans, mini buses, trucks with open backs, cars pulling trailers, motor homes and vehicles carrying plate glass.


If there are sustained winds of 60 mph or above, the MTA may close one or more bridges to all traffic.


Capital Construction


All contractors at Capital Construction projects – East Side Access, the Second Avenue Subway, the 7 Line Extension and Fulton Center – will secure all materials and equipment, including cranes, to prepare for high winds and flooding.


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Transportation Nation

Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel is Now Hugh L. Carey Tunnel

Monday, October 22, 2012

(photo by Johanna Mayer)

(Johanna Mayer -- New York, NY, WNYC) Legislation passed in 2010, and signs displaying the new name have been up for months. But Monday, it became official: the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel is now the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel.

Speaking at the official dedication ceremony, Mayor Bloomberg and former governors Mario Cuomo and David Paterson praised the late governor as someone willing to cross party lines to do what was best for New York.

"Hopefully people won't be stuck in traffic and curse his name, but if they do, I might point out that he and Lincoln--another great man with a tunnel--can look down and share a laugh," said Bloomberg. "Lincoln and Carey--Republican and Democrat--the president who saved the Union and the governor who saved the state."

Carey, who served as governor of New York between 1975 and 1982, is often credited with saving the city from bankruptcy in the 1970s. He also helped create Battery Park City, the Jacob K. Javits Center, and the South Street Seaport.

(photo by Johanna Mayer)

"Collaboration was his strength, and it's a lost art in Washington at this moment," lamented Cuomo. "They can't agree on anything. Carey--if we had Governor Carey now, he could've made a deal."

"I think he's an inspiration to all of us," said Paterson," because in this time of political expediency, he did what was right and did not worry about the consequences for himself."

Carey, a Brooklyn native, died last year at age 92.

Nearly 16.6 million vehicles used the 1.7 mile-long tunnel in 2011. It's the latest piece of the city's transportation infrastructure to be renamed for a former politician. In 2010, the Queensboro Bridge was renamed in honor of former mayor Ed Koch, and in 2008, the Triborough Bridge became the RFK Bridge.

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Transportation Nation

When 233 Isn't Enough: Disabled Riders Say NYC Needs More Accessible Cabs

Monday, October 22, 2012

There are only 233 taxis with ramps in NYC. (photo by Jim O'Grady)

(Alec Hamilton -- New York, NY, WNYC) One month after the city launched a program to let disabled passengers use cellphones to hail a taxi, some riders say there aren't enough available cabs.

The Accessible Dispatch program allows riders to use phone, text or app to summon one of the city's wheelchair-accessible taxis. There are over 13,000 yellow cabs in New York City, but only 233 of them have ramps.

Anne Davis is on the board of the Center for Independence of the Disabled. She said when demand is low the service is pretty good, but as the day progresses delays tend to grow. "Sometimes you can get a taxi within minutes," she said, "(but) one of my friends waited two and a half hours in the rain. The major problem with the system is that there aren't enough taxis."

According to the program's website, "if the closest available taxi does not accept the job within 120 seconds, the job request automatically jumps to the next closest available cab — and so on, until the job is accepted by a driver."

NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission chairman David Yassky said an effort to put another 2,000 accessible cabs on the streets is currently held up in court as part of the five-borough taxi plan. But he said service has improved.

"We're getting somebody a wheelchair accessible taxi in average of about 20-25 minutes," said Yassky. "We've never done that before. That's really good."

The system is operated by Connecticut-based Metro Taxi and uses GPS to locate and dispatch the nearest accessible cab. Rides must originate in Manhattan.


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Transportation Nation

For Barbra, I'll Take the Subway -- Brooklyn's Barclays Center Passes Second Traffic Test

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What do Jay-Z fans and Barbara Streisand fans have in common? They both take mass transit.

Long orderly lines of flamboyant ladies in finery stretched from subway steps to the flickering marquis of Brooklyn's new Barclays Center arena for Thursday night's Barbra Streisand concert.

"I am in Brooklyn which is where I was born.  I haven't been here since I was born. I'm about 120 years old," gushed Laura Slutzky of Manhattan, which she insisted on referring to only as New York City. "This is fabulous here. I took the subway, used my Metrocard for two-dollars and 25 cents. I was going to take a limo for $4,550 but this was much easier... I love Brooklyn, I love the whole thing."

The 18,000 seat arena with just 541 on-site parking spaces has raised hackles and hellfire predictions of clogged streets and desperate fans circling the nearby residential neighborhoods for parking, blocking traffic and usurping local car owners; curb space.

Twenty minutes before showtime the shuttle bus bringing concert-goers from remote lots was mostly empty. The attendant said people were using the lots, but they weren't full.

A small army of police and citizen "pedestrian traffic managers" played crossing guard to usher the throngs of walkers safely through the always busy intersection at Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues. Cars and limos that tried to stop to drop off fans, usually in groups, were forced to drive to pre-determined drop off locations that wouldn't block traffic. This operation was in force for the first set of concerts as well.

After the eight Jay-Z shows failed to cause vehicular mayhem, rendering all but irrelevant the "gridlock alert" that preceded opening night, many still feared the pedestrian calm was a fluke, that it was something about Jay-Z fans that predisposed them to use the 11 subway lines, 11 bus lines, the Long Island Rail Road or walk.

In fact it seems that at least 1/3 of fans on opening night got out at the subway station right below the arena, according to our analysis of turnstile data.

The data isn't in yet on the Streisand fans, but after chatting with a few of gaggles of giddy women of a certain age in front of the gates, it was clear, Barbra, as fans know her, draws a crowd from far beyond Brooklyn. And rather than drawing them by their usual mode of automobile, these groups behaved like the Brooklynites. When in Rome ...

Robin Schrieber and her friend took an hour-long train ride on Long Island Rail Road, which stops right next to the arena. "We had to change at Jamaica...We had to walk up and over at Jamaica which we didn't love, but it took us right here."

The LIRR arriving at 7:18 at Atlantic Terminal might as well have been called the Babs Express.

"Everybody was going to the Barbra concert," Schreiber said. "People we knew, people we didn't know, everybody was talking to each other. No one knew where they were going, it was like 'Are you going to Barbra?' 'Where do we get on?' 'Where do we get off?' We all just kind of went en masse together."


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Transportation Nation

PATH Train Connecting NY - NJ Gets Fare Hike Tonight

Sunday, September 30, 2012

(New York, NY -- Johanna Mayer, WNYC) The heavy rail transit system connecting New York City with Northern New Jersey is getting more expensive. The price of a ride on the PATH train will rise by quarter, making it the same as the NYC subway with which it connects. Soon though, the PATH system will cost more than it's big brother transit network as the agency that runs it, the Port Authority, seeks to stave off financial troubles brought on, in part, by the cost of rebuilding the World Trade Center.

The second in a series of fare hikes that were passed in 2011 comes into effect Monday morning. Fares will increase every year until 2015, when the price will reach $2.75 per ride.

“Income is already limited, and then they just dip into your pocket a little deeper,” said John Cooper, who is an every-day rider of the PATH.

Kyle Barry, who takes both the PATH and the NYC subway to work, was understanding about the fare hike. “I have no problem with the increase as long as it means, maybe, trains run more often,” he said.

Riders can use the same Metrocard to ride the PATH as the NYC subway. Last year, Port Authority Chairman David Samson justified the hikes by saying they were a result of the economy, rebuilding the World Trade Center, and investing in infrastructure for the future. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a multi-state agency that oversees bridges and tunnels in the NY metropolitan area, as well as sites like the World Trade Center

The Port Authority, facing fiscal troubles, also voted to raise tolls on several bridges and tunnels in 2011. Then, earlier this week, Moody's downgraded the Port Authority's credit rating citing the high cost of World Trade Center rebuilding. That could potentially increase borrowing costs for the agency, and make capital improvements, for properties like the PATH, more expensive.

For the riders who use the PATH to cross theHudson River from New Jersey, even a 50 cent increase still means the service is a steal compared to other alternatives like driving. Nicholas Stango, who rides the PATH every day said “I mean, it’s fine. The PATH, if they need more money and, like, they’re going to use it to make the PATH better, then I’m ok with it.”

For the history of the PATH train and a nice vintage pic, head over to this PA NY/NJ site.

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Transportation Nation

CHART: How Barclay's Center Opening Caused Subway Surge

Saturday, September 29, 2012

It turns out you can have a 19,000 seat NBA Arena, in a crowded residential neighborhood with almost no dedicated parking and still not snarl traffic during a sold out show ... at least for one opening night concert.

Friday night was the first of eight sold out concerts by Jay-Z. As Janet Babin and Stephen Nessen of WNYC report, "an epic exodus, it wasn't."

Transit use certainly played a role in keeping the roads clear. The Barclay's Center is the new home to the Nets basketball team -- in which Jay-Z owns a small but visible stake -- and is served by 11 transit lines and commuter rail. As the chart above shows, subway ridership spiked by more than 5,000 at the arena's station compared to previous days.

Babin and Nessen were on the scene:

Traffic thickened, but moved along with no major backups. Officers directed the flow of vehicles at all key intersections surrounding the arena, easing congestion and assisting pedestrians. Horns blared as a street sweeping vehicle crawled down Flatbush Avenue, cleaning the street despite the late hour.

Officials from the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council surveyed the area throughout the concert, looking for problems spots. The group said it will continue to look for trouble areas related to the Barclays Center.

Read the full report on opening night at our partner WNYC.

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Transportation Nation

Neighbors of Brooklyn's Brand New Barclay's Center Want Their Benefits

Friday, September 28, 2012

Groundbreaking of the Barclay's Center, Brooklyn, NY. (Photo by Spencer T Tucker)

As the NBA's newest arena opens in Brooklyn, neighbors still haven't warmed to the arena nor it's rusty swirls of metal sheets that dominate the nearby brownstone-lined streets.

Our partner WNYC has a detailed look at the promised concessions to the communities around the Atlantic Yards Complex of which the Barclay's Center is the first phase and anchor element.

The 675,000 square foot Barclays Center is part of the first phase of the project, which also includes five other buildings, most of which will be residential buildings in the Brooklyn neighborhood.  The second phase of the project includes 11 other buildings.


But the hoopla surrounding the opening still can’t quell the controversy that has surrounded the project. The construction has been the subject of dozens of challenges from community groups.

In 2005, Forest City Ratner signed a deal that was supposed to ease neighborhood concerns, called a Community Benefits Agreement. It laid out in detail all sorts of concessions Forest City Ratner would make to neighborhood groups in exchange for support of the Atlantic Yards project. The document was signed by eight community groups, including Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development (BUILD), the Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance (DBNA) and the now defunct Association for Community Organizations for Reform (ACORN).

But some neighbors and groups opposed to Atlantic Yards alleged that the CBA failed to include all of the people who would be affected by the 22-acre Atlantic Yards development.

See photos, and hear the rich history in audio at WNYC.

There's also this time lapse of the construction of the Barclay's Center so you can geek out to construction.

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Transportation Nation

Dangerous Intersections Get Local Revamp -- but Albany Needs to Step Up, Says City DOT Chief

Thursday, September 27, 2012

(New York, NY -- WNYC) Eight months after a 12-year-old girl was killed crossing a street, safety upgrades have been completed at 14 locations along a notoriously dangerous street on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan unveiled the revamped street on Thursday. The pedestrian crossings have been overhauled and car travel lanes have been re-engineered. Although the impetus for the redesign was the January 2012 death of Dashane Santana, over 700 people have been injured near that stretch of Delancey Street between 2006 and 2009.

Teresa Pedroza, Santana’s grandmother, said that while she's glad the street work has been completed, more could be done. “There are at least a good five or six schools in the immediate area,” Pedroza said. “You have at least eight lanes of traffic and there should be a crossing guard for these kids, especially when it’s time to come out of school.”

Sadik-Khan agreed that the redesign isn't enough -- but she wants more than a crossing guard. "We’re working hard to get speed camera legislation passed in Albany which will go a long way to help us address the problem of speeding and fatalities," she said, "which are a quarter of the traffic fatalities on New York City streets."

A recent city report revealed traffic fatalities are up 23 percent in New York City over a recent twelve-month period, although overall total traffic fatalities are down about 20 percent since 2003. The recent tick upward in New York mirrors a national trend. The federal government projects that traffic fatalities were up 9 percent in the first six months of this year.

Although no immediate reason was given for the increase, Sadik-Khan reiterated drivers need to obey the law. “The problem that we have on New York City streets is that people are speeding, they are running red lights, they are drinking while driving," she said. "These are all significant problems that we need to address.”

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Transportation Nation

Should We Trade Infrastructure for Debt?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Four Self-Propelled Mobile Transporters (SPMTs) relocated the fully assembled 4.3 million pound, 394-foot-long, 67- foot-high truss bridge from its assembly site to its final position on the new bridge piers a few hundred feet away. (CDOT)

(image courtesy of Chicago DOT)

On Thursday's 30 Issues in 30 Days, the WNYC election series took a look at infrastructure.

Host Brian Lehrer notes that word did not come up in the convention speeches of either President Obama or Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Neither, for that matter, did transportation.

How times have changed. President Obama once talked so often about building roads and bridges we turned those mentions into an interactive chart.

Meanwhile, said one of the Brian Lehrer Show guests, it's not just that we have an infrastructure problem. "It's that we can't even deal with it how bad the problem is. "We are beyond denial of the crisis," said Infrastructure USA's Steven Anderson.

Listen to the conversation below.

Want to learn more about how infrastructure became a partisan issue? Go here.


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