MTA fix for antiquated NY subway: add cars, ditch seats

Discuss whatever you want here ... movies, books, recipes, politics, beer, wine, TV ... everything except classical music.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
jserraglio
Posts: 3404
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

MTA fix for antiquated NY subway: add cars, ditch seats

Post by jserraglio » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:32 am

NY Times

800 Million Subway Rescue Plan Adds Cars and Subtracts Seats

C train cars, once the pride of the subway, are now, according to New York subway officials, the oldest in continuous daily operation in the world.
Seat-free subway cars on crowded routes. Extra cars added to trains on the C line. Medical workers deployed at stations to quickly remove sick passengers. More countdown clocks. These were some of the pieces of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s long-anticipated, roughly $800 million emergency rescue plan for New York City’s troubled subway system, which was announced on Tuesday.

The authority’s chairman, Joseph J. Lhota, outlined a sweeping set of fixes that he vowed would turn around steadily deteriorating service. The plan included at least 30 separate measures to address the major problems plaguing the system, including antiquated signals and subway fires, and called for hiring 2,700 new workers.

“We’re here because the New York City subway system no doubt is in distress, and we’re here looking for solutions,” Mr. Lhota said during a news conference at the authority’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan.

Asked when subway riders might start to see an improvement, Mr. Lhota said, “relatively quickly.” And he said he wanted to be held accountable as officials enacted his plan.
Among Mr. Lhota’s more interesting ideas: Subway officials will remove the seats from a couple of train cars on certain lines to fit more people on board. He said that Boston had tried the approach, and that in New York it could add 25 more riders on each car.

The authority will start with a pilot program on the shuttle train between Times Square and Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan and the L train between Brooklyn and Manhattan, Mr. Lhota said. Subway officials said they hoped to start the program as soon as possible, perhaps later this year.

The plan includes adding extra cars to trains on the C line, accelerating repairs to 1,300 signals that cause the most problems, installing countdown clocks more quickly and overhauling more train cars — 1,100 per year — to improve reliability. The authority will also create a public dashboard to more clearly show riders how the system is performing.

The improvements come with a steep bill — about $450 million in operating costs and $380 million in capital investment — and Mr. Lhota called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to help fund the plan. He suggested the state and the city split the costs evenly, noting that he had “tremendous respect” for the mayor and wanted to work with him.

“I will do everything I can to convince him that this is the right thing to do for the people of the City of New York,” Mr. Lhota said, adopting a softer tone than he showed last week, when he attacked Mr. de Blasio for not showing empathy for subway riders.

The subway rescue plan came amid a bitter feud that has broken into the public arena between Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who controls the authority and urged the city to help him fix the subway, and Mr. de Blasio. The mayor has resisted pouring more money into the subway, since the state runs the system.

At a hastily called news conference at a City Hall subway station on Tuesday evening, Mr. de Blasio called Mr. Lhota’s plan an “important first step,” but refused to commit new city money to support it.

Mr. de Blasio, who at times could barely be heard over the din of trains and the shouts of heckling straphangers, said that it was “up to the M.T.A. to right the ship.” He called it “quite an amazing coincidence” that the operating money called for by Mr. Lhota was the same amount that City Hall has accused the state of having taken from authority.

“I’m trying to be straightforward with the people of the city and the taxpayers of the city, that we cannot put our resources in when we know the state still owes the M.T.A. money,” he added. “It’s as simple as that.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Cuomo called Mr. Lhota’s plan “substantive and realistic,” and he agreed to split the cost of the rescue plan with the city.

“Now is not the time for pointing fingers, but for moving forward — together as New Yorkers,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement.

New York’s subway has long been the lifeblood of the city, but delays have increased and a series of accidents have raised concerns over safety. As the century-old system grapples with aging infrastructure and a booming ridership of nearly six million people each day, New Yorkers have grown increasingly frustrated that they cannot rely on the subway to get them where they need to be in a timely manner.

It was not the first time the authority has tried to take on the problem of subway delays — officials released a six-point plan in May focused on the Eighth Avenue line in Manhattan. But the combination of Mr. Lhota’s credibility and the growing urgency over the near-constant problems has raised the stakes.

Mr. Lhota, who ran against Mr. de Blasio for mayor in 2013, returned to lead the authority in June to help turn around the subway after an earlier stint as chairman. Asked on Tuesday whether the agency might raise fares if the city did not provide funding for the rescue plan, Mr. Lhota dismissed the idea.

The authority would continue to stick to its schedule of modest fare increases every two years, Mr. Lhota told reporters. “Raising fares is not an option,” he said.

Last month, Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat who might be considering a presidential run in 2020, declared a state of emergency for the subway and tasked Mr. Lhota with submitting a rescue plan within 30 days. But after Mr. Cuomo appeared to take responsibility for the crisis, the governor argued last week that the city owned the subway system and should take a primary role in fixing it.

On Tuesday, the authority assembled an advisory board to assist with the rescue plan, including former Mayor David N. Dinkins, a mentor and ally of Mr. de Blasio who sat in the front row at the news conference. In a statement, Mr. Dinkins said he saw how critical the subway was to the city during his time as mayor and urged elected leaders to work together.

Throughout the day, aides to the mayor and the governor had spent time calling interest groups and potential allies to argue their case in the dispute between Mr. de Blasio and Mr. Cuomo, according to three people with direct knowledge of the calls who were not authorized to discuss them publicly. The lobbying effort provided another example of how City Hall and Albany are jockeying for political advantage, both in front of the cameras and behind the scenes, on an issue that could be potentially damaging to both leaders.

At least one member of the advisory board, Gene Russianoff, the longtime leader of the Straphangers Campaign, was skeptical of the proposal to remove seats from subway cars.

“My standard is my mom,” Mr. Russianoff said. “Would she like to stand all the way from Midtown, where she used to work, to Sheepshead Bay? The answer is a resounding no.”
The idea for subway cars without seats may have come from Boston, but they are hardly widespread there. Joe Pesaturo, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which runs Boston’s subway, said only two cars on the Red Line had most of their seats removed back in 2008.

Eventually, about half of the seats were added back. .
Last edited by jserraglio on Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

lennygoran
Posts: 12874
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: MTA fix for antiquated NY subways: add cars, ditch seats

Post by lennygoran » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:56 am

jserraglio wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:32 am
“Would she like to stand all the way from Midtown, where she used to work, to Sheepshead Bay? The answer is a resounding no.” The idea for subway cars without seats may have come from Boston
Ouch! Just our luck that we've reached that stage in life where young ones offer up their seats to us on crowded trains and now they're getting rid of the seats. Regards, Len :lol:

jserraglio
Posts: 3404
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: MTA fix for antiquated NY subway: add cars, ditch seats

Post by jserraglio » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:13 am

1930s, ride in comfort . . .

Image
Last edited by jserraglio on Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

lennygoran
Posts: 12874
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: MTA fix for antiquated NY subway: add cars, ditch seats

Post by lennygoran » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:16 am

jserraglio wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:13 am
Times were better when . . .
That photo brings back memories! Regards, Len :D

jserraglio
Posts: 3404
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: MTA fix for antiquated NY subway: add cars, ditch seats

Post by jserraglio » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:29 am

Done right. Tokyo Metro handles 8 million passengers/day.

Image

lennygoran
Posts: 12874
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: MTA fix for antiquated NY subway: add cars, ditch seats

Post by lennygoran » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:57 am

jserraglio wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:29 am
Done right. Tokyo Metro handles 8 million passengers/day.
NYC's subway cars can look like that too-aren't there times they have to push the passengers into the cars? Regards, Len

Image

jserraglio
Posts: 3404
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: MTA fix for antiquated NY subway: add cars, ditch seats

Post by jserraglio » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:14 pm

Yeah, subway conductors in Tokyo do that (I don't recall any conductors on NYC's subways). Only with permission, though, and after deep bowing. It's a guy thing there, catching on over here too:

Image
President Obama bows to Gov. Christie before attempting shoulder carry

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26092
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: MTA fix for antiquated NY subway: add cars, ditch seats

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:21 pm

jserraglio wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:13 am
1930s, ride in comfort . . .

Image
Nonsense. Have you ever been in a NYC subway station during the summer? Sweltering is not the word for it, and in the 1930s the cars must have been at least as bad, not to mention that people could smoke in both the stations and on the trains. At least now most of the cars are air conditioned, though still not the stations. Everyone knows that the immense underground transport network in New York needs fixing, but there is no glorious past to turn to as an example.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
Posts: 3404
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: MTA fix for antiquated NY subway: add cars, ditch seats

Post by jserraglio » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:26 pm

Nonsense. Have you ever been in a NYC subway station during the summer?
Oh yeah, took NYC subways to work from lower Manhattan to South Bronx and back, every day in the heat of summer days. No air conditioned cars back then either, as I recall. Not fun but at least I didn't have to worry about losing my job because of stalled subway cars, as folks do now (see article printed below). Would anybody believe some of those same cars are still in service today?

But how is one not peddling his own brand of pseudo-historical nonsense by touting pristine, smoke free, refrigerated air, while somehow neglecting to mention that summers in 2017 may be just a tad hotter than they were back in the 30's?

Image
Nick Paumgarten in the July 24, 2017 New Yorker wrote:Summer of Hell
I live in absolute fear of what happens in those tunnels,” Joseph Lhota said last week, at a press conference at Penn Station. Lhota is the new chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the beleaguered state agency that runs the New York City subway system. The occasion for the remark was the beginning of the “summer of hell,” an appellation coined by Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, to prepare commuters for rough times ahead. (Gone, evidently, are the halcyon days of empty assurances.) With three derailings since March, Amtrak has been forced to undertake repairs to the tunnels into and out of Penn Station, which will severely cut capacity at a time when the system is already bursting at the seams.

Image

So what does happen in those tunnels? Hard to tell—it’s dark in there, and this car’s windows are scratched and smudged. One imagines torrents of storm water and sewage, rats the size of pedicabs, and roving pods of zombies and chuds. If you squint, you might just make out Snake Plissken.

Mainly what happens in there these days is trains get stuck. The thing to fear, it seems, is ancient equipment and misallocated funds. An important distinction: subway trains use different tunnels from the ones Lhota was talking about. The summer of hell, strictly speaking, applies to Penn Station and all who must pass through it—patrons of Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, and the Long Island Rail Road. But it’s hard not to extend the Governor’s felicitous phrase to the whole regional transportation mess, not least the crumbling, overcrowded subway system in the five boroughs and the political game of hot potato that has doomed it to accelerating decay. Getting into and out of Manhattan has never seemed more fraught.

Last Wednesday morning, a woman named Jessica Ramos began tweeting from the 7 train, inbound from Queens. It had been stalled under the East River for more than thirty minutes, before returning to Queens and stranding the passengers there for almost an hour. “Summer of hell for outer boros!” she wrote. “There are people sobbing because they think they are going to lose their job.” Between each word and the next was a hands-clapping emoji. As it happens, Ramos is a spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio, and the claps seemed to be a sarcastic dig at the Mayor’s regular hot-potato opponent, Governor Cuomo, who, as the state’s chief executive, is notionally the overlord of the M.T.A.

Nonetheless, citizens, among them the transit blogger Benjamin Kabak, quickly took Ramos to task for de Blasio’s reticence on transportation matters and his indifference to the concerned public’s favored mitigations, such as bus lanes, bike lanes, and congestion pricing. Kabak: “Her boss has abandoned his responsibility to help.” (He was more civil than the Post, which, after de Blasio flew to Germany to address the G-20 protesters, featured him on its front page with the headline “deutsch bag.”)

The inattention crosses state lines. New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie—who killed an earlier iteration of a much needed rail tunnel between New Jersey and New York (a different version is now expected in 2026, at a cost of $11.1 billion, according to what Kabak calls the “random number generator”)—has appeared to be taking the summer off. After getting caught lounging on a public beach that had been closed to his constituents because of a government shutdown he’d ordered, he went on the sports-talk station WFAN, wearing a Dallas Cowboys cap, as a guest host. A caller, Mike from Montclair, referred to the Governor’s “fat ass”; Mike, Christie retorted, was a Communist and a bum.

“You have bad optics, and you’re a bully,” Mike said.

“Oh, bad optics,” Christie replied. “I’d like to come and look at your optics every day, buddy.”

More optics: the Times revealed that money from the Port Authority, which is chaired by a Christie appointee, had been earmarked for that vetoed tunnel, but instead was used to subsidize ferry trips for commuters to New York from the Jersey shore, to the tune of more than forty-six dollars per passenger per ride. (The fare was just twelve bucks.) Good money overboard.

Cuomo, at least, had recently declared a state of emergency and pledged a billion dollars for subway repairs. But optics soon caught him up, too, when the public learned that the M.T.A. had funnelled almost five million dollars to three upstate ski areas to offset losses incurred during a recent warm winter. “They’re stealing from one bankrupt place to prop up another bankrupt place,” a former gubernatorial aide told the News. (A reader tweeted, “They needed money bc no one was skiing bc warm weather bc climate change bc driving bc poorly funded mass transit.”)

On the horizon, fresh circles of hell: next spring, the L train, that essential link between Brooklyn and Manhattan, will shut down for fifteen months while repairs are carried out on the Canarsie tunnel, which, during Hurricane Sandy, in 2012, was inundated with millions of gallons of salt water. As Christie was bickering with Mike from Montclair, an iceberg seven times the size of New York City was calving from Antarctica into the sea. Absolute fear.

Image
Last edited by jserraglio on Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:49 pm, edited 8 times in total.

lennygoran
Posts: 12874
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: MTA fix for antiquated NY subway: add cars, ditch seats

Post by lennygoran » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:17 pm

We use the subways quite a bit-most trains seem to have a/c now-still the station platforms and everything other than the trains can really make you want to collapse. Len

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 11 guests