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  #121  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2008, 12:28 AM
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Updated 12/01/2008 02:25 PM

Nostalgia Subway Cars, Buses Return



Nostalgia subway cars have hit the tracks for the holidays.

V-line trains are now being swapped out on Sundays through the end of the year. In their place, there are cars that date back as far as the 1930s.

Many of the trains feature ceiling fans, padded seats, and incandescent light bulbs.

The V line runs between Queens and Lower Manhattan.

New York City Transit has also brought some vintage buses out of storage for use during the holiday season.

They will be used during rush hour on several routes in Manhattan and Queens.

The fleet consists of 19 buses that go back as far as 1917. However, riders will still have to pay the modern-day fare.


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  #122  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2008, 12:28 AM
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12/02/2008 09:44 AM

MTA To Roll Out More High-Tech Trains



Despite repeated warnings of financial doom, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority says it is going ahead with a billion-dollar plan to add hundreds of new subway cars to the system.

The New York Post says the agency is promising to keep rolling out new high-tech trains like the ones seen on the L, N and Q lines.

MTA officials said yesterday they are still planning on spending nearly a billion dollars on 382 new cars. This is part of an overall $3.2 billion contract for more than 1,600 cars.

Eighty percent of the money is coming from the federal government.

The MTA has forecasted a $1.2 billion budget deficit for next year.



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  #123  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2008, 12:30 AM
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Updated 3:14 PM

Police Question "Person Of Interest" In Bus Driver Stabbing



Police this afternoon continue to question a "person of interest" in the stabbing death of a city bus driver.

The incident happened around noon yesterday on the B46 bus on Gates Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Investigators say a man boarded the bus and tried to swipe an invalid MetroCard. The driver, Edwin Thomas, allowed the man to board, but the two soon began arguing when the passenger asked for a free transfer.

Thomas, 46, refused to give him one, since the man had not paid. The man then punched and stabbed Thomas in the head and stomach before running off.

Thomas was taken to Woodhull Medical Center where he died. He had worked as a bus driver for seven years.



"Mr. Thomas was a faithful employee," said fellow Metropolitan Transportation Authority worker Louretha Carter. "He was never out sick.

He was quiet. He came to work. He picked up his work. You didn't hear anything out of him."

"Bus operator Thomas was killed in the line of duty serving the people of New York City," said MTA Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Elliot "Lee" Sander. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Thomas family and this is an extraordinary tragedy for the city and for the MTA."

Thomas is the first bus driver to be killed on the job since 1981.

In September, the MTA revealed the B46 route had the most fare evaders of any route in the city – with an average of 4,000 people a week boarding without paying.

His death is leading for calls for more protections for drivers – including more surveillance cameras and an increased police presence on city buses.

"We're calling on the New York City Transit Authority, we're calling on the mayor of New York City, and we're calling on the governor to institute policies that will offer up opportunities for our bus drivers and conductors on trains to be safe," said Anthony Herbert of the Urban Community Council at a news conference today. "We're asking for you to activate initiatives that will allow police officers to ride the bus a couple of stops so there is a presence given."

The NYPD, the MTA, and the Transport Workers Union are offering rewards totaling $36,000 for any information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-577-TIPS, by texting TIP577 to CRIMES, or by going to NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.



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  #124  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2008, 4:26 AM
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I had no idea the 7 train extension was so far along until I found some construction photos on the MTA's website. http://www.mta.info/capconstr/7ext/construction.htm

Maybe this thing will get built after all.

This is the cavern for the 34th Street Station:
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  #125  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2008, 6:29 AM
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Yep, they really jumped on this thing... I'm sure it helps that there are no NIMBYs in the immediate area to slow the project down to a crawl, like what's happening over on the East Side....

Also, these tunnel machines and things are being launched from a pit dug in a parking lot to the side of 11th Avenue, so traffic impacts are minimal and the streets don't need to be shut down.
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  #126  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 8:43 PM
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Yep, they really jumped on this thing... I'm sure it helps that there are no NIMBYs in the immediate area to slow the project down to a crawl, like what's happening over on the East Side....

Also, these tunnel machines and things are being launched from a pit dug in a parking lot to the side of 11th Avenue, so traffic impacts are minimal and the streets don't need to be shut down.
It wasn't obvious from the sites I checked - is there a completion date schedules for this yet?
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  #127  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 9:43 PM
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The plans still don't include the new station at 10th Ave and 42nd St do they? What a missed opportunity.
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  #128  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 10:09 PM
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It wasn't obvious from the sites I checked - is there a completion date schedules for this yet?
I have no idea. I do know, however, that the Second Ave Subway started about 2 years ago and they're still building the walls for the TBM's launch box, while the 7 Extension started 1 year ago and they're already fairly well-along in excavating the tunnels.
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  #129  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2008, 4:03 PM
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Updated 12/15/2008 04:11 PM

Mayor, DOT Secretary Announce Expanding Rail Service



The Bush administration announced a new effort to develop new rail service along the Northeast Corridor and in other parts of the country.

Department of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters made the announcement today at Penn Station, along with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and representatives from Florida and Delaware.

Peters and Bloomberg asked for proposals from the private sector about developing rail service on the Northeast Corridor and 10 other areas around the nation.

Peters recently announced the federal government will provide $30 million for 15 passenger rail projects aimed at boosting capacity and on-time performance.

Peters says the proposal for new rail service comes as Americans are making a fundamental change in their travel habits by driving less and using mass transit and rail systems more.


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  #130  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2008, 4:04 PM
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M.T.A. Approves Austerity Budget

By WILLIAM NEUMAN
Published: December 17, 2008

The board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Wednesday approved an austerity budget for 2009 that calls for painful cuts in bus, subway and commuter rail service and a steep increase in fares and tolls, all aimed at plugging a $1.2 billion deficit.

In virtually the same breath, officials at the authority appealed to lawmakers in Albany to pass a financial rescue plan that would soften the fare and toll increase and avoid most of the service cuts by creating a dedicated payroll tax and charging tolls on bridges over the East and Harlem Rivers.

If the authority does not receive new sources of revenue, it seems likely that the base subway fare could rise to at least $2.50, from $2, starting in June. A monthly unlimited-ride MetroCard could rise to more than $100, from $81.

The success of efforts to help the authority are far from assured, as the state grapples with its own budget crisis. On Tuesday, Gov. David A. Paterson unveiled a budget proposal for the state that included dozens of increased taxes and fees. That means a bailout of the authority would compete with other powerful interests, including advocates for schools and hospitals, for scarce government dollars.

The authority’s $11 billion budget calls for a 23 percent increase in revenues from fares and tolls.

Next week, the authority will issue a public notice for hearings on the fare and toll plan that will set the maximum possible increases. About a week or so after that, the authority will detail the expected increases to the base subway and bus fare, unlimited-ride MetroCards, commuter rail fares and bridge and tunnel tolls.

The authority and its supporters must now focus their efforts on building support among elected officials in the state and city.

That effort will be spearheaded by Richard Ravitch, a former authority chairman who led a state commission, appointed by Governor Paterson, that proposed the rescue package for the authority. That package calls for a payroll tax of a third of a percent, to be paid by businesses in the region served by the authority.

The tax would generate an estimated $1.5 billion a year to plug the immediate budget gap and, in the long term, help pay for capital expenses to modernize and maintain the transportation system.

The package also calls for tolls on the bridges over the East and Harlem Rivers, with the money, about $600 million a year, going to expand bus service in the region. It would raise revenues from fares and existing tolls by 8 percent and eliminate the need for most service cuts.

The authority’s executive director, Elliot G. Sander; its chairman, H. Dale Hemmerdinger; and several board members said they would work to persuade lawmakers to pass Mr. Ravitch’s plan.

Officials at the authority have said privately for months that they hoped that the State Legislature would pass a rescue plan before it became bogged down in broader budget issues. And they feared that if that did not happen, they would wind up in a bruising brawl with other interests over state support.

“The Legislature has understood for some time that the M.T.A.’s situation would be resolved in the context of a very difficult budget,” Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, a Democrat from Westchester, said on Tuesday, after the governor released his budget proposal. “This is not going to be easy.”

Meanwhile, there were indications that the doom and gloom may not end with the passage of the budget, and that the authority’s finances could become much worse quickly.

The authority said that an important source of revenue — taxes on real estate transactions — was running well below the latest forecast for the month, a figure that had already been revised downward several times.
Those real estate and mortgage taxes brought in $37 million this month, compared with $103 million in the same period last year, Gary J. Dellaverson, the authority’s chief financial officer, told at a meeting of the board’s finance committee on Monday.

“This is a really sobering number,” Mr. Dellaverson said. “This does show how frightening this economy can be in terms of our sensitive taxes.”
He said the authority had tried to be very conservative in predicting real estate transaction tax receipts as the economy worsened, basing its forecasts on projections made by the city.

He said that projections of December’s tax receipts had repeatedly been reduced as the year progressed, falling to $88 million from $99 million before finally being revised down again only a month ago, to $64 million. The authority receives those revenues in a lump sum in the middle of each month.

But the reality turned out to be even worse, missing the mark by $27 million. Mr. Dellaverson also warned that the authority’s budget relied on similar forecasts for other taxes, like a portion of the sales tax and a surcharge on corporate income taxes, that could decline sharply along with the economy.



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  #131  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2008, 4:05 PM
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12/20/2008 11:05 AM

2008 In Review: Financial Problems Cause MTA To Hike Fares, Reduce Service



By: Bobby Cuza

With the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in financial meltdown, the agency was forced this year to scale back projects and raise fares. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report on the year in transit.

The year in transit got off to a bad start in January, when the MTA says it can no longer afford to build the Fulton Street Transit Center as designed.

"I am sad to say that we cannot build the transit center, as currently envisioned, in this market, with the budget that we have," said MTA Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Elliot "Lee" Sander.

In March, the MTA raised the price of unlimited MetroCards and reduced the pay-per-ride discount. To soften the blow, Sander promised a number of service improvements, only to cancel them later, due to the MTA's growing financial crisis.

In another plan gone awry, the MTA selects Tishman Speyer to develop its West Side Rail Yards, only to see the billion-dollar deal fall apart, though developer Stephen Ross later agrees to the same plan.

In April, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's congestion pricing plan failed, as the state Legislature refused to put it to a vote. In response, the governor formed a commission headed by former MTA Chairman Richard Ravitch to come up with alternative funding ideas.

A month later, MTA board members came under fire for their free use of the system, including free E-ZPass tags. The perk was discontinued after the state attorney general called the practice illegal.

"If the board votes to continue the usage, my position is, they'll leave me no recourse but to commence litigation," said State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

The summer kicked off with the agency saying it would have to raise fares again in 2009. The MTA asked the city for more funding -- to no avail.

"There certainly is not going to be more money coming from the city," said the mayor. "We don't have it."

As a result, in November the MTA proposed an even bigger hike of 23 percent plus massive service cuts, including eliminating the W and Z subway lines. The board approved the plan, but said it can be averted, if Albany acts on the recommendations of the Ravitch Commission, like East River tolls and a new payroll tax.

"Please, Albany, Washington, come to our help," said MTA Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger.

Meanwhile, 2008 was also the year the Port Authority scaled back the planned World Trade Center transit hub.

On the buses, transit officials said they will try installing driver partitions following the stabbing death of Edwin Thomas.

Transit also brought back an old concept: the double-decker bus -- and tried out a new experimental service on the BX12 that requires riders to pay at the curb, speeding up the boarding process.

Other transit innovations in 2008 include: elevated sidewalk grates to prevent subway flooding; a partnership with Google Transit to provide door-to-door subway directions; screens that show riders the location of every train on their line; new advertising concepts, including fully-wrapped subway cars and turnstile ads; a new email and text message alert system; and a plan to try seatless subway cars in 2009 to increase capacity.

If that's not something to look forward to in the New Year, how about this: the new South Ferry station is set to open in a few weeks.


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  #132  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2008, 8:53 AM
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December 23, 2008
M.T.A. Details Proposed Increases, and Invites Public Comment
By WILLIAM NEUMAN

Proposals being considered by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority could raise the base subway and bus fare as high as $3, the 30-day MetroCard to $105 and bridge and tunnel tolls to $7 next year.

The authority is thinking of charging the new top fare of up to $3 only to people who buy one ride at a time on subways or buses; those who put multiple rides on their MetroCards would pay up to $2.50.

The proposed maximum fares and tolls were released on Monday in a notice providing the schedule for eight public hearings, beginning Jan. 14 in Manhattan, for discussion on the authority’s planned increases as well as an array of service cuts intended to close a projected $1.2 billion shortfall next year.

The plan calls for increasing overall fare and toll revenues by 23 percent. The notice gave the maximum level to which different fares and tolls could rise to reach that goal, including $105 for a 30-day unlimited ride MetroCard, up from $81. A weekly MetroCard could rise to as much as $32, up from $25.

The hearing notice said the base subway and bus fare could rise as high as $3, from $2. It also said the authority might set a separate fare of up to $2.50 for pay-per-ride MetroCards.

Some fares on Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road could rise by as much as a third, the notice said.

One-way tolls on major bridges and tunnels — including the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (formerly the Triborough Bridge) — could rise as high as $7, although the notice did not explain how rates would differ for drivers using E-ZPass. Drivers who use cash currently pay $5, and those with E-ZPass pay $4.15.

In the coming days, when the authority gets around to making a more detailed proposal public, in at least some cases the increases are likely to be smaller than those in the notice. The authority expects to make the detailed proposal public next week.

Jeremy Soffin, an authority spokesman, said the authority released the hearing notice now to give the public time to prepare.

Gene Russianoff, the staff lawyer for the Straphangers Campaign, a transit rider advocacy group, said the maximum changes could result in uneven increases for different kinds of fares or services.

Charging $105 for a 30-day MetroCard would be an increase of 30 percent. In contrast, New York City Transit express bus fares would rise to a maximum of $6.25, from $5, a 25 percent increase. The authority had previously contemplated a larger express bus increase but kept it lower at the request of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Mr. Russianoff also criticized a provision that would allow the minimum purchase needed to receive a bonus on the pay-per-ride MetroCard to rise as high as $12.50, which he said could put it out of reach of many riders.

The notice said that the pay-per-ride bonus could be set as high as 35 percent or could be eliminated altogether. Currently, riders who put at least $7 on a pay per ride MetroCard receive a 15 percent bonus.


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  #133  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2008, 11:23 PM
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it's crazy that they are proposing these fare hikes. It feels like yesterday that they raised the price on 7-day and monthlies.

I think MTA board members should work for much less, get less perks and there should be a real tightening on expenses and benefits.

Not only that, but would congestion pricing and Hikes to Bridge and Tunnel tolls help out?
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  #134  
Old Posted Dec 31, 2008, 3:53 AM
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I think MTA board members should work for much less, get less perks and there should be a real tightening on expenses and benefits.
The MTA board members are unpaid. The recent scandal where it was "revealed" by Cuomo that they were getting free metrocards and EZ-Passes was a scandal because it was compensation, which isn't allowed.

But yeah, MTA management could take a paycut... union workers won't though. It'd be politically impossible.
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  #135  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2009, 6:08 PM
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I just thought I'd post here how amazingly easy the subway system was to use for visitors. We just got back from a week in NYC, staying with friends in Bed-Stuy. The Myrtle-Willoughby station on the G was our home base. Sure G trains could run a little more often, but we were never late getting anywhere.
As we were mostly seeing Broadway shows, we started off taking the G - L - (N,Q,R,W) to Times Sq. But then they started doing work on the L train so we took the G - E to 50th and 8th, and that was actually a faster ride with less transfers.

The subway system is amazing. I made up a map of all the stations I used in one week. It's incredible how from one station in Brooklyn I could get anywhere in the city I wanted with at most 2 transfers. Or how we went to Chinatown by the G-F, and came home by the 6-L-G so we didn't have to walk all the way back the way we'd came.

I bought 1 week passes on Monday and after that we were using the subway 4-6 times a day to go to Times Sq., Herald Sq. visit friends on 159th, go to Battery Park, Chinatown, The Village, Park Slope, Williamsburg. Super easy, I loved it.

My one nitpick complaint (other than the L being worked on on New Year's Eve) was that I planned ahead and had a $50 to buy two $25 one week passes. The machine wouldn't let me buy 2 passes at once and couldn't make change, so I had to buy the passes from the ticket agent who was on the other side of the street. Other than that, no problems.

Last edited by aaron38; Jan 5, 2009 at 6:23 PM.
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  #136  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2009, 6:24 PM
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Good news about Penn/Moynihan/Farley station.

From the NY Times:

Schumer Seeks Federal Stimulus Funds to Jump-Start Moynihan Transit Project
By CHARLES V. BAGLI
Published: March 1, 2009
State officials selected two developers nearly four years ago for a grand project to transform the James A. Farley Post Office into a transit hub that would serve as an annex to Pennsylvania Station, the country’s busiest train station. Despite widespread support, the project has languished because of a lack of financing, political inertia, squabbles with transportation agencies and the developers’ ambitions.

Now, Senator Charles E. Schumer is calling for the injection of $100 million in federal stimulus funds to convert the post office building, expand the city’s transportation infrastructure and employ thousands of workers. Mr. Schumer also renewed his call for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to take charge of the project and asked them to invest $1 billion.

Mr. Schumer said Amtrak should move to the Farley building from Penn Station; the latest proposal had called for relocating New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Rail Road there.

Either move would help relieve congestion at Penn Station, where 550,000 passengers a day make their way through cramped and confusing corridors. Amtrak, which operates the high-speed Acela trains in the Northeast, accounts for 62 percent of the combined air and rail market between New York and Washington.

“This is just what was envisioned by the stimulus: shovel-ready projects that generate a lot of jobs,” Mr. Schumer said in an interview on Sunday. “We want Amtrak to play the major role in the station. There is new funding that could help them do that. The focus is now on the station, letting private development follow rather than the other way around.”

Mr. Schumer’s proposal recognizes the inability of private developers in the current economic environment to advance the six office towers they had wanted to build as part of the train station project. At the same time, Mr. Schumer is trying to navigate roiling fiscal waters in which city, state and Port Authority officials are facing declining revenues and widening budget gaps.

“I think it’s a terrific idea,” said Robert Yaro, president of the Regional Plan Association, a nonprofit planning group. “There are a whole set of transportation investments that need to be made at the station. Obviously the real estate market will be flat for a while. But is $100 million enough to get the ball rolling? I don’t know.”

The project is named after Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who first suggested in the 1990s using the Farley building to create a grand transit entrance to New York, something he said had been missing since the demolition of the above-ground Penn Station in 1968.

The Bloomberg administration and Gov. David A. Paterson seemed to endorse Mr. Schumer’s proposal.

“A redeveloped Penn Station would have enormous benefits for the entire region and would absolutely be a terrific use of federal transportation funds,” said Andrew Brent, a spokesman for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

To avoid conflicts with the state and the city, Mr. Schumer did not call for the $100 million to come out of New York’s $21 billion portion of the federal stimulus package. Instead, he took aim at the $8 billion set aside for high-speed rail service and $1.3 billion set aside for Amtrak.

Mr. Schumer said that the state’s Congressional delegation, as well as Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Paterson, should pursue that money.

But he also called on the Port Authority to contribute at least $1 billion. The authority, which had been eager to gain control of the Moynihan project, has seen a sharp drop in revenues from tolls on its bridge and tunnel crossings and a rise in the cost of rebuilding the World Trade Center.

“The senator’s effort to get Moynihan started is consistent with the port’s goal of developing a financially viable project,” said Christopher O. Ward, executive director of the authority. “The key is to work with Amtrak on an important transportation project for the entire region. Finding the necessary funding is our No. 1 priority.”

The state has spent $230 million buying the blocklong Farley building, which sits across Eighth Avenue from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden.

Amtrak, which has endured budget cuts for years, is also eager to shore up its network, but it has been concerned about absorbing the estimated $15 million annual cost to operate at the Farley building. To offset those concerns, Mr. Schumer suggested that rent from new retailers at a new transit hub in the Farley building could go to Amtrak.

The developers involved in the Moynihan project — Stephen M. Ross, chief executive of Related Companies, and Steven Roth, chairman of Vornado Realty Trust — also seemed to back the Schumer proposal.

“I agree with this 100 percent,” Mr. Ross said. “This kind of transit project is a much greater stimulus than anything else that could be done in the city.”

In 2005, the developers won a bidding contest to create a train annex at the Farley and to develop a nearby office tower. But the project quickly swelled, with the developers proposing a $14 billion development, which involved demolishing Madison Square Garden to make way for a new train station and a half-dozen office towers, while erecting a new Garden inside the Farley building.

That project foundered because of its size and complexity, and Governor Paterson’s plan to unveil a new proposal focusing on transportation improvements fell by the wayside amid negotiations over the state budget.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/02/ny...2moynihan.html
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  #137  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2009, 4:11 AM
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The new South Ferry subway station finally opened. This is one of the first post-9/11 projects to be finished. The new station replaces an old loop station that only allowed boarding from the first five cars of a ten car train.









All photos from the MTA's website.
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  #138  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2009, 9:54 PM
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Dam, I wish every station could be some what like South Ferry Station.
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  #139  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2009, 4:15 PM
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So a week or two ago there was something in the news about the SIEDC doing a presentation on a possible route for the Staten Island west shore light rail.
Here is an article and here is another.

I don't live anywhere near Staten island, but my question is, why are they so fixated on using the West Shore expressway median? That seems like the worst possible place for light rail. All you would wind up with are a bunch of park and rides. A line along Richmond Avenue seems like it would be much better. (Elevated would be nice but at-grade would probably work too.) It could then go down Richmond Parkway and end with a transfer to SIR at Huguenot. Still plenty of opportunity for park and ride, but also plenty of opportunity for neighborhood stations and TOD.
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  #140  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2009, 3:55 PM
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M.T.A. Increases Fares and Cuts Services

The board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted Wednesday morning to enact a series of fare hikes and service cutbacks needed to keep the transit system from going broke.

The vote was broken largely into three parts: fare hikes, toll increases and service cutbacks. After hearing from the public and the board members, the board approved each by a vote of 12 to 1.

“This is your last chance or forever hold your peace,” said H. Dale Hemmerdinger, the chairman of the board, right before the final vote.

The lone dissenting member in each vote was Norman I. Seabrook, president of the 9500-member New York City Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association.

Board members called the combination of fare increases and slashing bus, subway and commuter rail cuts a disaster but said they could no longer wait for lawmakers in Albany to rescue them.

The fare hikes on the subway and buses, including an increase in the base subway and bus fare to $2.50, from $2, will take effect May 31.

Commuter rail fares will increase June 1. Tolls on the authority’s bridges and tunnels will also go up, with the increase taking effect in mid-July.

The service cuts are far reaching. They include the elimination of 35 bus routes and two subway lines, the W and Z. Off-peak and weekend subway, bus and commuter rail service will also be cut back.

The authority’s board had hoped for a different outcome.

Gov. David A. Paterson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have championed a financial rescue plan for the authority that would have prevented the service cuts and allowed a much smaller fare increase.

That plan [pdf], put forth by Richard Ravitch, a former authority chairman, would have funneled new revenues to the authority by creating a new tax on payrolls and tolls on the East River and Harlem River bridges. But several Democrats in the state Senate opposed the bridge tolls and blocked the rescue package.

“It’s truly sad that a few individuals can hold all these brave individuals hostage,” Mr. Hemmerdinger said when the meeting started.

Officials in Albany have said they still hold out hope that a compromise can be reached in the coming weeks. But the authority said it had to go through with the Wednesday vote to give itself time to plan and implement the fare and service changes.

If lawmakers do eventually pass a rescue package, authority officials say they may be able to stop the changes before they take effect.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...on-fare-hikes/



Thanks a bunch, State Senate!
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