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dchan Sep 22, 2022 5:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrnyc (Post 9738479)
aww darn. i had my fingers crossed it was some kind of public tour i missed or something, but i was doubtful because i keep pretty aware of these things. as i suspected, you saw it because you are either a contractor or an employee, in this case an employee -- well anyway big congrats on being a dot mentee -- and definitely keep us up to date here with any inside news when you can! :tup:

Thanks! The inside news is that we are somewhat underpaid, definitely understaffed, overworked during the busy season (late spring to fall), and would like more remote work privileges (1-2 days remote is fine for me, but others want at least 3+ days). But that's not exactly inside news: :haha:

https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2022/09/...ransportation/

The organization and its employees also get constantly slogged by advocates and critics who believe they know how to do the job better:

https://www.reddit.com/r/MicromobilityNYC/

Also, the Mayor hasn't met with any of the public unions yet to discuss demands, and probably won't until the end of the year or start of next year.

On the plus side, I do get overtime hrs & pay on top of my base salary.

Busy Bee Sep 22, 2022 6:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 9738456)
Penn Station rebuild to be overseen by architectural firm behind London’s King’s Cross station, MTA says

New York Daily News
By Clayton Guse
Sept. 21, 2022

"A British architect who redesigned one of London’s busiest train stations will oversee the redevelopment of Penn Station, transit officials announced Wednesday.

The MTA board signed off on a $58 million contract for a pair of companies to design the reconstruction of the busy Midtown train hub. The companies — FXCollaborative Architects and WSP — will tap John McAslan as the architect for the project..."

https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york...4ei-story.html


This is good. A European firm is going to have so much more institutional knowledge in how to do a transport hub like this right than an American firm. A sad statement, but along with the parallel of rail rolling stock manufacturing, completely true.

mrnyc Sep 22, 2022 6:40 PM

whoot -- train daddy is coming back -- maybe mta snaps him back up??



Ex-NYC subways chief Andy Byford quits London gig, plans return to US

By David Meyer
September 22, 2022


***

MTA board rep Andrew Albert said New York could benefit from Byford’s presence, though maybe in a different role since his old job is taken.

“He is coming to the US, that’s a great sign,” Albert said. “We all loved it when he was here. I don’t want to take anything away from [current NYCT president] Rich Davey, who I think is doing a fine job.”



more:
https://nypost.com/2022/09/22/ex-nyc...-return-to-us/

mrnyc Sep 24, 2022 3:46 PM

common sense for a change re the money pit water taxi ferries —



City freezes NYC Ferry expansions to steady rocky finances

By Kevin Duggan
Posted on September 22, 2022


Mayor Eric Adams is putting NYC Ferry expansions on ice until city officials can get a better grip on the finances of the cash-churning transportation service.

Former Mayor Bill de Blasio grew the maritime transit network to 25 landings across six routes in all Five Boroughs, but Adams wants to anchor plans for any additional berths while his administration gauges how a recent fare hike and an upcoming new operator contract will affect the bottom line, officials with the Economic Development Corporation said Thursday.


more:
https://www.amny.com/transit/nyc-fer...eeze-finances/

mrnyc Sep 24, 2022 3:49 PM

the slow rebound continues —



NYC subways see another pandemic-era ridership record fall, with nearly 4 million commuters back in system Wednesday

By Robert Pozarycki
Posted on September 22, 2022



For the second straight day, the MTA set a pandemic-era subway ridership high, as the daily number of commuters inches toward 4 million for the first time in more than two years.

Approximately 3.875 million people rode the subway on Sept. 21, adding 100,000 rides to the previous pandemic-era record set the day before. Wednesday also saw a pandemic-era record 204,600 Long Island Rail Road commuters, 600 more than the previous record set on Sept. 7.


more:
https://www.amny.com/new-york/subway...ember-21-2022/

jmecklenborg Sep 26, 2022 6:21 AM

I got to tour the East Side Access project on Friday. I was allowed to take my own photos but I had to sign something saying I would not post them online until after the project opens:
https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...720&fit=bounds

Here is a map of the project in the LIRR's office in Grand Central:
https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...720&fit=bounds

The terminal concourse is built in the old underground yard and has a rectangular shape visible to the public despite the facility's random shape. The only vestige of the old curving track is at the transition between the original Grand Central and the new concourse, where a series of staggered piers hint at its original function.

There are also 2-3 pillars a the bottom of the new steps/escalator from Grand Central that are like donk right in the middle and will be a classic example of poorly-placed pillars in the MTA's many high-traffic pedestrian corridors.

Otherwise, the layout is fantastic. There are four sets of four escalators that align with surface streets since by chance the length of LIRR train cars nearly match the length of NYC city blocks. The northermost and southernmost escalator "nodes" are offset at a very small angle, maybe 5 degrees, so not exactly parallel.

The top of the nodes also align with the old existing cross-passages beneath Grand Central. This means that the small number of passengers who will transfer from Metro North to LIRR trains won't have to go up into the main Grand Central concourse.

I was told that the facility was designed with the idea that passengers will come down from the street from one of four sidewalk entrances and pretty much continue in a straight line across the perpendicular concourse to the long elevators down to the train platforms. The hope is that they won't, typically, travel along the concourse much at all.

The caveat is that there are some LIRR short platforms so there might be some sideways movement down at the platform level as some people shuffle for the part of the train that will access those stations.

Here is a list of factoids I picked up...if anyone has more questions I'll try to answer to them.

-the LIRR has never bought duel-level cars because they can't fit through the 63rd St. Tunnel, despite the fact that is hasn't been used in the 50 years since it was built.
-the station is almost completely ready, with mosaics based on animals of Long Island at the track level, and temporary signage in place. When they do final approval, the stone will be carved to match Grand Central. The track and real-time arrival boards are in place and working - the pranksters in the IT dept put Metro North stations on the demo as a joke.
-There are four tail tracks. Each pair of tracks around each island platform converge into a single tail track that extends approx 1200 feet beyond the station box. I did not get to see the tail tracks.
-Because the LIRR must follow modern FRA regulations in this new facility, they will only be able to stage trains in the trackage between the station box and Sunnyside Yard one-per ventilation block. This contrasts to the existing Penn tubes under the East River, which do not have modern ventilation, and the LIRR has made the habit of stopping them almost immediately behind one-another when there is congestion entering Penn Station.
-there was a huge interruption to the construction of the concourse thanks to the construction of the new JP Morgan bank building on Park Ave. JP Morgan paid huge money to tear up completed work in order to build that building's foundation. They're also getting direct access to the northernmost "node".
-there are tentative plans to give some older buildings direct entrances to the concourse
-the concourse was built according to 15 year-old plans, and a lot of space was reserved for pay phones. The pay phone notches will instead become automated ticket machines.
-they have built a transit police station, complete with a holding cell.
-the whole thing will be operated by an independent contracted operator, not the LIRR or MTA.

Busy Bee Sep 26, 2022 1:16 PM

You should have asked them why they stopped updating their flickr album.

Busy Bee Sep 26, 2022 1:18 PM

Quote:

The caveat is that there are some LIRR short platforms so there might be some sideways movement down at the platform level as some people shuffle for the part of the train that will access those stations.
Not much of an issue if MTA would have made M9 and all future rolling stock open gangway.

Busy Bee Sep 26, 2022 1:24 PM

Quote:

the whole thing will be operated by an independent contracted operator, not the LIRR or MTA.
Whaaaa? This is the first I've heard of this...

Busy Bee Sep 26, 2022 1:29 PM

Quote:

-the LIRR has never bought duel-level cars because they can't fit through the 63rd St. Tunnel, despite the fact that is hasn't been used in the 50 years since it was built.
Now thats what I call a blessing in disguise.

Busy Bee Sep 26, 2022 1:36 PM

Quote:

-There are four tail tracks. Each pair of tracks around each island platform converge into a single tail track that extends approx 1200 feet beyond the station box. I did not get to see the tail tracks.

The MTA is not going to talk about it and the most I've ever heard hinted is a comment by Michael Horodniceanu, but those tail tracks are set up so an extension under Park Ave & Bowery to a new East River crossing downtown connecting to Atlantic Terminal providing a through running loop could one day be possible.

jmecklenborg Sep 26, 2022 1:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9741897)
Whaaaa? This is the first I've heard of this...

Yeah, it was also said that Airtrain to JFK was an F-U to the LIRR union, which tried to dominate the earlier plan to serve that airport with conventional trains.

It was also speculated that the Laguardia Airtrain's westward alignment was motivated by Andrew Cuomo, who wanted a project that could be finished during his time in office. He wanted to cut the ribbon, even if it wasn't a very good project. The guy leading the tour said that for people coming from Manhattan, LaGuardia Airtrain was typically going to be a bit slower to the terminal than the existing Q70 bus, except when it gets snarled in traffic.

It was also said that Cuomo got involved around 2019 or 2020 and strong-armed the MTA into making aesthetic changes to the East Side Access station concourse, but I'm not sure what they were.

I do think that there will be some criticism of the final design motif for being too conservative. The decorative mosaics that are finished were pretty safe. There was one by a more famous artist that was hidden behind plywood, so maybe that's a bit more interesting. The new station looks pretty similar, generally, to the new entrance from One Vanderbilt.

They carved quotes into the concourse level tile. One was by Jerry Seinfeld and another by Jay Z. I'm not sure who wrote the others because we only saw half of the track concourse. We didn't get to go onto the platforms. What's pretty nice about the design is that you can look down on the lower-level tracks, but unfortunately there is thick glass to eliminate the risk of anyone falling or dropping things onto the tracks. From a purely aesthetic standpoint I would prefer for things to be open so that the sound can bounce around and you can feel that slight push of wind from the moving trains.

jmecklenborg Sep 26, 2022 1:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9741906)
The MTA is not going to talk about it and the most I've ever heard hinted is a comment by Michael Horodniceanu, but those tail tracks are set up so an extension under Park Ave & Bowery to a new East River crossing downtown connecting to Atlantic Terminal providing a through running loop could one day be possible.

Well the other thing the tour guide said is that the max capacity of the new East Side Access is a matter of debate. Theoretically it can serve 24 trains per hour.

In the short-term they're going to be running far fewer trains than expected when the thing opens. Part of that is Covid ridership. The other is that the MTA backed off a large rolling stock purchase in 2020 since the ridership drop-off gave them cold feet. Apparently the LIRR will literally not have enough equipment when this thing opens to run it at the capacity they could even with lower post-Covid ridership.

It was stated that there is a four-year lead time to deliver rolling stock. I'm not sure where they're at so far as revisiting the cancelled 2020 purchase order.

All of that said, the long-term prospects for truly huge ridership seem slightly dim given the post-Covid downturn, but things could change if they want to turn the LIRR into more of a regional rapid-rail and incorporate Atlantic Terminal.

k1052 Sep 26, 2022 2:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9741906)
The MTA is not going to talk about it and the most I've ever heard hinted is a comment by Michael Horodniceanu, but those tail tracks are set up so an extension under Park Ave & Bowery to a new East River crossing downtown connecting to Atlantic Terminal providing a through running loop could one day be possible.

Does LIRR even care about this? The anemic shuttle service they've relegated Atlantic to would not indicate to me they are interested in Brooklyn service at all.

Also my first choice would not be to spend yet more billions on LIRR projects. How bout a Utica subway instead.

Busy Bee Sep 26, 2022 2:00 PM

Hopefully a rebooted rolling stock order will result in a better looking M9. I can't believe those are "new" in the same way that the Crossrail trains are new. Shocking lack of modern styling. And the Cuomo stripes are the icing on the cake.

Busy Bee Sep 26, 2022 2:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 9741939)
Does LIRR even care about this? The anemic shuttle service they've relegated Atlantic to would not indicate to me they are interested in Brooklyn service at all.

Also my first choice would not be to spend yet more billions on LIRR projects. How bout a Utica subway instead.

Just because its not on the front burner of priorities in our current reality doesn't mean that the planning for the future possibility wasn't included in the ESA thought process. Anything like that would be 20, 30, 40 years into the future anyway unfortunately. Also "does LIRR even care about this" is a perfect example of our current anachronistic paradigm. I'd like to think a couple decades from now we will jave matured enough to have created a true regional rail operating objective and dispense with the NJT-MN-LIRR identities beyond just a secondary historical reference. It's truly shocking how the LIRR is operated like it's still its own standalone fiefdom.

k1052 Sep 26, 2022 2:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9741933)
All of that said, the long-term prospects for truly huge ridership seem slightly dim given the post-Covid downturn, but things could change if they want to turn the LIRR into more of a regional rapid-rail and incorporate Atlantic Terminal.

LIRR turning into the RER is probably something I will not hold my breath for, even though it is an excellent idea.

Agencies can't seem to comprehend their own data showing more night, weekend, and off peak demand because they have terminal commuter brain.

Busy Bee Sep 26, 2022 2:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 9741939)

Also my first choice would not be to spend yet more billions on LIRR projects. How bout a Utica subway instead.

Another topic for another day, but in a nutshell an IRT extension for Utica would be inefficient and straining on Brooklyn IRT capacity so what is really called for is a Utica subway as part of the originally envisioned IND second system, and obviously that's a can of worms that requires tunneling all the way from Williamsburg, an east river crossing and service changes in Manhattan and even Brooklyn.

k1052 Sep 26, 2022 2:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9741957)
Another topic for another day, but in a nutshell an IRT extension for Utica would be inefficient and straining on Brooklyn IRT capacity so what is really called for is a Utica subway as part of the originally envisioned IND second system, and obviously that's a can of worms that requires tunneling all the way from Williamsburg, an east river crossing and service changes in Manhattan and even Brooklyn.

Brooklyn IRT capacity has problems because Nostrand is f'd and they've known how to fix it for decades but haven't because it's not flashy project. You don't have to build the whole second system to do this. Fix the interlockings and do more CBTC.

jmecklenborg Sep 26, 2022 2:33 PM

^What was crazy is that I saw a lot of people this past weekend and when I told them that I toured this project almost none of them had even heard of the East Side Access. Construction has been completely invisible to average people. I imagine that many people, including lifelong New Yorkers, have never ridden a LIRR train, and still won't after this big outlay.

This project has failed to attract broad attention because it's underground and because it was built to serve Long Island - which has three million residents, but that's just a fraction of a metro with 15+ million. How does a city councilman or U.S. Rep score a win with something that is underground and mostly benefits one fraction of the NYC metro area? That same dilemma faces the Utica subway, or any future Atlantic Terminal service.


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