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NYC4Life Mar 31, 2010 11:57 PM


Updated 12:38 PM
Multi-Agency Training Exercise Held At Transit Hubs
By: Vivian Lee

Commuter hubs in Manhattan were packed with a heavy police presence this morning, as part of a multi-agency training exercise.

Approximately 100 New York City Police Department officers joined members of the Amtrak, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Port Authority and New Jersey Transit Police forces, as well as members of the National Guard and the Transportation Security Administration for the drill.

The exercise took place at Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal and Herald Square.

The aim was to coordinate a highly-visible police presence in transit hubs.

“We're coordinating all of our efforts, using baggage teams, canine teams, plainclothes in counter surveillance,” explained NYPD Inspector Martin Conway.

The officers say it’s a good way to get to know the other agencies they may be working with.

"Working together it develops a real working relationship with the other agencies so that God forbid there was another attack, we would have that working relationship already in effect; we wouldn't be getting to know each other at an event,” said Conway.

Officials say the drill was scheduled prior to the Moscow and Dagestan subway bombings. But commuters say in light of the recent incident, they feel more comfortable having the increased police presence.

"It may happen here, right?" said one traveler.

"It actually calms me down because I know they're here," said another. "It's more safe when they're here. It's more commotion when they're not."

This was the second training exercise this month and the 42nd of this kind since 2008.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Apr 1, 2010 12:01 AM


Updated 1:14 PM
MTA Vows To Fix Subway Surveillance Cameras
By: NY1 News

In the wake of Sunday's fatal double subway stabbing, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials say they are working on almost doubling the number of functional cameras in subway stations.

In a statement issued Tuesday, MTA officials said that there are 2,270 operating cameras in the subway and that another 910 will be working by June.

Eventually, the MTA plans to have 4,313 working cameras in the subway system, and the agency says funding will come from its capital program.

"A lot of those cameras don't work and someday maybe we're going to get very badly hurt because of it," said one city straphanger.

The MTA says its top priority is the safety and security of its riders.

Meanwhile, police have posted fliers at Manhattan's Christopher Street station requesting help from the public.

Investigators believe the attacker or attackers got off a Brooklyn-bound 2 train at the station after stabbing three men during a fight, killing Darnell Morel, 24, and Ricardo Williams, 24.

MTA officials say the token booth on the southbound side of the station was closed last year because of budget cuts, meaning there were no station agents who might have caught a glimpse of the killer.

The Christopher Street Station does not have working security cameras.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Apr 1, 2010 12:04 AM


03/31/2010 06:21 PM
Feud Erupts Over Subway Ad Campaign
By: NY1 News

A fight is brewing between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Working Families Party over a subway ad campaign criticizing City Hall.

The suggestive parody signs featuring edgy acronyms mimic official service-change bulletins.

The ads slam Mayor Michael Bloomberg for not stepping up for straphangers through the MTA's ongoing fiscal crisis.

The Working Families Party was hoping to post them throughout the transit system, but officials have refused to display the signs on subways and buses. However, the agency says the posters are a great example of the exposure the New York City transit system can give to its advertisers.

The party is mulling a lawsuit challenging the agency's decision on the grounds it violates free speech.

A spokesman for the mayor's office says the Working Families Party should be directing their anger toward state lawmakers who haven't been able to come up with a successful source of funding for the MTA.

The authority is battling a nearly $800 million budget gap. Service cuts are set to go into affect this summer.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

Qubert Apr 1, 2010 11:06 AM

:previous: I think it's somewhat coy of the WFP to complain about subway costs when they basically are a front party for the municipal unions and would scream bloody murder if the MTA were to even contemplate cutting one single job/benefit. Gov Chris Christie in NJ basically outlined how municipal workers benefits are sinking the state and it's services, and NY's in the same boat.

NYC4Life Apr 6, 2010 8:33 PM


04/05/2010 09:39 PM
MTA Opens New UWS Subway Entrance


By: NY1 News

Subway riders on the Upper West Side now have easier access to the train.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority opened a new station entrance at 96th and Broadway for the 1,2, and 3 lines.

Renovations on the entrance started three years ago.

Straphangers now have direct access to either the downtown or uptown platforms.

The MTA says improvement projects are underway across the city, despite recent budget woes.

"We're also moving forward on the implementation of technology, trying to get next train signs into our stations like this. Trying to move forward on smart car projects and do everything in a way that's cost effective and saves the commuter money," said MTA Chairman & CEO Jay Walder.

The MTA says the remaining renovations at the 96th Street station, including an elevator and garden, will be completed in the fall.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Apr 16, 2010 5:59 PM


04/14/2010 10:44 AM
MTA Vendors Agree To Rate Reductions
By: NY1 News

Looking for ways to save money, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has asked many of its top vendors if they could get a break.

And of the 50 vendors they asked, 43 agreed, either by lowering rates or altering contracts to save the MTA some money.

The reworked deals are expected to save the MTA about $70 million over five years.

The approach was suggested by a team of consultants from Accenture, which told the MTA that companies are more likely to agree to concessions in exchange for more business when the economy improves.

The MTA had been faced with a shortfall of almost $800 million, a number nearly cut in half with recent layoffs and service cuts.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Apr 26, 2010 5:53 PM

Updated 11:22 AM
MTA Supervisor Electrocuted In Rockaways
By: NY1 News

A Metropolitan Transportation Authority track supervisor was electrocuted on the Beach 90th Street Station in the Rockaways this morning.

MTA officials said 13-year transit veteran James Knell, 45, came in contact with an electrified third rail around 4:30 a.m. while working on a station rehabilitation project.

“We lost one of our own this morning and labeling this incident a tragedy is a painful statement of the obvious,” said MTA NYC Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast in a statement.

Knell, an East Rockaway resident, is survived by a wife and two children, according to the MTA.

Police and the MTA's Office of System Safety and Department of Subways are investigating the incident.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Apr 27, 2010 5:48 PM

04/27/2010 01:23 PM
City Officials Seek Federal Assistance For 7 Subway Extension
By: NY1 News

Some New York officials will be traveling to Washington, D.C. tomorrow to try and get the federal government to cover the cost of another station for the 7 subway line extension.

Members of the Real Estate Board of New York will meet with Vice President Joe Biden's staff tomorrow to ask the White House to provide $500 million to build a stop at 41st Street and 10th Avenue.

The city is funding the $2 billion project but is only paying for a station at 34th Street and 11th Avenue.

The 41st Street station was in the original plan, but was eliminated when costs escalated.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Apr 30, 2010 5:57 PM

04/29/2010 09:13 AM
Subway Operator Dies At The Controls Of G Train
By: NY1 News


A subway operator died of an apparent heart attack while at the controls of a G train yesterday.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says Domenick Occhiogrosso, 50, was pulling a train out of the station at Long Island City-Court Square just after 8 a.m. when he collapsed.

The train's emergency brakes were activated when he stopped applying pressure to the controls; a safety feature that is known as the dead man switch. The train's conductor walked to the lead car and found Occhiogrosso unconscious.

Occhiogrosso is the second city transit worker to die on the job this week.

Transit supervisor James Knell, 45, was electrocuted Monday while working on a rehabilitation project at the Beach 90th Street Station in Rockaway Beach.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Apr 30, 2010 6:04 PM

04/30/2010 10:47 AM
City Looks To Expand Shared Taxi Program
By: NY1 News


Soon there will be a way to save a few bucks getting to and from the airport.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission is hoping to expand its group ride program to one of the city's two airports, as well as the Port Authority Bus Terminal, within the next two months.

The program began last month with pickup points in Manhattan. And while it has not caught on as widely as expected, the Taxi and Limousine Commission says it's committed to the program.

The commission has not said whether LaGuardia or John F. Kennedy Airport will be chosen, or exactly how much it would cost. A flat fee of $20 per person to Midtown Manhattan had been previously discussed.

The Port Authority group-ride would take passengers to 59th Street and Sixth Avenue for $3.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

ardecila May 1, 2010 8:33 AM

TBM Arrives!
The TBM for the Second Avenue Subway is, apparently, ready to go! Looks like the subway is really happening. It has been fully assembled in the launch box (cavern between 92nd/95th).

This is the same TBM that dug the 63rd Street Tunnel several decades ago... it's been refurbished.
Second Avenue Sagas

NYC4Life May 6, 2010 6:15 PM

Updated 10:46 AM
Judge Issues Temporary Hold, Preventing MTA Layoffs
By: NY1 News

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says a judge issued a temporary hold last night, blocking the layoffs of several hundred station agents who were supposed to be laid off today.

As part of the latest round of agency layoffs, 475 subway clerks were planning on turning in their badges and uniforms today.

Instead, they are supposed to report for work.

"We're not out of the woods yet. I'm hoping that the governor, the [MTA] chairman, and the union can sit together and come to a very amicable agreement so we can keep working," said a station agent.

"I have one child in college and I have to support him, you know," said another.

"Terrorists are constantly attacking, that the subway system is one of their prime targets,” said a third. “Station agents are the eyes and the ears of the whole system."

Their positions are among the nearly 1,500 jobs being slashed from bus and subway divisions to help close an $800 million budget gap.

Transit officials say even more layoffs are expected. Plans call for a 15 percent reduction in administrative head count, as well as a 20 percent reduction at MTA headquarters.

The agency says it has been forced to make the tough decisions because of lower-than-expected tax revenue and cuts in state aid.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life May 8, 2010 9:51 PM

Updated 5:21 PM
Mechanical Failure Causes S.I. Ferry Crash, 35 Injured
By: NY1 News


The Department of Transportation says a Staten Island Ferry boat involved with a fatal 2003 crash had a mechanical problem and crashed into a dock at the St. George Ferry Terminal this morning, and fire officials say at least 35 people were injured.

The throttle on the Andrew J. Barberi ferry failed, so the boat did not slow down as it hit the Staten Island dock at a speed of five knots about 9:25 a.m., according to DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.

Of the 252 passengers and 18 crew members aboard the boat, 33 people were transported to area hospitals, and only one was critically injured and experienced chest pains, according to Sadik-Khan.

The commissioner called the incident a "hard landing" and said most injuries were only minor cuts and bruises. Fire officials said no injuries were life-threatening.

The boat's hull was also breached in two parts above the water line and it did not take on water. It was initially wedged into the dock but by mid-afternoon it was finally tugged away from the site of impact.

Sadik-Khan said that the ferry's crew was highly trained and the captain was new to the ferry but "experienced." She said the ferry was at a normal speed and sounded several warning sirens.

"It appears to be a mechanical problem, there was not an ability to pull back the throttle as it approached the dock," said Sadik-Khan.

Passengers told NY1 there were no announcements made on the boat's speaker system at the time, but ferry officials said crew members took a minute to tell passengers to move away from the area of impact.

"Everybody had this frozen look at each other like, 'what's going to happen?' Because this isn't how we're supposed to dock. We're speeding instead of slowing," said Bronx resident Alex Gonzalez, who was on the boat at the time. "It rammed right into the ramp to get off and pushed the whole ramp back, and then a big cloud of smoke just resonated.... It was so hard, it threw you back."

"My husband heard them say over the intercom, 'red, red, red,' so we knew something was going to happen. And then when the workers came out and said, 'Sit still, don't move!'" said another passenger. "So we kind of braced ourselves, and then that's when it crashed into the dock."

"The boat was coming full force, it didn't stop. You heard a horn and then a 'Bam,'" said a woman who was waiting at the ferry terminal. "Everybody inside the terminal took off running outside the terminal, thinking that the boat was coming were we were. So we were extremely afraid."

DOT officials said the boat never lost power.
A ferry passenger took this picture of firemen helping one of the injured on the ferry.

Emergency medical technicians arrived five minutes later, laid some of the injured out on stretchers and wheelchairs and gave some passengers oxygen.

"There were a lot of people that were taken off on gurneys and stretchers, and it took about 10 to 15 minutes before they let the people that were able to walk off [the boat]. So it was chaos in there," said Gonzalez.

"It puts you in the mind of 9/11, when you see them carried off the boat on stretchers," said a woman who saw the injured loaded into the terminal.

Local doctors were glad most injuries were minor but they recalled the fatalities and major injuries resulting from the 2003 crash.

Governor David Paterson said the prior crash and recent security scares in Times Square have set city residents on edge.

"Probably the alert that the passengers got seconds before impact may have avoided real injury or something far more serious. So it's kind of another scare like we've been going through a lot in New York City, and we are blessed because we are not bemoaning the situation, but we'll take every step to make sure it doesn't happen again," said Paterson, who urged New Yorkers to resume taking the ferry.

Congressman Michael McMahon praised the response efforts, but said he would also conduct a full investigation into the crash.

"The captain acted appropriately, the NYPD, the FDNY, the EMS, they are down here doing there job that makes all New Yorkers proud. But these types of incidents like this should not happen," said McMahon. "The Staten Island Ferry is the lifeblood for the people of Staten Island, and the folks on it today deserve to be safe and to be guaranteed that safety."

"The quick response of the crew that moved the people back. Anyone that rides the ferry knows, people like to stand right in front in watch. They moved them back far enough so that no one was thrown into the water," said Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro.

DOT officials said the current incident is unrelated to the Andrew J. Barberi's prior crash on October 15, 2003, which killed 11 people and injured more than 50 others.

In the 2003 incident, the ferry's pilot, Richard Smith, lost consciousness while at the ship's controls. Smith pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

"To preface the 2003 incident is irrelevant. That's has all been out in the press, there have been [National Transportation Safety Board] reports, and there's nothing to do with this," said S.I. Ferry Chief Operating Officer James DeSimone. "You make 110 trips a day, you have a fleet of ferries, so that's really got nothing to do with this."

The U.S. Coast Guard and the DOT are still in the early stages of investigating today's crash. Authorities will look at surveillance video from the ferry and the terminal to help their investigation.

Normal ferry service has now resumed and only two morning boats were delayed in the St. George and Whitehall terminals.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life May 14, 2010 7:56 PM

Updated 12:48 PM
Transit Officials Consider Line Shutdowns During Repairs

By: NY1 News


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is considering a new plan that would fundamentally change the way it conducts major repairs.

Instead of doing work on nights or weekends, the MTA could shut down entire segments of a subway line, even on weekdays.

While it will be an inconvenience to riders, officials say projects would be completed much faster. This is how repairs are done in London, where MTA Chairman Jay Walder used to work. Walder has reportedly asked his staff to evaluate the impact of weekday repair work.

"In some places we might have a subway line that's literally a half mile or a mile away and we might be able to shuttle people from one place to another," said Walder. "These are the kinds of things that we have to look at. If it overwhelms our capacity to allow New Yorkers to have mobility, it doesn't work."

NY1 spoke with riders this morning on both sides of the debate.

"If you're coming here every Saturday and every Sunday you know for the next, let's say four or five weeks or so, then you know, you have to make other ways of getting around, it's a pain in the behind,” said one rider. “My thing is just one shot, knock it out.”

“Until they add more lines in the city, I think it would be a bad idea to shut any of the subway systems down for a long period of time, especially since not everyone has any other means of transportation,” said another.

Meanwhile, the MTA is trying to speed up commutes for drivers. The agency is reportedly creating a new overnight shift for workers who do pothole repairs and hang signs at MTA bridges at tunnels.

Also yesterday, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and City Comptroller John Liu announced they have begun an audit of how New York City Transit manages and schedules maintenance projects.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life May 17, 2010 7:18 PM

05/17/2010 10:11 AM
Service Cuts Take Effect On LIRR
By: NY1 News


Service cuts are taking effect this morning on several Long Island Rail Road lines.

Rush hour trains have been cut from the Babylon, Long Beach, Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, and Port Washington lines.

Service to Belmont Park has been eliminated altogether, except on the day of the Belmont Stakes.

More service cuts are on the way this September, as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority works to close an $800 million budget gap.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Jun 4, 2010 4:04 AM

06/03/2010 09:44 AM
Australian Company Submits Prototype Of Futuristic Cab
By: NY1 News


A company from Australia yesterday unveiled its prototype of the taxi of tomorrow.

The futuristic Unicab is all electric, has room for seven people, space for luggage and a ramp for disabled passengers.

The front passenger seat is spun around, to let the rider face his or her friends.

The model has LED screens on the outside telling would-be ride-sharing passengers where the cab is going and how many seats are available.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission has requested proposals for designs. The winning model will replace most cabs by 2013.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Jun 4, 2010 4:10 AM

06/03/2010 08:03 AM
MTA Salaries Increasing
By: NY1 News


While the Metropolitan Transportation Authority tries to cut costs with subway and bus service cuts, a new report shows total MTA salary costs went up last year for the second year in a row.

The report by the Empire Center for New York State Policy found salaries and payroll increased by more than two percent to $5.2 billion.

Long Island Rail Road employees were among the highest paid. The average salary for conductors was just over $100,000. One conductor made almost $240,000, but a LIRR spokesman says the conductor retired and got a one-time payout that included sick time and unused vacation time.

An MTA spokesman says the overall increase was due to raises already promised to the unions.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

Busy Bee Jun 4, 2010 5:50 PM

Also found this article from February about Ford's likely Transit Connect pitch to the NYTLC.

Dac150 Jun 4, 2010 6:48 PM

Eh…not too fond of those cab designs. I’ll take the nitty gritty crown vics and caprices any day.

Busy Bee Jun 4, 2010 7:06 PM

^well you should get your fill now because they are definitely on their way out , and like Checker, never coming back.

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