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Half-priced MetroCards near reality for NY’s poorest subway riders, sources say

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The City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio reached an agreement in principle early Thursday morning to fund the Fair Fares plan, according to two sources.

Under the tentative agreement, $106 million from the city’s budget would pay for half-priced MetroCards for the rest of the year to nearly 800,000 eligible New Yorkers who are living under the poverty line, a source said.

“They haven’t really got into the particulars yet, but the deal is there, on principle,” the source said.
During an appearance Thursday evening on NY1’s “Inside City Hall,” Council Speaker Corey Johnson said the proposal was still being worked out. “We are moving in a good direction, but we don’t have anything to announce tonight,” he told host Errol Louis.

Eric Phillips, a spokesman for the mayor, said no deal had been reached. “We have more work to do,” he said in a statement.

Politico first reported the tentative agreement Thursday afternoon.

De Blasio has repeatedly said he wanted the state to be responsible for the Fair Fares funding and included it in his millionaire’s tax proposal to the legislature.
“I believe in the idea. I have said constantly I don’t think it’s the city’s responsibility to pay for it. I think it’s the MTA’s responsibility,” de Blasio told reporters in April.

Johnson has pushed for city funding of Fair Fares as one of his top agenda items as speaker. He had called publicly on the mayor to include the proposal in his budget and joined other council members and supporters in various advocacy efforts.

Last month, Johnson launched a digital call for action that encouraged New Yorkers to “call the mayor” on their social media accounts with the hashtag #FairFares.

The proposal has been touted by transit advocates for years as a way to bring equity to the transit system. John Raskin, the executive director of Riders Alliance, said the tentative deal at City Hall is “a game changer.”

“Public transportation should bring access to jobs and economic opportunities, but today many people can’t afford to get on the bus or subway. Fair Fares will change that,” he said.

Advocates estimated that it would cost the city $212 million a year to fund the program.

“The biggest hurdle is securing the funding, and that’s what this budget negotiation is about,” Raskin said.

David Jones, an MTA board member and the president of the nonprofit advocacy group Community Service Society of New York, said he also was pleased to see that the city is looking more likely to commit to Fair Fares.

“This is a big ticket,” he said. “It’s not inexpensive and once you go down this road, you can’t stop and back away from something like this.”

Source: https://www.amny.com/transit/mta-fair-fares-metrocard-1.19036526

MTA News

Man hit by falling debris at Brooklyn subway station

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DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN, New York (WABC) — A man was hit by falling debris on the platform of a Brooklyn subway station on Wednesday afternoon.

EMS crews responded to the scene at Borough Hall around 3:30 p.m. and the commuter was treated at the scene.

Officials say a 10 x 10 section fell 25 feet, hitting the man in his shoulder and causing minor injuries.

A shower of plaster and tiles shattered onto the platform, disrupting the evening commute. MTA crews cleared bags of it after poking at the ceiling to make sure riders below were safe.

It is one of the busiest stations in the system, and also one of the oldest.

“It’s like stepping back in time,” said rider Sean Kiley. “When I come onto the subway I can picture that this all looked very nice in 1960, 1970.”

Kiley, from Ireland, has been in New York for about a year. He says the city’s subway system stands out and not in a good way.

“I’ve been to London a lot and I can see the comparison,” he said. “The tube in London compared to the subway in New York, it’s just a better quality. It badly needs investment.”

“This just reinforces my desire to get the funding we need to totally modernize all of our stations,” said Transit Authority President Andy Byford.

Byford has a plan to modernize the system. The problem is the price tag and how to pay for it.

Internal estimates say it’ll cost $19 billion in the first five years alone.

Mayor Bill de Blasio wants a new revenue source identified by the state. Governor Cuomo who controls the MTA, says he wants to pay for it through congestion pricing, a proposal that’s hitting some road blocks in Albany.

“This incident just steels my resolve to get the money that New York City transit needs to modernize this system and to prevent this type of thing from happening,” said Byford.

He said an initial survey shows the incident may have been caused by water damage.

Crews will survey the entire station overnight. It is not clear whether the work will impact the morning commute.

“We have structural engineers on site, we have operational people, and we’re now assessing the status of the rest of that ceiling and what you can see the team doing downstairs now is they are deliberately poking the ceiling to bring down any remaining loose material,” Byford said.

The incident caused delays on several subway lines, including the 2, 3, 4 and 5 trains.

from abc7ny website

by CeFaan Kim

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MTA News

LIRR Weekend Parking Guide

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LIRR STATIONS WITH UNRESTRICTED WEEKEND PARKING

Unrestricted parking refers to any lot that is open to both residents and non-residents on a first-come, first-served basis, regardless of residency. Parking spaces may, however, require a daily parking fee.  

Note: Stations with an asterisk* may require a parking permit in some of the lots

Babylon Branch

  • Babylon*
  • Lindenhurst
  • Copiague
  • Amityville*
  • Massapequa Park
  • Massapequa
  • Seaford
  • Wantagh
  • Bellmore
  • Merrick
  • Freeport
  • Baldwin

City Zone Stations

  • Kew Gardens

Far Rockaway Branch Stations

  • Far Rockaway
  • Lawrence*
  • Cedarhurst*
  • Woodmere
  • Hewlett
  • Gibson*
  • Valley Stream*
  • Rosedale*
  • Laurelton

Hempstead Branch Stations

  • Hempstead
  • Country Life Press*
  • Floral Park*
  • Bellerose*
  • Queens Village

Long Beach Branch Stations

  • Long Beach*
  • Oceanside
  • East Rockaway*
  • Centre Avenue*
  • Lynbrook

Montauk Branch Stations

  • Montauk
  • Amagansett
  • East Hampton
  • Bridgehampton
  • Southampton
  • Hampton Bays
  • Westhampton
  • Speonk
  • Mastic-Shirley
  • Bellport
  • Patchogue*
  • Sayville
  • Oakdale
  • Great River
  • Islip
  • Bay Shore*

Oyster Bay Branch Stations

  • Oyster Bay
  • Locust Valley
  • Glen Cove
  • Glen Street
  • Sea Cliff
  • Glen Head
  • Greenvale*
  • Roslyn
  • Albertson
  • East Williston*

Port Jefferson Branch Stations

  • Port Jefferson
  • Stony Brook
  • St James
  • Smithtown
  • Kings Park
  • Northport
  • Greenlawn
  • Huntington*
  • Cold Spring Harbor
  • Syosset
  • Hicksville
  • Westbury
  • Carle Place
  • Mineola
  • Merillon Avenue*
  • New Hyde Park *

Port Washington Branch Stations

  • Port Washington
  • Manhasset
  • Little Neck
  • Douglaston
  • Broadway
  • Flushing/Main Street

Ronkonkoma Branch Stations

  • Greenport
  • Southold
  • Mattituck
  • Yaphank
  • Medford
  • Ronkonkoma
  • Central Islip
  • Brentwood
  • Deer Park
  • Wyandanch*
  • Farmingdale
  • Bethpage

West Hempstead Branch Stations

  • West Hempstead
  • Lakeview
  • Malverne*
  • Westwood

from official MTA website

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Q train conductor punched in head at Prospect Park station, according to TWU Local 100

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Frank Sbano

Frank Sbano, a 21-year veteran at the MTA, suffered cuts and bruises and was hospitalized in stable condition.

A Q train conductor was hospitalized after getting sucker punched while on the job Tuesday, according to police and the transit union.

An unidentified man believed to be in his 30s or 40s struck the conductor, Frank Sbano, 60, after Sbano’s Brighton Beach-bound train arrived at the Prospect Park station, according to TWU Local 100 and an NYPD spokesman.

“I was just nailed in the head. I have no idea why,” Sbano, of Staten Island, told the union. “I was looking to make sure everyone was getting on and off and the next thing I knew, I got nailed.”

Sbano, a 21-year veteran at the MTA, suffered cuts and bruises on his head and was transported in stable condition to Kings County Hospital, where he was awaiting a CT scan.

TWU Local 100 president Tony Utano said it was just the latest in a spate of MTA worker assaults. He called for the authority to launch a voluntary body camera program for train crews in order to help police catch riders who assault workers.

“This will help authorities identify, arrest and prosecute those who are responsible for these attacks,” Utano said in a statement. “Cameras must only be used as a deterrent to criminal assaults and for evidence gathering when an assault occurs and never for worker surveillance.”

It was not immediately clear why the attack took place and no arrests have been made, the police spokesman said.

MTA chairman Joseph Lhota pledged to work to keep workers safe. The MTA did not provide statistics on worker-related assaults.

from amny website

By Vincent Barone

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