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Health Care Workers Suffer from Commute Problems



health care workers

New York’s failing public transport system is not news. We have written numerous times about this and it seems like MTA’s problems keep snowballing.  Sadly, people who suffer the most from commute problems are health care workers.

Many of health care workers get to work taking both subway and bus. For many of them their trip to work takes not less than 2 hours every day! We have talked to several people, who take care of disabled patients or older people, and each of them has the same problem – they spend too much time in public transport!

The thing is, most of them don’t live in Manhattan, obviously, and a lot of health care workers live on the outskirts of the city in the neighborhoods with limited or very unreliable public transport service. Yet, subway or bus is what they have to rely on. Transit to work as it is takes a couple of hours. But with the system continually failing and trains and buses being delayed regularly – the problem becomes even worse. Being late for work they then have to stay longer and this really intervenes in their personal life. Not to mention the fact that they can simply be fired. People working in health care sector need to be on time, but not only that. They are expected to be alert and enthusiastic. Spending so much time getting to the place of work and then being nervous because of delays definitely doesn’t contribute to a cheerful mood.

Nearly one in three main health care employers — including urgent care centers, hospitals, doctors’ offices and nursing homes — are more than eight blocks from any subway stop. As you can imagine, not many employees of these facilities can afford to move closer or to a more central location, even if it means saving time for trips to and from work. Home health aides struggle the most in this situation since they are being sent to every part of the city. And many of them cannot afford to turn down assignments.

A lot of us think, why not just hire a cab or e-hail Uber? Well, with their ages being $13 per hour many health care workers can barely afford a weekly metro card.

MTA News

NYC Transit’s new subway cars suffering on the tracks, dozens pulled from rails





The newest fleet of NYC Transit subway cars is having a tough time on the rails lately.

Dozens of cars built by Bombardier for the latest train model — known as the R179, which now run on the J/Z and C lines — were sidelined this week after suffering from different kinds of maladies, from door problems, propulsion issues and air compressors, sources told The News.

Even the springs that hang between train cars were bolted on too tight, ripping holes in the car body, sources and transit officials told The News.

Those springs are safety barriers to prevent people from stepping between cars from the platform.
“That could be why I haven’t seen them as often on the C train,” said Andrew Albert, the riders advocate on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board. “If they’re defective, Bombardier has to make good. Not only are they two years late, they have defects.”

There were 112 of these cars — costing roughly $2 million a piece — on the tracks as of December. The rest of the roughly 300-car order has yet to be filled, according to MTA public reports.

There were 16 defective new model cars out of the 96 cars at the East New York yard. There were another 32 new model cars in the transit system that had defects that forced them off the tracks.

“We have very high standards for the safety and performance of our subway cars, and if there’s an issue on a car we work to get it addressed right away,” said MTA spokesman Shams Tarek. “We continue to work through reliability issues with Bombardier; (NYC Transit) President (Andy) Byford is directly involved with bi-weekly meetings with Bombardier to force action on outstanding issues and deliver the remainder of the contract.”

Bombardier spokeswoman Maryanne Roberts said that the Montreal-based manufacturer has 50 full-time workers in New York working round the clock on the R179 cars.

“Introducing and integrating new cars with new technologies into existing transit systems is challenging and it’s not unusual to have some issues,” Roberts said. “Thus, we have over 50 full-time employees in New York City, working around the clock in support of the R179 fleet, as the in-service safety and performance of the new cars is paramount.”

NYC Transit, meanwhile, is desperate to get the cars running on the tracks so that it can retire the oldest of the 20th-century model cars still in operation, called R32.

Bombardier was already late to deliver the cars because of a cracking issue discovered during manufacturing. Even more problems cropped up once they started carrying riders in 2017, forcing the MTA to briefly suspend testing for nearly a week at the time.

“They’re in really rough shape. I see so many stuck door panels,” Albert said of the oldest models. “We’re putting good money after bad with those.”


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MTA News

What’s Up With This Green Ooze in a New York City Subway Construction Site?




l train subway tunnel

Construction for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s L train subway tunnel has been ongoing in Lower Manhattan, and recently, locals have noticed dumpsters filled with cartoonishly green ooze on the site. And no, this isn’t some setup to a Ninja Turtles joke.

The sludge, which was first reported on by Gothamist Wednesday, can allegedly be seen from above ground at the construction on Manhattan’s 14th Street in Alphabet City.

“It’s weirdly green off and on like that,” Penny Pennline, a 14th Street resident of more than 20 years, told Jalopnik over text. “It’s so nasty.”
It’s unclear if the dumpster contents are actually as green as they appear in the photos. The MTA said the container should just be holding water, concrete, and dirt, according to Gothamist, which first reported on the mysterious ooze.

When asked about the alleged sludge over the phone, MTA spokesman Shams Tarek seemed skeptical.

“Photoshopping would be pretty nefarious…We’re not buying green [dumpster] liners—that liner’s black. It might have something to do with the lights and the color balance on the camera” Tarek said. “We’re looking into it.”

Is it radioactive sludge? Probably not. Who knows! We probably wouldn’t recommend swimming in it, though.

“It’s usually not so bright, but I think that pic was at night so the lights were on it and made it glowing,” Pennline said.

Patrick Ferguson, Pennline’s neighbor and the photographer of the green sludge photo, blames what he said is a jet grouting operation on the site for the apparent sludge.

“Something in it is really green and it lights up in the street light,” Ferguson told Jalopnik over the phone. “It never gets fixed. They never get their jet grouting operation fixed.”

Ferguson also explained that the photo’s green-ness is likely played up by lighting.

“It’s lit up by the neon lights. It lights it up more,” Ferguson explained. “That stuff in the bin smells of sulfur and petroleum product.”
The construction seen here is part of the MTA’s Canarsie Tunnel reconstruction project for the L train subway line. The work, which has been ongoing for months, is part of the lead up to what’s set to be a 15-month shutdown of the line in Manhattan and its service to and from Brooklyn.

In addition to the alleged ooze, some locals who live on or near 14th Street in the area have complained about air, noise, and light pollution emanating from the construction site.
“When my nose started bleeding, I started freaking out,” Pennline told Jalopnik on the phone in October. “My doctor said, ‘You’re probably having allergies to whatever they’re digging.”

“As soon as I leave this neighborhood, within a few days, I’m good,” Pennline said.

The MTA, on the other hand, says it’s doing its due diligence in regards to the construction.

“We have had dozens of meetings with neighbors of the L Project, have developed extensive procedures to minimize the impact of construction, and welcome practical ideas on how we can further protect local quality of life,” Tarek said in an emailed statement. “We require our contractors to uphold strict guidelines regarding noise, vibration, air quality, and safety, are monitoring all of these impacts, and any suggestion otherwise is just false.”

When the L Train’s Manhattan service comes to a temporary end on April 27, 2019, around 275,000 subway riders will have to find a new way to get into Manhattan.

It’s going to be a mess. Ooze or not.


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MTA News

Amtrak train cars detach as passengers head to New York City ahead for Thanksgiving




amtrak train

It was a frustrating and at times alarming Thanksgiving Eve for many train travelers in the tri-state area who were trying to get home for the holiday, CBS New York reports.

Amtrak Train 68, called the Adirondack, was traveling from Montreal to New York’s Penn Station when two of its cars separated near Albany shortly before 7:30 p.m. local time.

CBS New York said none of the 287 passengers or crew were injured, and the rail company said a recovery engine was dispatched to transfer affected passengers from the disabled train.

Chuck Reeves, a software engineer from Troy, New York, told The Associated Press was aboard the first car behind the locomotive and said when the train pulled away, he and other passengers heard a pop and a hiss, smelled electrical burning and felt a rush of cold air.

The AP also said some crying children were comforted by their parents, but for the most part nobody panicked. A state trooper soon boarded to make sure everyone was OK, according to AP.

Earlier in the day, NJ Transit service along the Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast lines was briefly suspended on one of the busiest travel days of the year due to overhead wire problems in New Jersey.

Crowds were packed to the brim at Penn Station New York after NJ Transit said plastic wrap became tangled in Amtrak-owned wires near the North Elizabeth station.
Service resumed after less than an hour, but eventually resumed with residual delays of up to 30-minutes.

NJ Transit and private bus carriers were cross-honoring rail tickets and passes, as were Path stations in Hoboken, Newark Penn Station and Herald Square.

It wasn’t immediately known when the passengers from the disabled Amtrak train would arrive in New York City.


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