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LIRR Debuts Atlantic Ticket with Brooklyn and Queens Officials

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Debuts Atlantic Ticket

LIRR customers traveling between Brooklyn and Queens can now take the train using the “Atlantic Ticket.”

MTA Long Island Rail Road President Phil Eng joined Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and members of the New York Senate, New York Assembly and New York City Council to celebrate the LIRR’s newly introduced “Atlantic Ticket,” which offers discounted fares for customers traveling between Brooklyn and seven stations in Queens on a temporary basis. Atlantic Ticket is part of a six-to-12-month field study will measure what impact the lower fare will have on ridership on the LIRR and New York City subways and buses. The field study builds upon a program first proposed by the New York City Transit Riders Council, and has had the strong support of elected officials in Brooklyn and Queens.

Elected official attending this morning’s press conferences at Queens Village and Atlantic Terminal were Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Senator Leroy Comrie, Assembly Member Clyde Vanel, Assembly Member Tremaine Wright and City Council Member I. Daneek Miller. For quotes from the officials please see the quote sheet below.

Under the study, the fare for a one-way LIRR ticket between Brooklyn and the seven Queens stations will be $5.00, a reduction of 51% from the current peak fare of $10.25, and a reduction of 33% from the current off-peak fare of $7.50.

The combined one-way fare covering the LIRR and NYC Transit portions of a trip will be $7.75 ($5 for the LIRR Atlantic Ticket and $2.75 for NYC Transit pay-per-ride fare). “This one-way fare is intended to attract customers traveling occasionally, or interested in trying out LIRR before purchasing the weekly pass,” Chairman Lhota said.

For commuters interested in more frequent travel on LIRR, the MTA will also offer a $60.00 joint weekly unlimited-ride ticket valid for LIRR travel between the selected stations and transfers to NYC subways and buses. (This amount is almost the same as the $59.50 current express bus weekly unlimited fare, which also offers unlimited trips on subways or local buses.)

Compared to the current fares, the special $60 weekly ticket will offer a 42.5% discount over the combined current two-system fare of $104.25.

The 10 LIRR stations listed below are covered under the field study. The stations with convenient subway connections are noted below.

Brooklyn

Atlantic Terminal bdnqr2345
East New York l  at Atlantic Av
Nostrand Avenue ac

Queens

Hollis
Jamaica ejz
Laurelton
Locust Manor
Queens Village
Rosedale
St. Albans

Customers can purchase the discounted LIRR tickets at ticket machines or from ticket sales offices and will have the option to add a $5.50 New York City Transit fare to their one way or round trip tickets. The tickets for this field study will not be available via the MTA’s eTix app.

The tickets offered in this field study will also not be available for purchase from conductors on board trains. Customers requesting tickets on board trains will be charged the existing higher on board sales rates: $16 for a peak-hour one-way rail-only ticket, or $14 for an off-peak one-way rail-only ticket. Weekly tickets are not sold aboard trains.

The $60 weekly tickets, like current LIRR weekly tickets, will be valid from 12:01 a.m. every Saturday through midnight on the following Friday for travel on LIRR and valid for 7 days after first swipe for travel on local buses and subway. The $5.00 one-way ticket, like the current CityTicket, will be valid on the day of purchase only.

At Hollis, Laurelton, Locust Manor, Queens Village, Rosedale and St. Albans, the LIRR offers rush hour service roughly every 20 minutes and hourly off-peak service. Off-peak trains serve Brooklyn stations directly. For some peak-hour trains, customers will need to change trains at Jamaica.

Between Brooklyn and Jamaica, the LIRR offers direct rush hour service of roughly every 10 minutes, and off-peak service every 30 minutes.

As part of the metrics it evaluates, the MTA will seek to evaluate whether existing LIRR customers who travel to Penn Station will switch their travel to Atlantic Terminal. The LIRR last offered discounts to Atlantic Terminal in summer 2017, when service to Penn Station was affected by track reconstruction work being conducted by Amtrak.

Here’s what officials and electeds had to say about the Atlantic Ticket:

LIRR President Eng said: “It is important that the LIRR find ways to better serve the entire metropolitan area, both the suburbs and the city. The LIRR is asset for the city, and city residents may not be taking full advantage of it, so we want to see if this lower fare encourages more city residents to use the service. We are looking forward to conducting this field study to gauge whether lowering LIRR fares has an effect on ridership of the LIRR, subway and express buses.”

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said: “I applaud the MTA for heeding the call of straphangers and advocacy organizations, such as the New York City Transit Riders Council and Tri-State Transportation Campaign, by introducing the Atlantic Ticket. This change, which forms part of the Freedom Ticket pilot program that I called for last year, will undoubtedly benefit commuters living in central and eastern Brooklyn as well as southeastern Queens — areas of the city that have long-endured poor transit options, with few reliable ways of getting around. We must maximize the opportunity this field study presents us to expand commuters’ options, and ensure this pilot becomes a permanent solution to empowering our city’s residents to be able to travel to their destination seamlessly.”

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said: “Residents in southeast Queens have some of the longest commute times to work in the entire City of New York. The reduced fare Atlantic Ticket will make ridership on the LIRR a more attractive option for many more Queens residents. Any alternative transit option that reduces the cost and offers time efficiencies in our commutes is most welcome. We still hope.”

Senator Leroy Comrie said: “Atlantic Ticket represents a positive step in the direction of integrating our transit systems and making commuting quicker and more affordable for countless New Yorkers who live in transit deserts like Southeast Queens. I thank LIRR President Phil Eng and his entire team for hearing the community’s concerns and working with us to implement this pilot program, as well as my elected colleagues, especially Council Member I. Daneek Miller, for their tireless advocacy for this pilot program. I look forward to continuing the spread the word about this new affordable transit opportunity.”

Assembly Member Clyde Vanel said: “We are excited about the Atlantic ticket and South East Queens has been known to be a transportation desert. Therefore this study is a great way to close the transportation gap. Our residents are excited about this program and they are hoping for it to be extended long term. I want to thank the MTA and LIRR for working with the community to help improve the quality of life for our residents.”

City Council Member I. Daneek Miller said: “After years of planning, organizing, and campaigning, we are one step closer towards our goal of achieving commuter rail equity for all underserved New Yorkers. The residents of my Southeast Queens district who have long endured prolonged and costly commutes from the far reaches of St. Albans, Queens Village, Locust Manor and Hollis will surely benefit from the reduced fare, faster commute time, and optional subway or bus transfer the ‘Atlantic Ticket’ will offer them. I thank MTA Chair Joe Lhota, LIRR President Phillip Eng, and NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg for their support of this program. I especially want to thank the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA for its partnership in advocating for the full ‘Freedom Ticket’ proposal that would also include LIRR rides to Penn Station and provide the same benefits to Metro North riders. Our work continues.”

Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA and New York City Transit Riders Council Chair Andrew Albert said: “The Atlantic Ticket is a breakthrough for the MTA and for Brooklyn and Queens transit users as it gives riders options for a faster and more convenient trip, makes use of otherwise empty seats on LIRR commuter trains, and potentially generates additional fare revenue. We are excited to begin this new chapter and strongly encourage the MTA and its agencies to inform potential riders of this new fare option” said . “Atlantic Ticket means not only a quicker ride, but also new possibilities for areas that have long been promised improved transit service.”

 

from official MTA website

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Clean, On Time and Rat-Free: 9 International Transit Systems With Lessons for New York

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What smells like a “nightclub toilet,” evokes the feeling of “an underworld” and resembles a “working museum”?

That would be the New York City subway, according to international readers who have experienced it.

The subway runs around the clock and carries millions daily across a sprawling network. But when we asked riders of public transit around the world how their systems compare, New York’s scored worse than most on several measures.
Among the enviable features they described were Moscow’s chandelier-adorned platforms, Istanbul’s plans for a 500-mile expansion and Tokyo’s friendly attendants who locate lost items.

Below are some of their tales of exceptional public transit. They have been condensed, edited for clarity and paired with photos of their systems and New York’s.

Moscow
I’m a senior majoring in Russian studies at Carleton College in Minnesota. When I studied abroad in Moscow last year, my father, a South Bronx native, came to visit. We took the metro many times, and he was shocked.

“Where are the rats?” he asked. “I can’t believe how clean it is on these platforms.”

Many of the stations are works of art. Kievskaya, one of my favorites, has chandeliers and glittering mosaics with scenes from Ukrainian and Russian history. My other favorite station, Dostoevskaya, has murals depicting some of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s famous works, including “Crime and Punishment.”

The stations are held to a high standard of cleanliness, and there’s a constant police presence. Hooliganism is a serious crime, and it’s illegal to drink in the metro.

New York impressions: The subway in New York doesn’t follow a schedule in my experience. One time, in the summer of 2017, I waited 40 minutes for a Q train on the way to Brighton Beach. There was construction, but come on, 40 minutes?

Tokyo
I live in Tokyo and rely on three trains — JR and Tokyo Metro lines — to get to my job leading food tours at the Tsukiji fish market. My first train is famous for being packed during the morning commute. But riders are good for the most part about making room for as many people as possible. When things go smoothly, a new train comes on the JR Chuo line every few minutes. If there are ever delays, train stations, social media and TV news are quick to share the information.
Trains are clean, and some cars are reserved for women and children. There are staff at the stations who are helpful and friendly. One time I left my keys on the train, and the staff at my station quickly figured out which train it was and where I could track it down. The keys were turned in and I retrieved them.

Japanese culture respects others before yourself. My train ride is so quiet in the morning that a baby could sleep. There are rules, such as letting people off first, that everyone follows.

New York impressions: I lived in New York for many years, and two things happened to me on the subway. First, I was held up. There were other riders in the car, and no one did anything to help. Second, I was on a train and a man had a gun. Everyone panicked, and people fled to the ends of the train. This doesn’t happen in Tokyo.

Amsterdam
As an American and former New Yorker, I am keenly aware of the public transit differences between here and New York. In Amsterdam it is a priority, a connecting web of trams, buses, trains and ferries that allows everyone to get around safely and on time.

I came to Amsterdam in 1989 to work for Radio Netherlands Worldwide and started living here full time seven years later. Now I’m retired, and as a senior on a limited income, I qualify for a free pass on all city transportation. This mobility has opened my life.

When American friends visit, they think our system is like a dream. But it isn’t. It’s the result of decisions made by the city and national governments and supported by the citizenry, who benefit daily and are willing to pay taxes to support it.

New York impressions: When I moved to Amsterdam after 15 years in New York, I had no idea that transport could actually run on a schedule. All I knew was to schedule extra time.
I still don’t trust the timetables, mainly because I want to keep some of my New Yorker-ness!

Stockholm
The metro here is known as the world’s longest art gallery.

One card allows you to ride the commuter trains, metro, trams, ferries and buses. There are even driverless vehicles. Transit is safe, punctual and affordable. Between my commute from the suburbs and my work co-directing the Stockholm Fringe Festival, I take three to four transportation modes a day. The system is part of my office.

For the festival we rely on public transit to get our actors, crew and audience members to each venue. In fact we plan the locations and schedule around the metro lines. In 2012 we had a roaming performance that took place across different stations and trains. It won the Audience Choice Award.

New York impressions: The subway looks like it does in the movies and smells like a shady nightclub toilet.

Berlin
When my husband and I were both working remotely, we thought, “Why not do this from Berlin instead of home?” So we left Austin, Tex., and spent a month there in 2016. We returned last year to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary and my birthday. Berlin is our favorite big city, in large part because of how easy transportation is.

The U-Bahn was our primary method of transit for everything. Trips on it aren’t particularly memorable, and that’s how it should be. Systems are consistent across platforms and stations. There aren’t obstacles to smooth travel. What’s memorable, though, is the exquisite, ornate tiling in many of the stations. You also don’t validate your ticket when you enter a platform, which I think only works because of German culture.

New York impressions: When I visited New York, the stations were grungier and more rundown than the U-Bahn. But the U-Bahn serves a city with 3.5 million people. It’s harder to maintain and clean a system in a city of 8.5 million.

Istanbul
My family has a foundation that manages a robotics competition in Turkey. My work for it often requires taking public transit to meet with schools, sponsors and teams across Istanbul. When I was looking for an apartment, access to the metro and buses was basically my only criterion.

The metro is pretty fantastic. The trains can carry a massive number of people. We have mild overcrowding for an hour or two a day, but it’s usually not horrendous. Trains are almost never delayed thanks to good maintenance. My line, the M2, carries about 400,000 people each day without trouble.

The trains have TV screens that play lots of things. My favorites are the cat (and sometimes dog) videos.

The metro sparkles: Trains and stations are shiny clean. What I like most, though, is how fast it’s expanding. There are plans to go from 105 miles of track to about 680 miles in the next decade or so.

New York impressions: I’ve come to New York for robotics competitions. The subway gets you there. That’s about it. It was slow and broken, with lots of trash and decay. I felt like I was in an underworld.

Vancouver
My work addresses urban-planning issues. Before moving to Vancouver, I lived in San Francisco, where I helped take down the Embarcadero Freeway and create the Presidio, a national park. Here, I’m working to remove two old highway viaducts, which will be replaced by a new roadway, parks, housing, bike paths and more.

The SkyTrain, our rapid transit system, has three lines that run through metro Vancouver. It plays a key part in a transportation strategy that makes walking, cycling and transit account for half of all trips in Vancouver.
The entire system is driverless. I’ve sat in the front seat of a SkyTrain, imagining that I’m the engineer as we race across the Fraser River.

Automation puts more money into maintenance and expansion. Six new stations opened in 2016. A project that will connect the suburbs to a major hospital has been approved, and an extension to the University of British Columbia is being discussed.

New York impressions: The subway is a critical public asset with impressive 24-hour service. But it’s antiquated, inefficient and not designed for all ages and abilities.

Zurich
I’m a professor of computer science and use public transit on weekdays to drop off my youngest daughter at school, get to my university, run errands and go to meetings.

Zurich’s system has many desirable features. Most trams and many bus lines have their own lane, so travel time is more or less predictable.

The buses, with few exceptions, and many trams have low floors, allowing a stroller, wheelchair or suitcase to be moved easily onboard. Most U-Bahn stations are also accessible.

The timetables are fairly dense on many lines, and the evening and weekend schedules aren’t much thinner. On Friday and Saturday there’s a late-night network. I’ve never felt unsafe in any bus or tram.

Public transportation covers every part of the city. I don’t recall walking more than five minutes to a stop. It also has wide social acceptance; I know C.E.O.s who take public transit.

We once had visitors from the United States who left a handbag with money, jewelry and their passports on a bus. It took a phone call to find out when and where to meet the bus, and the driver handed over the bag.

New York impressions: The subway is a nice working museum.

London
I go to Northeastern University in Boston and studied in London for six months in 2017. I return every so often to work with a friend there on a business venture.

The Tube was the most amazing thing to happen to me. I could reach practically every spot in London in less than 40 minutes.

The system is extremely efficient, with frequent trains during the day. For me this is one of the main reasons that London has stayed ahead of many cities that haven’t aged as gracefully.

The trains are extremely long and can fit tons of passengers. Some stops also serve as national rail stations. I could board a train near my apartment and head out almost anywhere in the United Kingdom, from London’s suburbs to Edinburgh.

Transit fares are based on zones. One time I accidentally left the area that my card could access. It was 2:30 a.m., and I was six miles from my apartment. A security guard offered to pay for me and I was home within 30 minutes.

New York impressions: I like that New York’s subway is extensive (more so than Boston’s), but it’s extremely poor quality. It’s closer to London in terms of having many stops in many places, but not close in much else.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/11/reader-center/international-public-transit-new-york-subway.html

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Crucial—and unfunded—subway fixes could save New Yorkers millions of hours per year: study

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Public transit advocacy group TransitCenter has released a study proving the hardly controversial point that New Yorkers would save millions of hours annually if the New York City Transit Authority’s Fast Forward plan were fully funded and implemented.

The stakes are highest for straphangers commuting into Manhattan from the outer boroughs, the study finds: For instance, commuters taking the train from Jackson Heights to West 4th Street could save 26 minutes daily, or 110 hours annually, with the signal fixes Fast Forward prioritizes. The signal fixes would also mean New Yorkers with hourly wages are arriving at work on time, and therefore not receiving docked pay.

The Fast Forward plan, introduced by NYCT President Andy Byford in May 2018, would significantly speed up the agency’s timeline for replacing the system’s aging signals with new ones. The agency previously estimated that a signal overhaul could take 50 years, but under Byford’s plan the city’s most crowded subway lines would be converted to a more effective system within ten years.

The major issue with the Fast Forward plan remains its lack of funding: The project, which will also include necessary accessibility upgrades, is projected to cost $40 billion. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature have yet to commit to funding the venture, but Cuomo has previously expressed support for funding Fast Forward through congestion pricing.

The city and state has moved to put one small piece of congestion pricing into action: A $2.50 fee on yellow cab rides and a $2.75 fee on green cab rides and other for-hire vehicles below 96th Street. The fee is poised to go into effect after a State Supreme Court judge ruled that the surcharge does not demonstrate irreparable injury to the business of for-hire vehicles. The fee was initially poised to go into effect on January 1, but has been held up by the lawsuit.

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance brought the lawsuit in late December against the Taxi and Limousine Commission and Governor Cuomo in an attempt to have the fee dismissed on the basis that it would deter people from using for-hire vehicles and be “an additional crushing burden on a workforce already facing financial despair,” according to NYTWA Executive Director Bhairavi Desai.

It’s estimated that the surcharge will generate $400 million annually, which is a start but far short of the total amount needed to fully fund Fast Forward. TransitCenter points out that while resistance to congestion pricing is often framed in terms of its impact on car commuters who live outside of Manhattan, the subway upgrades funded by congestion pricing will benefit far more commuters who take the train to work.

“The MTA has a basic responsibility to provide fast and reliable service,” State Senator Brad Hoylman said. “Based on the signal malfunctions, chronic delays, and sluggish trains that straphangers experience on a daily basis, it’s clear that they are failing to fulfill this obligation. Albany can no longer stand by as our subways fall into a total state of disrepair,. We need Fast Forward, and we need it funded through congestion pricing and other sources of revenue before it’s too late.”

Source: https://ny.curbed.com/2019/2/6/18214022/congestion-pricing-fast-forward-transitcenter

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Astronics Corp (ATRO) Secures Approx. $30M Contract to Support Kawasaki Rail Cars Inc. for New York City Transit New Subway Cars

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Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ:A TRO) announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary Astronics Test Systems has been awarded a contract to develop and supply a test system to Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc. (KRC), a subsidiary of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. The contract is valued at approximately $30 million with additional options for a total potential value of approximately $50 million.

The test system will supply post-delivery maintenance support for new generation subway cars being delivered by KRC to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s New York City Transit (NYCT). The cars are scheduled to be delivered to NYCT from 2020 to 2023. This program is expected to generate revenue for five years beginning in the first quarter of 2019.

“We are proud to be part of this large program, providing innovative consolidated test solutions that support mission-critical equipment,” commented Peter J. Gundermann, President and CEO of Astronics Corporation. “This program is a logical application of our skills and capabilities, leveraging our successful Aerospace and Defense test experiences. We look forward to making the program successful for KRC and NYCT.”

Source: https://www.streetinsider.com/Corporate+News/Astronics+Corp+%28ATRO%29+Secures+Approx.+%2430M+Contract+to+Support+Kawasaki+Rail+Cars+Inc.+for+New+York+City+Transit+New+Subway+Cars/15073239.html

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