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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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Three separate homicides across city this weekend under investigation

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NYPD

The weekend was especially busy for homicide detectives across the city as three people were killed since Thursday night in separate murders, police said.

Police were also seeking a possible wounded person from a shooting on a Brooklyn train Saturday night.

The violence began Thursday, Nov. 14 at about 9:05 p.m. when police from the 34th Precinct responded to a 911 call of shots fire in the vicinity of Sherman Avenue and Thayer Street in the Bronx.

Upon arriving at the scene, law enforcement sources said, officers were told about a 20-year-old man who had arrived at New York Presbyterian Hospital, via private means, with gunshot wounds to the legs.

The victim, identified as Luis Dela Cruz, of 36 Arden Avenue, was subsequently pronounced deceased at the hospital. There are no arrests and the investigation remains ongoing.

On Friday, Nov. 15, at about 9:15 p.m., 17-year-old Talasia Cuffie of Vernon Boulevard in Long island City, Queens, was found stabbed in the chest multiple times along 166th Street in South Jamaica. Paramedics rushed her to Jamaica Hospital. where she was pronounced dead.

Sources said Cuffie was stabbed only hours after attending a memorial for her friend, Aamir Griffin, 14, who was shot to death on by a stray bullet 21 days earlier.

Hours later, at about 3:44 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, police in Brooklyn responded to a 911 call of male shot in front of the Lafayette Garden Houses, a NYCHA development. Officers found a 34-year-old man shot multiple times in the chest. EMS rushed him to Brooklyn Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The victim has not yet been identified, and no arrests have been made.

Shooting aboard train

Meanwhile, cops are also investigating a reported shooting on board the Franklin Avenue Shuttle in Brooklyn Saturday evening.

Police say a group became embroiled in a dispute either aboard or on the platform of the Franklin Avenue shuttle as it sat in the station at Prospect Park and Flatbush Avenue Saturday night at about 8:40 p.m. Police were checking hospitals in the borough for possible person shot, but could not confirm that anyone was hit.

A transit worker inside a maintenance room at the station said he heard a large group of teens running from the station, but he didn’t hear the shots. Police were holding the motorman after the shooting for questioning.

The suspect was described as male black, 5’9″ with a dark hoodie.

The shuttle was shut down for the duration of the investigation as evidence collection units collected spent shells and a bullet that may have been lodged in a wall of the train.

Source https: www.amny.com

By  Todd Maisel

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Advocates: MTA Board Must Get Moving On Congestion Pricing Details

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In less than one year, the state-mandated Traffic Mobility Review Board can issue its nuts-and-bolts recommendations for how congestion pricing is supposed to work, what it will cost, and who will get much-desired exemptions from the toll.

Of course, there’s a few things that need to happen first — primarily Mayor de Blasio and the MTA Board have to actually appoint members to this obscure board, get it an office so it can start the work of setting those tolls and exemptions, and start holding meetings (which are supposed to be public, but might not be!).

On Friday, a coalition of 20 good government and transit advocacy groups including Reinvent Albany, the Permanent Citizens Advisory Council, the Citizens Budget Commission and the Straphangers Campaign fired the first warning shot, with a letter reminding the politicians who passed the tolling scheme earlier this year that the hard work of actually designing and then implementing congestion pricing still needs to be done before it supposed to (magically!) begin in January, 2021.

The Traffic Mobility Review Board is supposed to comprise one chairperson and five members: one appointed by Mayor de Blasio and the rest appointed by the MTA Board/Gov. Cuomo, though two members must be from the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North service areas.

Asked if the MTA Board had held any discussions about the board and who will be appointed to it, de Blasio’s MTA Board appointee Veronica Vanterpool told Streetsblog it had not. Noting that she felt it could wait until after December’s decision on the 2020 MTA budget, Vanterpool still urged the Board to prioritize the TMRB going forward.

“All eyes are on NYC for this rollout, so we shouldn’t squander time,” Vanterpool said. “January, 2021 is around the corner.”

A spokesperson for Cuomo referred Streetsblog to the MTA, and a spokesperson for de Blasio did not respond to a request for comment on potential board appointees.

Nov. 15 was an auspicious date for the good-governance groups to send the letter, because Nov. 15, 2020 is the date when the TMRB can release its recommendations, per the congestion pricing agreement that the state legislature passed this year (observers have pointed out releasing the recommendations on Nov. 15 allowed legislators to avoid any potential consequences in the 2020 election, which is a week earlier).

If those recommendations are approved by the Triborough Bridges & Tunnel Authority, the MTA can start collecting the congestion toll fee as soon as Jan. 1, 2021, although there’s no requirement that the tolling begin that soon (clearly, there is a huge potential for delay). Although the TMRB has not yet been appointed, the MTA has at least selected a vendor to design and operate the tolling infrastructure once the fee is instituted.

With no TMRB holding meetings, there’s no way to know what congestion pricing will look like or even what the price might be. For now, thanks to state lawmakers carving out exemptions, we know that emergency vehicles, vehicles transporting disabled people and drivers passing through the congestion toll zone on the FDR Drive or West Side Highway will be exempt from the fee. In addition, CBD residents making less than $60,000 per year will get a tax credit equal to what they spend on the tolls each year, and an exception is being worked out for drivers who have to move their cars in and out of the CBD border because of alternate-side parking.

Other than that though, the public is only left to speculate. At Tuesday’s state legislative hearing on the MTA’s historic $51.5-billion 2020-2024 capital plan, MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye promised that before the tolls and exemptions are set, there would be pointless kvetching sessions robust public hearings with the TMRB so that MTA Board members could be properly informed.

In September, the Regional Plan Association issued a series of suggestions as to how the congestion toll could be set. The plan that seemed to do the most good, in terms of raising money and reducing congestion during peak hours, was a fee of $9.18 to enter the CBD during the morning rush and the same fee exit it during the evening peak. That charge would raise $1.06 billion and increase traffic speeds in the Manhattan core by 15.6 percent.

The TMRB’s decisions will have enormous consequences for the success of the congestion pricing program, and for the MTA’s historic capital plan. The MTA is banking on raising $1 billion per year with the congestion fee, which they can then turn into $15 billion in bonds for the agency’s capital spending. In addition to setting the tolls and exemptions, the TMRB is also supposed to review the 2020-2024 capital plan at some point, which makes actually appointing its members somewhat urgent since next year is…let’s see here…2020.

 

Source  nyc.streetsblog.org

By Dave Colon

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Contract talks break down between TWU, MTA

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TWU, MTA

NEW YORK (WABC) — Talks between Transport Workers Union Local 100 and the MTA have broken down after both sides have been meeting for the last three days, officials say.

The transit union president claims that the MTA contract demands have “only made the already tense situation worse.”

The union released a statement Thursday evening about MTA Chairman Pat Foye.

“These two days of bargaining have actually set us back,” union president Tony Utano said. “Foye presented us with a new set of demands today that are substantially worse than the insulting package he threw across the table three months ago. Foye not only appears unwilling to negotiate in good faith, he is intentionally spoiling for a confrontation.”

No new talks are scheduled.

The main issues are wages, pension and health benefits, but it all comes amid rising tensions at the MTA and accusations of widespread overtime abuse.

On October 30, members of Transport Workers Union Local 100 rallied outside MTA headquarters, from bus drivers and subway operators to station cleaners and track inspectors. All of them, working without a contract for nearly six months.

MTA officials claimed they have been bargaining in good faith. But unionized workers from the Long Island Rail Road and Metro North are also working without contracts.

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