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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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Harlem subway derailment cost MTA $3.4M in new train cars, track work: report

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A subway rail improperly attached to the roadbed led to 39 straphangers getting hurt, two subway cars wrecked — and the MTA on the hook for $3.4 million.

That’s the conclusion of an MTA probe into the June 27, 2017, derailment of an A train in Harlem.

Most of the expense of the crash — $3.1 million — was what it cost to replace the two cars that had to be scrapped.

The rest included $194,047 in parts and labor from the Division of Signals, $105,637 from the Division of Infrastructure and $2,144 in labor from the Division of Track.

The derailment turned a routine morning commute into hell on wheels.

Before the accident, track crews worked to replace a 26-foot piece of rail that had a defect.

To make the fix, crews cut down a new 39-foot piece of rail to 26 feet.

But they failed to properly secure the new rail to the track bed, investigators found. They stowed the unused 13-foot piece of track and another 39-foot track section in the middle of the track bed.

The southbound A train was rolling at between 20 and 25 mph when improperly fastened rails and the loose rails on the trackbed combined to trip the train’s emergency brakes.

The wheels and motors of two train cars derailed as the train slammed into a wall.

Hundreds of straphangers were forced to evacuate through dark subway tunnels.

None of the 39 people hurt in the crash suffered life-threatening injuries.

The derailment was quickly blamed on human error before the start of the rush hour. Two supervisors at the scene during the track work were suspended. The MTA did not provide an update on their suspension and employment status.

After the derailment, MTA officials checked the subway system to make sure materials were stored on the tracks safely, and that crews were instructed on procedures.

The Daily News obtained the report on the crash from the state Public Transportation Safety Board.

The MTA also investigated two derailments on the 7 line near the Mets-Willets Point station in January 2017.

Inspectors found wheel flanges on both derailed trains were so worn down, the cars slid off the tracks. Further checking revealed the flanges were worn down on half of the 7 train fleet.

Subway officials believe the flanges were worn down by a new curved section of track north of the 34th St.-Hudson Yards station that opened in September 2015, the PTSB says. MTA officials are working on a solution to that problem.

Fixing the cars and other damage of the 7 train derailments cost the MTA $50,019.

“Safety is our top priority and though these instances are very rare, any mishap is one too many,” MTA spokesman Shams Tarek said.

“The complete modernization of New York City Transit requires relentless attention to both physical assets and our procedures, and we’re laser-focused on improving both.”

Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-metro-a-train-derailment-harlem-damages-20180713-story.html

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Cuomo demands de Blasio pay $18B subway fixes

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Just a few months after Gov. Andrew Cuomo forced the city to foot half the cost of emergency subway repairs, he is now demanding that Mayor Bill de Blasio cough up more than $18 billion to help pay for long-term fixes in the system.

Cuomo said the city has the money to split the costs of a planned massive overhaul of the subway system, which is expected to cost about $37 billion over 10 years.

“Fifty-fifty. Let’s solve it. Let’s stop arguing. Fifty-fifty,” the governor said during an unrelated press conference on Thursday when asked how much the city should pay for the plan. “I don’t think there’s anything more reasonable than fifty-fifty.”

Cuomo has said that the state took over paying for the subway years ago when the city was in financial crisis, but now that the coffers are flush, it should pay its share.

City officials said the governor’s request is ridiculous.

“After failing miserably to secure a sustainable revenue source, we knew the governor would be back for more,” said de Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips. “The mayor has contributed a record amount bailing out Governor Cuomo’s subway mismanagement. Rather than constantly asking for more from all our riders and taxpayers, the governor should pass a millionaire’s tax to fix the trains he’s run into the ground.”

Transit advocates skewered Cuomo’s statements, saying he’s not taking responsibility for the subway.

“Governor Cuomo controls the MTA. He also dominates the state budget process, the only legal mechanism that can raise the tens of billions of dollars it will take to fix the subway,” said John Raskin, executive director of the Riders Alliance. “The MTA now has a modernization plan but the governor still hasn’t put forward a funding plan for the Legislature to vote on, and riders continue to suffer through regular breakdowns and delays.”

Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon also took the opportunity to knock the governor over his words.

“Straphangers are sick of this political blame game,” she said. “It is the governor’s legal responsibility to fund the subways. Period. But instead of accepting his responsibility, Andrew Cuomo tries to place the blame on everyone else, including, now, the taxpayers.”

Cuomo and de Blasio fought for 10 months over whether the city should pay $418 million for half the cost of MTA Chairman Joe Lhota’s Subway Action Plan, a program launched a year ago to staunch delays.

Cuomo finally asked the state Legislature to pass a law requiring the city to pay and the de Blasio administration coughed up the cash.

Source: https://nypost.com/2018/07/12/cuomo-demands-de-blasio-pay-18b-for-subway-fixes/

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MTA unveils new travel app for public testing

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The MTA now has one app to rule them all.

A new app that covers all modes of travel at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority — subway, bus and rail — was released Monday, as the agency also updated its main website to make it easier to navigate.
It details delays, planned work, service changes and real-time arrivals, while letting riders plan trips and find nearby stations. It’ll also track escalators and elevator outages.

Riders can download the app and test out the beta version — MTA officials will be collecting passenger feedback.

“This is about getting to our customers and putting information in their hands,” MTA managing director Ronnie Hakim said.

Riders who use the MYmta app will be able to buy Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road tickets by the end of the summer.

There is currently separate MTA apps called eTix to pay for commuter rail trips and Subway Time for train trip arrivals and disruptions.

The app will also let subway and bus riders use their phones to pay for trips once the MetroCard is retired.

The MTA had avoided getting into the app game — agency officials instead handed its trip data to third-party developers, leading to a proliferation of apps.

“One of the things our customers have said, they like to hear from us directly,” Hakim said. “They have a sense that there is an integrity to the data we’re providing.”

Nick Sifuentes, director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, was an early tester of the MYmta app. He appreciated how it combines helpful travel information into a single app, instead of making riders look for different apps.

“Riders, millions of them, every single day, are going to say, ‘Oh, man, I don’t know how I got around without being able to use this app for my trip planning,’ ” Sifuentes said.

The MYmta app will also get an update this summer to let people who use wheelchairs or have disabilities book an Access-A-Ride trip.

Access-A-Ride traveler John Hatchett, 58, helped the MTA test out the app and gave feedback. One feature he appreciated is that an accessibility section was included in the app, instead of a separate app.

“I really felt like we’ve been listened to about not only what’s not working but what we would like to see to make it work better,” Hatchett said.

Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-metro-mta-app-20180702-story.html

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