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New head of NYC Transit is becoming local hero

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andy byford

Andy Byford has headed New York City Transit for five months—normally long enough for disgruntled straphangers to start turning on him. But events this week showed that his honeymoon period isn’t over.

On the contrary: It’s just beginning.

Thursday morning, before some 400 transportation movers and shakers in an auditorium at NYU, the onetime London Tube station manager made his first public presentation of his 75-page plan to modernize the world’s largest subway and bus system.

It was a reprise of his Wednesday performance before the board of directors of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where Byford introduced his blueprint, Fast Forward. And while he didn’t delve into what he called “the elephant in the room”—its cost—he made sure everyone in the NYU auditorium knew the plan was big.

“This needs to be a complete overhaul, not a tweak,” Byford said. “We must aim higher than just stabilizing what we have today.”

In the first five years, he would shut down chunks of the system on nights and weekends to replace an antiquated signaling system on five major lines with a communications-based-train-control system. He would buy more than 650 new subway cars capable of “talking to each other” and render an additional 1,200 cars CBTC-capable. At the same time, more than 50 new stations would be made wheelchair-accessible.

The MTA is installing new signals on the 7 and L lines, which will benefit 900,000 riders a day, and working at a rate that would require at least 40 years for a complete overhaul. His plan would benefit 3 million riders, tackling “the big movers, the heavy lifters,” including the 4, 5 and 6 lines.

“There are people saying, ‘It can’t be done,'” Byford said. “Well, we’ll see about that.”

His words were such music to the audience’s ears that he got a standing ovation.

Byford received a similar response Wednesday at the MTA’s monthly board meeting.

“There was sustained applause from the public who attended the meeting,” recalled Jon Orcutt, director of communications and advocacy at TransitCenter. “And those are usually people who are there to complain about something.”

Inspiring the public—and transportation advocates—may be Byford’s first order of business as he lines up political support for a plan that The New York Times reported could cost $19 billion. (Byford said the price tag is still being worked out—and carefully, to avoid the MTA’s usual practice of blowing through project budgets.)

“He did a really good job of getting people to buy into his vision of transformative change,” said Jack Davies, campaign manager at Transportation Alternatives. “It really underscored that he is the right person at the right time to fix our transit system.”

Source: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20180524/TRANSPORTATION/180529931/standing-o-for-nyc-transits-andy-byford-in-appearance-to-sell-subway-and-bus-makeover

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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