Tag Archives: LIRR

New train engines to improve Queens air quality


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi's Office

Antiquated, high emission train engines have been a great concern for residents in the industrial areas of southwest Queens. But now, an upgrade is on the way.

Freight trains passing through areas of Community Board 5 and 9 have been running past residential homes for years, causing the track’s neighbors to question any potential health risks.

“This is a quality of life issue,” said Mary Parisen, chair of Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions (CURES).

CURES has worked feverishly to ensure upgraded locomotive engines for the area, and through work with Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi and a coalition of elected officials, managed to secure $3 million in this year’s legislative budget to upgrade engines.

“This is the first win in what will be an ongoing fight to protect the health of countless families in Queens,” Hevesi said.

“With New York State’s recognition that outdated trains can be severely damaging to communities they pass through, we have taken the first step toward fixing this problem.”

The funds will kick off a pilot project that will upgrade the first of a number of antiquated, high- emission trains.

The trains, owned and leased by the LIRR, are currently equipped with “archaic” 1970s engines, and operate throughout the city and Long Island, carrying waste and cargo near residents’ backyards, schools, parks and beaches.

However, after the upgrade, there is expected to be an annual reduction in nitrogen oxide, a known byproduct of diesel engines, by up to 76 percent, or 120 tons of emission over 10 years, according to Hevesi’s office.

After years of work advocating for modernized engines, Parisen said that she and the other members of CURES are “ecstatic” simply because they no longer need to convince agencies and the government that the upgrade needed to be done.

“They all acknowledged that this needs to happen, now it’s just a matter of how we’re going to do it,” she said.

The allocated $3 million is going to the LIRR and the MTA, Parisen said, and they are going to upgrade however many trains they can with the amount.

“The locomotives now are doing the most damage to the most densely-populated areas,” she said. “We need to make sure the neighborhood gets the best locomotive possible.”

The coalition plans to continue petitioning the state until all necessary fleet upgrades have been completed, said Hevesi’s office.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

 TODAY’S FORECAST 

Monday: Overcast in the morning, then mostly cloudy. High of 55. Winds from the ESE at 10 to 15 mph. Monday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 41. Winds from the SE at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Marking Spaces: New York City’s Landmark Historic Districts 

The NYC Landmarks Preservation Law, enacted by then Mayor Robert Wagner on April 19, 1965, protects the city’s architecturally, historically and culturally significant buildings and sites. One of the best manifestations of the New York City landscape and the impact of landmarks is the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum of Art. The new exhibition “Marking Spaces: New York City’s Landmark Historic Districts,” will have yellow flags placed on the model to identify the 109 historic districts throughout the five boroughs. On view through June 2. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own 

 7 Injured in  fire in Astoria, Queens

Seven people were injured late Sunday afternoon when a fire broke out in an Astoria, Queens apartment building. Read more: CBS New York

Man caught riding Long Island Rail Road train through Queens

Talk about a crazy commute. A reckless rider was spotted on top of a Long Island Rail Road train in Queens Sunday morning. Read more: New York Daily News 

Schumer opposes possible concealed weapon addition to gun control bill

As Washington lawmakers prepare to vote on expanded background checks for gun purchases, Senator Charles Schumer warned Sunday that a possible Republican amendment to a federal gun safety bill could force all states, including New York, to recognize all other states’ concealed-carry laws. Read more: NY1

9/11 memorial charging reservation fee

Visitors to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum must now pay a $2 service fee to reserve passes online or by phone. Read more: Fox New York/AP

New York’s ‘assault weapon’ registration to begin

Key measures of New York’s tough new gun law are set to kick in, with owners of guns now reclassified as assault weapons required to register the firearms and new limits on the number of bullets allowed in magazines. Read more: AP

Tight win for Chavez’s heir spells uncertainty for Venezuela

Late socialist leader Hugo Chavez’s chosen successor Nicolas Maduro won Venezuela’s presidential election by a whisker but now faces opposition protests plus a host of economic and political challenges in the OPEC nation. Read more: Reuters 

Transit changes for the holiday weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

On Good Friday, March 29, all New York City buses will follow a regular weekday schedule, as well as following a regular Sunday schedule on Easter (March 31).

The Long Island Rail Road will follow a regular weekday schedule on Good Friday, but will add eight additional trains between 2:08 p.m. and 3:48 p.m. Three additional trains will run on the Babylon branch, three on the Port Jefferson branch, one on the Port Washington branch, and one on the Far Rockaway branch.

The additional trains are as follows:

Babylon Branch
• 2:29 p.m. express to Lynbrook, then all stops to Babylon.
• 3:00 p.m. stopping at Jamaica, Rockville Centre, then all stops to Babylon.
• 3:31 p.m. express to Rockville Centre, then all stops to Babylon.

Port Jefferson Branch
• 2:08 p.m. stopping at Jamaica, Mineola, then all stops to Huntington.
• 2:32 p.m. stopping at Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Jamaica, New Hyde Park, then all stops to

Huntington.
• 3:24 p.m. stopping at Jamaica, Mineola, Westbury and Hicksville.

Port Washington Branch
• 3:40 p.m. stopping at Woodside, Flushing Main St., then all stops to Great Neck.

Far Rockaway Branch
• 3:48 p.m. express to Locust Manor, then all stops to Far Rockaway.

All road closures will also be temporarily lifted by 1 p.m. on Friday, March 29, in anticipation of a early rush hour.

For more information on service changes, visit mta.info.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Overcast with rain. High of 41. Windy. Winds from the NE at 20 to 25 mph with gusts to 40 mph. Chance of rain 80% with rainfall amounts near 0.2 in. possible. Monday night: Overcast with snow, then a chance of snow after midnight. Low of 34F with a windchill as low as 27. Breezy. Winds from the North at 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Chance of snow 70% with accumulations up to 2 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: BubbleMania 

From March 25 to March 31, at the New York Hall of Science, enjoy the humor and spectacular science of comic bubble-ologist Casey Carle, who has been featured on The Science Channel. See how science can turn the ordinary soap bubble into something extraordinary. Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the show. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Spring storm heads towards New Jersey, Long Island

A spring storm that buried parts of the midwest in snow is now dropping a sloppy mix on part of our area. Read more: ABC New York

N.Y. State Senate Holds Sunday Session To Advance Budget Bill

New York state lawmakers were expected Sunday to take much of the week to pass the $135 billion budget they negotiated with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. CBSNewYork/AP

LIRR resumes normal service after derailment, but broken rail suspends branch

The Long Island Rail Road has resumed normal service Monday after a week of disruptions due to a derailed freight train and a broken rail that suspended service on the Port Washington branch. Read more: ABC New York

Hundreds rally for gay rights at Washington Square Park

Elected officials joined hundreds of demonstrators in Greenwich Village on Sunday afternoon for a march and rally for gay marriage rights. Read more: CBS New York

Ellis Island Museum not likely to reopen in 2013

The National Park Service says the Ellis Island Immigration Museum “will not likely be open in 2013″ as damage from Hurricane Sandy is repaired. Read more: NBC New York

NY Mayor Bloomberg predicts success for expanded gun checks

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg predicted on Sunday that pressure from the American public would eventually force the Congress to expand background checks for gun buyers, even though the measure faces an uncertain fate in the Senate. Read more: Reuters 

Anger over parking rate hikes


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

The Department of Transportation (DOT) could be taking extra money out of commuters’ pockets this summer.

The organization made a proposal to increase fares up to 233 percent for municipal lots, and residents aren’t looking to pay up.

Councilmember Donovan Richards held his term’s first press conference outside one of those lots at the Rosedale Long Island Railroad (LIRR) train station, where commuters travel day in and day out, paying to park in the lot.

“This is attacking our pocketbooks, our expenses and this is just something that we cannot tolerate,” said Alfred Osbourne, Rosedale resident and permit holder at the LIRR lot, who is still recovering from Sandy. “I have other bills, and now to get hit by this? It’s unsustainable.”

Richards said that this increase is “unwarranted,” and “nothing but greed.” Although no numbers are finalized, the increase would go up from the current $110 monthly rate for parking, said Osbourne.

“We cannot afford these steep increases that they are proposing,” said Richards. “Considering the current economic climate facing working families in my district, this . . . increase would disproportionately affect residents.”

State Senator James Sanders, Richards’ former boss and mentor, also attended the press conference to voice his support for his prior chief-of-staff and opposition to the proposed increases.

“What will this increase result in?” he asked. “A better maintained area? Will it be safer? [Is the DOT] putting up signage or walkways? I would argue no.”

Sanders said he will stand “shoulder to shoulder” with Richards on this issue. The two suggested alternative means for the city organization to get the money it needs, such as cutting from corporate subsidiaries.

“Look at them before forcing everyday citizens to take it out of their pockets,” said Richards.

However, a DOT statement said that the parking rate adjustment is the first at the Rosedale lot in many years.

“Bear in mind that there are only 12 permit holders at this lot, and that their effective daily parking rate is increasing from approximately $1.15 to $1.40, still well below the market rate for parking in this area,” said the statement.

The DOT also said it received no comments on the rate from Rosedale permit holders.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Partly cloudy with a chance of rain in the afternoon. High of 50. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy with a chance of rain. Low of 30. Winds from the WNW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Keely Garfield Dance – Telling The Bees

The custom of telling bees after their beekeeper died was believed to keep them from absconding or dying and encourage their affiliation with a new beekeeper. This tradition assumes a reciprocal relationship between animals and humans, between past, present and future and between the lines of life and death. Performer Keely Garfield forages links between the waggle and round dances of the honeybees, their industrious, cooperative societies, the sweet results of their toil and the sting of breakdown in our own organizing principles. Runs from March 13-16 at The Chocolate Factory Theatre in LIC. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Arrest in connection to bodies found in Howard Beach brush fire

A Brooklyn man was arrested in connection to the two bodies found in a brush fire in the Spring Park Preserve last week, authorities have announced. Read more: The Queens Courier

Dangerous billboard hangs over Queens Boulevard, leaves neighbors furious

A deteriorating and potentially dangerous sign hangs over Queens Boulevard, and a neighbor has been complaining that no one has taken action to prevent a potential tragedy. Read more: CBS New York

Ewww! MTA says elevator at Woodside, Queens LIRR constantly breaking down on account of urine

This elevator is more than just a wee bit slow. A lift at the Woodside, Queens, LIRR and subway complex is constantly breaking down from damage caused by people peeing inside it, officials said Monday. Read more: New York Daily News

Two city Sandy rebuilding projects to receive full federal funding

Four post-hurricane rebuilding projects, including two in New York City, will now be fully funded by the federal government, to the tune of more than $1 billion. Read more: NY1

Black smoke as morning fails to bring new pope

Cardinals in secret conclave failed twice on Wednesday morning to elect a new pope, as black smoke over the Sistine Chapel showed ballots on the first full day of voting were inconclusive. Read more: Reuters

David Wright drives in 5 as Team USA rolls Puerto Rico

Gio Gonzalez gave Team USA its best start yet, and David Wright provided a big finish. Read more: CBS New York

 

LIRR riders say no justification for fare hikes


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

MetroCard holders are not the only ones pinching pennies now that fare hikes are in effect.

Starting on Friday, March 1, monthly, one-way, round-trip and 10-trip tickets all went up an average of 8.2 to 9.3 percent for Long Island Rail Road riders.

On the first full work week of higher fares, LIRR commuters in Queens questioned why they are paying more to ride, but are not receiving better service.

“I don’t know how [the LIRR] can justify constantly increasing prices,” said Kevin Gilmartin, a New Jersey resident who has been regularly taking the train from Penn Station to Queens to do millwork projects in the borough for around five years.

Gilmartin knows that taking the train is cheaper than driving, but said with ridership up, the MTA should be lowering prices, not increasing them.

For Nina Rahn, a Bayside resident who commutes to her retail job in Manhattan about four times a week, the fare hike adds up to around $50 more per month.

“I didn’t get a raise at work, so it’s like paying another bill,” said Rahn.

She is also shelling out more cash to ride the bus to and from the train station since MetroCard fares also recently increased.

Agreeing with Gilmartin, Rahn said that if she’s paying more, she wants to see improvements, such as extra trains or fewer signal problems, but those things likely won’t happen.

“Where does the money go?” she said.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Mostly cloudy. High of 46. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Friday night: Overcast in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 32. Winds from the NW at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Sixth Annual Panorama Challenge NYC Team Trivia Game

At the Queens Museum of Art, participate in the world’s only geographical trivia-based game night involving the world’s largest architectural model The Panorama of the City of New York. This challenge involves audio clues and laser-pointers highlighting assorted NYC landmarks, bridges, neighborhoods, parks and more. $10 suggested donation with all proceeds supporting the City Reliquary Museum in Williamsburg. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Two charged with murder, kidnapping for deadly South Richmond Hill fire

Authorities have arrested and charged two men in conjunction with the South Richmond Hill fire that revealed one man bound and shot. Read more: Queens Courier

Metro-North, LIRR fare hikes go into effect

The first round of MTA fare and toll hikes went into effect Friday morning. Read more: CBS New York

City Council wants Albany to give tax relief for Sandy homeowners

Homeowners who decide to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy may find that they are paying for the privilege. Read more: NY1

Breezy Point residents still planning Wounded Warriors event

Residents in Breezy Point are committed to hosting their annual Wounded Warriors event despite all the storm damage. Read more: Fox New York

Man arrested at LaGuardia after switchblades found in carry on, authorities say

Authorities at LaGuardia Airport arrested a man Wednesday that they say had three switchblades in his carry-on luggage. Read more: NY1

Obama to hold budget talks with congressional leaders

A fiscal deadline all but blown, President Obama says he once again wants to seek a big fiscal deal that would raise taxes and trim billions from expensive and ever growing entitlement programs. Read more: ABC New York/AP

MTA service changes for President’s Day holiday


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

According to the MTA, the transit agency’s trains and buses will operate on special schedules in observance of Presidents’ Day on Monday.

Subways and Buses

On Monday, February 18, President’s Day, the MTA New York City subways and buses will operate on a Saturday schedule.

Planned Service changes for Monday, February 18:

The 5 train will operate only as a shuttle in the Bronx, between Dyre Avenue and East 180th Street

7 train weekend work is extended through Monday; 7 trains operate only between Flushing-Main Street and Queensboro Plaza.

Q service will be extended to Astoria due to the 7 shutdown. (From 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, February 16, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, February 17, and from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, February 18, Q trains are extended to Ditmars Blvd. in order to augment service between Manhattan and Queens.)

Other weekend track work diversions will extend through Monday. Details will be posted at www.mta.info.

As a reminder, on a Saturday schedule, these subway changes are in place:

There is no express service on the 6 or 7

The B train does not operate; use the A, C, D or Q instead.

M trains operate only between Myrtle Avenue (Broadway), Brooklyn, and Metropolitan Avenue, Queens.

The Z train does not operate; use the J, which runs between Jamaica Center and Chambers Street.

To stay informed, refer to the Weekday and Weekend Service Change Directories posted in all subway stations, or visit the MTA website at www.mta.info and click on “Planned Service Changes” and/or “Current Service Status.”

Long Island Rail Road

On Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 18, the LIRR will operate on a holiday schedule with three extra westbound trains and three extra eastbound trains on the Port Washington Branch and one extra westbound train on the Ronkonkoma Branch. In addition, selected trains will make additional stops. Off-peak fares will be in effect all day. There will be no train service on the West Hempstead Branch and East of Ronkonkoma.

Extra Westbound Trains

Ronkonkoma Branch

Departs Ronkonkoma at 7:10 AM, making stops all stops to Hicksville (except Pinelawn), then Jamaica, Woodside and arrives Penn Station at 8:28 AM.

Port Washington Branch

Departs Port Washington at 7:10 AM, making all stops to Flushing Main St. (except Mets-Willets Point), then Woodside and arrives Penn Station at 7:55 AM.

Departs Port Washington at 8:10 AM, making all stops to Flushing Main St. (except Mets-Willets Point), then Woodside and arrives Penn Station at 8:55 AM.

Departs Port Washington at 9:10 AM, making all stops to Flushing Main St. (except Mets-Willets Point), then Woodside and arrives Penn Station at 9:55 AM.

Extra Eastbound Trains

Port Washington Branch

Departs Penn Station at 3:48 PM, making stops at Woodside, Flushing Main St., then all stops to Port Washington.

Departs Penn Station at 4:48 PM, making stops at Woodside, Flushing Main St., then all stops to Port Washington.

Departs Penn Station at 5:48 PM, making stops at Woodside, Flushing Main St., then all stops to Port Washington.

Eastbound Trains Making Added Stops

Ronkonkoma Branch

Departs Penn Station at 4:35 PM, making stops at Woodside, Jamaica, New Hyde Park, Mineola, Westbury, Hicksville, Bethpage, then all stops to Ronkonkoma (except Pinelawn).

Departs Penn Station at 5:35 PM, making stops at Woodside, Jamaica, New Hyde Park, Mineola, Westbury, Hicksville, Bethpage, then all stops to Ronkonkoma (except Pinelawn).

Departs Penn Station at 6:35 PM, making stops at Woodside, Jamaica, New Hyde Park, Mineola, Westbury, Hicksville and Bethpage, then all stops to Ronkonkoma (except Pinelawn).

Metro-North Railroad

On Presidents Day, Monday, February 18, Metro-North Railroad will operate on a Saturday schedule. Hudson Rail Link, the Newburgh-Beacon Ferry and the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry, will not operate.

Staten Island Railway

On President’s Day, Monday, February 18, the Staten Island Railway will operate on a Sunday schedule. There will be no early Get Away schedule for the Friday before the holiday weekend.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Overcast with rain. Fog early. High of 45. Winds from the South at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 100% with rainfall amounts near 0.3 in. possible. Monday Night: Partly cloudy with a chance of rain. Fog overnight. Low of 34. Breezy. Winds from the West at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Forest Hills Celebrates 5,000 Years of Chinese Culture

Wenyi Wang will discuss Chinese history, culture and current events at the Central Queens Y. Light kosher Chinese refreshments will be served. Free with $6 suggested donation. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Pope Resigning on Feb. 28, Conclave in March

Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday he would resign Feb. 28, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March. Read more: AP

Queens lawmaker seeks to curb pollution from freight locomotives with influx of state money

A Queens lawmaker is pushing the state to set aside money to alleviate the problem of train pollution that stretches across four counties. Read more: New York Daily News

Mass transit largely back on track following blizzard

Mass transit across the Tri-State Area is getting back to normal. Long Island Rail Road restored weekend service on its Far Rockaway, Long Beach, Hempstead and Oyster Bay branches in addition to the LIRR’s four busiest branches – Ronkonkoma, Huntington, Babylon and Port Washington. Read more: CBS New York

Long Island Expressway reopens after winter storm

Cars are travelling on both directions on the Long Island Expressway Monday, just in time for the morning commute. Read more: ABC New York

Middle Village man found strangled in his room at Queens Boulevard motel

A man was found strangled in his room at a Queens motel late Saturday night, police sources said. Read more: New York Daily News 

Former state Sen. Huntley bought clothes for her dog in taxpayer-funded shopping sprees: source

Looting lawmaker Shirley Huntley loaded up on fancy clothes and spa treatments — and that was just for her pet poodle. Read more: New York Post

Teen births continue to decline in U.S

The number of U.S. babies born to teen mothers dropped to record lows in 2011, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more: Reuters

 

Update on Nemo cleanup


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman

The  city is swiftly bouncing back after the blizzard dubbed “Nemo” swept through the Northeast last night.

The “Big 4″ lines – Babylon, Huntington, Port Washington and Ronkonkoma – of the LIRR are running on every two hours, the MTA announced. Service on other branches will be restored when rail travel is safe again.

While snow falls dwindled by noon today, the Office of Emergency Management advises that winds can still pick up and cause snow drifts throughout the area.

Snow plows have been clearing and salting streets. To see when the last time your street was plowed, click here.

Queens got comparatively less snow than other parts of Long Island, such as Suffolk County. Governor Andrew Cuomo said he has requested Mayor Michael Bloomberg send any additional snow plows to help ease the two-plus feet of snow in Suffolk. The plows won’t go out until after the city is completely plowed, Cuomo said.

Drivers should stay off the road today, the governor advised, as first responders are still trying to clean up from the storm.

“I’ve been all over the metropolitan area and it is dangerous to be on the roads,” Cuomo said. “This is not the day to be out and about.”

Both LaGuardia and JFK International airports are open, according to the Port Authority. Travelers should check with their airlines to check the status of their flight.

Storm disrupts local transit, airport travel


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA's Flickr

In anticipation of Friday’s blizzard, the MTA has added extra trains to the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Metro-North, and has cancelled weekend subway work. But as the weather conditions deteriorate, the MTA may need to cancel or make changes to service. Check the MTA website for any updates throughout the storm.

LIRR

The LIRR is providing 8 extra for customers heading home early Friday afternoon. The extra service is between 2:09 p.m. and 3:48 p.m., with extra trains on the Babylon, Port Jefferson, Port Washington and Far Rockaway Branches. Additionally, one Port Jefferson train will originate from Jamaica instead of Huntington. Please consult the LIRR service status branch listing for the specific added trains. For more information, click here.

Metro-North

There will be extra trains during the early afternoon to help customers return home. This schedule will result in reduced service during the PM peak. Train combinations and cancellations are possible at any time, but increase in likelihood as the evening progresses to prevent trains from becoming stranded during the storm. For more information, click here

Subways and Buses 

The snow may require NYC Transit to shift the storage locations to subway cars indoors along underground express tracks. Some lines that normally run express will operate on local tracks, others will end service earlier than normal this evening. Bus service will operate on a regular schedule.

Rockaway Ferry

The last departures from Manhattan to Rockaway Friday will be the 5:10pm from East 34th Street and the 5:35pm from Pier 11. The last departure from Rockaway to Manhattan will be the 4:30pm. Find out more at Seastreak.com.

Bridges and Tunnels

The MTA’s nine crossings are open and operating normally at this time. Motorists are asked to allow extra travel time and operate at reduced speeds due to wet roadways. All scheduled lane closures and weekend work at the Queens-Midtown Tunnel has been canceled due to the weather.

Amtrak

At 12:30 p.m. Friday, Amtrak is suspending northbound service out of Penn Station. For more information and updates, click here.

Airports

The storm is also affecting airline travel. As of noon, there were 3,147 Friday cancellations at U.S. airports, according to FlightStats.com, with 722 at LaGuardia and 573 at JFK Airport. JetBlue said that it is canceling all of its flights in and out of area airports.

If are are traveling by air today or over the weekend, make sure to check with your airline before going to the airport.

 

A video of the MTA’s storm preparations. 

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

LIRR tickets to go digital


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Flickr/MTA

BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

There’s an app for everything, even taking the train.

The MTA recently announced that it’s seeking a company to help develop digital tickets for passengers to use when boarding the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North trains.

According to the transit agency, the issue for proposals was sent out on January 22 and responses will be due by March 15. A contract is expected be awarded by July of this year with the winning company beginning the pilot program by the spring of 2014 and a full initiative in the early fall of 2014.

LIRR President Helena Williams hopes the initiative will make travelling easier for those taking the train.

Mobile ticketing will offer customers the convenience of print-at-home ticketing as well as onboard payment using credit and debit cards,” she said. “It also will provide many efficiencies for our operation, including reducing onboard cash sales and fare disputes.”

The MTA had tested out the program during the Barclays PGA Tour last year in Bethpage, in which close to 6,000 fans using public transportation bought tickets. Riders bought their tickets with an free app on their smartphone and either printed out the ticket or downloaded it to their smartphone. The app allowed conductors to simply look at the ticket in order to validate it, or scanned the special bar code.

“The LIRR’s successful mobile ticketing pilot last summer for the PGA TOUR at Bethpage showed customers are eager for mobile ticketing,” said Williams. A survey of more than 350 of the participants showed a 99 percent satisfaction rating with the e-tickets.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

 

 

‘The Americans’ are coming to Bayside


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Frank Ockenfels/FX

A new FX series, “The Americans,” will be shooting an upcoming episode in Bayside and will be setting up in the area this week for the  shoot, according to the Bayside Village BID.

The show, which premieres tonight at 10 p.m., is about the marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington D.C. shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected president, and stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys.

Scenes will take place at the LIRR Station, located off of Bell Boulevard, and inside a number of other area locations. Television crews will be setting up and parking equipment from 10 p.m. Wednesday, January 3o until late on Thursday, January 31. The following locations will have no parking during those times:

  • Bell Boulevard from 39th Ave to 42nd Avenue
  • 41st Ave from 212th Street to 214th Place
  • 40th Ave from 214th Place to 215th Place
  • 214th Place from 39th Ave to 40th Avenue
  • 215th Street from 39th Ave to 40th Avenue

All of those streets will be open to vehicular traffic. The municipal lot located on 41st and 214th Place will be open. If you have any further questions please contact the production company directly. Their contact information is located on the signage along the streets listed above.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Overcast with a chance of snow in the afternoon. High of 25F with a windchill as low as 0. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 15 mph shifting to the SW in the afternoon. Chance of snow 40%. Friday night: Overcast with snow. Low of 19F with a windchill as low as 10. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the NW after midnight. Chance of snow 60%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: afroTANGO

Discover Tango’s African roots in this world premiere musical at the Thalia Spanish Theatre in Sunnyside. Music arranged and directed by Latin Grammy winner Raul Jaurena. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Firefighters battle flames, cold in Glendale fire

One person was critically injured in a house fire in the Glendale section of Queens early Friday. Read more: ABC New York

Veteran city supervisor arrested on charges of child porn possession tells FBI he uses binoculars to spy on elementary school kids in Queens

A veteran city supervisor busted for possession of kiddie porn told FBI agents he uses binoculars to spy on kids leaving an elementary school across the street from his Queens apartment. Read more: New York Daily News

Senate sets Monday vote on $50.5B Sandy aid bill

The Senate is set to vote Monday on a $50.5 billion emergency relief bill to help victims of Superstorm Sandy. Read more: CBS New York

Cold weather breaking tracks along LIRR rails

The extreme cold is creating an unusual and potentially dangerous problem for the Long Island Rail Road Friday. Read more: ABC New York

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to host campaign fund-raiser for NJ Gov. Chris Christie
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is opening the double-wide doors at his $7 million Palo Alto, Calif., home for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Read more: New York Post 

State Department pick Kerry draws praise, outlines policy at hearing
John Kerry urged Congress to fix the U.S. economy to ensure America’s role as a world leader and pledged to keep pressure on Iran at a Senate hearing on Thursday that left little doubt he will win easy confirmation as secretary of state. Read more: Reuters