Tag Archives: lunar new year

Mayor adds Lunar New Year holiday to NYC public school calendar

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel

Mayor Bill de Blasio came to Flushing Tuesday morning to announce that the Lunar New Year will be an official public school holiday beginning in the 2015-16 school year, allowing students of Asian descent to celebrate with family without missing class.

The mayor made the declaration at P.S. 20 in Flushing, which counts 75 percent of the student body as being of Asian descent. The Lunar New Year has already been added to the NYC public school calendar and will take place next year on February 8.

“There was a lot we had to balance to get this right,” said de Blasio, who cited difficulties in ensuring that the state-mandated 180 yearly school days fit into the plan. “It took some work, but it happened.”

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña emphasized the importance of keeping a steady education schedule for the 1.1 million students of the city and offered her support of new holiday. To make up for the school hours lost, two separate half-days already in the calendar will be lengthened to become full days of classes.

“Taking time off to honor people’s heritage is also important,” said Fariña.

This is the second time de Blasio had made moves toward cultural inclusion in the school calendar. In March he also declared the two holiest days in the Islamic calendar, Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha, as official public school holidays.

The mayor was joined by a host of officials and community leaders who had long been advocating for the change.

“For too long, families have been forced to choose between celebrating this important cultural holiday and sending their child to school,” said Councilman Peter Koo, a Shanghai native. “By including Lunar New Year in the school calendar, New York City shows that we are an ever-evolving city that takes pride in the cultural traditions of its diverse populations.”

“This holiday is not about kids just getting a day off from school,” added Assemblyman Ron Kim, who attended P.S. 20 as a student himself 30 years ago. “It’s about the City of New York telling hundreds of thousands of Asian Americans that their culture and heritage is part of the American fabric.”

Kim and Koo, along with Rep. Grace Meng and many other prominent members of the Asian-American community, have all pushed for the mayor to establish the school holiday after de Blasio promised to do so while on the campaign trail in 2013.

After seeing no movement forward in the initiative for the Lunar New Year, Kim took on the responsibility of pushing it forward himself this year by authoring state legislation which would have given all New York children the day off. While that bill is still pending, Kim has said that he would lay aside the legislation in the interest of collaborating with the de Blasio administration.


Hoping for Lunar New Year holiday, lawmakers move to end Brooklyn-Queens Day

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com


State lawmakers introduced on Tuesday a bill that would eliminate Brooklyn-Queens Day from the New York City public school calendar.

The measure sponsored by state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky aims to clear a day on the calendar to permit public schools to close for the Asian Lunar New Year in the winter. Brooklyn-Queens Day, which falls on the first Thursday of June, marks the foundation of the first Sunday schools in both boroughs during the 19th century.

For decades, local Protestant churches celebrated Brooklyn-Queens Day with parades through their communities, but the parades stopped in recent years as Protestant congregations plummeted. The last major Brooklyn-Queens Day parade took place in Ridgewood in 2009, ending a century-long tradition.

Nevertheless, schools in Brooklyn and Queens remain closed the first Thursday of June, but many of them use the day for staff development.

The bill states that “there is no reason to continue this anachronistic holiday in state statutes when there is pressure to increase the time students spend in school.” However, Stavisky noted, the elimination of Brooklyn-Queens Day gives the city Department of Education (DOE) flexibility in adding another holiday such as Asian Lunar New Year.

“As a former teacher, I understand the mayor and the Department of Education have a mandate to make sure students are receiving as much classroom instructional time as possible,” Stavisky said. “But educating our students and allowing them to observe important cultural holidays should not be opposing goals. I believe that removing the now defunct Brooklyn-Queens Day and replacing it with the Lunar New Year is a pragmatic solution that the mayor and the Department of Education must consider.”

Among those who joined Stavisky at a Tuesday press conference in Flushing in support of the bill were state Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblymen Ron Kim and Edward Braunstein, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic and City Councilman Peter Koo.

“The history of Brooklyn-Queens Day demonstrates how observance of this day on the public school calendar has changed over the years to meet the changing demographics of our city,” Koo said. “Today, approximately 15 percent of our New York City public school students identify as Asian-American, and we must take this into consideration as we prepare the school calendar for future years.”

According to Stavisky’s office, city public schools in Asian-majority neighborhoods report absentee rates as high as 80 percent on Lunar New Year, which is “the most important cultural celebration on the Asian calendar.”

Earlier this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation declaring two Muslim holidays, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, as school holidays beginning this September. Koo criticized the mayor in March for failing to grant the same holiday status for the Asian Lunar New Year.

Last December, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation granting the DOE greater flexibility to close schools on cultural and religious holidays. By law, all New York City public schools are required to hold at least 180 school days every year.


Koo: Mayor broke promise to make Lunar New Year a school holiday

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Flushing’s Asian community feels burned by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s failure to make Lunar New Year a citywide holiday.

De Blasio announced last week that two Muslim holidays, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, would be added to the public school’s calendar as a holiday that will suspend school for two days. But Councilman Peter Koo said that the de Blasio administration promised him the same designation for Lunar New Year, a holiday that was recently celebrated, among others, by Flushing’s Asian community.

“The de Blasio administration did a commendable thing by recognizing the two Eids as important holidays,” Koo said. “What was strikingly absent from this announcement, however, was the declaration of Lunar New Year as a day off for school children as well. My community and I were made to believe that Lunar New Year was going to officially be recognized for the next school year. I was very disappointed.”

He continued, “Someone needs to explain to us why this hasn’t happened, despite being led to believe it would.”

De Blasio and School Chancellor Carmen Fariña have been pushing for Lunar New Year to become a citywide school holiday since the mayor took office, and the two often held rallies in Flushing to promote the idea. With the addition of the two Muslim holidays, there are now 16 official school holidays. State law sets a required number of school days, and the city must rework its school calendar for any additional school holidays.

But students in Flushing, and other Asian communities in New York, didn’t have to go to school this year because of a law that was passed last year.

The law allows the Department of Education to consider closing schools on days where large student absences are expected due to religious or cultural days of observance; it also calls on school districts to consider closing schools on holidays that are important to groups that account for at least 7.5 percent of the local population. According to census data, 57 percent of Flushing population is classified as Asian.

But Koo still wanted an official nod in the form of a citywide public school holiday.

“We worked with the administration when they came into power to work at getting Lunar New Year a holiday designation,” a spokesman for Koo’s office said. “They haven’t given us any explanation. They didn’t tell us why they didn’t do it.”

After last week’s announcement, de Blasio was asked if Lunar New Year would be included in the future.

“I’m going to keep working on that with the chancellor. What we’ve found in this process is that we are in a very tight situation, as I said, with the number of days that we have to achieve each year, so it’s going to take more work to get to that,” de Blasio said last Wednesday. “We remain focused on it, but it will take more work, because we have to balance a lot of factors.”


Photos: Lunar New Year turns Flushing into a sea of color and dragons

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Dominick Totino Photography

Despite wintry weather, thousands of New Yorkers ushered in the Year of the Sheep — or the Goat or Ram — during the 19th annual Lunar New Year parade in Flushing on Saturday.

For the first time in Flushing history, the Chinese and Korean communities came together to welcome in the Lunar New Year with a joint festival. And the MTA cooperated, too, by canceling all weekend service suspensions on the 7 train to make it easier to get to Flushing.

More than 4,000 people marched in the parade, featuring dragons, dancers, steel drummers, the NYPD band and other marching bands. Even Mr. Met was on hand, perhaps hoping this new year will bring better luck for the team.

Take a look at one of the city’s most colorful events captured by photographer Dominick Totino for The Queens Courier.


Video: Lunar New Year performances at Flushing Town Hall

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

With the start of Lunar New Year, Flushing’s large Asian communities are getting ready to celebrate the year of the goat (or sheep, or ram, depending on the translation). At Flushing Town Hall, artists from all over the world will be holding workshops and performances for the public. Two performances are featured in this video as a sample of what to expect.

The first is the EastRiver Ensemble, a group of dancers and musicians who will be performing at the cultural center on Feb. 28, and the second performance is Dancing Wind, an abstract dance that is meant to imitate earth, wind, fire and water.

On Saturday, a large parade will be held in downtown Flushing. In the past, hundreds of people have come out to celebrate in the parade, and organizers are expecting a similar showing of people with an increased boost from both groups celebrating together.


This Lunar New Year serves as stage for Flushing’s economic and cultural strength

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

This Lunar New Year is more than just the Year of the Sheep; it’s Flushing’s year to show off the economic and cultural strength of a burgeoning Asian-American community.

“This is an auspicious year for us,” said John Choe, who helped create the new Flushing Chamber of Commerce. “It’s very symbolic and politically significant. We’re stepping toward mainstream recognition.”

This Lunar New Year is on Feb. 19. Celebrations in Flushing have always attracted many people but Choe and organizers are expecting this year’s celebrations to be the biggest because of an increase in Flushing’s population and what Choe sees as America’s acceptance of Asian traditions.

“Our message is that this is an American holiday,” Choe said. “We create jobs. We are spurring the economy. We deserve the recognition other ethnic groups get.”

Flushing has become a cultural hub, through the combined effect of new immigrants settling in the area, the hyper activity of the real estate market and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s mandate to develop Flushing’s waterfront along the creek. The city also passed a law recently recognizing Lunar New Year as an official holiday that is being observed by public schools.

“Flushing is at the forefront of helping to make a change,” Choe said and compared it to the Harlem Renaissance. “I see the elements of a Flushing Renaissance. People come from around the world helping to contribute to a new sense of what it means to be American.”

And all that the people in the area have to contribute to America will be on display all weekend as exhibitions and workshops will be held to celebrate the holiday. There will be a parade on Feb. 21 and Flushing Town Hall will also be hosting Chinese and Korean performances. The performances include a group of dancers portraying earth, wind and fire elements; two master calligraphers holding workshops open to the public; and the East River Ensemble, a group of dancers and musicians.

The significance of the holiday was also recognized by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which for the first time suspended weekend service disruptions along the 7 train during the week before and week of Lunar New Year. The move was seen as a major victory among Asian-Americans in Flushing, as more visitors can travel there to shop and celebrate the holiday because subways will be running, unlike last year.

The emphasis for this year is also on a joint celebration between the Korean and Chinese communities in Flushing. In previous Lunar New Year celebrations, the two communities didn’t work together because of historical tensions that stretch back to problems between the Korean and Chinese nations.

“We’re bringing in the new year by being together,” said Jamison Moon, a member of the Korean American Association. “And to be able to do this between two historically strained groups is a great victory.”


Flushing Lunar New Year celebration to be marked with first joint festivities between Korean and Chinese communities

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

As Lunar New Year approaches, Asian communities in Flushing are trying to strengthen their relationship and will be holding a joint celebration for the holiday.

The Korean and Chinese communities are coming together on Feb. 15 to hold a parade for the beginning of their new calendar year. And Flushing Town Hall has announced a celebration between the two groups.

“The Chinese and Korean communities are developing strong roots in Flushing and so we have to do things together to avoid misunderstanding between the two groups,” said Jamison Moon, a member of the Korean American Association of Queens. “Our two communities don’t usually associate but we are trying to create stronger ties.

The Lunar New Year for many Asian cultures falls on Feb. 19 this year and it will be the year of the sheep. In past celebrations, hundreds of people have come out to celebrate in the parade, and organizers are expecting a similar showing of people with an increased boost from both groups celebrating together.

The day will be filled with festivities like traditional Chinese and Korean dances, free rice-cake soups and a K-Pop singing contest.

The joint celebration comes on the heels of a couple of new laws aimed at increasing the awareness of Flushing’s diverse communities. In December a new law was passed that would allow schools in Flushing to close for Lunar New Year, along with other holidays like Diwali. And the city declared Jan.13 the first Korean-American day.

Between 2008 and 2011, the city’s Korean population jumped 11 percent to more than 103,000, according to the Asian American Federation. And Queens has its own vibrant Korean community, which often holds events, like last year’s Senior Olympics, to celebrate its culture.

Flushing Town Hall will meanwhile host a series of events throughout the month with highlights including a bazaar and an Earth, Water, Fire and Wind dance.

“We’re bringing in the new year by being together,” Moon said. “And to be able to do this between two historically strained groups is a great victory.”


MTA to lift 7 train weekend suspensions for Lunar New Year

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

Flushing will usher in the Year of the Sheep without any obstacles from weekend shutdowns of No. 7 subway service, thanks to pressure from local elected officials.

The MTA has announced that it will forego weekend service disruptions during the week of and week before the Lunar New Year. It’s the first time in the MTA’s years-long winter construction that the No. 7 train will run uninterrupted during Lunar New Year.

The two weekends are Feb. 14-15 and Feb. 21-22. The first weekend is to accommodate people who travel to Flushing for holiday preparations and shopping. Lunar New Year follows on Feb. 22.

“While I understand the immense scale of overhauling the entire No. 7 line, I want to applaud the MTA for heeding the concerns of the Asian-American community and planning construction around the Lunar New Year holiday,” Senator Toby Stavisky said. “They’re sending a message that keeping this line open without interruption for this holiday is just as important as transporting fans to a Mets game or the U.S. Open.”

Stavisky was joined in the effort to persuade the MTA to change its weekend service schedule by Assemblyman Ron Kim and City Councilman Peter Koo.

“Flushing is known worldwide for its Lunar New Year celebrations and brings people far and wide to New York City every year,” Kim said. “The 7 train is essential for all those traveling to Flushing, and the Main Street hub is one of the busiest in New York City.  I hope that the MTA will continue to keep this tradition throughout the rest of the 7 line construction in the next few years.”

 “It is vital to many that the 7 line run at full capacity,” Koo said. “Families and friends can come together and celebrate without having to worry how they will get to their destination. And our local small businesses, many who rely on the holiday to boost sales, won’t lose customers due to any service disruptions.”

The MTA is in the midst of a $550 million capital project to upgrade the No. 7 line’s signal system to a state-of-the-art communications-based train control system. The project, which has been underway for several years, requiring the seasonal weekend disruptions, is set to be done in 2017.

Weekend disruptions in service began this month and will continue into May, with the exception of the two February weekends.


New law permits schools to close for more religious and cultural holidays

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo via UrbanUrban_ru/Flickr

For decades, the city closed schools for Christian and Jewish holidays but other religions’ holidays — like Eid al-Fitr and Diwali — didn’t receive the same benefit. But the passage of a new law backed by elected officials in Flushing is changing that.

Assemblyman Ron Kim introduced the legislation, and it was passed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Dec. 17. The law allows the Department of Education to consider closing schools on days where large student absences are expected due to religious or cultural days of observance.

“This is about making sure that all Americans, regardless of where we come from, are institutionally recognized as first-class citizens,” Kim said. “Our strength as a democratic society lies in our ability to appreciate diversity and grow together by learning from each other.”

During a press conference, Kim explained that schools in Flushing will now be able to suspend classes for the Lunar New Year, which traditionally occurs in late January or early February. Lunar New Year is one of the most significant holidays for many Chinese, Korean, Japanese and other Asian ethnic groups, all of which are represented in the Flushing community.

The law calls for school districts to consider closing schools on holidays that are important to groups that account for at least 7.5 percent of the local population. In Flushing, 57 percent of the population is of Asian ancestry.

The new law will also affect students of Muslim or Hindu backgrounds, who account for a large share of students in many Queens school districts.

The passage of the bill marks the end of a long struggle that started with Congresswoman Grace Meng when she was a state assemblywoman in 2009 and first introduced a similar bill.

“Clearly, the time has come for our school system to recognize important holidays such as Lunar New Year, Diwali, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha just as it rightly does for holidays of other cultures and ethnicities,” Meng said. “We now need school districts around the country to follow New York’s lead, and I will continue my efforts on the federal level to accomplish that goal.”


P.S. 46’s Lunar New Year show celebrates diversity

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo and videos by Melissa Chan

Students at P.S. 46 in Bayside rang in the Year of The Horse Tuesday with a Lunar New Year celebration.

About 125 scholars, kindergarten through fifth grade, took the stage to perform Chinese and Korean dances and songs, as well as the traditional lion dance and martial arts, during the school’s ninth annual assembly.

“We have such a huge Asian population,” said co-coordinator Caroline Galan, a Response to Intervention teacher at the school. “It’s one of our biggest holidays that we celebrate.”

The show could not go on without the help of some 30 parents who came to practice with the students during lunch for about two months, Galan said.

Co-coordinator Hannah Ree, who teaches special education, said the “inclusive” assembly raises awareness of different cultures and celebrates diversity.

“It’s a great way to share who we are and get other children to celebrate with us,” she said. “It gives everyone an opportunity to be a part of this.”



P.S. 203 rings in Year of the Horse with Lunar New Year celebration

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Melissa Chan

The majestic horse was the star of the show Friday at P.S. 203’s Lunar New Year assembly.

Students from the Bayside school shuffled into the auditorium, under the cover of the 12 Chinese zodiac calendar animals.

One by one, each ornately decorated animal paraded down the halls, before giving center stage to the mare with the pink bow.

“It takes a whole school — parents, teachers, children, everyone — to really make this event happen,” said Principal Carole Nussbaum.

Planning for the hour-long assembly began in October, Nussbaum said.

Students celebrated with Chinese and Korean dances and songs, and a buffet of cultural treats.

“I am always impressed by the talent and passion of the students of P.S. 203,” said State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, “and that is a reflection of the excellence of the staff and administration here.” 



Celebrate the Year of the Horse with Lunar New Year events in Queens

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Mike DiBartolomeo

The Year of the Horse is galloping in with an array of exciting cultural festivities. 

This Lunar New Year, celebrated on Jan. 31, marks the 4,712th year on the Chinese calendar.

Regarded as one of the most important holidays in the Far East, Lunar New Year is customarily celebrated with a lively parade — complete with fiery, ornate dragons — and a colorful fireworks display.


Each year is named for one of the 12 figures of the Chinese zodiac.

To many, the horse is a symbol of competition, victory and the pursuit of freedom and passion.

“The spirit of the horse is recognized to be the Chinese people’s ethos — making unremitting efforts to improve themselves,” said Councilmember Peter Koo. “Such is also the spirit of the Flushing community.”

“With several projects taking off in northeast Queens, 2014 will bring exciting changes to Flushing and its surrounding area,” Koo said.

New Yorkers hoping to celebrate the Lunar New Year need not look very far.

Chinatown in Manhattan will ignite with New Year spirit Feb. 2, as the 15th annual parade dances downtown, starting at Little Italy through Chinatown at 1 p.m.

In Queens, on Feb. 8, Flushing will flood with festival-goers watching the 18th annual Lunar New Year Parade as it makes its way down Main Street.

Booths dishing out ethnic treats are set to line the streets for attendees hoping to grab a tasty snack while watching a beautiful fireworks display.

It is expected to start around 10 a.m. on Union Street and 37th Avenue. It usually ends at Main Street and 39th Avenue.

Last year, thousands flocked to the celebration to ring in the Year of the Snake.

Flushing Town Hall (FTH) also has a two-month lineup of music, art, dancing, calligraphy and mask making to celebrate the holiday and its rich history that dates back centuries.

“Since the inception of this festival at Flushing Town Hall, the Lunar New Year events have been able to bridge generational divides and unify cultures throughout Queens and abroad,” FTH Executive Director Ellen Kodadek said. “It’s a wonderful way to kick off the dawn of a new year.”



Federal, state and city officials: ‘Make Lunar New Year an official school holiday’

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

State lawmakers have strengthened a renewed push to make Lunar New Year an official school holiday, garnering support from City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Students shouldn’t feel like they have to choose between celebrating their heritage and missing a day of school,” the newly-risen speaker said.

The City Council plans to introduce two resolutions, calling for schools to close and metered parking to be suspended on one of the most important holidays of the year in Asian communities, Mark-Viverito said.

Multiple other measures have been introduced in the state and federal levels that call for a similar break for families.

A bill that would establish Lunar New Year as a school holiday for districts with an Asian-American population of at least 7.5 percent has been introduced in the State Senate and Assembly for years.

Flushing is the only neighborhood in Queens to meet the criteria, along with Chinatown in downtown Manhattan.

While it has made no movement in the past, elected officials gathered Friday in downtown Flushing to declare 2014 the year of action.

“This is the year and this is the time we believe it’s going to happen,” said Councilmember Paul Vallone, who is drafting a bill that would suspend metered parking that day.

About 14 percent of city students in the school system are Asian-American, Mark-Viverito said.

Officials have long argued absence rates in some city schools climb 80 percent on the first day of the Lunar New Year. Though observing students are “excused,” the absence is marked on their record.

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, who spearheaded the Assembly’s attempts during her last tenure, proposed a resolution in Congress this month, asking local education agencies that include the city’s Department of Education to close schools that day.

“One day, we’ll look back and see that we made history,” said Councilmember Karen Koslowitz.



Pols: Lunar New Year should be school holiday

| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of State Senator Daniel Squadron's Office

Flushing and Chinatown lawmakers are still pushing to get the city to recognize Lunar New Year as an official school holiday.

“It’s time we show the proper respect to the Asian-American community,” said State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky. “Lunar New Year is a time when families, from near and far, come together to celebrate.”

Absence rates in some city schools climb 80 percent on the first day of the Lunar New Year, elected officials said. Though observing students are “excused,” the absence is marked on their record.

“On the day of the Lunar New Year, classrooms are emptied out,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “People should not have to choose between spending their most important holiday with their family and going to school.”

Legislation in the State Senate and Assembly would establish Lunar New Year as a school holiday for districts with an Asian-American population of at least 7.5 percent based on the 2000 Census.

Flushing is the only neighborhood in Queens to meet the criteria, along with Chinatown in downtown Manhattan.
The bill had been introduced years ago, but no movement has been made, officials said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has reportedly rejected the idea in the past. His office did not comment.

“Lunar New Year is a time of coming together and renewal for the nearly one million Asian New Yorkers of different ethnicities who celebrate the holiday,” said Chris Kui, executive director of Asian Americans for Equality. “It is not the same if someone cannot be home to celebrate with the family and the community.”



Travel Advisory for Flushing Lunar New Year Celebration

| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Asian Lunar New Year will be celebrated in Flushing this weekend with a parade and fireworks display set for Saturday, February 4. No. 7 trains will operate between Queensboro Plaza and Flushing-Main Street, but will be suspended between Queensboro Plaza and Times Square-42ndStreet.  Parade-goers coming from Manhattan should take the “N” or “Q” to Queensboro Plaza and transfer to the Flushing-bound No. 7.  There will be extra “N” service and “Q” service will be extended to Ditmars Boulevard to provide more connections to the No. 7.  Customers may also take the “E” or “F” to Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue and transfer to the Flushing-bound No.  7.

The parade kicks off at 11 a.m. on 39th Avenue between Main Street and 138th Street.  It proceeds east on 39th Avenue and turns right on Union Street traveling south to Sanford Avenue and then east to Main Street.  From there, the parade travels north on Main Street to conclude at 39th Avenue.  The fireworks display will take place at the Queens Crossing Mall at 39th Avenue beginning at 12:30 p.m.

The following bus routes operate in the area of the parade route and may be subject to reroutes:  Q12, Q13, Q15/15A, Q16, Q17, Q19, Q20A, Q20B, Q25, Q27, Q28, Q44, Q48, Q50, Q58, Q65 and Q66.

For more information visit www.mta.info.