Tag Archives: MetroCard

MTA plans to help promote LIC during No. 7 train suspensions


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of MTA New York City Transit / Leonard Wiggins.

Although the MTA cannot put a stop to the suspensions expected for the No. 7 train, the agency plans on working to help promote Long Island City.

After a closed preliminary meeting with elected officials and community leaders on Thursday, the MTA said it is willing to work with the community to create a marketing campaign for the neighborhood during the upcoming shutdowns.

Between Feb. 28 and July 21, there will be 13 weekend suspensions. Those dates are finalized but the agency also plans on holding nine tentative weekend shutdowns August through November.

“In terms of what we are more than willing to do is to work with the elected officials and the business owners on a marketing campaign for area businesses in Long Island City,” said MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz.

The campaign would include “pretty robust presence” at subway stations with brochures in different languages, posters, a homepage banner and information on the digital urban planners, said Ortiz.

The agency is also considering doing a two-side branded MetroCard with information on Long Island City.

In regards to the option offered by elected officials to have a shuttle bus service into the city, the MTA does not plan on implementing it because it is not a “viable alternative,” said Ortiz. 

He added that it is quicker for the vast majority of passengers to take the E, N or Q lines into Manhattan and people will still be able to get into Long Island City. 

“It’s just going to take a little bit longer,” said Ortiz. 

Elected officials have also asked for ferry service to be increased during the time of the suspensions, but Ortiz said that option would have to be addressed by the city and the New York City Economic Development Corporation

Ortiz added that the suspensions need to happen in order for certain tracks to be replaced to prevent future problems and increase the number of trains running on the No. 7 line. 

The MTA plans to work together with the elected officials to hold meetings with the community. The dates are yet to be determined.

 

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MetroCard facing extinction after 20 years


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

The MetroCard just turned 20 years old and it looks like it’s time for it to retire, according to the MTA.

By 2019, the transit agency is looking to fully replace the MetroCard with an account based, contactless card system, in an effort to save money.

Since the MetroCard was introduced two decades ago, it has been a “tremendous success,” said MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz. According to him, the new technology has contributed to increased ridership, going from 1 billion to 1.6 billion in the last 20 years.

But, “the MetroCard and its technology is nearing its end of its useful life,” he said.

The MTA spends about $6 million a year printing MetroCards, plus the cost of maintaining the MetroCard machines, according to Ortiz. The older technology is also costly to maintain because it can only be provided by one vendor, he added.

In March 2013, along with fare hikes, the transit agency introduced a “New Card Fee,” where riders need to pay $1 each time they buy a new MetroCard at a machine or station booth.

A new system could also allow riders to use the same ticketing method across more than just city subways and buses, including the MTA’s regional rails, and even New Jersey Transit and other local transportation systems, according to Ortiz.

Other major cities in the country have already adapted this type of ticketing system, as well cards that use contactless readers, and can automatically deduct money from a person’s bank account or credit card.

“We want to expand customer choice [and] customer convenience through technology,” Ortiz said.

The MTA is also thinking of offering a way riders can pay using their smartphones.

For customers who might not have a bank account or credit card, Ortiz said the MTA “would develop a system that would accommodate those customers.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Thursday: Sunny. High 31. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy skies this evening will become overcast overnight. Low 26. Winds light and variable.

EVENT OF THE DAY: D.B. Rielly at Winegasm 

Come join award-winning singer/songwriter D.B. Rielly at Winegasm at 9 p.m., where he will perform a wide-ranging collection of Americana music, spanning several genres including roots, blues, and country. Winegasm is located at 31-86 37th Street in Astoria. Admission is free, for more information visit www.dbrielly.com.

Con Edison sets new winter records for gas, electric usage

The extreme cold in recent days has led to a new winter one-day record for national gas and electric service use by Con Edison customers. Read more: CBS New York

NYC urging parents to get flu shots for children

New York City health officials are urging locals to get flu shots, especially for their young children. The Health Department said vaccination levels are rising but remain below the goals set by the federal government. Read more: Fox New York

Cantor may launch charter school probe against de Blasio

Mayor de Blasio’s anti-charter school pronouncements could get him investigated by Congress before he even moves into Gracie Mansion. Read more: New York Post

MetroCard machines randomly dispensing super bowl-themed cards 

MetroCard machines are now randomly dispensing Super Bowl-themed cards as a way to promote the championship game at MetLife Stadium next month. Read more: NBC New York

Dennis Rodman apologizes for comments in North Korea, admits drinking

Dennis Rodman apologized Thursday for comments about captive American missionary Kenneth Bae in an interview with CNN. Read more: AP

 

Cops bust Queens teenagers for illegal gun after fare evasion arrest


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Two teens caught trying to pass through a Jamaica subway turnstile with one MetroCard swipe were then arrested for illegally possessing a gun.

Officers Brian Chiang and John Cammarata of the 103rd Precinct observed Bo Bannister, 16, and Daquan Monroe, 17, attempting to evade the fare around 12:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer Avenue station, said police.

After arresting the teens, the officers recovered a Bryco Jennings 9MM handgun and a loaded magazine from them.

Bannister and Monroe have both been charged with criminal possession of a weapon and theft of service, said police.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then overcast. High of 50. Breezy. Winds from the WNW at 10 to 20 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 37F. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Trumpeters of Queens

The Trumpeters of Queens concert at Flushing Town Hall at 8 p.m. will feature only musicians who live in the borough, such as Josh Deutsch and his quintet and Miki Hirose, who will showcase his latest CD. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

MetroCard glitch leaves subway riders unable to pay with credit, debit cards

Riders at 126 subway stations — 26% of the system — were unable to buy MetroCards with credit or debit cards for hours Thursday morning because of technical problems. Read more: New York Daily News

Judge rejects cty’s evacuation plans for the disabled during emergencies

A federal judge has ruled that New York City has violated the law by failing to adequately plan for the evacuation and protection of disabled people during emergencies such as Superstorm Sandy or the Sept. 11 attacks. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Twitter wraps up blockbuster IPO, stock closes at $44.90 on NYSE

Twitter made its highly anticipated Wall Street debut at $45.10 a share, sending the company’s value soaring above expectations. Read more: NBC New York

Panel to decide whether to count spire in WTC’s height

Architects for the firm that designed One World Trade Center are set to make their case this week for the building’s 408-foot spire to be counted towards its height, giving it the full, symbolic measurement of 1,776 feet, and making it officially the tallest in the U.S. Read more: NBC New York

Senate OKs gay rights bill banning discrimination 

Reflecting Americans’ increasing acceptance of gays, the Senate on Thursday approved legislation that would bar workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Read more: CBS New York/AP

MTA fare hikes begin this week


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA's Flickr

MTA fare hikes that will increase MetroCard prices across the board will take effect on Sunday, March 3.

In addition to raising the base fare from $2.25 to $2.50, monthly, weekly and express bus rides will also go up, and the MetroCard discount will change from 7 percent off with every $10 purchased to 5 percent off with every $5 spent.

Long Island Railroad, Metro-North and Staten Island Railway tickets, Access-A-Ride fares, and MTA bridge and tunnel tolls will increase in early March as well.

Starting Sunday, the MTA is also introducing a “New Card Fee,” where riders will have to pay $1 each time they buy a new MetroCard at a machine or station booth. To ease that burden, the transit agency recently announced that customers can refill their MetroCards with a combination of both unlimited-ride time and pay-per-ride dollar values.

“This card is the most flexible MetroCard ever offered and the best way to avoid paying the $1 New Card Fee by refilling and reusing your current card,” said MTA interim executive director Thomas Prendergast. “We produce almost 160 million MetroCards each year at an annual cost of nearly $10 million. Many of the cards often end up as litter in the system, so by refilling your MetroCard, you’ll reduce expenses and help the environment.”

But saving the earth isn’t enough for riders that need to shell out more cash in an economy where pay raises are few and far between.

“It’s difficult because [I will be making] the same money,” Lilliana Napolitano of Flushing said about the fare hikes.
Donna Reid of Jamaica, who just read heard about the fare hikes this week, was unaware how much more she has to pay, and didn’t know that unlimited rides were increasing.

Even though Reid saves money by buying a monthly MetroCard to take the bus, she will have to spend an extra $8 every 30 days.

She also didn’t realize that straphangers will need to pay extra for each new MetroCard.

“I don’t see why they have to be charging [a New Card Fee],” while people already have to pay taxes,” she said.

 

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MTA discusses platform doors, other possible safety measures


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Crown Infrastructure Solutions

After a record-tying 55 deaths from subways striking straphangers in 2012, including two high-profile shoving incidents, the MTA is reviewing platform safety.

“This is a troubling and dangerous trend with serious implications for the millions of commuters who ride the subway each day,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. “With six fatalities so far in 2013, New York is on pace to reach nearly 100 deaths this year. I renew my call for an investigation by the MTA inspector general to determine why accidents are on the rise and what can be done to make our subway system safer.”

In a letter, Stringer asked the transit agency to look into what safety programs and features transit systems around the world are using, including platform doors, and their costs and feasibility.

At a presentation during its transit committee meeting on Monday, January 27, the MTA addressed many of those items, discussing both current measures and possible future tactics to prevent subway cars from hitting people.

The agency said that it has always emphasized platform safety, but it also plans on implementing a more rigorous campaign.

These actions include enhancing station announcements and their frequency, and posting signs highlighting platform safety in multiple languages in trains, buses, stations and on MetroCards.

The MTA is also considering a pilot for intrusion detection technology, which would warn train operators someone was on the track, and one for platform doors.

Transit systems throughout the world, including Beijing, Paris and London, are incorporating track barriers into their stations. Though they are a direct way to reduce accidents, they have drawbacks, said the MTA. They include installation and operational difficulties, and cost, estimated at $1 billion or more.

As far back as 2007, the MTA was in talks with Crown Infrastructure Solutions to create advertisement supported train barriers, but according to the company’s president, Michael Santora, those discussions never moved forward.

Installed system-wide, over time they would have been fully paid for with ads placed on the barriers, said Santora.

But MTA interim president Thomas Prendergast emphasized that the barriers are not a “silver bullet.”

“It would not solve the problem totally,” he said. “But if you look at it in terms of order of magnitude cost and what it would compete against in terms of other safety improvements, it’s a difficult argument. But we know we can do is we can focus efforts right now at trying to change customer behavior and that’s what we’re doing.”



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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast. Fog early. High of 54. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the East in the afternoon. Chance of rain 20%. Tuesday Night: Overcast with a chance of rain. Low of 41. Winds from the SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Queens Public Library book event with NYT author Carl Weber

Carl Weber is a Queens native and a New York Times bestselling author. Join him as he celebrates the release of his latest book, “The Man in 3B,” with refreshments and big fun at the Queens Central Library on January 29 at 6 p.m. Free and open to the public. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

MTA delays new system that will replace MetroCards with ‘smart’ debit or credit cards

The MTA is delaying implementation of a new fare-payment system that will replace the MetroCard. Read more: New York Daily News

More non-union school bus drivers spark heated protests

A heated protest is expected Tuesday morning over New York City’s ongoing school bus strike. Read more: ABC New York

State seeking suitors to build new Kosciuszko Bridge

State officials are creating a short-list of suitors that will get a chance to reshape a vital link between Brooklyn and Queens. Read more: New York Daily News

New FEMA flood maps double number of local at-risk homes

Some New Yorkers who saw their homes badly damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy will have to rebuild three to six feet above their house’s current level. Read more: NY1

Ex-Mayor Ed Koch re-hospitalized after 2 days

he spokesman for former New York City Mayor Ed Koch says he’s been re-admitted to the hospital two days after he was released. Read more: ABC New York

Some New York City restaurants ban food photography by customers

If you’re one of the thousands of people who snap pictures of your food and instantly share them on social media, you might be surprised to learn that some restaurants are now banning photos of their food. Read more: CBS New York

Obama launches push for immigration overhaul

Seeking swift action on immigration, President Barack Obama on Tuesday will try to rally public support behind his proposals for giving millions of illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship, as well as making improvements to the legal immigration system and border security. Read more: AP

MTA head Joe Lhota resigns to explore mayoral run


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA/Flickr

Following the MTA board’s approval of his fare hike proposal, CEO and Chairman Joe Lhota announced that he will resign, effective December 31, to consider running for New York City mayor in 2013.

At the announcement, Lhota said that he would make “no further comment” on his mayoral candidacy until early January, when he will announce his decision.

The approved fare and toll changes, which raise the MetroCard base and unlimited fares, reduce the discount, as well as increases ticket prices on the Long Island Railroad and Metro-North, and raise tolls on MTA bridges and tunnels, are Lhota’s last hoorah as the agency’s head, and could conceivably hurt his chances among voters.

Post-Sandy polls showed that the majority of New Yorkers were pleased with how the MTA responded to the superstorm and its aftermath, but voters are fed up with the frequent fare hikes.

His party could also be an obstacle.

After two decades, the city will likely have a Democratic mayor again.

A November Quinnipiac University poll found that if Lhota ran for mayor as a Republican he would lose to an unnamed Democratic candidate 60 to nine percent. Forty-five percent of those surveyed also disapproved of how Lhota is handling his job as the head of the MTA.

Current mayor Michael Bloomberg, who ran for his first two terms as a Republican before switching to an Independent before his third run, is expected to endorse City Council Speaker and Democrat Christine Quinn, and reportedly even asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run.

Another former mayor, Rudy Giuliani, however, is expected to endorse Lhota, who served as his deputy mayor for operations. Giuliani also reportedly encouraged him to run.

The MTA chair also worked in investment banking, was an executive vice president for the Madison Square Garden Company, and served as the city’s budget director and commissioner of finance, before Governor

Andrew Cuomo appointed him as head of the transit agency in November 2011.

Before facing a Democrat, Lhota needs to win the Republican primary, where he could run against newspaper publisher Tom Allon, billionaire grocer John Catsimatidis, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, former Bronx borough president Adolfo Carrión Jr. and Doe Fund founder and president George McDonald.

The same November Quinnipiac poll also found that Lhota would lose to Carrión 62 to 11 percent.

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High of 50. Winds from the NNE at 10 to 15 mph. Wednesday night: Clear in the evening, then overcast. Low of 37. Winds from the NNE at 5 to 15 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Mets and City Harvest Sandy Food Drive

Fans donating 10 items or more of nonperishable nutritious food will receive a voucher redeemable for one pair of tickets to a select Mets game in April 2013. Donors will also receive 15 percent off select merchandise at the Mets Team Store at Citi Field. Season Ticket Holders who donate food can show their ID card to get 20 percent off select items. The discount will only be honored Wednesday, November 14. Drop off location will be inside the Hodges VIP entrance next to the Mets Team Store. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Sandy storm victims fear price gouging from electrical inspectors

Those red, yellow and green placards being plastered across damaged structures in storm-ravaged Rockaway and Broad Channel could determine whether you can indeed go home again. Read more: New York Daily News

Parents: Bus for relocated Rockaways students delayed in return home

Some parents in the Rockaways are furious after waiting for their kids for hours to come home from school Tuesday. Read more: NY1

MTA bigs: Refund only fare

Riders who paid for an unlimited MetroCard during Hurricane Sandy may see a rebate, after all. Read more: New York Post

Time Warner Cable sued for modem ‘scam’

Time Warner Cable was zapped with two class-action lawsuits that could affect 15 million customers Tuesday over its decision to charge a $3.95 monthly “lease” fee for modems. Read more: New York Daily News

Rockefeller Center Christmas tree survives Sandy

The Christmas tree that will dominate New York’s Rockefeller Center survived the winds of Superstorm Sandy that left a path of destruction in a New Jersey town and even its donor without electricity for weeks. Read more: ABC New York

Lawmakers probe widening generals scandal

Lawmakers are digging into the tangled tale of emails that exposed an extramarital affair ending David Petraeus’ CIA career and led investigators to a questionable relationship between a Florida socialite and the general commanding the war in Afghanistan. Read more: AP

 

 

Base fare increase likely, says MTA chair


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA

When the MTA increases fares in March 2013, the base fare will probably go up, said MTA chair and CEO Joseph Lhota, on WOR’s John Gambling radio show today.

Last Monday, the MTA released four possible options for MetroCard fare hikes.

Two of the proposals raise the base fare from $2.25 to $2.50, and favor those who use unlimited MetroCards.

If the fare remains the same, then monthly passes could increase to as much as $125 a month.

“Probably the proposal that will be picked is somewhere in the middle of [the four options],” said Lhota.

But he added that raising the base fare would minimize the increase’s impact, particularly for the middle class, because the majority of people use a monthly or weekly pass, or the MetroCard discount.

The MTA will vote on the fare hikes in December following a series of public and video forums next month.

Which fare hike do you prefer? An increase in the base fare or a higher unlimited MetroCard?

Fare hikes may raise monthly MetroCard to $125, cut discounts


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Ahead of public hearings on fare hikes next month, the MTA has proposed four options for when it raises MetroCard prices in March, the New York Daily News reported.

These changes would garner $232 million in additional revenue, said the paper.

“We have cut discretionary spending to the tune of $700 million and will see a reduction of more than $1 billion by 2014,” said MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz. “Unfortunately, we still need to raise fares and tolls to cover our growing non-discretionary costs like retiree benefits, pension and rising fuel costs.”

The MTA would not confirm the proposed options that the Daily News reported, and will publically release them on Monday, October 15, said Ortiz.

The first option would raise the costs of the weekly unlimited MetroCard from $29 to $34 and the monthly from $104 to $125. A straphanger would need to take 16 rides in seven days for the weekly or 56 rides in 30 days for the monthly, before saving money.

Also under this first proposal, MetroCard bonuses would be lowered to five percent. Currently, riders receive a seven percent discount each time they pay $10.

The second option only raises weekly and monthly MetroCards to $32 and $119, but gets rid of all Pay-Per-Ride bonuses.

In September, MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota publically said that even if the transit agency cuts MetroCard discounts it may still need to hike fares in order to raise the agency’s revenues.

The other two options would increase the base fare to $2.50, but would still lower MetroCard bonuses.

According to the MTA’s 2012 to 2016 financial plan, if it raises fares and tolls again in 2015, as is expected, those increases would be three times the estimated rate of inflation.

Riders will get a chance to sound off about the proposed hikes, which could also affect commuter train prices and bridge and tunnels tolls, when the MTA holds public hearings next month.

In Queens, the hearing will be held on November 15 at 5 p.m. in the ballroom of the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel in Flushing. That month there will also be video conference hearings at the Hicksville and Ronkonkoma LIRR stations, in Lower Manhattan and at the Poughkeepsie Metro-North station.

Public hearings: 

Wednesday, November 7

Long Island – 5 p.m.
Roosevelt Hall
Little Theater
Farmingdale State College
2350 Broadhollow Road
Farmingdale, New York

Brooklyn– 5 p.m.
NY Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
333 Adams Street
Brooklyn, New York

Manhattan – 5 p.m.
Baruch Performing Arts Center, Mason Hall
Baruch College
17 Lexington Avenue (at 23rd St.)
New York, New York

Bronx – 5 p.m.
Main Theater
Hostos Community College
Center for the Arts & Culture
450 Grand Concourse
Bronx, New York

Newburgh– 5 p.m.
Vanderbilt/Astor Rooms
Hilton Garden Inn, Newburgh/Stewart Airport
15 Crossroads Court
Newburgh, New York

Staten Island– 5 p.m
Center for the Arts, Springer Concert Hall
College of Staten Island
2800 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, New York

Thursday, November 15

Westchester– 5 p.m.
Auditorium
Yonkers Public Library – Riverfront Library
One Larkin Center
Yonkers, New York

Queens– 5 p.m.
Ballroom
Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel
135-20 39th Avenue
Flushing, New York

Video conference hearings:

Thursday, November 8

9 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
2 Broadway (3 Stone St. entrance), bid room suite, Manhattan

Tuesday, November 13

6 a.m.-10 a.m.
Hicksville Long Island Rail Road Station Building

4:00 -8 p.m.
Poughkeepsie Metro-North Station, pedestrian overpass

Wednesday, November 14

6-10 a.m.
Ronkonkoma Long Island Rail Road Station Building

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain, then a chance of rain in the afternoon. High of 70. Winds from the South at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 20%. Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 61. Breezy. Winds from the WNW at 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Spirited Irish music in Woodside

Fiddle-guitar duo Cady & Vita bring Spirited Irish music to local Woodside bar, Two Shotz. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Bronx activists warn Queens to be wary of soccer stadium deal

This cautionary Bronx tale is one to avoid repeating. Bronx activists had some advice on Tuesday for Queens: Keep your precious park land and ignore the stadium sweet talk. Read more: New York Daily News

Queens man cleared of stealing police weapons for cash

Ronald De Shields faced serious charges. He was accused of sneaking into the 103rd Precinct in Queens, breaking into lockers and stealing two 9 mm guns from officers. Read more: NY1

Homeless sex offenders housed near school

Angry parents are demanding answers after a building that was supposed to house families in need in Queens is now home to some dangerous sex offenders. Read more: ABC New York

St. John’s dean Cecilia Chang ‘betrayed the students she was supposed to mentor’ by forcing them to work for her or lose scholarships, feds say

A disgraced St. John’s University dean threatened to revoke the scholarships of foreign students unless they washed her underwear, cleaned her home and cooked her meals, a federal prosecutor said Tuesday. Read more: New York Daily News

MTA fare, toll hike hearings scheduled

Public hearings will be held in November over the proposed increase in fares and tolls by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Read more: Fox New York 

Choice dining time surcharges likely coming to New York City restaurants

The next time you go out to eat, you may end up paying more at your favorite restaurant. Read more: CBS New York

Sandusky gets at least 30 years, denies wrongdoing

In what sounded at times like a locker room pep talk, Jerry Sandusky rambled in his red prison suit about being the underdog in the fourth quarter, about forgiveness, about dogs and about the movie “Seabiscuit.” Read more: AP

Toyota to recall 7.4 million vehicles over power window glitch

Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said it would recall more than 7.4 million vehicles worldwide as a faulty power window switch was a potential fire hazard, the latest in a series of setbacks that have dented the reputation of Japan’s biggest automaker. Read more: Reuters

 

MetroCards feature front-facing ads for first time


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA

Straphangers are accustomed to staring at ads while riding city subways and buses, but now they can see them every time they swipe their MetroCards.

On Sunday, October 7, the MTA started selling MetroCards with front-facing advertising for the first time announced the transit agency. It was also the first time that the MetroCard hasn’t featured its gold and yellow front with blue lettering since 1997.

The advertisement, which is on the front and back of MetroCards, is for the Gap, promoting its remodeled 34th Street flagship store. It also offers a 20 percent discount to anyone who presents the MetroCard at a local Gap retailer from now until November 18.

“Opening up the front of MetroCards to advertising gives the MTA a new source of revenue,” said MTA chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota. “We will monitor public acceptance of ads going forward to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with use of the transit system. There is no reason why the MTA shouldn’t put every resource it can toward helping its fragile finances.”

Approximately 10 percent of MetroCards sold each month will feature the advertisement, and will only be available at 10 Manhattan subway stations. They were selected based on their proximity to the Gap’s flagship store and their high ridership, said the MTA.

It’s not the first time, however, that MetroCards have featured advertisements. Since 1995, they have had back-facing ads.

The Gap ad is just the beginning of the MTA’s new “full-face” advertising initiative. The transit agency expects a new MetroCard advertiser in December and January, and many more to come after that time.

“Since we first announced that we would accept branded MetroCards, our phones have been ringing non-stop with inquires,” said Paul J. Fleuranges, the MTA’s senior director of corporate and internal communications.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then overcast. High of 59. Winds from the North at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the East in the afternoon. Chance of rain 20%. Monday night: Overcast with rain. Low of 54. Winds from the SE at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the NNE after midnight. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.2 in. possible.

EVENT of the DAY:  Queens Restaurant Week 

The ninth annual Queens Restaurant Week starts today with many eateries offering prix-fixe menus at $25 for a three-course meal or other specials. More than 100 restaurants are participating in the event, which takes place October 8-11 and October 15-18. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Poll finds tight Queens state Senate race

State Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. and City Councilman Eric Ulrich are locked in a tight race for Addabbo’s Queens seat in a key battle for control of the Senate, a new poll finds. Read more: New York Post

New York City Housing Authority finally placing cameras at the Pomonok Houses in Queens, but mostly in areas where there is no crime

It seems like a no-brainer — put the cameras where the crime is. But that’s not what happened at the Pomonok Houses in Queens, a Daily News examination found. Read more: New York Daily News

Friends to have fundraiser for Army Guardsman in police shooting

The friends of the Army National Guardsman who was shot and killed by a detective during a traffic stop in Queens, will raise money to help his family pay for his funeral Sunday. Read more: Fox New York

Students turned away from SATs because of ID confusion

Taking the SAT is a rite of passage for many high schoolers but some Queens students were mistakenly turned away because of confusion over their IDs. Read more: NY1

MetroCards go on sale with ads on both sides

It sputtered out of the subway vending machine, an oddity that deserved careful examination. Some riders asked a station agent how to swipe it. One woman was confused about whether it was even a MetroCard at all. Read more: New York Times

Yankees win ALDS playoff opener over Orioles 7-2

CC Sabathia, Russell Martin and the New York Yankees crashed a party that was 15 years in the making. Read more: Wall Street Journal

Obama ribs his own debating; Romney eyes speech

On a last dash for cash in the celebrity scene of California, President Barack Obama on Sunday took a good-natured shot as his own underwhelming debate performance, marveling at how his friends in the entertainment business could turn in flawless showings every time. Read more: AP