Tag Archives: New York City Transit

CB 9 asks for tweaks to Woodhaven/Cross Bay Select Bus plan

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angela Matua


During its final meeting before the summer break on Tuesday in Ozone Park, Community Board 9 pressed the MTA and the city Department of Transportation (DOT) to make changes to its Select Bus Service (SBS) plan for Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards.

Both the MTA and DOT previously selected a plan to create the bus rapid transit (BRT) system on the boulevard running between Elmhurst and the Rockaways. The new design would create designated bus lanes, left-turn bays at selected locations and slip lanes at select locations to allow vehicles to move between the service road and the main road.

“Our project goal, in addition to improving transit service, is to really think about this plan holistically and how do you transform Cross Bay and Woodhaven boulevards into streets where you can comfortably get on and off the bus,” said Taylor Gouge of the DOT.

The plan would eliminate left turns from Woodhaven Boulevard onto Jamaica Avenue and 101st Avenue in Woodhaven and Ozone Park, respectively. Left turns would be allowed at Park Lane South and 103rd Avenue, but at the meeting, Board 9 members and residents said those left turns were not enough.

“We did hear a lot of concerns about that at our community workshop, so the DOT is currently evaluating some other options that we have for that intersection,” Gouge added.

Board member Priscilla Levine requested that there be countdown clocks along the boulevards to make it safer and easier for those crossing the street to enter and exit buses.

Another workshop will be held on Wednesday, June 24 to discuss these concerns.


Train fatally strikes MTA worker at Astoria subway station

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Wikimedia Commons/Photo by David Shankbone

An MTA worker was killed on the job when a subway train struck him in Astoria early this morning, said the transit agency.

The signal maintainer, identified as 58-year-old Louis Moore of Hollis, was working on the system around 3:20 a.m. when a Parsons-Archer-bound E train entering the 46th Street and Broadway station fatally hit him.

“An intensive investigation into the circumstances of his death is underway, and this incident will be the subject of a formal board of inquiry by the New York City Transit Office of System Safety,” the MTA said in a statement.

This morning’s incident is the first death of a New York City Transit worker on the job since 2010, and the first time a worker was struck and killed by a train since April 2007.




31 percent of riders have no love for MTA

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo file

A recent Straphangers Campaign poll found that about a third of New York City Transit riders can’t find a single reason to praise the MTA.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, the transportation advocacy group asked 252 people what they love about subways and buses.

The most popular answer was convenience, but riders also liked the fare discounts, their fellow riders and that their bosses couldn’t reach them while on the bus or subway.

Those last three answers, however, followed well behind the second most popular reason: “I don’t use the word ‘Love’ in the same sentence with ‘MTA.’”

Poll results:

5% My Fellow Riders
5%  The Fare Discounts
38% The Convenience
4% My Boss Can’t Reach Me
31%  I don’t use the word “Love” in the same sentence with “MTA”
17% Other



More people losing items on subways and buses: MTA

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA


The amount of lost items being found on subways and buses is on the rise, according to the MTA’s website.

In 2012, MTA workers took in 24,445 lost items, up from 23,223 in 2011. The amount of items being returned to their original owners however has also increased, with 8,093 items being returned in 2012, up from 7,438 in 2011.

William Bonner, supervisor of NYC transit’s lost property unit, credited the increased number of returns to the electronic lost and found form, which can be found on the MTA’s website.

If and when filling out a form, Bonner says to be as specific as possible. “Being as specific and detailed as you can in your description is key to the attempt to reunite you with your lost item,” he said.

Bonner said electronics such as Kindles, NOOKs, iPads, and smartphones are found daily on the subway and top the list of lost items.

One of the more unusual items being found are empty animal crates, according to Bonner.

“Seems like people are taking the animals out and then walking off leaving the carrier under the seat,” he said. No animals have been found as of yet.

Bonner said a woman once lost her ring on the N-train and filled out the form on the MTA’s website, even providing a picture, and after a short time was able to reclaim it.

“That was a really happy ending,” Bonner said.



MTA auctioning off items from lost and found

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA

It’s not surprising that straphangers leave items such as cell phones and handbags on subways and buses, but even bikes make it to the MTA New York City Transit’s lost and found.

Eventually unclaimed items are auctioned off by the agency, making about $30,000 to $50,000 a year for its operation budget.

But don’t worry. Items are not sold as soon they arrive at the lost and found. On average items are kept there for about six months, said MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz.

“We make every effort to reunite the property with their owners,” he said.

For example, if it’s a cell phone, they will call its saved contacts, or, if it’s a wallet, they’ll look for an I.D.

Also, anyone who thinks they lost something on local transit can file a claim online.

The majority of items make it back to their owners, said Ortiz.

The ones that aren’t returned are auctioned periodically along with surplus items from the agency, such as desks and file cabinets, and scrap metal and parts. MTA memorabilia items are also sold to the public, but have fixed prices.

In total, the MTA makes about $10 million a year from selling all of those items.

There’s no timeline on when the items are sold, said Ortiz, but there is an auction that just started.

Some of the items people can bid on include violins, skateboards, jewelry, laptops and office chairs.

Until October 19 anyone interested in the lost and found or surplus items can email or fax a bid.




MTA Continues to Improve Customer Communications with Introduction of New Winter Weather Guide

| tcimino@queenscourier.com

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is continuing its efforts to improve customer communications with the introduction of the Winter Weather Guide.  Harsh winter weather may prevent some MTA services from operating normally, so the MTA has created a colorful and informative poster designed to alert riders to foul weather service changes.  The new Winter Weather Guide explains service adjustments for MTA New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, Staten Island Railway and Bridges & Tunnels. This service poster is available for viewing online and posted in subway and rail stations.

The Winter Weather Guide is a handy guide to keep customers informed during periods of heavy snow, ice and freezing rain that require service changes.  The poster provides information about service on each of the MTA’s agencies with a description of the weather condition and how that weather may affect operations.

The poster details how extreme cold, combined with snow and ice could impact service — ranging from the elimination of express service to the temporary reduction or suspension of service.  Similar information is provided for all MTA agencies and it is all part of the MTA’s “Know Before You Go” philosophy, which helps keep riders informed and provides as much real-time information as possible.

While forecasted temperatures and snow accumulations play a key role in preparations, the actual intensity of the storm, road conditions, and the ability to clear tracks will dictate the level of service that can be safely provided and/or restored.

When the forecast calls for severe winter weather, MTA customers should allow for additional travel time and remember, service alerts are posted on the MTA home page at www.mta.info.  Customers can also tune into local television and radio stations for the latest transit and traffic conditions.