Tag Archives: NYC subways

MTA service changes for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

On Monday, Jan. 20, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, there will be the following MTA service changes, according to the transit agency.

New York City Subway, Buses and Staten Island Railway

On Monday, Jan. 20, the city’s subway and Staten Island Railway will operate on a regular weekday schedule.

The city’s buses will operate on a weekday schedule with minor timing changes except for Staten Island, where Limited Stop routes S81, S84, S86, S90, S91, S92, S94, S96 and S98 will not operate. Weekday local service will operate along those routes. Limited stop routes S89 and S93 will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes. All Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens “X” express routes will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes.

Long Island Rail Road

LIRR will operate on a holiday schedule with 32 extra trains to and from Penn Station. Off peak fares will be in effect all day. Because it is a holiday schedule, there will be no service on the West Hempstead Branch and no service between Ronkonkoma and Greenport.

The departure and arrival times of the extra trains can be found in current LIRR branch timetables under the columns marked “Note M.” The timetables can also be found on the MTA LIRR web site.

Metro-North Railroad

Metro-North Railroad will operate on a Saturday schedule with 36 additional trains as indicated in the current Harlem, Hudson and New Haven Line timetables. Off peak fares apply all day.

Extra New York City-bound trains during the morning and northbound in the late afternoon will be provided.

There are 15 extra trains on the New Haven Line, nine inbound and six outbound.  There are three extra Hudson Line trains, two inbound and one outbound, and 14 extra Harlem Line trains, seven in each direction.

Special Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday timetables listing all trains are posted online at the Metro-North’s schedules page.

All additional trains will be included in Metro-North Train Time™ app for iPhone and Android as well as on the CooCoo text messaging service.

The uptown exits of Grand Central North will be closed all day.



Brakes put on Astoria-Ditmars subway noise

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

One local politician is putting a stop to train noise.

Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. announced Monday that the MTA will be implementing a new technology on every train car on the N and Q subways lines which will help reduce the noise of the air brakes at the lines’ last stop at the Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard station.

“This deafening noise has been scaring little kids, startling our senior citizens and damaging our ear drums for too long,” said Vallone. “We commend the MTA for working to solve this problem and look forward to shopping, working and commuting near the Ditmars stations without having this constant ‘ear-sore’ above our heads.”

Vallone has been fighting since 2012 against the loud noise, caused at the last stop when the conductor applies the emergency brake to allow him or her to walk to the end of the platform and take the train the opposite direction.

Last year, Vallone sent a letter to MTA President Thomas Prendergast calling for action to be taken against the noise from the above ground trains. In response, the MTA had its Car Equipment Division inspect subway and track equipment on the subway line.

Based on the study, which showed the air brakes caused an increase in the surrounding area’s sound level, the MTA will now be installing “noise dampers” on all cars on the N and Q subway lines. This technology will still allow train crews to hear the brakes being applied.



Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup


Wednesday: Overcast with a chance of rain, then a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain in the afternoon. High of 79. Winds from the SSE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Wednesday night: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers. Low of 75. Winds from the South at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70% with rainfall amounts near 0.4 in. possible.


Children and adults will enjoy this interactive supersonic dance party, Hey Dango, about three space explorers and one wacky fun-loving alien named Dango. Starts at 7 p.m. in Highland Park at Elton Street and Jamaica Avenue. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Low expectations for New York standardized test scores

New York education officials are set to release the much-anticipated results of this year’s statewide English and math tests. Read more: AP

Five Queens stations to get ‘next train’ audio announcements

Subway riders at five Queens stations aren’t getting countdown clocks yet, but starting Wednesday they’ll have the next best thing — next train audio announcements. Read more: New York Daily News

Southwest nose gear likely failed from “stress overload,” NTSB says

The National Transportation Safety Board says a Southwest Airlines plane’s nose gear appears to have failed because of “stress overload” when it collapsed during landing at LaGuardia last month, causing the plane to skid and spark down the runway.  Read more: NBC New York

Immunization clinics in Queens and the Bronx set to close by the end of the month

The city is gearing up to shutdown immunization centers in Queens and the Bronx even as children are flocking to them as part of the back-to-school rush. Read more: New York Daily News 

Weiner calls GOP candidate ‘grandpa’ at AARP mayoral forum

Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner made waves Tuesday, when he called a Republican rival “grandpa” during a confrontation at a forum sponsored by the AARP. Read more: CBS New York

Cleveland house of horrors where women spent decade in ‘hell’ due to be razed

The boarded-up, two-story house where Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro held three women for a decade will be knocked down on Wednesday, just days after its former occupant was sentenced to life behind bars without parole plus an additional millennium. Read more: NBC News 


MTA to expand service, make improvements

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons

Ridgewood subway riders can rejoice as the M line will be making stops to Manhattan on the weekends again.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the MTA will make improvements and expansions throughout the city to bus, subways and Long Island Rail Road service with state funding.

“For the second year in a row, the state has invested in significant enhancements and expansions to our state’s transit system that will improve the experience of the eight million commuters who use the MTA,” Cuomo said.

The enhancements are possible because of state aid from the 2013 Executive Budget, cost-cutting measures by the MTA and fare hikes. The agency will spend $7.9 million annually on new bus and subway services and another $5.9 million to improve track and station cleaning, increase controllers to manage numbered line service and add more security cameras.

Chief among the enchantments is the restoration of weekend service on the M line, which currently runs from Metropolitan Avenue to Myrtle Avenue stations on weekends. The route will be extended to the Essex and Delancey Street station in downtown Manhattan.

Presently, riders trying to travel to Manhattan from Ridgewood are forced to transfer to the J train on Myrtle Avenue. The service upgrade will reduce transfers and shorten waits for 37,000 weekend customers, according to the MTA.

“Extending weekend service of the M line will mean easier and faster commutes for residents travelling for work or for pleasure,” Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley said. “Investments in public transportation are crucial to the city’s economic growth.”

As part of the improvements the agency is planning to reduce wait times for G train riders by speeding up service from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays from every 10 minutes to every eight minutes.

Queens buses will also see more service. The MTA will restore weekend service to the Q31 bus, which runs from Jamaica to Bayside, and Sunday service on the Q77 will be established.

The enhancements also include $2.6 million in service add-ons for the Long Island Rail Road, including restored service in both directions every half hour from Ronkonkoma to Port Washington.



Temporary A train service suspension between Euclid Avenue and Howard Beach Wednesday

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

There will be no A train service on Wednesday, July 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. between Euclid Avenue and Howard Beach because of emergency track work, according to the MTA.

Free shuttle buses will be available as alternatives.

Shuttle buses marked “Express” will operate in both directions nonstop between Euclid Avenue and Howard Beach.

Shuttle buses designated as Local will stop at all A  stations between Euclid Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard, then make stops at Aqueduct (Racino), Aqueduct-North Conduit Avenue and Howard Beach stations.

Customers heading to Rockaway Beach are advised to take:

  • the Q53 from the Woodside 7 subway station or from the Roosevelt Avenue E /F/M /R subway station
  • the Q52 Woodhaven M subway station
  • the Q35 from Flatbush Avenue 2/5 subway station

Subway performers sought in train assault

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a trio of subway dancers who allegedly assaulted a passenger aboard a train in Queens.

The 28-year-old victim was on a Manhattan bound F train around 7:20 p.m. on May 7 when he got into a verbal argument with three men police describe as “dance show train performers.”

As the train entered the 21st Street-Queensbridge station, the suspects attacked the victim, striking him several times on his head and body, then fled, said officials.

The victim was taken to the hospital for medical attention.

Police describe the three suspects as black males, 17 to 19 years old.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers website by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.


MTA plans upgrade to Lefferts Boulevard A train station

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

It could be a big lift for subway riders.

MTA officials are planning a partial revamp of the Lefferts Boulevard A train station, including the installation of an elevator.

The nearly 100-year-old station does not have any handicap accessibility at present. Along with the elevator, the MTA’s plans include new stairs and a new roof on the platform.

The project comes at the cost of several parking spots. A bus stop will be relocated within the parking lot to accommodate the new stairs.

“In addition to the elevator, this is going to give everyone more of an outlet,” said MTA representative Joe Raskin.

However, some residents are concerned that the elevator will entice vandals.

“We have a problem at night where people hang out, urinate,” said Richmond Hill South Civic Association President Margaret Finnerty. “How are you going to control that?”

Raskin said the MTA will prioritize safety and work with transit police to make sure the station stays safe.

“If there is a situation like that that develops,” he said, “it’s going to be a matter for the transportation bureau of the NYPD to have people there as a proactive thing. And we would work with them on that to make sure they know about the situation.”

The project will be awarded to a contractor on September 30, according to Vinod Patel, acting design manager for the MTA.



Survey shows improvement in subway platform conditions

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo


A majority of subway platform conditions have improved over the last year, according to the Straphangers Campaign’s second annual “State of the Stations Platforms” survey.

These conditions include garbage bags on platforms, staircases in disrepair, exposed wiring, floor cracks and lighting.

Again this year, the presence of garbage cans and the lack of overflowing garbage cans was found on nearly 100 percent of platforms.

The only two conditions to grow worse in the past year were substantial water damage, which increased from 53 percent of subway platforms to 78, and graffiti, which grew from 20 percent to 27.

The survey consisted of 251 subway platforms, which were identical to the ones rated last year.

“We applaud transit managers and workers for improving conditions at many stations,” said Jason Chin-Fatt, the Straphangers Campaign field organizer who oversaw the survey. “But there’s still room for further progress. There’s no reason, for example, that riders should have a one in ten chance of seeing a rat while waiting for a train.”

Photos courtesy of the Straphangers Campaign



Third man struck at Queens subway station in a week

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Wikimedia Commons/Photo by David Shankbone

For the third time in less than a week, a straphanger was struck by a train at a Queens subway station after jumping onto the tracks.

According to police, around 5:30 a.m. Monday, an unidentified 34-year-old man was hit by a train at a Woodside subway station located at Northern Boulevard and Broadway. He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in stable condition.

Last week, within only a 24-hour period, two other men were struck at Queens subway stations. The victims, who also reportedly put themselves in the train’s path, did not survive.

This morning’s incident is the latest in at least seven subway-related deaths or injuries in the past week, according to reports.



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.”


MTA service changes for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

On Monday, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, New York City subways and Staten Island Railway will run on a regular schedule.

In Queens, buses will run on a regular schedule, but will be no limited-stop service on the Q6, Q25 and Q65.

The Long Island Rail Road will operate on a holiday schedule with 39 additional trains added on various branches. Off peak fares will be in effect all day.

The Metro-North Railroad will operate on a Saturday schedule with 36 additional trains. Off peak fares will be in effect all day.



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.


Man wanted for punching two women on subway

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for the man who punched two women in the face after he tried to hug them on an “N” train.

According to the NYPD, the suspect was riding on a Queens bound subway  near the 31st Street and Broadway stop in Astoria around 4:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 13, when  he approached a 27-year-old woman.

He started speaking with the victim then attempted to put his arm around her. She pushed the suspect away at which point he punched her in the face.

The same man then sat next to another female rider, age 32, and attempted to hug her. Again, the victim pushed him away and the suspect punched her, then fled the train.

Both victims refused medical attention at the scene.

Police describe the suspect as Hispanic, 40 to 50 years old and 5’10” tall.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then entering TIP577.