Tag Archives: Queens Midtown Tunnel

One tube of Queens-Midtown Tunnel to close this weekend

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA / Oscar Gonzalez.

Starting at 2 a.m. Saturday and ending at 5 a.m. Monday, the Queens-bound tube of the Queens-Midtown Tunnel will be closed to traffic to repair damage from Sandy.

The remaining tube will be open to two-way traffic and can be used by cars and New York City buses, but commercial traffic will need to find an alternate route.

From Manhattan, vehicles can enter the tunnel at 34th Street between Second and Third avenues, and from Queens can use the regular 37th Street exit for uptown traffic and take the Marginal tunnel exit to 38th Street, then to Second Avenue to go downtown. The 34th Street and Second Avenue ramps will be closed to traffic exiting in Manhattan.

Drivers should expect delays during the closure and can use either the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge or the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel as an alternate route.





WATCH: Queens-Midtown Tunnel floods during Sandy

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Flickr/MTA

It took over a week for the Queens-Midtown tunnel to open to traffic after it flooded during Sandy.

On Tuesday, the MTA released a video from October 31 showing how much water flowed into it because of the superstorm. The transit agency also released photos of the flooding.

It was the first time the tunnel, which carries an average of 78,000 vehicles daily, flooded since it opened in 1940.

After dewatering its 1.6 mile tubes and making electrical repairs, it opened to bus traffic on November 6, cars on November 9 and trucks last Friday.

Queens-Midtown Tunnel opens to bus traffic

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA

After Sandy left the Queens-Midtown Tunnel flooded with almost 30 million gallons of water a week ago, it has finally reopened to traffic, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday.

For now, only buses are allowed through it during the morning and evening rush hours, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. going into Manhattan and  3 to 7 p.m. going out of it.

On average, 78,000 vehicles go through the Queens-Midtown Tunnel each weekday, according to the MTA.


MTA announces fare and toll hike proposals

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA

Today the Metropolitan Transit Authority officially announced its proposals for the fare and toll hikes that are planned for March.

The agency said that the increases will bring in “vitally needed revenue to support the New York region’s transportation system.”

The MTA is considering four options that would increase bus and subway rides.

On October 10, the New York Daily News published those options ahead of time. Though the MTA would not confirm whether those were its actual proposals, the ones it revealed today did reflect the ones the paper released.

Two options keep the base fare at $2.25; the other two raise it to $2.50.

If the base fare stays the same, the cost of a weekly unlimited MetroCard would go up from $29 to $34 and the monthly from $104 to $125. The seven percent discount for every $10 put on a MetroCard would be lowered to five percent.

The second option would raise unlimited rides to $32 and $119, but eliminate the discount.

If the MTA raises the base fare to $2.50, then straphangers would keep the seven percent discount, but pay more for an unlimited MetroCard ($30 and $112).

The final option would keep weekly unlimited MetroCards at $29, and only increase the monthly by $5, but the base fare would be $2.50, and there would be no discounts.

There are also four proposals for express buses. Again, two would keep the base fare, which is currently $5.50, and the two others would raise it 50 cents. The options would also have similar trade-offs for MetroCard discounts and unlimited rides.

Most of Long Island Railroad and Metro-North tickets would go up by 8.19 to 9.31 percent, said the MTA.

These hikes would be the fourth increase in five years for subway, bus and commuter rail fares and that is one too many said public transportation advocacy group, the Straphangers Campaign, following the MTA’s fare proposals announcement.

“Blocking or reducing the fare increase is possible, if we get more help from Albany,” said Straphangers spokesperson Gene Russianoff. “One promising plan is to generate new revenue by both raising and lowering tolls on city bridges and tunnels in line with where there is the most and least congestion.”

The proposals that the MTA announced Monday would raise the tolls for many area bridges and tunnels. Though E-ZPass customers would still pay less than other drivers, everyone will be paying more.

Those increases include raising the tolls for the Queens Midtown Tunnel, Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, Throgs Neck Bridge, Bronx-Whitestone Bridge and the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel from $4.80 to $5.30 for E-ZPass holders and from $6.50 to $7.50 for other drivers.

Tolls for the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge would go up between 12 and 33 cents, depending on whether the driver has an EZ-Pass or is a Rockaway resident.

In November, a month before the MTA votes on how it’s going to raise tolls and fares, the agency is letting the public weigh in on the options in a series of public and video forums. It is also accepting public statements via email and regular mail.

“The public will have significant input into our decision-making process. In the spirit of transparency, the public will assist in shaping our fare policy,” said MTA chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota. “These proposals have been designed to balance our need for revenue with public involvement. We need to hear from the public. Feedback evaluating the specific alternatives we’ve put forward is particularly useful, but we value all our customers’ input, and we’ll consider changes to our proposals based on what we hear and read.”

MTA customers still satisfied, says annual survey

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

The results of the MTA 2012 Customer Satisfaction Survey are in, and riders remain pleased with all New York City transit options.

Surveying 18,000 people, the agency found that the biggest jump in satisfaction was with the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) and Metro-North.

The increase comes after last year’s drop that was likely due to “winter storms and service disruptions from Amtrak repairs/derailment,” said the MTA.

In 2010 the LIRR had an overall satisfaction rate of 89 percent, but was 78 percent in 2011. This year it went back up to 86 percent.

Among the individual lines, Port Washington, Port Jefferson and Port Washington tied for first with a 90 percent rating. The worst line, Oyster Bay, still rated high at 79 percent.

Overall, riders were just as happy with the subways and buses as much as they were last year.

As in the past two years, only about 45 percent of straphangers were satisfied with how well the MTA kept subway trains from getting too crowded during rush hours. It was the only category in the 2012 survey that received a rating below 67 percent.

Bus riders were least happy with how long they had to wait for a bus to arrive and frequency of service. They were most satisfied with convenience of bus routes.

Satisfaction with tunnels and bridges was up from both 2011 and 2010, at 85 percent, and drivers were most pleased with the Queens Midtown Tunnel.

See more results from the MTA 2012 Customer Satisfaction Survey.