Tag Archives: Subway

Ferry service from Rockaways to Manhattan to begin Monday


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo via Tumblr/nyc.gov

Rockaway residents still without subway service into Manhattan will now be able to make it off the peninsula and onto the island via a temporary ferry service set to begin Monday.

The ferry, announced today by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Seastreak, will depart from Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive and stop at Pier 11 with free transfers between Pier 11 and East 34th Street.

“The prayers of so many people in Rockaway, who since the storm hit have been left stranded on the peninsula, have finally been answered,” said Councilmember Eric Ulrich. “Under this plan, fast reliable ferry transportation will be restored to the Rockaways.”

Fares for the ferry will be $2.  The first ferry will leave at 5:45 a.m. in the Rockaways with with four additional departures leaving until 9:20 a.m. Regular service will resume during the evening rush.

“Since the storm hit, we’ve been working to ensure that New York City is able to get back to business as soon as possible,” said NYCEDC President Seth Pinsky. “Until the reopening of subway service to the rest of the City is restored from the Rockaways, this temporary option will assist thousands of New Yorkers most impacted by this storm, allowing our City and our economy to take another step on the road to recovery.”

The EDC installed a temporary landing in the Rockaways for the ferry.  The trip to Manhattan will take about 50 minutes.

“I am very glad to see that the Far Rockaway ferry service is about to be restored and that some degree of normality is about to return to the lives of Rockaway residents,” said Councilmember James Sanders. “Come Monday, Rockaway residents who work in Manhattan will be able to reliably get to work again, and those who wish to get off the peninsula for the time being will have another route out.

 

No timetable for return of subway; limited bus service to resume at 5 p.m.


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo via Facebook

Extensive flooding in the city’s subway system continues to knock out service with no timetable for trains to be up and running.

“The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night. Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system,” said MTA Chair and CEO Joe Lhota.

The storm caused extensive flooding in all under river subway tunnels, said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Some railyards also suffered from flooding.

“That’s going to be a big problem to get them going,” Bloomberg said.

Lhota said the MTA is currently assessing the extent of the damage on the lines.

“Once we complete or assessment we will know more about when the system is up and running,” Lhota said.

If the agency can restore some parts of the system, those lines will resume service when possible, he said.

Buses will be used where train are unable to run.

Buses will resume with limited service today beginning at 5 p.m., said Governor Andrew Cuomo.  By tomorrow, he said he hopes all bus routes will be running.  There will be no fares on buses today and tomorrow.

 

 

Subway comes to Sky View Center


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Subway, the world’s largest submarine sandwich chain, opened its newest location at Sky View Center, the 800,000-square-foot, multi-level regional mall in downtown Flushing.

“The addition of Subway to Sky View Center emphasizes our commitment to providing the Flushing community with a variety of restaurant and retail establishments,” said Michael Dana, president of Onex Real Estate Partners, owner/developer of Sky View Center. “Subway brings yet another food and beverage dimension to the mall, giving both Sky View Parc and community residents an even greater range of quick service and dine-in options.”

Located on Level B, across from Chuck E. Cheese and near the entrance of Sky View Center at the intersection of College Point Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue, Subway is situated among other specialty food retailers in what has become Sky View Center’s unofficial dining hub. Completely customizable with an array of fresh, wholesome ingredients, the quick-service restaurant provides shoppers and community residents with a light, healthy choice.

“Sky View Center provides the consistent flow of foot traffic Subway typically looks for when opening a new location,” said Joyce Storm, Asset Manager for Sky View Center. “Additionally the wide variety of chain stores in the mall presents an ideal opportunity for the brand to expand its presence in Flushing as well as reach a range of consumers and community residents.”

Subway joins an expanding roster of national tenants including the 36,000-square-foot specialty Asian supermarket Sky Foods, as well as Five Guys Burger & Fries, Famous Footwear, Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Coco Fresh Tea & Juice, Target (including a Starbucks and Pizza Hut Express), Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Marshall’s, Old Navy, Payless Shoesource, and Hershey’s Ice Cream. Chase Bank also recently opened a location within the mall in June.

Sky View Center is located at 40-24 College Point Boulevard. For more information, visit www.skyviewcenter.com.

 

Pols, advocates want harsher punishments for subway sex crimes


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Politicians and advocacy groups are pushing for harsher penalties for subway pervs.

On average every year, the NYPD receives 600 incidents of “riders being groped, flashed, grinded or similarly assaulted,” the Daily News reported.

Since smartphones came into use, women have been fighting back, exposing perpetrators to police and even the web. In 2005, a Queens woman posted a photo of a man publicly masturbating on the subway on Flickr and it made the front cover of a city paper.

But even if a suspect is caught rubbing or “grinding” against a transit rider, a loophole in the law isn’t much of a deterrent, say officials.

Local politicians and advocacy groups want to get rid of that loophole and upgrade unwanted touching from a misdemeanor to a felony.

“When the laws on the books aren’t enough to protect people, we have to make them tougher. ‘Grinding’ is a deeply personal and deeply offensive violation that no woman or straphanger should have to suffer. We need laws that match the seriousness of this crime,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

On September 18, de Blasio and Hollaback!, an organization working to end sexual harassment and assault in public spaces, sent a letter to New York State assembly and senate leaders asking them to pass a new law that treats subway grinding as a felony.

A few days later a state senate bill that makes “unwanted sexually‐motivated touching of someone who is physically helpless, unable to move or on public transit” a class B felony was introduced in Albany.

A recent court ruling was the catalyst for the legislation.

“A sex offender with 32 prior arrests was facing charges for rubbing himself to orgasm on three young women ages 24, 22 and 17. Incredibly, the judge in the case threw out felony charges on the grounds that no threat of violence was present during the assaults,” it said in the September 18 letter from de Blasio.

“It almost implies that [subway grinding] is consensual, said Emily May, Hollaback! co-founder and executive director, about the decision.

“The recent ruling was an interpretation of the law. It wasn’t a failure to recognize the seriousness of the crime,” said Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., chair of the Public Safety Committee. “We shouldn’t leave it up to the courts and should have a law that protects women right now.”

On the city level, Vallone helped change public lewdness from a B misdemeanor with a punishment of up to three months in jail to an A misdemeanor with up to one-year jail sentence. But only the state can upgrade it to a felony.

Whether or not the law is changed, May gives female straphangers this advice: “There’s no wrong way to respond to [sexual harassment] because it’s not your fault that it’s happening to you.”

Subway announcements now ‘clear and accurate’: survey


| brennison@queenscourier.com

File photo

Gone are the days when subway announcements sounded as if they were spoken from Charlie Brown’s teacher. A new survey by the Straphangers Campaign found a majority of delay and disruption announcements, 59 percent, to be “clear and accurate” for the time since 1997.

“We found that transit officials are doing a better job keeping riders informed,” said Straphangers Campaign Field Organizer Jason Chin-Fatt.

When it came to basic announcements — made at or between stops and includes the station, any transfers, destination, etc. — 85 percent were clear and accurate, the survey found.

The previous 10 surveys by the organization found a majority of the announcements to be garbled or incorrect; only 40 percent of notifications in 2010 were rated as good.

The No. 4 line produced the clearest and most accurate basic announcements, earning a 100 percent rating. The L, N, Q, and No. 6 rounded out the top five, all earning 99 percent ratings.

Riders of the R suffered through the worst basic announcements — just 56 percent were rated clear and accurate.

The lines with the most garbled notices were the C, B and R train — each having at least 25 percent of announcements as inaudible.

The 2012 survey was conducted between January 17 and April 29.

Subway Grand Opening in Whitestone


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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Subway, at 14-41 150th Street in Whitestone, hosted its grand opening on September 8. Owner Johnson Rethinasamy was joined by Bishop David Benke and Ranee Ratnarajah for the ribbon cutting ceremony, at which Benke also did a blessing of the store. Members and friends of Mosaic ministries and Immanuel Lutheran Church in Whitestone were also on hand. There were showers of blessings pouring literally on the day. To learn more, call 718-357-1200 or text orders to 917-553-9379.

NYPD seeks suspect in Queens, Brooklyn subway robberies


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

subway robber

The NYPD is asking for the public’s help in identifying and locating a man wanted for questioning in regards to three armed subway robberies in Queens and Brooklyn.

The suspect first struck on August 1 aboard a Queens-bound A train around 7:30 a.m. He approached a 21-year-old man and robbed him at gunpoint. After the victim handed over his possessions, the suspect fled from the 80th Street station in Ozone Park.

On August 15, the suspect committed another subway robbery in Queens. He held up a 27-year-old woman at gunpoint on a Brooklyn-bound A train at about 10:30 a.m. Again, he exited at the 80th Street station and fled in an unknown direction.

A few days later, on August 19, around 8:30 a.m., he robbed a 19-year-old woman at gunpoint on a Queens-bound subway in Brooklyn. After the victim handed over her property, the suspect fled the train at the Shepherd Avenue station in East New York.

The individual the NYPD wants to question is described as a black male, approximately 20 to 25 years old and 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall.

Anyone with information in regards is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

EVENT of the DAY: Live at the Gantries Groove to a free jazz performance by talented students and staff members from the York College Music Department in the great outdoors. Expect a mix of traditional jazz from the blues, swing and fusion. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Racino at Aqueduct Race Track in Queens draws a record 1 million customers in July and generates nearly $60 million in net revenue for the month

July was a jackpot month for the racino at Aqueduct Race Track in Queens. More than 1 million customers visited the racino in July — the highest monthly total ever recorded by one of the nine virtual casinos in New York. Read more: New York Daily News

Police seek suspect in Queens assault case Police are looking for a suspect in an alleged assault in Queens. Authorities say a woman was attacked around 9:30 a.m. Monday at 131st Avenue in Laurelton. Read More: NY1

Queens native to participate in texting competition 

Kent Augustine is out to prove he’s 1NAM. That’s “one in a million” in texting lingo. The Jamaica, Queens, native is an avid texter. He can type 3.5 characters per second. At the LG U.S. National Texting Championship in Times Square on Wednesday, he’ll find out if that’s fast enough.Read more: New York Daily News

Queens man takes $20G in suit against Subway where he found knife in bread

That’s a lot of $5 footlongs! The Subway sandwich chain has cut a deal to pay $20,000 to a Queens man who filed suit after finding a serrated knife baked into the bread of his “cold cut combo” in 2008. New York Post

Missing Queens dog found a year later – in North Carolina

Queens dog owner whose adopted pooch disappeared more than a year ago received incredible news last Thursday — Annie, a cream-colored, 6-year-old Westie-Mautese mix, had been found along a North Carolina highway. Read more: Pix11

MTA to hike fares in ’13, ’15 & ’17


| brennison@queenscourier.com

File photo

City straphangers are getting a brief reprieve from a 2013 fare hike, but will soon be paying more at both the turnstile and MetroCard machine.

The MTA approved a preliminary budget including a bump in 2013 fares, followed by further increases in 2015 and 2017. A $1 “green fee” will also be added to newly purchased MetroCards. Tolls and commuter line fares will rise as well.

Fares were originally intended to be boosted beginning in January, but will be held off until March.

The biennial increases will net the agency $450 million next year and an additional $500 million in 2015.

Details on the hikes have not been released and will be made available later this year ahead of November’s public hearings.

“They should not increase the prices,” said Nesto Murdolk, 40, of Bayside. “There’s no way people can afford it.”

New Yorkers are frustrated at being “fed a steady diet of fare increases without corresponding improvements in service,” said Ya-Ting Liu, the transportation advocate for Transportation Alternatives at a June 25 MTA hearing.

Fares have been raised three times since 2007.

Other residents see the need for an increase to cover the MTA’s deep debts.

“I think it is necessary because of the running deficit,” said Bayside resident Fred Z., 71. “We’re going to have to increase taxes or get money from the fares.”

Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign said there is a fine line between the agency’s financial woes and providing a service, though he says that the MTA is not to blame.

“We think that the state doesn’t fund transit well enough,” he said. “There should be more support, rather than getting it all from the riding public.”

The MetroCard surcharge will produce about $20 million for the MTA — $18 million from the fee and $2 million in savings through printing fewer cards.

It is not known when a proposed $1 surcharge for new MetroCards will go into effect, though it will likely be enacted along with the March fare hike.

“My feeling is that people should be reusing their cards and part of it is a monetary benefit to the riding public,” Russianoff said.

Many cards are tossed aside with money amounting to less than one fare remaining. The MTA projects that $56.2 million will remain on MetroCards at the close of 2012. The number includes money on cards thrown away, lost or yet to be used.

— Additional reporting by Greg Giaconelli

Q, 7 rated top subway lines, N, R worst in Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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The NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign released its fifteenth annual “State of the Subways” Report Card today, and several Queens subway were rated the best in the city.

The report, which profiled 20 subway lines and rated 19, was based on how often they run and breakdown, seat availability, cleanliness and announcements.

The Q, which connects Astoria to midtown Manhattan, was given the highest “MetroCard Rating,” $1.60. Tied for second were the 7 and J/Z lines at $1.55.

It was the first time since 2001 that the Q train topped the list. During rush hour it was rated at or above the system’s average in every category except for how often it runs.

No Queens lines were at the bottom of the list. The lowest rated lines in the borough were the N and R, tied in seventh place with a rating of $1.20. Only 36 percent of N passengers were likely to get a seat during rush hour, compared to 44 percent system wide. The R line’s worse rating was for how many times it broke down.

For the fourth year in a row, the C line, which runs from Washington Heights to East New York, near the Brooklyn/Queens border was dead last at 85 cents.

Overall, the New York City subway system had some slight improvements. Car announcements were up at 3.4 percent and breakdowns improved 1.5 percent. Cleanliness, however, dropped 4 percent.

 

MetroCard credit and debit transactions go down


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

At about 9 a.m., MetroCard credit and debit card transactions stopped working throughout the whole system, said a spokesman for the MTA. The spokesman did not know what caused the problem, but as of around 10 a.m. said the MTA is working on fixing it, and it will be solved in the next few minutes.

 

 

Politicians push to grade MTA subway stations


| RubenMuniz@queenscourier.com

subway

If the city council has its way, you may soon know how clean – or dirty – your subway is.

Councilmembers have proposed a plan to rate all 468 subway stations in New York City, similar to the grading system used for the city’s restaurants.

The MTA, however, has publicly rejected the plan to grade a system that runs across five boroughs.

“We’re not considering it,” said MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz.

Commuters, on the other hand, have had mixed reactions to the proposal.

Vanessa Lopierre, a recent graduate of CUNY City College, said she would give the Union Turnpike-Kew Gardens station on the “E” and “F” line a grade of “C”.

But Matthew Lebourne, a Richmond Hill resident, said he would give the same station a “D”.

Lebourne thought the grading plan was a good idea.

“It would give the MTA an idea of what customers think,” he said, on his way to work.

Currently, councilmembers are working on a resolution – in its early stages – to push for the grading system, said James McClelland, chief of staff for Councilmember Peter Koo, who has been lobbying for the grades.

Criteria would include cleanliness, water, garbage and graffiti.

If the resolution is passed, however, the MTA – a state organization – does not have to abide, as it is non-binding.

In that case, said McClelland, the council would strongly encourage state officials to push the MTA into a system.

If the city was to undertake the project itself, they would have to go through a non-profit third party, McClelland said.

Jason Chin-Fatt, a field organizer for the Straphanger’s Campaign, said the organization supported the idea of grading the subway system and holding transit managers more accountable. If the city was to initiate such a program, he said, it should be paying the bill.

“If [the subway system] was going to be graded by the city, they should pay to implement that program,” he said. “It should be on the city’s dime.”

Kimberly Eng, a senior at St. John’s University and a Fresh Meadows resident, said a station with a bad grade would not make her change her normal commute.

“I don’t think a grade is necessary because it won’t change the fact that it [Kew Gardens] is the closest train station to me,” she said. “I’m not going to inconvenience myself by going to another train station that is farther just because it might be ‘cleaner.’”

 

‘Beats’ headphone thefts on the rise throughout NYC


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The city’s thugs have a new favorite to go with their stolen iPhones—stolen Dr. Dre headphones. The legendary rapper’s pricey, high-tech headphones, called “Beats by Dr. Dre,” are the new rage among bandits because they’re seen as “status symbols,” a police source said. Although they have yet to dethrone the iPhone as thieves’ top target, the headphones — which retail for $300 to $500 — are being snatched from kids at an alarming rate since the latest model hit the market around Christmas. Read More: New York Post

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens jurors lead city in no-shows

Looks like Queens needs a boroughwide civics class. More than one-third, or 35 percent, of Queens residents ignore their jury-duty notices — the highest in the five boroughs. “We’re dealing with thousands of people, and we just don’t have the staff,” said Queens County Clerk Audrey Pheffer, who acts as the commissioner of jurors. In fact, Pheffer, a former assemblywoman, said the office stopped bothering to impose fines as it upgrades its jury-selection system. Read More: New York Post

Queens deli destroyed by early morning fire, explosion

A Queens deli was destroyed by an overnight fire — and an explosion at the store could be felt two blocks away. The fire was reported at 3:30 a.m. at the corner of Hempstead Avenue and 220th Street. Firefighters used ladder trucks to spray the building, as the fire was too strong to fight from the inside. The business, Deli Grocery & Grill, is relatively new — only about two months old. No injuries were reported, and there’s no word on the cause of the fire. Read More: New York Post

 

Deliberations To Begin This Week In Queens Terror Trial

A jury could start deliberations as early as Monday in the case of a Queens man accused of plotting to blow up the city’s subways. Adis Medunjanin is accused of conspiring with admitted terrorist Najibullah Zazi to detonate suicide bombs on Manhattan subway lines in 2009. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and receiving terrorist training from al-Qaida. Medunjanin faces life in prison if convicted on conspiracy and terror charges. Read More: NY1

 

Hundreds Of Union Job Applicants Camp Out In Woodside

Hundreds of applicants vying for a job with the ironworkers’ union waited outside the union’s office in Woodside, Queens for nearly a week, leaving some neighbors upset about the camp-out. Read More: NY1

Historic Forest Park Greenhouse gets $3.8 million upgrade, replacing century-old structures with high-tech ones

The historic Forest Park Greenhouse, which grows plants and flowers that liven up concrete stretches in Queens and Brooklyn, is moving beyond its early 20th century roots. A section of the greenhouse has just undergone a $3.8 million reconstruction that will increase its capacity and make it more environmentally-friendly. The first stage of the renovation focused on two of the houses that were built in 1905 and designed by greenhouse experts of the time, Lord and Burnham. Read More: Daily News

 

1 WTC to vault past Empire State Building today and become tallest tower in city

ONE WORLD Trade Center is set to eclipse the Empire State Building as New York’s tallest building Monday afternoon, officials said. As long as the weather cooperates, the tower will surpass the 1,250-foot Empire State Building at 2 p.m. on its way to a final height of 1,776 feet. “It’s wonderful,” Mayor Bloomberg said Sunday. “It’s taken a long time. This is probably the most complex construction site in any place ever. I think what we’ve shown is that democracy works.” Read More: Daily News

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens couple found dead by son, 2, in apparent murder-suicide

A man is believed to have shot and killed his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself –leaving their two-year-old son to make the grisly discovery inside their bedroom, sources said. The apparent murder-suicide took place in the family’s South Jamaica home on Dillon Street yesterday. Roxanne Lambert, 41, and her partner, whose name has not been released, were found dead with gunshot wounds to the head at 11:30 p.m., sources said. Lambert’s 16-year-old son was also home when the tragedy unfolded. Relatives said the couple had a rocky relationship and were often heard arguing. Read More: New York Post

 

Brangelina to tie knot in France

They won’t be America’s sweethearts much longer. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie plan to tie the knot at their sprawling estate in France this summer — and then live in England for at least the next two years, according to published reports yesterday. The famed Tinseltown couple has spent the last six months quietly planning to hold a lavish wedding ceremony at their manse near the village of Correns, in the south of France, London’s Daily Star reported. They’ll reportedly exchange vows in a pre-Roman chapel on the grounds. Read More: New York Post

Accused subway plotter in court on terror charges

A New Yorker accused of helping plan one of the most chilling terror plots in the US since 9-11, is in court today to stand trial on a wide range of criminal charges. Adis Medunjanin and other former school classmates launched a scheme to carry out suicide bomb attacks in New York City’s subways, federal prosecutors plan to argue in Brooklyn federal court. In preparation for the strikes, Medunjanin – along with alleged fellow-plotters Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay – journeyed to Pakistan to undergo bomb-making instruction at an al Qaeda terror training camp in a tribal region abutting that nation’s frontier with Afghanistan, officials say. Read More: New York Post

Jury Selection Begins In Clemens Perjury Retrial

Jury selection begins today in Washington in the perjury retrial of former New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens. His first trial ended in a mistrial last summer after only two days of testimony because the prosecution introduced inadmissible evidence. The seven-time Cy Young award winner is accused of of lying to Congress in 2008 while lawmakers were investigating steroid use in baseball. He faces three counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of Congress. Read More: NY1

 

Coachella 2012: Tupac hologram joins Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre onstage at music festival

Late rapper Tupac Shakur resurrected onto the Coachella stage this past Sunday night to perform a few of his hit songs alongside music maven Snoop Dogg, to the shock and disbelief of the music festival’s 75,000 fans. “What up, Coachella?!” the bare-chested Tupac hologram greeted a roaring crowd, before joining Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre on classic single “Hail Mary.” The faux Shakur wore acid-wash jeans and Timberland boots circa 1995, just around the time he was shot dead on September 13, 1996, at the young age of 25. Read More: Daily News

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo does not want a high-profile role at 2012 Democratic National Convention

Despite having his eye on a 2016 presidential run, Gov. Cuomo wants no part of a high-profile role at this year’s Democratic National Convention, insiders say. While Cuomo will attend the convention in September in Charlotte, N.C., those close to him say he doesn’t want President Obama to consider him for a major speaking slot — though it’s not certain he would even be asked. Cuomo has learned from the example of his father, a former three-term New York governor. Mario Cuomo, like his son is now, was in his second year as governor when he was picked to deliver the keynote address at the 1984 Democratic National Convention. Read More: Daily News

 

 

Three in elite NYPD anti-gun unit accused of treating black suspects like ‘animals’

Top supervisors of an elite NYPD anti-gun unit allegedly handled white suspects with kid gloves while treating blacks like “animals” deserving of a bullet to the head, the Daily News has learned. The explosive charges appear in sworn depositions from three members of the firearms suppression unit: two current NYPD detectives and a retired first-grade detective. Their testimony, part of a federal discrimination lawsuit, details how Capt. James Coan and Lt. Daniel Davin created a hostile environment for both their black detectives and suspected minority-group gun traffickers, said the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Eric Sanders. Read More: Daily News