Tag Archives: subways

Annual survey reveals dirtiest subways in Queens


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Amy Hausmann

KATELYN DI SALVO

Queens residents are riding on some of the dirtiest subways in the city, according to an annual Straphangers Campaign survey.

Surveyors for the advocacy group found that the number of clean subway cars declined between 2011 and 2013, from 52 to 42 percent.

“Transit officials are losing the war against dirty subway cars,” said Jason Chin-Fatt, field organizer for the Straphangers Campaign.

Last year’s findings, based on 2,000 observations of subway cars between September 4 and December 22, 2013, showed the D line was the dirtiest. Only 17 percent of its cars were clean, while in 2011, 49 percent of them received the same rating.

The best performing line in the 2013 survey was the L with 63 percent of its cars rated clean, up from 58 percent in 2011.

According to the Straphangers Campaign, many Queens lines, such as the F, N and Q, have experienced statistically significant deterioration since 2011. While lines, such as the 7, E, G, J, M and R, have remained statistically unchanged since 2011. None of the lines showed statistically significant improvement.

The dirtiest lines in the borough were the A, with only 26 percent clean subway cars and the F train with 31 percent. At 55 percent, the J train was the cleanest, followed by the No. 7 with 55 percent.

Cars were rated on 20 lines for cleanliness of floors and seats.  The Straphangers Campaign followed the MTA New York City Transit’s official standards for measuring car cleanliness.  The standards for cars that were “basically dirt free” or had “light dirt” are “occasional ‘ground-in’ spots but generally clean.” Cars were rated not clean if they were “moderately” dirty, meaning they had dingy floors or one or two sticky dry spots, or were heavily dirty, meaning they had ” any opened or spilled food, or malodorous conditions, sticky wet spots, or any seats unusable due to unclean conditions.”

The MTA conducts its own semi-annual subway car cleanliness survey. Its average percentage of clean cars in the second half of 2013 was 92 percent—a significant difference compared to the campaigns 2013 survey of 42 percent. The Straphangers Campaign acknowledged the different findings, but said that it was not able to point to factors that came to these results.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: A mix of clouds and sun. High 38. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph. Wednesday night: A few clouds. Low 18. Winds N at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY:  Dinner, a Movie and a Side of Reconciliation

Join savvy film and food lovers at Armondo’s Italian Restaurant for dinner and then head two blocks to P.S. 69 (77-02 37th Ave.) to watch Sardines, a short film about a child who goes to unusual measures to get her family’s attention, and the French feature film Tu Seras Un Homme (You’ll Be a Man), about a family coming together with the help of an outsider. $50, call (718) 429-8552. 7 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

New York City education takes center stage in Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo pledged his support to a massive pro-charter school rally Tuesday at the state Capitol as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged one more push in the state Legislature for his beleaguered pre-kindergarten funding plan -underscoring the political differences between the two powerful Democrats. Read more: AP

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton to ride night subways to survey problems

New York City’s top cop says he’ll ride late-night subways to get a first-hand look at the quality-of-life problems straphangers face. Read more: NBC New York

De Blasio backers sue to block more charters

Mayor de Blasio is now getting friendly fire from his lefty supporters regarding the charter school space controversy. Read more: New York Post

House OKs bill rolling back huge flood insurance premium hikes

The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases. Read more: CBS New York/AP

NYPD officers to be equipped with tablets in new pilot program

New York City police officers will soon be armed with a new crime-fighting tool: tablet computers. Read more: CBS New York

Queens least improved in subway delays: report


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA Flickr/ Marc Hermann

Queens straphangers will have to hold on for a little longer.

The borough suffered a 17 percent spike in subway delays from 2011 to 2012, according to a new Straphangers Campaign report by the New York Public Interest research Group (NYPIRG).

Queens was the least improved in the city when it came to decreasing subway delays last year, the report said. The number of delay alerts jumped from 392 to 458.

Manhattan, which accounted for almost half of all citywide alerts, saw a 16 percent increase in delays over last year. The Bronx saw 17 percent fewer alerts over the same period.

An analysis by the Straphangers Campaign also found the F line had the most delays out of 20 citywide subway lines reviewed. The L worsened the most, with a 60 percent increase in delays.

The G, with 19 percent fewer alerts, had the fewest delays. It was also the most improved line, the report said.

“Thousands of New Yorkers rely on prompt subway service to get around the city on a daily basis,” said Councilmember and Transportation Committee Chair James Vacca. “Delayed trains are an ongoing issue citywide, and it becomes a major burden on straphangers who depend on reliable trains to get to work, school and other places throughout the city.”

Data from the survey were gathered before Sandy, during the first 10 months of 2012. The findings attributed most of the delays to unspecified mechanical problems.

“They swear the services are getting better, but it never does,” said commuter Julio Castillo, 23, of College Point. “I take the 7, F and E and occasionally the N or R from the city, and they all have their fair share of problems.”

Gonzalo Rojas, 65, of Fresh Meadows said traveling during rush hour on the weekdays is not a problem. But he said he’s brought to a halt on weekends.

“I work on Saturdays, and there are always problems with the trains being delayed with lines being changed or just stopped for some reason,” he said.

The analysis was based on the MTA’s free Email and Text Message Alert System, which informs users of incidents that will result in an at least eight-minute delay, NYPIRG said.

However, MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz said using the system “as a barometer of individual subway line performance does not paint a full picture of service issues.”

But he touted the mobile alert system, which launched in 2008, as an informative tool to get up-to-the-minute notifications.

 

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Street Talk: Would you be willing to pay more to ride the rails if the MTA made safety improvements?


| editorial@queenscourier.com

street talk

-BY ROSA MICHAELS

Yes, I believe glass doors on the platforms in front of the tracks will keep us all safer.
Ray Turbin

Yes, If they cleaned it up a little and more cameras were put around, it would be safer.
Cary Aloise

No, it’s too much money already and they always say there will be improvements but I never see any.
Mohsina Khan

Yes. It’s pretty safe now and there haven’t been any derailments, but I think more cameras would help out a lot.
John Aloise

Yes, safety is a high standard. But in the long run people will appreciate it.
Nazim K.

Yes, because lately there have been a lot of accidents and it would be very helpful. I don’t think people would mind paying for that.
Christopher Khan

Yes, because people have been pushed onto the tracks and sometimes others fall. To make improvements I’m sure they will need more money.
Bella Schaefer

Yes, it’s for improvements. Also, they need to correct the delays and the cleanliness.
Antonio Rojano

Tell us your response to this week’s Street Talk question in the comment section below. 

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: A chance of light rain after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 48. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Friday night: Rain likely, mainly after 9pm. Patchy fog after midnight. Otherwise, cloudy, with a low around 45. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

EVENT of the DAY: Free First Fridays

The Noguchi Museum is pleased to announce the continuation of our First Friday Film Series through the winter months. Visitors can enjoy extended evening hours from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with free admission, cash bar and special programming.  Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Relatives and friends remember subway-push victim at Queens funeral

Relatives and friends are saying a final good-bye to a New York City man who was shoved onto subway tracks as a train rolled into a station. A handful of mourners gathered Thursday for the funeral service for 58-year-old Ki-Suck Han at the Edward D. Jamie Funeral Chapel in Flushing, Queens. Read more: NY Post

George Zimmerman sues NBC, claiming the station edited his 911 phone call to make him sound racist

George Zimmerman sued NBC on Thursday, claiming he was defamed when the network edited his 911 call to police after the shooting of Trayvon Martin to make it sound like he was racist. The former neighborhood watch volunteer filed the lawsuit seeking an undisclosed amount of money in Seminole County, outside Orlando. Read more: Daily News

Accused subway ‘killer’: I blame victim

Accused killer Naeem Davis, with a chilling, dead-eye stare yesterday, was hit with murder charges for tossing a Queens dad into the path of a subway train in Midtown, authorities said. Davis, 30, allegedly confessed to the grisly crime — but coldly blamed his victim, Ki Suk Han, 58. Read more: NY Post

Two armed thugs tie up, rob Queens Realtor of $75,000 in cash

Two bandits burst into a Queens real-estate office Thursday and tied up the owner before swiping $75,000 in cash from a desk drawer, police sources said. The 59-year-old owner of Pistilli Realty on 30th Ave. in Astoria was in his third-floor office when he heard a commotion about 8:30 a.m., the sources said. Read more: Daily News

Point Breeze Fire Department receives outpour of support after heroic rescue during Sandy

The Point Breeze Volunteer Fire House is a hub of relief activity as the community tries to recover after Hurricane Sandy. During the storm, flood waters swallowed streets and fires engulfed homes across Breezy Point. Read more: NY1

MTA boss Joseph Lhota: Sandy subway woes still affecting 500,000 commuters

Subway service is still screwed up for approximately 500,000 riders because of the damage Hurricane Sandy brought down on the system, MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said Thursday. Some riders are enduring longer and more crowded trips because their stations or line segments are still out of commission while others have longer waits because their regular trains are coming less frequently, Lhota said. Read more: Daily News

Mac Computers to be Made in the USA

One of the Mac line of computers will be manufactured in the USA next year, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced in an interview with Brian Williams on NBC’s Rock Center. Read more: Forbes

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST 

Friday: Increasing clouds, with a high near 47. Light and variable wind becoming east 6 to 11 mph in the morning. Friday night: A slight chance of rain or drizzle after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 41. East wind 9 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

EVENT of the DAY: Shirley Valentine at Queens Theatre

The Tony and Olivier Award-winning play, written by Willy Russell, is about a middle-aged housewife who finds herself unhappy and wondering what happened to all the joy in her life. But when she’s offered the chance to go on the vacation-of-a-lifetime, Shirley is introduced to the adventure, hope and, ultimately, love she had been missing. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Citizens group demands ‘overdue’ stormproof measures to prevent future devastation of Rockaways beaches

Just hours after Superstorm Sandy devastated Rockaway Beach, someone angrily spray-painted a message on the wall of a battered handball court: “John Cori warned you.” Cori, who grew up down the street on Beach 92nd St., has spent the past few years advocating for beach replenishment, new jetties and other reforms to protect the dangerously eroded shoreline. Read more: Daily News

NY1 Exclusive: Red Cross Worker Charged With Alleged Sexual Abuse Of Woman Who Lost Her Home To Sandy

A Red Cross worker is charged with sexually assaulting a woman who turned to him for help after Hurricane Sandy destroyed her Queens home. NY1′s Dean Meminger filed the following report. Evergreen Washington says a Red Cross worker should be stripped of his red and white uniform and put in a prison jumpsuit. Read more: NY1

Romney lunches with Obama at White House

Bitter campaign foes just weeks ago, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney met for lunch at the White House on Thursday, sitting down with an eye on overlapping interests rather than the sharp differences that defined their presidential contest. Read more: NY Post

Rockaway Residents Frustrated With Crowded Buses, Longer Travel Times

Rockaway residents say they’re fed up having to wait an extra 30 minutes or more each morning for a bus to work. “I don’t get paid if I’m not there,” said one commuter. “It’s crazy.” In some cases, buses are so packed, they have to bypass stops. Read more: NY1

St. John’s University dean Cecilia Chang expressed “suicidal ideations” a month before she killed herself

Ex-St. John’s University dean Cecilia Chang talked of committing suicide little more than a month before she hanged herself during her criminal trial, according to court papers. A female friend of Chang’s asked to have her name removed from the bail bond because of the defendant’s increasingly bizarre behavior, defense lawyer Joel Cohen told a judge at an emergency hearing held on Oct. 1. Read more: Daily News

Queens homeowner can’t get in touch with insurance company

Dark and damp, the smell of seawater left from Sandy is a reminder for homeowner Marcy Miller Bolden of the water which flooded her basement during the hurricane. “My basement is completely destroyed,” Miller Bolden said. “The seawater corroded my boiler.” Now Miller Bolden is living without heat and expenses she can’t afford. Read more: NY1

MLS seeks to build 25,000-seat soccer stadium in Queens

Major League Soccer is taking its plan to build a 25,000-seat home for a new team in New York City to the politicians in Queens who will decide the project’s fate. The league will present its plan for a stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park to Borough President Helen Marshall, Queens city council members and community leaders on Dec. 3, Dan Andrews, a spokesman for Marshall, said today in an e-mail. Read more: NJ.com

Limited subway service returns; MTA fares free today & tomorrow


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo via Flickr/saitowitz

After three days without subways, residents crowded onto trains this morning as limited service returned today with no fares.

Fourteen lines will be providing partial service days after the system sustained the worst damage in its 108-year history.  There is still no subway service between 34th St in Midtown and Downtown Brooklyn.

The MTA’s subway, bus and commuter rails will be free for today and tomorrow, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday.

“The gridlock we experienced yesterday shows that the New York metropolitan region is in a transportation emergency,” Cuomo said. “To get people out of their cars and onto mass transit, I immediately authorized the MTA to suspend transit fares through the end of the work week.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg also announced a three-passenger minimum for cars entering Manhattan between 6 a.m. and midnight today and tomorrow to help ease traffic.

Bus service will supplement lines that are unable to operate.

There is still no date on when full subway service will be restored.

Limited Long Island Railroad and Metro-North service also began yesterday.

Metro-North will operate close to regular service between Mount Kisco and Grand Central Terminal on the Harlem Line and on the New Haven Line between Stamford and Grand Central Terminal, according to the MTA.

The LIRR will offer hourly service on the Ronkonkoma Branch and on the Port Washington Branch from Great Neck for the morning rush.

LIRR customers should hold on to their October monthly tickets, which will be honored through Monday.

Buses are running as close to a normal weekday schedule as possible with necessary reroutes due to downed trees and street closures.

SUBWAY SERVICE: See the map of restored service here

1: Will operate local between 242nd Street (Bronx) and Times Square-42nd Street.

2: Will operate between 241st Street (Bronx) and Times Square-42nd St, with express service between 96th Street and Times Square.

3: Suspended

4: Will make all local stops between Woodlawn and 42nd Strett and between Borough Hall and New Lots Avenue.

5: Will operate express in Brooklyn between Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center and Flatbush Avenue.

6: Will operate local between Pelham Bay Park and Grand Central-42nd St

7: Suspended

A: Will operate between 168th Street and 34th St and between Jay Street and Lefferts Boulevard.

B: Suspended

C: Suspended

D: Will operate locally between 205th Street (Bronx) and 34th Street-Herald Square and in Brooklyn between Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center and Bay Parkway making express stops between Pacific Street and 36th Street.

E: Suspended

F: Will be making all local stops between 179th Street (Queens) and 34th Street and in Brooklyn between Jay Street and Avenue X.

G: Suspended

J: Will operate locally between Jamaica Center and Hewes Street. M trains btwn Myrtle Ave-Broadway & Metropolitan Ave

L: Will operate locally between Broadway Junction and Rockaway Parkway.

M: Will operate between Myrtle Avenue-Broadway and Metropolitan Avenue.

N: Will opearte locally between Ditmars Boulevard and 34th Street.

Q: Suspended

R: Will make local stops in Brooklyn between Jay Street and 95th Street.

 

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


Today’s Forecast

Thursday: A slight chance of showers after 3pm. Cloudy, with a high near 56. West wind 9 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Thursday night: A slight chance of showers before 10pm. Cloudy, with a low around 47. West wind 9 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Limited subway service returns this morning

Limited subway service will return to New York City tomorrow morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced. Fourteen lines will be providing partial service days after the system sustained the worst damage in its 108-year history. There is no indication as of yet what lines or stops will be in service. There will be no subway service between 34th St in Midtown and Downtown Brooklyn. Read more: Queens Courier

Mayor mandates car passenger minimums in Manhattan

Cars with less than three passengers will be virtually barred from entering Manhattan, Mayor Bloomberg announced today, in a desperate bid to relief gridlocked city streets. This post-Hurricane Sandy rule will be enforced from 6 a.m. to midnight tomorrow and Friday. Read more: NY Post

Old Howard Beach residents wonder why they weren’t evacuated

As the flood waters from Hurricane Sandy ebb back in to Jamaica Bay, some are questioning why residents of Howard Beach were not evacuated. Howard Beach lies on the edge of Evacuation Zone A, which, for Queens, includes the Rockaways, parts of Long Island City, Broad Channel and nearby Hamilton Beach. Read more: Queens Courier

Bellevue Hospital evacuating patients after power outage

Bellevue Hospital began evacuating hundreds of patients Wednesday after fuel pumps swamped by 17 million gallons of water from superstorm Sandy conked out, putting backup generators in peril. The decision to clear out capped two challenging days at the city’s flagship public hospital — where lights flickered, elevators shut down, plumbing failed and the National Guard had to man a bucket brigade. Read more: Daily News

Prominent Queens attorney and philanthropist John G. Nicholas dies at age 79

John G. Nicholas, a prominent Queens lawyer and philanthropist, died on Oct. 15. He was 79. His family said the cause of death was heart failure. “He was a true humanitarian and he placed his faith in people,” said his son Charles Nicholas, 51, an attorney from Syosset, L.I. “He was a defender of the oppressed.” Read more: Daily News

Riders gear up for potential MTA fare increases


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Maggie Hayes

MTA fares may be going up, and Queens residents are pretty down about it.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said Vena G., who uses the bus frequently to travel the borough looking for a job.

The proposal set by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) will be unveiled next month, and many changes could be on the horizon.

Bus and subway fares could potentially increase to $2.50, up from the current $2.25, while also eliminating the seven percent bonus for buying $10 or more on a MetroCard. Unlimited MetroCards could also rise by five percent, sending a seven-day MetroCard from $29 to $30, and a monthly pass from $104 to $109.

This would be the fourth MTA fare increase in five years.

“For me, it’s definitely going to limit my ability to go look for a job,” said Vena, a certified pharmacy technician who has been out of work for two months.

“I don’t understand why [the MTA is] doing this. It’s not fair,” she said.

As noted by the New York City Straphangers Campaign, the biggest losers in this deal would be those buying discounted pay-per-ride MetroCards. Their fare would go from $2.10 to $2.50-a-ride, translating into an extra $200 a year.

The Straphangers “urge transit riders to speak up when the MTA holds fare increase hearings.”

The MTA would not comment on the potential fare hikes, aside from relaying that there will be public hearings in November, and the board will vote on a decision in December. If approved, the hikes are scheduled to be in place by March of next year.

“They try to raise it just like that, and I think it’s bad management,” said one elderly man waiting for the Q13 line.

“It will absolutely affect my day. I don’t have a car, and in this city, public transportation is safer. But if I’m spending more money on the bus, I’m spending less money on things I really need, less money on people who really need it,” he said.

Along with raising fares for commuter trains, subways and buses, bridge and tunnel tolls around the city could potentially see a 15 percent increase. This would raise bridge tolls such as the Verrazano to $15, and the Queens-Midtown Tunnel to $7.50.

“New sources of revenue are needed to provide decent service at an affordable level, such as placing tolls on the free . . . bridges,” said the Straphangers Campaign in a statement.

“They already have a monopoly, what’s the point? Now they’re just taking advantage,” said Vena.