Mass Transit Systems

  • Blogs

    July 15, 2010

    MTA Spending $34 Million This Year on Employee "Overtime" (Read: Vacation)

    ​These days, no news from the MTA is good news.Turns out the transit authority is spending $34 million this year on overtime for workers who aren't actually working, but are on vacation, out sick, etc.

  • Blogs

    June 23, 2010

    Update: MTA "Fixes" One Problem, Creates Another -- and So It Goes

    ​As of yesterday, the MTA planned to lay off two bus drivers currently at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a humanitarian move, perhaps realizing that the stress of war need not be coupled with the stress of job loss -- or that they would be getting some very bad publicity -- the MTA changed it ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 1, 2010

    The MTA PayPass Pilot Program Starts Today: Death of Metrocard Forthcoming

    ​Happy June 1st! If you didn't know, today is the magical day that the New York/New Jersey Port Authority and related transportation organizations with be experimenting with Mastercard's PayPass technology at certain MTA subway stops, buses, and on the NJ Transit. More importantly: in other wo ... More >>

  • Columns

    May 11, 2010
  • Blogs

    October 6, 2009

    City's Big Apps Contest Unlooses Public Data, But MTA Not On Board

    You may recall that the Times reported the MTA was easing its grip on public information -- dropping their legal demands on the developer of the StationStops iPhone app and others who had been using their train schedules in technology -- and suggested that political pressure was part of the reason. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 5, 2009

    Former MTA Lit-Picker Says Cute Subway Cards are Screened for Scary Words

    ​The "Train of Thought" aperçus and apothegms, which replaced the "Poetry in Motion" subway cards last year as the bored and bookless rider's eye-contact-redirect of last resort, has gone over well with literary-minded locals and been covered by the New Yorker before. The magazine now t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 2, 2009

    MTA: 150 Subway Stations Will Get Digital Train Timers

    ​Lucky L train riders have had digital signs telling them when trains are coming (not always accurately, in our experience, but usually close enough for comfort). Now the MTA, which has mainly offered us blood, sweat and tears lately, says on December 2010, if not sooner, they'll start equipp ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 2, 2009

    6th Ave Trains OK Now; Lex Ave Trains Bollocksed

    ​The Sixth Avenue line delays earlier reported by MTA have been resolved, but there's trouble on the tracks for the Lexington Avenue line: 4 service is suspended in both directions between 149th Street-Grand Concourse and Crown Heights-Utica Avenue, and there are delays on all 4,5, and 6 train ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 17, 2009

    Tea Party People Mystified By Public Transportation

    ​Last weekend there was a Tea Party protest in Washington, with attendance estimated between 60,000-70,000 (ABC News) and a zillion kabillion (Michelle Malkin). Yet all was not good times and accusations of fascism. The Wall Street Journal reports that Texas Congressman Kevin Brady has complai ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 8, 2009

    2nd Avenue Subway Evicted Tenants Not Feeling the Alleged Drop in Manhattan Rents

    We keep hearing that Manhattan rents are down significantly, but the folks who are being eminent-domained out of their homes to make way for the new Second Avenue Subway line aren't seeing it. The Times talks to several who've worked with the MTA and its realty partner O. R. Colan Associates, and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 3, 2009

    Thompson Blasts Plan to Eliminate Subway Agents, Claims Study Finds Them Helpful

    One of the ways the MTA wants to cut costs is by taking station agents out of the subways. This doesn't go over well with community groups, nor with insecure riders who find themselves on lonely platforms in the wee hours -- nor, really, with much of anyone except bean-counters. Comptroller and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 25, 2009

    Worker Killed on Throgs Neck Bridge; Several Lanes Closed

    On the Throgs Neck Bridge this morning a worker was "struck by the boom from a boom truck," says the MTA, and was killed. (Earlier reports had him falling from the bridge.) The worker, not yet identified, was pinned under the boom until firefighters arrived to lift it off. He was pronounced dead at ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 20, 2009

    iPhone App-Maker Publishes Train Schedules; MTA Demands a Cut

    ​Plucky commuter Chris Schoenfeld made an iPhone app called Station Stops that tells you when Metro North trains are scheduled to arrive and depart. He enters and updates the info manually from Metro North's timetables, which we thought was public information. But he says MTA, which runs Metro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 18, 2009

    1 Train Screwed Through the Weekend

    ​The 1 train is still screwed up by yesterday's ceiling collapse at 181st Street. It's out between 168th Street and Dyckman Street -- MTA has put free shuttle buses on that route; between Dyckman and 242nd Street, only the 207th Street station is out. (The M3 bus is free between 168th and 191s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 12, 2009

    34th Street Bus Lines Get Timers

    ​It surprises us that the MTA has chosen the M16 and M34 buses on 34th Street for its bus-shelter digital timer pilot program, which announces to waiting riders when the next one is scheduled to arrive. The relatively uncomplicated L train made a good test case for the subway version, but the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 11, 2009

    Bloomberg Tweets Breaking News! Will Be Endorsed by Al Dia

    ​ And there you have it: N.Y. Al Dia, the Spanish-language daily which in April sort of replaced the defunct Hoy and joined other Impremedia Spanish New York papers El Diario and La Prensa on the newsstands, will va Bloomberg. It's great to have an inside source, for once. Earlier the Mayor t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 3, 2009

    Mayor's Transit Plan Highlights, from Free Crosstown Buses to (Horse-Drawn?) Streetcars

    ​Tired of relying on entropy and black ops to secure his landslide, Mayor Bloomberg today unveiled at his campaign website "Mike's Plan for a Better NYC Transit System." Among the highlights: "Free crosstown buses on select routes in Midtown." And worth every penny! Unmotorized wheelchairs cr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 15, 2009

    Top Marks to 7 Train, Low Marks to C, in Largely Meaningless Subway Survey

    The subway nudges of the Straphangers Campaign issued their annual State of the Subways report. The 7 train was their favorite, which in their MetroCard rating system means it's almost worth the price of a pre-fare-hike ride ($1.55); on the GCT-to-Flushing line you're more likely to get a train and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 8, 2009

    Butt-Slapper Terrorizes Subway, Tish James Speaks Out

    NY1 says there's a serial butt-slapper riding the trains. Cops say they've received about a dozen reports of the man slapping butts in and around Crown Heights. Councilmember Tish James denounces the assailant as a "lowlife" and a "coward." He is thought to be in his mid-20s, between 5' 10" and 6' a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 25, 2009

    Brooklyn Man Guilty of Selling Fake Parts to the MTA

    Stories about people who defraud government agencies usually make us think only of taxpayer dollars wasted. But the story of Brooklyn's Joseph Ungar, who pleaded guilty yesterday to selling inferior knockoff parts to the MTA, also makes us a little nervous about using the traims, though the Authorit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 23, 2009

    Today Barclays-Atlantic Avenue, Tomorrow Disney-Times Square? MTA "Very Open" To Selling Subway Naming Rights

    That resounding "Ewwwww!" you heard emanating from Brooklyn was the sound of locals discovering that as part of Bruce Ratner's revamped deal with the MTA for the Atlantic Yards site, he's set to get naming rights to the Atlantic Avenue subway station. If it's approved by the MTA board tomorrow as ex ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 22, 2009

    Ratner Avenue! Developer Gets MTA Atlantic Yards Windfall -- and Subway Station Naming Rights

    Just when you think Bruce Ratner and his cockamamie Atlantic Yards project are down for the count, they get back up again -- assisted by the city's moneyed interests. The MTA just cut Forest City Ratner an amazing deal. As expected, he'll pay $100 million for the Vanderbilt Railyards -- but he on ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 19, 2009

    Pols Stand With Sikhs Against MTA's Forced Branding of Turbans

    On Tuesday several city councilmembers signed a letter of protest against an MTA policy that requires Sikh workers to have the MTA logo sewn into their turbans. In 2005 the council filed but never enacted a bill that would prevent city agencies from making employees "comply with a uniform code tha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 12, 2009

    MTA Steps Up Robot Trains -- as L Accidentally Skips Stops

    The MTA says it has been stepping up the automation of its guinea-pig L trains without telling us. They started with night service, but have been pushing into daylight hours and now say it's working round the clock. Interestingly, WCBS last night ran a report that the L has been skipping stops at ni ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 3, 2009

    D.A.: Queens Contractor Stiffed Workers $600K

    A Long Island-City-based contractor with ties to the MTA was indicted today for cheating its employees out of $600,000. The firm, M.A. Angeliades, which had been contracted to repair 11 subway stations, had 150 employees (though the District Attorney's office wouldn't say how many were defrauded). ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 30, 2009

    Atlantic Yards Combatants Finally Forced To Sit Through State Senate Hearing

    The footprint. Image via Atlantic Yards or Atlantic Lots. Yesterday was the long-awaited — like, six years long — first state legislative hearing on Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, with State Senator Bill Perkins convening his Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions Committee ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 26, 2009

    MTA Ad Seller Blows $7.5 Target; Ad Rates Down

    We thought we were seeing an awful lot of Poetry in Motions on the subways lately, and now the Times tells us that Titan Worldwide has failed to meet its $7.5 million target for selling ad space on New York's subways, buses and commuter trains. Another vendor, CBS Outdoor, says it has had no problem ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 26, 2009

    MTA Wants Payouts Banned to Riders Who Get Themselves Hurt

    The New York Post says "the chronically cash-strapped MTA has become a money train for riders filing personal-injury lawsuits." Personal injury claims against the Authority rose to $57.6 million last year. The Post focuses on cases like that of Dustin Dibble who, while "blotto," fell on the tracks, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 11, 2009

    MTA Approves Plan; Fare Up 25 Cents on June 17

    At long last, a practical effect to the months-long Albany-MTA wrangle: the MTA approved the Albany plan and officially voted in a fare hike from $2.00 to $2.25 (and from $81 for a monthly to $89, and so forth). The new higher fares kick in on June 17. Upstate Republicans continue to bitch about t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 28, 2009

    Grand Central Chandeliers Now Lit By CFC Bulbs

    The last incandescent lightbulb in the last Beaux Arts chandelier in Grand Central Terminal was replaced today with a compact fluorescent, completing a two-year job to make the 96-year-old "melon" fixtures energy efficient. The MTA expects to save $200,000 a year on the lower electrical cost assoc ... More >>

  • Film

    July 29, 2008