Amid Crisis, Toronto Transit Chief Is Named to Run New York Subway:

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On Tuesday, Andy Byford was named the president of New York City Transit, which oversees the buses and subways. CreditJ. Adam Huggins for The New York Times

With New York’s century-old subway system facing a crisis, transportation officials on Tuesday turned to a veteran transit leader, Andrew Byford, credited with turning around Toronto’s once beleaguered system to take over the city’s buses and subways.

Mr. Byford’s appointment as the president of New York City Transit comes on the heels of a series of changes in leadership at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees the subway system, aimed at restoring accountability and changing a culture that for years has left the subway without adequate funding or support.

Even as the subway’s antiquated infrastructure, including its signal systems and tracks, was breaking down at an increasing rate, the money spent on maintenance has remained essentially the same, when adjusted for…

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Everything you need to know about getting around NYC over Thanksgiving

NY.Curbed.com

The holiday will bring myriad changes to New York’s streets, subways, buses, and more

Brace yourselves, New Yorkers: whether you’re sticking around town for the Thanksgiving holiday, or planning to get out of town for the weekend, your commute is going to be affected.

The myriad transit methods available in the city—subway, bus, commuter rail, you name it—will have schedule changes in effect beginning as early as this Wednesday, which is one of the busiest travel days of the year. (It’s also one of the city’s gridlock alert days, when traffic is expected to be at its worst.)

And it’s not just people leaving town for the holiday that you have to worry about: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will also affect transit service, as will the consumerist nightmare known as Black Friday.

But if you don’t have the option of staying in your apartment all weekend, we’ve got you covered: Here’s everything you need to know about service changes this week on subways, buses, airports, streets, and more.

NYC subway
On Thursday, expect the subway to operate on a Sunday schedule, meaning there will be less frequent service, and there will be changes to various lines (including the 2/3, which won’t run in Brooklyn).

The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will cause major drama on some subway stations on Thursday; according to the MTA, the 57th St station on the F line will be closed from 7 to 11 a.m., and some stations along the route—including heavily trafficked ones like 34th St-Herald Sq and 59th St-Columbus Circle will also have entrances and exits blocked off.

After the holiday, the subway reverts back to normal service—though “normal” is relative when it comes to the MTA, and there will be plenty of service changes taking you through the rest of the weekend.

And on a fun note: The New York Transit Museum’s special vintage holiday trains begin running again this weekend; they’ll travel between Second Ave and Lexington Ave-63rd St on the F line, and then along the Q—aka the Second Avenue subway—from 63rd St to 96th St. Trains begin running at 10 a.m. and the last one leaves the Upper East Side at 5 p.m

Both the Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road will be running extra trains on Wednesday to accommodate folks getting out of town for the holiday, and service changes will be in effect throughout the week. Here’s how that’ll look for each one:

Metro-North: There will be extra trains running on Wednesday beginning at 1 p.m., and additional trains into Manhattan on Thursday for parade-goers. On Thursday, trains will run on a “modified weekend” schedule, and on Friday, they’ll be operating on a Saturday schedule. Trains will run as they normally do on Saturday and Sunday.

On Wednesday evening, there will be 12 additional trains to Long Island from Penn Station, and six extra trains heading into Manhattan from various points. Ditto that on Thursday—to accommodate parade-goers, there will be extra trains running to and from Penn Station. More trains will be running on Saturday and Sunday as well, and that uptick in service will continue through the rest of the holiday season. Off-peak fares are in effect through the weekend.

New Jersey Transit
There are plenty of changes to NJT service over the weekend, chief among them the addition of early “getaway” service, similar to what the Metro-North is offering, on Wednesday; trains will begin running to and from Penn Station at 1 p.m. to accommodate holiday travelers. There will also be additional buses running on some lines from Port Authority beginning at 12:30 p.m.; best to check the NJT website for full details.

On Thursday, trains will operate on a weekend schedule, while bus service will vary by route. Friday will be modified regular service, with additional trains into NYC for Black Friday. Should you want to spend Black Friday at a mall in New Jersey (and if you do, why), there will be extra buses running to and from seven different shopping centers.

Midwest blockchain pioneers meet in Lincoln and announce Block-a-thon

siliconprairienews.com

Some of the brightest minds leading the Midwest blockchain movement gathered in Lincoln last week to make the case for the Midwest as a leader in blockchain technology and to announce Block-a-thon coming April 2018.

“We’re all about planting seeds and joining forces with people that have a common vision, common ideas, and a common passion around blockchain and cryptocurrency,” said Former Union Pacific Head of Application Development, Jeff Main.

The event, hosted at Fuse Coworking in Lincoln, started with educational presentations around blockchain technology and ended with an announcement of the upcoming Block-a-thon.

Block Era Co-founder Kyle Tut compares blockchain in 2017 to the emergence of the internet in 1994 and wants to see the Midwest to become a leader in the exciting new technology.

“I think we have a real opportunity with financial companies, supply chain logistics, and agriculture to use blockchain technology,” said Tut. “Those are what we’re known for and those are what we should focus on.”

Payment Springs Senior Vice President of Solutions, Heath Roehr agrees.

“There’s so much to be excited about around blockchain, it’s an emerging concept that has shown an ability to scale and create really cool technology and products,” said Roeher. “As we think about the Midwest wanting to take a stand and work on building blockchain concepts, that’s so motivating as a technologist, entrepreneur and business person.”

But taking a stand will need to be a concentrated effort?

“How do we actually put a stake in the ground and say, ‘we’re doing something big and it’s happening here?’” said Rena Valentino, Executive Director at Fuse.

Block-a-thon

Block-a-thon Midwest is a three-day event centered around all things blockchain and cryptocurrency as a way to gather momentum for the movement.

Block-a-thon will be held at Fuse Coworking in Lincoln the weekend of April 13-15 and is being touted as the largest blockchain event of its kind in the region. Anyone is welcome to attend, no matter their level of expertise.

“The idea is that we’d have a mix of biz dev, developers, and marketing, and we will help to fill in the gaps,” said Edward Weniger, CEO of Alpha BTC and Block-a-thon co-organizer. “You don’t need to have a previous education because you’re going to have your teammates to educate you, your speakers to educate you, and mentors to educate you.”

The format will be alternate between meals, education and guest speakers with project development in between. Teams of one to five are welcome. Sponsors will get a chance to participate while getting first peek at the new concepts that emerge.

“As the weekend progresses, we’ll get more technical in the conversation as well as adjust to auxiliary topics such as marketing and why, use cases, and examples of things that are already built,” Weniger explains.

Tut has been traveling the US and Canada since May attending blockchain events and will bring his experiences to Block-a-thon.

“I think Block-a-thon will be the biggest help. I originally flew to all these places for hack-a-thons because it wasn’t here,” said Tut. “Now, if you have it here, you get people to come.”

Rena Valentino will be opening Fuse Coworking’s doors and amenities for the weekend, including sleeping pods, 10-gigabyte fiber internet connection, laundry facilities and of course, the keg.

“This isn’t just for Lincoln, this is regional, so how do we get Des Moines to Minneapolis to Denver to Kansas City to Lincoln and Omaha to join in?” said Valentino.

She hopes to see representatives from the corporate world, startups, and students as participants.

The focus is on education

2017 was the year that blockchain and cryptocurrency reached the awareness of the masses, but it’s still very early.

“If you looked at Amazon six months ago, there was hardly anything on Blockchain, now there is much more,” said Roehr.

“I’m glad to see it finally coming to fruition in real projects here,” said Weniger. “I still get people that ask ‘What the heck is it?’ but most people have at least heard of it on the news.