Category Archives: subway

‘The Plan Is Not Set In Stone…but It’s a Good Plan,’ the City Said of L Train Shutdown Mitigation

Bushwick Daily

The MTA hosted the first of four open forums on the L train shutdown Wednesday night at a high school in East Williamsburg, addressing the public’s questions and concerns about that nasty L train shutdown in the not-so-distant future.

While the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the MTA released a mitigation plan last December, “the plan is not yet set in stone…but it’s a good plan,” NYC Transit president Andy Byford said in a statement recorded by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

MTA’s mitigation strategy breaks down (no pun intended) into three categories: subway service, the Williamsburg Bridge, and street design. But it won’t be easy, according to officials.

“Closing it [L train] down for 15 months is going to be very difficult,” said Carolyn B. Maloney, the New York congresswoman who reps Williamsburg and parts of Manhattan’s East Side.

As she stood beside Byford on Wednesday, Maloney touted the success of the new Second Avenue Subway as an example of the good things MTA can do, saying that while construction was “painful,” it is now “the best subway in the whole country.”

“Modern, airy, quiet, art — you name it,” the congresswoman said. “And we want the L train to be even better.”

Three more forums will be held through this month and next, giving the public a chance to learn more about the city’s plan for the April 2019 shutdown that will inconvenience around 225,000 riders.


MTA Chairman Says Pilot Program Transit Pass For LIRR, Subway & Bus Riders Coming Soon

The MTA promises a combined LIRR-MetroCard ticket for Southeast Queens commuters is coming soon.

The long-awaited transit pass will allow riders to buy one-way, weekly or monthly passes for both the LIRR and the city’s bus and subway systems.

People commuting from southeast Queens were expecting to get the passes last fall, but the pilot was delayed by the summer subway melt down.

At a budget hearing in Albany on Thursday, MTA Chairman Joe Lhota promised the pilot program is imminent.

“We are working on it as we speak. We’re very, very close,” he said. “I fully expect it to happen this year and my expectation, when I say this year, don’t think about it as the end of the year. It could happen relatively soon.”

The ticket would be sold at several LIRR stations including Atlantic Terminal, East New York, Nostrand Avenue, Laurelton, Rosedale, St. Albans and Locust Manor.

The MTA’s hope is commuters seeking to save time and money will tap into underutilized, but more expensive LIRR service.

Local lawmakers pushing for the ticket predict it could save as many as 10 hours of commuting time per week.

Cuomo Pushes for NYC Funding for Subway Repairs, Congestion Pricing

The Observer

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is renewing pressure on New York City to fund its half of the short-term plan to fix the city’s subway system and has included his long-anticipated congestion pricing proposal in the latest state budget.

At his fiscal year 2019 executive budget address on Tuesday afternoon, Cuomo discussed the subway action plan unveiled by MTA Chairman Joe Lhota in July. Lhota has proposed that the state and the city split the cost of the $836 million short-term plan to fund subway repairs.

The governor said the state will provide $254 million in operating aid to fully fund its half of the cost using $194 million in previously unallocated monetary settlements and the accelerated transfer of Payroll Mobility Tax revenue to the MTA by eliminating the need for the $60 million annual appropriation. The financial plan also includes $175 million in new capital funding for the MTA.

“We’ve said it should be split 50/50 New York State/New York City,” he said. “We have funded it 50 percent. New York City needs to fund it 50 percent. That’s the short-term.”

This week, he plans to present his congestion pricing proposal: the long-awaited report by the “Fix NYC” panel Cuomo convened to advise the state on proposals to create a dedicated funding stream to mass transit and reduce traffic on city streets.

The report will address defining a geographic “pricing zone,” installing technology around the zone and coming up with fees and hours. The report, Cuomo said, suggests flexible and variable options and prices for different hours and for yellow cars, black cars, green cars, Uber, Lyft, trucks and passenger cars.

“My point is it has to be fair to all people in all industries,” Cuomo continued. “You have yellow cars, now black cars, green cars, blue cars, purple cars—they all have to be treated the same. I don’t want anyone saying they had a competitive advantage or this advantage because we put a surcharge on one versus the other.”

He noted the state currently collects and doles out the Payroll Mobility Tax to the MTA. The executive budget proposes changing the state law so the revenue is directly appropriated to the agency.

“For the MTA, currently the state collects what’s called a Payroll Mobility Tax, which is $1.6 billion,” the governor added. “We would change the law so the MTA collects that tax itself, it now has a dedicated funding stream, it can securitize it, it can get a better credit rating from it, it can finance the installation of the Fix New York City Technology, the Penn renovation, etc.”

De Blasio, for his part, told NY1’s Errol Louis he agreed with Cuomo’s approach to handling President Donald Trump’s tax reform plan signed into law before Christmas—an approach that includes suing the Trump administration. But he expressed disagreement with Cuomo’s approach to dealing with the MTA.

“I disagree on its face with some of the assumptions in his budget address when it comes to the MTA,” he said. “The state of New York took $456 million of the MTA’s budget. They need to put that money back.”

And he maintained his proposed millionaires tax on wealthy New Yorkers to fund subway repairs and reduced subway fares for low-income New Yorkers is the best way to solve the long-term issues afflicting the city’s subway system.

He maintained that well-off people, including in states like New York, will do better because of Trump’s tax plan and that others may “do less well.” But he argued that even if millionaires and billionaires do “about the same or a little worse,” they still pay “so much less than they should” in terms of their share of taxes.

“Remember when [there] was the high water mark of taxing millionaires and billionaires in this country?” de Blasio continued. “During the Dwight Eisenhower administration. And by the way, that was one of the times when the economy was inclusive and functional. So any way you slice it, the millionaires and billionaires of this state can afford to pay more. It’s the best and most reliable way to fund the MTA going forward.”

As to the news of Cuomo inching closer to unveiling his congestion pricing proposal and what impact it has on his own plan to tackle congestion in the city, de Blasio said he is “beginning to see something” and wants to analyze the plan once it is fully presented.

“What I’ve said is look, ‘I’ll look at any plan and certainly one to reduce congestion in the city, but I wanna make sure it’s fair,’” he added. “Some of the proposals we’ve seen in the past, I think, were not fair, were not balanced in terms of the economic impact they’d have on different people, and particularly on people from Brooklyn and Queens. I’ll look at anything.”

He insisted it does not threaten the validity of his millionaires tax proposal because the city will need a “substantial amount of reliable resources to fix the MTA.”

“I think the ways we address congestion take many forms, including some of the things that we’re talking about,” the mayor said. “For example, banning truck deliveries in certain routes during rush hour so you don’t have a ton of doubled parked trucks right where people are trying to go at the most sensitive time of the day. So we’re going to look at different pieces of what the governor’s put forward, but we’re going to keep working to reduce congestion with our own tools as well.”

Andy Byford, MTA’s head of subways, buses, reports for 1st day on the job

The MTA’s new head of subways and buses promised to shake things up at the beleaguered transit agency as he began his first day on the job Tuesday.

Andy Byford, the MTA’s recently hired transit president, said he would give equal focus to four key pillars of his job — subway, bus, paratransit and employee morale — during a brief interview with reporters that touched on the agency’s ancient subway infrastructure; funding and cost reforms; 24-hour train service and the politics at play as subway delays soar and bus ridership plummets.

“I’ve certainly not come here to hold the fort or to maintain the status quo. My job is to drive up the level of service and thereby customer satisfaction for all New Yorkers,” Byford told reporters awaiting him outside MTA headquarters at the Bowling Green subway station.

The former CEO of the Toronto Transit Commission, who has never owned a car, rode into work just after 7 a.m. on a downtown 4 train from Grand Central. He said he plans to rely on subways and buses to get to work each day. He had prepared for a “packed” first day of meetings with his new colleagues and higher ups, including his boss Veronique Hakim, the MTA’s managing director, and Phil Eng, the agency’s COO.

Byford, a UK native who began his transit career as a station foreman in the London Underground, said his first priority on the subways is to “maximize the capability” of the MTA’s current signal system, which relies on technology dating back nearly a century, and improve maintenance of the MTA’s fleet of trains.

“The short term is getting the existing system to work reliably,” Byford said. “Doors typically are the Achilles’ heel of trains — particularly aging trains. You’ve got to maintain your doors, you’ve got to maintain your signal equipment.”

Upgrading the MTA’s signals will allow the agency to add more trains to lines throughout the day because trains could run tighter together. The MTA in the past has estimated that such an endeavor would cost tens of billions of dollars and take nearly a half-century. Round-the-clock service — in some form — might have to be sacrificed, Byford said.

“You cannot upgrade signals effectively … unless you give crews access to the track and that does mean that we will have to find a way of doing that,” Byford said. “I do appreciate that this is a 24/7 city. New Yorkers rightfully hold the (24-hour) subway dear to their hearts. But equally, they expect me to provide more reliable service. If we’re to do that, there is no gain without some pain.”

While Byford said there will need to be a larger investment in the MTA to turn around service, he also admitted that costs are unusually high. Building out the first leg of the second Avenue subway was the most expensive subway project on Earth at $4.5 billion.

“We should be looking to be as efficient as possible in everything that we do so that we can maximize scarce tax dollars,” Byford said.

The MTA, which is effectively controlled by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, has experienced a roughly 200 percent increase in subway delays since 2012. While ridership on the rails has begun to plateau and drop, bus ridership has declined much faster, dropping 100 million passenger trips over the past eight years. Meanwhile, Cuomo has tried to pass some responsibility of the subways to the city and Mayor Bill de Blasio. Both the mayor and the governor have agreed that the MTA needs more funding, though each has their own dueling proposals.

Byford said that he hopes he’s “allowed the time and the space to do what I need to do.” Over the past 10 years, Transit presidents have typically stayed on the job for a little over two years, on average.

“At the end of the day the MTA is a state-run authority,” Byford said. “So it’s the governor’s prerogative to have a view. I think it would be perverse if the governor wasn’t interested in transit or in the subway because, at the end of the day, he’s an elected official and I think all elected officials should be concerned about making sure this city’s transit system runs effectively.”

As Byford trekked downtown, trains were still running smoothly in the early hours of the morning rush. He used a word to describe his commute that not many New Yorkers would associate with the subway: “flawless.”

But, just about an hour after he entered MTA headquarters, the MTA reported delays or service changes on B, D, 2, 3, 6 and 7 trains and the morning commute looked more familiar.

Manhattan Gridlock: Plan to Relieve It & Impact On Transit Debt

Bumper-to bumper, horn-honking traffic through Manhattan streets is about as New York as bagels and Broadway. A plan to ease that problem is tapping into another mainstay of city life: high driving tolls.

The idea, called “congestion pricing,” involves using electronic tolling technology to charge fees to vehicles entering the most heavily trafficked parts of town during certain hours.

Some big cities already do it, including Singapore, Stockholm and London, where it can cost more than $15 to drive into the city center during peak periods.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed it for New York a decade ago and got a firm rejection from lawmakers who said drivers headed into Manhattan already get slammed enough by bridge and highway tolls and high parking fees.

But with the city’s subway system deteriorating, and politicians looking for ways to pay for a fix, the concept has gotten new life.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who said last summer that “congestion pricing” is an idea whose time has come, could unveil a plan to implement a system as early as next week. A spokesman for the governor said a committee, called FixNY, is finalizing recommendations.

Alex Matthiessen, director of the MoveNY campaign — the most vocal advocate for congestion pricing — says New York would become the first city in the United States to charge drivers under such a system, but said others like San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles are paying close attention.

“We have a full-blown crisis,” Matthiessen said. “Our subway system is severely underfunded; it is quite unreliable, there are delays and overcrowding and the situation is potentially dangerous. No other idea has the twin benefit of also tackling a very severe traffic problem.”

There are still plenty of roadblocks.

Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he likes the idea of getting cars off the street but isn’t convinced high tolls is the way to do it.

“I think there are serious fairness issues when it comes to congestion pricing,” he said at a recent news conference, citing the financial burden on drivers who can’t afford tolls as easily as the many millionaires who call Manhattan home. De Blasio has said he prefers dealing with the subway’s financial problems by imposing higher income taxes on the rich.

Key details, like how much it might cost, or where, exactly, drivers might get hit with the tolls have yet to be unveiled. Bloomberg’s plan would have charged $8 to drive south of 60th Street, or roughly the southern end of Central Park.

Adam Glassman, a Lynbrook, Long Island-based attorney, spoke in midtown Manhattan before getting into his car to go home.

“It is impossible to get into the city,” said Glassman, who is familiar with Bloomberg’s proposed plan years ago. He commutes into Manhattan twice a week.

He’s in favor of possible tolls. “I’d be willing to suck it up.”

Although no specific congestion pricing plan has been formally announced, many agree that any system would be likely to create surcharges for ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. That’s OK with Uber, which is behind a public relations campaign backing congestion pricing.

“Users of Manhattan’s congested roads should bear part of the cost of helping to reduce congestion and improve our public transit system,” said Uber spokeswoman Alix Anfang. “Everyone should pay their fair share to keep New York City moving forward.”

Brooklyn state Assemblyman William Colton, a Democrat, said any proposals that would create tolls across bridges into Manhattan that are currently free, or a system that would ping drivers in areas like Times Square south through Greenwich Village and into the Wall Street business district, would be seen as an unfair tax by his constituents.

“This is going to have a negative effect on working people, small business people and seniors who have medical appointments in Manhattan,” Colton said. “This is going to be a big problem. I don’t know the details, but I’m very leery.”

Commuter Joe Murphy said he would be “absolutely opposed to it.”

He lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and already pays for the George Washington Bridge, where tolls range from $10.50 to $15 a car, plus a midtown Manhattan parking garage. His half-hour, pre-rush hour commute is the fastest and easiest option for him; using public transportation would triple his commuting time.

“Just to get to work, the cost of parking and tolls and everything is just astronomical,” he said.

Extension of #1 Line ‘Wishful Thinking’

Tribeca Trib

The extension of the NYC Transit #1 subway line from the Rector Street station to Red Hook for $3.5 billion (a tunnel and three new stations) as proposed in 2016 by Senior VP of AECOM Engineering firm Chris Ward and now supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo in his 2018 State of the State speech is wishful thinking.

This subway extension would support a proposed Red Hook economic development project. It would be similar in size and scope to Battery City Park in Manhattan. Was this $3.5 billion figure written on the back of a napkin?

Cuomo wants the MTA to conduct and pay for a planning feasibility study. There would still be the need for environmental documents or preliminary design and engineering followed by final design and engineering efforts and identification of billions for construction funding.

All of the above is necessary to validate any basic estimates for construction costs.

Given the narrow streets and dense development, who could find a staging area for mobilization of contractor employees, equipment and materials to support construction? Imagine trying to assemble a tunnel boring machine at Rector Street adjacent to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. What about removal of debris once excavation begins? Hundreds of trucks needed on a daily basis to remove rock and soil would be challenging.

It cost $4.5 billion for Phase 1 Second Avenue subway (36 blocks & 3 stations) & $2.4 billion (18 blocks & 1 station) for #7 Hudson Yards subway extension. Neither required a multi-billion tunnel under the East River. Construction of new subway stations average between $500 million up to $1 billion, depending upon location and complexity of work. All three new subway stations would require compliance with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). This includes expensive elevators and other features.

Is there a political quid pro quo in the form of campaign donations between developers, construction contractors and unions who support this project and Cuomo?

This subway line connects both ends of Manhattan’s resurgence

NY Post
Realty Check’s favorite subway ride these days is the A line between Fulton Center and 125th Street/St. Nicholas Avenue. The speedy express skips 12 stops and covers about as many miles in 23 minutes — faster than you might fly between Manhattan’s most resurgent neighborhoods.

The Wall Street area and Harlem wouldn’t seem to have much in common. And they don’t — except that each reflects, in a different way, the city’s extraordinary, possibly unique, regenerative powers.

My heart lifts every time I visit either district. Our readers are familiar with the many facets of downtown’s stirring revivals and reinvention since 9/11. The once-buttoned-down “Financial District” is home to more than 60,000 people. Sidewalks are busy day and night. Great companies are moving there from Midtown. (McKinsey, headed for Three World Trade Center, is the latest.)

The area that once had too few good stores might soon have too many. Fancy movie theaters have opened, and more are coming. So are a new South Street Seaport and a score of new restaurants.

It might seem a far remove from mostly low-rise Harlem’s latest renaissance, which has kicked into high gear after years of promises that fell short.

The historical capital of African-American culture benefited from the same conditions that continue to lift nearly all city boats — an influx of global capital, demand for modern new homes and the amenities residents need, and unprecedented low crime levels.

Harlem had no local 9/11 to overcome, although of course the terrorist attack took lives from every corner of the city. Harlem did, however, need to rebound from previous decades of neglect, disinvestment and bank red-lining that followed an even earlier period of high crime and middle-class flight.

Today’s Harlem — east, central and west — bubbles with energy and optimism. Lenox Avenue, Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard and 125th Street river-to-river, especially, buzz with redevelopment.

Harlem’s magnificent brownstone cross-blocks between Fifth Avenue and St. Nicholas Avenue have been rediscovered by a new generation of owners and renters.

The winds of change are especially active on 125th Street, where new apartments, Whole Foods, clothing stores, a Marriott Renaissance Hotel atop the historic Victoria cinema site, and a David Adjaye-designed addition to the Studio Museum in Harlem are making the fabled boulevard new.

Much more is coming. A development-site offering at 54-62 W. 125th St. between Fifth and Sixth avenues, on the market via Ariel Property Advisors for $27.5 million, will likely replace a string of long-vacant storefronts with a mixed-use project of up to 100,000 square feet.

The transformation hasn’t come without cost. Some longtime residents and small businesses have been priced out — as happened in many gentrified parts of town, not only in Manhattan.

But a stroll through Harlem — parts of which are more beautiful than any other residential part of town — is as stirring, in its way, as a stroll through reborn downtown.

As Duke Ellington’s classic song put it, “Take the A Train” — but today it means in either direction.

New York: Metro Transit debt makes profits for Wall Street

New York — The Metropolitan Transit Authority here is on a collision course for a financial crash. It just approved a $1.9 billion capital project to build a third track for the Long Island Railroad, which mostly benefits suburban commuters and the bourgeoisie.

Some MTA board members at its Dec. 13 meeting feigned concern about approving yet another project that may run over cost projections and require borrowing big money. While board members may publicly fret about rising debt to the banks, they aren’t actually fighting on behalf of the working people who use the system.

The Second Avenue Subway project broke ground in 2007 with a projected cost of $3 billion. A decade later, it has now sucked up $11 billion — and construction of the line’s second phase hasn’t even begun.

These overruns require the MTA to take on more debt. The public agency already owes almost $40 billion to the banks, and has only been making interest payments, instead of paying off the principal. The MTA — with loose fingers in its wallet — might very well be the best customer the banks could wish for.

The first subway line in New York City was built in 1904 by capitalist bosses to transport workers who were living farther and farther away from the expensive city center where businesses were located.

But not so much good-paying work exists anymore in the city. The evolution of capitalism demands that work be automated to increase “productivity” — yielding profits from more work by fewer workers.

“The bosses really don’t need tens of millions of workers anymore,” said Renée Imperato, a disabled veteran and organizer with the People’s MTA. “Why feed us, why educate us and why house us?”

And why transport us?

People’s MTA fights for riders and workers

Capitalism leaves our class with a stark future. That’s why PMTA has sprung up. The original members of PMTA, under the banner of NYC Workers Defense Committee, got involved in struggles around transportation in May. Transit worker Darryl Goodwin had been harassed and wrongfully arrested on May 16 by an on-duty cop, one of hundreds hired by the MTA. The agency supports “broken-windows” policing — the theory that arresting people for minor issues like fare jumping will deter major crimes. However, such wrong thinking will not fix what’s wrong with the trains.

Goodwin died Aug. 16 before his trial. His union comrades feel strongly the stress of the arrest contributed to his declining health. Goodwin’s good name was restored Dec. 15, after pressure by Transport Workers Local 100, when a Manhattan judge posthumously dismissed criminal charges against him.

While advocating for Goodwin at MTA board meetings, WDC members encountered other militants. Seeing the activism around transportation, WDC members realized they needed to broaden their mission and create a united front. That was how the PMTA was born. Over the summer, the group’s activities included responding to massive delays and derailments in the subways.

Determined to fight for the working class, PMTA’s demands include reduced and free fares, the addition of elevators in every subway station to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, more buses and trains per hour, an end to racist policing, and rights and justice for transit workers. While access to affordable transportation is being taken away from New York City workers, Trump signs a bill to spend $700 billion for more wars.

Tony Murphy, a PMTA organizer, sees larger forces at play as the 113-year-old subway system crumbles. He told WW: “The MTA board is proving itself capable of only funneling money to Wall Street, the same class forces that are getting billions in tax breaks from the Trump administration.” Murphy added that the MTA board needs to be replaced with a board of workers who ride and operate public transportation.

The PMTA has rallied in front of MTA headquarters monthly before heading to the 20th floor of 2 Broadway in Manhattan to voice demands to MTA board members. The next scheduled board meeting is 10 a.m. on Jan. 24.

Join us in supporting all workers, without whom this society could not function. A public transit system should be a service, not a business.

Everything you need to know about getting around NYC over Christmas

As we head into Christmas weekend, now’s a good time to take a look at how your commute will be affected during the holidays.

You can bet that the city’s myriad methods of transportation—the subway, bus, ferry, commuter rail, and whatever else you can think of—will have schedule changes in effect. And if you’re driving, plan ahead because holidays are known to turn the city’s already congested street into a traffic nightmare. (In fact, the DOT has cited the three days leading into the holiday weekend as gridlock days.)

Plus, Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed both the MTA and Port Authority to ramp up security measures—by adding more patrol officers in subway stations, at major transit hubs (like the WTC Transportation Hub and Port Authority Bus Terminal), at bridges, and more—in the wake of the terrorist attack in the subway system earlier this month. Put all that together and you have a recipe for a very hectic holiday commute.

If you’re worried about getting around, never fear; here’s everything you need to know about service changes this week on subways, buses, airports, streets, and more.

NYC subway
Of course there are subway changes: On Christmas day itself, the MTA will be operating on a Sunday schedule, so you can expect some service disruptions. Here’s the full rundown, per the MTA:

No 2/3 service in Brooklyn; 2 trains run between South Ferry and the Bronx, and 3 trains run between 14 St and Harlem-148 St.
4 service runs between Woodlawn and New Lots Av.
5 service runs between Flatbush Av and the Bronx.
No express service on the 5 or D trains in the Bronx, or the 6 or 7 trains.
No B service; use the A, C, D and/or Q instead.
M service runs between Delancey-Essex Sts and Broadway Junction, and between Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs and Metropolitan Av.
No W service; use the N, Q or R instead.
No J/Z skip-stop service – take the J instead.
Phew. More details are at the MTA’s Weekender site.

Christmas Eve will also mark the final journey for the New York Transit Museum’s special vintage holiday trains; 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.

NYC Buses
City buses
will also run on a Sunday schedule on Christmas and there are several lines that have holiday season bus stop changes in effect.

If you rely on the bus to get to and from LaGuardia Airport, then good news: the MTA and the Port Authority will offer free service along the Q70’s Select Bus Route, which operates between the airport and several subway stations in Queens. The buses go from LGA to the 61 St-Woodside subway station on the 7, and the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av stop, which services the E, F, M, R, and 7 lines. It’s in effect from December 21 through January 8.

Metro-North and LIRR
Both of the MTA’s commuter rail lines will have myriad service changes beginning this week; here’s the breakdown:

Metro-North: There will be extra trains running from Grand Central Terminal on Friday beginning at 1 p.m., and “evening trains will be cancelled or combined because of reduced ridership later in the day,” per Metro-North’s website. There will be “shopper’s special” trains running on Sunday, aka Christmas Eve; on Christmas day, there will be hourly service on most lines, and other changes to the schedule. All of that information is available on Metro-North’s website, and there are some different changes in effect for lines west of the Hudson.

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 Friday; 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.

Trains will also operate on a weekend/major holiday schedule on Monday.

PATH trains will operate on a Saturday schedule on Thanksgiving day, and a modified weekday schedule on the day after Thanksgiving. There aren’t too many other details available, but the PATH Twitter account is a good place to check for updates.

NYC Ferry
On Christmas, all ferry service will operate on a weekend schedule and the Midtown and Downtown Far Rockaway shuttle bus will not run at all.

The days leading up to Christmas are always ridiculous and overwhelming for travelers—and New York’s airports won’t be immune to chaos. Both LGA and JFK have been blasting out travel tips via Twitter, which boil down to the basics: arrive earlier than you think you need to; take public transportation (use that free Q70 service!); be prepared with your boarding pass; you know the drill.

Some quick things to note: There’s construction happening at LGA currently, so definitely allow yourself extra time if you’re planning on driving or taking a cab to the airport. (And its hourly parking lot is closed to facilitate construction; more details on that here.)

The TSA’s website also lets you check out the wait times at different security gates at NYC’s various airports; find that here.

MORPC and Partners Kickoff Regional Corridor Analysis Study

A group of Central Ohio community leaders joined the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) in kicking off a new study aimed at assessing the potential for compact development in our regional transit corridors and how high-capacity transit could better serve residents in the region.

MORPC projects that Central Ohio is expected to grow by up to 1 million people by the year 2050. Insight2050 shows that compact development patterns, characterized by infill and redevelopment, are more responsive to the changing demographics that come with that growth and the increased market demand for smaller residences in walkable, mixed-use environments.

The Regional Corridor Analysis will study a variety of metrics to assess the impact(s) of compact development along five regional corridors, and study the relationship between these corridors and the various types of high-capacity transit technologies, which are defined as transit beyond local or express bus service. Examples could include Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Light-Rail Transit (LRT), Commuter Rail or intercity rail.

“With this focused approach to growth, Central Ohio communities have the potential to capture some of the new market demand, support smart mobility options like those being developed in Smart Columbus, and provide benefits associated with compact development,” said MORPC Executive Director William Murdock. “It also presents the opportunity for high-capacity transportation options that support infill development goals and provide accessible options for residents and employees.”

MORPC is partnering with the City of Columbus, the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), the Columbus District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI Columbus), the Columbus Partnership, Groveport, Dublin, Whitehall, Reynoldsburg, Westerville, and Bexley on the Regional Corridor Analysis study.

For more information on the Regional Corridor Analysis study please visit or contact Jennifer Noll at jnoll@morpc.orgor 614.233.4179