On Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015. The third major winter storm in two weeks left the Boston area with another 2 feet of snow and forced the MBTA to suspend all rail service for the day. Every day stories like this! The City of Boston might have to dump some of its excess snow into its famous harbor even though it would hurt the environment.
A winter storm has brought more than a foot or more of snow and strong winds to the region.
* Storm has dropped more than two feet of snow in some areas, and newest totals have vaulted this winter into third-snowiest on record in Boston with at least 95.7 inches so far, according to the National Weather Service.
* Governor Baker urged residents to stay off roads and “let the plows do their jobs.” Earlier, he said the snowfall “significantly exceeded” projections. More coverage
* The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning, which is in effect until 7 a.m. Monday. Map of snow totals
* Mayor Walsh said a snow emergency and parking ban will remain in effect until further notice, and urged drivers and pedestrians to stay home and off the roads. More information
* The MBTA will offer limited service on Monday. MBTA transit updates
* Temperatures are expected to plummet after the storm passes. Temperature map
* Some roads in South Boston have been rerouted. Map: South Boston road reconfiguration
BOSTON — The beleaguered MBTA will operate on a limited schedule Monday in the aftermath of the fourth major snowstorm to hit Boston in three weeks.
The MBTA has struggled mightily since Winter Storm Juno blanketed the region with over two feet of snow that crippled the system’s outdated infrastructure.
Subway service on all lines will be limited to underground stations only, with supplemental bus shuttles running between aboveground stations. The Blue Line will continue to service Airport Station in East Boston.
Some buses will operate on a winter schedule and service will be limited. Several bus lines will not run on Monday. Check mbta.com/winter for a complete and up-to-date list.
The entire Commuter Rail system will run on a Saturday schedule.
Ferry service is set to run on a regular weekday schedule.
The Ride is scheduled to operate but will be affected by weather and street conditions.
MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott submitted her resignation after the poor condition of the public transportation system required the system to shut down on February 10. MassDOT officials met Friday in private to discuss the process for finding Scott’s replacement.
New York will build an AirTrain to connect the hellish human zoo known as LaGuardia Airport to civilization, NY Governor Cuomo announced this morning at a breakfast hosted by the Association for a Better New York. “You can’t get to LaGuardia by train today,” Cuomo said. “And that really is inexcusable. That is something we’re going to correct over the next several years.”
Cuomo said the AirTrain will connect with the 7 train and the LIRR at Willetts Point. The train will run about 1.5 miles along the Grand Central Parkway, “in an area that we believe won’t create an undue burden to any of the neighboring structures, and create a ‘one ride’ from the subway system or the Long Island Railroad to LaGuardia, which is truly long overdue.”
Cuomo also said the state is looking for a high speed ferry terminal to connect LaGuardia to Manhattan, as well as a hotel business center and retail shopping at the airport.
The timetable and cost of the project was not disclosed this morning, but Cuomo indicated that some of the cost of the AirTrain could be funded by the $5 billion New York State took in last year through settlements with foreign banks. A spokesperson for the governor’s office said that a statement with more details would most likely be released later today.
Had not been in New York City literally for years. It was about Halloween last Fall. Heading from Times Square to bus terminal I saw these really great pictures painted on the (beautifully white) wall. Thought they were old-time “trick and treaters”. Guess I had better not give up my writing job for an art critic job. The picture at the top was NOT “trick and treaters”. It was Jane Dickson’s mosaics of New Year’s Eve revelers. As much as I enjoy them, you run the risk of getting plowed under at rush hour if you pause to admire them along the passageway that connects the Times Square and Port Authority bus terminal subway stations where they’re located.
An Art Tour of the Subway System With Sandra Bloodworth, the Director of MTA Arts & Design. A great article by RALPH GARDNER JR. Ms. Bloodworth is also the co-author, with William Ayres, an independent curator, of “New York’s Underground Art Museum.” It details the 250 works decorating the subway system and the 50 more in progress.
Ms. Bloodworth politely declined to speculate on the completion date for the Second Avenue subway. However, when that glorious moment arrives it will be accompanied by eye-catching art. Renderings of which can be found in “New York’s Underground Art Museum.”
Among the artists is Sarah Sze. She’ll be doing a monumental mosaic along the escalators descending into the 96th Street station. Pixilated mosaic portraits by Chuck Close of New York cultural luminaries have been commissioned for the 86th Street station.
The surge of riders packing themselves onto crowded trains may force the MTA to give overtime to platforms conductors who get trains moving faster.
MTA chief Tom Prendergast likened the heavy ridership — cracking six million riders a day 12 times in September and October — to a pot of boiling water about to bubble up to the rim.
“If you let it go uncontrolled, it all spills out,” Prendergast said Wednesday. “As you start to see that happen, you have to start taking actions in the form of deployment of personnel.”
Subway platform conductors, who have been usually deployed for events like the Macy’s fireworks display or weekend service changes, can get passengers onto cars quicker, so trains can get out of the station faster.
Officials will be asking government at all levels for help in coming up with the $15 billion the MTA needs for a $32 billion blueprint through 2019 for fixing up stations and equipment, buying new train cars and continuing Second Avenue Subway construction.
No. 7 train goes west:
It’s been more than a year since Mayor Michael Bloomberg got the first (ceremonial) ride on the new leg of the No. 7 train to the far West Side from Times Square. Riders can expect to take a trip on the first expansion of the subway system in decades by April at the earliest — unless the MTA has to push off the opening date.
Uber now charging $2 to hail green and yellow cabs
Now might be a good time for Uber fans to get their cab hailing arm muscles back into shape.
The company is now charging a $2 booking fee to hail green and yellow cabs through its popular app. That’s on top of the cost of the ride itself.
The change to the once-free e-hailing service known as UberT started on Wednesday.
The company says the $2 is a booking fee passed from the driver to Uber “to cover costs associated with provisioning the platform.” Those costs include the use of an iPhone, data plan, lead generation and more.
The company says a similar booking fee is charged in other cities that use the e-hailing platform.
Uber is one of a handful of companies whose forays into the taxi industry have disrupted how people go about hailing cabs.
Weekends in Brooklyn:
Traveling to and from Bushwick and Williamsburg will get easier when the J train this spring starts running through the new Fulton Center hub, with transfers to eight other train lines.
Select Bus to grow:
At least two new faster bus routes, known as Select Bus Service, are expected to be installed this year along 86th Street in Manhattan and Utica Avenue in Brooklyn, according to transportation officials. The DOT meanwhile will be building local support for Select Bus routes in Flushing-Jamaica
The first phase of the Second Avenue Subway is three-quarters of the way done now that construction crews have finished the shell for the 86th Street station, the MTA announced Thursday.
Excavating the bedrock, installing concrete lining and utility work took more than three years and $332 million to finish, bringing the entire first phase of the Second Avenue subway to 76% complete.
The station now needs heating, ventilation and air conditioning work, elevator and escalators and architectural finishes.
MTA officials this week said the new subway line that will bring the Q train up Second Avenue to 96th Street is still slated to be ready for service December 2016.
MTA launches new courtesy campaign on NYCT subways, buses
Starting in January, the “Courtesy Counts, Manners Make a Better Ride” campaign will be launched on placards posted inside subway cars and buses. The signs will be posted on commuter railroads in February.
“Courtesy is always important but it takes on an added significance as transit ridership continues to increase,” said NYCT President Carmen Bianco in a press release. “The simple act of stepping aside to let riders off the train before you board can trim valuable seconds from the time a train dwells in a station while removing a backpack makes more room for everyone. These acts serve to speed the trip while increasing the level of comfort.”
The placards illustrate behavioral “Do and Don’t” scenarios. For example, one placard addresses a rule that discourages male riders from sitting in a sprawled manner across a seat in a way that takes up more than their fair share of space. “Dude, stop the spread, please,” the placard reads.
To read the entire list of “Dos and Don’ts,” click here.
MTA blames NYCT derailment on track defects
Several unrepaired track defects were the cause of a subway train derailment along the Queens Boulevard line in early May, MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) officials concluded late last week in their final investigative report on the incident.
The report uses prior inspection reports to identify several minor defects in track components at the derailment point. Although none of the defects individually could have caused the derailment, a combination of defects in one location was the most likely cause, NYCT officials said in a news release.
The agency has changed its inspection protocols to ensure rail defects are appropriately identified and repaired.
“Nothing is more important than providing the safest transportation possible for our customers and employees, so determining the cause of this derailment was a top priority for us,” said NYCT President Carmen Bianco. “We immediately took corrective action to ensure we always focus on identifying and correcting track defects. This will minimize the risk of future derailments.”
MTA seeks federal funds for Canarsie line
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is seeking federal funding to use toward $300 million in infrastructure improvements for the Canarsie L Line, which runs from Manhattan to Brooklyn’s Canarsie section.
Proposed improvements include adding three power substations to allow for two additional trains per hour — a 10 percent increase in service — which could carry 2,200 additional riders per hour. Other elements include installing elevators at the 1 Avenue and Bedford Avenue stations to make them ADA compliant, and adding new street-level entrances at both stations.
MTA will request funding through the Federal Transit Administration’s new Core Capacity grant program. Work on the Canarsie improvements is expected to take several years, with construction on the new station entrance at 1 Avenue to start first. Work on the infrastructure improvements will be coordinated with planned repairs to the Canarsie Tube, which was flooded during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.
The line has experienced a 27 percent increase in ridership since NYCT installed Communication-Based Train Control in 2007, a new signal system that increased NYCT’s ability to run more trains each hour.
Govs. Cuomo, Christie back Port of New York and New Jersey reforms
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced Dec. 27 they accepted the comprehensive changes at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) that were recommended by the Bi-State Special Panel.
The governors vetoed legislation aimed at overhauling the authority and instead backed the proposed reforms, which they believe will go farther in bringing accountability to PANYNJ. The reforms call for restructuring PANYNJ’s operations, including a reorganization of Board of Commissioners leadership and executive management, the creation of a single chief executive officer and the modification of the chairman’s role. The CEO would replace the executive director and deputy executive director. Either the chair and vice chair positions would be replaced with two co-chairs — one recommended by each governor — for election by the Board of Commissioners, or the chairmanship would be rotated between the two states on an annual basis, Cuomo and Christie said in a press release.
The reorganization will create clear lines of responsibility and accountability, and return the port authority to its original mission: developing and maintaining the world’s largest transportation system and infrastructure, they said.
Other recommended reforms backed by the governors include divesting existing real estate holdings and restricting future real estate investments to those integral to the port authority’s core transportation mission; pursuing the construction of a new bus terminal; modernizing port commerce facilities to increase their efficiency and maximize the potential of the ports as a premier cargo portal; and seeking an improved operating model for the PATH rail system.
In May, the governors ordered a broad review and evaluation of the port authority’s structure, management, operations and governance.
“The recommendations put forward by the bi-state panel include important reforms to address the port’s inefficient and outdated governing structure, and will help bring new transparency and effectiveness to the agency as it approaches its 10th decade of service,” said Cuomo.
The reforms reflect the need for “a profound and necessary reimagining” of the authority, added Christie.
“Gov. Cuomo and I have remained advocates for reform at the port authority and are encouraged by these recommendations from the bi-state panel,” he said.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority has released new photos of construction on the first phase of New York’s Second Avenue Subway, a more than $4 billion project that will run new tunnels between 63rd Street and 96th Street on the East side and is expected to be complete in 2016.
Second Avenue Subway from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and MTA New York City Transit have begun the final planning and environmental analysis for a full-length Second Avenue Subway, from 125th Street to the Financial District in Lower Manhattan.
The Second Avenue Subway will reduce overcrowding and delays on the Lexington Avenue Line, improving travel for both city and suburban commuters, and improving access to mass transit for residents of the far East Side of Manhattan.
In 1972, Governor Rockefeller and Mayor Lindsey broke ground for the Second Avenue Subway. Nearly 45 years later, no trains have ever run under Second Avenue.
The line has had at least three groundbreakings.
In 2007, it got another one.
Gov. Eliot Spitzer and a host of dignitaries will descend down a sidewalk hatch at 102nd Street, a block south of the spot where Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller and Mayor John V. Lindsay held a groundbreaking in October 1972. They will go into a never-used section of a three-decade old subway tunnel, stretching from 105th Street to 99th Street. The governor will give a speech, hoist a pickax and take a few cracks at the concrete wall, symbolically beginning the construction where it left off in the 1970s.
Several factors actually suggest that this time the outcome may be different. The financing for the $3.8 billion project appears more certain than in the past, including an anticipated federal commitment to cover about a third of the cost.
The goal of the first phase is to extend the Q line north from 57th Street to 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue. From there the Q will stop on Second Avenue at 72nd, 86th and 96th Streets. It is expected to become an integral part of the wider subway system when it is completed, which planners hope will be in 2013. Once further financing is secured, later phases of construction will extend the line north to 125th Street and south to Lower Manhattan.
It was September 1929 when the city formally announced plans to build the Second Avenue subway, extending the length of the East Side and into the Bronx. The cost of digging the Manhattan portion of the tunnel was estimated at $99 million, although there would be additional expenses, including the cost of real estate and equipment. But within a few years, amid the Great Depression, planning for the new line came to a halt.
The plans were revived during World War II. In 1951, voters approved a measure that allowed the city to raise $500 million for transit improvements, with the expectation that most of it would go to build the new line. But the money was used to fix up the existing system. No work was performed on Second Avenue.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority took over the city’s subway system in 1968 and began championing an ambitious range of projects, including the Second Avenue subway, from Whitehall Street to 138th Street in the Bronx.
In July 1974, Mayor Abraham D. Beame attended a groundbreaking at Second Avenue and Second Street. He went at the pavement with a jackhammer. The plan was to build the subway piecemeal, contracting out short, disconnected sections.
A year later the city was near bankruptcy; Mayor Beame called a halt to further construction. The stretch of tunnel he broke ground on was never built, although three other sections were finished and sealed.
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