Transit Repairs Will Stop Unless the City Pays Half the Bill, Officals Say

(DNAINFO) By Gwynn Hogan | October 23, 2017 — The plan to repair the city’s beleaguered subway system will come to a screeching halt at the end of January if the city doesn’t pony up, state officials warned Monday.

Funds for the $836 million “Subway Action Plan,” of which the state-run MTA has agreed to pay half, will dry up early next year without a cash infusion from the city, warned Tim Mulligan, acting president of New York City Transit, at a Monday board meeting.

“We’ll have to pull back and look at how we prioritize or how we limit or scale down the efforts going forward,” Mulligan said. “We’re looking for additional… support so we can keep this program going.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who nominates the MTA’s board members, reiterated that the state wouldn’t fully fund the plan on NY1 Monday morning.

“I can do half. I can’t fund the entire $800 million,” he said. “The city’s refused to fund the emergency plan. I think that’s a mistake, but you have to do that to make the trains run.”

It’s the latest in the ping-pong match between the city and state over who should foot the bill for the city’s ailing subway system.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has said repeatedly that the city has already paid its fair share and that the state should return $456 million it reallocated from the MTA’s coffers.

Source: Transit Repairs Will Stop Unless the City Pays Half the Bill, Officals Say – East Williamsburg – New York – DNAinfo

New York to Replace MetroCard With Modern Way to Pay Transit Fares

(THE NEW YORK TIMES) James Barronoct, October 23, 2017 — First there were little paper tickets that cost a nickel. Then there was the nickel itself, because until just after World War II, a nickel was the only thing that made subway turnstiles go around. Then came the dime, followed by the token — the singular currency of New York City. And, since the 1990s, there has been the MetroCard, recognizable, bendable, losable and not always reliable.

Now that familiar symbol of daily life is something else — outmoded. And it is on the way out.

On Monday, the city’s transit system took a significant step toward a more modern way for passengers to pay their fares. Starting late next year, they can do it the way Londoners already do, by waving cellphones or certain kinds of credit or debit cards at the turnstiles in the subway or the fareboxes on buses.

A committee of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved a $573 million contract for a new fare payment system adapted from the one in use for several years on the London Underground and London’s commuter railroads. New electronic readers will be installed in 500 subway turnstiles and on 600 buses in New York beginning late next year, and will reach the rest of the city’s subway stations and buses by late 2020.

“It’s the next step in bringing us into the 21st century, which we need to do,” said Joseph J. Lhota, the chairman of the transit authority. “It’s going to be transformative.”

It will certainly change riders’ habits. No longer will they have to endure frustrating waits in long lines at card-dispensing machines in subway stations, though there will still be machines for people who do not have cellphones or credit or debit cards.

Source: New York to Replace MetroCard With Modern Way to Pay Transit Fares – The New York Times

Poor Black Communities Targeted for Turnstile-Jumping Arrests, Report Says

(DNAINFO)  Gwynn Hogan | October 18, 2017 — Those who live in a poor, mostly black neighborhoods are far more likely to get arrested for jumping a turnstile than in other parts of the city, according to a report released Monday by an advocacy group.

Police arrested more turnstile jumpers per capita at four train stops in East New York, which is 52 percent black, and Brownsville, which is 76 percent black, than anywhere else in the borough, according to the report by the nonprofit Community Service Society.

The report supports concerns of MTA board members who have compared fare-beating arrests to “stealing bread.”

Three L train stations — Broadway Junction, Livonia Avenue and Sutter Avenue — as well as the Junius Street 3 train stop had the highest arrest rates per 100,000 MetroCard swipes, according to the report. A total of 281 people were arrested at those stations last year.

The study looked at 4,054 arrests across 157 subway stations in Brooklyn in which the Legal Aid Society and Brooklyn Defenders Services acting as defense attorneys for the individuals in 2016.

Source: Poor Black Communities Targeted for Turnstile-Jumping Arrests, Report Says – Times Square & Theater District – New York – DNAinfo

Subway Delays Up 237 Percent Since 2012, Report Finds

(DNAINFO)  Ben Fractenberg | October 12, 2017 — The average number of subway delays has increased a whopping 237 percent, from about 20,000 per month in 2012 to more than 67,450 in May of this year, according to an Independent Budget Office report released Thursday.

The report verifies what commuters have experience for years, that subway service has deteriorated precipitously during the past few years.

Riders lost about 35,000 hours annually of personal time from morning delays during that period, which translates to $300 million annually, the IBO found.

“After two days of major breakdowns upended subway service on a number of lines and left many commuters irate, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams asked IBO to estimate the time being lost to riders because of these disruptions and to put the lost hours into monetary terms for riders and the local economy,” the report said.

“That the magnitude of subway delays is getting worse is not just a matter of perception.”

Source: Subway Delays Up 237 Percent Since 2012, Report Finds – Midtown – New York – DNAinfo

45-Minute Ferry From South Shore to Lower Manhattan May Launch Service 

(DNAINFO)  Nicholas Rizzi | September 27, 2017 — A proposed 45-minute ferry from Tottenville to Lower Manhattan could shave time off the nearly two-hour commute some residents face.

Developers of the planned Mill Creek Place luxury senior community and Riverside Galleria have teamed up to propose building a dock on property they both own to run fast ferries to Manhattan daily.

The developers have been talks with Seastreak, which runs ferries from New Jersey to Manhattan, and did a test run of the route Wednesday to determine the timing of the boats.

“These would really support a fast ferry to Staten Island,” said Jay Valgora, principal of Studio V Architecture, the designers of both projects. “I think it’s extremely feasible to do a water taxi, and I think it’s the future of the city.”

Borough President James Oddo, who has been pushing for more ferries and took the test ride Wednesday, said the borough is “desperate” for better commuting options for Staten Islanders “experiencing the worst commutes in the city.”

“We have to take advantage of being an island, and one of those things is waterboard transportation,” he said. “If the City of New York continues to neglect us, we have to go to the private sector to see if we could work out some arrangement that is good for the people of Staten Island.”

Source: 45-Minute Ferry From South Shore to Lower Manhattan May Launch Service – Tottenville – New York – DNAinfo

Protected Bike Lanes Coming to 7th Avenue by End of Year, City Says

(DNAINFO)  Maya Rajamani | September 25, 2017 — Protected bike lanes are rolling out on Seventh Avenue as part of the city’s plan to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety along the stretch.

This week, the Department of Transportation started installing the lanes — which will run between West 11th and 30th streets — with work to wrapped by the end of the year, an agency spokeswoman said.

The bike lanes and safety measures will eventually extend along Seventh Avenue to Clarkson Street, but Con Edison work on the avenue will limit work to the stretch between West 11th and 30th streets for the time being, the spokeswoman said.

The department will complete the remainder of the project after Con Edison’s work is done, she added.

A spokesman for Con Edison said the agency is doing gas main replacement work along Seventh Avenue in the West Village and is expecting to be done by early November.

As part of the plan, DOT will create a “floating parking lane” for vehicles along Seventh Avenue, the department said in a notice.

Source: Protected Bike Lanes Coming to 7th Avenue by End of Year, City Says – Chelsea – New York – DNAinfo

Driver Found Guilty in Fatal Hit-and-Run of Williamsburg Cyclist 

(DNAINFO) Gwynne Hogan | September 25, 2017 — A Williamsburg man was found guilty of manslaughter, leaving the scene of a fatal crash, and reckless driving in the 2016 killing of cyclist Matthew von Ohlen.

Friends and family members of von Ohlen who filled the courtroom throughout the 11-day trial burst into sobs as the jury delivered the verdict on Monday afternoon against Juan Maldonado after roughly three hours of deliberations.

“He will be off the streets so he can’t do this again,” Matthew’s mother Joan von Ohlen, 69, said. “He was my only child. I was a mother…Now I have to [recreate] my life without his love.”

Source: Driver Found Guilty in Fatal Hit-and-Run of Williamsburg Cyclist – Downtown Brooklyn – New York – DNAinfo

Citi Bike Rider Struck and Critically Hurt by Cab in Chelsea, NYPD Says

(DNAINFO)  Aidan Gardiner | September 25, 2017 — A Citi Bike rider suffered life-threatening injuries when he rode through a red light and was hit by a taxi Sunday morning, NYPD officials said.

The 23-year-old cyclist was pedaling west on West 21st Street when he passed through the red light at Ninth Avenue and was hit by a cab driver in a Toyota heading southbound at about 11:30 a.m., police said.

Police didn’t say how investigators knew the cyclist ran the red light.

The cyclist, who wasn’t wearing a helmet, suffered a severe head injury and was listed in critical condition at Bellevue Hospital, police said.

The cabbie, a 22-year-old man, stayed at the scene and wasn’t immediately arrested or charged, police said.

Police don’t suspect any criminality, but said the investigation is ongoing.

Source: Citi Bike Rider Struck and Critically Hurt by Cab in Chelsea, NYPD Says – Chelsea – New York – DNAinfo

Drivers in LIRR and NJ Transit Crashes Had ‘Severe’ Sleep Apnea, NTSB Says

(DNAINFO)  Rachel Holliday Smith | September 22, 2017 — The drivers of two commuter trains that crashed last year in Brooklyn and Hoboken, New Jersey, were found to have severe sleep apnea following the collisions that killed one passenger and injured hundreds, new documents from a federal investigation show.

Both train engineers couldn’t recall the moments just before the crashes, they told National Transportation Safety Board investigators. The NTSB on Thursday released hundreds of pages from its investigation of the Jan. 4 Long Island Rail Road crash at Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn that injured more than 104 people and the Sept. 26, 2016 New Jersey Transit crash in Hoboken that killed one passenger.

In the reports, medical examiners for the NTSB found both engineers suffered from “severe” obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, which causes drowsiness and fatigue in waking hours due to irregular breathing that interrupts normal sleep.

In tests taken after each crash, medical examiners found the driver in the Atlantic Terminal collision, Michael Bakalo, had about 101 breathing interruptions during sleep per hour; in the Hoboken crash, driver Tom Gallagher had approximately 89 interruptions per hour of sleep. A normal sleeper typically has less than five per hour, according to an apnea guide from the Harvard Medical School.

In each crash, the engineer hit the end of the track as their trains came into a terminal. Both drivers say they don’t remember how the crashes happened.

Source: Drivers in LIRR and NJ Transit Crashes Had ‘Severe’ Sleep Apnea, NTSB Says – Fort Greene – New York – DNAinfo

VIDEO: Charter Bus Kills 3, Injures 16 in Crash With MTA Bus, Police Say

(DNAINFO) Trevor Kapp Katie Honan and Aidan Gardiner | September 18, 2017 — Three people died and more than a dozen others were injured when a charter bus from a company with a bad history blew through a red light and smashed into the tail of an MTA bus in a Queens intersection Monday morning, according to officials and video.

A recording of the accident shows the driver of the Q20, which had 15 passenger, make a right turn from Main Street onto Northern Boulevard when the eastbound Dahliabus hurdles through the intersection, slamming into the rear of the city bus about 6:16 a.m.

Source: VIDEO: Charter Bus Kills 3, Injures 16 in Crash With MTA Bus, Police Say – Flushing – New York – DNAinfo