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Thread: New York Subway and Bus System

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/29/ny...=1&oref=slogin
    Riders Will Pay Before Boarding, and Save Time, on Revamped Bus Route

    By WILLIAM NEUMAN
    Published: June 29, 2008


    Uli Seit for The New York Times

    A new service on the seven-mile Bx12 route begins on Sunday.


    Beginning on Sunday, passengers on a revamped bus route in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan will pay their fares before they get on the bus, as part of a series of innovations intended to allow faster travel.

    The time it takes to cross the Bronx on the upgraded Bx12 route should eventually drop by 20 percent under the new system, said Ted V. Orosz, the director of Manhattan and Bronx bus service planning for New York City Transit.

    The new service will replace the Bx12 Limited, which took 58 minutes at midday on a weekday (when traffic is usually heavy) to travel the full seven-mile length of the route, from Co-op City in the Bronx to 207th Street and Broadway in Upper Manhattan. The buses travel for long stretches on Pelham Parkway and Fordham Road, across the heart of the Bronx.

    Officials hope to ultimately shave 10 or 12 minutes off that trip. But the initial schedule does not reflect such large savings. The transit agency has scheduled the new buses to make the midday trip in 55 minutes, just three minutes quicker than before. But more buses are being used on the route, so at the busiest times buses will run from four to eight minutes apart.

    Officials said that they would monitor the route closely and that they expected to see increasing improvements in time.

    Mr. Orosz said he expected 25,000 people a day to use the new service at the start, with the number growing as more people become familiar with it.

    “It looks cooler, it’s faster, it will run a little more frequently,” he said. “All those things should increase ridership.”

    The new service, called Select Bus Service, will save time mostly by requiring riders to pay fares before they get on the bus, using coins or swiping their MetroCards at curbside machines at each stop.

    The idea is to cut boarding times by eliminating the lines that often form at the front door of a bus while passengers wait to swipe or pay. That wait is a primary factor in slow travel times for buses.

    There will be more than one machine at each stop, to keep lines from developing there. The machines will provide receipts, and when the bus arrives, passengers may board either in the front or the back, with no need to show the receipt to the driver or to swipe again.

    To keep people honest, inspectors will ride the buses and ask passengers for their receipts. If a passenger does not have one, the inspectors may give them a $100 ticket for fare-beating. Officials said that during the first week, while passengers are adjusting to the system, the inspectors will hand out warnings instead.

    The route will have other innovations as well.

    The Fordham Road part of the route will have computerized traffic signals that communicate with the buses, helping them by holding a green light or shortening a red light by up to 15 seconds as a bus approaches.

    And the stretch of the route along Fordham Road and 207th Street will have dedicated bus lanes painted in red with overhead signs telling other vehicles to stay out of the lane on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    What the route’s buses will not have are cameras mounted on the front to take pictures of cars and trucks encroaching on the bus lane. Legislation pushed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to allow for such cameras was blocked in committee in the State Assembly.

    “It hurts bad,” said Mr. Orosz of the absence of the bus cameras. “That would have been a huge lift, a huge improvement in the bus lane.”

    Instead, the police will patrol the route to keep other vehicles away.

    The buses, all articulated models, with two carriages connected with accordianlike devices, will look a little different too, decorated on the outside with a wavy blue pattern covered with blue plus signs. Inside, the seats are covered in a blue polka dot fabric.

    While the new service, which cost $10 million to set up, replaces the Bx12 Limited, local Bx12 service will remain unchanged. Fares and transfers will cost the same as on other city buses.

    The upgraded route was designed with cooperation between the transit agency and the city’s Transportation Department. They plan to establish similar service on several more routes. The next will be a route along First and Second Avenue, which will get Select Bus Service late next year, Mr. Orosz said.

    Jeannette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner, said that she envisioned, within 10 years, a citywide network of fast bus routes reaching areas of the city not served by the subway system.

    The new service is a modified version of what elsewhere has become known as bus rapid transit — a system that has been used in cities like Bogotá, Colombia, and Mexico City to make bus travel speedier and more like train service. In many other cities, however, barriers separate the bus lanes from other traffic, ensuring a clear path for the buses.

    David Woloch, the city’s deputy transportation commissioner, said several factors prevented that from being done here, including streets along the route that are too narrow.

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/29/ny...on&oref=slogin
    Subway Riders Criticize M.T.A.’s Postponement of Station Repairs

    By JAVIER C. HERNANDEZ
    Published: June 29, 2008


    Robert Caplin for The New York Times

    Some riders have gotten used to walls that ooze mystery liquids. But many are fed up with the grimy stations like the one at Ninth Avenue in Brooklyn, above.


    In the distance is one of the city’s most stunning views: the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan skyscrapers and a pristine New York Harbor. But the trip to the top of Brooklyn’s Smith-Ninth Street subway station, the highest in the city, is not so appealing.

    Inside the station, scraps of paint fall from the ceiling as commuters make their way up cracked, rusty steps.

    “I’ve been waiting so long for things to change,” said Steven De Jesus, a contractor who commutes by train. He pointed to the peeling walls. “It’s horrifying and despicable right now.”

    Facing a bleak financial prognosis, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said last week that it would postpone major renovations at 15 subway stations in Brooklyn and 4 in the Bronx. The work was originally set to begin by the end of 2009, but officials said the repairs were now expected to be part of the authority’s five-year spending plan that begins in 2010.

    The authority has said that the stations, which sit above ground on the D, N, F and G lines in Brooklyn and the No. 6 line in the Bronx, were in good condition and posed no safety risks. But commuters say the stations urgently need attention. At some stations, stairways are crumbling, water is leaking through the ceilings and outdoor roofs, and gaps between wooden planks are widening.

    Along the D line in Brooklyn, home to large communities of immigrants, riders were eager to share their complaints last week. The stations are grimy, filthy and “gunky,” they said. At their worst, they added, the stations resemble slums.

    Angela Mario, who takes the N train to work after transferring from a 62nd Street station in Brooklyn, said she had grown accustomed to walls that ooze with strange liquids and outdoor coverings that leak. She said she was dissatisfied with maintenance at the station and questioned whether taxpayer money was being spent effectively.

    “We’re used to it,” said Ms. Mario, an administrative assistant. “I’m just angry. How can we trust them anymore?”

    When trains pass through many of the stations on the D line, the stairways shake so much that commuters have to cling to the handrails for stability.

    At Brooklyn’s Bay-50th Street station on Wednesday, Noel Marte, 3, shuffled down the wobbling stairs as his father’s hand tightly gripped his. His father, Danny Marte, 24, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, said he rode the local lines to pick up his son from school. He said he was disappointed with what he considered worsening inequities in the system. He said that whenever there were cuts, it seemed as if Brooklyn bore an unfair burden.

    “It feels like we’re less appreciated,” said Mr. Marte, who works for a company that manufactures minibars. “I worry about my kid’s safety. I’ve never seen it this bad.”

    Those concerns are echoed in the Bronx and resonate with Adolfo Carrión Jr., the borough president. When asked if he receives complaints about subway stations, he said, “I wish you could somehow print my laughter.”

    Complaints about poor service, out-of-order elevators and broken lights are common, Mr. Carrión said. He worries that the stations could become public safety risks if left in their current condition, and he criticized the authority for poor fiscal planning.

    “How do you announce plans and then retract them?” he said. “That’s the great mystery.”

    Transportation officials have attributed the cuts to lower-than-expected revenues from real estate taxes and rising operating costs, including gas and overtime pay. The authority estimates that delaying subway station renovations and other major improvements that were originally in the 2005-9 capital spending program will save about $2.7 billion.

    Charles Seaton, a spokesman for New York City Transit, says that even without the renovations, the stations are in good shape. “There are absolutely no safety issues involved with these stations,” he said.

    Mr. Seaton said he did not have details on the repairs planned for the 19 stations, but he said typical renovations would include building a new platform, improving lighting and electricity and touching up the stations’ appearance, for example by repainting.

    The Brooklyn borough president, Marty Markowitz, called the decision to delay the renovations “discriminatory.” He said all parts of the city should bear the brunt of the cutbacks.

    “Indirectly, it’s saying to Brooklyn transit riders, ‘Hey, tough it out,’ ” Mr. Markowitz said. “If we have to tough it out, it should be balanced and fair across the city.”

    Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Brooklyn Democrat, said he was organizing an effort to photograph unsafe conditions at stations citywide.

    Mr. Hikind said the stations expected to be renovated were just a few of many that were in need of attention. He said that in January, a 14-year-old boy fell onto the tracks at a Kings Highway station in Brooklyn after part of the platform beneath him collapsed.

    And this month, Yoses Hershkop’s size 11 ½ foot was trapped between the platform and a subway car at the Avenue M station on the Q line in Brooklyn. He struggled and was able to free his foot. Then he called Assemblyman Hikind’s office to report the episode.

    “Nothing happened to me, just a big scratch,” Yoses, 17, said in a telephone interview. “But if the same thing happened to a little kid or older person, they could be over with.”

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    Rockaway ferry riders urge more, later trips on new route
    Rockaway ferry riders urge more, later trips on new route

    BY ASYA FARR
    DAILY NEWS WRITER

    Thursday, July 3rd 2008, 6:20 PM


    Gill for News

    Riders board the water taxi at Riis Landing on their way to Manhattan.



    Gill for News

    Most riders say they prefer the ferry over the subway, but would like to see return trips offered later than the final 5:30 p.m. departure.


    The fledgling Rockaway ferry appears to be cruising on course.

    Ridership has doubled since its maiden voyage nearly two months ago, but critics say there are still a few kinks to work out.

    The ferry from Riis Landing to Pier 11 near Wall St., has received favorable reviews overall from riders since its much-celebrated launch on May 12.

    Ferry operators recently announced the addition of weekend and holiday service, starting tomorrow and running to Labor Day, including five eco-cruises around Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens.

    "The same service that can bring commuters into the city can bring people out to go to vacation areas," said Tom Fox, chief executive officer of New York Water Taxi, which operates the service with TWFM Ferry.

    Founders of the project - part of a two-year pilot program - expanded the service in hopes of building ridership and improving the city's financial commitment.

    "If people show with numbers that there is a need for this, then the city will continue funding the project," Fox said.

    Most commuters on a recent morning trip said they preferred the traffic-free ride over the subway. But passengers said limited departure times have caused problems.

    "It works, but it could be better," said Seth Krakaver, 52, of Belle Harbor.

    Krakaver is a human resources administrator who works in lower Manhattan, so the ferry commute is convenient. But he said it leaves little time for socializing.

    "It would be great if there was a later ferry, so people could hang out after work," said Krakaver, who rushes out of the office to catch the last trip, which departs Pier 11 at 5:30 p.m.

    The city funded only one vessel for the Rockaway ferry service. The morning trips to Manhattan leave at 5:45 and 7:45. The returning afternoon trips depart at 3:30 and 5:30.

    "It would be nicer if they had an additional ferry around 9 or 10 p.m. for people who have to stay late in the city," said James Supple, 43, who works for Morgan Stanley on Wall St.

    Mark Bernstein, 55, of Belle Harbor, drives to Riis Landing because parking there is free. But he has missed the return ferry more than once, forcing him to take a cumbersome trip to retrieve his car from the parking lot at the end of the day.

    "I had to take the dirty subway," Bernstein said.

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    Very interesting info; thankx for all

    so...the Subway map i don`t understand...is very complex

    can you explain me the map?

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/17/ny...0Circle&st=cse
    2 New Subway Entrances Open at Columbus Circle

    By SEWELL CHAN
    Published: July 17, 2008

    Columbus Circle has seen enormous change since 2004: the opening of the Time Warner Center, the reconfiguration of the circle with a new public space, and the nearly completed conversion of Edward Durell Stone’s 1964 “Lollipop Building” into the new home of the Museum of Arts and Design.

    So the fanfare on Wednesday morning seemed justified when officials of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority formally opened two new stairways on the northwest corner of Broadway and 60th Street that lead into the subway station beneath the circle. About 50 yards away, a century-old entrance in the middle of a traffic island is scheduled to close to the public on July 28 for a renovation that is expected to last more than a year.

    The two changes will have a subtle but noticeable effect on the 69,000 commuters estimated to use the 59th Street-Columbus Circle station each day. The station, which serves the No. 1 line as well as the A, B, C and D lines, is in the midst of a $108 million renovation.

    The project, which began in 2006 and is expected to be completed next year, is intended to improve the flow of passengers through the often-congested station, which opened in 1904 and was expanded in 1932. The work involves the installation of a new elevator on the west side of Central Park West; other features to improve access for the disabled; upgrades of communications, lighting and electrical systems; and even an installation by the artist Sol LeWitt, who died last year.

    The new subway entrances are part of a “control area” that cost $14 million and involved carving into the solid Manhattan schist while protecting a variety of crucial equipment used by utilities, including 20-inch and 32-inch city water mains, a 20-inch Con Edison steam pipe, and many smaller electric, gas and fiber-optic lines. The new entrances were built under concrete decking, which minimized the disruption to southbound traffic on Broadway.

    The entrances take passengers directly to the downtown No. 1 subway platform from Broadway. They can get to the uptown No. 1 trains and the other subway lines using a variety of stairwells and passageways in the station.

    “Funding for transportation is a scarce commodity, but we are doing everything we can with the resources we have available to improve the experience our customers have with us,” said Elliot G. Sander, the chief executive of the transportation authority, who used a large pair of black-and-silver scissors to cut through a bright blue ribbon strung across the stairway entrance.

    Passengers using the new subway entrances expressed broad approval.

    “It’s great,” said Raj Virani, 30, an architect from Connecticut, who arrives in the city at Grand Central Terminal each week, then uses the subway to get to a work site near Columbus Circle. “I like to spend as little time as possible underground.”

    He added, “Coming out of the 1 train at this stop, you can wait a minute or two at the revolving gate while people filter out.”

    Stacie Ewing, 32, a student at the New York Institute of Technology nearby, said the new entrances would do away with the need to cross into heavy traffic to reach the old subway entrance on the traffic island.

    “I think it’s money well spent,” she said.

    Jason Grant contributed reporting.

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