Today’s Headlines

  • Driver Kills Cyclist in Bed-Stuy — No Charges Filed (News)
  • New Yorkers Are Wising Up to Cuomo’s MTA Shenanigans (NYTPolitico)
  • Let’s Hope Lhota Is Serious About Making the MTA More Transparent (News)
  • State Senate Republicans Back Funding for LIRR Third Track (AP)
  • MTR: Fixing the Subway Would Burnish Cuomo’s Climate Change Bona Fides
  • Today’s Subway Crisis Is Rooted in the Early 20th Century (Vox)
  • DOT Announces Summer Streets Schedule (DNA, Gothamist)
  • NYC Is Starving the Beloved Police Athletic League Play Streets Program (NYT, DNA)
  • Nice Business Insider Piece on How the Sheridan Expressway Decimated Hunts Point
  • Driver Who Killed Mary Cerqua in SI Crosswalk Has Completed Her Sentence (Advance)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • bolwerk

    Cuomo has climate change bona fides? Are they kept in the same drawer as his transparency bona fides and fiscal responsibility bona fides?

  • Larry Littlefield

    The subway may have had cycles of falling inflation-adjusted fares and deferred maintenance going back to the 1920s, but it was in great shape a decade ago after a long recovery from the 1970s. Despite all the speed restrictions.
    While “save the fare” politicking is still a threat to the future of the system, during that decade we’ve had regular small fare increases instead of freezes followed by massive ones.
    And we’ve had “Fasttrack” to speed maintenance.
    So really something has happened very recently. And I think it has something to do with soaring debt and pension costs, and soaring contractor costs. That money is coming from somewhere — and they aren’t saying where.

  • bolwerk

    I don’t see any mystery in where it’s coming from. What I can’t get my head around is where it’s going – mostly that soaring contractor costs part.

    The “great shape” a decade ago is kind of superficial. Already there were structural collapses happening. I wouldn’t dismiss speed restrictions as a minor nuisance; they fundamentally make the system less useful to a huge, probably not difficult to quantify, number of potential users. And some things have just never been fixed, even superficially. Need I mention the Chambers Street station on the J/Z? (Dating myself: I almost wrote J/M/Z.)

  • Vooch

    It’s time to spend $50 million and create 100 miles of PBLs within 12 months as a stop gap measure to provide a alternative to MTA.

    100 miles of PBLs would triple the current network of PBLs.

  • Joe R.

    Those speed restrictions you mention also mean more trainsets and train operators for any given frequency of service. Doubtless the TWU likes this but it’s costing the system money. Amazing we’re running slower now than in the early 1900s despite the equipment being potentially much faster.

    I’d love to know where the soaring cost for contractors is going myself. At this point I don’t think it’s due to construction actually costing more. They’re charging more because they apparently can get away with it. Nobody in charge is questioning why construction costs are rising way faster than inflation. It wouldn’t surprise me if the big shots at these contracting firms have 9 or 10 figure overseas bank accounts. Heck, if I could bill the MTA $1000 an hour for work I might normally charge $100 an hour for I’d do it myself. It just surprises me there’s no oversight. We should question the cost of every screw and every light bulb. And we should also question the cost of labor. If a job can be safely done with one person then we don’t need to pay two or three people.

  • c2check

    And some high-quality bus infrastructure (c.f. nacto.org/tsdg) / a faster expansion of SBS.

    Unfortunately we need better lane enforcement for that to be most effective and that’s up to NYPD and/or Albany (for camera enforcement)

  • Larry Littlefield

    “We should also question the cost of labor. If a job can be safely done with one person then we don’t need to pay two or three people.”
    One to do it. Four to watch them do it — contractor engineer, NYCT engineer, safety engineer, consultant. Plus the flaggers.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Well, hopefully at least there will be more bike capacity over the Queensboro while the 14th Street tunnel is shut down.

  • Vooch

    yes – buses are also a solution

    as a quick stop gap measure simply paint one lane of every arterial in the city red with signs ‘exclusive bus lane’

    that could be accomplished in about 15 months

    existing buses would travel much faster, then start implementing SBS on accelerated schedule

  • Vooch

    LOL

  • Ken Dodd

    “Driver Kills Cyclist in Bed-Stuy — No Charges Filed” — not just “no charges filed” but once again, “NYPD victim blames” no doubt based upon the word of the driver and nothing else:
    https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20170712/crown-heights/cyclist-killed-suv-atlantic-avenue-nypd

  • sbauman

    So really something has happened very recently.

    Some of the fixes that increased rolling stop reliability decreased operational flexibility. One case in point is finessing railcar coupler failures by going to permanently attached link bars. Previously, the failure in a single or two car married pair meant that only 1 or two rail cars were out of action. Now, it’s 4 or 5 cars. The MTA did not increase the spares pool, when they decided to have cars permanently attached.

    The percent of morning rush hour trips that don’t start is around 5%. This statistic wasn’t available until the MTA started releasing their real time feed – thank you Jay Walder. It’s a good way to mask deteriorating performance because trains that don’t start are not included in the MTA’s On Time Performance (OTP) metric.

    The MTA has also finessed their schedules to make the OTP look good. It’s the percentage of trains that started that arrive at their terminal within 5 minutes of its scheduled time. However, the schedules have been adding hold times approaching and exceeding 5 minutes at the next to last stop. This means that trains that might previously been listed as late are not “on time”.

    The MTA’s Wait Assessment metric is also designed to hide problems before they become obvious. The NYS Controller issued a critical report of this metric. The crux of his argument is that wait assessments were on a per train basis with no regard for how many passengers were boarding each train. However, the Controller missed the point. Let’s assume there’s a 30 minute service stoppage. Trains are canceled for 30 minutes. Service resumes at 3 minute intervals (20 tph) and they are on time. There will be 10 trains in total, Only the first train will have missed it’s wait time. The wait assessment will be 90% for that hour. However, suppose the wait assessment were calculated on the basis of time spent at each station. The wait assessment would be 50%, which is closer to what passengers waiting on the platform experienced.

    I believe signs of decline were statistically obvious but the MTA hid them in statistics that made them look good. It’s only when the enough peoples perceptions differed from the MTA’s rosy picture that the crisis realization took hold.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Previously, the failure in a single or two car married pair meant that only 1 or two rail cars were out of action. Now, it’s 4 or 5 cars. The MTA did not increase the spares pool, when they decided to have cars permanently attached.”

    But the point is the cars weren’t failing. Parts were being switched out in scheduled maintenance before that happened.

    I don’t think people were fooled by stats. I noticed things starting to go downhill in 2013 and 2014.

    About the same time, my wife started getting slammed with 15 to 30 minutes extra on the ride home at say 6:30 to 7:00 pm from Broadway-Nassau– that has actually gotten better. It was worse two years ago.

    And Gothamist started reporting on “days of hell” commutes a few years ago, and has done so more and more often because they have happened more and more often.

    The media storm is recent, but people have known things were going downhill for some time.

  • c2check

    They could really use some better (camera) enforcement, which is sadly in the hands of NYPD and Albany…

  • Ellendshepherd

    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !pd250d:
    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
    !pd250d:
    ??
    ??;?? http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash540TopAutoGetPay$97Hour ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????:::::!pd250l..,….

  • Ellenabroughton

    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !pa315d:
    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
    !pa315d:
    ??
    ??;?? http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash55BuzzLabsGetPay$97Hour ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????:::::!pa315l..,….

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