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Gov. Cuomo and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority have announced that an increase in state funding will make the expansion or restoration of subway and bus service in Queens possible within the next 12 months.
The service improvements were announced Monday in connection with the release of the MTA’s updated financial plan.
New York City Transit is recommending a 25 percent increase in afternoon and evening service along the G subway line, which runs between Court Square in Long Island City with Church Avenue in Brooklyn.
The new trains and other changes are contingent upon the Metropolitan Transportation Authority finding the estimated $700,000 to implement them, according to a statement issued by the MTA on Monday.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the union representing its subway workers are about $15 million apart on just how much extra funding will be available from the state this coming fiscal year.
But that is virtual agreement compared to their stands on reopening 100 of the subway booths that were shut down when the MTA was suffering a cash crunch in 2010.
Thomas Prendergast, who has served as president of NYC Transit for more than three years, has been tapped by Gov. Cuomo to be the next chairman and chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Prendergast, a native of Chicago, began his career with the Chicago Transit Authority in 1975. He moved to the New York City Transit Authority in 1982 following a term with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
City Council Speaker and Democratic mayoral frontrunner Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) has proposed mayoral control for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, as well as a number of potentially popular — but costly — additions to rail, bus and ferry service in the city.
“If we want to remain the economic capital of the world and continue to rebuild our economy, if we want to keep New York as a place for middle class and working families — then we need to rebuild a transportation system that serves the needs of the 21st Century,” Quinn said in a statement issued by the Council press office.
The NY Straphangers Campaign second annual “State of the Station Platforms” survey revealed that most conditions at subway stations improved, while others were lacking cleanliness and repairs.
“We applaud transit managers and workers for improving conditions at many stations,” said Jason Chin-Fatt, the Straphangers Campaign field organizer who oversaw the survey. “But there’s still room for further progress. There’s no reason, for example, that riders should have a one in 10 chance of seeing a rat while waiting for any train.”
The G train has only two stops in Queens. But riders and public officials from this borough and Brooklyn are applauding the decision of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to conduct a full line review with the aim of improving service.
“The G train is much maligned, but it is vital for people who want to travel between western Queens and Brooklyn,” said John Raskin, executive director of the Riders Alliance, a grassroots bus and subway advocacy group. He said while the MTA is greatly underfunded, the idea here is to help the agency make changes to improve the service that is available.
With four separate options under consideration, the prospect of a fare increase from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority this coming March seems assured.
Still, most of the nearly 20 people who attended a public hearing on the matter in Flushing last Thursday implored the MTA to continue seeking another way to raise the $450 million that the authority says it needs to balance its books in the coming year.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is previewing its proposals for fare and toll hikes in the spring, and the critics’ reviews are scathing.
Four possibilities, which will be subject to public hearings throughout the city and the region, are aimed at increasing revenue by $450 million, which the agency says will balance its budget next year.
Two trains that run through Queens, the R and 7, have the least understandable in-car announcements of any line in the city, according to a new study by the Straphangers Campaign. Here a 7 train operator speaks into the mike.
Subway announcements of delays and other disruptions are clearer than they’ve ever been since the Straphangers Campaign started analyzing them in 1997, but they’re still comprehensible and accurate only a little more than half the time, the transit advocacy group reported Oct. 4.
Fifty-nine percent of the announcements were clear and correct in 2012, the Straphangers Campaign reported, compared to 51 percent in 2011 and 40 percent in 2010. The 2012 survey marked the 11th time since 1997 that the organization, an arm of the New York Public Interest Research Group, studied the announcements by deploying volunteers throughout the system.
Subway announcements of delays and other disruptions are clearer than they've ever been since the Straphangers Campaign started analyzing them in 1997, but they're still comprehensible and accurate only a little more than half the time, the transit advocacy group reported Thursday.
An annual study conducted by the Straphangers Campaign has tapped the Q subway line as the best in New York City in terms of performance, reliability and cleanliness.
The Q, which runs from Astoria-Ditmars Avenue to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue, was one of 19 subway lines on the 15th annual report card issued by the Straphangers, a branch of the New York Public Interest Research Group.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is preparing to add a $1 charge to almost all new MetroCards beginning in 2013.
The authority said the fee is aimed at encouraging riders to continue putting money on existing cards at vending machines throughout the city’s transportation system rather than discarding empty ones and buying them new.
Q train passengers were riding in style in 2012, according to the annual subway report card issued Wednesday by the Straphangers Campaign. The Q had the highest rating of 19 lines graded.
The state has approved a three-year capital spending program for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The agreement between legislators and Gov. Cuomo was announced on Sunday.
City and Queens officials are roundly panning a federal transportation bill that has Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan and Queens) praising Ronald Reagan and Bob Turner (R-Queens and Brooklyn) critical of a GOP plan.
The bill could strip $1.7 billion from the state and have a serious impact on city and suburban public transportation.
Commuters who depend on the 7 Train are angry over a plan to close the line between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza for 11 consecutive weekends, from Jan. 21 to April 2.
In addition to the weekend shutdowns, the 7 Train station at Court Square will be completely closed between Jan. 21 and April 2. Some 8,000 people who take the 7 at this station on weekdays, according to MTA data, will be affected.
Several passengers who were stranded on an A train subway during last December’s blizzard are suing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Numerous published sources say about 25 of the passengers filed suit in Queens Superiour Court seeking unspecified damages.
No fracking way
The Q58 may have been ranked the slowest bus route in Queens for the second year in the row, but it’s a relative Ferrarri compared to the 2011 winner of the Straphangers Campaign’s annual Pokey Award.
The public transport advocacy group named Manhattan’s M50 the slowest local bus route in New York City, as it runs crosstown on 49th and 50th Streets between First and 12th avenues at 3.5 mph, just under the average human walking speed of 3.6 mph. Comparatively, the Q58 averages 7.2 mph between Ridgewood and Flushing’s Main Street.
Joseph Lhota’s honeymoon with riders on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority lasted less than a week, with the future chairman coming out in support of scheduled fare increases in 2013 and 2015.
Speaking before the MTA Board on Wednesday, Lhota said he supports the current plan to increase fare revenue by 7.5 percent every two years, rather than going four or five years with no increase and slamming riders with a large spike.
Several Queens subway lines ranked near the top last week as the Straphangers Campaign issued its annual report card.
The top grades went to the J/Z line, which runs into Jamaica Center. The line was given a Metrocard rating of $1.45.
Unions and advocates for riders and commuters are tearing into the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s proposed budget for 2012.
Unveiled on Wednesday, the plan seeks to continue the massive cost-cutting efforts put in place by outgoing MTA Chairman Jay Walder, and anticipates a balanced budget through 2014 without fare hikes next year.