Commuters inside a Q58 bus that the Straphangers Campaign once again says is the slowest in all of Queens.
For the third consecutive time, the Q58 route between Ridgewood and Flushing Main Street, won the Pokey Awards for what it’s best at: being the slowest bus in the Borough of Queens.
According to an annual report on public transit released by the Straphangers Campaign last week, Q58 travels at 7 mph.
Drivers and mass transit riders all will be digging a little deeper into their pockets come March, when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is expected to enact one of two proposed fare-increase plans.
One proposal would increase the base cost of a MetroCard fare to $2.75, up from the present $2.50. Riders would get a bonus of 11 percent with a purchase of $5.50. The base fare under Proposal 2 would keep fares at $2.50, but would eliminate the bonus for the purchase of multiple rides.
Worn, damaged stairs and platform edges, broken tiles, lights and peeling paint on walls are some of the problems that plague numerous subway stations in Queens, with the city’s effort to combat the problem lagging.
The problems were highlighted in a report published last week by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. He stated that New York City Transit does not make it a top priority to maintain the subway stations after they are renovated.
Mass transit advocates are praising this week’s vote by the City Council that could grant tax breaks to about 450,000 New Yorkers who ride mass transit to and from work.
The legislation, introduced by Councilman Dan Garodnick (D-Manhattan), will, if signed by Mayor de Blasio, require all companies with 20 or more workers to offer them the opportunity to set aside up to $130 per month for mass transit costs.
“D” apparently stands for dirt according to the results of a study by the Straphangers Campaign on the cleanliness of 20 New York City subway lines.
In a statement issued on March 20, the Straphangers, a branch of the New York Public Interest Research Group, found that 42 percent of the subway cars their staff investigated in fall of 2013 were rated as clean, a drop-off from 52 percent in 2011.
Mass transit advocates took issue with how Gov. Cuomo would like to redirect $40 million in next year’s budget for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
But the governor’s office is responding by saying that the money will help the MTA pay down debt and still keep the agency flush with increased cash.
Residents of Northeast Queens may get expanded bus service if Rep. Steve Israel (D-LI, Queens), Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) and other area politicians get their way.
At a press conference at a bus stop in Douglaston on Monday, Israel said that four out of five routes to the area had experienced an increase in ridership in the past two years. He called for more money for a Federal Transit Authority Bus and Bus Facilities Formula Grant, which provides funding for capital projects to replace, rehabilitate and purchase buses, vans and related equipment and to construct related facilities, such as bus stops.
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.
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.
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.