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A Sub-Par Situation

October 24, 2010 1 comment

The deteriorating conditions of the subways were really noticeable this weekend. For instance, I have never seen so many escalators out of commission in all the years I’ve been living in the City. These photos were taken Saturday night while switching from the E train at 53rd and Lexington to the 6 train—and there were even more broken escalators along the way which I didn’t have a chance to shoot!

I also have noticed an increasing number of homeless people in the subway cars. It’s gotten to the point where it has become the exception not to find a homeless person taking up at least one of the end-seats in the E and F train cars during non-Rush-hour times.

I am not one to usually gripe about the NYC subway system. For instance I’ve been really impressed by the roll-out of the great new subway cars on the E, F and M lines over the past couple of years. Nevertheless, these worsening conditions are so obvious it is hard to ignore them. From my cursory understanding of the deteriorating conditions, I blame today’s problems mostly on the way the MTA is set up more than anything else—we need much more local control over the system. In fact, NYC should have complete control over its subways. It’s ridiculous to me that it does not. But I am by no means an expert on the situation and could be quite wrong here. If you feel differently, or know a lot about what is ailing our subways, please comment, I’d love to hear it.

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Planes, Trains and WTF ??

October 4, 2010 1 comment
Siemens Velaro China (Velaro CN / CRH3

A Chinese supertrain. Don't look for our version anytime soon, apparently!

Cell phone service is coming to the subway, slowly, and only to some, for now, the rest over four years…. geez: City Room: Phone Carriers Sign On to Bring Service to Subways

And while we’re on the topic of trains, I just saw this other article on The Times website:

U.S.
By MICHAEL COOPER
Published: October 4, 2010
Republicans running for governor in a handful of states could block, or significantly delay, President Obama’s plan to build high-speed rail.
And that would be because, um, train travel is so god damn awful isn’t it? God forbid we should have high-speed trains here in the good old USA like they do, in say, hmmm, virtually every other advanced society on the planet? Oh, and I guess it might also be because airline travel these days is just soooo awesome, comfortable, convenient, pleasant, roomy, relaxing….

Subway Delays Tonight

September 3, 2010 Leave a comment
NYC Subway

Image by JeffreyPutman via Flickr

UPDATED 8:12 p.m.: Just a quick update – This fire or smoke condition or whatever it is near 75th Ave. is actually impacting pretty much all of the trains heading to Forest Hills tonight. And from what I hear, the conductors are giving people on the trains virtually no information about what is causing the horrendous delays other than “train traffic ahead.” Meanwhile, what should be a 30 minute ride is turning into about an hour and a half for most of them.

————————————

If you are waiting for someone to get home tonight, the MTA is reporting a “smoke condition” at 75th Avenue, affecting the F, M and R lines. So that might be the reason for the delays.

Just thought I’d put the word out, since God forbid any of the local “news” would cover such an insignificant thing as thousands of people being delayed due to a fire somewhere in the subway system.

Now, if there’s a car holding up traffic somewhere, that’s a whole other story.

While I’m on the topic, when are they going to get cell phone or at least internet service down there in those tunnels so we can communicate with our friends and loved one’s when there are delays like these?? Pathetic!

Queens Blvd. Construction Update

August 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Remember that mysterious construction going on in the center medians of Queens Blvd.? Well, the explanation has been revealed in an article in the Queens Tribune, and it is kind of scary. Think of what could have happened if Stephen Melnick, president of the Queens Boulevard Restoration Group, hadn’t called everyone’s attention to what he noticed. Here is the article: Queens Blvd. Medians in Disrepair

MTA Speak

July 31, 2010 Leave a comment

One of my favorites, “We apologize for the unavoidable delay.”

How in this universe can a delay be “unavoidable?” It’s simply not possible. Something, somewhere, somehow at sometime could have been done to avoid it.

George must be rolling over in his grave, or laughing I guess.

MTA Fare Hike Proposal

July 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I think this is potentially some of the worst news I have seen in quite a while for the city if you consider how the unlimited MetroCard has transformed riders’ habits and opened up the entire city to its residents. With an unlimited MetroCard you thought nothing of hopping on the express train from Forest Hills to spend an afternoon in Manhattan. Now, you very well might think twice. Bad for Forest Hills, bad for Manhattan, bad all around.

Specifically I am referring to this excerpt from the article: “The unlimited subway and bus MetroCard, which pushed ridership to record levels after its introduction in the 1990s and revolutionized the way New Yorkers imagine their transit system, could also be on the way out. One proposal would place limits on how many rides could be taken on monthly and weekly passes.”

From The Times:

N.Y. / Region
By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM
Published: July 28, 2010
The proposals are to be unveiled Wednesday, just weeks after severe service cuts were imposed on the transit system.

Only in New York?

July 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Saw this on the 4 train this morning.

I assume it might have its uses? 🙂

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