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  1. Norfolk Southern owns the Port Jervis line and leases it to Metro-North on a long term basis.
  2. The M-9 option cars (the first 110 car option) are late too, now those won't be completed until April 2022--13 months later than previously announced.
  3. Yes, when a bus network is designed inefficiently with routes that are so slow and infrequent that only the poorest riders are able to tolerate them, this is what happens. Why is everyone so keen on keeping it this way?? The idea is not to get 100% of people to switch to the buses...but by building a bus network that is actually useful to most people (instead of a largely duplicative system for poor people) and is frequent enough so that every train or nearly every train has a timed bus connection, coupled with increases in parking charges (to reflect the value of downtown, adjacent land and to fund these bus improvements) will lead to a gradual shift from the drive-and-park model to taking the feeder buses...thus, allowing for downtown parking land to be reduced and repurposed for housing so more people can live in our communities and more commercial space so Long Island can court higher-paying jobs. "Rome wasn't built in a day" ... ok, so we shouldn't even bother trying at all on Long Island?
  4. For the third time, the redesign is meant to be viewed in the context of an overall improvement and modernization of LI's transportation, including reduced LIRR fares. We should not be encouraging people to spend 2+ hours sitting on slow buses and subways when we have a perfectly good railroad right across the street that could do the trip in less than half the time. Long Island's transportation network is clearly segregated...I, for the life of me, can't understand why everyone here is so insistent on keeping it that way. If anyone has any substantive feedback or comments other than why aren't we going to allow people to sit in slow Queens traffic while trains whizz past them a few thousand feet away?, or why we are not keeping an existing slow, circuitous route that serves 12 people every hour just because it's what we have now?...I would be interested to hear that and welcome it.
  5. These are the same tired arguments, again. Why do you think there is a bus stigma? Because the bus network is infrequent, poorly designed, slow, and unreliable (since so many of the routes are way too long and circuitous). When you design a inefficient, duplicative bus network that only the poorest riders who don't have any other options can tolerate, it's no wonder so many Long Islanders think of the buses in the way they do. And nothing's going to change if we keep clinging to status quo (including inefficiently wasting resources having buses inching through traffic in Queens) as if there was no better option, like you keep insisting. The point for suburban transit is not to get people to give up their cars completely, but to build a strong, frequent network that people can use as much as possible, reducing traffic volume and parking demand in downtown areas during the peak periods so street space and parking land can be dedicated to supporting denser development and more job growth in transit-adjacent areas. Again, the point of refocusing resources and taking buses out of traffic in Queens is to dedicate them to increasing frequency in Nassau and Suffolk counties. What use are the buses at all if they only come once an hour or, at best, half-hourly, and then take forever to get you to where you want to go? Right now Long Island has just about 6 frequent bus routes (service every 20-25 minutes or better during rush hours). Only 156,000 employed Nassau and Suffolk County residents currently live within 0.5 miles of a frequent bus route. Under the network in the map...which requires the same number of vehicles in service and only represents a modest increase in total service hours (because the routes are more efficient): The number of frequent bus routes (service every 20-25 minutes or better) increases from 6 to 113. The amount of transit-accessible area increases by 932% from 53 square miles to 543 square miles The amount of employed Nassau/Suffolk residents living within 0.5 miles of a frequent bus route increases by 451% from 156,090 workers to 860,307 workers The percentage of Nassau/Suffolk residents living within 0.5 miles of a frequent bus route increases from 15% to 79% The number of jobs located within 0.5 miles of a frequent bus route increases by 283% from 229,812 jobs to 881,134 jobs The percentage of jobs located within 0.5 miles of a frequent bus route increases from 23% to 87% I think we can do a little better than 3% of residents taking the bus with a network like that. And if one of the 12 people spending an hour on a bus winding through Nassau County has to transfer an extra time, or someone has to walk across the street to the train at Hempstead, then so be it. The point of a bus network redesign is not to retain one-seat rides for 100% of existing trips. As the saying goes, you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs...
  6. All of these are arguments for why we should continue propping up the status quo, not focusing on where the greatest demand could be with a properly designed, frequent feeder network. The point is not to continue to provide a one seat ride for every existing route that carries a dozen riders per bus with only hourly service, but rather to deliver an overall improvement in service to all potential passengers (both existing riders AND those that currently drive). Buses should collect riders from more sparsely populated areas and feed them to faster and more frequent rail/light rail/BRT routes. In 2017, only about 3% of Nassau County residents traveled by bus on an average weekday. The current system is clearly not designed properly to serve the vast majority of residents. Think bigger.
  7. A bus network redesign should seek to maximize the total number of transit-accessible trips Island-wide, not just be a copy-paste job of the existing route network. In this example, the commuting demand from Great Neck to Lynbrook is near-zero. According to the US Census, a grand total of 7 people live in Great Neck and work in Lynbrook (26 do the reverse). It would be wasteful to plan a bus route around that. And even today's n25 is barely time competitive with taking the LIRR via Woodside if the connections line up reasonably well... That said, I do see a need for better north-south connections closer to the city line based on your point...there's probably a way to extend or combine some of these routes to make that a ~2 seat ride.
  8. Try using this link if you are not able to access the map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1U586sl6xydXvAKOJAiXvDh7uwfMnNo13 I have to stress again the point is to increase service within Nassau and Suffolk Counties and make mass transit more accessible and usable there (where there is not duplicating LIRR and NYC bus services) rather than waste resources having buses sitting in traffic inching along Northern Boulevard or Hillside Avenue. Just because the current duplicative routes are the busiest doesn't mean those riders can't be handled in a better way. Roughly half of NICE's weekday service hours are dedicated to routes that are almost entirely duplicative of the railroad. Cutting those back to the city line would free up a significant amount of resources that could be dedicated towards increasing frequency on LI routes or expanding bus service to people who have no options now. I'm not sure what I see the issue to is...if you're transferring in Hempstead, Freeport, or Great Neck, you walk a few hundred feet more and get on a train. If you're coming from Manhattan, you get on the train there. If you're coming from the subway, you take the E train or transfer at Forest Hills...not sure how that's any more tedious than taking the F train and sitting in traffic for 50+ minutes to get to Hempstead. And, again, as mentioned at the beginning, this should be viewed as part of a holistic overhaul of LI's transportation network, including more frequent service and more affordable fares on LIRR. NICE doesn't do anything to help people get to Brooklyn or western Queens. If you are going to a local destination east of Jamaica within Queens, you can transfer to a NYCT Bus around the city line. You may not have been able to see the map, but I'm not suggesting eliminating routes like the n6 entirely, just refocusing their resources to improve service at Nassau stops, and diverting passengers to either Floral Park or Belmont Park/Elmont to complete their trips to Jamaica or New York in a fraction of the time.
  9. The LIRR goes into Queens... And either the Queens/Nassau routes could be extended one or two stops over the city line to allow the small handful of passengers who travel locally within Queens to make connections (Q17/Q87/Q34 to Great Neck, Q67 to Floral Park, Q38 to Belmont Park, Q42 to Valley Stream, etc.). We should not be spending resources inefficiently ferry people to the subway when the railroad does exactly the same thing.
  10. In a similar vein with the local bus network redesigns currently underway in the city, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to work out some ideas for redesigning the NICE/SCT/HART bus networks on Long Island. I am curious if anyone here has any comments or thoughts... The map below shows (roughly) the realigned routes and the particulars about frequency, connections, etc. shown in the descriptions. DRAFT LI Bus Redesign (v3) The draft network was imagined as a "clean slate", starting over from scratch with a much greater focus towards feeding the LIRR (instead of running largely duplicative routes), connecting rail lines to existing job hubs, and filling in the gas in the rail network (e.g. frequent north-south routes), along with an overall eye towards increasing frequency and decreasing the length of runs to improve reliability and save on down-time. The redesigned network is meant to be viewed holistically and as part of a larger modernization effort for LI transit (including increasing frequency/speed and standardizing service patterns on the LIRR, and reducing fares to more affordable levels). In other words, it shouldn't be thought of only in the context of existing routes, where there is demand for bus ridership now, etc. I'm curious to hear your thoughts and suggestions... Thanks
  11. Full fare integration is a worthy goal, but we are a long way from that being practical in NYC. The New York metro area is a lot more expansive, with more people living out in the suburbs than most comparable cities. Metro/rapid transit coverage also typically extends to cover more of the population, so the suburban railways have to fill smaller gaps. Comparable systems also tend to be a lot more competently managed, adopting modern operating practices that helps bring down operating costs and makes those lower fares financially sustainable. In NY, high rail fares for intra-city travel is definitely a problem...but it is also a significant problem out in the suburbs as well. Overhauling the railroad fare structures to standardize fares at express bus-levels should be a good initial starting point, and then work downwards from there as the railroads adopt modern operating practices and increase capacity.
  12. Those contactless readers were installed as part of the EMV upgrade to the ticket vending machines, which the MTA is four years late to the game on. It is not related to OMNY. All of the ticket machines on LIRR and Metro-North will be replaced with "Configurable Vending Machines" as part of OMNY around 2023. The MTA's maintenance contract for the TVM's expires in 2022, at which point the machines will be about 10 years beyond their design life.
  13. The UniTickets should just be flashed to the bus driver. There is an endorsement on the front of the ticket that differentiates it from a normal ticket....where you see the printed "MTA" logo on the face of the tickets is replaced with a block with text in it, like this: I'm not surprised nobody seemed to know anything about the UniTickets, with such poor coordination between trains and buses, hardly anybody uses them. Just 422 monthly NYCT/MTA Bus UniTickets were sold in all of 2018.
  14. The responsibility disclaimer does complicate their case, but in no way invalidates it. Just because the LIRR says they're not responsible it doesn't mean those few sentences absolve them of any potential guilt. If I put a sign on the door to my office that says I can't assume responsibility for any inconvenience, expense or damage resulting from me shooting you in the foot, and then I shoot you in the foot, am I now free of any responsibility, because I had the sign on the door?
  15. There is some merit to the idea...the LIRR does have the most expensive one-way fares in the country...if fares were brought down to the same level as express bus fares (where a one-way fare is close to $5.86) and commuter rail commutation pass holders were given transfers to subway or bus routes, then it can be pretty reasonable. Lowering fares to $2.75 like the City Council suggested last fall is a little too much, I think. By my figuring, lowering LIRR fares to express bus levels within the city (and to all the other fare zones on Long Island as well) would result in about $82 million in lost revenue each year. That could be more than offset if the LIRR ditched their 18th century fare collection system and went to something like Proof of Payment.
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