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    Patchogue, NY
  1. I don't know if anyone caught this article in today's Newsday: http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/suffolk-seeks-bump-in-state-funding-for-bus-service-1.7394605 Of course the online article's comments are annoying to read, if you have access to read the link above. If not, here's the article: Suffolk seeks bump in state funding for bus service Originally published: March 14, 2014 3:48 PM Updated: March 14, 2014 8:11 PM By ALFONSO A. CASTILLO alfonso.castillo@newsday.com Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has asked Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for a nearly 50 percent bump in state funding for the county's bus system -- pointing out that Nassau gets a lot more money while contributing a lot less. In a letter to Cuomo dated March 10, Bellone requested $10 million in new state funding for Suffolk County Transit, which carries about 22,000 passengers every weekday. Bellone said in the letter that the additional funds were not only needed, but would address "an issue of equity." "Other suburban counties such as Nassau and Westchester receive up to five times the amount of state funds that Suffolk County receives," wrote Bellone, who noted that Suffolk is coming off its largest increase in service in its history with the addition of Sunday bus service on several routes. "However, much more needs to be done," Bellone wrote. Cuomo's office did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for the state budget office said officials are "reviewing County Executive Bellone's letter." The disparity in state transit aid between Long Island's two counties has long stuck in the craw of Suffolk administrations. Of its bus system's $57 million annual budget, $29 million -- more than half -- comes from county subsidies. The state kicks in about $22 million annually. To compare, Nassau contributes $2.6 million to the $113 million annual budget of the Nassau Inter-County Express, or NICE Bus, but gets $57 million from the state. Westchester County puts about $19 million annually into its Bee-Line Bus system, and gets $47 million from the state. "This is really just pointing out what I think has been a long-standing issue that Suffolk County is getting less funds than surrounding counties, and pointing out that this is a top priority for us," Bellone said in an interview Thursday. Bellone noted that in addition to the new Sunday service, which was largely funded through a $2 million increase in state aid last year, the county has plans for several new transit initiatives. He said Suffolk is working on a mobile app to let riders pay their fares using their smartphones, and is moving ahead with plans for bus rapid-transit lines in the county, which would operate on dedicated lanes along busy north-south corridors such as Route 110. Ryan Lynch, associate director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a nonprofit transit-advocacy group, said "good behavior should be rewarded" at Suffolk County Transit, which has increased its ridership by almost 40 percent since 2001. Lynch said one of Suffolk's historical challenges in getting state funding is the fact that its bus system is far smaller than Nassau's, which carries about 100,000 weekday riders. "The further east you get, it operates much more like a rural system," Lynch said. "But that doesn't make it any less important."
  2. I never go that way, almost forgot. Another good point. =P Although the fact that PATH - which goes out of state to New Jersey - takes it really makes me wonder why Suffolk County, NY doesn't. Oh well, maybe when the new MetroCard comes out we'll see some support here for it. When I filled out the NICE survey for the mobile app (I may not live in Nassau but I really want to try the app when it's released in beta and I use NICE every so often, so I filled it out) I made a note at the end that I hope they read and consider, that NICE should work more closely with SCT to bring the app to them as well. I know it won't happen, but still. My true dream is a united Nassau and Suffolk bus system, a true Long Island Bus. I know that'll never happen either, haha. I don't mind paying the extra quarter (it's NYC fare anyway), I like the convenience of using the MetroCard instead of carrying all that change, and let's not forget the transfer.
  3. Good point, always needing dollar coins that I probably could only reliably get from LIRR TVMs would make it even more annoying. Still wish we had some kind of bus pass, though, even something flimsy like the transfer slips would be okay for a start. I carry my MetroCard everywhere just in case but I can only use it in the City or Nassau, so it's a little frustrating.
  4. Never blamed them for anything, I actually feel sorry for them because this does have a chance to hurt their already recently tarnished reputation.
  5. Oh man, if either of those capital projects are suddenly cancelled now, there will be an uproar like you wouldn't believe - especially the SAS, knowing the typical UESer and how much they've complained about the construction up to now.
  6. NICE isn't perfect by any means (it made me late to work numerous times), but there is one glaring thing - at least you guys can use your MetroCards. There's always that. =P I hate always having to check and make sure I have $2 in cash (in exact change, plus a quarter if I need a transfer) before I use the bus.
  7. Are trains at least still running to 125th Street and using that as a terminal? If not, then from a purely transportation oriented point of view (obviously the building collapse itself is very tragic and of a different caliber), this is another commuter disaster for Metro-North.
  8. I have to say, I feel for you living all the way out in Montauk and coming into the City everyday, I don't know how you do it. I remember I was interviewing for a job in Hampton Bays and I wanted to take the train to work if I got it, but the only trains were impossible for a 9-5 job, I remember Hopstop was telling me to use the 2:15 am to get there at 3:04 for my job at 8:30, ha! I ultimately didn't get the job there, as a new driver I didn't want to do the drive anyway. I remember I asked a few months back that when points east of Speonk gets their signals would we see the end of trains to Speonk and more trains to Montauk and you said no, because ridership didn't justify it. I have to agree now, in part because I think people further east are just used to not being able to use a train. When the last westbound train leaves at around 2:30 in the afternoon, I can see why. I complain about trains to Babylon and having to do one long, agonizing local slog from Patchogue to Babylon followed by another even longer, agonizing local slog through every Babylon Branch station, but ultimately I feel lucky to live in Patchogue when I need the train. Since it's usually a terminal, I consider it a major hub with frequent service (I can certainly hear it from my house) and a prime candidate for future electrification like Port Jefferson. I agree though that we'll never see trains to Grand Central, I don't know what their problem is with Long Island City but I really hope they consider opening up those stations more for their Montauk Branch customers so we can have our own 'East Side Access'.
  9. After taking the LIRR from Patchogue to Hunterspoint Avenue a couple of times this month for some business in Manhattan, I can agree with Patrick at LIRR Today that it's a station that's horribly underserved and should get more service as a major City Terminal. I loved being able to catch the 7 just a block away. Why does the LIRR use it's Long Island City stations so sparingly? I hope that when East Side Access opens they won't be dropped all together, because I know for a fact Montauk trains won't run to Grand Central, we only get two to Penn in the very early morning as it is, I wish we had less trains to just Babylon and more to Hunterspoint Avenue. I'm sure there's a reason why they don't run full service there, I suppose.
  10. Very cool to see both counties' bus service from way back when in the same picture; it's always been interesting to me that there was a schism between Nassau and Suffolk buses even back then.
  11. Do you have a link to or an attachment of the picture? I think anything that has to do with signage is really interesting, and I'd love to see it.
  12. Random question because I'm curious, with most Montauk Branch trains terminating in Speonk because that's where signals end, when they finally do finish the project to set up signals further east, from then on will most trains on the line run full service (at least distance wise, not necessarily making all stops) between Jamaica and Montauk? From what I understand, the only reason trains terminate at Speonk now is just because of lack of signals. It would just be interesting to see more service going further east.
  13. Sorry for the double post, for whatever reason I can't find the edit button again. I did go ahead and apply for some jobs on the MTA's website, stuff like Graphic Artist, Staff Analyst, etc. I even submitted a general application for any job that basically said 'Here's my information, consider me for anything' and figured I could be matched up with something that way. I hate sitting and waiting though, is there someone I could reach out and call to ask questions, get brought a little to the forefront? Maybe through 511? Sorry for posting on this so much, I'm just job hungry and it would be very exciting for me to work for the MTA in some sort of administrative capacity.
  14. No, I've graduated with a Bachelor's in Graphic Design. Thing is it doesn't necessarily have to be something in an office, I think I'd love being a conductor too. It's an interest of mine and I want a job doing something I love, so unless I get in and somehow ending up really hating it, I'd want to get in and stay in. I just can't figure out how one gets in in the first place. EDIT - While we're at it, I could ask the same thing about NICE. The only job posting I see for them is bus driver. While positions of bus driver/train engineer/etc. are the most obvious, I just don't have nearly enough confidence to do something like that.
  15. How hard is it to find the background type of jobs with these agencies, or anything within the MTA for that matter? The employment site on the MTA's website is vague, it only seems to have higher wage jobs that require more experience, but I'm hoping to find something entry-level because I want to get in. Does this type of stuff just fill out that quickly? Or is it the employment site? It doesn't seem like their website for applying is very efficient, call me crazy but when I fill it out and submit it doesn't feel like I've applied for anything like I do with other basic job application sites. Should I maybe reach out and call someone? I get the feeling that 99.99% of the time I'm just going to be told to apply online.
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