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RR503

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RR503 last won the day on April 19

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  1. Don't forget the mayors! NYC's contribution to the NYCT ops budget has declined precipitously over the years. Really, ever since the '70s fiscal crisis, NYC (and NYS) has been pursuing a strange brand of neoliberalism-pretending-to-be-progressivism. Economically, those policies probably saved NYC (especially given the federal government's reluctance to help with budgetary relief), but there has been a failure to create a vision for a post-austerity government, and equally a failure to reinvest the fruits of growth into the public services that enable it. So what we have today is a strange jumble of piecemeal governmental structures, agencies, laws and regulations, each very much products of their era and none altogether functional, while the city's greatest public infrastructures (subways, parks, bridges, schools, hospitals, public housing) lie underfunded/poorly managed and without vision for their future. NYC government has the potential to be -- and really should be -- a massive force for good within its mandate. But again, it needs leaders.
  2. This is good news. I rode through to FH on Monday just before the evening rush, and we really flew down the express despite us being pretty near the train in front. It's really heartening to see things like this change. A lot still to be done, but it's something! The gains feel especially poignant in light of today's Times article...
  3. I'm just waiting for rush hours to stop getting killed -- take a look at how runtimes progress here:
  4. If Byford goes, that's really the end. Already, most competent folks at MTA are/are thinking about running away. His departure would, IMO, forever shatter the wall between the political and the managerial, and would send a signal to the world that New York doesn't want powerful, independent visionaries. I have my fair share of qualms with what Byford does, but its undeniable that he has done more to shake up NYCT than anyone in a long time. It's just a shame he's come to an agency which has in fact lost so much credibility that a governor can interfere with political cover. NYC is facing a critical period. We have a housing shortage, a transit crisis, an equity issue, a reactive political climate, and the ever present threat of climate change bearing down upon us at approximately the same time. And when I look around, I don't see anyone in power who seems to have a true vision and passion for solving these things. That's scary.
  5. I can almost guarantee you that Jamaica will get some 211s to help with the ridiculous dwells on QB express.
  6. Three track terminals help with train storage and with mitigating outages of a terminal track. Otherwise they actually reduce terminal efficiency -- because you need more switches, the distance (and therefore the time) it takes for a train to pass through the terminal interlocking is increased, so less capacity.
  7. 2nd half of the year, it seems. In July s were 9 cars, by December they were 10.
  8. Didn't mean to criticize, TM5! You know I love your posts, just enjoy a little friendly debate sometimes. I'm getting my train length figures from BOT docs put out in the 40s and 50s. See here and here. It seems completely within the realm of possibility that sometime between '54 and '61 they shortened train lengths -- ridership did decrease a good bit over that period, after all. During rushes/midday, Utica would probably get or service, depending on what you do to Rogers. Call that 15tph. Weekends, you'd either just run the down there and extend the to New Lots, or run the to Brooklyn/ to 42nd or South Ferry/ to New Lots and as today. I think your point about potential bus transfers is key in determining overnight patterns -- whichever corridor has the lowest volume of continuing connections should get the shuttle, as you want to be minimizing time spent transferring for those who have to transfer again from the corridor to reach their final destination. Can't say which one that'd be; if I had to guess though, Utica. That said, it'd be mighty nice if you could just extend the or to Utica 24/7 and give the line a full time Manhattan link. Then we don't have to choose. I have a question for you, now: how fluid was 142nd St junction back in your day? It's a merge I can find precious little info on, would love to have your observations on its capacity/its fluidity post 1970s resignalling.
  9. This seems to be wheel detector replacement...lemme ask around.
  10. At a service level of four trains per rush hour, hence the "in earnest" qualification. I'm all for making useful transit. I'm not for letting parochial concerns override regional imperatives. You'll notice all my 'evil' route change schemes have one thing in common: that they address corridors that are legitimately at capacity. The approach -- and exceed, in some areas -- even the MTA's guideline capacity; there needs to be change in the way they're operated so that they can so much as meet current demand for their services. Rogers, as it happens, is the largest impediment to more (and more reliable) service on those corridors, hence it is my focus. And FWIW, in the scheme of transportational ills, adding a cross platform transfer to someone's commute for the sake of reliability and capacity is not all that reprehensible. I don't understand this argument about the . No one is proposing its elimination, and the notion that somehow changing its route in Brooklyn will allow the MTA to kill the Harlem spur despite all the reasons you and others have given for its continued existence seems...off. Generally here, there's an issue with our system, which is that it's tied up in knots. Interlining is a useful tool, but it comes with baggage. Its effects on reliability, capacity and yes, efficiency are well documented concerns, and have caused really the entire rest of the world's subway systems to try their very best to eliminate it. Does NYC need to follow international best practices unthinkingly? No, but its also important to contextualize our current reliability and capacity issues properly, which should mean taking a long, hard look at the way we've chosen to structure service in this city. Anyone can tell you that we have a crowding issue, yet they can also tell you that the system is drowning in excess capacity. The answer as to why is complex, but one big part of it is indeed routing -- we've reached a point (especially on the B division) where our service plans are in fact so complex that we have to schedule delays just to make merges work. This needs to be talked about. Oh, re: shuttle. I agree that running the Utica line as a shuttle to Barclays is BS, but that wasn't the point. The point was that building Utica isn't gonna somehow reduce service on the Brooklyn IRT.
  11. They ran 5 car trains during the off peak, but for rush hours from about 1950-1960 they scheduled thirty two ten car trains from Utica/New Lots up Lex, and twenty nine ten car trains from Flatbush and NL up 7th (I'm pretty sure the Lex-Jerome to Flatbush operation only began in earnest in 1960). That's over fifty percent more service than is run today. I don't understand your contention that building Utica will reduce overall service on EPW. We already run three services 19/7 on the corridor -- peeling the off to run on Utica and sending the to New Lots isn't a complex move. Even if you want to isolate 7th-Broadway on Flatbush under some Nostrand Junction/Flatbush Terminal rebuild scenario, this isn't hard to work with; to satisfy the 'maximum three services per trunk' rule, you could send the to South Ferry and send the to Utica. For late nights, someone may have to become a shuttle to Barclays, but I feel it's worth pointing out that that isn't a reduction (current service isn't being touched), it's just an uninspired addition of Utica service to the late night mix. Point being, there's no limitation that Utica imposes on the line's (well under-capacity) infrastructure. I share this concern. The story of post-Moses New York is one of a city that swung too far -- a city which now is creating regional stagnation by allowing its neighborhoods to act as their own municipalities. We can see this in housing -- NYC built less housing per capita than San Francisco last year -- but also in transit, where proposals like this, ones which are key to benefiting commuters far beyond the confines of some small area, are not even considered out of a fear of some 'community.' Hell, I'd even contend that there are commuters in those neighborhoods who are so fed up with irregular service, slow travel, and crowding that they'd support routing changes -- but with the way that 'community engagement' works in this city, you can almost count on their voices not being heard, as the technicalities of engagement basically ensure that naysayers are heard more than supporters. I'd argue that this is the biggest threat our city faces.
  12. A lot of the change that needs to happen is managerial. Things like revising service guidelines to account for inter-corridor dynamics, creating a unified development planning process where MTA and NYC sit at a table and identify not just the areas where demand warrants upzoning, but also areas where excess subway cap allows it and changing train routings to simplify merge patterns and eliminate 'shadow capacity' could all help on the more broad level. On the nitty-gritty operations side, my 'greatest hits' would be (and this is in no way exhaustive) changing operations procedures to facilitate reliable high capacity operation (so, for example, encouraging use of station time cutbacks, of local recycle, of a train's full acceleration and braking potential), changing terminal procedures to reduce terminal congestion (think eliminating fumigation and enforcing the 'board your outbound train on the inbound platform' rule at relay terminals), revising maintenance procedures to minimize track time and service disruption, systematically reviewing signal system design to find places where capacity/speed could safely and simply be increased, and reviewing operations at all major junctions. The latter point, for whatever it's worth, provides a great example of how bad ops can kill -- one that I probably overuse, but feels relevant given your mention of issues at Dekalb. The junction there is congested by the fact that they use cameras placed at the home signals entering the interlocking to identify trains, forcing them to stop mid-tunnel and thus reducing capacity -- all of this despite the fact that they have punchboxes at entrance stations, whose information they could use to assign routings as they do everywhere else in the B division. And just like that, we go from 60tph over the Bridge to 40. There also should be a priority infrastructure review. Resignallings cost money; terminal and interlocking rebuilds even more. Generally, we need to learn how to spend money properly in this city, but in the realm of subway infrastructure the need is especially pressing. The overwhelming build mentality that's come to define our region blinds us to all the smaller, more boring (yet more impactful) things we could do to infrastructure to make our system work better. So not to say we shouldn't build SAS 2, but if even a fraction of 5.5 billion dollars went to things like a reconfig of the Astoria terminal along the lines of the PCAC's (excellent) plan, or grade separations of Myrtle and 142, or a resignalling of the approaches to the Williamsburg bridge, or a rebuild of Marcy into a 3 track/2 island platform station over the bus terminal, I can almost guarantee we'd see more benefit per dollar spent than through pure expansion. Again, we have a lot of capacity lying around; let's learn to use it. This once again feels lacking in detail. Please ask more questions if you have!
  13. They also didn't want to have columns on the platform, which will be the case now.
  14. The most common limit is NYCT’s myopic service planning. The agency plans its system’s capacity piecewise — when making decisions about frequency and routings, it almost without exception neglects to account for dynamics between lines and between service and ridership development. What you end up with are disasters like the CPW corridor, where you have a line that once ran 64tph into the core running 30 all the while paralleling lines that face serious issues (think Jerome-Lex and IRT Broadway), or areas where lines that are at capacity incite development along them because they have decent service, while others with poor service (but spare capacity) remain largely stagnant (think versus ). Then there are the crowding guidelines that the agency uses themselves. A full train per NYCT is a train with three square feet per standee — a crowding level that is essentially inoperable, what with the dwell issues such loads cause. Simply raising those standards would have a significant impact on the image of lines that are deemed to be at capacity. But service planning isn’t, of course, the only issue. The reality of our situation is that NYCT is pretty objectively bad at running its railroad. We lose 4tph on Lex express because we don’t know how to control dwell, 6tph over the Williamsburg Bridge because competently designed signal systems seem to be beyond our reach, 10tph of Manhattan-Queens capacity because of poor terminal operation at Forest Hills, 15tph Manh-Queens because of poor routing choices through the Queens tunnels, 16 or 17tph Manh-Brooklyn because running sensical service patterns through Rogers Jct is just beyond us, and 20tph Manh-Brooklyn because the agency just *had* to reinvent the wheel when designing train identification systems at Dekalb Avenue interlocking. These are just the highlights of what would be an encyclopedia-length dive into how 40 or so years of operational amnesia and institutional myopia have systematically eroded our subway’s capability — erosion which absolutely plays a role in the low throughputs you see on the map. The final category is infrastructural limitation. The Ditmars Boulevard terminal is a great case study here — it reduces potential throughput by 15tph through its inefficiency. South Ferry and the system’s various flat junctions make up most of the rest of this category. This is of course just an overview of the capacity problems we face. I’m happy to go into more detail, and there’s already a lot that I and others have written here and elsewhere on these issues.
  15. It’s important to recognize that the SI redesign was substantially completed pre-Byford. Byford’s vision for the bus network (and general attention to detail) is quite different from his predecessors, and it seems he has a different team working on the redesigns. That certainly shouldn’t be seen as a guarantee that mistakes won’t be made, but I also think we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss.

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