Jump to content
Attention: In order to reply to messages, create topics, have access to other features of the community you must sign up for an account.


Senior Member
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

5 Neutral

Profile Information

  • Location

Recent Profile Visitors

297 profile views
  1. The Amtrak staffer shouting at me about committing a federal offence said that the way you know what doors to use is, is to use “The doors we ALWAYS use”. I get the feeling that route is only used by locals. Horrible staff, lounging across seats, seeing me overladen and being nasty. I’m in my fifties, why is a 30 year staffer - being paid for this - shouting at me about my luggage and federal law? My experience on LIRR couldn’t have been more different. Conductors who immediately realised I was a tourist, and were helpful way beyond my London experience. As soon as they spotted my luggage, “ok where you goin? JFK! Ok...” the conductor guided me to the best car, unlocked it for me, gave me advice on how to get me and my bags up to the Airtrain. In my limited experience, LIRR staff (and New Yorkers in general) rock! —- I gave OMNY a test drive. Awesome. Having had frustrations using an overseas payment source (US visitors have reported the same in London) for some things... no such hassle with OMNY. I used my phone, (with a European debit card set up)... instant. The big clear OMNY readers are superb. Our London Oyster readers are a basic pad but no full display. OMNY looks set to be a proper jump. I hope they will get as far as fare capping. (And with Airtrain. And New Jersey Transit, Tourists will be able to walk straight out of any N.Y. airport, tap their phone and card, and carry on.) Even without all that, it’s still a great jump. — I did intentionally go and look at 14th Street (at Union Sq) to see how the busway looked. I’ll admit I didn’t jump on a bus, but they seemed to be flowing well. I will admit, my SF bus journeys were never on Van Ness or Geary (mostly Market)... didn’t use any in Oakland. I wonder what the average bus speeds are, SF vs NYC? There must be a metric out there, I should google.
  2. Those posts should have been condensed into one, apologies. (That doh! Aside, is it useful or interesting to hear from an outsiders experience, or best left?)
  3. Trying to buy a Metro card. Kill me now. Well, there was the Metrocard I had to buy to leave JFK. You buy your way out of the airport. I worked a machine that looked like it was from the 70s. "Checking Account" has no meaning outside of the US. But this is where new arrivals land. It's like asking if you want to use your "Bingo Account" or choose a "Hoe Down Dinkity Flingity". We DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS IS. How about Credit Card? Or Debit Card? Or even better.... you can read the goddam card, why do I need to play a game of what card you see, vs what I pretend is... "SAWWWY... YOU GOT IT WONG!!" But there's another thing. I've arrived in NY,really I'm home. This is my favourite city in the world. But tou can't make one metro card into another. The one you've had to buy to leave the airport, can't be made up into a real one, unlimited. NOT VALID. NOT VALID. Arrrrgggh. I buy a new metro card. OK so it's only a dollar or so, but why? Why is an airport metro card not a metro card? They look the same. Oh NY... I feel your pain, but admittedly this is minor
  4. I've arrived at JFK, rush hour, after some shuffling sleep from SFO. I'd decided, last minute, that - heading to Williamsburg - I'd try the LIRR to LIC. The train is a clunker, but I'm not complaining, I made it with seconds to spare, phew!... the conductor comes through. It's this that makes me smile: "Where you going'?" "Erm, Long Island City" "Those your bags right?" "Err, yes" "OK, this car won't open there. What we're gonna do, is next stop you go forward. I'll be watching for you, you have no worries, I got you." and he did. I made my way against the flow, rattling my bags, and the LIRR conductor was there waving me along... he had my back. That was a nice welcome to NY. More in a min.
  5. At the back end of the Amtrak journey, I'm unsure how to get off the train. In Europe, train doors open, you get off. In some stations with a short platform, they tell you what car you need to use. Arriving at Richmond, no announcement, I end up manually opening a door. It takes a while for me to work out the latches, and then the plate to reveal steps. In the UK we don't do steps. All train doors are level with the platform).... and then an Amtrak guy runs up, "THIS IS A FEDERAL OFFENSE". I ask him how I should know which car has open doors. "THE SAME CARS WE ALWAYS USE" Thanks. My arrival in NYC on the LIRR couldn't be more different...
  6. SF does something good. Buses. They seem to work. Really really well. Is it enforced bus lanes? I fly along the routes. Something is still nagging. Why are they so empty? My next leg is Amtrak to Modesto. Whilst the speed is modest, the train is passable. Spacious, nice staff. I'm not expecting a Eurostar at 200mph, but we work our way into the central valley, on time. Then comes the return. It's a single deck train, busy. OK, suck it up, this is the norm in Europe. We use our trains, so they get busy. Except on this one, in the half car by the cafe, three Amtrak staff spread themselves across 14 seats. One of them had made a laminated sign "Don't Sit Here". Another had their kid with them. Three people, fourteen seats taken.
  7. (this isn't all Subway. I tried to find an overarching forum, but failed. So here I am.) This is a bit of transit diary, and before it gets to NYC, it starts on Amtrak in CA. So, step 1. Arrive at SFO. I know my best choice is BART. As rapid transit goes, this thing still looks like Star Wars. The car sizes are vast. The seats are practically lounge shaped. Can I pour a cocktail? It blasts through the bay area at an insanely brilliant speed. If there's only one thing nagging at my mind - having spread my baggage across half the car - why is nobody using it? I'm oddly dismayed about my space.
  8. In London we have a monthly transit social. So can NYC match? Hah, challenge ... I'm mostly a loiterer here... but November brings me back to NYC - favourite city. I'm looking forward to seeing how OMNY is getting on. Travelling solo on this visit, so I can make a guilt free return to the transit museum. It's been 25 years since the last. Anyone up for having an evening beer? Or a daytime wander around the museum? If nothing else, I won't have the local knowledge to have an opinion on the express... so you're safe for that I'll be in town from 13th - 18th November. Shout here (or PM me).
  9. One thing they could do to make things a little smoother would be to offer fare-capping on bank card payments. That’s where the charges are automatically limited so as not to exceed the cost of a pre bought pass. e.g. You paying per ride during a week. At the point at which you’ve paid the price of a seven day pass, no further charges happen for the remainder of the week. It’s a very fair way of charging - especially for those that can have unpredictable travel needs, who as it stands can end up over paying when their actual rides aren’t what they expected.
  10. Thumbs up too... the extended lines are a strong transit nod. Also - and not in a bad way - it reminds me a little of the SF muni logo.
  11. It is perhaps simply unfortunate timing that NYC ended up with the clumsy mag stripe that has been the foundation of MetroCard for so many years. Just one year later after it was deployed, a chip was launched that would go on to rule the transit world. The MIFARE chip was developed in Austria by Mikron in the early 1990s, and quickly snapped up by Dutch electronics stalwart Philips. Today MIFARE is used by 750 cities, and there have been spin offs too. Transport for London (TfL) launched their MIFARE based Oyster card in 2003. Ten years later it was becoming clear that contactless bank card payments were the future, rather than transit cards. TfL decided to do it in house. For a relatively low development cost of ~$15m (the sort of money the MTA loses down the side of the couch every week, some might argue) the authority designed their own system. There was no “changeover” for riders - it was backwards compatible, the upgraded readers working for old and new. Accepting bank cards soon opened up new other payment methods - phones. First Apple Pay, then Android. No special app to download, just tap whatever - from an old school standalone transit card (Oyster), to the smartwatch. It all just worked (for Europeans at least... some US bank cards can still be tricky) Meanwhile, in NYC, the last 25 years of turnstile refusals, 20 minute sin-bins and the like might have never happened, if only the MTA had found that world beating chip and been a bold forerunner. It’s good to know, though, that the years of MetroCard are nearly at an end. Roll on the full roll out. I’m looking forward to giving it a test ride.
  12. Is there any plan for PATH to be included? Eventually maybe?
  13. London’s system requires a proximity of < 1cm. There’s no sitation where you get charged just by wandering near a gate. If the MTA will be using the same tech, you don’t have anything to worry about.
  14. Paris line 1 opened for service in 1900, and is on 34 tph after the upgrade. It's projected to hit 42 tph once all the new rolling stock is deployed. So it's certainly possible to get contemporary performance from 100 year old lines. Maybe then, the issue with the L isn't technical... it's money and/or how wisely the system operator spends it. Paris line 1 upgrade cost just $700m. That was new signalling, new rolling stock, and platform edge doors.
  15. FWIW although they have tail tracks at one Victoria Line terminus, they don’t use them, and instead use stepping back, to get the 36 tph. I’ve read here before that there’s (maybe) a power constraint on the L. If that’s the only limitation, it seems like a job unfinished after all the work and investment for CBTC.
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.