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  1. No capital projects should be cut. Not when Congress is considering its 5 year renewal of the Surface Transportation Authorization (albeit on the backburner). With the right language in that reauthorization, the MTA could get favorable funding formulas that could see it having the federal government pay 80% of the costs of major capital projects. Think that's crazy? The interstate highway system was constructed with an 80-20 formula. It's not that politically unrealistic an idea either as many congressmen from blue/purple/red states are keenly aware of the fiscal damage done to state DOTs by the virus.
  2. Those are misleading statistics. That's not end to end length. They're summing the length of the separate branches of each line (RER Line D has branches D1, D2, D3, ... , D8). End to end trips on the RER are roughly 40 miles long. If NY commuter rail was theoretically through run you'd have end to end routes like: Trenton-Ronkonkoma (107 miles) Dover - Babylon ( 79 miles ) Long Branch - Huntington ( 86 miles) vs RER Line A (via A3 to A4 ) ( 43 miles) RER Line B (via B3 to B4) ( 40 miles) Don't think anyone would disagree with that except their respective managements. It's probably the biggest waste of rail resources in the world. On a daily basis, NJT has hundreds of trains passing through the East River Tunnels only to store and retrieve them from Sunnyside.
  3. Paris and Europe in general organize their rail services to be more conducive to a unified fare structure. The European hierarchy of metro - S-Bahn - regional - intercity is distinct from the American hierarchy of subway - express subway - commuter rail - intercity. The RER is a S-Bahn style system which means it blends our notions of an express subway with commuter rail. It's a very different approach that comes with disadvantages and advantages. A RER style train implemented in NY would look very different from our commuter railroads. To give an example, imagine LIRR trains from its shorter branches being diverted to run via Queens Blvd express tracks, then making only express stops in Manhattan, finally ending on one of the shorter NJT branches. A lot would have to be changed to make that work. Fare collection by conductors would not be feasible and would have to be replaced with zoned fare gates. The rolling stock of LIRR/NJT would be unsuitable with their narrow aisles, seating designed for low turnover (by that I mean the seat is intended to be occupied by one person per trip) and 2 doors per 85'. See Fig.1, RER trains are closer to subway stock. It's intended that LIRR passengers all have a seat ((necessary since they operate routes up to 60 miles in length), as such the rolling stock does not cope well with standees. Their dwell times would suffer immensely if you applied subway loads to them. That's why "CityFare" was restricted to weekends only - low demand. Their crews are one conductor, one locomotive engineer and the rest being assistant conductors for the sake of covering fare collection. NYCT had fare collection via conductor with Train to the Plane and it too had a corresponding fare premium. Many transit bloggers who unfavorably compare American commuter rail to European S-Bahns are deeply critical of the inefficiency of having crew checking tickets, but ignore the unsuitability of S-Bahns for longer commutes. Fig.1
  4. I know progressives like to spin up conspiratorial narratives, but Byford himself was staunchly against fare evasion and quite vocal about it. He even personally forced a random fare beater to go back and pay his fare. Cuomo is a more complicated figure than the Vaudevillian villain he is made out to be. Cuomo has more political muscle than any governor in the recent past. Doesn't anyone remember the limpness of the likes of David Paterson? To that end, Cuomo has used his muscle to push through positive things for transit like congestion pricing and LIRR's Third Track (which Nassau politicians were ready to die on the hill to stop) On the downside, Cuomo doesn't have a personal interest in transit policy. He is a car enthusiast through and through. As a result we've seen him move aggressively with questionable transit projects like the LaGuardia AirTrain and ESI. Additionally he seems to be treating NYCT on the basis of his experiences with MTACC and LIRR (both of which received more attention until 2017). Those two agencies have had issues with copper theft, employees repeatedly breaking time clocks, insurance fraud schemes and even Mafia infiltration on Capital Construction contracts.
  5. That's really the important thing. QBL is the first heavily interlined CBTC line, so the sooner it's successfully fully implemented, the sooner it can be replicated across the system.
  6. Who knew wood grain vinyl decor was so polarizing?
  7. I tried calling Michelle Drew during the week at different times and received messages that her voicemail was full followed by the line disconnecting. So I figure she must be unavailable for the foreseeable future (perhaps on vacation time?) unless that was just bad luck. Regardless, I was hoping someone had an alternative number to call.
  8. I think that might be for a pedestrian/bike path that's under construction.
  9. Someone on reddit who claimed to be a civil engineer who worked on the new Tappan Zee bridge design said that the rail service provisions were an important priority and not an afterthought. There's also this image from the final design that was selected for implementation. .
  10. Could anyone PM me the HR phone number or Marino's number? I have Michelle Drew as a contact, but I couldn't reach her and her voicemail inbox was full.
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