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About RtrainBlues

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  1. Was surprised at just how crowded the Metro-North platform northbound at Fordham can get. Massive crowding during off-peak hours, obviously from people looking for a cheaper fare to Connecticut. It's a quick ride thru Manhattan and the Bronx on the D express to Fordham Road for Metro-North. As an aside, quite a weird platform setup at Fordham Road (I'm assuming the middle track is used for peak direction D express trains). During off-peak hours at Fordham Road, I've helped people going southbound, telling them they have to keep walking all the way down until they see ANOTHER platform, since that's the platform the D will stop at.
  2. It's a similar logic to "let's eliminate all the token booth clerks" to save money and have more service or less of a fare hike. You can't put a price on safety, or your life. I don't believe eliminating most LIRR conductors will bring more service. I bet it will be used to line the pockets of the MTA managers. And will lead to mass layoffs. Perhaps you don't need approx 8 conductors on a Ronkonkoma train, and can get by with only 4. And you can assign conductors to shorter routes (like Hempstead) during the mid-day, if they have free time on their hands. The answer is to reassign them strategically, not take away their jobs. I'd rather wait a little extra for a train that moves faster (no congestion) and is fully staffed for safety. I don't want the extra service that will lead to congestion & safety issues. "Proof of payment" on the Q53 has brought many loitering people to the area by the wildlife refuge, in the heart of Broad Channel, etc. They are talking to themselves and acting erratically. It's not a model for those who want safety on their mass transit.
  3. I think we can agree to disagree. In today's environment, I don't think extra police will happen. Fare reductions would never happen, just like the Verrazzano Bridge toll will never be reduced. I felt very unsafe on MARTA's trains (tap in, tap out) in upscale Buckhead and that was during afternoon rush-hour (large group of teens was acting up). I was amazed at how empty MARTA trains were during rush-hour, and I bet it was due to crime and lack of conductors checking tickets. Do we want the same to happen to Seaford and Garden City commuters? They'll drive instead. We are paying for service, safety, and more of a personal touch. We get to know our conductors and they make for a pleasant safe ride. The showtime dancers were always on the Q over the bridge or the E express in Queens - those aren't tourist audiences who ride in those locations; those are people who live in NYC. Also, I don't think political leaders and the unions would allow the MTA to eliminate so many jobs. Bottom line, the MTA will make a decision, and I bet it'll be using OMNY as a CHOICE to pay for your paper ticket. We'll have to wait and see what the MTA decides.
  4. Extra crew would have helped here: https://www.newsday.com/long-island/transportation/ntsb-brooklyn-crash-injured-1.16579846 Many people no longer feel safe riding the subway, with so many people being pushed onto the platform recently, being stabbed at Times Square last night, etc. How safe would LIRR riders feel taking the LIRR under reduced staff, knowing that people could just jump past fare control at stations and harass them and/or hurt them onboard the train? Do riders want the "Show-Time" dancers to come to the LIRR? They've almost kicked people in the face several times. The conductors in every other car keep things safe. Passengers currently pay a premium fare for good service and don't want a "tap in, tap out" system like the DC subway. Do we want to push riders away by eliminating conductor jobs?
  5. Anyone who has ever stood at Atlantic Terminal around 8am/8:30am on a weekday knows that OMNY tap-in/tap-out would be doomed to fail. The arriving LIRR train is so full that it needs about 10-15 minutes just to have passengers exit, as the last few cars can't platform at Atlantic Terminal. Would we want people waiting 45-60 minutes to "tap out"? Would conductors allow all of their jobs to be eliminated if OMNY replaces their job of punching tickets? Will safety concerns arise if their jobs are eliminated (safety for train movement and safety from crime)?
  6. Exactly - Just like every other #6 train goes to Pelham Bay Park during rush-hour, they should do the same with the N20, N22 and n24 (every other bus runs the full route).
  7. Will be interesting to see if the drivers will insist on a return to rear-door boarding (until cases abate later in the spring), given this MTA COVID spike. I don't see any difference "before" and "after" with the driver shields they claim to have installed. The buses look the same to me with the driver shields as they've always looked the past few years. The passengers certainly aren't maintaining 6 feet of distance when they are dipping their Metrocard (or searching for coins, or for a valid Metrocard, etc).
  8. I recall lots of potential negative redesign changes: Cutting the direct route from 91st/Shore medical center to 86/4th subway (B16), cutting one of the two very crowded bus routes that go from the very busy Flushing subway to Queens College (either Q17 or Q25, can't recall which), etc. I can't think of anything positive to say with the redesigns.
  9. With a Biden presidency looking more likely, elected officials and the MTA are likely counting on a large bailout becoming more likely as well. As an aside, would be interesting to know the approx % of paying local bus customers who ONLY take a bus (not using a free xfer to/from subway), to understand how local bus fare collection effective August 31st affected MTA finances. Also, would the bus ridership drop from 1.3M in July/August to 1.0M now (due to bus fare collection resuming) affect the amount of federal subsidy? Put another way, if most people riding local buses are getting a free xfer from subway, why bother to enforce local bus fare collection, so that you attract more riders & a larger federal subsidy?
  10. The MTA subway/bus figures at https://new.mta.info/coronavirus/ridership are extremely depressing and suggest we may not see a rebound until later in 2021 or sometime in 2022 when theaters/concerts start up again. Nevertheless, the MTA is likely waiting until after the election to determine what plan of action it will need to take.
  11. With ridership likely to remain extremely depressed far longer (at least until theaters/concerts resume, which as of now won't be until May 31st at the earliest), why is the MTA still running pre-pandemic levels of service? I used to ride the bus all the time, but I stopped on August 31st once fares resumed, and now use my bike daily to get around.
  12. Why don't they make all Staten Island local buses free, including the S53/S93/S79, so express bus users are financially incentivized to take those instead? People can transfer to the SIR to the ferry for quicker service if needed. Those who work in lower Manhattan would essentially get to work for free if they took the free local bus then the ferry. Would likely save the MTA a lot more money than running extra super-expensive express buses.
  13. Shocking that these rampant crimes are occurring even in stations with a police station inside (like Hoyt-Schermerhorn).
  14. Lots of changes today: Destination sign on outside front of bus alternates with "FARE REQUIRED" then the route/destination. Small sign on outside back door directs passengers to board through the front door instead. Big sign inside of bus states that fare collection starts again on Monday, and to use Metrocard, OMNY or coins. Saw one bus with a plastic curtain (looks like a shower curtain) that wraps around driver area. But will that plastic shield protect driver & prevent air from getting from one part of bus to another? Will be interesting to see how much bus ridership declines as of Monday.
  15. Why has bus ridership rebounded? Since it's free. People get on the local bus now at Atlantic Ave with Target bags, instead of taking the subway, and ride all the way to Bay Ridge since it's free (even though it will take longer than the subway). Large families get on the local bus and ride it a half-mile or mile to a shopping center, since it's free. Once bus fares resume, I will get out my bike instead. And family members with shorter distances will drive or walk. We will all stop taking the bus.

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