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Via Garibaldi 8

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Everything posted by Via Garibaldi 8

  1. Shakeup could change Metro-North shuttle A Hudson Rail Link bus idles before reaching the pickup point at the Riverdale Metro-North station. The Rail Link has provided transportation back into the business district for commuters who frequent the Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil Metro-North stations, both located at the bottom of steep hills. FRIDA STERENBERG By HEATHER J. SMITH The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board voted last week to accept a reorganization plan and preliminary budget that includes a number of proposed cost-cutting measures addressing a nearly $1 billion annual projected budget deficit by 2022. It may put a valuable local service at risk as well. Buried in the 500-page budget is a proposal to end the Metro-North division’s management of the Hudson Rail Link buses. The service shuttles Metro-North riders from the trains to stops in their neighborhoods, including from the Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil stops. Currently, the city contracts with a company to operate the buses, while Metro-North provides management and customer service. The new budget would transfer all functions and responsibilities of Rail Link, plus the purchase of two new buses, to a vendor. “If no MTA party or outside vendor is identified, Metro-North will unilaterally cancel the contract,” the proposal reads. That last line prompted more questions than answers. A Hudson Rail Link bus waits at the pickup point at the Riverdale Metro-North station. The Rail Link is currently under the purview of the MTA, but the transportation authority has proposed offloading it to some other vendor, which would save the agency some $3 million. FRIDA STERENBERG As it seeks to reorganize itself, the MTA has proposed offloading the Hudson Rail Link from the Metro-North to some other vendor as a cost-saving measure. The green-and-white buses provide transportation to and from the Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil Metro-North stations, as well as stops within and around those neighborhoods. FRIDA STERENBERG A Hudson Rail Link bus crosses onto Riverdale Avenue from Irwin Avenue. FRIDA STERENBERG “It seems like what they’re saying is, if they can’t find another vendor to do it, there’s a possibility they might say they’re just not going to do it entirely,” transportation advocate and Riverdale resident Vittorio Bugatti said. “I find that completely unacceptable.” As of 2017, Metro-North consisted of five rail lines carrying 86.6 million people annually from Grand Central Station to suburban neighborhoods in New York and Connecticut. On days when express buses are late or never appear, Metro-North is a lifesaver to people like Bugatti, who works in Midtown. “It’s a great service if you take advantage of the shuttle buses to the stations and not have to worry about driving and parking,” he said. Rail Link buses make several stops in neighborhoods near Metro-North stations to pick up and drop off commuters. Since the train stations are located on the bank of the Hudson River — and therefore at the bottom of a steep slope — buses allow riders to avoid a tough walk without having to rely on personal vehicles they leave parked at the stations all day. “They also give us dedicated bus service so that we don’t have to depend on the MTA to provide, say, the Bx10 that gets us somewhat close to the station but then we have to walk the rest of the way,” Bugatti said. The proposed changes to Rail Link are part of a larger restructuring within MTA. The state legislature hired consulting firm AlixPartners to study ways the agency can decrease costs. Consultants spent three months preparing the plan that calls for sweeping reorganization of the transportation agency’s structure. The result is a “transformation plan” to reduce the budget by $530 million annually over the next few years, which could possibly eliminate up to 2,700 jobs. Even with a successful implementation of the plan, the MTA would still have a deficit of about $440 million annually by 2022. When Bugatti saw the proposed changes to Rail Link, he raised the alarm among fellow commuters through a social media post. “There are legitimate concerns about this, and I think what my post was about was, if they want to try a different way of providing the service then tell us what it is,” he said. “We need some sort of assurances that whatever decision is made, they’re going to be able to maintain that service.” If things go as the plan proposes and the MTA finds another vendor who’ll shoulder all of Rail Link’s responsibility, it should save the agency almost $3 million annually by 2023. An MTA spokeswoman told The Riverdale Press the changes would not result in losing the Rail Link bus service — a point driven home by a Facebook comment authored by Fredric Klein, a staffer for Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, in response to Bugatti’s social media post. “As was suggested earlier but is now confirmed by Metro-North, this is only a preliminary proposal being explored by the MTA as part of their larger reorganization plan,” Klein wrote. MTA is exploring if it’s more efficient to transfer Rail Link to a different agency, like a city bus, agency officials said. The soonest things would change is next year, but it shouldn’t affect riders. “We were assured that there will continue to be Rail Link service now and in the future, regardless of how it is organized with the MTA bureaucracy,” Klein wrote. Bugatti hopes that’s the case, but encouraged his fellow transit neighbors to continue holding transportation officials accountable. “The community needs to make sure that we get the transportation that we need,” Bugatti said. “Because if we’re going to be giving the MTA billions of dollars over the course of the next several years once congestion pricing is sorted out, we need to make sure that we’re getting better service — whether it’s Metro-North, express buses, local buses or subways.” Source: https://riverdalepress.com/stories/shakeup-could-change-metro-north-shuttle,69610?
  2. I received confirmation from both the Riverdale Press and an elected official rep. that the proposal was not only just a proposal, but shouldn't have been placed there at all, as supposedly it was never on the table. (Yeah BS) My interview with the Riverdale Press was printed in the paper yesterday and will be available online likely this coming Sunday.
  3. No, they aren't tinted. I think the signs as they are now are sufficient. No need to block the entire windows with them. There are also adds on the back too.
  4. I hated when we had them. Can't see out of the window.
  5. They always go about doing it the wrong way....
  6. A lot of express bus riders don't like them since they block the entire view.
  7. Yeah as was noted 125th is about as good as it gets and Fordham, though Fordham isn't quiet. The Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil stations in my neighborhood are quiet and you can see the Amtrak trains.
  8. You got that right.... I've been using the subways since I was a teenager, and I even have to look at the maps to see what in the hell is going on.
  9. OMNY has been having it's own problems... People being charged erroneously due to them passing it with say a cell phone and OMNY reading their cell phones... Always something...
  10. Ridiculous... Then you have to go and deposit that into your account and wait for that check to clear....
  11. Nope, not mine. Someone else's who is in the advocacy group... I'm not into that stuff... That's actually the old Metro Apple Express routing with the stops. The new service is supposed to be similar in terms of the routing and the stops. I may have that today (so I was told anyway ). This service is not a go until enough signatures are obtained for the service. The guy that wants to run the service said he needs 300 signatures, and I am not creating a petition until I have more information to confirm that he is serious about running the service.
  12. It's wild to me that they've been having this track work and they have no staff around to answer questions or provide tickets to re-enter the system. It also shows that a lot of people use the pay-per-ride option more than we may realize. I almost always buy passes because I travel around a lot, but obviously those cost more, and if you are on a limited income every little bit counts, especially with the bonus being cut. I would be pissed regardless of having to pay again for something like this.
  13. This just confirms what I was saying yesterday....
  14. It's true... I'm in a LIRR group on social media, and the other day someone snapped a photo of this nut job that takes the LIRR. Gets on at Penn Station, and the train is so crowed that the conductor doesn't even bother to collect tickets so he rides up and down on the LIRR harassing people for free. As expensive as the LIRR is, there is no way in hell that I would tolerate that on Metro-North. That's precisely why some people opt for the rail road to avoid that nonsense.
  15. I haven't seen that before but I've heard of people pulling that. Of course if you ride long enough, you'll see the scammers begging for money claiming that just need a few bucks to get home. There's actually a guy that I've seen several times now that seems to work Midtown from as far as 6th Avenue to as far East as Grand Central. Same story every time... Just needs a $1 to make up his fare to get home... I was disgusted the first time because he looks well dressed enough to afford his own fare, but then seeing him several times since then pulling the same BS nonsense... With my earbuds in I usually just look at them like I'm confused. lol If they continue then I look even more confused as if to say this guy must be crazy, let me avoid him. LOL That usually does the trick when I start looking elsewhere.
  16. Via Garibaldi 8


    Good for you... Welcome...
  17. LMAO... There's no petition yet, and when there is one it'll likely be me doing it, since the person that is interested in running the service isn't exactly gifted when it comes to grammar. LOL I'm waiting to be provided with a list of the AM and PM stops first, which should happen later this week.
  18. No one said that they trust the . We are simply saying that this is the way MANY businesses are going (the is a public agency, but you get the point - our society is heading to a cashless one). Do you know how many "card only" places I go to? Do I support it? No, because they shut out customers entirely that don't have cards. Most of the time I like to pay with a card, but sometimes I use cash to ensure that I don't go crazy spending, as it is easy to just "swipe and go". I ALWAYS over spend when I use a card... Always.... May just be a few dollars, but it happens, as it did just this weekend. I went in wanting to spend about $40.00 at the Whole Foods Market, and spent almost $50.00. That said, you are getting into a lot of "what if" scenarios here. The fact of the matter is, you can still buy paper tickets with cash at an array of vending machines, and the has all sorts of warnings about the higher fares on trains, etc., so people are not shut out of the system if they want to pay for their ticket in cash, provided that they do so in advance, prior to boarding the train. They are doing away with the cash option to deter people from paying on the train in the first place. They want people getting their tickets in advance. This avoids the conductors having to spend time making change and having to hold on to money. We would be talking about a VERY small segment of people that would face some sort of problem in any event, and usually the conductors give you the option of paying or getting off. If someone only had cash to show proof of payment, well they could still show that they made an attempt to pay, which would be the point. If you're so concerned about the "gubment" and "big brother", you had better get off of this forum immediately, and trash all of your electronics too because that's the way we're going in our society.
  19. I think it's because it comes down to responsibility. What I have seen on SBS lines annoys me. When I get my paper receipt, I put it in a place that is easy to retrieve it for inspection. However, what I have seen some people do is crumble it up and stick it somewhere... Out of sight, out of mind. You know that your receipt can be inspected at any time, so it is your responsibility to make sure that you have it ready. An Eagle Team came on the M86 once and this guy had just got on a few stops before with me. He could NOT find his receipt!! In fact he had his earphones on and didn't even hear what they were saying. Eventually after patiently waiting and asking for his ticket, he was pulled off of the bus. That is a perfect example of people having to be responsible for their actions. I doubt he was given a summons, but he was pulled off of the bus since he was unable to produce his receipt in a reasonable amount of time, which was holding up the entire bus from proceeding with its trip. I was just thinking that's probably why I haven't noticed it on the LIRR trains. I've only seen a handful of people on MNRR trains do it. Either older women who don't know or don't want to use the machines and want to be waited on and will gladly pay the fee to do so (and yes there are some prima donnas on the trains that don't want to deal with the "hassle" of getting their tickets at the machines ), or some clueless person traveling that can't be bothered to read about the zones and where to get their tickets.
  20. I'm sorry, but it's the truth, and it is clearly stated. Before you get on the train, you are to have your e-ticket activated or your paper ticket ready for collection. If your phone fails, that is not the 's fault. It's the equivalent of you losing your paper ticket. Would you expect special treatment because for whatever reason, you lost your paper ticket? You would still be expected to produce proof of payment. This is why I have the app installed on both my phone and iPad, and another reason why monthly passes aren't available for purchase with the app in most cases, because if something happens with your device, you may be out of your monthly pass, and when some cost over $400.00 each, it is not a cheap thing to replace. If you are that concerned about it, buy your ticket at the machines, in advance, which is what I've done for years prior to using the app. Did I have concerns about using the app?? YES!! That's why I didn't for so long, but as I said, it's a risk that you take when you opt for e-tickets. The fact of the matter is you are supposed to buy your tickets in advance, not on the train. NJ Transit came up with something similar where they stopped allowing people to board at the Port Authority on the bus to buy tickets. It holds up service when you have ample amount of vending machines to buy your tickets.
  21. Oh give it a rest already. As I said before you are supposed to activate your ticket BEFORE you board, and if your phone fails that's the risk you take for convenience. That said, I have the app installed on my phone and my iPad in case one has a problem. You can switch from one device to another, but you should only do that if there's a problem. I'm also cognizant of making sure my device is charged, etc. beforehand.
  22. I get the impression that people buy their tickets beforehand...

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