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    Albany, NY
  1. Yeah, you really need to get on at a terminus and try and make the first trip or so each way. I took the first round trip last year and it was busy, but not overcrowded. But the platform at 2nd Avenue when we got back around noon? HA. Similar in 2016. There's no way in hell I'm going to be making the 10 AM if I'm coming from Albany (I'd need to leave at 5 AM to have a chance if I'm catching MNRR), so I'm going to get down to the 9:17 out of North White Plains, hop off at 125th, and walk the 4 blocks crosstown to stake out my spot on the platform.
  2. SIR is more similar to LIRR and MNRR than the Subway. It follows FRA regulations and runs over former B&O trackage. The MTA took control of the line shortly after it took control of the LIRR.
  3. Because 8 car trains will run so often on that line. Especially with most of the NTTs being in 5-car sets and that unlikely to change due to the increased capacity it provides. I doubt we'll ever see trains less than 600' on that line.
  4. Distance to other stations. It's close to other stations on both sides. If they built a north entrance to 23rd Street, it would be 2 blocks from the south entrance of 28th Street inside the New York Life building. While not the shortest distance between stations, there's no major destination at either one, it's easy to walk between them and closing it would speed things up/increase capacity on the Lex. 33rd Street is only 4 blocks north as well. Both 23rd and 33rd rank above 28th.
  5. The Toronto area has about the same population as the 5 boroughs and the most significant public transportation system in North America outside of New York with as much bureaucracy. Look, if they can get 20 systems to run on the same card, we can get 10 (if that), especially when most of them are under the control of a couple of operators.
  6. "So much foam", but most of the world already has this. Heck, as I already mentioned, all of Ontario uses the same card.
  7. The MVM issue is why phone passes and online reloading need to be a thing. Not that hard with today's technology. I'm on a train to DC right now for a conference and I reloaded my SmarTrip online with a couple clicks. That being said, with modern technology, it's also possible to issue small POS systems to retailers to refill cards on the new system. An iPad-based system isn't that hard to do with modern technology. Expensive, yes, but allows the cards to be refilled practically anywhere even if one doesn't have a phone and cheaper than putting a machine everywhere. I wish I had access to the presentation CDTA gave to us transportation people at RPI on their technology so I can post slides. Reason I'm referring so much to CDTA? It's also a state agency, so the technology could be transferred quite easily to the MTA.
  8. Which has a much worse transit system than any part of the NYC metro area. I know what it's like to get around without a car because I didn't have one the first couple months I was here. Buying anything that couldn't be obtained at a small supermarket meant several hours and bus transfers. I was basing my assessment on the neighborhood you said you are in. I don't think any of us know what your commute would consist of being as the standard commute in the NYC area is into Manhattan, which could be done with one transfer.
  9. You took the words out of my mouth. Seriously, save 200 and take the bus. If I were the MTA, I'd take a page from CDTA and a few other agencies and include mobile fare payment technology. Most phones are NFC-enabled nowadays, which just happens to be the same technology most of the modern farecards use. Let people tap their phones on the farebox/turnstile. Reduces the number of cards you need to make and machines you need to install. Not like most users don't have a smartphone.
  10. SmarTrip works for the entire DC/Baltimore area, so that's a start. As far as a widespread card, look at Ontario. They just finished rolling out Presto, which works in much of the province. Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and the surrounding areas all use the same card. They're looking into expanding it down to St. Catharines and Niagara Falls and it also works for commuter rail.
  11. Add a support structure so you can move the columns.
  12. 86th and Lex was 10th busiest in 2015 and the busiest non-complex by far thanks to its proximity to shopping and several of the major museums. It's very possible that 86 St could crack the top 50.
  13. And most frequent users just have monthlies. Really easy to check those.
  14. The biggest issue is the reload lag. I have a professor who was formerly the director of the transit authority in Albany and they're currently implementing a contactless system that is tap-in only, similar to what New York will likely adopt in the future, and I know some of the technical details about these systems. When somebody reloads a card online, the pass/value has to be physically added to the card at a turnstile or bus farebox. Depending on the system, bus fareboxes update once every 1-3 nights when the bus returns to the garage. As for turnstiles, the Washington Metro advises people to wait 1 business day before attempting to use value they added online. The lag between reloading online and the money actually getting to the card is an issue that needs to be considered. With MetroCards, each card is written when value is added. Can't do that if you're adding money online.

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