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realizm

MTA to riders: Sandy damage still not fixed

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The MTA chairman has nothing but a sobering forecast for the future of the MTA. States Tom Prendergast,
 "It's going to be a bumpy ride."
 
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority according to the report has a very long way to go in repair of  system components and addressing infrastructure issues originating from the massive damage caused by Hurricane Sandy which may mean a plethora of service changes over the next five years approximately. An additional fare hike is even in the works for the near future states the newly appointed chairman. 
 
"What we need to do is figure out how we can mitigate those impacts, minimize the discomfort to the public, but if we fool ourselves and fool the public into thinking we don't have to do it, there will come a point in time where the system will be out of service at a more impactful level," Prendergast said. "We need to lay that all out for our riders."
 
Situation's not looking good for particularly MTA Subways. It is predicted that while some lines will be able to maintain regular service, others will be hit hard with continuous weeks upon weeks on end GOs during the years to come. And we have yet another hurricane season to endure in the upcoming months.
 
Perhaps the city really should reconsider the construction of levees and mitigate the problems that occurs during the hurricane season taking a hint from New Orleans. Or else obviously devastating hurricanes in the seasons to come will continue to come in and rip New York City apart to pieces, apparently from our horrific experience last year. if we recall there was engineering studies that were indeed done on the possibilities of construction of these barriers to combat storm surges in lower Manhattan at the direction of City Hall as was briefly discussed in past threads.

 

The MTA transit system "being under the weather" sort of speak, and still reeling from the effects of the hurricane that KO'ed NYC for the count is an understatement in the light of what the MTA chairperson is saying.
 
Or is he? Thoughts?
 
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/sandy-damange-mta-issue-article-1.1316484
 
 

MTA to riders: Sandy damage still not fixed 

New Chairman Thomas Predergast says we should get ready for a bumpy ride. And there'll likely be another fare hike soon.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

PUBLISHED: SUNDAY, APRIL 14, 2013, 7:09 PM

UPDATED: MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2013, 2:05 AM
 

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SLAVEN VLASIC/GETTY IMAGES

 Tom Prendergast has been nominated as to succeed Joe Lhota as chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The new MTA chairman has a message for subway riders: It's going to be a bumpy ride.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority faces an unprecedented amount of work replacing system components damaged by superstorm Sandy and bolstering the infrastructure against future storms. And that's going to mean an unprecedented amount of service changes over the next five years or so, Tom Prendergast, who was nominated MTA chairman Friday, told The Daily News.

The MTA will be able to maintain current levels of service on some lines but others will get hammered.

"What we need to do is figure out how we can mitigate those impacts, minimize the discomfort to the public, but if we fool ourselves and fool the public into thinking we don't have to do it, there will come a point in time where the system will be out of service at a more impactful level," Prendergast said. "We need to lay that all out for our riders."
Translation: It's going to get worse before it gets better. Electrical components and track equipment, which were soaked by salt water, are starting to fail at accelerated rates. They have to be replaced wholesale, and that means headaches like extended closures of corridors like the Montague Tunnel used by R trains running between Brooklyn and lower Manhattan.

There will be no learning curve for Prendergast. He's a transit veteran who has been president of the NYC Transit division since late 2009 and is former president of the Long Island Rail Road, one of the MTA's two commuter railroads.

Here's 10 things to know about, or expect from, Prendergast.

STABILITY: He'll be here for a while. Unlike the two previous chairmen, Prendergast won't leave after a year or two to run for political office or take a bigger-bucks private sector job overseas. To him this is THE JOB. His first stint at the MTA lasted 18 years. He has worked in public transit his entire career, including eight years as an engineering consultant to different authorities around the world.

"I'm generally in it for the long haul," he said. "You don't do public sector jobs for the money. You don't do it for the accolades. You do it because you believe in it. You do it for the sense of accomplishment, because you're working with good people, and because you're providing a public service."

FARES: Avoiding another fare hike in 2015 is highly unlikely. As it is, the current four-year financial plan requires the MTA to find another $500 million worth of annual savings. It has slashed approximately $700 million in the last three years.

"At the end of the day, there isn't a transit system in the nation that operates in the black," Prendergast said. "They all have a deficit that has to be made up with revenues but you try and get that deficit as small as possible. It's our job to do what we can to keep the need for additional revenues as small as possible."

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MARC A. HERMANN / MTA NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT

Prendergast will take the reins of the largest public transportation network in the nation and one that is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.

PLATFORM DOORS: The MTA will explore protective screens to reduce the number of people hit by trains but the more viable option, Prendergast believes, is an "intrusion detection" system that gives an approaching motorman an alert when someone is on the tracks ahead. You can't do much for a person who intentionally jumps in front of a train at the last minute. But an alert system, possibly using sensors, could save people who stumble and fall off platforms. Last year, 141 people were hit by subway trains.
 
"It's a problem everywhere," Prendergast said of riders being struck by subway trains. "It's not just New York. It's something we can't just dismiss. We have to deal with it."
 
TOKEN BOOTH CLERKS: Their thinned ranks won't be bolstered but there could be a return of customer service agents - transit workers posted outside booths who helped the public with MetroCard vending machines and with directions. Generally, Prendergast believes in increasing efficiency with technology and redeploying workers into new roles. That could mean more "platform conductors" who do crowd control in dangerously overcrowded stations.

 

CONDUCTORS: Prendergast wants to expand OPTO - one person train operation - in which the motorman opens and closes doors, makes announces and operates the train. It is in use on the G and M lines on weekends and on small shuttles. So far, the transit workers union has successfully blocked management attempts to take conductors off other lines with legal challenges. But the goal of reducing train crews, when and where ridership is relatively light, will be pursued.
 
"There are some lines that are more conducive to one person train operation than others," Prendergast said. "There are some that are more conducive to OPTO only at certain times of the day, and there are some lines where you may never use OPTO. It's not always about savings. It may be the savings are reinvested in other parts of the system. So, if for argument’s sake, you save (a certain number of conductor positions) and put them on platforms that are extremely crowded, and you have fewer people falling to the tracks, that's a better utility of resources."
 
ROBOTRAIN: It needs to be accelerated. Only one line - the L - has communication-based train control. It's being built on the No. 7 line. The system is based on a much more sophisticated signal and communications network with computers essentially driving trains. Motormen monitor the controls and can take over if there's a glitch. Trains can run more closely together, which means increased service and less crowding. It's also safer, Prendergast says, because speed is continuously regulated by the computers, which will slow a train down automatically if it’s going too fast.

COUNTDOWN CLOCKS: Now on the numbered lines, and the L line, as a spinoff of a train-tracking system that took many years - and a lot of money - to complete. The MTA is developing a strategy to provide next-train information to the lettered lines quicker and more cheaply. The goal is to have a significant number of lines wired-up in three to five years, Prendergast said.
 
MAYORAL CONTROL of the MTA: Not a big fan of the idea proposed last week by Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a mayoral candidate. The majority of funding comes from the state and the current set-up - the mayor gets four appointments while a majority of the board is appointed by the governor and surrounding counties - is best for a regional system. "If you're going to take the responsibility, you have to have the funding to go along with it," Prendergast said.

SANDY: Perhaps the biggest challenge. The MTA has to do $4.7 billion worth of repairs and component replacement work. It also plans another $4.1 billion in projects to barricade the system against future flooding, and federal rules requiring projects be done in just a handful of years. That's on top of the regular maintenance and construction projects that cause dozens of service changes on any given weekend.
 
THE JOB: Widely praised for orchestrating the resumption of subway service quicker than anticipated after Sandy, Prendergast wants it known that as chairman he has to think of the future. “I have to bring the strategic vision, the strategic approach,” he said. “That's what this job is all about. I know that's my number one charge, my number one responsibility.”

Stay tuned.

 

 

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/sandy-damange-mta-issue-article-1.1316484?pgno=1#ixzz2R1vIgoka

 

Edited by realizm
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I'm really getting sick of the fare hikes.  Prices in this city just keep going up, but quality keeps going down.  I think it's time for me to move...

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There will be a limit to how much they can raise the fare. On the other hand, just be glad it's not distance based and there are free transfers.

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Following along with this in the news I've learned that a group of advocates today held a rally @ Bowling Green asking the MTA to use the $40 million dollar surplus to restore the service that was axed during the 2010 budget cuts. According to the Rider's alliance only $29 million dollars was ever used towards improvements in service. In response MTA Board member Allen P. Cappelli made a pledge to set aside some of this money towards service improvements and expansion efforts.

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Following along with this in the news I've learned that a group of advocates today held a rally @ Bowling Green asking the MTA to use the $40 million dollar surplus to restore the service that was axed during the 2010 budget cuts. According to the Rider's alliance only $29 million dollars was ever used towards improvements in service. In response MTA Board member Allen P. Cappelli made a pledge to set aside some of this money towards service improvements and expansion efforts.

I totally feel that one lady that said she waited 45 mins for the (R) to come. story of my life FML

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