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N6 Limited

'Freedom Ticket' could slash many hours from subway and bus riders' commutes, fight overcrowding..

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http://www.amny.com/transit/freedom-ticket-could-slash-many-hours-from-subway-and-bus-riders-commutes-fight-overcrowding-advocates-say-1.11185660

 

 

 

'Freedom Ticket' could slash many hours from subway and bus riders' commutes, fight overcrowding, advocates say

By REBECCA HARSHBARGER and ZOYA TEIRSTEIN   rebecca.harshbarger@amny.com December 2, 2015

 

 

 

A new fare proposal from passenger advocates said Wednesday that the MTA can slash hours from subway riders' commute every week at little cost, while lowering the number of people packing onto some of its most crowded lines.

 

Commuters would pay $215 for unlimited rail, subway, and bus trips within the city's limits under the plan by the New York City Transit Riders Council. Currently, a monthly MetroCard and an LIRR ticket in the city east of Jamaica cost more than $330 a month.

 

Thousands of railroad seats are going unused daily within the city -- while the subway is the most packed it has been since World War II. The E and F lines, for instance, are running at 95% capacity during rush-hours in Queens. Overcrowding also causes delays.

 

Many New Yorkers could speed up tedious commutes if they switched from the subway to the LIRR or Metro-North, -- if they could afford the railroad tickets, the analysis says.

 

"There's a wonderful rail infrastructure running through a lot of New York City neighborhoods, but it's priced out of the reach of many residents, and that's a real shame," said Andrew Albert, who chairs the Council and sits on the MTA board.

 

Under the proposal, the Freedom Ticket would be tried first in southeastern Queens neighborhoods like Laurelton, Rosedale, and St. Albans. Census data show its residents who use city transit have been in a miserable competition with Staten Islanders for some of the city's worst commutes -- but they live near six LIRR stations.

 

A Rosedale resident who needs to get to Grand Central by 9 a.m. has to leave home by 7:12 a.m. if they take the bus and subway, the analysis shows. They could leave almost an hour later if they took the LIRR, but the $10 ticket costs more than 3 times the $2.75 for a MetroCard trip.

 

An express bus from Rosedale to midtown can also take more than 80 minutes each way.

 

The Freedom Ticket could let some riders shorten commutes by as much as 40 hours more a month -- the equivalent of an entire work week, according to the Council.

That includes some Queens riders who take bus and subway trips to other outer boroughs, such as Brooklyn.

 

"There are people who spend two, 2.5 hours to go to work," said riders' watchdog William Henderson.

 

For them, an LIRR trip from Queens to the Barclays Center would save considerable time -- and give the MTA the opportunity to put paying riders in empty seats. Almost 50% of LIRR seats are vacant in the morning rush-hour between Jamaica and Atlantic Terminal, and 60% in the late afternoon and early evening.

 

Some residents have shunned the bus to the subway altogether, and are using dollar vans instead to get to work, the report notes. Many vans are illegal and operate without insurance.

 

After the MTA tests out the Freedom Ticket in southeastern Queens, the proposal calls for it to be expanded in 2019 to all rail stations that are 0.8 miles or more from the subway. That limit would be lifted in 2022 -- giving residents in neighborhoods that range from Riverdale in the Bronx to Forest Hills in Queens a faster commute option.

 

The MTA said it was open to the idea.

 

"It's an interesting proposal to alleviate the concerns of some of our customers, though it would certainly carry a financial impact for the MTA as well, so we'll consider it next year as we determine how to structure the next in our series of modest fare increases equivalent to the rate of inflation," said its spokesman Adam Lisberg.

 

The analysis estimated that the MTA would lose $4.3 million a year in the first phase of the program but would make $1.5 million for every 1,000 riders a year that filled empty LIRR seats.

 

Nora Tonin, 62, of Kew Gardens said the proposal was a good idea. "Sometimes it takes me one, two hours to get into Manhattan," she said. "If they can do it, I hope they do."

 

Sofia Tamarchko, a 40-year-old who lives off Queens Boulevard, also said she would use it. "I ride for a long time everyday," she said. "That would be fantastic."

 

 

Sounds interesting. 

Edited by N6 Limited
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Seems beneficial to Queens residents the most. Wonder if this can free up the LIE traffic as well. It's been toss-ups when I used to commute to Manhattan, some days I drove, some days I've taken bus/subway, and some days I've taken the LIRR.

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Wow, at some people having 2.5 hour commutes from Queens into the city, that's longer than the time it takes a Greyhound bus to go from NYC to Philly!

 

And I doubt thousands of seats are going unused during rush hour... off peak? maybe but during rush hour?

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Wow, at some people having 2.5 hour commutes from Queens into the city, that's longer than the time it takes a Greyhound bus to go from NYC to Philly!

 

And I doubt thousands of seats are going unused during rush hour... off peak? maybe but during rush hour?

 

Trains that go to Atlantic empty out at Penn. When I commuted to the city every day from Jamaica LIRR to Penn (because 9/10 it was more reliable than the subway), everyone on a Long Beach, Far Rock, or West Hempstead train bound for Atlantic would switch to a train going to Penn.

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Trains that go to Atlantic empty out at Penn. When I commuted to the city every day from Jamaica LIRR to Penn (because 9/10 it was more reliable than the subway), everyone on a Long Beach, Far Rock, or West Hempstead train bound for Atlantic would switch to a train going to Penn.

Kinda figured it was Brooklyn trains with extra capacity, I would imagine most of these Queens residents that currently use the Local bus - Subway commute are going to Manhattan, so the Brooklyn trains would be useless to them. It would be awesome for the ones that do go to Brooklyn though.... the (J) sucks going from Queens to Brooklyn, the dreadful slow run between Cypress Hill and Crescent Street..

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Kinda figured it was Brooklyn trains with extra capacity, I would imagine most of these Queens residents that currently use the Local bus - Subway commute are going to Manhattan, so the Brooklyn trains would be useless to them. It would be awesome for the ones that do go to Brooklyn though.... the (J) sucks going from Queens to Brooklyn, the dreadful slow run between Cypress Hill and Crescent Street..

 

The train to Atlantic is very useful; you can get from Jamaica to Atlantic within 20 minutes. That brings you a lot faster to Downtown or Brooklyn (since traveling to Atlantic from Jamaica via the subway is bound to take at least an hour).

 

With LIRR, traveling to Wall St or Fulton St on the (4) from Jamaica takes 30 minutes. The same trip using the (E) to the (A) takes 52 minutes. And for people coming from SE Queens, it eliminates a slow bus or dollar van ride up to Jamaica, so that's even  more time savings.

Edited by bobtehpanda

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Being a Queens resident myself I can tell you that the (E) and (F) are extremely crowded. They were being generous when they said 95% crowded. It is a pain in the butt getting off those trains if is crushloaded and people just run up and squeeze themselves in. I try to be by the doors but sometimes I wound up in the middle and damn it is hell getting off.

I usually take the (M)and the (R) at Forest Hills because people are not crowding themselves on those trains.

I would love for the freedom ticket plan to come true. I feel like it would give us Queens riders better transit options.

Now give us Flushing riders the Port Washington Branch and I'd ditch the (7) for good.

Edited by NewFlyer 230

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Commuters would pay $215 for unlimited rail, subway, and bus trips within the city's limits under the plan by the New York City Transit Riders Council. Currently, a monthly MetroCard and an LIRR ticket in the city east of Jamaica cost more than $330 a month.

 

An intra-city monthly ticket costs $184 (Zone 1) or $218 (Zone 3).  The "Freedom Ticket" proposal would knock $3 off that and add it transfer privileges.

 

Of course, riders from other zones would immediately demand the same transfers.

Edited by Gotham Bus Co.

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An intra-city monthly ticket costs $184 (Zone 1) or $218 (Zone 3).  The "Freedom Ticket" proposal would knock $3 off that and add it transfer privileges.

 

Of course, riders from other zones would immediately demand the same transfers.

 

If it's being subsidized by the city, the correct response is to tell Nassau and Suffolk to stump up or shut up.

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An intra-city monthly ticket costs $184 (Zone 1) or $218 (Zone 3).  The "Freedom Ticket" proposal would knock $3 off that and add it transfer privileges.

 

Of course, riders from other zones would immediately demand the same transfers.

Maybe it should be used as a reminder that they have bad credit. These other zones try to do a lot to squirm out of paying what's owed.

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Being a Queens resident myself I can tell you that the (E) and (F) are extremely crowded. They were being generous when they said 95% crowded. It is a pain in the butt getting off those trains if is crushloaded and people just run up and squeeze themselves in. I try to be by the doors but sometimes I wound up in the middle and damn it is hell getting off.

I usually take the (M)and the (R) at Forest Hills because people are not crowding themselves on those trains.

I take the (E) a lot, but rarely during rush hour. I took the (E) once during PM rush last month and if the girls sandwiching me from three sides weren't hot, that ride would have been intolerable.

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Last week, my brother and I had to push to get into the (E) train at 4:15 or so, and in the train we were literally pushing against 4 people until Roosevelt, when half the train had to empty out to let people come out, and then once everyone was back in, it was normal crowded. Until the Queens Bypass is built this will get worse and worse with more people packing into the city.

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Last week, my brother and I had to push to get into the (E) train at 4:15 or so, and in the train we were literally pushing against 4 people until Roosevelt, when half the train had to empty out to let people come out, and then once everyone was back in, it was normal crowded. Until the Queens Bypass is built this will get worse and worse with more people packing into the city.

The (F) isn't as bad. but honestly if they skipped Roosevelt Ave during peak times the (E) and (F) would be just fine.

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The (F) isn't as bad. but honestly if they skipped Roosevelt Ave during peak times the (E) and (F) would be just fine.

the problem for me is that the (F) does not stop at Queens Plaza. It is too bad that they did not put a station at Northern Blvd as they had originally planned. They should build it as an infill station. I would take that any day over the (E)!

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the problem for me is that the (F) does not stop at Queens Plaza. It is too bad that they did not put a station at Northern Blvd as they had originally planned. They should build it as an infill station. I would take that any day over the (E)!

Where on would the Northern Blvd Station have been?

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Where on would the Northern Blvd Station have been?

Northern and 41 Avenue, right near the Queens Plaza station.

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Northern and 41 Avenue, right near the Queens Plaza station.

Ah, right before the tight curve? Or right after before ascending to QB Tracks?

 

I think we're seeing a pattern here: plan more stations, build less of them.

Haha, that pattern started in the 1930s

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The (F) isn't as bad. but honestly if they skipped Roosevelt Ave during peak times the (E) and (F) would be just fine.

Roosevelt Ave is a critical transfer point between busses and the subway as well as between local and express trains that is the reason Roosevelt is so bad and the (E) and (F) skipping it would create a major crowding problem.  As for the connection to Queens Plaza the (M) does a pretty good job with the (E) the only thing is that at 71st Ave there should be a scheduled Connection, because the local always gets the departure lights as the (E) or (F) enter

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Roosevelt Ave is a critical transfer point between busses and the subway as well as between local and express trains that is the reason Roosevelt is so bad and the (E) and (F) skipping it would create a major crowding problem.  As for the connection to Queens Plaza the (M) does a pretty good job with the (E) the only thing is that at 71st Ave there should be a scheduled Connection, because the local always gets the departure lights as the (E) or (F) enter

You have the people that get off the local for the express, then you have transfers from the bus and (7) . The peak loading point on the locals is Elmhurst Ave isn't it?

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You have the people that get off the local for the express, then you have transfers from the bus and (7) . The peak loading point on the locals is Elmhurst Ave isn't it?

 

Roosevelt is only so crowded because it's the only express station between Queens Plaza/21 St-Queensbridge and Forest Hills. Woodhaven should have been built as an express station.

 

Making the expresses skip Roosevelt will only move the problem to QBP and Queens Plaza, and neither is particularly empty today anyways.

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Roosevelt is only so crowded because it's the only express station between Queens Plaza/21 St-Queensbridge and Forest Hills. Woodhaven should have been built as an express station.

 

Making the expresses skip Roosevelt will only move the problem to QBP and Queens Plaza, and neither is particularly empty today anyways.

No way, the express trains zoom by Woodhaven Blvd nicely. As for Queens Plaza, the platforms are wider and It's not really that busy of a station.

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No way, the express trains zoom by Woodhaven Blvd nicely. As for Queens Plaza, the platforms are wider and It's not really that busy of a station.

 

Sometimes we have to sacrifice small, sentimental things about ride quality for an improved system. The QBL express is one of the longest ones with no stops. And even then, with all the "train delays" on QBL the extra-long express doesn't do much.

 

Woodhaven is also the perfect place to do it, since Woodhaven is a major bus hub and retail destination that generates a lot of riders in its own right. Putting an express station there would both serve this anchor and allow better distribution of passengers switching from local to express.

 

Queens Plaza is not that busy today, but with the crapton of development rising around it in LIC I wouldn't be surprised if the situation is different in ten year's time.

Edited by bobtehpanda

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Sometimes we have to sacrifice small, sentimental things about ride quality for an improved system. The QBL express is one of the longest ones with no stops. And even then, with all the "train delays" on QBL the extra-long express doesn't do much.

The delays are only because of tight headway and prolonged boarding time at stations. This kind of problem should really be resolved by adding a third tier of service to create a three-tier system. The station at Woodhaven Boulevard should be converted to an express while giving consideration to those living at the far-flung corners of Queens who have to put up with long travel times. Build that Queens bypass and you’ll lessen the crowding at Forest Hills, Roosevelt Avenue, and Queens Plaza since a major source of passengers is Jamaica.

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