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Deucey

MTA Board to Andy: F your Enhanced Station Initiative

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https://www.amny.com/transit/subway-station-improvements-1.16331101

By Vincent Barone   vin.barone@amny.com

The MTA, in a rare move, pulled a controversial subway station improvement project from a board vote Wednesday after it became apparent it had lost support. 

The contracts for the project, part of what’s known as the Enhanced Station Initiative, would have brought sweeping renovations to six stations in Manhattan and two in the Bronx. Several board members felt the stations were unworthy of such expensive work — either because the stations were in relatively good shape, or because they don’t see significant ridership levels. 

The move more broadly represents a repudiation of the Enhanced Station Initiative. The initiative was unveiled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2016 as a means of prioritizing cosmetic improvements — such as the installation of Wi-Fi and USB ports — over work that could improve service or wheelchair access to the notoriously inaccessible subway system. 

“Doesn’t it make sense when you’re talking about $1 billion to put those dollars in the stations that need them most and . . . do more to install elevators and improve accessibility?” said Polly Trottenberg, the city’s transportation commissioner and an MTA board member. 

The city and the board at large did not have input on the 33 stations selected for the program, which totals about $1 billion in spending, Trottenberg said. 

“I’m not saying that we disagree with everything on that list, but I think we’d like to have input,” she continued. “I think you heard from other board members that heard from other board members — they would too.”

Criticism of the Enhanced Station Initiative has mounted recently as stations have closed for months to facilitate the work. New Yorkers rallied in protest as the first stations that were shuttered for the improvements reopened this fall along the R line in Brooklyn. 

A unified front by Trottenberg and her fellow board members helped kill the vote on the latest package of stations up for improvements Wednesday. 

“Frankly, I personally have my own reservations about, is this the highest priority that we should be spending capital money on,” said MTA board member Carl Weisbrod, a de Blasio appointee. “When we know that the subway system simply running . . . being reliable in terms of arriving on time and having fewer delays is the most urgent issue for New Yorkers.”

Fernando Ferrer, the vice chair of the board, said he would be tabling the contract votes until next month’s meeting to allow time for the agency’s new transit president, Andy Byford, to review the project. 

The MTA had been slated Wednesday to vote on three contract packages.

One package included the 23rd Street and 57th Street stations of the Sixth Avenue line; the 28th Street station on the Lexington Avenue line; and the 34th Street-Penn Station complexes of the Seventh and Eight Avenue lines.

A second package included the 145th Street station of the Lexington Avenue line in Manhattan, as well as the 174th-175th streets and 167th Street stations in the Bronx.

The third package related to consulting contracts for some of that work. 

In total, the three contracts would have cost the agency about $240 million. Cuomo’s office deferred comment to the MTA.

“At a time when no one in the city can reliably get to and from work, I think there is less patience for big spending initiatives that don’t actually make the trains run better,” said John Raskin, executive director at the Riders Alliance, in an email.

MTA chairman Joe Lhota reiterated that the agency’s board had already approved of the Enhanced Station Initiative concept. He described the program as a “pilot” to test new renovations and construction practices such as design-build — where one contract is awarded to a company to design and construct a project — and said stations were chosen where there would be minimal disruptions of service.

“It’s basically a pilot,” he said. “Will it work; can we get it done for the amount of money that we think it’s going to cost; can we get it done on time; can we, in this pilot stage, minimize the disruptions that it causes, the number of people [and getting] trains out of stations?”

Trottenberg said that she had never heard the program described as a pilot, and hopes that in the future the city will have more involvement in the development of these types of projects.

Commuters had mixed reactions to the whole program. Several Brooklyn riders around the newly renovated Bay Ridge Avenue station raved about the project — with many believing that the work was worth it.

Roland Crespo, 51, lives off the 53rd Street station in Sunset Park and visits his children who live off the Bay Ridge Avenue station. 

“They did a pretty good job,” he said. “I like the cameras, the lights, the artwork. It’s an improvement on the MTA subway system — I haven’t seen anything like this ever.”

Others felt there were missed opportunities. Irene Galio, 65 of Bay Ridge, said service should be the priority — though she likes the renovations that were done. 

“It was worth it,” she said. “I like the aesthetics.”

But she regretted that “they should have had something for people with disabilities.”

Andrea Carmo, 61, who travels to Bay Ridge to visit her friend about once a week, thought the MTA had its priorities jumbled.

“When I read about what it cost, I don’t think it was worth it,” she said. “Cosmetically, it’s nice. But it doesn’t solve the problems of the trains.”

With Alison Fox

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The Board didn't say F*** You to the ESI initiative. All they want is to be fully briefed on what criteria was used to select these stations and to re-evaluate it. And to see if elevators can be added.

And yes, I watched both board meetings.

Why the media feels the need to stretch the truth is beyond me.

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1 minute ago, LTA1992 said:

The Board didn't say F*** You to the ESI initiative. All they want is to be fully briefed on what criteria was used to select these stations and to re-evaluate it. And to see if elevators can be added.

And yes, I watched both board meetings.

Why the media feels the need to stretch the truth is beyond me.

I think it's a crime if none of these stations are slated to be ADA accessible.  That definitely should be looked at for each and every station. The excuse that our system is so old is a tired one.  When you look at what other cities are doing with systems that are also old, it seems like a cop out.

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Just now, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I think it's a crime if none of these stations are slated to be ADA accessible.  That definitely should be looked at for each and every station. The excuse that our system is so old is a tired one.  When you look at what other cities are doing with systems that are also old, it seems like a cop out.

And the Board agrees with that. ESI isn't going anywhere. The next packages are just on hold.

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Just now, LTA1992 said:

And the Board agrees with that. ESI isn't going anywhere. The next packages are just on hold.

Yeah they have to because quite frankly it shuts out those stations from being accessible for what another 20 - 30 years?  I'm not even disabled, but whenever I do use the one ADA accessible subway stop that is closest to my neighborhood, I take the elevator, and many other people do too.  It makes for a much more nicer way of reaching the platform.  Another thing they should look at is improving the overall experience of those elevators.  Considering how expensive they are, they break down far too often and they are extremely slow.

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44 minutes ago, LTA1992 said:

The Board didn't say F*** You to the ESI initiative. All they want is to be fully briefed on what criteria was used to select these stations and to re-evaluate it. And to see if elevators can be added.

And yes, I watched both board meetings.

Why the media feels the need to stretch the truth is beyond me.

Try to be humorous with hyperbole and I get this.

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Quote

1 hour ago, Deucey said:
Try to be humorous with hyperbole and I get this

MTA puns are funny


 

Edited by N6 Limited

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28 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

 

MTA puns are funny


 

I think so too. Guess some folks don't like clickbait headlines about the Majorly Trifling Administrators Nuking Your Commute To Anywhere.

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17 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I think it's a crime if none of these stations are slated to be ADA accessible.  That definitely should be looked at for each and every station. The excuse that our system is so old is a tired one.  When you look at what other cities are doing with systems that are also old, it seems like a cop out.

I agree with you on that. There are plenty of stations that still need to be ADA accessible and there is no talk about that. It’s like the MTA has all the stations in a hat and they pick a random station to get rehabbed. The Manhattan bound side at 121st and 104th st on the (J) line began being rehabbed last January and construction was suppose to be completed in summer 2017. That just finished about a couple of weeks ago at 121st (104 is still not done) and still no elevators. These stations weren’t a part of the enhancement project but this is a clear example that they are not certain about actually modernizing these stations fully. When the (L) shuts down in 2019 the (G) and (M) lines will be very important. The MTA is offering a free transfer between Broadway on the (G) and Lorimer Street on the (J) and (M) line. However if the MTA were smart they would built another entrance at Broadway at the north end of the platform that doesn’t have a entrance and build an underground passageway connecting to the (J) and (M) trains at Hewes Street and open up those entrances that are closed at the north east end of the platform and now you would have yourself a permanent transfer. If one were to look on google map if a passageway were to be built it’s literally only a short block away on Montrose Ave so I don’t think it would be that hard to do. 

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19 hours ago, Deucey said:

I think so too. Guess some folks don't like clickbait headlines about the Majorly Trifling Administrators Nuking Your Commute To Anywhere.

I can care less about puns in the media.

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36 minutes ago, LTA1992 said:

I can care less about puns in the media.

You mean you have more levels of outrage you can go to over this??

Dude, it’s clickbait. Stop taking this like I insulted your mother and slapped your father.

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Just now, Deucey said:

You mean you have more levels of outrage you can go to over this??

Dude, it’s clickbait. Stop taking this like I insulted your mother and slapped your father.

You know by now that some members have feigned outrage in here. It's so annoying too.  Then there are the members that call themselves ganging up on other members. These people need to grow the hell up. 

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Just now, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

You know by now that some members have feigned outrage in here. It's so annoying too.  Then there are the members that call themselves ganging up on other members. These people need to grow the hell up. 

He’s taking a clickbait title like I called his mother a THOT.

I don’t understand these folks hissy fitting and tantruming over rails and concrete.

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Just now, Deucey said:

He’s taking a clickbait title like I called his mother a THOT.

I don’t understand these folks hissy fitting and tantruming over rails and concrete.

I don't either. I guess it's a world that neither of us understand. LOL

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People get pressed over the most stupid things.

But yeah, priorities. Crappy stations with trains that work is better than McMansion stations with train traffic ahead or whatever the excuse is these days.

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To my knowledge, no elevators will be installed on the Astoria line. It such a waste to spend all this money and not include elevators. I've had to accompany a family member to the hospital many times this month, and we've had to take either taxi/uber or a bus combo. Then there's my grandma, who struggles on the stairs.

 

Really just a vanity project.

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4 minutes ago, GojiMet86 said:

To my knowledge, no elevators will be installed on the Astoria line. It such a waste to spend all this money and not include elevators. I've had to accompany a family member to the hospital many times this month, and we've had to take either taxi/uber or a bus combo. Then there's my grandma, who struggles on the stairs.

 

Really just a vanity project.

That's what they do...

(M)ismanaging

(T)he

(A)verage

(N)ew 

Yorker's

(C)ash

(T)hrough

(A)sininity

 

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1 hour ago, GojiMet86 said:

To my knowledge, no elevators will be installed on the Astoria line. It such a waste to spend all this money and not include elevators. I've had to accompany a family member to the hospital many times this month, and we've had to take either taxi/uber or a bus combo. Then there's my grandma, who struggles on the stairs.

 

Really just a vanity project.

I thought I read there would be elevators at Astoria Blvd. But the whole line should have them. There's certainly enough room on the sidewalks for them.

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Astoria Blvd is indeed planned to get elevators under the current capital program. 

rT7vt6n.png

The description from the original approved capital program: http://web.mta.info/capital/pdf/Board_2015-2019_Capital_Program.pdf#page=58 (page 58)

(Although it's pretty safe to say they won't make the 2020 deadline)

 

gzl8CYH.png

The current listing, from the amended capital program: http://web.mta.info/capital/pdf/2015-2019-Program_APPROVEDv5_reduced.pdf#page=123 (page 123) 

I really don't see the point of creating a new thread for a topic that already has a dedicated thread just to post a news article.  I would rather just have a single organized thread for each topic. 

Edited by Mysterious2train
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1 hour ago, Mysterious2train said:

Astoria Blvd is indeed planned to get elevators under the current capital program. 

rT7vt6n.png

The description from the original approved capital program: http://web.mta.info/capital/pdf/Board_2015-2019_Capital_Program.pdf#page=58 (page 58)

(Although it's pretty safe to say they won't make the 2020 deadline)

 

gzl8CYH.png

The current listing, from the amended capital program: http://web.mta.info/capital/pdf/2015-2019-Program_APPROVEDv5_reduced.pdf#page=123 (page 123) 

I really don't see the point of creating a new thread for a topic that already has a dedicated thread just to post a news article.  I would rather just have a single organized thread for each topic. 

You might’ve missed the second post...

 

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