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Via Garibaldi 8

Metro-North record-breaking overtime makes track workers millions, jobs remain vacant

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Metro-North record-breaking overtime makes track workers millions, jobs remain vacant

Thomas C. Zambito and Frank Esposito, Rockland/Westchester Journal News

Published 6:00 a.m. ET June 20, 2018 | Updated 3:10 p.m. ET June 20, 2018

lohud investigates Metro-North delays and overtime Ricky Flores, rjflores@lohud.com

Hundreds of jobs remained open until this year, while fares and pensions continue to rise

From misfortune have come millions.

In May 2013, a derailment in Connecticut led Metro-North to remake the railroad from the ground up, tearing out tens of thousands of splintered rail ties, replacing stone ballast and ripping out miles of track long past its expiration date.

In the five years since a rush-hour New Haven Line train flew off the rails in Bridgeport after hitting a broken rail joint, overtime hours for maintenance spiked to nearly 600,000 last year from 204,000 in 2012.

It’s made some track workers very wealthy.

A Journal News/lohud analysis of Metro-North overtime obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request shows:

Over those five years, nine track workers have made more than $1 million in salary and overtime combined.

Last year, 63 track workers made more in overtime than salary.

Another 29 track workers made $200,000 or more in salary and overtime.

Overtime for track workers jumped to $22 million in 2017, the highest total in three years and a sizable increase from the years before the derailment, when track-worker overtime averaged between $10 million and $15 million. Over the past three years, overtime payments were $61.2 million.

Read more: https://www.lohud.com/story/news/investigations/2018/06/20/metro-north-overtime-track-workers-derailment-spuyten-duyvil-bridgeport/542810002/

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Why the hell do they still have pensions? I know the TWU is strong, but at least someone should have figured out that some of these people will spend more time retired than working given the long lifespans today. With all the $ they make, 401k should be easy...

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22 minutes ago, R68OnBroadway said:

Why the hell do they still have pensions? I know the TWU is strong, but at least someone should have figured out that some of these people will spend more time retired than working given the long lifespans today. With all the $ they make, 401k should be easy...

I believe that (MTA) workers have to retire at a certain age.  I'm assuming that is true of all of the different entities if you will, including Metro-North.

What's shocking to me is the Spuyten Duyvil derailment. Metro-North paid out $60 million dollars from that in 2017 alone, and roughly 120 million from 2015 - 2017!  I'm actually tired of paying their fare increases, and this year is the first year since I've been living in Riverdale that I haven't been using Metro-North regularly if I don't need to.  $9.25 peak, PLUS $2.75 for the shuttle bus... F that.  Round trip, that's my lunch money for the day.  I spent $27 so far today, so $3 off... $17 for lunch and $10 for a macchiato and a pastry for breakfast.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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2 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I believe that (MTA) workers have to retire at a certain age.  I'm assuming that is true of all of the different entities if you will, including Metro-North.

What's shocking to me is the Spuyten Duyvil derailment. Metro-North paid out $60 million dollars from that in 2017 alone, and roughly 120 million from 2015 - 2017!  I'm actually tired of paying their fare increases, and this year is the first year since I've been living in Riverdale that I haven't been using Metro-North regularly if I don't need to.  $9.25 peak, PLUS $2.75 for the shuttle bus... F that.  Round trip, that's my lunch money for the day.  I spent $27 so far today, so $3 off... $17 for lunch and $10 for a macchiato and a pastry for breakfast.

$20 for lunch??

See, that's why I hate Midtown - not a damn bodega for a Bacon Egg and Cheese for $3 anywhere. (There are $7 salads, but still...)

OT, maybe I need to give up startup life and go work for the government so I can get rich.

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2 minutes ago, Deucey said:

$20 for lunch??

See, that's why I hate Midtown - not a damn bodega for a Bacon Egg and Cheese for $3 anywhere. (There are $7 salads, but still...)

OT, maybe I need to give up startup life and go work for the government so I can get rich.

More like $30.00 to be honest. A macchiato and a pastry with a tip is easily $10.00. $20.00 for lunch can do the trick, but some places are more. Some places I go to you easily pay $15 for a salad. I actually bring more lunch from home or stop at a Whole Foods where $20.00 can really go far for a nice lunch and some other things on the side.

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37 minutes ago, Deucey said:

$20 for lunch??

See, that's why I hate Midtown - not a damn bodega for a Bacon Egg and Cheese for $3 anywhere. (There are $7 salads, but still...)

OT, maybe I need to give up startup life and go work for the government so I can get rich.

If you work in a startup, Chelsea or Flatiron aren't that crazy (yet)

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41 minutes ago, bobtehpanda said:

If you work in a startup, Chelsea or Flatiron aren't that crazy (yet)

Did that at one that advertised in the subway recently (and got some hate over it), now at another leasing space at an accelerator by JP Morgan HQ.

If I were still doing real estate, I'd be pitching to move from midtown to Downtown for the cheaper space, or Red Hook.

Y'know, where you can eat lunch for $5 and be happy.

Edited by Deucey

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48 minutes ago, bobtehpanda said:

If you work in a startup, Chelsea or Flatiron aren't that crazy (yet)

Are you kidding me? I used to work in Chelsea right off of 5th Avenue. I walked down the block that I worked on and the place is almost unrecognizable.  The deli that I would get salads from is no more.  Lots of high end store.  Tarallucci e Vino still exists.   Great lunch spot and great for macchiatos. The owner who I know personally (Luca) knew me by first name. I used to order pick up 2 - 3 times a week. $20 - 30 per lunch easily. lol

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Just now, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Are you kidding me? I used to work in Chelsea right off of 5th Avenue. I walked down the block that I worked on and the place is almost unrecognizable.  The deli that I would get salads from is no more.  Lots of high end store.  Tarallucci e vino still exists.   Great lunch spot and great for macchiatos. The owner who I know personally (Luca) knew me by first name. I used to order pick up 2 - 3 times a week. $20 - 30 per lunch easily. lol

Fifth Avenue is the problem. I went to school up on Eighth, and even if now it's super crowded between Chelsea Market and the High Line, there are still affordable spots in that neighborhood.

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Just now, bobtehpanda said:

Fifth Avenue is the problem. I went to school up on Eighth, and even if now it's super crowded between Chelsea Market and the High Line, there are still affordable spots in that neighborhood.

Yes, when I was in college, I worked on 8th Avenue by 34th street during school breaks for an arts company.  Down the block was a pizza place that sold slices for a buck.  Nice little snack for sure.  Funny thing is with all of this gentrification, 8th Avenue still has that seedy feel, but a few blocks have been spiffied up a bit.  That said though, I am curious to see what the new fares will be in 2019.  Record ridership and every single time we've had a fare increase, the fare has gone up 4% on Metro-North. It's unsustainable IMO.

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15 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Are you kidding me? I used to work in Chelsea right off of 5th Avenue. I walked down the block that I worked on and the place is almost unrecognizable.  The deli that I would get salads from is no more.  Lots of high end store.  Tarallucci e Vino still exists.   Great lunch spot and great for macchiatos. The owner who I know personally (Luca) knew me by first name. I used to order pick up 2 - 3 times a week. $20 - 30 per lunch easily. lol

I was livid when Chelsea Deli shut down.

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10 hours ago, Deucey said:

I was livid when Chelsea Deli shut down.

A lot of the delis are shutting down over there. Rents are insane. One deli on 5th and 19th for salads is no more. Still one on 18th by 5th that is good. Likely a long term lease. I looked at the menu for the place I mentioned earlier with the owner that I know, and he raised prices substantially. It was always more high-end, but even the sandwiches are approaching almost $20 now. Look at the cost of transportation here and the cost to eat out now, and it's no wonder why more people are bringing lunch from home. I mean salaries aren't going up at the rate that Metro-North fares are. If service was still stellar, I'd say sure, I'll keep spending the extra $208 a month for the pass on top of the $229+ a month I spend for the express bus pass, but often times the trains are delayed, and the whole point of the pass is to allow me to be able to sleep in late and take a peak train in without worrying about delays. If I get in at the same time as I would with the express bus then it isn't worth it, hence why I cut back. 

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58 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

$20 sandwiches? :lol:

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/547cbc65e4b07ee9b5c5e10a/t/5b1fd4056d2a73641d1d99fc/1528812566376/18TH+Lunch+

Yes.  The cheapest ones are $13.00. The others are $14.00 - 16.00. By the time you pay tax, and give a tip it's basically $20.00 or more and that's without any drink.  Granted they give you a salad on the side with most of them, but it's a small little side.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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2 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/547cbc65e4b07ee9b5c5e10a/t/5b1fd4056d2a73641d1d99fc/1528812566376/18TH+Lunch+

Yes.  The cheapest ones are $13.00. The others are $14.00 - 16.00. By the time you pay tax, and give a tip it's basically $20.00 or more and that's without any drink.  Granted they give you a salad on the side with most of them, but it's a small little side.  

CAPRESE

$13 - MOZZARELLA, TOMATO, BASIL PESTO

geeze

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Just now, N6 Limited said:

CAPRESE

$13 - MOZZARELLA, TOMATO, BASIL PESTO

geeze

I know. There's a place by me that charges $8.50 for the same sandwich and a bigger portion too.

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11 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

Their rent must be crazy. At least they're holding on,there are a lot of storefronts available these days.

I'm sure it's went up given that some big name places in the area have had to close due to the astronomical rent increases into the millions.  In the afternoons I used to go for a coffee break next door if I was working late. Back in the day they had a little side operation that was separate and basically sold Italian gelato, Italian coffee and small snacks (Italian pastries, etc.). It looks like somebody took that over.  You're not going to make much money off of those things with rent and other overhead costs being what they are now.  I've seen several of those stores close selling similar things.  Unless you're a big name like Gröm selling Italian ice cream in a hot tourist area, forget it.  They surely can't sell things like fritatta paninos either, which they used to carry for around $8-10.  They've also expanded too.  Their first location was the Union Square one and they had one in the East Village. They've since opened up two other locations. 

This next fare hike will be interesting though.  If they implement that Liberty Ticket and it's lower than the current price of $208 I may go back to riding regularly, but I've basically adjusted to just taking the express bus, which leaves me closer to more places anyway.  That's what sucks about the LIRR and MNRR. If you aren't centered around activities near Grand Central or Penn Station, it can be annoying.  

 

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1 hour ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

That's what sucks about the LIRR and MNRR. If you aren't centered around activities near Grand Central or Penn Station, it can be annoying.  

This is why they need thru service and intermediate stations in the CBD

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6 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/547cbc65e4b07ee9b5c5e10a/t/5b1fd4056d2a73641d1d99fc/1528812566376/18TH+Lunch+

Yes.  The cheapest ones are $13.00. The others are $14.00 - 16.00. By the time you pay tax, and give a tip it's basically $20.00 or more and that's without any drink.  Granted they give you a salad on the side with most of them, but it's a small little side.  

$20?

Earl of Sandwich on 52nd/6th does pretty good for $8.

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3 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I'm sure it's went up given that some big name places in the area have had to close due to the astronomical rent increases into the millions.  In the afternoons I used to go for a coffee break next door if I was working late. Back in the day they had a little side operation that was separate and basically sold Italian gelato, Italian coffee and small snacks (Italian pastries, etc.). It looks like somebody took that over.  You're not going to make much money off of those things with rent and other overhead costs being what they are now.  I've seen several of those stores close selling similar things.  Unless you're a big name like Gröm selling Italian ice cream in a hot tourist area, forget it.  They surely can't sell things like fritatta paninos either, which they used to carry for around $8-10.  They've also expanded too.  Their first location was the Union Square one and they had one in the East Village. They've since opened up two other locations. 

This next fare hike will be interesting though.  If they implement that Liberty Ticket and it's lower than the current price of $208 I may go back to riding regularly, but I've basically adjusted to just taking the express bus, which leaves me closer to more places anyway.  That's what sucks about the LIRR and MNRR. If you aren't centered around activities near Grand Central or Penn Station, it can be annoying.  

 

Walking through GCT getting off the Lex, you couldn't pay me enough to live in Westchester or CT and commute.

Could do Hempstead and get off at Hunterspoint. But Penn?

NEVER.

 

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3 minutes ago, Deucey said:

$20?

Earl of Sandwich on 52nd/6th does pretty good for $8.

I haven't had a sandwich from there in years. There's a place that I order delivery from that does sandwiches from $8.50 - 11.50, but they're loaded to fill you up.

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2 minutes ago, Deucey said:

Walking through GCT getting off the Lex, you couldn't pay me enough to live in Westchester or CT and commute.

Could do Hempstead and get off at Hunterspoint. But Penn?

NEVER.

 

GCT is so big that if you work say on or near 6th Avenue, if you know the exits well and pick the right train, you can get out along Madison Avenue or closer to Lex if you're on the East Side. With that said, whoever runs GCT needs to install more escalators and they need to revamp parts of the terminal. They have parts of the ceiling showing with leaks and garbage pails all over parts of the Concourse and in various terminals. They're really letting the place go. They seem to be focused on charging sky high rent for new restaurants and stores but nothing else.

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