Commuters Are Mesmerized By Fulton Center, Lower Manhattan's 'Futuristic' New Transit Hub

Categories: MTA

Katie Toth
Nicolas Ryan, 44, snaps a photo while Nadiv and Asean Maqami take in the new space.
New Yorkers are people who rarely stand still, especially on their commute.

But today, the Voice counted about fifty people taking photos, staring at the ceiling, wandering leisurely, and talking with friends this morning -- in the subway, of all places.

Fulton Center, the much-hyped and long-awaited redesigned subway station serving the financial district, was unveiled during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sunday. The station's centerpiece is its 53-foot-diameter glass oculus over the main atrium. Within the glass cone sits the "sky reflector-net," an art piece made of "112 tensioned cables, 224 high-strength rods and nearly 10,000 stainless steel components," according to an MTA press release.

"I'm really impressed," says Nicolas Ryan, who says he spent two and a half years with Grimshaw Architects as a project manager turning the center from an idea into a reality. "This was a really challenging integration."

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The G Train Is Back, So We Can All Resume Complaining About It

Thumbnail image for g train.jpg
There it is.
After five weeks of beauty sleep and Sandy repairs, the G train is back in service between Nassau Avenue in Brooklyn and Court Square in Queens. Time to resume your awkward jogs to the middle of the platform, as well as your ceaseless complaints about the train's unpredictable schedule, long wait times, and overall suck.

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Is It Legal to Ride the 6 Train Through the Abandoned City Hall Station?

Categories: MTA

New York Municipal Archives
City Hall Station in its heyday
Consult any subway map printed in the last 69 years and it will tell you the 6 train dead-ends at Manhattan's Brooklyn Bridge Station. An older map would show the train's original track--the one it still uses everyday--loops through the now abandoned City Hall station before ending up on the north-bound side of the track and heading back to the Bronx.

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Great: N Train Workers Found Bedbugs in Their Lockers

Categories: Bedbugs, Ew, MTA

Photo via the Armed Services Pest Management Board on Flickr
This is what an adult male bedbug looks like. If you need us we'll be scratching our arms till they bleed.
Well, here's some good, reassuring, non-itchy news: just days after three N train cars were discovered to have bedbug stowaways living in them, two N line workers have found bedbugs in their lockers . Metropolitan Transit Authority spokesperson Kevin Ortiz confirmed to the Voice this morning that itchy little jerks were found in lockers at a crew room in Astoria.

The union that represents the Metropolitan Transit Authority's workers, TWU Local 100, tells the Daily News that not only did the two N workers discover bedbugs, but so did a conductor who hasn't even worked on the N recently. She found a bedbug at her house. (MTA spokesperson Ortiz said he was unable to confirm that incident.)

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The Brooklynite Who Brought the Joys of A Transit Countdown Timer Into His Home

Categories: DIY, MTA, Technology

Ian Westcott
Westcott's own personal, magical, countdown clock.

When it comes to mass transit, the only thing New Yorkers really care about is punctuality. We'll elbow onto a packed bus and huff a stranger's armpit for thirty minutes -- and we'll do it gladly -- if it means we get to our destination on time.

But to do that, we need to know when that bus or train is actually going to arrive. That's why there's something magical about a countdown timer.

A 2011 MTA survey found that transit stations featuring countdown timers -- with their soothing, authoritative glow -- increase customer satisfaction in mysterious ways. Survey respondents liked the stations with timers better, but they didn't know why.

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Public Advocate Tish James Is Very Unhappy About the MTA Taking Ads From "Unlawful, Illegal" Airbnb

Image via Public Advocate's office
A scandalous Airbnb ad in Penn Station.
Once again, rental site Airbnb was back in court yesterday with New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office, fighting allegations that the site is running illegal hotels (and, by extension, not paying its cut to the state in taxes). The company won a mini-victory yesterday, after a federal judge ruled that the AG's subpoena for information on all Airbnb hosts in New York state was overly broad. According to the Washington Post, though, the AG is not to be deterred, and plans to simply rewrite the request in a more legal way.

So Airbnb isn't off the hook by any means, and now, to top things off, the Metropolitan Transit Authority is in a spot of trouble too, merely for running their ads. New York City's Public Advocate Letitia "Tish" James wrote a stern letter on May 12 to Tom Prendergast, who heads the MTA, demanding to know why the authority accepts advertisements for an "unlawful" service. Just to drive the point home, she compared Airbnb to a site that advertises escorts.

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Geometry Car Had Not Inspected New F Train Rail Before Derailment

Categories: MTA

MTA via Flickr

The MTA is still investigating what caused a F train carrying almost 1000 passengers to derail in Woodside, Queens a week ago--injuring 19 passengers, 4 of them seriously--but investigators have identified a few clues that may hold the answer.

The section of track where the F went off the rails last Friday was only installed a matter of weeks before, at the end of February, and the section had not yet been inspected by the MTA's geometry train.

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F Line Tops The List of Subway Lines With Preventable Delays

Categories: MTA

Otto Yamamoto via flickr

On the heels of a terrifying derailment that left 19 commuters injured--four of them seriously--on Friday, comes a report confirming, yes, subway service has definitely deteriorated in the last two years. The F line, where Friday's derailment occurred, tops a list of train lines with the most delay-causing problems.

According to an analysis by the Straphangers Campaign, delay-generating "incidents" in the subways jumped 35% between 2011 and 2013. An incident, says Gene Russianoff staff attorney for the advocacy group, can be "a mechanical problem, a switch that doesn't work, police activity, sick passenger -- it's sort of the litany of bad things that can happen to you or your train while you are traveling."

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Updated: MTA Unamused By Guerilla Shia LaBeouf Advertising Campaign

Categories: MTA

Tessa Stuart
An MTA worker removes an illegal advertisement promoting Shia LaBeof's Twitter account.
"Oh, that's cute," an MTA worker said, noticing for the first time an ad installed near the southwest stairs at the Bedford L stop on Wednesday morning.

The ad, a four feet by five feet black and white collage, features the heads of Shia LaBeouf, Picasso and God (as imagined by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel fresco "The Creation of Adam") pasted on to women's bodies, alongside LaBeouf's Twitter handle and the hashtag #TheCureForCelebrity.

The worker muttered under his breath as he peeled the poster from its frame, then pried its frame from the tile wall, revealing an ad for the Red Bull Music Festival beneath it. He confirmed the ad was installed illegally.

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Five Injured After MTA Bus Crashes Into Washington Heights Pizzeria

Image via NY Scanner
An out-of-service northbound M5 MTA bus crashed into a pizza parlor in Washington Heights this morning, injuring at least five people, including the bus driver. The accident occurred around 7:45 a.m. at Broadway and 154th Street; the photo you see above was taken by the NY Scanner Twitter account after the FDNY arrived on the scene.

You might also notice a very battered-looking minivan in front of the bus. ABC News reports that witnesses saw the minivan try to cut the bus off, leading to the crash. Never try to cut off a bus, guys.

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