New Jersey Transit Commuters Ask: Who Moved My Chair?

Categories: Transportation

Village Voice photo
Relocated: your poor, tired ass. Believe it or not, Penn Station just got even more uncomfortable!
Commuting by train is one of life's great joys, someone said never, but there are little perks that help ease the burden: A cup of hot coffee helps, and a newspaper or book to pass the time. And, while you're waiting, a place to sit down.

For those who must avail themselves of New Jersey Transit out of New York's Penn Station, that last modicum of creature comfort and human dignity vanished without explanation earlier this month. Adding insult to, well, insult, the extraction — which removed every single seating surface on the terminal's main concourse — took place not long after the transportation agency announced proposed fare hikes that would add nearly 10 percent to the average straphanger's daily outlay.

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The MTA's Etiquette Campaign Is Back and This Time Takes Aim at Bridge-and-Tunnelers

Courtesy of the MTA
Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road riders, be on alert: If resting your feet on the seat in front of you is your thing, your world is about to crumble.

On the strength of its successful subway etiquette campaign, which launched earlier this year, the MTA is now trying to improve the commuting experience for the 576,000 Metro-North and LIRR riders who, as it turns out, can be just as selfish and awful as the rest of us. MTA officials have announced an extension of the Courtesy Counts campaign — which we're all familiar with thanks to the ubiquitous subway placards that taught us to, among other things, stop spreading our legs when we sit and hogging the poles when we stand. The now-famous red and green stick figures that were the stars of the campaign will now be making their way to Long Island and Poughkeepsie. Only this time, there's a whole new set of rules.

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Delta Flight 1086 Skids Off Runway and Into a Fence at LaGuardia

Delta Flight 1086 from Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to LaGuardia skidded off Runway 13 this snowy morning shortly after landing, but its 127 passengers and 5 crew members were not seriously injured. Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board will look into the cause of the crash, which occurred near the end of the 7,000-foot runway. According to FlightAware, the McDonnell Douglas MD-88 departed Atlanta at 9:23 a.m. and landed at 10:56 a.m.

Nine minutes later, it skidded, crashed into a berm, and stopped at a fence on the edge of Flushing Bay.

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Your Vacation From Alternate-Side Parking Rules May Be About to End

Jack Buehrer, the Village Voice
These cars will probably soon be required to move. But not yet.
Today, New Yorkers with cars will go through the now-familiar process of not getting in their cars, not pulling them over to the opposite side of the street to double-park, not waiting with their vehicles long after the city sanitation trucks have passed (for fear of parking too early and getting a ticket), and then not struggling to find a new parking spot when the chaos has finally subsided.

That's because New York City's alternate-side parking rules, which require drivers to move their cars so sanitation trucks can clean the streets, are suspended. Again. But with warmer temperatures (and even some sun!) being forecast for later this week, you might want to go fire up your engine just to make sure you're ready when the time comes to renew this frustrating ritual.

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How Is Austin a Better 'Car-Free' City Than New York?

Categories: Transportation

Photo credit: eastmidtown via Compfight cc
Is it possible that New York isn't really as great as it thinks it is?

A new study conducted jointly by two progressive groups found that New York City — our New York City, the city with the highest percentage of residents who don't own a car — is falling behind on "car-free tech."

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NYC Taxi App Designed to Compete With Uber Has Unlikely Support From Rideshare Advocate

Categories: Transportation

Photo credit: Ian Muttoo via Compfight cc
Councilman Ben Kallos wants to bring a new cab-hailing app to NYC.

When City Councilman Ben Kallos proposed a taxi-hailing app that would allow New Yorkers to summon yellow and green cabs from their phones, he hoped to help city-licensed taxis compete in a market increasingly impinged upon by ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft.

Ironically, his plan already has the support of at least one rideshare start-up, and it's the city's biggest cab drivers union, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, that remains lukewarm on the proposal.

See also:
How Some Illegal Taxi Drivers Are Fighting Back Against the Green Cab Program

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You'll Never Guess What TSA Inspectors Confiscated at NYC Airports in 2014

Courtesy of the Transportation Security Administration
For some reason, a traveler tried to carry this sickle in his carry-on bag at Newark Liberty Airport.

From expandable batons and "sword canes" to gun parts and a really terrifying-looking sickle, New York and New Jersey's Transportation Security Administration inspectors have made some interesting finds over the past year. While, thankfully, none of the region's three major airports are listed on the TSA's list of top airports for gun seizures, travelers in the area still managed to keep inspectors busy.

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Two New Yorkers Re-Create MTA's Etiquette Campaign Ads in New Video

Screenshot from CJ Koegel's YouTube
Enter Mr. Do and Mr. Don't.

By now we've all heard about the new subway etiquette placards the Metropolitan Transportation Authority rolled out earlier this month. As part of a new campaign focused on improving quality of life for all commuters, the signs are designed to dissuade riders — via colorful, faceless, stick-figure renderings — from participating in a number of new "don'ts," including pole-dancing, manspreading, and grooming. Since the campaign was launched in December 2014, the ads have received considerable attention in the media — and now two New Yorkers have taken it upon themselves to bring them to life.

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Latest MTA Campaign Takes Aim at 'Showtime' Pole-Dancers

Screenshot from MindlezzThoughtz II's YouTube

"What time is it? Showtime!"

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Overheard Quotes and More From No Pants Subway Ride 2015

Courtesy of Rob Menzer for the Village Voice
Would you join in next year?
"What's going on?"

"They are going to catch a cold."

"Mum? Mum? Underwear [points and giggles]. No pants."

"It's for some type of fraternity. What else would make you humiliate yourself like that?"

"Only in New York!"

You might think there's not enough Purell in the universe to get you to sit pantless in a New York City train, but about 3,000 participants in the city's annual No Pants Subway Ride did just that on Sunday. Hosted by the self-described "prank collective" Improv Everywhere, the event attracted participants as old as 80 and as young as 19 to brave the 37-degree weather in their skivvies. This year the pantless riders assembled at seven points across the city, from Williamsburg to Astoria, before converging at the 14th Street Union Square station.

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