The MTA Is Raking In Serious Cash From Your Wastefulness

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Wikimedia Commons
It's been almost exactly two months since the fare hike for our city's public transportation went into full effect. Overnight, straphangers' wallets were a little heavier, facing a permanent $2.50 per ride fee as well as bumped-up prices for weeklies and monthlies. And presumably, no one was happy.

But there was another roadblock we'd now have to face collectively as commuters: a $1 fee if we decided to buy a new MetroCard instead of replenishing the value on our old one.

Naturally, it's a pain for those who've lost their golden tickets but the measure was an incentive snuck into the fare hike to discourage New Yorkers from wasting plastic (by the thousands). You would think we'd think twice about tossing our MetroCards into the trash once their lives ended. Turns out we didn't... and now the MTA is making much more money than expected from the tiny provision.

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It's Confirmed: NYC's Bike Share Program Will Start On Memorial Day

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Sam Levin
We remember when it was supposed to be July 2012. Then we heard maybe it'd be March 2013. That didn't happen. Then the Department of Transportation released a map of where the 293 stations would be built. And we heard it would be some time in May. So we were kinda/sorta convinced: New York City's bike share program - the largest of its kind - would become a reality in our lifetime.

Now, we have ourselves an official release date: Memorial Day.

We checked our calendars: that's only three weeks from now. The three-day weekend just got that much more cherish-able.

On that day, thousands of CitiBikes will be rolled out onto the streets, occupying the empty stations that have already been spotted all over Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. And it looks like the Tourists Gone Wild criticism isn't stopping anyone: according to a DOT press release yesterday, eight thousand people have already signed up to flex their pedals come Memorial Day. Good luck getting to the barbecue.

But, seriously, the bike share program is real now. Ride accordingly.

[jsurico15@gmail.com][@JohnSurico]

Boston Shutdown Snarls Penn Station

Categories: Transportation

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Robert Sietsema
With Boston in a full lock-down due to the ongoing manhunt for the surviving suspect in Monday's marathon bombings, travelers throughout the northeast found themselves facing delays and cancellations today.

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The CitiBike Program to Arrive Sometime in May

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Now that we have a map of stations and a confirmation from the Department of Transportation that absolute tourist mayhem won't break out, it looks like we finally are seeing this CitiBike program come into fruition with a definite arrival date.

Janette Sadik-Khan, DOT commissioner, told reporters at a press conference in DUMBO yesterday that the initiative would begin "in May," just in time for summer. She was unable to give an exact date, emphasizing that the fact that this project was developed in less than three years is more than enough reason for everyone to calm down.

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New G Train Ridership Stats Prove Why a Full Line Review Is Needed ASAP

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A few months ago, we learned that the MTA would bow to the demands of everyone and finally take a look at the dreaded G train. You know, the Crosstown Express, the green one, the one that comes whenever the hell it wants. A full line review and decision will come in July and, if yesterday's news is any sign, there's no better time for this subway to get a makeover.

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DOT Spokesperson Tells City Not to Worry About CitiBike Riders "Doing Crazy Stuff"

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The re-introduction of the CitiBike map two weeks ago hopefully reaffirmed the idea that we can start taking the bike share program seriously. We can move beyond questions of "When?" or "Where the hell is it?" and start asking "What will happen now?"

The city is unloading hundreds, if not thousands, of bikes onto the streets of New York--and, presumably, a fair share of them will be ridden by tourists. These outsiders don't know the rules of the road; imagine throwing a family of five from Armenia or Morocco on a set of wheels and have them fly down First Avenue during rush hour. This sudden spike in cyclists provides an immediate threat (a bit hyperbolic, maybe?) to pedestrians and police alike.

At least that's what you would think.

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The New "On the Go!" Digital Subway Maps Are a Tourist's Dream Come True

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Along with a subway death solution, a review of the G train and a whole slew of transportation inconveniences, the MTA needs a technological upgrade. Luckily, that'll be arriving shortly (the other issues, maybe not so soon).

Two summers ago, the agency installed several new kiosks at the subway stations in Bowling Green, Penn Station, Jackson Heights, and Barclays. These "On the Go! Travel Machines" are everything one could want if you're 1) not from New York; 2) drunk, lost and unable to understand the stationary subway map; 3) more of a cab person (you know who you are); 4) two or more of the above. They're basically a combination of HopStop and Yelp!--you can pinpoint an exact route and then see neighborhood/leisure prospects along the way.

And now these $15,000-a-pop machines are coming to a station (77 of them, to be exact) hopefully near you. Hit the jump to see where.

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The CitiBike Program Has a New Map So Maybe It Is Really Happening

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Department of Transportation
We haven't forgotten about the CitiBike plan. Even after it got delayed once (thanks computer glitches). And then again (thanks, Sandy). Now, the expected release date is this July for New York's first citywide bike share--a program that Mayor Bloomberg is still whatever about.

Keyword: expected. But, with this new map of detailed locations (seen above) in hand, maybe this is the real thing.

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What Should the MTA Do With $30 Million From Albany?

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We all know the MTA's wallets are running thin, even amid record-high ridership. The recent fare hike and the fact that major project proposals are tripping over price tags are more than enough indication that the authority is handling the city's transportation on a slim budget.

So the news of a major cash injection from Governor Cuomo couldn't come sooner.

Yesterday, the Albany chieftain announced that the MTA would be getting $40 million more than it requested in state funds. In total, this fiscal year is witnessing an increase in transit aid across the state by about $360 million; most of which has come from the toll hike that has taken effect.

With that money, the MTA is proposing to set up a fund to better serve customers with all this new cash. The coming changes will not be released until July, when the agency releases its official budget. But, until then, we can speculate just what exactly the MTA should be working on to make sure the lives of New Yorkers are a bit less frantic.

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Tags:

MTA, subways

An Express F Train May Be in the Near Future for Brooklyn

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In August 2012, the Straphangers Campaign gave the F train a $1.40 grade, which is basically a B+ or a C-. The score was given based on cleanliness, breakdowns, and service--and, for the F train, this grade is generous. The line between Culver and Jamaica-179th Street is known for its long waits; if you decide to take it after midnight, best of luck to you.

But there is hope on the horizon for disgruntled commuters.

Yesterday, at a City Council budget hearing, the New York City Office of Management and Budget announced that the MTA will be conducting a review of the F train this summer once work is finished on the Culver Viaduct. The inspection could result in good news for all--an express F in Brooklyn; something that hasn't happened since 1987.

Except the proposal might not be as great as it sounds. The F train has a limited amount of trains on its line--hence the delays--so if it does become express, the trains will be distributed to either local or express routes. Also, the stops that used to be on the express line aren't exactly the most used ones. Obviously, much has changed in South Brooklyn in the past 26 years.

Oh, and the MTA doesn't have that much money. But we already know that.

But the news comes right after we heard the G train is getting its full line review as well. So we're keeping our fingers crossed.

[jsurico15@gmail.com/@JSuricz]

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