Archive for December, 2008

cool Montreal subway photos

Monday, December 29th, 2008


I like these photos.

New R-160 trains go into service on the (E) line

Monday, December 22nd, 2008


The (E) subway line received its first set of the new R-160 class subway cars over the weekend, and it went into revenue service this morning on the 7:03+ AM train out of Jamaica Center / Parsons Archer. It is scheduled to make several more round trips today and later tonight.


The (E) line joins the other lines which have run, or are currently running, this new class of subway cars since they passed their 30-day tests, including the (N), (Q), (W), (J), (M), (Z), and (L).


The arrival of the R-160 subway cars on the (E), in combination with ongoing shifts in car assignments as certain cars are retired,  will likely mean fewer of the older R-32 class subway cars (see below) on the (E) in the upcoming days and weeks.


A better response from the MTA concerning the window ads

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

For those of you just joining us, I wrote the MTA last night to complain about ads covering the subway car windows, and I received a less than satisfactory response. I wrote to them again this afternoon, and have now received a reply to that second inquiry:

This is in response to your most recent e-mail to New York City Transit regarding advertisements on subway car windows.

We regret any inconvenience.  Please be assured that we have forwarded your comments to supervision in our Department of Subways for their review.   If you have other transit-related concerns, you may call Customer Services at (718) 330-3322, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or write to NYCT Customer Services, New York City Transit, 2 Broadway, Room A11.146, New York, NY 10004.

Thank you for taking the time to write.

I’m in! My complaint will now be sent on to the next level of review, and hopefully in 4 to 6 weeks I’ll receive a response worth sharing with all you. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to email the MTA, like I did, and make your voices heard on this issue. NO WINDOW ADS!


The MTA’s response to my complaint about the subway car window ads

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

I received a response from the MTA regarding my complaint about the new ads covering subway car windows. Way to totally miss the point of my letter, mr. customer service rep…

This is in response to your recent e-mail to MTA New York City Transit regarding the advertising on our trains.

Please be aware that CBS Outdoor handles the advertising space in our subway system.  You may contact CBS Outdoor at (212) 297-6400 with regard to your complaint.  Their address is 405 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10174.

We hope that this information has been helpful and thank you for taking the time to contact us.

It seems the customer service rep thinks I’m complaining about the content of the ads, for which contacting CBS Outdoor would be the correct course of action. However, I was clearly complaining about the placement of the ads, something that I’m strongly inclined to believe the MTA / NYCT had to approve before CBS Outdoor could implement.  I’ll have to write to them AGAIN…

trucks getting stuck under the elevated (1) tracks in the bronx

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008


I caught two trucks scraping the bottom of the elevated steel structure carrying the (1) train’s tracks in the Bronx in two days! The first was last night. It looks like a moving truck (tractor trailer) scraped the el just south of 231 St, and then he was backed down Broadway to get out of the mess. He may have also bent a sign. The second was this morning, along the same section of Broadway. A tractor pulling a White Rose trailer somehow ended up in the northbound parking lane of Broadway, while facing south! Not to mention that he drove OVER the new raised concrete pedestrian refuge area adjacent to the Bx9 bus stop. And in the process, he tore up part of the roof of the trailer.

Ads covering subway car windows

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008


I just stumbled upon some most alarming information. It seems New York City Transit has started placing ads right on top of subway cars windows. I immediately fired off a letter of complaint to the MTA, which explains why I believe these ads are a very bad idea. You can read my letter below.

I was at the 14 St – 8 Av station this evening when I saw an (A) train come in with Coca-Cola ads covering the windows of approximately every other car of the train. I was quite appalled by this.

I didn’t get on the train, but I assume that these ads are similar the wraps that cover the windows of buses. That is, they have tiny holes in the ad that supposedly make it so that people inside the vehicle can still see out. Well I dislike those wraps immensely, as outward visibility is significantly reduced in outdoor lighting, and severely reduced to totally eliminated at night or in low lighting.

The point of windows are to look through (both in and out), not to cover. I recognize that there is value in covering the windows with ads – you get advertising revenue. However, I believe that there are better reasons NOT to cover the windows with ads, and thus you should instead try to earn the advertising revenue with ads on other (non-transparent) parts of the cars.

Advertising can and should be placed on the car body, and not on the windows. I ask that you reconsider the decision to cover them. People look out the window for many reasons, including to sight-see, to see what station they are at, and just to pass the time. They should not have to have their visibility compromised because of advertising.

And people all the time look in to the cars, through the windows, to see how crowded the cars are. If they see a crowded car, they know to move down to another door or another car. If they can’t see that until the doors open because the windows are covered, then there will be additional boarding delays.

Furthermore, having the windows covered prevents people outside the cars from seeing in (I could not see in to the car), and that could be a security risk.

Again, I do not like these ads covering the windows, and I doubt many people will like them. Please consider removing them immediately and replacing them with ads on the metal car bodies. The exterior “stripe” ads (History Channel and Monroe College) on the cars on the (1) and (3) lines are quite harmless and an excellent idea. Something similar to that could possibly replace the window ads on the (A) train cars.

Thank you.

‘Train Dude’, an NYCT supervisor at one of the yards these trains are stored and maintained, posted on an online forum that the NYPD approved these ads – in other words, they don’t think there is any security risk from not being able to see into the cars.

Here are two more photos I took showing exactly what is going on with these ads, which are for Coca-Cola.

Update #1: The MTA sends me a ridiculous response to my complaint email.

Update #2: After I write to the MTA again, they agree to forward my complaint to the Department of Subways.

Seatless subway cars in Boston, then NYC

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Boston just took out the seats in two cars of one Red line subway train. The article also states that NYC Transit plans on removing the seats from four of the cars of rush hour subway trains. While four of eight cars seems unlikely, four of ten cars makes more sense, and thus 40% would probably be as high as I’d like to see.

MTA NYC Transit Bus Operator Killed in Line of Duty

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008



MTA NYC Transit Bus Operator Killed
in Line of Duty

MTA NYC Transit Bus Operator Edwin Thomas, 46, was stabbed to death on Monday, December 1st during a dispute with a customer onboard his B46 bus. The incident, which occurred at the intersection of Gates Avenue and Malcom X Boulevard in Brooklyn was reported at 12:32 p.m.  Thomas was transported by Emergency Medical Services to Woodhull Hospital where he expired, despite the heroic efforts of paramedics on the scene and medical staff at Woodhull Hospital led by Dr. Maurice Wright, Chairman of the Emergency Department.

 Elliot G. Sander, MTA Executive Director and CEO said: “Edwin Thomas’ death is a terrible loss for the MTA, NYC Transit and all of New York.  Mr. Thomas was a dedicated bus operator, husband and father who was tragically killed serving the public on his B46 bus route in Brooklyn. The MTA is working closely with the NYPD and the Brooklyn District Attorney to ensure that Mr. Thomas’ killer is brought to justice.”

 H. Dale Hemmerdinger, MTA Chairman: “Thousands of wonderful people work at the MTA, and it is a tragedy that one of them was lost in the line of duty today.  You never expect something like this to happen, but all of our employees put themselves at potential risk every day to serve New York.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Thomas’ family and friends at this tragic time.”

 A seven-year Transit veteran assigned to Flatbush Depot, Thomas was a valued employee and will be sorely missed by his co-workers.  “Dealing with the death of an employee is the most difficult task of any Transit manager and this is certainly no exception.  Bus Operator Thomas was killed in the line of duty, serving the people of New York City,” said NYC Transit President Howard H. Roberts, Jr.  “I speak for the whole of NYC Transit in offering my deepest sympathies to his family.”

 The last bus operator slain in the line of duty was Harvey Schield in 1981. He was killed while operating a B44 bus at Avenue Z and Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn. Mindful of the dangers bus operators face MTA NYC Transit works closely with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office on it’s Assault on Transit Workers Program. This initiative is designed to ensure that assaults on MTA NYC Transit workers such as bus operators, train operators and conductors will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Vintage buses to run today on the M23 and M8

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Vintage New York City Transit buses from the museum fleet are scheduled to be running this afternoon starting at 2:30 PM on the M23 and M8 routes. They will also be running every weekday for the rest of the month, except during bad weather. They will be rotating among the M8, M14, M20, M23, M34, M42, M57, M79 and Q32 routes. But with only a maximum of five vintage buses in service at any one time, and possible less, it may be hard to find them.