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February 12, 2015

Image,_Move_NY_Plan,_TollsCongestion Pricing for anyone driving in NYC is back on the table. With the removal of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the MTA’s $15 billion capital-plan deficit, Sam Schwartz’s Move NY plan could fix both congestion and the deficit.

Move NY Plan’s premise is to increase costs of driving into Manhattan where there are good public transport options, and reduce the costs where there are limited public transportation options. As a result, the flow of traffic gets spread around the various NYC bridge and tunnel crossings.

HIGHLIGHTS OF MOVE NY PLAN

  • East River bridges — implement tolls of $5.54 for E-ZPass users, $8 for others on the Queensborough/Koch Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge.
  • Crossing below 60th Street in Manhattan — implement toll of $5.54 for E-ZPass users, $8 for others.
  • Outer Borough Bridges — reduce tolls from $5 to $2.50
  • Off Peak Hours — lower toll rates
  • NYC Taxis and app-based services — implement a surcharge based on a distance entered below 96th St in Manhattan.

BENEFITS OF MOVE NY PLAN Read more…

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Is free parking really not free at all? If you believe the theory of Geof Glass, a Ph.D. student at Simon Frasier University, we’re all indirectly paying for free parking when we shop at nearby stores.

Glass’ hypothesis is that the cost of free parking is built into the retail store or restaurant’s overhead, and is then passed on to the consumer as part of the cost of items sold. Glass refers to this as an ‘invisible sales tax’ of about 1%.

According to The Washington Post, Glass estimates that rents account for 10% of a retailer’s overall cost, and parking accounts for about 10% of rent, giving a cost of 1% for parking. That retailer then passes that 1% on to consumers.

Glass believes that since governments require developer to building parking, it’s the same effect as if consumers paid a tax and then the government built the parking.

The Post’s article points out that  ‘This is a very simple calculation, and it doesn’t take into account for example the fact that rents are also determined by many factors beyond the cost of constructing a building (like the sudden popularity of its location). It also doesn’t consider that retailers set prices with many other factors in mind beyond fixed costs (like the desire by, say, CVS, to standardize prices across locations).’

The main takeaway from the article is that if you don’t drive, you’re essentially subsidizing drivers, since you’re paying that extra 1% to retailers and not getting the benefit of that 1%. It’s analogous to people who don’t use NYC subways or buses subsidizing those who do use public transportation through the portion of the Highway Trust Fund that covers mass transit. And it’s the same for single people or families who send their children to private school still paying school taxes.

Filed under: Buses,Driving & Traffic News,Parking News,Subways — Tags: , — mtohn @ 11:01 am
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December 20, 2013

NYC Wayfinding_Signs_12-13

It’s with great joy that I welcome Walk NYC, NYC”s latest signage, which clearly shows streets, landmarks, NYC subways, WiFi hotspots, and neighborhood names.

Walk NYC’s signs meet some of the challenges of navigating our great city:

Everyone is going in a different direction, at a different pace. Some of us are in a hurry, some are walking at an excruciatingly slow tourist pace, some are heading towards a specific place, some are simply walking as the stores beckon us. Some of use want a subway, some want to walk, some want a CitiBike, some want a NYC taxi. This is so different from typical wayfinding challenges, like airports and hotels, where most people are entering and exiting from core places and at the same general pace. But in NYC, we’re all headed somewhere else.

I know more than you know.  A local may be looking for a specific address or cross-street, whereas a tourist might just be trying to figure out Read more…

Filed under: Bicycles,Buses,Getting Around NYC,Subways,Taxis — Tags: , — mtohn @ 1:03 pm
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December 16, 2013

With Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio trying to improve daily life for NYC residents, Crain’s New York Business has gathered a list of ways to make getting around NYC easier. Here are some ideas for walking, NYC driving, NYC parking, subways, buses, ferries, deliveries, pay by phone, NYC Muni-Meters, bike lanes, and pedestrian plazas:

NYC Parking Ideas

Text to pay NYC Muni meters. Allow drivers to register a credit card with the city, text the number of the Muni meter to register their location, and pay the NYC parking fare, says Michael Woloz, a lobbyist for the taxi industry. No more fumbling for change, running out to feed the meter or waiting for approval in the freezing cold.

Neighborhood parking permits. Residents would pay an annual fee to park in their neighborhood. Everyone else would pay a metered or daily rate.

NYC Driving Ideas

Give NYC control of all the roads within the five boroughs. Read more…

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November 27, 2013

The NYC Gridlock Alert Days for 2013 are:

  • Wednesday, November 27
  • Wednesday, December 4
  • Friday, December 6
  • Thursday, December 12
  • Friday, December 13
  • Wednesday, December 18
  • Thursday, December 19
  • Friday, December 20

You know the drill:

  • Avoid driving in Midtown NYC
  • Take NYC subways or NYC buses
  • Walk
  • If you do drive, park in a NYC Parking Garage — avoid traffic, avoid a NYC parking ticket, avoid a headache
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March 5, 2013

Yep, new fares for NYC buses, NYC subways, Metro-North Railroad, LIRR Railroad, and NYC bridges and tunnels.

Effective March 3, 2013:

NYC Subway & NYC Bus

  • Base Single Ride Fare: Increase from $2.25 to $2.50 → $.25 increase
  • Single Ticket Fare: Increase from $2.50 to $2.75 → $.25 increase (Sold at vending machines only. Must be used within 2 hours, no transfers included)
  • Monthly MetroCard/30-Day Unlimited: Increase from $104 to $112 → 7.7% or $8 increase
  • 7-Day Unlimited: $30.00
  • 7-Day Express Bus Plus: $55.00
  • Express Bus: $6.00
  • Fee to Purchase New MetroCard $1, so save those used or expired NYC MetroCards and exchange them for a new one! Fee applies to each new MetroCard purchased at station booth, vending machine or commuter rail station.
  • Pay Per Ride Bonus: An additional 5% is added to your MetroCard with the purchase or addition of $5 or more.

Effective March 1, 2013, fares and tolls are also increased for these NYC bridges and tunnels: Read more…

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February 21, 2013

Image,_MTA_MetroCard,_New_Design_Front_&_Back_2-20-13.JPGWe posted about NYC MetroCards sporting advertising in October 2012, and we just saw our first NYC Subway MetroCard with the ads. .

This NYC MetroCard’s ad is for audible.com, which lets you read science fiction novels on your smartphone, and suggests you download a free audiobook at audible.com/NYSubway.

I have to say, at first the green card was a bit confusing. I couldn’t figure out which was the front of the card and how to swipe it at the NYC subway turnstile — this card doesn’t have the arrows showing you how to swipe or insert the MetroCard into the reader. But after a few trips, I got the hang of it.

Filed under: Buses,MTA MetroCard,Subways — Tags: , , — mtohn @ 12:41 pm
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January 23, 2013

NYC bus MTA busI wasn’t a fan of the NYC Select Service Bus concept at first, but now I’m a die-hard fan. These NYC buses are faster to load and unload passengers, and travel faster because of dedicated bus lanes and limited stops.

I regularly get on the Select Service Bus on a block where there is also a Local Bus stop, and sometimes I decide which bus to take as it arrives. You can pay for the Local Bus as you board, but you have to pre-pay for the Select Service Bus using machines on the curb before boarding. That’s what makes the boarding process so much faster.

I know which bus is coming because the Select Buses have flashing blue lights. But last night, Read more…

Filed under: Buses — Tags: , , — mtohn @ 5:06 pm
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December 25, 2012

NYC bus MTA busWe’ve posted about this before and now it’s been confirmed.

Fares for NYC buses and NYC subways will increase effective March 3, 2013. 

NYC Subway & NYC Bus

  • Base Single Ride Fare: Increase from $2.25 to $2.50 → $.25 increase
  • Single Ticket Fare: Increase from $2.50 to $2.75 → $.25 increase (Sold at vending machines only. Must be used within 2 hours, no transfers included)
  • Monthly MetroCard/30-Day Unlimited: Increase from $104 to $112 → 7.7% or $8 increase
  • 7-Day Unlimited: $30.00
  • 7-Day Express Bus Plus: $55.00
  • Express Bus: $6.00
  • Fee to Purchase New MetroCard $1, so save those used or expired NYC MetroCards and exchange them for a new one! Fee applies to each new MetroCard purchased at station booth, vending machine or commuter rail station.
  • Pay Per Ride Bonus: An additional 5% is added to your MetroCard with the purchase or addition of $5 or more.

Effective March 1, 2013, fares and tolls are also increased for these NYC bridges and tunnels:

Long Island Rail Road (LIRR)

  • Increase of approximately 9%

Metro-North Rail

  • Increase of approximately 9%
Whitestone Bridge, Queens Midtown Tunnel, Triboro RFK Bridge
  • One-Way Cash Fare: Increase from $6.50 to $7.50 → $1.00 or 15% increase
  • One-Way E-ZPass Fare: Increase from $4.80 to $5.33 → $.53 or 11% increase

Henry Hudson Bridge

  • One-Way Cash Fare: Increase from $4.00 to $5.00 → $1.00 or 25% increase
  • One-Way E-ZPass Fare: Increase from $2.20 to $2.44 → $.24 or 11% increase
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
  • One-Way Cash Fare: New fare is $15.00
  • One-Way E-ZPass Fare: New fare is 10.66

These increases should generate an additional $450 million annually.

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The NYC MTA has been testing ‘countdown clocks’ on NYC bus shelters so riders can see the arrival time for the next bus. These digital clocks will post status such as ‘Due’ or ‘8 Min’. Unfortunately, the MTA is discontinuing these Countdown Clocks because of high costs and the clocks not being accurate.

Instead, NYC bus riders will use ‘Bus Time’, a mobile app and computer program that will let you track the NYC buses and know where they are. You won’t be able to get an estimate of when your bus will arrive, but I supposed you could guess based on where the bus is and how fast or slow it’s moving.

Bus Time is supposed to be available by the end of 2012. Only 6 days left…

Filed under: Buses — Tags: , , — mtohn @ 2:57 pm
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