October 30, 2011

If you’ve taken the NYC subway on a weekend in the last six months, we applaud your efforts for braving the hundreds of route and time changes due to maintenance and hope you actually got where you were going, when you wanted to get there.

Even during the weekdays, the NYC subway system is a labyrinth of passages, platforms, signs, inaudible announcements, and confusing maps. The MTA is testing out a new ‘way finding’ system of maps in some of the stations, and a NYC design firm recently presented its design to improve the NYC subway maps and announcements.

According to FastCoDesign, the design firm, Original Champions of Design (OCD), has three initiatives:

Digital Signboards would be at every station to give updates on route and schedule changes, real-time. Read more…

Filed under: Subways — Tags: , , — mtohn @ 10:44 am
October 29, 2011

In August 2011, we told you that the MTA was planning to provide cell phone service in some of the NYC subway platforms and stairwells. And as of October 2011, it happened.

As you’re waiting on these platforms, you’ll now be able to call to say you’re on your way to that meeting or dinner date:

F/M and L platforms on 14th St. and Sixth Ave.,
1/2/3 platform at 14th St. and Seventh Ave.,
L and A/C/E/ platforms at 14th St. and Eighth Ave., and Read more…
Filed under: Subways — Tags: , — mtohn @ 10:10 am
October 27, 2011

Are you happier riding the NYC subways and NYC buses than you were last year? That’s what the annual MTA Customer Satisfaction Survey sets out to determine. Based on surveys from June 2011, customer satisfaction with NYC subways and NYC buses service increased over last year.

How did the Subways Do?

  • 84% of subway customers reported being satisfied with the overall comfort and convenience of using the subway, up six percentage points from last year. Satisfaction with temperatures onboard trains increased five percentage points to 84%.
  • Countdown clocks appear to be having a positive impact on the overall customer experience. Customers using stations with countdown clocks rated 54 attributes more highly than customers at stations without the clocks. 96% of customers reported being satisfied with the clocks themselves.
  • Customer satisfaction with information about planned service changes increased to 76% this year from 69% a year ago.
  • Ratings for six of the eight major categories increased significantly: comfort and convenience, safety and security, service reliability, service frequency, cleanliness of subway cars, and information and communications aboard trains.

And What about the Buses? Read more…

Filed under: Buses,NYC Public Transportation,Subways — Tags: , , — mtohn @ 10:03 am

Jay Walder signed a 6 year contract to be the Chairman of NYC’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) but resigned after just two years to exponentially increase his salary and run an international transportation and development corporation in Hong Kong. Jay Walder had a tough two years dealing with the Second Avenue Subway, more than one fare and toll hike, the 60 MTA unions (yes, 60!), lower revenue due to people losing jobs, and interest payments on debt from the MTA’s capital plan.

The new MTA Chairman is Joseph Lhota. Who is Lhota?

  • Lohta is a former investment banker who specialized in public finance,
  • He worked for former Mayor Rudy Guiliani’s as Budget Director and and served as Deputy Mayor of Operations looking after NYC’s Department of Transportation from 1998 to 2001, Read more…
Filed under: Buses,NYC Public Transportation,Subways — Tags: , , , — mtohn @ 7:06 am
September 28, 2011

New York City and traffic … They’re virtually synonymous! If you drive in the city, then you most likely spend a fair amount of time stuck in traffic. Sure, you could do all your driving at 3 a.m. to totally avoid getting caught in delays, or you can just do these simple things you can do to help avoid NYC traffic.

This Guest Blog comes to us from Bernie Wagenblast, who has been involved with NYC traffic and transit for over 30 years. He was one of the original Shadow Traffic reporters in 1979 and currently is heard on weekends on 1010 WINS. Sign up for Bernie’s newsletter here.

1) Call 5-1-1- to Check the Road Conditions Before you Leave

You know about 9-1-1 and 3-1-1, but did you know there’s also a free number you can dial from your cellphone or landline to get real-time NYC traffic and transit information? The automated system, operated by the New York State Department of Transportation, lets you say the borough or roadway you want information on. Then you’ll hear alerts about Read more…

September 14, 2011

So you have your spiffy new EZ Pass from NJ and you fly through the toll for any of these bridges or tunnels, only to get your EZ Pass statement and see that you’ve been charged the Cash toll rate.

  • Bronx – Whitestone Bridge
  • Brooklyn Battery Tunnel
  • Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge
  • Henry Hudson Bridge (No trucks permitted)
  • Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges
  • Memorial Bridge
  • Queens Midtown Tunnel
  • Triboro RFK Bridge
  • Throgs Neck Bridge
  • Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

What happened?

Because you bought your EZ Pass tag from a New Jersey Customer Service Center, you are paying the Cash toll rate  instead of the EZ Pass rate.

Yes, this is true.

The MTA, which manages the Bronx Whitestone, Throgs Neck and Triboro RFK bridges, Brooklyn-Battery and Queens-Midtown tunnels, anticipates an additional $33 million from this change in 2011.


August 12, 2011

MTA logoFor some, it’s a dream come true. For others, it’s their worst nightmare.  What is it?  Being able to use your cell-phone and access the internet while riding the NYC subway.

This project has been in the works since 2007, but just got the go-ahead.

By the end of 2011, you’ll be able to use your phones on the platforms, stairs, and mezzanines of these Manhattan NYC subway stations: Read more…

Filed under: Subways — Tags: , , — mtohn @ 1:48 pm
August 10, 2011

image_ez_pass1Let’s say someone steals, or you lose, your EZ Pass. Are you liable for any charges put on it?

You bet.

According to AAA magazine, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Transportation Agency (MTA) says that “The E-ZPass is assigned to an account, not to a vehicle.”

If you lose your E-ZPass, or it’s stolen, you need to contact E-ZPass Customer Service right away:

E-ZPass NY — www.e-zpassny.com, 800 333 8655

E-ZPass NJ — www.ezpassnj.com, 888 288 6865

Report the loss quickly, because you’re responsible for any charges until its reported! And, it will cost you $23 to replace an interior version of the tag, and $33 for an exterior tag.

Filed under: E-Z Pass — Tags: , , , — mtohn @ 5:18 pm
July 12, 2011

MTA Subway Map, R LineIt happens to me often. I’m going to a new neighborhood and I’m not sure of the subway lines and stops, so I push aside the tourists and squint at the very confusing, and massive, NYC subway map on the train platform. Then the train comes, and I’m forced to figure it out once I’m aboard.

I know, I can use HopStop, which I do. But I have no sense of direction and still need to double-check where I’m going.

There may be a solution! NYC’s MTA is testing out some new NYC subway maps.

The maps are being tested on the 4, 5, and R lines. The signs are similar to what I’ve seen in South Korea and Taiwan — two to four feet high and they list only the stops ahead, rather than the stops on the entire line. If all goes well, the MTA will roll out the signs to the entire system.

Read the full article and see more signs in The New York Times City Room.

Filed under: Subways — Tags: , , — mtohn @ 7:31 pm
February 1, 2011

The MTA’s new Select Bus Service and other improvements have installed Bus Lanes to help increase travel speed for bus travelers. the Bus Lanes are painted a dark reddish-brown and you can be fined up to $150 if you’re found drivign in one of them when you shouldn’t be there. Bus Lanes have posted signs telling you when you can and can’t drive in the lane.

Here’s everything you need to know about the NYC Bus Lanes.

What’s the Fine? If you drive, park, or stand in a bus lane during hours of operation you face fines ranging from $115 to $150. The City enforces bus lanes in two ways: Read more…

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