Showing posts with label MTA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MTA. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Lean on me

EVG contributor Stacie Joy noticed the arrival of a new leaning bar at the M9 stop on Avenue C and Sixth Street...
These have been in circulation citywide, dating to at least 2016. Per the MTA, "Leaning bars offer a place to rest at bus stops while accommodating people who have difficulty sitting and standing up from a lower bench." 

We are trying to remember seeing any other leaning bars around the neighborhood. (They were promised with the new M14 SBS service.)

As Bloomberg noted in 2017 when they arrived at a few subway stations: "some New Yorkers saw the bar as the latest salvo in what could be called the 'War on Sitting.'"

Friday, January 20, 2023

This Avenue A bus stop will be closed for construction this weekend

Updated: Oh! This work is about replacing the transformer at the ConEd substation here. Oh! The 14A SBS stop on the east side of Avenue A between Fifth Street and Sixth Street will be "closed for construction" from, presumably, 12:01 a.m. Saturday to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. 

The abbreviations-heavy sign explains what bus-goers can do for service during this time. "Please use: 1st Ave. for W.B. service & Ave. C for E.B. PAT at RHE Temp. Locations." (Updated: I didn't even notice the 2003 the first time! 🙄)

And during this time, Avenue A will be closed to through traffic between Fourth Street and Seventh Street...
The updated Avenue A bus stop will include new amenities, including a wine cellar and a cigar humidor, pickleball court, a Tai Chi deck, and a spa with outdoor bath gardens, steam showers and treatment rooms.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Tuesday's parting shot

Photo by Stacie Joy 

Admiring this MTA employee's jacket along Avenue A...

Monday, September 27, 2021

Looking at the new mosaics inside the 1st Avenue L stop

Back on Thursday, the MTA unveiled a mosaic series by local artist Katherine Bradford throughout the First Avenue (and Avenue A!) L stop. 

Per the MTA: "Reflecting the community of people who use the 1 Av-14 St station, vibrant compositions totaling about 400 sq ft of glass mosaic ... are installed throughout the station."
Here's more via @mtaartsdesign:
The intriguing, ethereal figures seen in the mosaic panels represent the riders of the L train, which transports creative folk pursuing their dreams and the real-life heroes who provide essential services. 
In New York, these riders are dressed most often in black, which the artist believes is "merely a cloak over an inner life that is wildly colorful and unconventional." This group of figures expresses the energy of camaraderie when people are gathered together and inspires viewers to consider the outward expression of one’s own interior vivacity.
Artist Marcel Dzama created a series for the Bedford stop. This post at 6sqft has more photos of the mosaics at the First Avenue and Bedford stations.

Art pics via @mtaartsdesign

Monday, June 8, 2020

What's next for L-train work along 14th Street

Workers recently removed the partitions from the L train's north entrance on First Avenue at 14th Street... another sign of progress in the ongoing rehab of the stations and tunnels here.

In late April, Gov. Cuomo announced that the Sandy-damaged Canarsie tunnel rehabilitation phase was completed — reportedly several months ahead of schedule and less than $100 million as originally expected.

The MTA's L Project Monthly e-newsletter provided an update this past weekend about what to expect with the renovations along 14th Street this month as the city beings to reopen from the COVID-19 pandemic:

• First Avenue North: To be opened with temporary finishes. All other entrances will remain open for the time being. In the future, we will alternate closing them down to do final finishes

• New Avenue A entrances: Tile and mosaic work on columns will be underway

• Two street-to-platform elevators at Avenue A on the north and south sides of 14th Street: Glass installation is scheduled for both platform and street-level, followed by testing

• Street restoration along 14th Street: Lane striping and NYC DOT signage will be completed between First Avenue and Avenue B; new cobblestone will be installed in the median between Avenue A and Avenue B; part of the worksite will be consolidated in the median between Avenue A and Avenue B; traffic signal and street lights will be installed along 14th Street.

• Avenue B-area substation: Water and sewer taps will be installed, and the roadway there will be repaired

• New escalator at 14th Street-Union Square: Estimated completion is now scheduled for summer 2020 following contractor delays due to COVID-19.

Monday, February 24, 2020

[Updated] Report of a fatality at the Astor Place station

Several readers have passed along information that there are extensive delays on the 4, 5 and 6 trains this afternoon (as of 3:30 p.m.).

According to the MTA and various social media users, a man on the tracks was struck by a southbound 6 train at Astor Place around 3 p.m.

In an alert at 4:18 p.m., the MTA reported that service was resuming. However, the MTA says southbound 6 trains are skipping Astor Place as the NYPD and FDNY continue their investigation.

Will post more information as it becomes available.


Per the Post:

Monday’s victim was already on the roadbed in the East Village station when a southbound No. 6 train ran over him around 3 p.m., cops said. He was declared dead at the scene.

It was not immediately clear how the victim ended up in the tracks, police said.

A man was also struck by a train at Astor Place yesterday morning. He was walking along the tracks, according to published reports. He was expected to survive his injuries.

Updated 2/26

According to Gothamist, the victim was an 80-year-old man, who jumped on the tracks to retrieve an item he dropped.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

M15 Select Bus Service routes will soon carry surveillance camera to bust lane blockers

Don't stare at that GIF for too long!

Buses that service the East Village will be the first in the city to come equipped with surveillance cameras to keep drivers out of bus lanes.

Starting on Oct. 7, buses on the M15 SBS routes on First Avenue and Second Avenue will start using automated mobile camera systems "to capture real-time lane violations as part of citywide efforts to increase bus speeds and keep traffic moving on congested streets."

Details, per the MTA:

ABLE camera systems can capture evidence such as license plate information, photos and videos, as well location and timestamp information, of vehicles obstructing bus lanes to document clear cases of bus lane violation. The system collects multiple pieces of evidence to ensure that vehicles making permitted turns from bus lanes are not ticketed. This information will be transmitted to NYCDOT for review and processing, and the program will be administered in partnership with NYCDOT and the NYC Department of Finance.


Motorists who block bus lanes are first issued a warning with a 60-day grace period when no fines are assessed, beginning October 7. After the grace period ends, motorists who continue to block bus lanes will be subject to a fine of $50 for each violation, which also carries a $25 late fee.

The automated bus lane enforcement program is expected to expand to the B44 SBS and M14 SBS by the end of November. (The fine print: "The expansion to the M14 SBS is dependent upon the resolution of ongoing litigation.")

Monday, August 12, 2019

Report: 14th Street busway halted once again by last-minute appeal

And just when you thought the 14th Street busway was debuting today.

On Friday afternoon, a judge halted the city's plan to ban almost all cars on a portion of 14th Street between Third Avenue and Ninth Avenue, according to published reports. (NY1 had it first. Here's Gothamist's coverage.)

This marked the end of a chaotic busway week. A quickie recap: Last Tuesday, State Supreme Court Judge Eileen Rakower lifted a temporary injunction on the 14th Street busway, allowing the city to move forward with its plans.

In late June, right before the new busway was to launch on July 1, a coalition of block associations — repped by attorney Arthur Schwartz — filed a last-minute lawsuit to block the project, arguing that the city failed to complete the proper environmental review for the work.

On Friday afternoon, the city was out educating drivers on the changes that were to take effect today...

To Streetsblog:

The coalition of wealthy West Village and Chelsea landowners, who lost their court bid to stop the Busway on Tuesday afternoon filed a hurried appeal that was granted by the Appellate Division on Friday ...

According to the court papers, Schwartz’s plaintiffs, who are among the wealthiest people in the city, argued that Justice Eileen Rakower was wrong in allowing the Busway to proceed because the city did not actually take the required “hard look” at possible impacts of the car-free Busway that is necessary under state environmental law.

Transit champions were suitably outraged:

"For every day that the 14th Street busway is on hold, M14 rush hour commuters lose two weeks worth of time that they will never recover. Time wasted stuck behind cars in stalled traffic is time away from family, friends, work, and New York's civic life" — Riders Alliance spokesperson Danny Pearlstein

"This tiresome, tedious effort to circumvent the democratic process delays tangible improvements to the commutes of tens of thousands of working New Yorkers. It's despicable, and we're not going to accept it." — Thomas DeVito, senior director of advocacy at Transportation Alternatives

And per Streetsblog: "Schwartz was pleased. He said Friday’s ruling will delay the Busway for 'months' as the appeal is heard."

The busway aimed to help move people during the L-train slowdown. Private through-traffic would be banned between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. on 14th Street between Third Avenue and Ninth Avenue. Buses, trucks and emergency vehicles would be given priority in the center lanes between Third Avenue and Ninth Avenue. Cars would be allowed to make pickups and drop-offs as well as access local garages.

The neighborhood groups repped by Schwartz have argued that the city has not undertaken a sufficient environmental review of the vehicle restrictions, which they say would cause "horrific traffic jams" on residential side streets while contributing to more pollution.


Here's local City Councilmember Carlina Rivera's reaction to the news...

Thursday, August 8, 2019

New 14th Street busway regulations go into effect on Monday

[Click on image to go big]

On Tuesday, a judge lifted a temporary injunction on the 14th Street busway... and the city is quickly putting the new bus- and truck-only route into effect starting on Monday (Aug. 12).

Here's a quickie overview via the DOT:

6 a.m. to 10 p.m.: Buses and trucks only between Ninth Avenue and Third Avenue. All other vehicles may make local trips, but must turn at the next available right.

10 p.m. to 6 a.m.: All vehicles may make through trips along the corridor.

In late June, right before the new busway was to launch on July 1, a coalition of block associations filed a last-minute lawsuit to block the project, arguing that the city failed to complete the proper environmental review for the work.

However, State Supreme Court Judge Eileen Rakower stated on Tuesday that the city "went to great lengths to describe the consideration that went into the analysis, considering pedestrian deaths, dangerous intersections and not just the speed of the bus that is going to traverse 14th Street." (Quote via Gothamist.)

The busway was to coincide with the arrival of the new M14 Select Bus Service, which launched July 1 featuring off-board fare payments and all-door boarding... all in an effort to speed up the notoriously sluggish M14 line during the L-train slowdown.

Analysis from Transportation Alternatives and Riders Alliance found that rush-hour M14 bus riders spent a combined 8,654 additional hours commuting over the last month than would have been the case under the city’s plan to transform 14th Street into a busway.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Report: the M14A tops the slow-bus charts

The M14A, a familiar route for East Village residents that connects the LES to the West Village, was cited as having the slowest bus service in the city.

As amNY reports, the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign and TransitCenter announced today that the M14A is the recipient of the 2019 Pokey and Schleppie Awards, which highlight the slowest and least reliable bus service in the city.

Per amNY: "With an average speed of 4.3 miles per hour, the M14A moves slower than a manatee, which can glide through water at a crisp pace of 5 mph."

It's possible that those M14A times will speed up with the July 1 introduction of Select Bus Service along this route.

Monday, July 1, 2019

M14 SBS routes debut today; 14th Street busway now on hold

Starting today, the MTA is instituting Select Bus Service along the notoriously sluggish M14A and M14D lines, as we've been reporting.

So moving forward, passengers can enjoy all-door boarding and off-board fare payments. You've likely seen the new self-serve ticket kiosks along the route. The kiosks also provide handy beverage holders...

To also help speed up travel times, the MTA eliminated 16 stops (down from a proposed 22) along the M14A and M14D routes. You can visit this MTA site for the new route map and info on how to pay the fare on SBS routes.

Several stops along the route were also moved as a result of the cuts. For instance, the southbound M14A stop on the lower part of Avenue A is now directly in front of Boulton & Watt (the taxi relief stand relocated around the corner)...

And we've already heard from a few readers who pointed out that this stop might be a tight fit for passengers entering and exiting buses, having to navigate space with pedestrians as well Boulton & Watt sidewalk cafe patrons...

A little further north on Avenue A, the stop on the west side between Fifth Street and Sixth Street...

... is now between Fifth Street and Fourth Street...

[Photo from Saturday]

There wasn't any mention of this posted, and the city promptly ticketed all the vehicles parked here...

Meanwhile, the car-free busway set to debut today on 14th Street between Third Avenue and Ninth Avenue is now on hold.

Per Gothamist:

In a temporary restraining order issued on Friday, New York Supreme Court Justice Eileen Rakower ruled that the Department of Transportation had failed to provide sufficient evidence that the new street design did not warrant an environmental review.

The 18-month pilot program, which had broad support from transit advocates, would have restricted private through traffic in both directions between 3rd and 9th Avenues, with the goal of speeding up the notoriously slow 14th Street buses. Paired with the long-awaited arrival of Select Bus Service in the area, the city estimated that bus speeds would improve by as much as 30 percent for 27,000 daily riders.

Last week, the West Village and Chelsea block associations filed a lawsuit claiming that the vehicle restrictions would cause a nightmare of spillover traffic on side streets.

Arthur Schwartz, a frequent opponent of bus and bike lanes who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the community groups, told Gothamist on Friday that he was "feeling happy for my kids who aren't going to have traffic jams outside their windows every day, and for me. I guess my lungs matter too."

As the Post noted, transit advocates ridiculed Schwartz as an out-of-touch "wealthy property owner" who doesn't "understand the needs of the 27,000-plus people who take 14th Street buses each day."

“This sort of small-minded and self-interested behavior has degraded the public transit system to the sorry state it is in today,” said Transportation Alternatives Advocacy Director Tom Devito.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The 14th Street busway debuts on July 1

[EVG file photo]

The 14th Street busway launches July 1, the DOT said this week.

In April, the city announced that an "experimental new transit improvement" would take place early this summer to help move commuters in Manhattan during the L-train restoration.

Here's more on what to expect. Starting July 1, private through-traffic will be banned between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. on 14th Street between Third Avenue and Ninth Avenue. Buses, trucks and emergency vehicles will be given priority in the center lanes between Third Avenue and Ninth Avenue. Cars will be allowed to make pickups and drop-offs as well as access local garages.

And how will the city patrol all this?

Here's Curbed:

To enforce the busway, new cameras on the buses will issue tickets to those violating the street’s new restrictions. But drivers will be given warnings and tickets will not be issued until at least September...

The busway also harkens the arrival of the new M14 Select Bus Service, which features off-board fare payments and all-door boarding. To also help speed up travel times, the MTA is eliminating 16 stops (down from a proposed 22) along the M14A and M14D routes (but not without a fight from local elected officials and some residents who were upset about the loss of the stops).

Per amNY:

The current M14 A and M14 D routes have an average speed of about 3.8 miles per hours — just a bit faster than the average human walking speed of 3.1 miles per hour and much lower than the citywide bus average of 7.4 miles per hour.


[T]he MTA and city tout that SBS treatments work, improving travel time between 10% and 30%. Citywide SBS routes are about 27% faster than other local or limited-stop bus routes.

The city continues to install SBS ticking machines along the M14 routes, such as here on Avenue A between Houston and Second Street...

[Photo from June 7]

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

That roadwork on Avenue A this afternoon

There was quite a construction production this afternoon on Avenue A between 11th Street and 12th Street.

EVG regular Gojira passed along these shots of the work taking place for:

a) A new entrance for the L train
b) A moat for Steiner East Village
c) An SBS ticketing machine

The correct answer is C, though, given the amount of activity, A and B didn't seem implausible.

The MTA started installing SBS ticketing machines along the M14A/D routes back in April. That SBS service — with all-door boarding and pre-boarding payment — is expected to start this month.

Earlier in May, the MTA announced that it was axing several stops along the 14A and 14D to speed up service, especially during the current L-train slowdown.

Per Curbed:

The route, which is set to roll out in June, will nix 16 stops and add one instead of slashing the originally planned 22 stops. After fierce advocacy from riders, the M14 will retain five stops that were originally on the chopping block, including two M14A stops on Grand Street and a stop at Columbia and Rivington streets on the M14D, the MTA said.


Thursday, April 25, 2019

More about the return of the 14th Street busway; 12th and 13th street bike lanes now permanent

As you probably heard, Mayor de Blasio announced yesterday that the city will try an "experimental new transit improvement" on 14th Street starting in June as a way to keep people moving during the starts-tomorrow-evening L-train slowdown.

Beginning in June, there will be four lanes of traffic (two in each direction) along with a new M14 Select Bus Service. Buses, trucks and emergency vehicles will be given priority in the center lanes on 14th Street from Third Avenue to Ninth Avenue. There won't be any through traffic for cars, private vehicles will still be able to use 14th Street, but only for pick-ups and drop-offs — or for accessing garages along the six-block stretch.

This restriction is expected to last for 18 months during the repairs on the Sandy-damaged L tubes.

[Click on image to go big]

City agencies had already taken the first steps to make 14th Street a car-free busway. However, with the full L-train shutdown called off by Gov. Cuomo in early January, those plans were put on hold.

In addition, the city announced yesterday that the bike lanes on 12th Street and 13th Street, which arrived last fall in anticipation of a full L-train shutdown, will be made permanent.

Here's some of the more relevant information for East Village residents via the city's news release:

• 14th Street Transit/Truck Priority (TTP) – The MTA and DOT announced earlier this year that M14 SBS would be coming to the 14th Street corridor in 2019; the corridor carries one of the most intensely used bus routes in the city, with the M14A/D carrying 27,000 daily riders and providing a critical connection from the Lower East Side to Union Square and the Meatpacking District.

To make sure these buses move quickly and reliably, DOT studied international best practice for busy transit corridors, including along King Street in downtown Toronto, where in 2017, new regulations that prioritized transit and pedestrian uses were piloted along a major streetcar route. The Toronto changes, popular with transit riders, dramatically reduced travel times and increased safety along the corridor — and have been since made permanent.

Working with MTA, DOT will pilot a similar arrangement on 14th Street. Starting later this spring, the new TTP changes will include:

-Only buses, trucks and emergency vehicles will be able to use 14th Street between 3rd and 9th Avenues as a through route.

-Local traffic will still be permitted to make pickups and drop-offs along the corridor and access garages, but cars will always need to turn right at the next possible location. Left turns will not be allowed.

-New curbside regulations will prioritize short-term loading and passenger pickup activity.

-Intersections along 14th Street will be designed with new turn lanes where appropriate to ensure that bus lanes will remain clear. Intersections will also receive Vision Zero treatments, including painted curb extensions that enhance pedestrian safety.

The new design builds on proposals made during the original L train planning process, but also incorporates key feedback from local residents to ensure that curb access remained available, and that through truck traffic not be diverted to local streets.

Construction will begin this spring for completion in time for the launch of the M14 SBS in June. During that time, DOT will conduct significant outreach to stakeholders, including the five different community boards served by 14th Street. This will be accompanied by educational campaigns for the people who use 14th Street.

DOT expects to enforce the new TTP lanes through automated cameras along 14th Street. The agency will publicly announce the commencement of camera enforcement, which will not begin until at least 60 days after the new SBS route is established.

[Early-morning look at the 12th Street bike lane before it's a loading zone]

In other news...

12th Street/13th Street Protected Bike Lanes – DOT will also pursue permanently retaining bike lanes it had installed in 2018 along 12th and 13th Streets. Since being painted last fall, cyclist usage of the nearly three miles of new protected lanes over the winter has outpaced bike counts from last summer. The new lanes have become a part of the agency’s crosstown protected bicycle lane strategy ... In response to community concerns, more delineators and loading zones will be added.

We'll have more about these bike lanes in another (future) post.

For some analysis and reaction to yesterday's announcement, you can read this piece by Vin Barone, who first broke this story, over at amNY. There's more reaction at Streetsblog.

Meanwhile, there's no word yet about which M14A/D stops along Avenue A and Avenue D might be eliminated to speed up the notoriously slow bus routes. There is opposition to the MTA's plan to cut back on local bus stops.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Prepping for the new protected bike lanes on 12th and 13th streets

Bike lane line work continues on 12th Street

DOT puts down the green paint on the new 13th Street bike lane (except for one mysterious spot)

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

[Updated] M14 mystery abounds as SBS ticket vending machines arrive

Perhaps we'll have a little more clarity later today — two days before the L-train slowdown starts — on the status moving forward of a) the dedicated busway originally slated for 14th Street and b) the SBS stops for the M14A and M14D.

Transit watchers expect Mayor de Blasio and the city to disclose its plans for 14th Street today.


UPDATED 6 a.m.

Vin Barone at amNewYork has this scoop:

The de Blasio administration will ban private through-traffic on 14th Street between Third and Ninth avenues as part of a new pilot street design to help speed up buses during the L train’s Canarsie tunnel reconstruction, according to a draft release of the plans obtained by amNewYork.

But the changes won’t come until June...

UPDATED noon: Read the city's press release here.


City agencies had already taken the first steps to make 14th Street a car-free busway for most of the day. However, with the full L-train shutdown called off by Gov. Cuomo in early January, those plans were put on hold.

In a series of tweets yesterday, one local transit authority made the case for how important buses will be to help people get around in the next 15-18 months...

And seizing on this moment...

Meanwhile, it's still a big mystery what the MTA intends to do with the M14A/D. As previously reported, proposals to eliminate a handful of stops on Avenue A and Avenue D to accommodate express service have been met with opposition from residents and local elected officials.

In a Daily News article published yesterday, CB3 District Manager Susan Stetzger "accused the DOT and MTA of a lack of transparency." As of the paper's deadline, neither agency had informed her of a final plan.

Local City Councilmember Carlina Rivera has suggested an M14 SBS with supplemental local service similar to the M15.

As several EVG readers have noted, the MTA has already been installing SBS ticketing machines along the M14A/D routes with a goal of beginning service by June.

[Photo from April 11 on Avenue C by Shawn Chittle]

[14th Street at 1st Avenue]

[14th Street at Avenue B]

We spoke with several residents who expressed their annoyance that the SBS machines started arriving just two days after the MTA and DOT held a meeting at the 14th Street Y to gather community feedback on the proposed changes to the M14A and M14D bus routes. "I guess they had their minds made up already," said one reader in an email.

For their part, the MTA has this to say about the route:

If you ride an M14 bus, you’ve likely experienced a longer than expected wait at your stop, a longer than expected trip once you’re on your bus, buses that arrive in bunches and off-schedule, or some combination of the three. During the busiest travel times, M14 A/D buses spend about 60% of their trips stopped at bus stops or stopped in traffic. We’ve got a plan to fix this and keep buses moving — we’re partnering with the New York City Department of Transportation to launch Select Bus Service on the M14 A/D.

Select Bus Service (SBS) is a package of improvements designed to target and correct the situations that slow buses down and make service unreliable. Citywide, customers tell us they are more satisfied with their SBS bus than their local or LTD (limited) bus. We’re committed to bringing these improvements to the M14 A/D and the 27,000 customers who use these buses by June 2019.

For further reading:

M14 Select Bus Service, Busway Needed at Start of L Train Reconstruction, Manhattan BP Says (amNY)

• City Drags Feet on Plan to Move Riders on 14th St. During L Train Slowdown (Daily News)

• MTA Says Buses Are The Best Bet on 14th St. During the L Slowdown — But Busway Remains In Flux (Streetsblog)

• Never Stop Stopping: Removing Bus Stops Isn’t Easy — In New York City or Anywhere Else (Streetsblog)

• As L Hell Begins, Some Aren’t On Board With the MTA’s Plan For Buses (Bedford + Bowery)

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

In the L-Zone: The Little Tree That Could

The following is via the residents of 542 E. 14th St.

Among the many egregious acts the MTA has foisted upon our area is the chainsawing down of all of our old growth trees in the median from the mid block (between Avenues A and B) to Avenue B — except for one tree.

This lone tree survived the chainsawing but is now in peril because its protective fencing is damaged, and the MTA workers are using the space around its trunk to pile brick, pipes, stones, debris and garbage.

After 19 months of work (with no end in sight), this tree has managed to survive the diesel fumes, bulldozing, chainsawing and pollution from this project. It's the Little Tree That Could.

We think the tree deserves to survive and thought it is also a good metaphor for the damage that's been inflicted on our few blocks. The tree, and our neighborhood, deserve better.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Nightmare scenario for residents who learn that 14th Street and Avenue A will be the main staging area for the L-train reconstruction

Monday, April 8, 2019

Reminders: This MTA Select Bus Service Open House is tonight

There's an MTA Select Bus Service Open House tonight (April 8) from 6-8 at the 14th St. Y, 344 E. 14th St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

The background: With a new planned SBS route to go into effect ahead of the partial shutdown of the L train later this month, the MTA may eliminate several M14A and M14D stops throughout the East Village and Lower East Side in an effort to speed up service along the bus lines.

Hit this link for more on the MTA's plan.

As the flyer atop this post shows, there's opposition to the plan ... including an online petition with more than 1,000 signatures here.

The meeting tonight is to hear more about the plans and raise any concerns or voice your approval, etc.


Friday, April 5, 2019

CB3 wants you to attend the MTA Select Bus Service Open House this Monday night

[EVG file photo]

The MTA and DOT are currently gathering community feedback on the proposed changes to the M14A and M14D bus routes.

As previously reported, with a new planned SBS route to go into effect ahead of the partial shutdown of the L train later this month, the MTA may eliminate several M14A and M14D stops throughout the East Village and Lower East Side in an effort to speed up service along the bus lines. (Hit this link for more on the MTA's plan.)

However, local elected officials have opposed the proposed plan ... and now Community Board 3 is encouraging residents to attend an MTA Select Bus Service Open House on Monday night (details below) to voice their opposition to any plans that eliminate local stops along the M14A/D routes.

Last month, CB3 passed a resolution stating just that. The resolution reads, in part:

CB3 is underserved by public transportation, though fewer than 9% of workers in the district use a car to commute to work. Despite CB3 being the third most densely populated community district in New York City, many residents are poorly served by the subway system and 11% live more than a half-mile from the nearest subway stop.


• There is a need for more east/west busservice south of 8th Street. The ease of East/West travel has been diminished by the elimination of the Grand Street Bus in the early 1980s and by the limited number of M14A buses.

• The City should take strong, creative measures in CB3 to reduce traffic congestion, which contributes to a vicious cycle of reduced ridership and reduced service. The MTA/NYCT will reduce service after ridership on a bus route drops below a certain threshold. Service cuts have a severely negative impact on vulnerable populations, including the elderly and disabled, who rely on public transportation ...

According to CB3, the following M14 stops would be removed under the MTA's proposal:

Avenue A/Essex:
• Ninth Street
• Third Street
• Rivington
• Grand/Abraham Kazan
• Cherry/Jackson

Avenue D:
• 11th Street
• 9th Street
• 8th Street
• Columbia/Rivington

Per a flyer about Monday's meeting via CB3: "We need you to attend the following meeting and say 'NO, we need our local stops.'"

For their part, local elected officials held a rally on Avenue A and Fourth Street on March 22. Per a statement from City Councilmember Carlina Rivera's office afterwards:

A real M14 SBS with supplemental, local service, would service vulnerable populations while improving on the proposed SBS plan and providing real “express” travel times that other routes have. In fact, there is already a successful model for this kind of plan just a few avenues away, where the M15 SBS runs parallel to an M15 local route. The MTA must pursue a similar strategy for the M14 route.

This opposition isn't sitting well with NYC Transit President Andy Byford. As the Daily News reported yesterday, Byford "wants the city’s community boards to get out of his way."

Per the article:

With the passage of congestion pricing in Albany over the weekend, the self-described railwayman now has a dedicated pot of money to pay for his $40 billion "Fast Forward" plan, which aims to transform New York’s subway and bus networks over the next decade.

But in order to get the job done, Byford said he needs the nitpickers and naysayers to keep their typical "not in my backyard" attitude to themselves.

"Fast Forward is dead in the water if we have just absolute NIMBYism across the city," Byford said Wednesday at a panel discussion hosted by the U.K. government. "We absolutely have to embrace that if we all want better transit as a system, then we’ve got to think the big picture."

Byford took a not-so-subtle shot at community groups and elected officials who are opposed to the MTA’s plan to cut stops on the sluggish lower Manhattan M14 bus route in order to replace it with select bus service.

"If every single thing we want to do, like speed up buses by taking out just a few stops, gets 'nope, you’re not doing it' (then) I'm wasting my time," he said.

Ben Fried of TransitCenter told this to Curbed in a post from March 25:

"New York City’s bus stops are spaced too close together, which is a big drag on bus riders' time. Some of the current bus stops on the M14 are spaced just one block apart. The MTA's bus stop consolidation plan for the M14 will improve transit access in the East Village by speeding up buses, and stops would still be no more than two and a half blocks apart."

The MTA Select Bus Service Open House is Monday (April 8) from 6-8 p.m. at the 14th St. Y, 344 E. 14th St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Fare deal: The MTA's new digital payment system arrives at Astor Place

Vinny & O yesterday spotted the MTA's new fare payment system (not in working order yet) at the downtown 6 at Astor Place...

We first heard about this in October 2017, when the MTA board voted to approve a contract to phase in this new digital system.

Per the MTA press release at the time:

The moves help officially mark the formal transition away from the MetroCard, which was first introduced in 1994. ...

Rather than swiping a MetroCard, MTA users will instead be able to use a mobile wallet like Apple Pay or tap a contactless bank card at turnstiles and on buses across the city. The new system will test payment options for all-door boarding on SBS buses, a critical measure for reducing the time it takes for customers to board and travel.

The system was reportedly set to launch this May along a stretch of the 4, 5 and 6 trains and across all bus routes on Staten Island, per amNY.

And a few more details about the tap-and-go system via amNY from June 2018:

In addition to MetroCards, which won’t be completely phased out until 2023, commuters will only be able to use specific, contactless credit or debit cards or mobile wallets from Apple, Google and Samsung to pay for fares during this initial launch.

The MTA won’t unveil its new smart card until February 2021, when it will be available to purchase like any gift card at drugstores and other convenience stores. Vending machines within stations will follow in 2022.

Updated 4/4

Reminders: Your chance to discuss proposed changes coming to the M14A and M14D bus lines

ICYMI from Friday...

There's a town hall with MTA officials tonight (April 2) from 6-8 to discuss proposed changes to the M14A and M14D bus routes on Avenue A and Avenue D.

As previously reported, with the the new planned SBS route, the MTA may eliminate M14A and M14D stops throughout the East Village and Lower East Side.

The proposal would turn the M14A and M14D into an SBS route, lowering the number of stops on Avenue A and Avenue D and along Grand Street.

Tonight's meeting is at the 7th Precinct, 19 Pitt St., which is just south of the Williamsburg Bridge and Delancey Street.

On March 24, local elected officials spoke out against these proposed moves during a rally on Avenue A and Fourth Street. You can read coverage of this at Curbed and Patch.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Local elected officials urging the MTA/DOT to keep local service in M14 SBS plan