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MTA NYC Transit Bus Arrival Info Here Now on 34th Street Crosstown

With the nor'easter bearing down on the metropolitan area, the MTA is working even harder to ensure riders get to where they need to go.

During inclement weather and snow storms, the MTA will continue to work to provide reliable service throughout the entire transportation network as long as it's safe to do so.

 

Photo of MTA Snow Thrower

MTA New York City Transit's Subways maintains a fleet of snow and ice-busting equipment designed to keep outdoor tracks and the third rail clear of snow and ice during harsh winter weather. The fleet includes super-powered snow throwers, jet-powered snow-blowers, and specially-built de-icing cars, all designed to keep service moving.

 

Accumulating snow may also require NYC Transit to shift the storage locations of subway cars indoors. Also, the outdoor steps at all 468 subway stations will be shoveled and salted along with the platforms on the outdoor segments of lines.

To make traveling easier for bus customers, the NYCT/MTA Bus has its own fleet of snow fighting equipment, particularly the salt-spreading trucks equipped with plows assigned to each depot. They work in cooperation with the Department of Sanitation to keep bus routes clear and passable.

Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad will operate additional trains this afternoon to accommodate customers who wish to head home early in anticipation of the storm. A schedule of this service will be available on the MTA's website. Customers are urged to take advantage of this service because the possibility exists that evening service may need to be curtailed.

The railroads maintain a fleet of snow and ice-busting equipment designed to keep outdoor tracks, third rails and catenary wires clear of snow and ice during harsh winter weather. Track switches are being treated with ethylene/propylene glycol (anti-freeze), and switch heaters are being turned on to keep switches moving freely so trains can continue to be routed from one track to another.

Both railroads are prepping their passenger fleets: door panels are sprayed with an anti-freeze agent; air brake lines are purged of moisture to prevent them from freezing; and many electric trains are fitted with special third rail “scraper” shoes to help reduce icing on the third rail. Rescue equipment is fueled and extra personnel are assigned to key locations throughout the system.

All platforms and stairs are being pre-treated to reduce snow and ice buildup, and salt bins are being loaded. Outdoor steps and platforms at all commuter rail stations will be shoveled and salted as well.

Bridges & Tunnels is fitting plows onto regular maintenance trucks and salt domes are being filled with tons of deicer. The fleet also includes 45 trucks that have special ground temperature sensors, which provide information about roadway conditions on entrance and exit ramps and other areas that are not covered by embedded roadway sensors. Above-ground atmospheric sensors are also used to help gather real-time information on wind velocity, wind direction, humidity and precipitation via wireless communication. The material used to melt snow and ice is an anti-corrosive deicer with an additive that inhibits corrosion of structural steel on the agency's bridges.

In addition, all scheduled weekend construction work has been cancelled due to the storm.

Snow Fighting Equipment

NYCT Subway

  • 10 Snow Blowers;
  • 5 de-icer trains;
  • We will also use our diesel fleet and create “snow birds” (out of service revenue trains) to clear snow from the right of way;
  • Certain trains will be outfitted with scraper-shoes to remove ice from third rails.

NYCT Bus/MTA Bus

  • Deploy 28 salt trucks to keep depots clear;
  • Fuel tanks, gas and diesel, will be topped off as well as all vehicles fueled;
  • Tire chaining based upon the specific conditions or forecasts. This policy requires chaining of the articulated fleet when the severity and speed of the storm warrant, while also taking into consideration the service area of the buses;
  • Whenever possible, articulated buses scheduled to be in service are to be replaced with 40-foot standard buses, and all buses to be in service, regardless of type, will be sent into service with chains.

Metro-North Railroad

  • Activating 635 switch heaters to prevent buildup of ice and snow on the railroad's critical switching infrastructure and installing 100 covers to prevent snow and ice from accumulating on the coupler on each end of each train;
  • Readying 85 portable snow blowers, 115 chainsaws, 7 heavy-duty pay-loaders front-end loaders for lifting large volumes of snow, 3 hot jets (airplane jet engines mounted to a track), 5 cold-air rail-mounted snow blowers for clearing snow from tracks, and 5 truck-mounted sand spreaders for use on parking lots and roadways and;
  • Snow removal and tree trimming contractors have been notified and are on standby.

Long Island Rail Road

  • Snow-fighting equipment has been winterized, tested and positioned strategically throughout the system to start operation as soon as snow accumulations begin;
  • Arsenal of machinery includes: 800,000 pounds of rock salt, 15,895 gallons of track anti-freeze, 750 switch heaters; 200 Portable snow blowers, 200 chainsaws, 9 Heavy-duty pay-loaders front-end loaders, 9 jet engine hot air snow blowers, 4 anti-freeze trains, 3 cold air snow blowers, 2 double-ended snow broom-thrower machines, and one giant dual purpose ballast regulator/snow fighter;

Bridges and Tunnels

  • 7,300 tons of deicer on hand;
  • fleet of 95 snow and ice-fighting vehicles;
  • fleet comprised of vehicles that do double-duty, serving as regular maintenance trucks during normal weather and snow plows and conveyors when in snow fighting mode;
  • Some 45 vehicles equipped with ground temperature sensors that tell personnel if the roadway is in danger of freezing. The operator then spreads additional deicer where it is needed and;
  • MTA crossings also have imbedded roadway sensors and above-ground atmospheric sensors that deliver real-time information on wind velocity, wind direction, humidity and precipitation. These sensors record data used to determine if speed restrictions are necessary to keep the nearly 800,000 vehicles that use the MTA's 7 bridges and 2 tunnels daily.

Continue to visit www.mta.info for updated information on inclement weather and storm-related service.

With the possibility of a nor'easter bearing down on the metropolitan area, the MTA is working even harder to ensure riders get to where they need to go.

During inclement weather and snow storms, the MTA will continue to work to provide reliable service throughout the entire transportation network as long as it's safe to do so.

 

Photo of MTA Snow Thrower

MTA New York City Transit's Subways maintains a fleet of snow and ice-busting equipment designed to keep outdoor tracks and the third rail clear of snow and ice during harsh winter weather. The fleet includes super-powered snow throwers, jet-powered snow-blowers, and specially-built de-icing cars, all designed to keep service moving.

 

Forecasts of accumulating snow may also require NYC Transit to shift the storage locations of subway cars indoors. Also, the outdoor steps at all 468 subway stations will be shoveled and salted along with the platforms on the outdoor segments of lines.

To make traveling easier for bus customers, the NYCT/MTA Bus has its own fleet of snow fighting equipment, particularly the salt-spreading trucks equipped with plows assigned to each depot. They work in cooperation with the Department of Sanitation to keep bus routes clear and passable.

Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad will operate additional trains tomorrow afternoon to accommodate customers who wish to head home early in anticipation of the storm. A schedule of this service will be available on the MTA's website. Customers are urged to take advantage of this service because the possibility exists that evening service may need to be curtailed.

The railroads maintain a fleet of snow and ice-busting equipment designed to keep outdoor tracks, third rails and catenary wires clear of snow and ice during harsh winter weather. Track switches are being treated with ethylene/propylene glycol (anti-freeze), and switch heaters are being turned on to keep switches moving freely so trains can continue to be routed from one track to another.

Both railroads are prepping their passenger fleets: door panels are sprayed with an anti-freeze agent; air brake lines are purged of moisture to prevent them from freezing; and many electric trains are fitted with special third rail “scraper” shoes to help reduce icing on the third rail. Rescue equipment is fueled and extra personnel are assigned to key locations throughout the system.

All platforms and stairs are being pre-treated to reduce snow and ice buildup, and salt bins are being loaded. Outdoor steps and platforms at all commuter rail stations will be shoveled and salted as well.

Bridges & Tunnels is fitting plows onto regular maintenance trucks and salt domes are being filled with tons of deicer. The fleet also includes 45 trucks that have special ground temperature sensors, which provide information about roadway conditions on entrance and exit ramps and other areas that are not covered by embedded roadway sensors. Above-ground atmospheric sensors are also used to help gather real-time information on wind velocity, wind direction, humidity and precipitation via wireless communication. The material used to melt snow and ice is an anti-corrosive deicer with an additive that inhibits corrosion of structural steel on the agency's bridges.

In addition, all scheduled weekend construction work has been cancelled due to the impending storm.

Snow Fighting Equipment

NYCT Subway

  • 10 Snow Blowers;
  • 5 de-icer trains;
  • We will also use our diesel fleet and create “snow birds” (out of service revenue trains) to clear snow from the right of way;
  • Certain trains will be outfitted with scraper-shoes to remove ice from third rails.

NYCT Bus/MTA Bus

  • Deploy 28 salt trucks to keep depots clear;
  • Fuel tanks, gas and diesel, will be topped off as well as all vehicles fueled;
  • Tire chaining based upon the specific conditions or forecasts. This policy requires chaining of the articulated fleet when the severity and speed of the storm warrant, while also taking into consideration the service area of the buses;
  • Whenever possible, articulated buses scheduled to be in service are to be replaced with 40-foot standard buses, and all buses to be in service, regardless of type, will be sent into service with chains.

Metro-North Railroad

  • Activating 635 switch heaters to prevent buildup of ice and snow on the railroad's critical switching infrastructure and installing 100 covers to prevent snow and ice from accumulating on the coupler on each end of each train;
  • Readying 85 portable snow blowers, 115 chainsaws, 7 heavy-duty pay-loaders front-end loaders for lifting large volumes of snow, 3 hot jets (airplane jet engines mounted to a track), 5 cold-air rail-mounted snow blowers for clearing snow from tracks, and 5 truck-mounted sand spreaders for use on parking lots and roadways and;
  • Snow removal and tree trimming contractors have been notified and are on standby.

Long Island Rail Road

  • Snow-fighting equipment has been winterized, tested and positioned strategically throughout the system to start operation as soon as snow accumulations begin;
  • Arsenal of machinery includes: 800,000 pounds of rock salt, 15,895 gallons of track anti-freeze, 750 switch heaters; 200 Portable snow blowers, 200 chainsaws, 9 Heavy-duty pay-loaders front-end loaders, 9 jet engine hot air snow blowers, 4 anti-freeze trains, 3 cold air snow blowers, 2 double-ended snow broom-thrower machines, and one giant dual purpose ballast regulator/snow fighter;

Bridges and Tunnels

  • 7,300 tons of deicer on hand;
  • fleet of 95 snow and ice-fighting vehicles;
  • fleet comprised of vehicles that do double-duty, serving as regular maintenance trucks during normal weather and snow plows and conveyors when in snow fighting mode;
  • Some 45 vehicles equipped with ground temperature sensors that tell personnel if the roadway is in danger of freezing. The operator then spreads additional deicer where it is needed and;
  • MTA crossings also have imbedded roadway sensors and above-ground atmospheric sensors that deliver real-time information on wind velocity, wind direction, humidity and precipitation. These sensors record data used to determine if speed restrictions are necessary to keep the nearly 800,000 vehicles that use the MTA's 7 bridges and 2 tunnels daily.

Continue to visit www.mta.info for updated information on inclement weather and storm-related service.

New Interactive Subway MapThe MTA has made the online subway map interactive. Now you can zoom in to enlarge any part of the map and expose details for easy viewing. Just scroll your mouse’s rollerball or click on the map’s zoom button. You can also click-and-hold your mouse button to drag the map with your mouse or click on pan buttons to change the section that’s visible.

 

As before, you can continue to click to download a PDF version of the map.

“The subway map is one of the most popular tools we provide on our website, and we want to make it as easy and convenient as possible for visitors to the city and New Yorkers alike to get the most out of the map online,” said Paul J. Fleuranges, Senior Director for Corporate and Internal Communications.

The interactive online map uses the latest version of the printed subway map, which indicates the continuing Hurricane Sandy-related service changes on the A line to the Rockaways, including the free H shuttle, and the South Ferry Station on the 1 line. This is the same map that is now being distributed by subway station agents in printed form.

Because of the evolving nature of post-storm subway service restorations, the MTA has been providing regularly updated service maps in PDF format since Superstorm Sandy. Previously, in addition to a PDF map, the MTA’s website had shown a static image of the subway map in GIF format that did not allow zooming or dragging.

The map window size has been optimized to provide the most viewing area possible for most users. It is 720 pixels wide by 900 pixels high.

By clicking on any of the subway route symbols shown above the map, you can pull up an individual line map listing the stops on each line and indicating what times of day trains stop at each.

The new map can be found by going to www.mta.info, then clicking on “maps” at the top of the screen, then clicking on “subway system.” Or follow this link: http://www.mta.info/maps/submap.html

Users of tablets and smartphones can access the online map as well with commands similar to the desktop version: pinch to zoom and swipe to scroll. From a mobile device, simply go to the MTA’s “On the Go” range of digital tools, and onthego.mta.info, or to the MTA’s mobile website, at m.mta.info.

Online voting opened today to select one male and one female narrator for an interactive exhibit that will debut at the Second Avenue Subway (SAS) Community Information Center scheduled to open this spring.

These recordings are now posted online and you can vote for your favorite male and female voice by clicking here.

 

Photo of Voiceover Audition

Last fall, the MTA held a casting call for voiceover actors, in which contestants emailed recordings or called into a dedicated line to submit their initial entries. A panel of judges then picked three male and three female semi-finalists. Those six semi-finalists then stepped into the studio to record auditions on Monday January 28th.

 

“The Second Avenue Subway is being built for the public, so why not let the public choose the voice of the Second Avenue Subway?” said MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu. “The soon-to-open Community Information Center where the video and voiceover will debut is one more tool in our outreach program to keep the public informed on every aspect of construction of this monumental and history-making project.”

The voiceovers will be featured in an interactive video that will be part of the first exhibit installed in the newly created Community Information Center on Second Avenue. The Community Information Center's first exhibition will feature an interactive video and other displays featuring the history of the Second Avenue Subway, first proposed in 1929. The SAS Community Information Center aims to foster and encourage a continued exchange among neighbors and the SAS team regarding the construction of the Second Avenue Subway. It will be located at 1628 Second Avenue and will serve as space for the public to meet with community liaisons and discuss construction-related matters. The facility also will serve as an educational center where programs will be offered to schools, community groups and other organizations about public transportation in New York.

Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway will extend from an expanded station at Lexington Avenue and 63rd Street east to Second Avenue, then north to 96th Street. Three entirely new stations at 72nd, 86th and 96th Streets are currently under construction. Phase 1 is scheduled for completion in December 2016.

The Second Avenue Subway will reduce overcrowding and delays on the Lexington Avenue line, improving travel for both city and suburban commuters, and provide better access to mass transit for residents of the East Side of Manhattan.

Voting for the Second Avenue Idol will close on February 17th.

 

When winter storms hit and snow operations go into effect, MTA Bridges and Tunnels' fleet rolls out to get the job done. But make no mistake; these are not your father's snow plows. Snow removal has definitely gone high-tech.

Among the latest addition to the 97-truck fleet are 30 new trucks equipped with ground temperature sensors that can tell operators which roadway areas need deicing and exactly how much to put down to ensure an even application.

Chief Maintenance Officer Patrick Parisi, whose maintainers are responsible for snow removal, says the new trucks "help plow and deice areas even more efficiently and ultimately provide safer driving conditions for customers."

The new sensor-equipped trucks are replacing vehicles that have reached the end of their useful life. When winter is over, the snow plows are removed and the trucks are used year-round for maintenance work at the agency's seven bridges and two tunnels.

Since the winter season began, Bridges and Tunnels Operations have responded to five snow events, with the biggest being the 10-12 inches of snow dropped on the area on Dec. 19, 2009. During that weekend storm, more than 175 personnel operated snow trucks, payloaders, and snow blowers in an effort to get ahead of the storm.

Parisi said conditions were made more difficult due to wind gusts of up to 40 mph that created whiteout conditions. Some 1,900 tons of deicer was used to battle icing conditions for that storm and a total of 2,700 tons has been used to date.

The material used to melt snow and ice on roadways is sometimes referred to as salt but it is actually an anti-corrosive deicer with an additive that inhibits corrosion of structural steel on the agency's bridges.

LIBus FourDoor

Sometimes bigger isn't always better and a simple solution can solve a complex problem. That's what MTA Long Island Bus found when its Able-Ride paratransit service began looking at ways to deliver more efficient and cost effective transportation.

Adapting a best practice learned from NYCT's Access-A-Ride's program, Able-Ride began a pilot program using sedans to transport disabled customers. As part of that program, last fall four sedans were added to Able-Ride's fleet of 89 light-duty paratransit vehicles. So far, feedback from Able-Ride customers has been positive.

Research showed that about 75 percent of Able-Ride's customer base is ambulatory, meaning they don't require a wheelchair lift equipped bus to travel. By diversifying Able-Ride's mix of vehicles, it can more effectively serve customers' needs. For example, a sedan could be used for a longer distanced trip that may require travel on a parkway, something the light-duty buses cannot do. Sedans are also easier to get in and out of tight quarters allowing more flexibility in scheduling rides.

In addition, the cost to purchase and maintain sedans is much less than those equipped with wheelchair lifts. The switch could potentially save LI Bus millions of dollars. Sedans cost approximately $22,000 to purchase while a paratransit bus runs about $100,000. Maintenance costs for cars generally are 50 to 75 percent lower than buses. Through a combination of growth and replacement, LI Bus hopes to have a 50-50 mix of sedans and buses in its vehicle fleet within several years.

The key to this new mix and match method of customer service are advances in scheduling software that enables the agency to ensure the correct vehicles are dispatched to the right customers. These improvements make sure wheelchair customers will be assigned to the proper vehicle. However, customers aren't allowed to request a bus or sedan during the pilot program.

Currently, the MTA is using the Crown Victoria to transport the ambulatory disabled. The four-door white cars feature bright blue MTA and Able-Ride logos on its sides for easy identification. Drivers identify themselves as MTA employees when dealing with visually impaired riders.

The MTA is also reviewing a number of "purpose built wheelchair accessible vehicles" -; van-like taxis that use a ramp instead of a lift -; as its next vehicle of choice for paratransit travel. The new fleet may also run on an alternative fuel such as CNG making it "green and lean."

34th St Bus

There are few things in life more frustrating than not knowing exactly when the next bus is scheduled to arrive at your bus stop. Recognizing that fact, the MTA has commenced a pilot program some have already dubbed "The Miracle on 34th Street" -- the installation of a new Customer Information System that provides both exact arrival time information at select bus stops along the M34/16 bus corridor and crystal clear audio announcements onboard the buses.

The system, provided by the firm Clever Devices has been installed on 30 buses assigned to MTA New York City Transit's Michael Quill Bus Depot and has been in operation since the summer as a joint project with the New York City Department of Transportation.

Bus customers on the M34/16 bus routes are benefiting from onboard automated voice announcements and text displays. Bus arrival information is displayed on LED signs mounted at the bus stop shelters, along with the temperature and the time of day.

"Using state-of-the-art technology to keep our bus and subway customers informed is a mandate that we have been given by MTA Chairman Walder and this is a mandate that we take extremely seriously and that we will expand upon," said NYC Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast. "I know that we have had some false starts but this technology is already in place elsewhere and our customers are rightfully asking: 'Well, why not here?'"

NYC Transit is working closely with City DOT on this project which is aimed squarely at making travel by bus a more enjoyable experience.

The bus information includes the route number, destination, and minutes to arrival. The signs receive information wirelessly through a cellular provider. "It works using a combination of sensors to determine the position of the vehicle, GPS is one of them. It's this combination of sensors that we call "Perfect Nav" that work in these congested corridors as you see on 34th Street," said William Long, President, Clever Devices.

Janette Sadik-Khan, DOT Commissioner said: "For New Yorkers it is all about time. You know, time is basically a commodity, and nobody really has enough time. So if we can make it easier for people to know if a bus is coming in 10 minutes, they got time to get a cup of coffee, to get a newspaper, to drop off a movie, that's exactly what we want to do."

34th St Bus

The following eight bus stops are equipped with display signs:

Westbound

  • 1st Avenue
  • 2nd Avenue
  • 3rd Avenue
  • Lexington Avenue

Eastbound

  • 10th Avenue
  • 9th Avenue
  • 8th Avenue
  • Park Avenue

Bus customers along the route think the time has definitely come for next bus information. "It's just going to make you feel more relaxed when you know its coming, noted John Weissman during his trip. Karen Kolbrecht added, "I think it's terrific. We live in an information age so it's really very relevant, very useful for people. Often you stand here and wonder when will the bus come; you get so full of anxiety wondering whether you should walk or wait for the bus. It's a great improvement, we're lucky to have it."

During the year, NYC Transit plans to test and evaluate products and systems from other vendors that provide real time customer information. Plans also call for the availability of real time bus arrival information through the MTA website. The aim here is to take the guessing aspect out of next bus arrival information.