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 Post subject: NYC's Transit Crisis
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:04 pm 
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From subways to Penn Stations, NYC's transit is a mess. Who is to blame for NYC's transit breakdown?

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_ ... _mess.html

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 Post subject: Re: NYC's Transit Crisis
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:56 pm 
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kamnet wrote:
From subways to Penn Stations, NYC's transit is a mess. Who is to blame for NYC's transit breakdown?

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_ ... _mess.html


Cuomo and DiBlasio - I don't need to read the article to tell you that (though I have read it already). We need to take the MTA back from the state, along with the associated spending. At this point a divorce of the New York, Richmond, Kings, Queens, Bronx, and possibly Westchester and Nassau counties from the rest of the state would seem almost reasonable to me. Penn Station is it's own issue due to its multiple parties, but if you are a resident of the city of New York, it's a headache best avoided.

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 Post subject: Re: NYC's Transit Crisis
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:43 pm 
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Naturally Slate would whine about Trump's alleged lack of interest in urban problems...

Quote:
Republicans are not particularly focused on urban issues, because that’s not where their base is—is an infrastructure bill with robust federal investment in transit


but there was already a $305 billion five-year infrastructure bill, to fund roads, bridges, and rail lines, signed into law by Obama less than 2 years ago.

And then there was the famous 2009 $819 billion economic "stimulus", remember, back when the Dems controlled both the House and Senate? An inexcusable missed opportunity to invest in transit:

Quote:
Representative Michael Capuano, a Somerville Democrat on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, said he has watched with frustration as spending for rapid transit and rail dropped during negotiations over the bill. For example, after an initial burst of enthusiasm for inter-city rail projects, the amount was reduced to $5 billion and then to $1.1 billion, he said.

The bill has $30 billion for roads and bridges and $12 billion for rapid transit, with decisions on specific projects to be made by state and local officials. But that's far less than originally sought by some Democrats, and could make it more difficult to fund some Massachusetts projects, such as work on roads, bridges, and the MBTA system, or a proposed extension of the commuter rail line from Lowell to Manchester, N.H.

"Priorities changed," Capuano said. "Someone says, 'How about food stamps, how about early childhood education?' "

Capuano said he still supported the bill because it provides much-needed money for an array of interests, but said he would have preferred some of the tax cuts were replaced by transportation spending. He compared $1.1 billion for rail projects with $145 billion to provide $500-per-taxpayer rebates. "I know it is politically popular, but I don't think it will stimulate the economy," Capuano said of the tax relief.

The chairman of the transportation panel's subcommittee on highways and transit, Peter DeFazio of Oregon, became so angry about the reduction in transportation spending that he recently accused Obama's top economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, of arguing against such funds because he "hates infrastructure."


I'm not here to defend Trump, but for crying out loud...

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 Post subject: Re: NYC's Transit Crisis
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:20 am 
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So what point is there to whine about what happened 7 years ago when there's an opportunity to do something about it now? When do you stop kicking the can and just start doing something?

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 Post subject: Re: NYC's Transit Crisis
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:49 pm 
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Did you even read the article you linked to?

"You mentioned investment, but I read on your Twitter feed that you don’t think investment is the problem per se or rather that more funding would not necessarily solve the problems.

One of the challenges that I think advocates of the system have is that there is an idea that if you throw more money at the MTA then things will magically be fixed. But the MTA has access to a lot of money. They have a five-year, $30 billion capital plan, and while some people say the proper amount would be closer to $50 billion, the underlying concern is that the MTA can’t spend money very well."

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 Post subject: Re: NYC's Transit Crisis
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:51 pm 
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Maybe they should asks the british on how to keep victorian relic well alive today.

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 Post subject: Re: NYC's Transit Crisis
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:21 am 
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YNM wrote:
Maybe they should asks the british on how to keep victorian relic well alive today.

Simple, we run it 24/7, and we maintain it 24/7. Many passengers on the British railways don't realise how much work is actually going on to keep them on the move; because of my job, I get to see a portion of it all, but no where near as much as what does actually take place.

There's a reason we have a converted HST running around the country recording the track (and other parameters) constantly :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: NYC's Transit Crisis
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:08 am 
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Pilot wrote:
Simple, we run it 24/7, and we maintain it 24/7. Many passengers on the British railways don't realise how much work is actually going on to keep them on the move; because of my job, I get to see a portion of it all, but no where near as much as what does actually take place.

There's a reason we have a converted HST running around the country recording the track (and other parameters) constantly :wink:

We just make new ones and "destroy" the old :lol:

No, seriously. A lot of stretch along (slightly) mountainous routes are realigned. Only some remains as it was since the earliest days due to it's truly mind-boggling surrounding terrain.

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 Post subject: Re: NYC's Transit Crisis
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:05 am 
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YNM wrote:
Maybe they should asks the british on how to keep victorian relic well alive today.

We already know the privatize the profits/socialize the costs model. It is a sick government that needs to sell off its assets to the private sector because private sector lobbyists are more effective at wielding the levers of government power.

Anyway, the article is terrible.
Slate wrote:
Plus there is the mess that is Penn Station, which has left suburban commuters bracing for a “summer of agony” as repairs get underway to restore service to its old status quo

Of course they couldn't be asked to do enough research to know that the "repairs" are actually related to the reconfiguration necessary for East Side Access


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 Post subject: Re: NYC's Transit Crisis
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:29 am 
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Thorg wrote:
YNM wrote:
Maybe they should asks the british on how to keep victorian relic well alive today.

We already know the privatize the profits/socialize the costs model. It is a sick government that needs to sell off its assets to the private sector because private sector lobbyists are more effective at wielding the levers of government power.

As a result of Privatisation, the British railways are carrying more passengers than they ever did when nationalised, they're actually turning a profit for the private company, that would be unlikely to be made if they were nationalised, and the British railways are now some of the least subsidised per passenger-km in Europe, meaning the British Tax payer is footing less of the bill for running the Railways than our Counterparts on the continent.

We're re-opening railways that were closed in the '60s because they were "unprofitable and unviable", as the railway companies of today can make them viable (a key example being the borders route in Scotland). A comprehensive list of lines reopened can be found here(Whilst not every line listed here has been reopened since Privatisation, a large number have). So please, tell me how sick, and evil the model is, especially when there is still a large government involvement in our current system, and the Government still own the tracks and stations themselves (see Network Rail)

Sources:
Passengers per year:
Image
Rail Subsidies:
Image

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 Post subject: Re: NYC's Transit Crisis
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:43 am 
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Thorg wrote:
YNM wrote:
Maybe they should asks the british on how to keep victorian relic well alive today.

We already know the privatize the profits/socialize the costs model. It is a sick government that needs to sell off its assets to the private sector because private sector lobbyists are more effective at wielding the levers of government power.

Well, I'm not commenting on the governing system - I'm commenting on how they actually do it. I mean, come on, British Rail, Railtrack, National Rail, all deals with the same things differently, yet it still works (infrastructure up and running. Oh wait, Beeching.) .

Though, as Pilot had shown, competition (and local pressure) can make things go better. But, don't forget to look up London Underground - in it's own almost since inception (UERL to today's TfL Underground), yet infra-wise it works, and too often it's the only mean to go 'round London (apart from Ringways time ofc).


EDIT : If it's anything, perhaps Rail Investment Strategies (edit : alright it's not by that name now) would be interesting to look at.

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Last edited by YNM on Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: NYC's Transit Crisis
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:46 pm 
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Pilot wrote:
and the Government still own the tracks and stations themselves

There you have it, the British government soaks up all the below the rail costs (socialize the costly and complex aspects). Your graph is nothing more than an accounting trick that obscures that the UK ticket subsidy is only smaller because it only needs to help cover above the rail costs of the operating companies. And of course, that British passengers are much more willing to pay higher fares ( compared to NYC, around twice as much ).


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 Post subject: Re: NYC's Transit Crisis
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:29 pm 
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Thorg wrote:
And of course, that British passengers are much more willing to pay higher fares ( compared to NYC, around twice as much ).

Is that true is it? Is that why I can find a return trip from London to Glasgow, at convenient times for the business travel tomorrow for a total of £130 (a round trip of roughly 800 miles). I then looked at a New York to Washington return trip for tomorrow, again, convenient times for business travellers, it came to $312 (equal to £244), what's even more interesting is that a round trip from NY to Washington is only about 450 miles! So please, tell me how much higher fares are :roll:

Sources:
Attachment:
EUS - GLC Tomorrow.PNG [32.58 KiB]
Not downloaded yet

Attachment:
NY - Washington tomorrow.PNG
NY - Washington tomorrow.PNG [ 27.05 KiB | Viewed 326 times ]

Attachment:
London - Glas vs Wash NY Distance.PNG
London - Glas vs Wash NY Distance.PNG [ 53.33 KiB | Viewed 326 times ]


Let me guess, these are fake as well...

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 Post subject: Re: NYC's Transit Crisis
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:30 pm 
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Thorg wrote:
Pilot wrote:
and the Government still own the tracks and stations themselves

There you have it, the British government soaks up all the below the rail costs (socialize the costly and complex aspects). ... And of course, that British passengers are much more willing to pay higher fares ( compared to NYC, around twice as much ).

Well, most (if not all) infras are vital to the nation, no ? Things like that deserves proper dressing from the gov't. Aren't the interstates run by the government there ? They don't even generate revenue... true as with every other roads (bitish motorways, probably bar M6 Toll) but I believe rails are also on the list, as with canals and water passage, other things...

Again, I'm not here to talk about how they run it. What are they running on is what I'm asking. Infras need updates, upgrades, maintenance, replacement. Not as free as anyone can think they are.

EDIT : If still not clear, more to the point, it's not who to blame ; but how to do it. Close the thing for some month ? Operate at reduced rate for some years ? Partial closures ? I mean, London Underground did need some closures I think ?

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 Post subject: Re: NYC's Transit Crisis
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:48 pm 
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YNM wrote:
Thorg wrote:
Pilot wrote:
and the Government still own the tracks and stations themselves

There you have it, the British government soaks up all the below the rail costs (socialize the costly and complex aspects). ... And of course, that British passengers are much more willing to pay higher fares ( compared to NYC, around twice as much ).

Well, most (if not all) infras are vital to the nation, no ? Things like that deserves proper dressing from the gov't. Aren't the interstates run by the government there ? They don't even generate revenue... true as with every other roads (bitish motorways, probably bar M6 Toll) but I believe rails are also on the list, as with canals and water passage, other things...

Again, I'm not here to talk about how they run it. What are they running on is what I'm asking. Infras need updates, upgrades, maintenance, replacement. Not as free as anyone can think they are.

EDIT : If still not clear, more to the point, it's not who to blame ; but how to do it. Close the thing for some month ? Operate at reduced rate for some years ? Partial closures ? I mean, London Underground did need some closures I think ?



Lines do close over weekends or other periods to do heavy repair work. The big issue now is the planned closure of the Canarsie Line (L) for over a year to do serious repair work on tunnels under the east river that were damaged by flooding during the storm 5 years ago. Riders are in an uproar over that, and estimates for replacing the ridership by buses over the Williamsburg bridge are that an articulated bus every few seconds would be required. Generally there is no public appetite to completely close a line for than a few days except in extreme circumstances.

We are fortunate that most of the trunk subway lines are 4-tracked, with plenty of crossovers, so trains can bypass segments that are undergoing repairs. Ultimately, however, there is not enough commitment of funding to keep up with the sheer size and complexity of the system in it's current state. The state ultimately controls how the MTA spends what money it does have, and so far it has not prioritized work that would help trains run at their current headways, let alone tighten it up.

In related news, an A train derailed today uptown when the emergency brake wall pulled:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/27/nyre ... attan.html

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 Post subject: Re: NYC's Transit Crisis
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:10 pm 
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Pilot wrote:
Thorg wrote:
And of course, that British passengers are much more willing to pay higher fares ( compared to NYC, around twice as much ).

Is that true is it? Is that why I can find a return trip from London to Glasgow, at convenient times for the business travel tomorrow for a total of £130 (a round trip of roughly 800 miles). I then

The topic is about NYC's "transit crisis" not intercity trips.

A better comparison is London-Brighton vs NYC-Ronkonkoma, which are of roughly the same length and both powered by 3rd rail. Guess what? Even the scum class accommodation is still 50% more expensive and the other option is more than double.

Image
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 Post subject: Re: NYC's Transit Crisis
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:36 pm 
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Thorg wrote:
Pilot wrote:
Thorg wrote:
And of course, that British passengers are much more willing to pay higher fares ( compared to NYC, around twice as much ).

Is that true is it? Is that why I can find a return trip from London to Glasgow, at convenient times for the business travel tomorrow for a total of £130 (a round trip of roughly 800 miles). I then

A better comparison is London-Brighton vs NYC-Ronkonkoma, which are of roughly the same length

It's not though is it? It's an extra 15 miles in each direction between London and Brighton, meaning you'd be paying for an extra of 30 miles per day (see attachment)!

As you can also see, the London to Brighton service takes 19 less minutes to do those extra 15 miles, so not only are you paying for more journey distance, but a faster journey as well, hence it's a better quality of service.
Attachment:
Lon-Bright vs NY Ronkonkoma.PNG [126.59 KiB]
Not downloaded yet


London - Brighton also has 6 direct trains in the evening rush (3 from Victoria (2x Gatwick Express, 1x Southern), 2 from Blackfriars/Farringdon/City Thameslink/St Pancras (2x Thamelink) and 1 from London Bridge (1x Southern), where as Penn Station - Ronkon... (silly name anyway), has just 4 direct trains in the evening rush. These were both taken from trains available between 1700 and 1800 tomorrow. Thus, you are also paying for more flexibility, which as a passenger is incredibly useful (especially as that ticket you showed there is a "London Terminals", meaning you can travel to any of the stations mentioned).

In fact, looking at the frequency between NY and Ronkonkoma during the day (see here), I would argue what they charge you is daylight robbery!

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 Post subject: Re: NYC's Transit Crisis
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:48 pm 
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Nah, the last example lifted is actually quite a fair thing to the topic, although London-Brighton isn't really a daily commute for most I think.

For sake of comparison, the price for Penn Grand Central to Greenport (farthest station on LIRR I think), comparable distance to London Waterloo to Portsmouth Harbour, is about the same for standard advance ticket on the London - Portsmouth (first class being more expensive, and anytime up to double that) while the NY to Greenmouth one is single-fare peak. I question whether anyone would really actually commute that long every workday but two difference arose :

- London to Portsmouth : Almost always half-hourly, sometimes every ten minutes. Takes about 1h 30m.
- NY to Greenmouth : Needs change at Ronkonkoma. It's probably not the best comparison but the journey takes about 2h 30m. I also know it's a small station so there's only four trains per day to the end station, while trains to Ronkonkoma goes half-hourly in the peak times and hourly otherwise.

To be honest, I do think that they (MTA) could do more under more fare. Does it have something to do with what the passengers expect ?

If compared to Japan (I know it's not very fair !), this distance can be done on a Shinkansen. Tokyo to Shizuoka, a distance of more than 100 miles, takes only 1h or 1h 30m (two different services), and costs less than 25 GBP !

Let's be honest, western trains are expensive :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: NYC's Transit Crisis
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:28 pm 
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I actually think a lot of the commuter rail discussion here is academic, because largely, that is not the area to which most of the daily complaints or failures of service pertain (apart from NJT which is noticeably worse than 1-2 years ago, but is not part of MTA or otherwise under New York State responsibility). Commuter service on Metro North or LIRR is possibly even better on the whole today than it was 5 years ago. While the wider New York area is certainly more transit oriented than most American regions, it is far less so than European suburbs or exurbs would be. As a result, it is not really useful to compare this service to European equivalents, as less is demanded of it.

The major problem, where things seem to be significantly deteriorating, is with subway service in the city itself. Delays are drastically worse than even just last year, and seem to get worse year over year. Infrastructure upkeep seems to be falling behind, where work seems unable to keep up with the rate at which critical items fail, and has no capacity to make cosmetic improvements. More money would help, but there seems to be insurmountable failures in coordination between city, state, and transit administrators, and lack of interest in systemic improvement from the state or MTA.

There are very few metro systems that are comparable to the subway in scale, complexity, and age, but the Tube is probably the best analog (most of Tokyo's network is much newer). It is probably most useful to compare performance between the subway and the underground, rather than LIRR and various longer distance TOCs. This sort of eliminates the argument of public vs private operation, but that is my point. The tube is, at least for these purposes, better than the subway not because of who runs it, but because it is run by a more centralized entity, more responsive to it's users, and which did not neglect its maintenance for decades. Of course the comparison is difficult because certain technical details between the two system differ, but I think that's the most useful conclusion we can derive. Many of us would be fine with a fare increase closer to the cost of an underground ride if it meant reliable service, and concessions were retained for lower income passengers.

As for public ownership of our commuter railways, bear in mind that states and federal government took over passenger rail operations as a 'bailout' of the large railroads who no longer wanted to run the loss making services, and needed a legal way out of their obligations. At least for longer distance routes, the original intent was that the Federal government would wind down and ultimately phase out most passenger rail service. Private passenger rail is certainly allowed in the US, and operates in a few cases, but largely no operators are interested in making a go of running a profit incentiviszed commuter line. I don't know if privatizing the LIRR would even be that attractive to most operators, and privatizing the NYC subway would be unprecedented (and what company would even want to buy that contract?)

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