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The Commuter

The Commuter from Dana Rapoport on Vimeo.

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MTA Roundup – May 17

MTA Roundup – May 17

Tempers flared during the weekend over Homeland Security funding cuts to the MTA. WABC reports that the MTA is facing $42 million reduction in federal security grants.

In its latest money saving move, the MTA is revamping schedules for bridge and tunnel maintenance. The changes will cut back on workers’ overtime, the New York Times reports.

Greenwich Village residents go after the MTA for a planned emergency ventilation facility, DNAinfo reports. Despite the agency’s creative design efforts, neighborhood leaders say the building would be an eyesore in the historic district.

New York Daily News updates the security camera story, reporting that more than 900 cameras in subway stations still aren’t fully functional. A reader poll gives another surprising stat. At the time of this posting, more than half of respondents said the cameras don’t make them feel safer.

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MTA Roundup — May 14th

London in New York? The MTA might soon be doing it the UK way, and you won’t necessarily like it.
Instead of doing work on nights or weekends, the MTA could shut down entire segments of a subway line, even on weekdays NY1 reports.

Speaking of international influences, the New York Times features the wonders of the air-conditioned Delhi Metro in India.

New Yorkers might have a reason to be jealous with New Delhi commuters this summer.

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MTA Roundup – May 13

Today’s big news is that City Comptroller John Liu and State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli are launching an audit to see if so many late-night and weekend service disruptions are really necessary.  The audit, which should to take several months to complete, will help determine if the MTA is sufficiently judicious when disrupting service for upgrades. (read more here).

Meanwhile the MTA is considering closing off larger sections of the system at a time, to be able to complete repair work and upgrades faster, according to amNY.

Also, Heather Haddon at amNY reports that high-level managers are still being hired despite the budget cuts that have led to lay-offs amongst the rank-and-file.

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MTA Roundup–May 12

amNY reports TWU protesters have taken their frustrations to the front door of MTA chief Jay Walder, literally.

The protest comes as station agent cuts went into affect yesterday.

Chairman Walder, via the Daily News today, called on TWU to please deflate the giant rat in front of his house accept contract renegotiations that could save the agency cash.

In an effort to get the 2nd Ave Subway done “on time,” a local restaurant is promising free stakes and drinks for MTA workers if they can hit their deadlines.

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MTA Roundup–May 11

MTA Roundup–May 11

It’s been a busy day for the MTA and it all started this morning with a bus accident in Canarsie. WCBS2 says 6 people were injured.

NBC New York has a story about where your Lost & Found items may end up– on the auction block.

If there are delays due to weather, you may not be aware. amNew York says the MTA is eliminating all announcers who are dedicated to making weather announcements.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg took a trip across the pond to take a look at London’s CCTV. Mayor Mike wants to see how London handles subway cameras since he wants more on New York’s tracks. The Associated Press has more.

After a court order injunction to prevent the layoff of more than 500 station agents, 266 station agents have turned their badges in, according to 1010 WINS

DNAinfo says that a midtown restaurant is offering free meals to construction workers if they complete their MTA projects on time.

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MTA Roundup — May 6th

The postponing of big layoffs of token booth clerks is the big news of the day.  In the eleventh hour, a restraining order by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Alice Schlesinger was signed.  According to the order, the layoffs could not be carried out until lawyers finish arguing their cases in front of the judge.  The sense of relief by the 475 token booth clerks, however, might be short lived, as the MTA is ultimately expected to win the case and cut the station agents. (here and here).

Also, according the Times City Room, a man, who found himself on the tracks earlier today, was killed by a northbound 5 train between 23rd and 28th, causing two hour delays for 4 and 5 trains between Union Square and Grand Central Station.

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The Faces of Subway Conductors — Photoslideshow

Click the image to start the slideshow
Subway Conductors

— Christopher Schuetze

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MTA Roundup–May 5

MTA Roundup–May 5

The big MTA news of the day is that hundreds of station agents will be turning in their badges and keys very soon. WPIX/CW 11 says 478 agents will be let go and that the MTA will save $21 million a year. The Daily News goes up close and personal with a laid-off station agent. has a story on Brooklyn/Staten Island Rep. Michael McMahon who is asking the MTA to use Recovery Act money to stave off budget cuts.

NBC New York says that MTA workers are brining in thousands of dollars of overtime pay.

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MTA Roundup – May 3

MTA Roundup – May 3

— Some persistent reporters got to the heart of what motivated t-shirt vendor Lance Orton to report the smoking car in Times Square last week.

Turns out we can thank the MTA.

“See something, say somthing,” a media-weary Ortiz mumbled, as he escaped the horde in a taxi Monday. Check out the Wall Street Journal‘s video:

Gothamist says the Pace University student who carried cyanide into the subway tunnels last week has been formerly charged with trespassing and will receive a psychiatric evaluation. Subway workers feared he was a terrorist. But news reports say it was a suicide attempt.

— The 37-year-old Staten Island Railway cars are among the many capital projects that got the axe in the MTA budget cuts, reports. The cars have a lifespan of 40 years, but the MTA noted that those cars recently received $11 million in maintenance work.

HollabackNYC, the group that combats sexual harrassment on streets and public transit, is raising money to create an iPhone application. The app would allow users to snap pictures of their harassers and instantly send them along with time and location information to a central database. Check out last month’s video piece on public transit harassment. For more info on the app, check out this video report for the New York City News Service.

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