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Flooding at 60th & Broadway subway entrance

January 31, 2011 Leave a comment

Ashley Tedesco, blog editor

Attention commuters: there’s about two inches of water at the foot of the steps at the 60th Street and Broadway entrance to the Columbus Circle subway stop (the one by Starbucks and Tasty D-Lite). It’s impossible to get through without proper footwear, so if you’re not wearing your galloshes today, I highly recommend using the newest entrance/exit to the stop, or the other side of Broadway. Good luck!

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Breaking: Backups on NJ Transit, Amtrak and the LIRR at Penn Station

October 25, 2010 3 comments
Christina Frasca, news editor

As a result of NJ Transit (NJT) train derailment, there are delays starting at 30 minutes at Penn Station for all NJT, LIRR and Amtrak trains, due to fewer tracks being available for use.
According to NJT service advisory:
• All Midtown Direct trains will originate and terminate at Hoboken Terminal, instead of New York.  PATH trains are cross honoring NJ TRANSIT tickets and passes between Hoboken and 33rd Street.
• Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line trains are subject to significant delays in and out of New York during the afternoon and evening hours.  Expect crowding conditions, as some trains will be combined to reduce congestion.
• Customers on the Main, Bergen County, Pascack Valley and Port Jervis lines are strongly encouraged to travel via Hoboken Terminal, rather than via New York and Secaucus.  Use PATH between 33rd Street and Hoboken Terminal.
• Please allow additional travel time on all rail lines.
ALTERNATE TRAVEL OPTIONS
• PATH trains are cross honoring NJ TRANSIT rail tickets and passes at 33rd Street, Hoboken and Newark Penn Station.
• NJ TRANSIT buses are cross honoring rail tickets and passes systemwide.
• Private Carrier buses are cross honoring rail tickets and passes on trips to and from Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Customers are encouraged to check njtransit.com for the latest information before traveling.
Allow extra time for your commute on the PATH train because many NJT travellers will be using the PATH as their closest alternative to Hoboken.
LIRR trains during tonight’s rush hour are also subject to cancellation. Lines affected include Babylon branch, Far Rockaway branch, Long Beach branch, Hempstead branch and Ronkonkoma branch. Check mtw.info/lirr for more updates!

Commuters: Be Prepared to Dish Out More Money

October 12, 2010 1 comment

Cristina Romano

Photo compliments of Gothamist

Once again, even in the wake of recent service cuts, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has approved a fare increase for subways, buses and commuter railroads. Intended to boost MTA revenue by 7.5% as an effort to close the budget gap, the increase passed with a vote of 12-2 on the morning of October 7th. This marks the third straight year that we are forced to dish out more money in order to get from place to place.

So what does this mean for FCLC commuters who are forced to use transit on a daily basis to get to campus? According to an article in the the New York Times , the main increases, which will take effect on December 30th include:

· $1 charge for new MetroCards
· $2.50 for the price of single ride tickets (up from $2.25)
· 3-14% increase on Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road tickets (depending on the fare plan/route)
· $29 unlimited weekly pass (up from ($27)
· $104 30-day unlimited card (up from $89)
· One-day passes and 14-Day unlimited passes discontinued

For a full list of fare hikes, visit the Metropolitan Transportation Authority website at MTA.info

This Is My Nightmare: Transit Edition

Harry Huggins, opinions editor

Sometimes life piles it on faster than you can sort through it all and you feel distressed, hopeless and sometimes flat out angry. More distressed than Bambi after hearing that shot. More hopeless than any future Sarah Palin presidential bid. Angrier than that dude from “Network.” You feel like your life is a dream gone horribly wrong: a nightmare.

Last Tuesday, my Journalism class took a field trip to the Wired magazine headquarters in the Conde Nast building. While the tour itself was great, I had an 11:30 class and our Q&A session was running a little long. By the time it was finished, I had 15 minutes to get back to Fordham. My mission: 18 streets and two avenues for a total of 1.5 miles.

If this were my only complaint, I’d expect the reasonable reader to scoff at my complaining. But it wasn’t as easy as taking the subway. This is what I faced in my quest to get to Art History on time:

  1. Rain = Umbrellas threatening my eyes (I’m tall).
  2. Random midday rush of subway users. At lunch? Really?
  3. PERUVIAN PAN FLUTE BANDS AT BOTH STATIONS
  4. Having to sit between an old dude with a bulky walker and
  5. A hipster. With gauges. And a beater.

Add all this to the fact that I hate being late even more than I hate hipsters and I had only one thought on my mind: this is my nightmare. What’s yours?

Fire on the Metro North Halts Commuting

September 20, 2010 2 comments

Liz Bowen, editor-in-chief with additional reporting by Christina Frasca, news editor

Attention commuters! As of 11:40 a.m. a fire under a rail bridge on the Harlem River has prevented all Metro-North service in and out of Grand Central. As a result, service has been halted for the Harlem and New Haven lines through the Fordham Station in the Bronx. Although firefighters are on the scene, there is no official word as to when Metro-North service will be restored. According to the New York Daily News, shuttle services are likely to replace the Metro-North for evening commuters.

At this point, the cause of the fire has not been determined, and no injuries were reported. For updates, check back here at observerblog.wordpress.com or on the Metro North’s website, http://www.mta.info/mnr/.

[Update] To get out of the city, get to the new Metro North stop at Yankee Stadium via the Subway, and then you can get all three major lines from there to get home. -C.F.

[Update, 2:51 p.m.] Two of four tracks are back in service. Regular off-peak serive has resumed on all three lines (Hudson, Harlem, and New Haven) as well. -C.F.

Oprah Proclaims National No Phone Zone Day in Movement Against Distracted Driving

April 30, 2010 1 comment

by Ashley Tedesco, blog editor

Today has been proclaimed National No Phone Zone Day by Oprah Winfrey, and if anyone can make something a national movement, we all know it’s Oprah. She has been spearheading a movement against distracted driving by encouraging everyone to make their automobiles “no phone zones,” discouraging any use of cell phones while driving–texting and talking, hands-free or otherwise.

“My biggest hope for the No Phone Zone campaign is that it becomes mandatory that no one uses their phone in the car or texts while driving — just as seat belts are mandatory, just as driving while drunk is considered absolutely taboo,” Oprah said in a statement quoted in the New York Times.

Unfortunately, citing the hesitation of viewers to go cold-turkey, the No Phone Zone pledge was changed by Harpo Productions to include the allowance of hands-free devices. The National Safety Council will therefore not to support the pledge, believing that even hands-free cell phone use is distracting and extraordinarily dangerous.

Currently, no states have a full ban on cell phones, though many enforce laws against handheld phones and texting while driving. Though totally cell phone-free roadways are ideal, smaller steps are important too. On the other hand, while the movement against cell phones in itself is a huge step and very important, it’s not the only culprit for distracted driving. Many motorists also eat, drink, read newspapers, try to search through handbags or calm children in back seats while driving–actions much harder to regulate by law enforcement authorities.

As we move into the academic summer and disperse across the country, it’s important to know the laws in each respective state. Learn more on on the Governors’ Highway Safety Association Web site. When it comes to cell phones and driving however, abstinence-only really should be the only way to go.

The movement against distracted driving is one close to the hearts of the Observer family after losing our news editor, Casey Feldman, to distracted driving in July. Please, take Oprah’s No Phone Zone pledge here and drive safely!

Lost in the City? Here’s your go-to guide!

By Nicole Musa

Ever feel overwhelmed by how confusing the NYC subway system is?  Whether you’re a New York City native, college student from somewhere distant, or the typical tourist, it’s impossible to memorize how to reach every location in Manhattan and its surrounding boroughs.  Forget the letters, numbers, and colors and take advantage of one of the best travel planning websites on the internet.

HopStop.com allows you to choose your place of origin and destination anywhere in New York City, and with that information, maps out the most convenient way for you to travel based on personal preference.  For instance, there is an option for more or less transfers and more or less walking.  Not only will it tell you which subway trains to take, but it will give you a step by step routing for when you enter or exit the subway until you reach your destination.  You can also use it to map a travel route by utilizing NYC buses.  NYC isn’t the only location HotStop offers either.  In fact, it can be used for mass transit in 16 different cities to date!

This has come extremely handy being a frequent NYC commuter.  I use it on a daily basis and it has yet to let me down!

Categories: Real World, Transportation