IMG_2684

Train arrival boards at Nevins St., seen here last December, will remain unused for four months longer than originally anticipated. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

When we last checked in on New York City Transit’s plan to bring train arrival boards to New York, the $200 million project was set to debut along the IRT’s numbered subway lines in December 2010. At the time, Transit warned that this date was “subject to the successful resolution of contractual issues,” and I called that language a big red flag.

Unsurprisingly, then, Transit’s efforts to bring this much-needed and decade-old technology to New York City are officially delayed. This news was hidden in the copious amounts of material the MTA Board put online in advance of Monday’s committee meetings, and Michael Grynbaum gently broke the news this evening.

Grynbaum’s story focuses around the three Bronx stations that will see their train arrival boards activated next month as part of a preview. Considering, though, that these signs have been in use along the L line since 2006, that’s hardly the big news. The delay is though, and he writes:

Still, riders may want to hold off celebrating just yet. Last month, officials said they hoped to install all clocks at 152 subway stations by December 2010; that is now expected to be April 2011.

And while the No. 6 line, with 700,000 rides a day, is the city’s busiest, the stations selected for next month’s rollout are some of the sleepiest. On average, those stations — Brook Avenue, East 149th Street and Longwood Avenue — each carry about 4,500 rides each weekday, fewer than 3 percent of the rides handled at Grand Central…“Work was completed first at those stations, that’s why they will be the first to be turned on,” said Charles Seaton, a spokesman for New York City Transit.

There is, of course, more bad news. When I first wrote about the train board project in early October, the Transit documents alleged a cost for just this IRT rollout of $171 million. Now, Transit is estimating the costs of installing this system at the 156 A Division stations at $199.6 million.

Documents say that the budget increase of nearly $30 million is due to “increased…labor costs, in-house construction, consultant services and additional work orders.” The contractors, says Transit, “believe this estimate is sufficient for current work in schedule barring any unforeseen developments.” The MTA, it seems, specializes in unforeseen developments.

And so we continue to wait for a service riders in Washington, D.C., London, Paris and even Rome have enjoyed for years. We wait for Transit to drag its 105-year-old system kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. We wait for not even half of the stations to receive a simple notification system. We still don’t know when or if the B Division will receive these boards, but for now, as with most other MTA projects, these arrival boards are behind schedule and over budget. No one is too surprised.

Categories : MTA Technology
Comments (13)
  • On inappropriate iPhone videos · These days, sound bleeding from subpar headphones creates many a frustration subway ride, and one day, I’ll tackle the subject of personal music underground. I wanted, though, to direct everyone’s attention to a rather amusing article from last week’s Washington Post with the headline “Publicly, a whole new lewdness” and the subhead “Everywhere you look, porn is suddenly inescapable.”

    As you might imagine, it is about the myriad ways people are using their iPhones, iPods and portable video devices to view pornography in public. In particular, Post staff writer Monica Hesse is concerned about the way Metro riders have caught others watching adult films on board. She tells the story of a seat mate who started watching her neighbor’s video with him after it caught her eye. That tale sounds a bit apocryphal though.

    Personally, I’ll sometimes glimpse bits and pieces of familiar movies or a recent episode of Lost while riding the subway, but I have yet to catch anyone watching porn while riding the train. I’ve seen what Hesse calls “Drive-By Porn” — when a neighboring SUV on the highway has a porn cued up on the internal DVD player. The subways, though, have remained adult film-free for me. How about for you? · (6)

Remember the halcyon days of late last week when Gov. David Paterson announced a new plan to replace every New York license plate while charging $25 a car? At the time, state officials claimed that the reflectivity of our current blue plates had run its course and also that the $25 charge would help draw in $129 million over two years.

At the time, I called the fee a pure and simple money grab. Up nearly $20 per car over the 2001 plate replacement fees, the state was simply trying to make money, and I believed that if the outrage over this fee was not at least as loud as the protests over the MTA’s payroll tax, something would be rotten in the state of New York.

Well, now that the state legislature is promising to repeal the fee, I got my wish but for all the wrong reasons. As Michael Grynbaum explores in The Times today, car owners raised a stink because they can’t be bothered to pay for their driving. These upstate drivers claim urban dwellers benefit. Writes Grynbaum:

Leaders in both chambers of the Legislature said they expected to repeal the mandatory charge before April 1, when it was scheduled to go into effect. Lawmakers said they planned to find another way to raise the $130 million in annual revenue that would have been generated, but none offered any immediate ideas.

The fee, up from $5.50 in 2001, had been raised in part to generate more revenue amid the fiscal crisis. Drivers would have received a redesigned plate with a more reflective surface.

But upstate officials argued that they were being forced to pay a charge that city dwellers, who often use mass transit, could avoid. The fee’s demise came a day before a planned protest outside the Capitol.

Considering how New York City subsidizes the rest of the state and considering the price we pay environmentally and socially for driving, that claim is a baseless one. In fact, over at Streetsblog, one commenter highlights the hypocrisy. “Doesn’t anyone in Albany have the brains or the guts to point out that NYC residents, while they may be better positioned to ‘avoid’ the $25 plate surcharge, already pay more than their fair share for road upkeep and mass transit infrastructure, all of which is used to varying degrees by upstate residents whining about $25/car/yr?” BicyclesOnly asked. Of course they don’t.

I’ve never been a complete anti-car evangelic. In the right circumstances, automobiles have their places in society. Yet, sound investment in mass transit and public transportation is vital to New York’s future success and the overall health of our state and nation. Even if we doubt the sincerity of a replacement license plate plan and see through the fees as a blatant money grab, we shouldn’t allow drivers to avoid paying the costs of driving. Maybe city dwellers don’t have to pay the license plate fee, but we have to pay a far greater share of fees and taxes than those upstaters do. Albany shouldn’t lose sight of that reality.

Comments (8)

Chalk this one up to a bad idea.

In a move entirely disproportionate to the problem, the Obama Administration is planning to propose federal oversight of local transit safety. Long the purview of the state bodies, safety measures have come under fire in recent months after a fatal crash in Washington, D.C. To combat what federal transportation officials view as rising safety concerns, the administration will, according to the Washington Post, send a plan to Congress that would allow the government to issue mandatory federal safety regulations for local transit agencies.

“After the [Metro] train crash, we were all sitting around here scratching our heads, saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got to do something about this,’ and we discovered that there’s not much we could do, because the law wouldn’t allow us to do it,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said to the Washington Post

The details so far have not been released, but coverage in today’s Times provides us with some clues:

Currently, 27 state safety agencies hold the responsibility for keeping transit systems safe, but the quality of those agencies varies widely, transportation officials said. Some rely on the very transit systems they are supposed to oversee for financing and lack the authority to enforce their rules. As for staffing, the state safety agencies average less than one full-time staff person per agency, the officials said.

Under the administration’s plan, states would be allowed to maintain oversight of their transit systems as long as they could demonstrate that they have enough fully-trained staff members to enforce federal safety rules, the authority to compel compliance from the transit system and enough financial independence from the systems they are regulating, officials said.

The federal government would also cover the costs of salaries and benefits for state employees overseeing standards. In states that are unable to provide adequate oversight, the federal government would assume that role.

On the surface, standardizing safety compliance and regulations seems to be a sound policy. Yet, when we dig into the rationale behind this and comparable measures as the commuter rail level, the idea breaks down. First, The Times explores the statistics spurring on federal action. Passenger injuries, the paper reports, on subways and light rail have increased a whopping 182 percent. There must be an epidemic, right? Wrong.

Over the last five years, injury rates have increased from 0.483 injures per 100 million miles to 1.362. As a comparison, automobile fatality rates are 1.27 per 100 million miles and injury rates are approximately 100 per 100 million miles.

Second, we can examine how federal safety regulations of commuter rail lines have caused numerous problems. In addition to the costs — which I’ll examine in a paragraph — federal safety regulations have become too burdensome. One of the reasons why commuter rail and Amtrak have yet to utilize fully the potential of high-speed rail stems from the federal government’s safety standards. Because of these mandates, trains are heavier than they need to be. Thus, production costs are increased and top speeds are slower than we would prefer. The balance between safety and efficiency has not yet been achieved.

Finally, the costs of compliance and enforcement are problematic as well. According to page two of the Post’s report, federal capital grants would be rescinded if agencies do not adhere to safety regulations. However, New York state politicians are fearful that the feds won’t foot the bill for compliance and enforcement efforts. How, then, should the nation’s cash-starved transit agencies — agencies that don’t suffer from major safety problems — pay for adherence to federal safety guidelines?

I certainly appreciate LaHood’s thinking, and in certain situations, standardized safety regulations make sense. But until train injuries increase and until the federal government can fund these safety projects, this is a policy we in New York should not support.

Comments (15)
Nov
14

Weekend service advisories

By · Comments (7) ·

As I rode an F shuttle bus back from Carroll Gardens to Park Slope tonight at a little after midnight, I realized I hadn’t yet had the opportunity to post this weekend’s changes. So here you go. There are a lot of them, but in a few weeks, with the holidays nearly upon, work will slow.

Don’t forget to check out our map from Subway Weekender that shows just how the subway changes impact travel. Download this week’s map right here or by clicking on the image below. Remember: These weekend service changes come to me from the MTA and are subject to change without notice. Check signs in your local station and listen for on-board announcements for up-to-the minute changes. The specific alerts follow.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 14 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, uptown 1/2 trains skip 50th, 59th, 66th, 79th, 86th, and 96th Streets due to station rehabilitation at 96th Street and 59th Street-Columbus Circle.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 14, to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, free shuttle buses replace 2 trains between 241st Street and East 180th Street due to completion work on tracks south of Bronx Park East.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 14 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, uptown 3 trains skip 96th Street Streets due to station rehabilitation at 96th Street.


From 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, November 14, downtown 4 trains run local from 125th Street to Grand Central-42nd Street due to track cable pull.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 14 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, there are no 5 trains between East 180th Street and 149th Street-Grand Concourse due to completion work on tracks south of Bronx Park East. Customers should take the 2 instead.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 14 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, 5 trains run every 30 minutes between East 180th Street and Dyre Avenue due to completion work on tracks south of Bronx Park East.


From 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday, November 15, downtown 5 trains run local from 125th Street to Grand Central-42nd Street due to track cable pull.


From 4 a.m. Saturday, November 14 to 10 p.m. Sunday, November 15, Manhattan-bound 7 trains skip 111th, 103rd, 90th, 82nd, 74th, 69th, 52nd, 46th, 40th, and 33rd Streets due to track panel installation.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 14 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, uptown A trains skip 135th, 155th, and 163rd due to track chip out north of 155th Street.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 14 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, downtown A trains skip 50th, 23rd, and Spring Streets due to Chambers Signal Modernization.


From 10:30 p.m. Friday, November 13 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, free shuttle buses replace A service between Far Rockaway and Beach 98th Street due to station rehabilitation at Beach 67 Street, Beach 44 Street, and Beach 25 Street.


From 6:30 a.m. to midnight, Saturday, November 14 and Saturday, November 15, uptown C trains skip 135th, 155th, and 163rd due to track chip out north of 155th Street.


From 6:30 a.m. to midnight, Saturday, November 14 and Sunday, November 15, downtown C trains run express from 145th Street to Canal Street due to Chambers Signal Modernization.


From 5 a.m. Saturday, November 14 to 10 p.m. Sunday, November 15, Manhattan-bound D trains run on the N line from Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue due to track panel installation north of 62nd Street.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 14, to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, uptown D trains run local from 125th to 145th Streets due to track chip out north of 155th Street.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 14 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, downtown D trains run local from 145th Street to 59th Street due to Chambers Signal Modernization.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 14 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, D trains run local between DeKalb Avenue and 36th Street due to Culver Viaduct Rehabilitation.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 14 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, there are no E trains between West 4th Street and World Trade Center due to Chambers Signal Modernization. Customers should take the A or C instead. Note: E trains rerouted to the F at West 4th Street and run to 2nd Avenue.


From 11:30 p.m. Friday, November 13 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, there are no F trains between Jay Street and Church Avenue due to Culver Viaduct Rehabilitation. Free shuttle buses provide alternate service.


From 8:30 Friday, November 13 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, there are no G trains between Forest Hills-71st Avenue and Court Square due to Culver Viaduct Rehabilitation. Customers should take the E or R instead. – Every weekend, it’s another excuse for the G train. The Culver Viaduct is miles away from Court Sq. and Forest Hills.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 14 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, G trains run in two sections due to Culver Viaduct Rehabilitation:

  • Between Court Square and Bedford-Nostrand Avs and
  • Between Bedford-Nostrand Avs and Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 14 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, there are no G trains between Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts. and Church Avenue due to Culver Viaduct Rehabilitation. Free shuttle buses and A trains provide alternate service.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 14 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, N trains are rerouted over the Manhattan Bridge between DeKalb Avenue and Canal Street due to track maintenance at Cortlandt Street.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 14 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, N trains run local between DeKalb Avenue and 59th Street due to Culver Viaduct Rehabilitation. – Apparently, the Culver Viaduct Rehab is the reason for everything this weekend. This makes little sense. This must be a typo, right?


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 14 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, Q trains run local between 57th Street and Canal Street due to track maintenance at Cortlandt Street.


From 6:30 a.m. to midnight, Saturday, November 14 and Sunday, November 15, uptown R trains skip 49th Street due to track maintenance at Cortlandt Street. Customers should take the N or Q instead.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 14 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, there are no R trains between 34th Street-Broadway and 36th Street (Brooklyn) due to track maintenance at Cortlandt Street. Customers should take the N or 4 instead.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 14 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, shuttle trains will operate all weekend between 36th Street (Brooklyn) and Bay Ridge-95th Street due to track maintenance at Cortlandt Street.


From 11 p.m. Friday, November 13 to 5 a.m. Monday, November 16, there are no S trains to Rockaway Park due to station rehabilitation at Beach 67 Street, Beach 44 Street, and Beach 25 Street. Customers should take the A instead.

Categories : Service Advisories
Comments (7)
  • To protect drivers, bus partitions · Nearly one year, Edwin Thomas, a driver along the B46 bus route, was fatally stabbed by a passenger who refused to pay the fare. Three weeks later, the MTA announced plans to start a bus partition pilot program, and now the MTA is gearing up to install these protective partitions. According to Pete Donohue of the Daily News, an L-shaped plastic partition will be installed in 100 buses in Brooklyn in an effort to better protect drivers for unruly passengers. As 340 bus drivers have been physically assaulted this year, this move is long overdue. · (6)

EastSideSBS

Although Phase I of the Second Ave. Subway is still at least seven or eight years away from completion, residents of Manhattan’s East Side will be getting speedier north-south options within the next twelve months. The MTA and New York City’s Department of Transportation are hard at work planning the Select Bus Service — New York’s version of a bus rapid transit system — for the East Side, and earlier this week, the agencies informed Community Board 1 of the plans.

In general, as the above map shows, the Select Bus Service will follow a path similar to that of the current M15 Limited. Buses will travel north up 1st Ave., and south down 2nd Ave. with a northern turnaround at 125th St. and a southern terminal at the Staten Island Ferry building. The buses will stop approximately every 10 blocks with no stops at 72nd, 28th or 8th Sts. “Faster and more reliable” were the buzzwords city officials used this week, according to Downtown Express’ Leslie Picker.

With the route in place, the MTA and DOT are trying to figure out how to make this service effective, and with out major exception, the ideas are falling into place. As preliminary designs, below, indicate, the city will install bus bulbs on blocks with stops. These bus areas will feature pre-boarding systems similar to those in place along Fordham Road in the Bronx and will allow for loading or parking areas in front of the bus stop.

BusBulbsSBS

As you can see from the picture, though, the plans call for an off-set bus lane but not a physically separated bus lane. Businesses along 1st and 2nd Aves., oblivious to the fact that buses would be far more beneficial than road space or parking spots, are not too keen on separated lanes, and community leaders are concerned about increased traffic due to the potential elimination of road space for bus lanes. In turn, though, DOT and MTA officials warned that the city would push for increased bus lane enforcement. Whether the NYPD alone can enforce the contours of a non-separated dedicated bus lane remain to be seen.

If the MTA and DOT can adhere to their published schedules, Select Bus Service will come to the East Side by the summer of 2010. This early roll-out, though, will be missing a few features of the overall service. Phase 1 will include better service patterns and pre-board fare payment as well as what the agencies are calling “enhanced bus lanes. Phase 2, set to arrive in mid-2011, will feature the bus bulbs and, more importantly, a preferred signaling system for transit vehicles. In other words, buses will enjoy longer green lights and fewer red lights.

For now, with the Second Ave. Subway inching along, this East Side corridor needs its bus rapid transit service. Even after Phase I of the SAS opens, the MTA claims that “passenger demand on the M15 will remain high.” The problem though of dedicated lanes persists. Until the buses can lay claim to their own spaces, enforcement costs will be high and a lack of enforcement would not significantly speed up bus service along these crowded avenues.

Categories : Buses
Comments (28)

EmpireGoldLicensePlate

From 1986-2000, New York license plates were rather iconic in their simplicity. Featuring a white background with a red trim and Lady Liberty in the center, the state license plates screamed New York. In 2000, the state announced plans to shift to the new blue-based license plates with Niagara Falls in one corner and Manhattan’s skyline in the other. Due to both registration enforcement and the desires to represent upstate New York, the license plates had to change.

Now, just eight years after the new plates debuted, it is time once again for New Yorkers to purchase new license plates for the DMV. The new design, shown above, returns New York to its yellow and blue license plates roots, but few are happy with the requirement to spend $25 on new license plates.

According to the DMV, the current license plates were guaranteed for only five years. After half a decade, the license plates, according to state officials, begin to lose their reflectivity and show the effects of wear and tear. Meanwhile, new law enforcement technologies have come into play that rely on shiny license plates. “License plates are a fundamental tool of law enforcement that has been enhanced in recent years through a variety of technologies that improve their readability, especially under low light conditions,” State Police Superintendent Harry J. Corbitt said. “The State Police has worked cooperatively with DMV to ensure that the new plates will continue to serve the law enforcement community effectively.”

Or something like that. The real answer is, of course, one of economics. By requiring and charging for new license plates, the state can generate revenue at a time when it has none. In fact, David J. Swarts, Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety admitted as much. “The bold colors of the new license plate reflect New York’s force and its resilience,” he said. “These new plates, in the official colors of the State of New York, will help maintain highway safety, reduce the number of unregistered and uninsured vehicles on our roads, and generate $129 million in General Fund revenue over two years, which will help address the State’s financial crisis.”

As numerous New Yorkers have been speaking out against the new license plates over the last two days, we turn then to this plan’s relationship to the MTA. On its surface, the state’s need to fill its General Fund coffers has nothing to do with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Yet, the funding plan should.

When the state levied payroll taxes and automobile registration fees on MTA counties, it did so because the MTA needed money and these counties benefit from a healthy mass transit network. Politicians and small business owners complained, and in fact, efforts to repeal the taxes are ongoing today. However, whether business owners know this or not, these counties stand to lose more economically from reduced transit service. In other words, residents outside of the city enjoy significant externalities due to the presence of public transit options whether they use Metro-North, the LIRR or New York City Transit offerings or not.

With the license plates, the state is making a pure and simple money grab. If the outrage over these new license plates isn’t at least as large as the Putnam and Dutchess County protests against the MTA, then it is not a stretch to say that the residents and politicians from these areas simply do not understand economics of access and the interplay between urban and suburban areas.

Comments (13)

UF_NYSubway_16.JPG

Wrapped subway cars, the world’s best present. (Photos by NGC/ Hoff Productions)

Tonight at 8 p.m. the National Geographic channel will go behind the scenes of the subway car manufacturing process. The latest installment in the Ultimate Factories series, tonight’s show will follow the manufacturing process for one of the new R160 cars as it goes from France to Brazil to upstate New York before arriving in our subway system.

UF_NYSubway_30.JPG

Neil Genzling, TV critic for The Times has already seen the show, and he praises it for the clips of the reefing process.

For regular users of the subway what’s likely to get the heart really racing comes near the end, when the program takes a brief detour to show what happens to retired subway cars. That’s when we see the gray monstrosities being deep-sixed 20 miles off the Maryland coast to create an artificial reef for marine life.

Watching those cars going under feels like revenge, or vindication, or something, for all those appointments missed because the R and the N — the Rarely and the Never — didn’t show up, or because an indecipherable intercom failed to convey that the E train was going to skip the next 20 stops, or insert your own subway nightmare here.

For those further interested in the companies that make the trains, Infrastructurist’s Yonah Freemark has published a series of posts about train manufacturing companies. He started with Alstom, moved on to Bomardier, then examined Talgo and looked at the Japanese newcomers. Good stuff.

After the jump, a four-minute video preview of tonight’s show. Read More→

Categories : Rolling Stock
Comments (10)

ATUTWU200 Over the last few months, the MTA’s generally tenuous relationship with its union workers — and in particular, the Transport Workers Union — has become strained, and it’s starting to fray. The trouble started when an arbitration panel awarded the TWU 11 percent in raises over the next three years, and although the process was called “binding arbitration,” the MTA could legally appeal the decision on certain grounds. When the agency opted for this path, labor peace started to deteriorate, and things are slowly coming to a head.

We start first with a non-TWU story and with a follow up to last week’s tragic accident that left a pedestrian dead after getting struck by a bus while he was cross the street. On Tuesday, I reported that this bus driver had been suspended for texting behind the wheel. Protests by the Amalgamated Transit Union, though, led to a simple suspension.

Yesterday, the Daily News added a shocking twist to this sad story. The driver had been posting nasty notes about passengers on his Facebook page. According to the report, these notes were about “killing, committing suicide and beating people.” Now, the MTA Inspector General Barry Kluger has initiated a probe to find out why Transit did not initiate a psychological evaluation of Jeremy Philhower and why the agency faced such fierce resistance when they it tried to dismiss this driver. This accident — seemingly avoidable — should lead to a change in the way these cases are handled by both the unions and the MTA.

Next, we arrive at an Op-Ed by Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute. She takes the MTA to task for its role the TWU arbitration process:

Arbitration likely was a ruse, although we don’t know for sure. We can guess that neither Gov. Paterson nor the MTA thought that awarding huge raises would fly publicly, especially when the MTA needed a multibillion-dollar bailout.

But nobody wanted to annoy the TWU. It seems likely that the arbitrators were brought in to insulate the pols from public anger. Just two weeks ago, Paterson maintained this fiction, saying that, though “we don’t have the money,” the arbitrators “probably made the correct ruling technically.”

And the MTA wasn’t exactly careful, on behalf of the taxpayers, to assure a pristine process. It was almost unbelievably outrageous, as we learned long after the fact, that the “indepen dent” arbitrator on the three-man panel — former Deputy Mayor John Zuccotti, who represented the public — agreed, with the MTA’s support, to fork over his $116,000 “fee” to a TWU-controlled charity.

That is, the MTA used a supposedly independent process to wash a payment back to its “adversary” in the arbitration.

Gelinas calls for the state legislature to fix the way the MTA negotiates with its unions. She wants to see an end to what she terms “backroom deals,” and she wants the authority, going through some lean economic times, to be able to exert pressure on the unions to get more out of their workers. The politics of Gelinas’ Manhattan Institute may be more to the right than those of many New Yorkers, but she raises some questions here for the MTA that need to be aired.

Finally, with the MTA Board set to meet next Wednesday, the TWU will host another Day of Outrage protest in front of MTA headquarters. Meanwhile, the Union has appealed to the U.N.’s International Labor Organization in an effort to get New York State’s anti-strike Taylor Law repealed. Although the United Nation’s labor commission has no binding authority over New York state law, a statement against the Taylor could, in the words of one labor expert, “influence decisions by local lawmakers.”

I get the sense that, if the law allowed them to do so, the city’s transit unions would be on the verge of a strike. As the MTA’s appeal continues, as cost-cutting measures come into play, these labor wars will only grow more acrimonious.

Categories : ATU, TWU
Comments (24)
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