Category Archives: Transportation

DOT to Scale Back 101st Avenue Pedestrian Plaza

The city Department of Transportation last week told The Forum that, after a lengthy study, the agency has decided to scale back the pedestrian plaza in Ozone Park near City Line. For months, the DOT and civic leaders have heard myriad complaints from small business owners in the area regarding the open space on 101st Avenue at Drew Street and Liberty Avenue. Many have said the plaza has greatly affected their bottom lines. According to a DOT spokesperson, the department … Continue reading

Goldfeder Calls on Cuomo to Use Part of Surplus on Rail Line

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) this week ramped up efforts to help fund the revitalization of the defunct Rockaway Beach Rail Line by penning a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, urging him to direct a portion of the $5 billion in state dollars from the budget surplus, created by settlements and fines from major financial firms, to restore the line. Last week, Goldfeder helped detail the findings of a Queens College study that surveyed thousands of residents and researched available … Continue reading

2014 MTA Customer Satisfaction Results Released

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority this week released results of its annual customer satisfaction surveys, showing a continued gradual increase in travelers’ satisfaction with the city subway system – a trend underway since 2010, when the MTA began for the first time tracking satisfaction for all MTA services using the same rating scale. The surveys showed that overall satisfaction with New York City Buses, the Long Island Rail Road, and MTA Bridges and Tunnels remains essentially unchanged in comparison to recent … Continue reading

Tolls, Subway Fares to Increase 4 percent Over Next Two Years

While it might be a modest escalation, get ready to pay more to travel in and out of the five boroughs. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority this week unveiled proposals to increase fares and tolls by 4 percent over the next two years. According to the MTA, despite rising operational costs, the agency’s budget discipline and increased ridership allow it to limit fare and toll increases to the equivalent of 2 percent a year. Two alternative subway and bus fare structures … Continue reading

Study Proves Area Needs Rockaway Beach Rail Line: Advocates

The defunct Rockaway Beach Rail Line could generate a half a million subway rides per day, and many residents in the communities through which the line runs favor reactivation over transforming it into a park, according to the highly anticipated findings of a Queens College study that were released this week. The student-led Department of Urban Studies analysis, “A Community Impact Study of Proposed Uses of the Rockaway Beach Branch Right of Way,” surveyed thousands of residents and researched available census … Continue reading

Port Authority, FAA to Upgrade Noise Pollution Standards

More residents living near Kennedy and LaGuardia airports could be eligible for federal grants to pay for insulating houses from aircraft noise, if the Federal Aviation Administration adopts new standards. Recent changes to FAA flight procedures require that aircrafts fly lower along more precise paths. Therefore, while actual noise generated by aircrafts has decreased, and the number of people subject to noise has decreased somewhat, lower altitudes and “focused” noise tends to make the situation much worse for those under … Continue reading

Despite 11th-Hour Appeals, Rockaway Ferry Ceases Operation

The Rockaway Ferry, based out of Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive, made its last official run on Friday, Oct. 31st, despite the efforts of a slew of residents, community activists and elected officials alike who campaigned for its permanent continuation. Following a meeting with Mayor Bill de Blasio last week regarding the ferry’s termination, a group of elected officials who represent parts of the Rockaways, including U.S. Rep. Greg Meeks (D-Jamaica) and Borough President Melinda Katz, released the … Continue reading

City Touts Progress, Community Demands Ferry at Rockaway Sandy Meet

Dozens of victims of Superstorm Sandy on Monday night trekked to Beach Channel High School for a town hall and resource fair, during which they listened to the heads of many city agencies tout the admittedly slow, but sure, recovery process, and what sounded like the death knell of the Rockaway Ferry. Organized by City Councilmen Eric Ulrich (R-Rockaway Park) and Donovan Richards (D-Far Rockaway), the event brought together commissioners of city agencies such as Parks and Recreation, Transportation, Environmental … Continue reading

Slow Down: 25 MPH to be New Default City Speed Limit

Starting Nov. 7th, the default city speed limit—the speed limit when one is not posted—will drop to 25 mph from the current 30 mph, as part of the de Blasio administration’s Vision Zero initiative to make streets safer and reduce pedestrian accidents. “Slower speeds save lives,” said Scott Johnson, project manager with the city Department of Transportation, during a presentation to the Borough Cabinet on roadway “slow zones” at Borough Hall on Tuesday. Johnson, along with DOT Deputy Commissioner Nicole … Continue reading

New Book Spotlights MTA ‘Art Museum’

The next time you find yourself at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue, take a quick look around. You might catch a driver or bus passenger or pedestrian heading north on the boulevard craning their neck toward the elevated subway station and that mysterious face that has stood sentinel over the roadway for more than 20 years. And thanks to a new book that features the 250 permanent works of art throughout the city’s vast transportation network, curious … Continue reading

Mayor Signs Law Expanding Pre-Tax Transit Benefits

Mayor Bill de Blasio this week signed into law a bill which requires city companies with 20 or more full-time employees to offer pre-tax transit benefits. Intro 295-Aencourages employers to take advantage of an existing federal tax benefit, which already allows businesses to offer its workers $130 a month as pre-tax income for transportation. The legislation is expected to save employees opting into the program an average of over $400 a year on their Metro Card expenses. Once companies start offering this benefit, according … Continue reading

MTA Adds 29 Borough Subway Stations to Wi-Fi Rollout

Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials, along with Transit Wireless executives, last week outside the Court Square subway station in Long Island City announced the completion of the second phase of the wireless and Wi-Fi network build-out, a “major expansion” of the communication services in more stations in Queens and Manhattan. Phase II extended underground connectivity to 29 borough stations, including the hubs at Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Avenue, Jamaica Center, and Court Square. A total of 76 city stations and 47 million monthly … Continue reading

Pols, Advocates Call on MTA to Bring Bus Rapid Transit to Borough

With the push for a permanent Rockaway ferry still dominating the south Queens transportation conversation, elected officials and transit advocacy groups this week rallied on the steps of City Hall, calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to bring high-quality bus rapid transit to a patch of the borough that historically has been bereft of public transit options. City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) hosted the Tuesday morning event, announcing support from fellow councilmembers and bus riders, and unveiling a “BRT For … Continue reading

Pols, Communities Call on State to Improve Evacuation Routes and Signs

Emergency evacuation infrastructure and route signage along the Nassau Expressway and connecting roadways in southern Queens and southwestern Nassau County are in desperate need of immediate repair, according to area elected officials. Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Beach) and Nassau County Legislator Howard Kopel (D-LI) led a rally on Sunday morning in Five Towns to call on the state Department of Transportation to improve the roadways and signage before more natural catastrophes wreak havoc on communities. “In southern Queens and Rockaway, … Continue reading

MTA Board Approves $32 Billion Capital Program

A busy Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board last Wednesday morning voted to approve the proposed 2015-2019 Capital Program, according to an MTA spokesman. The $32 billion program is designed to renew, enhance and expand the MTA network, the agency announced this week, including investments to protect the safety and reliability of transit service, improve service quality and the customer experience and expand the network with new lines and connections. MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast called the Capital Program the MTA’s … Continue reading