Monday, November 10, 2014

Riders get screwed from missing service notice while MTA brass dances around Fulton Center

On Sunday 11/9/14, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) invited the press to a closed door conference and tour of the new Fulton Center. Among the MTA  dignitaries were MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast, NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco, MTA Captial Construction President Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, and  Paul Fleuranges, NYCT Senior Director of Corporate and Internal Communications.   MTA brass, along with elected officials including U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer, gave speeches and demonstrations to the press. Also during the course of the day, pictures of Fulton Center were tweeted by the official NYC Transit account

But as the top MTA brass were dancing around inside a glass house to the oohs and ahhs of the press who were covering the event, sans stones to throw, the customers they are empowered to serve were getting screwed at this complex because the MTA failed to post an important service change which took place all weekend.  As the MTA brass took a walk along the newly reconfigured West passageway just above the A/C platform within the doors leading to the Uptown 4/5 platform, the area required to be closed to the public, customers from the A/C or 2/3 were advised in making a detour.  Because of the Fulton Transit Center work, there were no free transfers between 2/3/A/C lines with the Uptown 4 and 5 lines.  Riders from the A/C or 2/3 were directed by station personnel to use the Downtown 4/5 to Wall Street then transfer to an Uptown 4/5.  Riders coming off the Uptown 4 and 5 after 8 AM Sunday when this platform reopened, were directed to the John Street exit, cross Broadway then enter on the Downtown side where they would have to tell a police officer or station personnel about their need to transfer to the A/C or 2/3 and be let in.  However, a check on the MTA website showed nothing about this service change.

4/5/A/C service advisories using the Weekender:


2/3 advisory?  Nothing

So anyone looking at the Weekender - - the "best" placed to check for service status along a station or route, has nothing about the closure of the free transfer.  The TripPlanner+  didn't catch it either, it should have suggested to use Downtown 4/5 to Wall Street then Uptown 4/5 to Brooklyn Bridge.

But the MTA brass were aware about the Uptown 4/5 transfer restriction - - Uptown 4 and 5 trains were bypassing Fulton Street on Saturday but on Sunday after 8 AM, they did stop at Fulton Street. Management did see the frustrated customers were forced to use the Downtown 4/5 but nobody bothered to checked on their phones or laptops to verify the existence of this service change while they gave the tour to the press.  For all the hype about Fulton Center and the willful omission of a service change which should have been posted proves one thing - they don't care about disseminating the correct information to their customers.  Nobody did anything to correct this missing service notice yesterday.

And the MTA is proposing an across-the-board 4 to 6 percent increase in fares and tolls within the MTA region in 2015 and 2017?   Maybe we need new management who should have more of a concern about how they communicate to their customers before they showcase the next "grand destination and meeting place" than their paychecks.

Later this week I will visit the Fulton Center and give a review of this important complex.

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