Today's 7 line disaster where a frozen third rail near Queensboro Plaza, shut down the entire 7 line between Times Square and Main Street since 10 AM this morning. The cold weather also hampered NYCT's ability to thaw 3rd rail components. Riders on the 7 line found it difficult and frustrating trying to get home or work with an entire line shut down. The MTA and NYC Transit did enter into an agreement with the Long Island Railroad in cross-honoring NYC Transit customers with Metrocards to ride the LIRR free between (at first) Hunters Point, Woodside, Mets-Willets Point and Main Street-Flushing stations on the Port Washington Line which runs parallel to the 7 line.
This is where the incompetence starts - - both NYCT and LIRR were giving wrong information all day to the point they don't even know their own service patterns. Here is one of the original NYC Transit Service alerts which show the original stations in Queens, nothing mentioned about LIRR cross-honoring at Penn Station in Manhattan.
So being my curious self and nothing better to do during my lunch hour (too cold to take a power walk outside), I asked the people who take care of NYC Transit's twitter account (@NYCTSubway) about why Penn Station is not on the list of LIRR stations. Here is NYCT's response:
Then I asked if NYCT confirmed with LIRR that all trains on the Port Washington branch were adding Mets-Willets Point as a special stop during the 7 line closure, NYCT's response:
So, NYCT claims they verified the station stops with the LIRR. Now I advised one of my co-workers who is planning to take the LIRR instead of the 7 train home to purchase a ticket at Penn station - to Main Street - unaware that they were actually cross-honoring Metrocards at Penn. This tweet was posted by the LIRR's twitter account at 2:49 PM - while nothing is posted on the NYCT 7 line service alert. Note that another twitter user (whom I have since followed) is also asking why NYCT is saying that LIRR is not cross-honoring at Penn. How many customers at Penn purchased a ticket between Penn station, Woodside and/or Main Street when they could have rode for free?
Oh, let's go back to the original NYCT service alert (with the 4 Queens LIRR cross-honoring stations) and dissect it for a minute. Two of the four stations are incorrect - Hunters Point is a PM rush hour outbound station which NONE of the trains run on the Port Washington branch (so much for stopping at Flushing-Main St) and they don't stop at Woodside either. The next stop after most trains leaving Hunters Point is either Jamaica or any station east. Mets-Willets Point is the other inaccuracy - - none of the LIRR trains stopped at Mets-Willets Point, contrary to what NYCT tells us.
And even the LIRR insisted that the rest of the Hunters Point trains were stopping at Woodside.
Here is the list:
1. NYCT claims LIRR is not cross-honoring at Penn - - FALSE
2. NYCT claims Hunters Point and Mets Willets point are cross honoring stations - FALSE
3. LIRR claims trains from Hunters Point are stopping at Woodside - FALSE
Thomas Prendergast should resign from his post as MTA Chairman - - he has proved that he cannot oversee NYCT and the LIRR with the cross/mis-communication and incorrect tweets let alone that the 7 line shutdown (now since partially restored) will run overnight. There were signal failures all over the NYC Transit system, including a signal issue which shut down the J/M subway tracks over the Williamsburg bridge for a few hours this afternoon. To mess up on disseminating service alerts means the MTA, NYCT and LIRR cannot manage a railroad system properly.