Thursday, October 27, 2016

NYCT misinformation gets customers lost

On Saturday, I volunteered to help out about 8 customers who were lost - why?  Because these customers were told by NYCT conductors to take the J train which was not running in Manhattan.  You would think conductors would stop for a moment and see these weekend diversions - - they are posted at every station and look like this (whoops, the J was cut out from the pic):





Yup, I made more observations at Fulton Center, this time picking a good weekend where not only the A/C trains were on their usual diversion over the F line due to Sandy related work at the Cranberry St. tubes, but the J was not running between Hewes St and all of Manhattan from 5:45 AM to 8 PM on October 8th.  I made my rounds along the 2/4/5/6 lines at Fulton Center and Brooklyn Bridge (and a quick trip to J at Canal St) from 8 to 10 AM,  Here's what I saw.


7:39 Am:  I rode the SB 1 train on my way towards Fulton Center, car # 2281,  The conductor announced A/C transfer at 168th Street, that was incorrect because the C was not running between 168 and 145th Streets.  She was correct at 96th Street in informing customers that there is no #3 train service.

Now, I arrived at Fulton Center and it was all automated R142 trains on the 2 line.

8:20:  2 train SB  #6545 - - conductor allowed J/Z transfer as well as A/C.

8: 26  2 train NB #7055 - - I asked conductor if A/C was running - - "should be running" - - BUZZZZ, please try again

8:27  2 train NB     #6556 - - male conductor was telling people who needed the A/C to take the J upstairs.  I asked him if the J was running, he said yes.

8:30  2 train SB #6410 - - heard automated announcement "transfer is available to the A/C/J trains - - I asked the conductor if the J was running, she said "J was running"./

8:33  2 train NB #6425   - - failed on automated announcements, and conductor said he was "positive that J is running".

8:38 2 train NB #6656 - - failed announcement.  Of course, I had to stop 3 more customers because they were told by that conductor the J is available at Fulton Center

I went over the Brooklyn Bridge - - the northbound 5 train I was on at 8:51 AM #6355, allowed the J transfer announcement at Brooklyn Bridge.

8:56 AM - - 6 train NB #1741 ready to depart at Brooklyn Bridge, the conductor told one man that the J was running upstairs.

I rode to Canal St where the J platform was "closed"  - - the only reason why that platform is open is because of an street level entrance from Centre St at Canal St, SW corner.  There were no NYCT employees to let people know on the platform that the J is not running (and these people don't read signs on the platform columns).  But I would be remiss if I didn't mention that NYCT is getting their act together in coordinating travel alternatives with other construction projects - - like this sign below at Fulton St.  So it's still up to the customers to read them.






On my way home, I rode on a northbound 4 train (#7789) where the conductor allowed 2 transfer announcement - - no 2 trains running in the Bronx.


On a similar note about misinformation,  on Oct. 17    an incident on the SB E and M lines at 53rd Street and Lexington Ave forced some reroutes - - this was posted at 4:10 PM.





I rode two 6 trains at 5 PM, nearly an hour after the service notice was posted - - so that should be more than enough time for conductors on the 6 line to make adjustments in their announcements.  Conductors on two 6 line trains both announced the E and M transfer at 51st Street car #1811 southbound and #2151 northbound.




On Saturday 10/15 - - the 7 train was not running in Manhattan and there was no PATH service from 33rd Street every weekend through December (except certain holiday weekends) - - only one conductor on the D and F lines passed.  Additionally, why would the R160 subway cars - - the most reliable and efficient cars in the NYC subway system, have the wrong weekend information?   The picture below on a Queens-bound F train shows PATH connections at 14th and 34th Streets as well as the 7 train at 42nd/Bryant Park.




8:15 PM - - SB D #2640 - - announcements were made but omitted the 7 and PATH

8:18 PM - - NB F #9370 - - failed on PATH

8:24 PM - - SB D #2658 - - failed on 7 train - - no PATH announcement

8:33 PM - - NB F #9878 - - failed on 7 and PATH

8:47 PM - - SB D #2698 - - Passed on 7 and PATH, the only conductor to do so.

9:06 PM - - NB D #2762 - - Failed on 7 - - also announced M transfer at 42 and 47-50/


What can I say about riding the subway on weekends?



  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Evan McMullin over the clowns Trump and Clinton

Evan McMullin (I), remember the name.


McMullin is an independent conservative (left-centrist) who is the best alternative to that clown Donald Trump, in the 2016 Presidential election race, along with another clown, Hillary Clinton.  Sadly, McMullin is on the ballot in only 11 states with write-in ballots in approx 20 more states.  McMullin is one of three alternatives to Trump and Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Race , the other two independents who have ballots in all 50 states are Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party Dr. Jill Stein.  To me, Americans have a choice when it comes to voting and the events in the past month leaves me very disturbed about Trump and Clinton.  Between Trump's derogatory remarks he said 10 years ago about grabbing a woman's you-know-what, to Hillary Clinton dodging an FBI investigation about the deleted emails and the phantom server (amazing that nothing was connected between the multiple "suicides" of persons known to the Clintons.), I wonder who would be fit to be commander-in-chief for the next 4 years.   Trump claims the election was rigged in favor of Clinton from the get-go but the election is rigged against the 3 independents because they did not participate in the previous two Presidential debates and it's unlikely that any of the independent candidates will be in Wednesday's debate.  

In the spirit of being impartial and politically neutral, here is a brief summary of the three independent candidates.  

Evan McMullin:  Former CIA director, McMullin is pro-life, believes that same sex marriages should be respected by moving on  as well as keeping Guantanamo Bay prison open, supports Republican tax reform (but it's going to benefit the rich more than the working class, unless he tweaks it), and maintains border security without deporting 11 million Muslims and Mexicans.  Finally, while McMullian is against most provisions of Obamacare - he affirms that the uninsured people have a need for basic medical care and is willing to keep some provisions of it.  

Gary Johnson: (Libertian Party)  Pro-Life, wants to legalize drugs, supports same-sex marriage, against stop-and-frisk, believes iin big government without massive debt, supports free trade agreements, believes that states should have more control over Medicare/Medicaid

Dr. Jill Stein:  (Green Party):   Abolish private prisons, increase taxes for millionaires and offshore accounts, against privatization of Social Security. charter schools, common core in schools and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.



You can peruse the linked names and make an informed decision - - the general election is less than 3 weeks away.  The three-ring circus is now on the final act.   

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Why isn't the KKK classified as an terrorist organization?

With all the talk about NFL San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick's kneeling every time the U.S Star Spangled Banner is played - as a way to protest institutional racism in the United States - it's interesting to point out one thing that neither Kaepernick, nor the U.S. government is acknowledging or mentioning what should have been done decades ago - - the Ku Klax Klan (KKK) should have been labeled as a terrorist group similar to the Islamic State of Iran and Syria (better known as ISIS).


Let's look at what qualifies to be a terrorist group in relation to what the KKK has historically done:

1.  Commit violence or threats of violence in furtherance of advancing a social, political, ideological, or religious change:  For most of their time, the KKK has committed mass executions of colored (black) men, women and children to advance "white supremacy" in the United States.  The KKK claimed responsibility of firebombings against public places which mass numbers of black people converge, usually churches and buses.  Their means of intimidating blacks were to put burning crosses on their properties (along lawns), place a doll with a noose around the neck at nearby trees or in front of porches owned by black families, ride in a caravan of vehicles and travel slowly towns where blacks live and "preach" their hatred in groups right in front of victim's homes.


2.  Their targets reach across a specific class or group:  The murders/killings by the KKK are intended to install fear among blacks (especially in the south).

3.  The crimes are both illegal and morally wrong:  The killing of just one innocent person falls under both categories.


Now if the KKK was made as a terrorist organization, then that would have removed quite a few people from elected office or disqualify them from running in any capacity decades ago.  Among the most notorious former or current Klan members who held office are Sen. Robert Byrd, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black and the most notorious racist to hold office, David Duke who was at one time the Chair of the Republican Party's Louisiana branch (Duke was a democrat also).



Here is a short list of terrorist acts which have been confirmed that the KKK claims responsibility for:

1.  1951, Florida:  The Christmas Eve murders of Civil Rights activist Harry T. Moore and his wife by members of the KKK firebombing his home.  The blast injured Moore's mother and one of his daughters.  This tragic incident set off a firestorm in the black community over this despicable act of terrorism because the KKK also was responsible for at least 11 related bombings in the state of Florida alone.

2.  1963, Birmingham, AL:   The 16th Street Baptist Church was destroyed in a huge bombing plotted by four Klansmen.  The blast claimed the lives of 4 innocent girls and injured 22 girls who attended a church function.  The four Klansmen used 15 sticks of dynamite and a timer to set it off under the church''s front steps,  Also on that same year in Mississippi, Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers was assassinated by Klansman Bryon De La Beckwith

3.  From 1882 to 1968, members of the KKK lynched over 3,000 innocent blacks in that time period.


While this article appears to take a Liberal slant, there are some undeniable facts about the United States government's refusal to monitor the activities of the KKK and the Jewish Defense League (JDL), another "terrorist" organization through wiretaps and surveillance.  BTW:  I disagree with the author's comments about Al Queda - - they are the most serious threat to North America, Israel  and Europe.  

The KKK continues to enjoy the protection by the American Civil Liberties Union because they are exercising their 1st Amendment rights to freedom of speech and to peacefully assemble.  However the KKK's past history of terrorism should exclude them that right because the United States should have labeled them a terrorist group decades ago.  Last Thursday, two Hispanics and one Middle Eastern student donned KKK clad during Spirit Week at a Florida High School.  What's dangerous is that these students were non-whites promoting terrorism and mass-murders.  The KKK is back on the rise now with a massive recruitment effort across the United States.


Unless the U.S. Government takes action against groups like the KKK, they will continue to rise exponentially and post a serious threat to blacks across this nation.

The R179 subway car has finally arrived in NYC

They are finally here, one car to be exact

The long awaited R179 subway car model for MTA NYCT Transit, finally arrived in NYC over the George Washington Bridge on a Silk Road truck - - the first car (3014) arrived tonight on NYC Transit property for months of in-house testing and set up.  After 9 more cars will be delivered over the next 2-3 weeks, NYCT will spend a few months prepping the trainset for their 30 day in-service acceptance testing on a lettered subway line to be determined - hopefully this will take place within the next 4-6 months.  The test train will have car numbers 3010 through 3019, and if all goes well, 290 more subway cars will be delivered to NYC Transit property throughout 2017 into spring 2018.


Here are the very first photos of car #3014 waiting at the holding area on the Fort Lee, NJ side of the George Washington Bridge.








Here is a video of that same car traveling on West 178th Street as it crosses Fort Washington Ave in Manhattan - along with a photo..







And finally here are a couple of more photos of the R179 car coming down Wesr 215th Street, crossing 10th Ave as it prepares to knock the welcome door at NYC Transit's 207th Street subway yard in upper Manhattan.







EDIT:  Here is an excellent 4K video taken by DJ Hammers as 3014 enters NYCT property.



Thank you for viewing - - lights out for me.  Good night.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

MTA Chairman's denial of the wrong announcements

I attended the first three of the four L line community meetings and one thing I can say about the MTA; they do listen at times. Granted they listened to all of the input from area residents and elected officials regarding the two service plans for the tunnel work under the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn which was heavily damaged from Superstorm Sandy in 2012.  One service plan was a full shutdown for 18 months, the other was a partial shutdown for 30 months.  The MTA board on July 26 adopted the faster and better 18 month full shutdown plan, which was endorsed by a majority of people (including me) who attended the L line community meetings via. question/comment submissions to the MTA Chairman, Thomas Prendergast, NYCT President Veronica "Ronnie" Hakim and two of her top level NYCT management team. However what I also find is that the MTA does not want to admit are the mistakes and errors which I have been documenting.  At the May 26 meeting in Canarsie, one of the questions I asked about the L line closure, starting in January 2019, was how will this closure affect subway lines that stop along 14th Street in Manhattan and will conductors continue to allow or make announcements that the L train is running when it isn't? NYCT Transit President Hakim noted that there will be a massive outreach effort to inform customers (she didn't say anything about train crews) about the L line closure through various means while MTA Chairman Prendergast stated that the wrong announcements are inherent in the newer subway cars which have the automated announcements.

I believe that the outreach on the L line closure will take place, however I also think Chairman Prendergast's statement on the subway car announcements and the problem with the newer trains is false - - just filled with excuses on blaming the wrong announcements on nearly 20 year old subway car equipment.  The first New Technology Train subway cars (NTTs) using the automated announcements, first ran on the 6 line then to other lines.  Additionally, based on Chairman Prendergast's statement, you would think the older subway cars which run on the A, 1, 3, B/D, R and 6 lines would have accurate announcements by conductors who have to do it the old fashioned way, especially on weekends where a lot of major diversions and construction take place.    Nope, totally wrong, many of these do make wrong announcements too.  During every weekend when the R was not running in Lower Manhattan due to the Montague tunnel work, conductors on the 2/3/4 would announce the R transfer at Borough Hall even though the R platform was closed.

I rode the system on two weekend days, the first was on Sunday, May 22 when the A/C was running on the F line (no A/C service at Fulton Street), the E was running on the F line between Manhattan and Queens (no E service at Lexington Ave/53rd Street), no regular D service south of 59th Street, it was running on the A line between 59th Street and Chambers Street and the 42nd Street shuttle was not running too.

I started with the 2 and 3 lines at Fulton Street where there is no A/C service.  Additionally, there was no 1 train service at Chambers Street (1 trains were not running between South Ferry and 14th Street while 2 and 3 trains were running local between Chambers and 34th Streets.    Therefore, conductors on the northbound 2 and 3 trains should warn customers of the following:

  • There is no A/C service at Fulton, stay on the train to Park Place for transfers to E and rerouted D service.
  • There is no Uptown 1 service at Chambers, stay on the 2 or 3 train instead. Again, none of the conductors suggested that.
Here are the results - - a pass means the conductor did say something about the A/C diversion.  All times are PM  NOTE:  On all observations, the NTT subway cars are car numbers 6300 on up.  Older non-NTT cars are below the magic 6300 number:





Time

Line

Direction

Car #

Result
6:33
3
SB
1400
No announcement
6:41
3
NB
1491
Fail
6:49 
2
SB
6841
Fail
6:56
2
NB
6845
Fail
7:02
2
SB
6570
Fail

7:14
2
NB
6671
Fail
7:20
3
SB
1401
No transfer announcement
7:27
2
NB
6536
Fail 
7:43
2
SB
7051
Fail





Going on the 4 and 6 lines at Bleecker Street to hear the D line announcements was just as bad as riding the 2 and 3 - - every train I rode announced the D transfer - - even one conductor said "transfer to the B/D/F/M" on a Sunday evening.  Even the 42nd Street shuttle was not immune to the misinformation, conductors on nearly every train on the 1/2/3/4/5/6/A/D lines announced the 42nd Street shuttle transfer (I would not be surprised at the N/Q/R side either)


Now for July 24th - the skinny:



  • Conductors on the 6 lines using the older subway cars (they first ran on this line in 1986-87), announced the Q transfer at 59th Street.
  • No conductor on the 4 line ever suggested the A/C transfer at Bleecker Street (they were running on the F line.)
  • In Brooklyn when the 4 trains was not running, conductors on the D and R lines (using older subway equipment which MTA Chairman Prendergast flatly denies about the announcement problem) announced not only the 4 train but the 5 line transfer as well.  The 5 does not run in Brooklyn on weekends except in limited instances, such as a planned suspension of 2 and 3 service between Brooklyn and Manhattan.
  • Some station agent booths in Midtown Manhattan had color coded directions to other subway lines - - but did not modify the E to 8th Ave which was not running there.  The E was running on the 6th Ave F line in Manhattan.  However there were booths along the 6th Ave D/F lines which did had the message that the E trains were stopping at the F (line) platform.  I have two photos as such which showed the wrong directions to the E train, one at 34th-Penn (32nd st downtown 1 side) the other at 42nd Street-Bryant Park, main booth on the D/F lines.  What's interesting is that a customer at 42-Bryant Park needs to turn around and enter the system there for the E train instead of walking two blocks.




Now the announcements on that Sunday afternoon/evening 7/24 - no E at 51st Street/Lexington Ave is first

Time

Line

Direction

Car #

Result
3:51
4
SB
1236
Fail
3:58
6
NB
1720
Pass (the only one in this list)
4:06
6
SB
7605
Fail
4:15
6
NB
2021
Fail (when asked, he said "should be running, I heard nothing")
4:28
6
SB
1994
Fail (NQR at 59)

4:41
6
NB
7671
Fail
4:50
6
SB
1698
Fail (NQR at 59 and E/M at 51)
5:00
6
NB
2134
No announcement at 51
5:12
4
SB
7755
Fail

Next was the 4 train at Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center, I listened to only D and R train announcements at the 4th Ave side of this complex, Manhattan bound platform only - - about two conductors did announce something about no 4 trains at Atlantic Ave.

Time

Line

Direction

Car #

Result
5:54
D
NB
2616
Pass
5:58
D
NB
2574
Fail (announced 4/5 transfer)
6:04
R
NB
5756
Fail
6:06
D
NB
2712
No Transfer Announcement
6:16
R
NB
5682
Fail (announced 4/5 transfer)
6:16
D
NB
2510
No transfer announcement
6:25
R
NB
5610
No transfer announcement
6:28
D
NB
2631
Pass (asked)

Finally, I visited the 2/3 lines and passed through Fulton St for the A/C and 4/5 announcements.  Only one conductor passed:


Time

Line

Direction

Car #

Result (A/C and 4/5)
7:00
2
NB
6932
Fail/Fail
7:03
3
SB
1515
No announcement
7:05
3
NB
1521
Passed (asked)
7:08
2
SB
6871
Fail/Fail
7:20
3
NB
1521
Fail/Fail
7:26
3
SB
1341
Fail
7:30
3
NB
1577
No transfer announcement


One thing which NYCT does get it right is that the announcements about the major service diversions can be heard on station platforms (along with a scrolling visual display on the PA/CIS displays on the numbered lines.)   MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast has over 40 years experience in the transit field, most of it here in New York. It's unfortunate for the millions of subway riders that Mr. Prendergast has failed in acknowledging a serious problem that has plagued the system for decades since the first MTA Capital Program in 1982.  

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Pokemon craze - - it's only a game

Enough is enough - - it's only a game.

On July 6th, just a little over 10 days ago, Nintendo released Pokemon Go! for the Apple iTunes and Google Play app stores.  Now, the enhanced augmented reality game has made America (and half the world) beyond shameful.  I say that because for a lot of people, a game is more important than their lives or families - - a Oregon State man was playing the game with an opponent and he got stabbed instead - - yet the victim continued to go monster hunting despite a knife wound on his shoulder which required 8 stitches.   The game requires players to use their GPS and cameras on their phones to locate Pokemons at landmarks and other various locations - - through Pokemon stops (or Poke Stops) and gyms.  Once  they have a monster in their sights, they either throw a ball to catch it or take a screenshot (the pokemon is on the camera screen as they take it.).  There a many instances where multiple players meet at one location where there is a Pokemon to catch (only one player can get it). The game has surpassed Candy Crush Saga as the most players logged in a 24 hour period.  Because the game requires you to stare at the phone for extended periods of time while tracking and catching Pokemons, it has evolved in a myriad of incidents which garnered news attention, some good, some bad, some strange and some outlandishly stupid. Businesses have benefited from among the many locations which are Pokemon gyms.  However this does not mean cemeteries and sacred museums with a player finding a dead body, should be "gyms" too


The weirdest stories involving Pokemon hunting have been as follows:

1.  Two California men fell off a cliff while chasing a Pokemon

2.   A police station is one of the "gyms", and a Pokemon player with an arrest warrant checks in during gameplay, only to be arrested when cops recognize him.

3.  A Florida man whose property is a  "gym", shoots at two Pokemon players. parked outside his residence.

4.  Pokemon Go has already caused some couples to the brink of divorce.  

5.  A New Zealand bartender quits his job so he can work at his new full time job - - chasing Pokemons for free.

6.  A hacking group claimed responsibility for taking down Nintendo's servers through a calculated DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack.

7.  A rare Pokemon,Vaperon, causes a 11 PM meltdown in New York's Central Park.  The lucky one in the crowd who caught Vaperon, ran out of his car with the engine running. (I don't think his insurance company will be happy to hear about that if his car was stolen).

8.  An upstate NY man wrecks his car while playing Pokemon.  Don't Pokemon and Drive.

9.  Three people playing Pokemon were trapped after hours in a locked cemetery.     Special thanks to Brian Weinberg for the mention after I posted this article.

The whole point is, it's only a game which you should enjoy as part of your day, not taking up your entire life.  At the end of the day, you still have family and work obligations to attend to - - and your life is more important than the game which you are not really being paid to play.  I could see to a certain extent that if you received a check from Nintendo every two weeks, then be safe playing it.  But remember your family and your health comes first and foremost,  If that is a problem for you, then please uninstall the game before it is too late for you.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

I am back - with a discussion on the last 72 hours which changed America's view on racism

Just a quick word that I am back - - my computer was down but that's old news now - back online.  Now the big news of the week, if not the decade.

The last 72 hours have been the most disturbing news that I have seen since 9/11 - - the police-involved shootings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana  and Philando Castile in Minnesota - - subsequently the tragedy in Dallas where 5 officers were killed along with nearly a dozen more officers and civilians injured during a large protest against how the police handled the Sterling and Castile incidents.  Here are the facts on each case with a starkly contrasting view against each other.


Alton Sterling facts:


  1.   A homeless black man called 911 to report a man(Sterling) who was brandishing a gun and threatened the homeless man.  
  2. Sterling had not only a lengthy rap sheet but he was also a registered sex offender  for impregnating a 14 year old - - six years younger when he was 20.  
  3. The gun was in Sterling's pocket, according to Baton Rogue police sources.
  4. Two officers were wearing body cameras which would shed more light on the shooting, however they "mysteriously" fell off in the moments before the fatal shots were fired by the officer in the viral video.


Now for the Philando Castile facts

1.  Castile was was driving with his girlfriend and their 4 year old daughter in their vehicle when police officers pulled him over for a busted taillight.

2.  Castile had a licensed permit to carry his pistol, and he told the officer who pulled him over as such.  Castile was exercising his second Amendment rights to carry a firearm - - one which the racially biased NRA didn't mention him by name - - and that was more than 48 hours after the shooting when the NRA finally opened up their big mouths.

3.  The shooting happened with the 4 year old daughter in the back seat.  Now imagine the trauma that girl is going through now seeing her dad shot dead.  



Then the Dallas massacre - - this was an unspeakable tragedy when 5 police officers were shot dead by a sniper who had a grudge against white officers.     The officers were protecting minorities who were part of the Black Lives Matter movement in protesting the Sterling and Castile shootings.  Amidst all this - - I called over a year ago for the importance that it's not just black lives that matter but its all lives matter - - everyone is a human being no matter the skin color or background - - police officers are human beings too.  However the evils of racism are rooted in a few white police officers.  If Castile was white, would the outcome be different?  Hmmm - - there were 8 instances where while males had a gun and none of them were ever shot by officers   I would also like to point out that when my in-laws came to my house at 2 AM in the morning, someone in the neighborhood called the cops - - if it was a white couple coming in at 2 AM, it would be a different story.  


As long as you have a few bad apples in everyone, racism will never go away - - the events in the last 72 hours reaffirm this.  

Friday, February 19, 2016

Week in review: Cuomo takes credit for a 16 year old problem, the W makes a comeback, NYC Sanitation throws food away and Obama disses Scalia

A lot of news items happened this past week, let's get right into it.

1.  The new 2/5 strip maps: MTA New York City Transit finally solved a problem on the 2 and 5 lines which uses the same car model (R142),  those in-car strip maps.  Unlike the R160 car counterparts which run on the lettered lines (E/F/N/Q/J/M) that have the interchangeable display, the R142 cars built in 2000-01 have a fixed strip map which can work on only one of the two IRT lines.  A 10 car train can have all 2 line strip maps then suddenly that trainset is put into service (scheduled or not) on the 5 line instead, making the 2 strip map useless except a disclaimer on the lower left corner "Route Change, Map Not In Use".  However, a train with 2 line maps may run on the 2 line then be rerouted on the 5 line between Bronx and Brooklyn.  Well after 16 years, NYCT finally got it right with the new 2/5 strip maps which combine both lines together in a single  map.  The news release claims this is part of NY State Governor Cuomo's initiative in improving customer service and communication.  Nor bad for Cuomo to take credit for something that took 16 years to solve.  Additionally, the new strip maps won't solve the problem of wrong automated announcements, such as announcing "Transfer to the A/C" during a weekend closure at Fulton Street. or the Bx41SBS transfer when it's not running after 9 PM.  More smokescreens by the MTA NYCT.


2.  The W makes a comeback:  The W line ran weekdays only between Ditmars Blvd-Astoria and Whitehall Street in Lower Manhattan and like some bus routes, it's making a comeback along with the rest of the pre June 2010 service pattern on the N/Q/R lines thanks to the impending opening of Phase 1 of the Second Ave subway line.  The W line is the latest of subway and bus lines being undone from the infamous June, 2010 service cuts - - the B37 bus route in Brooklyn was restored while recently the M5 bus route is finally being shortened due to the length and poor on-time performance.  Just don't look for the V train to come back anytime soon, the V line was replaced by an extended M train and that was the MTA's best move in 2010.


3.  NYC Sanitation throws food away:  Yesterday, Gary Schlesinger posted a Facebook video taken on Feb. 3 in Chinatown that shows two NYC Sanitation workers throwing out fruits and veggies from a produce store - - the video went viral with plenty of outrage across New Yorkers about all that food wasted.  Mind you, the workers  were ordered by their enforcement officer or supervisor to throw it out when the store was cited for illegally obstructing sidewalk space.  However, it is disgusting when the food was thrown out instead of confiscating the produce then donating it to a church or a homeless shelter.  There are thousands of hungry New Yorkers who desperately need good food like fruits and vegetables.  Also if Sanitation has the gall to throw food out, why can't they throw away traffic cones and trash cans which residents use to illegally hold parking spaces?

4.  Obama disses Scalia:  Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away last weekend and his funeral is set for tomorrow (2/20).  Justice Scalia is one of the more conservative justices and well respected among his colleagues who spent nearly 30 years on the bench.  President Obama chose not to attend Scalia's funeral tomorrow.  All I can is that's disgraceful for any President not to attend a funeral of a Supreme Court Justice, liberal or conservative.  It's only 11 months to go (as of tomorrow) until we get a new President in the White House.    


Enjoy your weekend all.