Transit- 2014 transit preview: MTA to expand service, technology

Posted: January 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

Dec. 29, 2013

The transit system and its riders will see major changes in 2014 as the MTA prepares to add new service, wire stations with Internet and cellular capabilities, and unveil transit hub renovations and extensions.

Here is what riders can expect in 2014:

Transit contract: The MTA and Transport Workers Union Local 100 will continue to hash out a contract for 35,000 subway and bus workers. The MTA budget relies on a flat labor contract, while TWU leadership rejects concessions for wage increases. Any change in the budget could affect riders, as the MTA estimates that a 1% wage increase would cost the agency $50 million.

Technology: Riders will have more opportunities to use their smartphones: The MTA plans to have real-time tracking on every city bus in the first quarter of 2014. Its Bus Time program now tracks all buses in Staten Island, the Bronx and Manhattan, as well as the B63 route in Brooklyn. There will also be a 40-station expansion of Wi-Fi and cellular service in subway stations this year, reaching stations in midtown and Queens.

Fare hikes: The MTA plans a 4% fare hike for 2015, but 2014 will be the year when the hike gets litigated in public. The agency will hold hearings into the planned fare increase late next year, with a vote in December.

Metro-North safety: In February, the Federal Railroad Administration will conclude its 60-day \”deep dive\” investigation into the safety culture of Metro-North, following a fatal derailment in the Bronx that killed four and injured dozens of riders. The MTA plans to install an alert system for train operators throughout Metro-North lines by the end of 2014.

New service: The MTA is spending $18 million on service enhancements that will hit the city in mid- 2014. New service includes more G trains during the day, an M train that goes to Manhattan on weekends and bus lines restored from the MTA\’s 2010 service cuts. Select Bus Service is also set to come to Harlem\’s 125th Street beginning in April.

Fulton Center: The massive redesign of the Fulton Street Transit Center was delayed for years after its 2004 groundbreaking. But the entire project is set to wrap up by June. The project will provide riders with easier transfers between the hub\’s 10 lines, better street-level access and an underground pedestrian concourse.

Montague Tunnel: The Montague Tunnel that carries the R train between Manhattan and Brooklyn is expected to reopen in October after 14 months of repairs due to Superstorm Sandy floodwater.

No. 7 train extension: Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Dec. 20 got to take the No. 7 train to new territory: Hudson Yards in Manhattan\’s Far West Side. The rest of New York will have to wait until June to take the No. 7 train to its new station at 34th Street and 11th Avenue.

via 2014 transit preview: MTA to expand service, technology.

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