• The King (Prince Andrew) is Dead; what will become of NY area projects?

  • This forum will be for issues that don't belong specifically to one NYC area transit agency, but several. For instance, intra-MTA proposals or MTA-wide issues, which may involve both Metro-North Railroad (MNRR) and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Other intra-agency examples: through running such as the now discontinued MNRR-NJT Meadowlands special. Topics which only concern one operating agency should remain in their respective forums.
This forum will be for issues that don't belong specifically to one NYC area transit agency, but several. For instance, intra-MTA proposals or MTA-wide issues, which may involve both Metro-North Railroad (MNRR) and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Other intra-agency examples: through running such as the now discontinued MNRR-NJT Meadowlands special. Topics which only concern one operating agency should remain in their respective forums.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

  by ExCon90
I'm not really up to speed on New York politics, but it seems likely that the new governor will need support from the NY congressional delegation on some things she wants from the feds, and Senator Schumer and Representative Nadler may be able to help if they get some support from the State on Gateway, and one hand may wash the other -- someone once said that politics is the art of the possible.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Gov. Hochul became such at 1201A ET today. The ceremony was "private".

Reportedly, there is to be a more public "mock ceremony" today with speeches and other assorted hoopla.

Yes, considering how Andy reasserted through the Henri disturbance how "I am the Governor", and the reports that he had not submitted his resignation letter to SECSTATE, it is understandable for some to wonder if he actually would resign.

There are already reports in The Times that "Kathy '22" is already being formulated. As I noted earlier, she will need to recognize that the wealth as well as the "movers and shakers" are all in the Southern tier of the state with Albany being on the fringe of such. Even if the only form of public transportation she has ever set foot upon is an airplane, she must quickly learn about the needs of mass transit .

Any wonderments such as "Gee Andy, you're telling me that I run the NYC Subways??" had best be laid to rest, for "guess what, Girl; you do".
  by Gilbert B Norman
Well, at least for this interview with Times' reporters, Kathy acknowledged she runs the MTA:

Fair Use:
Your predecessor was known to have a heavy hand with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. How much authority are you looking to assert over the M.T.A.?

I’ve already had conversations with leadership; I’ve been briefed on our significant projects, and I want to get them done.

Authority doesn’t have to be concentrated in me when I’m hiring outstanding professionals who know their jobs. I will be there if there’s something that’s not following what I want. But I also know that day to day, they’re the ones that have to be accountable. Accountable to the riders, accountable to me. But I also know that granting more freedom allows them to rise.
  by photobug56
I didn't think she had the balz!

But asking PA to go against their tradition of badly designing or opposing air trains might not get far. Don't know if any of you remember, but at an infrastructure conference in 1990 (put together by Gridlock Sam Schwartz at Cooper Union), the then PA chair said that no one would want to take their luggage aboard a train to an airport (referring to JFK). Mind you, as I recall, this guy weighed 3-400, only got around by car. When PA finally did an Air Train to JFK, they found the most expensive least useful way they could build it, and now they're trying to do the same thing. Doubt that our intrepid new Governor gets that point.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Mr. Bug, the guy doesn't look THAT overweight nowadays, of course who knows what kind of weight loss surgery he has had:


But back on the rails, my one experience in this life with the JFK Air Train occurred during '15. Starting from a hotel at 84th St and Fourth Ave in Brooklyn, it was all of $2.75 to make like Duke Ellington and "take the A Train" almost to JFK. Now it was time to get ripped off some $6 for the literally "last mile" on the Air Train. All I has for a three day visit with my Niece - and a "dress up" to go to the Philharmonic - was my over the shoulder and under a Jet Blue Coach seat flight bag, I noted others rolling theirs (I personally do not own a piece of rolled luggage; "If you can't carry it, don't bring it" - even including my overseas journeys).
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Tue Oct 05, 2021 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by photobug56
Back then the guy bragged about how he never used mass transit. Not a good stance for someone who represented and ran a major transit agency. But here's the real issue; the JFK air train design process COULD have used the abandoned line (now pushed either as a new subway line or recreation) to create a direct way from JFK to Penn and later GCT and would likely have cost less, been a lot faster, used standard equipment and gotten done faster. PA chose an out of the way route requiring a PITA transfer, a mystery (to out of towners, etc.) Penn connection and two separate fares to be paid. The idea that you subway out to Howard Beach and then pay the full fare to transfer to the loop around the terminals is absurd. But PA demonstrated that they wanted their air trains to cost more to build, be a PITA, and be expensive to ride. And take longer to arrive. So when our intrepid gov told PA to rethink, I shudder to think what idiocy they'll come up with now.
  by Gilbert B Norman
You definitely have a point, Mr. Bug - if one is traveling from Manhattan to JFK, which I realize means "anybody who is anybody".

Of course, we should note that Brooklyn is now becoming an address for many of those "anybody's".

In my case, starting at the Gregory Hotel (old; but kept up. Rate about $160ni) and ending at JFK, a "Manhattan focused" Air Train would have meant little.
  by daybeers
Thank you, photobug, for telling the truth about the JFK AirTrain. Never personally taken it but I've had the pleasure of trying for hours to plan a friend or family member's trip to and from the airport. Not fun. PA can go screw themselves.

BTW, the fare is $7.75 now.
  by photobug56
1. Never forget that PA was created to do just one thing - a rail tunnel from Brooklyn to New Jersey. Cong. Jerry Nadler reminds us of this once in a while. It's one thing PA has never actually started work on.
2. Sam Schwartz invited me to that 1990 infrastructure conference (he understood all those years ago how bad our infrastructure was thn). When that PA bozo said what he did, my jaw dropped.
3. About 15 years ago, I had several trips to Dusseldorf and then London, and on arriving in London we found the best way in was the Heathrow Express. Second decent way was the Underground line to Heathrow. Yes, with luggage. But when I think of the JFK Air Train; try to figure out how to buy a ticket at Penn. Then try to figure out which train goes to - hmm, where? You may eventually see the Air Train Logo and figure it out. Now, with your luggage, since the elevators and escalators tend to be well hidden and seldom work, fight your luggage down the steps (even more fun if coming into Penn). Crowd onto an overstuffed train with your luggage while everyone screams at you, hang on for dear life, and if you understand to get off at Jamaica, struggle off the train there. Then, look around - oh, that must be the Air Train off in the distance. But how to get there? Especially if you went to the west end of your train at Penn. So, you drag your luggage again east, oops, the escalator isn't running. You don't know about the elevator - if it's actually running, and drag your luggage up all those stairs. Finally, you get to drag your luggage across the bridge, then all the way west again to the Air Train area... Now you get to pay another fare. Wow, wasn't that fun?

Now I'm not saying that the subway would be a fun way to get to LGA, but I'd bet that a good designer could make it a lot easier than the JFK experience. Oh, and my wife, many years ago, used to use the JFK Express to commute from Howard Beach to Manhattan - worth every penny at the time. Point being, this can be done well.
  by XBNSFer
photobug56 wrote: Mon Aug 23, 2021 12:11 am Cuomo did move transportation projects forward. The 3rd track project might never have gotten underway otherwise. Having said that, his LGA train loop to the plane is bloody awful and hopefully never happens. Subway extension makes far more sense. In the meantime, he claims to have gotten ESA back on track, but I have huge doubts as to what year that will finally open (reliably). The 2nd Ave Stubway helps, but has been horribly expensive.

As to Hocuhil, my expectations are super low. She has no actual experience in state government that I'm aware of, likely (as noted) knows nothing about mass transit or commuter rail, and has nothing in her background that I've heard of that suggests she's even remotely prepared to be governor. And yes, I hope I'm wrong.
Subway extension is how ALL airport rail access should have been done and how all rail access should always be done. They squander $billions building separate systems with separate fares that introduce additional transfers and wait times...and then wonder why everybody drives to the airport or takes a cab, limo or Uber. Idiotic!

On a business trip to Chicago many years ago, we descended some escalators IN the airport terminal to the Chicago CTA station, rode the CTA train right into downtown, and walked to the building where we were to attend a meeting. The tracks ran right down the middle of the JFK Expressway, and I watched all the fools sitting in traffic as the train flew by them. Ditto for the return trip after a snowstorm began DURING the meeting, and the CTA train was flying by the "Expressway" full of crawling cars as the snow piled up.

New Jersey hasn't done any better, of course. Should have PATH access to Newark, instead you have that idiotic separate train that requires a separate fare, another transfer, more waiting, and once again they wonder why everybody drives or takes a cab or limo or Uber to the airport.

The lack of vision is dumbfounding.
  by photobug56
Back in 1990 at an infrastructure conference that Sam Schwartz (AKA Gridlock Sam) invited me to, the then head of the PA laid out the PA's motives when it came to rail access to airports. They simply did not believe in the concept. But they were pressured into doing them anyway, so;
1. Build it to be as hard to use as possible.
2. Make it expensive to use.
3. Make it so that any other method of getting to an airport works better.
4. Now this is just speculation, but make it super expensive - and profitable to build.

The whole point, IMHO, is to prove the point that the 1990 era PA chauffeur driven chairman made at that conference. By building a system designed to discourage its use, prove you were right. And even if current PA people don't remember, they know how PA 'does things', which is how they will do them forever.
  by Jeff Smith
Before I get to "status", I want to say that although it's not a current project, I also dislike the AirTrain, having ridden it a few times. I agree with everyone that's it's too expensive, and a pain-in-the-ass, although it has utility. I was out at JFK a few weeks ago, and thought how easy it might be to convert it to heavy rail for direct service, although the currently abandoned line might be easier to connect. Customize M9 interiors for a true "train to the plane" experience, with service from ESA, NYP, and an eastern Long Island transfer somewhere on the main line (Mineola?).

So, status. Where are we?

-Airtrain to LGA plan in the crapper, hopefully for good
-ESA: Hochul seems to appreciate the project, at least by her appearances, and ride on the M9 test train
-2AS: same, appears ready to kick Phase II in the ass, and also mentioned PH III and possibly IV
-Gateway: haven't seen much from her on this
  by photobug56
Back in 1990, the then PA chair, well known for being driven anywhere and NEVER using mass transit, announced at an infrastructure conference at Cooper Union that no one would ever take mass transit to an airport, especially with luggage. But PA was under a lot of pressure to do a dedicated 'Train to the Plane' to replace the JFK Express and have a train circulating around JFK. From what I could see, they came up with a plan to build an Air Train designed to be a PITA to use to prove the guy's point, plus it had the advantage of a lot of money going to friends of friends even while they proved his point - the premise appeared to be that few people would want to use it. My guess is that the new PA plan to do the grand tour of Long Island just to get to LGA was based on the same premise. In each case much better plans were proposed and the PA dismissed them.

What I think should happen is a subway extension, with cars on some trains modified to have luggage space, with the extension looped around the airport. As a possible alternative, the subway is extended to the airport, riders exit through the new wide turnstiles, across the platform to an around the airport train. That train ought to be free, connect all terminals and parking areas, and also a high capacity drop off and pick up area, to reduce car traffic inside LGA.