• Will They Ever Return?

  • 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 lensovet
 
Well, I'll be damned.

While some trains are full, some trains are rather short too, to make them "full".

And Amtrak has extended its "no change fees" policy through the end of February of next year. While also not bothering to update multiple places on its website that still reference October 31, 2022.

🤷‍♂️

That said, trains are decently full. Per https://new.mta.info/coronavirus/ridership, LIRR is around 70% of weekday ridership and 75% weekend. MNR has reached 100%+ ridership on weekends and around the same 70% on weekdays.
  by STrRedWolf
 
lensovet wrote: Sun Nov 06, 2022 11:27 pm That said, trains are decently full. Per https://new.mta.info/coronavirus/ridership, LIRR is around 70% of weekday ridership and 75% weekend. MNR has reached 100%+ ridership on weekends and around the same 70% on weekdays.
Given LIRR and MNR's pre-pandemic loads, I would consider that a "you can find a seat" load.
  by eolesen
 
lensovet wrote: Sun Nov 06, 2022 11:27 pm Well, I'll be damned.

While some trains are full, some trains are rather short too, to make them "full".
That's a consideration I didn't think of... dropping consist sizes on the NEC.

LIRR is making a similar move -- reducing the number of 12-car consists down to a standard 10-cars, which frees up equipment for the anticipated GCM (East Side Access) opening in the 90 days.

I've yet to see Metra make consist changes, but they could easily drop 2-3 cars per train, which I believe would allow for a crew reduction as well.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Olesen, I believe METRA is stuck with a crew consist of two Conductors and one Engineer - even if they established a consist of one engine and two cars, such as prevailed on both Q/BN and MILW.

I'm certain if METRA goes and orders self-propelled rail vehicles such as made by Stadler (forget the esoteric stuff like hydrogen; stick to tried and true Diesel, then a crew consist of one Conductor and one Engineer would be realized.

Now once again; please no one think I am some kind of self-propelled fan, for I am not. Reiterating the previously noted '60 fan trip both The Late Mr. Weaver and I took with CNJ RDC's having their "think I can moments" ascending along the Lehigh River to Wilkes Barre, were not exactly peaceful and quiet. Even more so were the Rolls Royce Autovias ascending Eastward from Los Mochis, Sinaloa to the Barranca del Cobre, Chihuahua.

But for METRA to acquire such is simply recognition that "they're never coming back" - at least from the "land of the Burlingtons".
  by eolesen
 
I still don't see DMU's coming back to Chicago (CNW had Budds for a short time, and one of them is now at the IRM).

My understanding is there's only ever one Conductor on the UP, with several assistant conductors or trainmen (all of whom collect money and issue cash fares). The conductor usually is in the cars closest to the engineer. There's a threshold either by expected volume or number of cars expected to be occupied which triggers a "swing man" fourth Trainman. On the UP-NW, they'll join the crew at Barrington on the way in, and hop off on the way out.

I believe the reason for having the third crewmember is because there are situations where the conductor needs to be in the cab (e.g. handling track warrants) or has to leave the train to flag a crossing. Someone needs to stay in the train.
  by Tom V
 
As more employees return to the office, mass transit volumes soar, some to pre-COVID heights


https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/as-mo ... r-AA145lHM
Returning ridership to NJ Transit’s trains and buses has been steadily increasing during the fall and certain midweek trains look like throwback to pre-Covid ridership in 2019, NJ Transit officials said.

Overall, rail ridership is holding steady at 70% of pre-pandemic levels, but ridership is higher on midweek trains, said Kevin Corbett, NJ Transit’s CEO.

“Many peak hour trains are at or near pre-Covid levels with Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday ridership the highest,” he said. “We’re still seeing the traditional a.m.- p.m. rush and we see peak ridership on those trains.”
Seems like there is a slow but steady return to the office, but it's not 100% the same. It seems offices are settling in on TUE, WE, THU in the office and MO, FR working from home. Seems to be a decent compromise. There will never be a 100% return of everyone five days a week, but I do think that ridership on NJ Transit, PATH, LIRR, Metro North will meet and again surpass 2019 numbers. What will push the numbers higher is not growing the number of days existing commuters work in the office but rather adding new and additional workers by growing the workforce.
  by eolesen
 
I suspect return to office will ebb and flow a bit. There's no question that some managers like the power of forcing people back.

That may settle back down as the late spring/summer sets in. It's been fun watching it whipsaw based on summer/holiday mentality at my own company...
  by lensovet
 
If there is a recession, workers won't be in a position to bargain. Just look at what's going on at Twitter.

I think ridership needs to grow on the weekend side and outside traditional peak hours. IMHO that's where agencies need to step up and start creating schedules that meet where the riders are. As an example, River Line on weekends runs only every 30 minutes and manages to leave Trenton 4 minutes before an arriving train. Who's going to want to take that? Shift that departure by 10 minutes and run trains every 20 minutes and you're going to see people switch modes.
  by Bracdude181
 
@lensovet This. The Atlantic City and North Jersey Coast lines are even worse. Especially between Long Branch and Bay Head on the CL. Up to two hours between trains on weekends. Anyone transferring to the shuttle in between is looking at a long layover in Long Branch depending on what train they take. Even then, some shuttles are scheduled to leave minutes before a connecting train on weekends.
  by Literalman
 
Another trip anecdote: rode from Philly to NY on Septa and NJ Transit on Saturday, Nov. 12. The NJ Transit train from Trenton to New York had people standing when it left Newark. Not many commuters, presumably, since it was a Saturday, but I was surprised by the full load.
  by lensovet
 
Indeed, as I mentioned in an earlier post, weekend ridership is now exceeding pre-Covid levels on some days.
  by eolesen
 
lensovet wrote: Mon Nov 14, 2022 8:14 pm If there is a recession, workers won't be in a position to bargain. Just look at what's going on at Twitter.
I'd be careful about using Twitter as an indicator for anything right now. The moves there may just be a drive towards the original layoff projections of 75%. They've already laid off 50% or so to meet their short term goal, but I can see them hoping another 15% decide to quit on their own via the "come into the office or else" ultimatum just so they don't have to pay severance. These are people deemed good enough to keep, but everyone's replaceable.

Amazon and Meta are also now laying off >10,000 each, and neither one seems to have backtracked on their remote work policies the same way Twitter did.
  by lensovet
 
They haven't backtracked but they also just flooded the market with a bunch of people who will have a harder time dictating the conditions of their employment. If the choice is between having no job and having a job that requires going into the office…I think we know which one they'll pick.
  by STrRedWolf
 
eolesen wrote: Mon Nov 14, 2022 10:06 pm
lensovet wrote: Mon Nov 14, 2022 8:14 pm If there is a recession, workers won't be in a position to bargain. Just look at what's going on at Twitter.
I'd be careful about using Twitter as an indicator for anything right now. The moves there may just be a drive towards the original layoff projections of 75%. They've already laid off 50% or so to meet their short term goal, but I can see them hoping another 15% decide to quit on their own via the "come into the office or else" ultimatum just so they don't have to pay severance. These are people deemed good enough to keep, but everyone's replaceable.

Amazon and Meta are also now laying off >10,000 each, and neither one seems to have backtracked on their remote work policies the same way Twitter did.
You also have to look at where they are headquartered, and what they do.

Twitter: San Francisco, CA -- a social media company
Amazon: Seattle, WA for the primary offices, and a secondary in DC -- retail, entertainment, and wide-ranging digital services from storage to actual sites
Meta: Menlo Park, CA -- an advertising company using social media and connective devices

These aren't places where there's a lot of rail transit on par with New York, Boston, or Philadelphia. Meta and even Google were providing their own bus transit for a while. It's Silicon Valley.

Meanwhile, what's going on in New York? You got Wall Street, the UN, etc. It's a hub of international trade. You got everyone here. Same for Chicago, which has the mercantile trades.

The point here is "Unless these companies are local and require folks to be in office, they don't affect transit activity in the area in question." And considering this is in a NY area forum... the only thing that would affect it is Amazon, and even then I doubt they'll touch their data center crews.
  by RandallW
 
Meta cut 871 jobs in NYC. I understand Amazon had 2000 office positions in Manhattan (I can't find numbers about how many of those people are laid off). Some estimates show 1/5 of twitter's employees were based in NYC.
  • 1
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 20