NYC Subway & Bus Fares Officially Increased

Posted on December 17th, 2008 by The SUBWAYblogger in This just in

The MTA Board has officially approved the “doomsday” budget fare increases.

Fares will be increased and service will be cut in some areas.

The Daily News reports that things got a bit heated at the hearing.

New Rider Report Card

Posted on December 17th, 2008 by The SUBWAYblogger in Live Blogging On the Subway

I was handed a new (the Second Annual) Rider Report Card this morning as I headed down to the subway.  I can’t believe it has already been a year since I filled out one of these things.

I especially enjoy the little opening letter inside the card.  Here’s a few highlights.

“We’ve worked diligently over the past 12 months to improve your riding experience.  We hope you’ve noticed…”

Ummmmm…not so much.

#4 – Sense of security in stations

#5 – Sense of security on trains

Notice the use of the term “sense.”  They specifically are not asking about actual security, just how you feel about it.  Not “do you think security is good,” but instead “do you feel like you are secure.”

I wish there were more room to write on the card.

#2 – Reasonable wait times for trains.

Yeah it’s been great so go ahead and cut service as soon as possible.

MTA Doomsday Rate Raping OK’d

Posted on December 16th, 2008 by The SUBWAYblogger in Uncategorized

The MTA approved the doomsday budget yesterday that will allow them to hike the fares starting as early as Thursday this week.  The new budget would/will need to be approved tomorrow (Wednesday), and the new fare would kick in Thursday.

How much? Single rides would be $2.50.  The monthly unlimited Metrocard would jump to $104 at least (official source).   It could be more if the MTA picked the plan that had no service cuts.  However, it looks like there will be some service cuts in addition to the fare increase to keep the actual financial burden as low as possible.

So should I go buy 12 unlimited Metrocards right now while they are still just $81 ?  Will they be honored?  Technically, they don’t activate until their first use.

Subway Cheapskate Makes Out on Leftover Fare

Posted on December 16th, 2008 by The SUBWAYblogger in Bums, Rider Strategy

Stack of Metrocards

Turns out it’s not just the homeless guys that pick up the tossed Metrocards to try and to use the leftover values.

The Post reports that Georgette DiFini, an F line resident of Brooklyn, regularly picks up discarded Metrocards.  She claims that roughly 40% of all tossed cards have at least some money left on them.  Not enough for a ride though.

You might be asking yourself how on earth would anyone be left with anything less than a whole dollar on their Metrocard.  Well, it’s that tricky 15% bonus you get on any fare purchase over $7.00.  If you get a $7 card, you’re going to get bonused $1.05.  That damn $0.05 is going to carry over.

The MTA says simply refill your card to use the leftover bonus.  So in this case, you’d have to add another $0.95 to cover the remaining balance of a $2.00 fare.  It’s like the MTA is getting their ideas from the crack dealer’s handbook.  Get just a little taste extra to keep them coming back.  The $1.05 isn’t worth a damn thing.  They’ll need to spend another $0.95 to be able to use it.

Anyway, this woman finds these cards everyday. How many you ask?  Try around 45 a day!

The then takes her loot up to the tokenbooth to rollover the balance onto her card.  She’s making about $10 a week she says.

Not a bad idea if you don’t mind fighting the bums for their finds.

What happens to all the “change” that never gets used?  The MTA keeps it of course.  That change adds up to about $4 million a year.  That’s a $4 million donation New Yorkers make to the MTA a few cents at a time.

Wall Collapse & Subway Delays

Posted on December 15th, 2008 by The SUBWAYblogger in This just in, Transit Failures

Was anyone delayed by the wall collapse on Lexington in the 30’s today?

Apparently, there was a 10 foot wall that collapsed at a construction site.  Emergency officials evacuated a neighboring building as a precaution because they feared that the ground movement might make the foundation of that building unstable.  It wasn’t really that bad though.

Then they ordered the MTA to slow train traffic on the 4, 5, and 6 through the area.  The train vibration can cause more ground settling.

Just wondering if there really was a big delay or not.  I’d imagine not.  Probably just right when it happened.

People in my office were flipping out that another building had collapsed.  Uhhhhh no.  Go back to work.

Resident Discount Metrocards

Posted on December 15th, 2008 by The SUBWAYblogger in Live Blogging On the Subway

So here’s an idea that came to my mind.  I’m sure I am not the first one to think of this, so I’m by no means trying to take credit.  I’m just trying to initiate the discussion.

What if Metrocards were priced based on residency?

People living in the 5 boros would receive a significant discount on Metrocards while people from out of town would pay the higher rate.

Let’s assume that the price of all fares are going up.  With that in mind, let’s make the out of towner rate a premium and residence get a break.  Maybe the price of a monthly unlimited card goes up to just $90 for residence.

You could sell them like TransitCheks.  Residents would simply receive their cards via mail or from their employers.  Or maybe it is just one card that automatically gets renewed month to month.  That way you would be able to verify who is a resident.

You could attach it to drivers liscences or ID cards even!

Just an idea.

New South Ferry Station Set to Open

Posted on December 12th, 2008 by The SUBWAYblogger in This just in
The Old South Ferry Station pictured here.

The Old South Ferry Station pictured here.

MTA’s officials gave the press tours of the new South Ferry station that is expected to open next month.

Many reporters made comments about how clean it was, as it it were a hospital wing.  The fancy new station cost about $500 million to build directly under the current South Ferry station.

What does this mean for straphangers?  Once it opens, you’ll never hear a train conductor say that you have to be in one of the front five cars at South Ferry ever again.  The new station allows all 10 cars to platform.

The current South Ferry station is a gem.  It was opened just two years after the subway opened!  However, the turn is so sharp and the platform so short that only five cars are able to pull up to it.  So that meant riders would have to keep track what car they were in if they planned to get off.  Otherwise, they’d have to walk forward to another car or be stuck.

The new station has elevators and escalators as well as one of the more sophisticated security systems in the entire subway.

Being right all the time gets boring

Posted on December 11th, 2008 by The SUBWAYblogger in Crime, Transit Failures

So like I said, the rain is bad news.

My ride home was all f-ed up.  I got onto the platform only to see 10,000 other people already waiting for the train delayed due to rain.

By pure miracle, I made it onto the first train that finally came 15 minutes later.  People were getting so pissed that they left the station (to go back out into the rain!).  It just so happened that a guy in front of me got fed up and left.  A minute later, the train came and a door lined up with me perfectly.

The train immediately switched from a local to an express train…pissing off many.

So yeah, being right all the time is getting pretty old.

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