Monday, August 10, 2009

Thoughts on MTA 2010-2014 Capital Program

Part 1 of Week-long Series on Mass Transit in NYC

This is an email sent to the New York City MTA in response to their draft of their 2010-2014 Capital Program, released today and found here:

Smartcard investments: although I have long pushed for the MTA to finally adopt this ubiquitous technology, unless the MTA finds ways to "profit" off smartcard usage, I think funding should instead be diverted to more pressing concerns. Profit=expanding usage to merchants such as supermarkets, convenience stores, news stands, etc., like a debit card. People that don't have credit cards (ex. youth) would be able to use it at other places without having to carry cash around. MTA could charge a fee to merchants, like the credit card companies do, at 3rd party places. Octopus Card is a good example. And if smartcard is ever put into place, please do not drag out process of allowing Metrocards to continue to be used like what happened with the token back in the '90s.

Page 8: Sustainable Investments-despite the economic downturn and credit "freeze", the MTA should also expand their property ownership around new and existing stations. A good example: Hong Kong MTR-through their MTR Properties, they have hugely successful commercial and residential developments on top of or going into stations, creating an easy and direct connection to the transit system as well as an interconnected area.

More ventilation at platform level-perhaps keeping the hot air from the trains from wafting into the platform? Or employ A/C units similar to
Grand Central's 4/5/6 platform.

New buses with push-bar rear exit opening tech is GREAT! But news of eliminating the push button on new Orions is not...

HEETs are not as efficient as traditional turnstiles and are in fact more dangerous and moves traffic slower-when a load of people are getting off a train, it's scary walking into swinging metal bars coming at you.

Using new tunnel lighting is great, especially with CFLs or (maybe with a very generous sponsor?) LEDs. But too much lighting is inefficient lighting-take the tunnel on E/V at 53St/Lex. There is way too much lighting there for illumination-similar to what an at grade tunnel would have.

Commendations on finally getting Herald Square escalators working after nearly a 6 month out of service period-image is everything to riders.

7 is getting R142's? I thought it was R179s? And if it is 179s, you should definitely consider having the R143's LED message boards along with 160 FIND maps...LEDMB=ad space.

What happened to your deal with CNN on televisions on platforms? I truly would love to see this deal go forward- AD REVENUE for MTA; TVs should face platform from tracks; MTA announcements as well; vandalproof.

And more PR - reaching out to public with Youtube? Twitter? Using Youtube, MTA could publish videos about construction progress, Did You Knows?, service interruptions, and other info that could better improve the public's view of the MTA AS WELL AS give you more support, away from those annoying politicians.

Get a way to release the Senate's clamp on MTA financing approvals-you should be able to get what you want without having to go through the Senate.

Published Post Number:148/154
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