Archive for January, 2013

Blocking Subway and Bus Doors is Another Peeve of Mine

January 28, 2013

Blocking Subway Doors
Don’t you just hate it when you are trying to get on a subway when some people just stand there and block  the door.  Common sense and courtesy go along way on public transportation.  Whenever I can’t get a seat, I always walk to the center of the car so I can have more space to move around.  I always see people clustering around the doors.  Likewise on the buses people stand by the doors blocking people from exiting.  Here is an account of an incident in October 2010.

Another rule that I follow is that I never confront anyone who acts inappropriately on public transportation.  There are just too many nut jobs out there.  I have seen too many stories on the TV news about incidents on subway.

Problems with Turnstiles in the NYC Subway

January 25, 2013


Since the 1990s there has been a very irritating issue with the turnstiles in the New York City Subway system going both ways. You can try to enter the system with a Metrocard and all of a sudden someone is in your face exiting. This is especially a problem for reverse commuters like myself. One may have to fight to get into the system or wait several minutes for the surge to die out. There is a very simple solution to this problem. Just designate some turnstiles for entry only, some for exiting only while the ones in the middle can go either way. Back in the mid 1990s I wrote to the MTA about this problem and they acknowledged I had a good idea. Of course, they did not implement it. Another problem with turnstiles relates to the Metrocard readers. Very often a rider must swipe several time before entry is allowed. This problem may be caused by dirty readers which should be cleaned more often.

The MTA Website is useful in Communicating with the Public about Construction

January 24, 2013

In my last post I was a little critical of the MTA in their communicating reasons for long constuction projects.  Last night I watched the WPIX news and saw a story by reporter Greg Mocker.  He did report that the MTA website does communicate with riders about construction projects.

I did a little web surfing using my old friend Google and found 2 sites that report on the rehabilitation of the #7 Line.  Both of these include photos.

I commend the MTA for doing this.  I just wish that it would be more obvious to find these from the MTA home page.

The MTA Should Communicate Better with the Riding Public

January 19, 2013


I read an article in the Queens Examiner about the problem with construction on the #7 train that will be done every weekend until late March. This creates inconvenience since people going to or from Manhattan will have to change at 74th Street or Queensboro Plaza. Work is scheduled to continue every winter until 2016. There is concern that this will especially inconvenience people coming to Flushing to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Some see this as a slight on the Asian community since track work is not done when the Mets are playing or when the US Open is in session.

I suggest that the MTA needs to communicate better with the riding public to explain why such maintenance takes so long. I am aware that they must replace track and work on the tunnel under the East River. Posters in the system obviously can’t go into detail on why this takes so long. I suggest the MTA use online videos on their web site to show riders the intracacies of subway maintenance and why so much time is needed.

Primitive Methods of Fare Collection are Cost Ineffective

January 16, 2013


When the Newark City Subway was modernized and rebranded as the Light Rail, a very primitive method of fare collection was implemented.  In the old days riders had to put coins in a fare box as done on any city bus.  On the light rail the driver is not near the riders as they board.  Thus one has to purchase a ticket and stamp it before boarding.   A monthly ticket or bus pass may also be used as proof of payment.

A few times a month a fare inspector checks to see if riders have valid.  If not, the delinquent rider is given a summons and must pay a fine of about $75.  The old method was foolproof.  If you don’t pay your fare, you don’t get onto the train.  Some years ago an article in the Newark Star-Ledger stated that New Jersey Transit loses about $200,000/year on riders who don’t buy tickets and get away with it.  They also must pay the fare inspectors.  It is not unusual to see 4 fare inspectors checking for tickets.  A few times I saw six of them waiting to give out summons for fare evasion.

A solution would be to install a gate so that all riders must have a fare card scanned before they can board the train.  In the long run this would be more cost effective then paying fare inspectors.  We are now in the 21st century.  Why use a 19th century method to collect fares.

School Bus Strike Tomorrow

January 15, 2013




Introduction to This Blog

January 14, 2013

Hello – My name is Bruce Slutsky.  In this blog I will talk about my adventures in commuting in the New York Northern New Jersey Metropolitan area as I live in Flushing, NY and work at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.  Here are the steps in my daily commute:

  1. A have a choice of buses to take from my home to downtown Flushing: Q34, Q44, Q20A, or Q20B.
  2. #7 Train (express or local) to Times Square.
  3. #1, #2, or #3 to Penn Station at 7th Avenue and 34th Street
  4. New Jersey Transit NE Corrider Line to Newark
  5. Newark Light Rail to Warren Street/NJIT

If everything is according to schedule, it takes about 90 minutes, but that is the exception.  There are always problems with commuting and I have 1 bus and 4 trains which rarely run smoothly.

If you are encountering this journal please check out my other blogs:

Bruce’s Journal – My personal blog if you are interested in my leisure interests

Bruce at the NJIT Library – My professional journal documenting my thoughts as a science/engineering librarian