Transit Briefs: LIRR, UTA, MBTAWritten by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) announces additional enhanced service, effective March 13. Also, the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) offers mobile ticketing in its official Transit app; and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), after being hit with six safety violations following an inspection of the Red Line, implements new speed restrictions.
LIRR announced March 10 service updates that will go into effect Monday, March 13, to enhance service and increase frequency.
According to the agency, four trains that serve Grand Central Madison will be rerouted to serve Penn Station instead. Four morning peak trains on the Ronkonkoma Branch will also be extended to serve two additional stations.
These changes, LIRR says, are in addition to modifications made March 6 and 7, when rush hour service to Brooklyn was increased, reducing time between trains to 7-8 minutes. Additional modifications included adding cars to all trains that had exceeded capacity the previous week. According to the agency, riders also saw 30 more customer service staff throughout Jamaica station to assist riders and “ease the transfer experience.”
“We are pleased with the progress we’ve made this week and we are going to continue to make adjustments as we go,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “From day one, we knew that there was going to be a learning curve. We are especially focused on what we can do to give riders a better understanding of their options, both through the TrainTime app, and also via announcements and signage. We are moving to a place where the system is achieving its goals and is working much better.”
“The Long Island Rail Road team is all over the rollout in terms of looking for trends, what ridership is looking like, what trains are popular and adjusting accordingly,” said Long Island Rail Road Interim President and Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi. “This is a very dynamic process and we are going to be continuously making adjustments based upon ridership and loading data. We look at it every single day.”
UTA announced March 9 via a Twitter post that it is now offering mobile ticketing in Transit, the agency’s official app.
The Transit app has replaced UTA’s GoRide app and offers a “more dynamic and easy-to-use experience for multimodal trip planning, real-time tracking and fare payment,” according to the agency.
The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) sent six letters to the MBTA on March 7, according to a Boston Herald report, “ordering it to develop corrective action plans for violations flagged during a March 16 inspection of the southbound Red Line track between Ashmont and Savin Hill.”
According to the letters, and as reported by the Boston Herald, multiple trains were observed overshooting a station platform between March 3 and March 5, a worker wasn’t wearing a hard hat as required by personal protective equipment (PPE) policies, and inspectors identified defective Red Line track conditions.
As a result of the safety violations, the MBTA has implemented new speed restrictions on the Red, Orange, Blue and Green Lines, adding additional travel time for commuters, according to a Boston 25 News report.
According to the report, subway trains on those lines will be going anywhere between 10 to 25 mph, MBTA announced March 9. Normally, the trains travel up to 40 mph.
“The MBTA apologizes in advance for these inconveniences and remains committed to operating the transit system in the safest manner possible,” MBTA officials said in a statement Thursday night, according to the Boston 25 News report.