At the February meeting of the MNRCC Bob MacLagger, Vice President – Planning, along with Danny O’Connell, Director -Operations Planning and Analysis, and Jim McCormack, Asst. Director of Operations Planning and Analysis, made a presentation on the upcoming cuts to service due to the MTA financial crisis. Mr. MacLagger stated that the service reductions were determined based on the least impact to the customers.
Specifically: 13 trains would be discontinued or combined and that 95% occupancy would be the passenger load norm. These actions will result in a savings of $2.5 million, mainly from electrical costs for propulsion. Approximately 10,000 – 12,000 riders will be impacted.
On a positive note, it was reported that the new Yankee Stadium Station has been a rousing success since its opening in May 2009, with an estimated 500,000 rides provided. Most of this activity is due to the Yankee games but certainly enhanced by the team’s stellar post-season. Also, it helped that the parking fees at the stadium were raised to $29 per game.
Another bright spot was the “train to the game” program — a through service from Connecticut to the Meadowlands Stadium for select Giants football games. Riding NJ TRANSIT’s new multi-level cars over Amtrak’s Hell Gate Bridge through NY Penn Station to Secaucus Junction in New Jersey, the passengers then transfered to the new rail shuttle service to the Meadowlands. The trains ran very smoothly, Mr. O’Connell said, and provided about 6,000 rides. The cooperation between these three agencies is a ground breaking first in better regional mobility.
During the meeting it was announced that the MNRCC will hold its annual President’s Forum with Howard Permut on April 7th from 5-7 pm in the 5th Floor Board Room at MTA Headquarters. More details will be made available in the coming weeks.