In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it became clear that the MTA’s worst fears were realized: not only were many of the subway tunnels flooded, but they’d become inundated with salt and brackish water scooped up in the storm surge and funneled into the subway system.
The MTA has gotten parts of the system in Manhattan and Queens up and running, but pumping water out of stations dotted around Brooklyn along the East River will take some time. Seven subway tunnels beneath the East River have flooded, leaving switches and signals “likely damaged.” MTA chairman Joseph J. Lhota said in an earlier press conference that the subway system “has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night.”
Better charge your electronics: Thousands are already without electricity. [Boston Globe]
The MTA took to its Flickr account to chronicle the slow process of shutting down and locking up every last station in the public transportation system. [Flickr]
Our own colleagues are liveblogging the storm here. [New York Observer]
In an example tailor-made to remind us all how much easier we’ve got it in the age of livestreams and weather apps and early warning systems, the 17-person crew of a replica HMS Bounty was forced to abandon ship last night off the coast of North Carolina. [NBC News]
The MTA has screwed you over once again: There’s now a publicly available, easily searchable archive of all service alerts issued over the last four years. Your best excuse for tardiness is now gone. [New York Post]
“Theirs was the only [event] that got worse as the week went on.” Things aren’t going so well for Microsoft’s advertising business. [Ad Week]
Check it out: You can now search in attachments in your Gmail. [Google Operating System]
NBD, just a version of “Somebody That I Used to Know” composed entirely of computer noises. [Make]
The Internet of Things is making it easier for Swiss farmers to get their cows efficiently knocked up. [New York Times]
Any self-respecting New Yorker can effortlessly call to mind a host of complaints about the subway system, that dingy portal between work and home that we grudgingly wade into day in and day out. While the train certainly gets you from points A to B faster and cheaper than a cab, rat-infested stations, painfully long wait times and people who decide to pee and then take a shower in the middle of the car can add up to a pretty unpleasant riding experience. Not to mention all those fare hikes.
Still, the MTA–an institution as beloved as ConEd or even Time Warner–is doing its best to make hurdling through that century-old series of tubes worth your $2.25. And for its next act, the MTA has begun to install “high-tech Help Point intercoms” in stations around the city.
The Brooklyn Tech Triangle already thinks it’s bigger and better than Manhattan, and now they’re getting a transportation upgrade to help them prove it.
The triangle–which includes Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO and the Brooklyn Navy Yard–is getting its very own dedicated bus route, according to a press release issued today by New York state senator Daniel Squadron.
Senator Squadron and MTA stakeholders will plan the new route, which is set to roll out in 2013. “Brooklyn’s tech industry is changing the face of New York — and now, we’ll have a bus route that will allow the booming Tech Triangle to continue to grow and innovate,” Senator Squadron stated in the release.
And here we thought most startup kids were fiercely loyal to the ice cream-wielding Uber team.
Internet vigilantes, you’ve done it again! After a video of person after person tripping at the 36th St. subway station in Sunset Park, Brooklyn went viral yesterday, Betabeat–and tons of other reporters, apparently–called the MTA to ask if they had any intention of fixing the offending step. The MTA told us, “We will send someone out to take a look and take corrective measures,” and apparently they’re making good on their word.
According to NBC News, “Crews went to the station Wednesday to block off the staircase in preparation for repairs.”
We did it, Internet! Give yourselves a pat on the back–if you can bear to take your hands off the keyboard, that is.
The only downside is that NBC News reports that the MTA is unsure how long the fix will take, which means it probably won’t be done for years. Sorry, Sunset Park.
A Brooklyn filmmaker named Dean Peterson noticed something curious about his subway station at 36th St. in Sunset Park. One of the steps near the top of the staircase appeared to be just slightly taller than the other stairs, but the difference is so miniscule that it’s not noticeably visible. In fact, Mr. Peterson only noticed it when he realized that everyone trips on the step. And of course, being a cinephile, he decided to film it.
The Vimeo video, entitled “New York City Subway Stairs,” hit the front page of Reddit this afternoon, and as of this writing had accrued over 2,000 upvotes.
Silicon Alley U
During the press conference naming NYU the second place winner in the city’s tech campus competition, Mayor Bloomberg began his speech by snarking about the number of people who stood behind him. “You can always tell whether something is important by whether people want to participate in the announcement,” he said with a smile, pointing out that “nobody” angled for a spot on a podium when he wanted to ban smoking in public places.
But not everyone is behind El Bloombito’s tech-forward agenda. At a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) board meeting in Midtown last night, NY1 reports that members of the Transport Workers Union demanded that the board vote down the “all-but-done deal” to hand over the MTA’s former headquarters at 370 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn to NYU.
MEET. Ten dollars gets you into the NY Tech Meetup at NYU this evening. The meetup will take place at the Skirball Center For The Performing Arts at 566 LaGuardia Place where NYC startups will demo all the cool things they’re doing.
BestVendor, CartoDB, Everything Butt Art,Lenddo, MVF, MyMatchmaker, Scroll Kit, Paperlex and Umami will all be showing off their startup skills.
GIRL POWER. DailyWorth, an online resource for women in business with backing from the likes of Joanne Wilson is launching a new financial newsletter devoted to female entrepreneurs: CreateWorth. Lady entrepreneurs who sign up will recieve a “bi-weekly forum” detailing personal experiences from DailyWorth founder Amanda Steinberg, and encouragement and tips to “master business-building fundamentals.”
TECH RUSH. Reuters TV hits up ZocDoc, HiiDef and LivePerson in a new video for their tech show, Tech Tonic.
Silicon Alley U
For months, Mayor Bloomberg has dangled the possibility of picking two winners for the city’s tech campus competition. He even left the possibility open while announcing that the New York City Economic Development Corporation would give the full $100 million grant to Cornell-Technion to build an applied sciences campus on Roosevelt Island. Now Crain’s is reporting that between the remaining contestants, NYU’s Downtown Brooklyn proposal may have “taken center stage” over Carnegie Mellon’s Navy Yard campus and Columbia’s Manhattanville proposal.
Hey, if the Fulton St. Mall can have its own Shake Shack, why shouldn’t the M.T.A’s derelict former headquarters on nearby 370 Jay St. be transformed into a Center for Urban Science and Progress?
Although Crain’s says NYU, the M.T.A., and E.D.C. all want to make a deal to help revitalize Downtown Brooklyn, “but money is the sticking point.”