MTA System Fighters Research Memo Revised

Everyone knows the MTA systems aren’t perfect. Governor Cuomo himself deemed this a problem, stated that “New York City’s transit system are in a ‘state of emergency’.” He also stated that subway “delays are maddening New Yorkers” who are “infuriated by a lack of communication and unreliability”, which we can all agree with. Governor Cuomo even went as far as ordering the MTA to address this issue.

The MTA then made this a priority and has tried to better manage its short-term inspection, repair, and replacement schedule for tracks, signals, and subway cars to avoid unexpected disruptions to the schedules of nearly 6 million daily subway riders. However, their side task was to partially repair the damage done by cutbacks to inspections, maintenance, and repairs made in the wake of the 2008 financial and economic crisis. And even as the MTA’s budget for pensions, health care, and debt continued to grow. The MTA also announced plans to deploy medical crews more quickly to passengers in need of assistance, thus reducing delays due to sick or incapacitated riders.

Every month, the MTA reports information to its board on specific areas of subway performance. This includes the percentage of subway trains that arrive at their stop on time; the average distance, in miles, that a subway car can travel before breaking down; the number of “major incidents” that disrupted service for 50 or more subway trains at once; and the percentage of weekday passengers’ journeys that arrive within five minutes of the scheduled time.

The good news is, however, the MTA has stabilized its operations, and at the same time, stopped the declines in performance. Also, Governor Cuomo wasn’t wrong to note that Lhota had “stabilized the subway system.”

However, the MTA has not regained its performance levels of the early 2010s. Despite  improvements over the past year, nearly three times as many weekday trains experience delays compared with 2011, when Cuomo first took office. Trains are still almost 30% more likely to break down. The MTA hasn’t stopped the decline in ridership that resulted from its recent declining performance. A month after Governor Cuomo’s declaration of emergency in 2017, the MTA launched a “subway action plan,” promising to “deliver improvements within the year.” The MTA would mainly focus on track and signal-system improvements and train-car reliability, deploying hundreds of new workers toward inspecting, repairing, and replacing track segments. On top of that, they will be ensuring that the system’s early-20th-century signal system did not break down as often.

The MTA has also made changed management. In January 2018, Andy Byford, a veteran of mass-transit systems in Toronto and London, joined the MTA as president of New York City Transit, in charge of subways and buses. In late October, Byford told 60 Minutes’ Bill Whitaker, “I absolutely want New Yorkers to start feeling, by the end of this year, it’s definitely getting better.”

Education Essay Revision

Joshua Stone

5/28/19

Professor Carrie Hall

ENG 1121

Revision

High School Journey

I’d like to start by saying that I don’t have a lot of memorable moments in my life. But if I could name one, it would definitely have to be my high school graduation. Not only was it one of the most significant moments of my life, but it was one of the major stepping stones of my life. This was the turning point in my road to being an adult and choosing. my career. Despite it being a conjunction of emotions, it is still a day that is hard to forget. Many students have endured those difficult four years of high school, whether it was getting grades for your classes, passing the regents, or trying to receive honors for academic accomplishments. In my case, it a little bit of everything. My main focus was perfect attendance, above satisfactory grades, and passing the mandatory regents and then some to receive an Advanced Regents Diploma. After enduring those four long years, I was able to accomplish each one of these goals, as well as a few of my classmates. The feeling of accomplishment was definitely unforgettable and I think everyone who had the same goals in mind would agree. Of course, there were some students that simple settled for a regular high school diploma, but I couldn’t blame them. If I didn’t have the encouragement of my parents, teachers, friends, tutors, etc., I would have the same mindset as them. Fortunately, my goals were set on being an overachiever and showing all my loved ones and friends that I’m different.

I remember my high school journey as if it was yesterday. I hardly believe there’s anyone who could forget this so-called “journey”. Freshman year was the start of it all. I was your typical student on his first day. I struggled to find classes, had trouble making friends, was dog-piled by assignments and homework. Those days eventually turned for the better. Even though I technically had a head start due to taking certain courses and regents early in middle school, everything was still so much to take in. After the first week, I finally started getting some stability. I basically become everyone’s friends, to my surprise, and the classwork started to seem less of a headache. After the first few months, freshman year was basically smooth-sailing. I kept my grades reasonably high, stayed away from the bad crowd, and was always on time. I eventually got used to this cycle and became fully adjusted too high school life. Then sophomore year came around the corner.

Sophomore year is by far the most headache-inducing, stress-giving, and agonizing year of high school by far. The reason I say this is for one reason only: regents. Basically, regents are New York’s variation of standardized testing, and they are much more stress-inducing and difficult than other forms of testing in the United States. Most of the classes I took were hellbent on making sure each student passed each regent with an 80 or higher, and that’s only an understatement. Even an 80 would be considered disappointing in their eyes and that reflected in our class work. We received assignments and practice exams nonstop and my classmates didn’t stop coming until everyone did well. Thinking back to it now, it did work, but only to an extent. To be precise, about 90% of the students benefited from this, and that’s me being generous. I’m more than positive there were more students that couldn’t take it anymore and gave up halfway or just burned themselves out. I was eligible to take some of my regents early (Geometry and Living Environment), in which I passed with exceptional grades. Some of my friends followed right behind, some surpassed me. And of course, there were some who could care less, would rather take it next year, and just flat out bombed it.

During junior year, everything seemed to be more relaxed. We had fewer classes meaning that we got to go home early, which everyone was excited for. We had the same regimen for regents prep but was definitely a weight of your shoulders compared to sophomore year. The same people that I’ve been friends with since day one has matured so much, it was like they were completely different people. Those who could care less about their education did a full 180-degree turn and started to treat their school with more seriousness. One of those students even ended up on the school council. We continued our year like any other. The classes were more difficult but our teachers managed made our lives easier. By this time, we also took the time to start looking for colleges and deciding what career we were interested in. Finally, regents week came and had everyone on edge, since the time to make up for their mistakes is winding down. I managed to graze by with just an above average grade on my Trigonometry regents, above satisfactory on U.S. History regents and passed with flying colors on my Spanish regents. I was just able to survive this storm of regents but I pulled through, and so did a majority of my classmates. For some, time for improvement is dwindling and senior year is their last chance.

And last but not least, senior year, my best year of high school. Not only was our school schedule was even shorter, but our classes were even laxer. On top of all that, most of us have regents out the way so we can all focus on getting our credits now. We were taking college-level classes, so we had our fair share of difficulties. We also had a lot of free time on our hands, so a handful of us took that time to relax and unwind, while others took that time to study or start looking at colleges. For those who are behind, they received special attention to ensure their success and eligibility to graduate. After all, is said and done, we could finally move on to the fun part of the year: senior activities. First came prom, in which in all honestly would be the third best day. Then a field trip to D.C., which was definitely a highlight of senior year. Third came a visit to a fancy restaurant in New Jersey.

Finally, the day has come, June 23. Everything was about to change. This would be the day I become not only be a college student, but a step closer into adulthood. The silly things I used to do during high school days would be memories now. I used to enjoy the conversations I used to have with our friends, the parties, the classes, teases each other, and much more. Those things are no more in our lives. It took place at Adelphi University The day started as a normal one and ended a memorable day in my life. It was a mixture of emotions. The happiness of seeing friends after longtime and sadness of realizing the fact that there are no more high school days in our life. Others cried for other reasons, such as being unable to see my friends and classmates again. But who could blame them? I’d be heartbroken too if I was unable to see the people I spent the past four years with laughing and learning. I sat there with my friends, probably for the final time, and watched as their names were called and as they receive their diploma. Others like me received awards for other accomplishments such as attendance and honor for other subjects like history and science. Finally, my name was called. I heard my parents, sisters, loved ones, and my soon-to-be-former classmates cheer for me. All my dedication and accomplishments have lead to this moment. I walked on stage, shook my principal’s hand as she gives my Advanced Regents Diploma. This diploma that was given to me is not just a paper, it’s the reward for the continuous hard work and dedication. It definitely wouldn’t possible without the support of parents, teachers, and friends. Thanks to my parents, teachers, and friends for being a backbone throughout the phase of my education.

Me, as a Writer

Joshua Stone
Dr. Hall
English 1121

With the semester finally coming to an end, I’m still left with a question: have I improved as a writer? This class has definitely been one of the enjoyable courses I took. I learned a lot, met some interesting people, and definitely developed some writing skills. Dr. Hall has taught me that no one is perfect at something. I’m not a perfect writer and I know that for a fact. While, I learned my weakness and strengths, and how to exploit them. The biggest weakness that I have is that sometimes I don’t take my time doing things, like in this class writing as fast as possible just to finish the assignment; this only got my writing worse than it was before and I had to adjust my attitude of rushing my writings.
In Unit 1, I was talking about my graduation. When I reread my paper, I was actually surprised how much things I either did incorrectly or completely missed when writing. I was honestly perplexed on how much problems I found. But then again, I was that because I never claimed to be a good writer. However, I never said I was a terrible one either, so I was still kind of ticked off at the end result of my paper.
In Unit 2, I made a paper and video on one of my favorite artist,XXXTentacion. My main goal was to explain how he inspired me in a positive way while he was misunderstood and received negative criticism. However, the video I made didn’t really establish the point I was trying to make. I ended talking more about how XXXTentacion was an inspiration rather explaining the fact that he is misunderstood more. But even still, I’m more than confident when I say that the video carried my paper. I feel as if the video explained what I couldn’t put on paper much better.
In Unit 3, I made a video and paper again, but this time about the MTA. Once again, my video did a way better job explaining what I couldn’t put on paper. At this point, I’m just shaking my head at what I’m been putting on paper. I’m really in awe about how I haven’t really improved in writing. I’ve really been relying on the videos I make to cover my paper.
Overall, the only I was able to gather from Unit 2 and 3 is how much I rely on my video editing skills. And even my video editing skills are mediocre at best. But I can’t really beat myself up too much. With every unit, I suppose my writing skills have gotten better. I may not have noticed it then but I can kind of see it now. Dr. Hall has pointed out my weaknesses and has tried to help and it definitely has paid off. If there is one thing I learned from this course is no piece of writing is perfect. There is always room for improvement, even if you think your work is flawless. I see that now and can’t really too hard on myself when it comes to writing. Looking back now, I can see that errors are completely normal and that they can be improved on. Even you have to reread your work or have someone else read it, you can find what you did wrong and fix it. This course taught me that firsthand, and I’m grateful for it.

Proposal

I’m going to be revising the artist essay because I feel like, in a sense, the video I made didn’t really establish the point I was trying to make. In my video, I talk more about how XXXTentacion was an inspiration rather explaining the fact that he is misunderstood more. I would change this essay from a video to a drawing, because I feel I can get my point across easier. I want to include his lyrics, his legal battles, and his life in general before his passing.

MTA Research Memo

On June 2017, New York governor Andrew Cuomo declared New York City’s transit system (mainly the city’s subways) to be in a “state of emergency.” Stating that subway “delays are maddening New Yorkers” who are “infuriated by a lack of communication and unreliability,” the governor ordered the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), whose chairperson he nominates and whose board nominations he controls, to reorganize its operations.

Though the long-term goal was for the MTA to modernize its physical assets, including its outdated signal infrastructure, the MTA’s more immediate goal was to better manage its short-term inspection, repair, and replacement schedule for tracks, signals, and subway cars to avoid unexpected disruptions to the schedules of nearly 6 million daily subway riders. The MTA’s task here was partly to repair the damage done by cutbacks to inspections, maintenance, and repairs made in the wake of the 2008 financial and economic crisis—cuts made even as ridership continued to soar as the local economy recovered; and even as the MTA’s budget for pensions, health care, and debt continued to grow. The MTA also announced plans to deploy medical crews more quickly to passengers in need of assistance, thus reducing delays due to sick or incapacitated riders.

Seventeen months into this plan, it is possible to use the MTA’s own performance reports to assess the early results. Each month, the MTA reports information to its board on specific areas of subway performance, including the percentage of subway trains that arrive at their stop on time; the average distance, in miles, that a subway car can travel before breaking down; the number of “major incidents” that disrupted service for 50 or more subway trains at once; and the percentage of weekday passengers’ journeys that arrive within five minutes of the scheduled time. The good news , however, is that over the past three years, the MTA has stabilized its operations, stemming the dramatic declines in performance over the previous half-decade. Cuomo wasn’t wrong to note, upon Joseph Lhota’s departure as MTA chairman in November 2018, that Lhota had “stabilized the subway system.”

Nevertheless, the MTA has not yet regained its performance levels of the early 2010s. Despite modest improvements over the past year, nearly three times as many weekday trains experience delays compared with 2011, when Cuomo first took office. Trains are still nearly 30% more likely to break down. The MTA has not stemmed the decline in ridership that resulted from its recent declining performance. A month after Governor Cuomo’s declaration of emergency in 2017, the MTA, under former chairman Lhota, launched a “subway action plan,” promising to “deliver improvements within the year.” The MTA would primarily focus on track and signal-system improvements and train-car reliability, deploying hundreds of new workers toward inspecting, repairing, and replacing track segments as well as ensuring that the system’s early-20th-century signal system did not break down as often.

The plan had a steep price tag. Though the MTA never promised a finite time frame for the “action plan,” the first phase was to cost $836 million: $456 million in the form of higher labor and other operating costs for expedited repairs and cleaning; and $380 million in the form of higher capital-asset costs for newer and better track, subway cars, and cleaning and inspection equipment. But the subway action plan is not a one-off cost. The MTA expects extra operating expenditures attributed to more aggressive inspection, repair, and maintenance schedules to be ongoing. On top of (a revised) $508 million in operating costs for the first year, the MTA expects to spend another $365 million in 2019 and $365 million annually thereafter, largely to pay the wages and benefits of newly hired union employees who will do much of this in-house work.Between 2017 and 2019, for example, the MTA expects that the workforce for New York City Transit (the MTA’s subway and bus division) will grow by 1,095 workers, to 51,246, largely as a result of the subway action plan.

The MTA has also made management changes to ensure professional implementation of the plan. In January 2018, Andy Byford, a veteran of mass-transit systems in Toronto and London, joined the MTA as president of New York City Transit, in charge of subways and buses. In late October, Byford told 60 Minutes’ Bill Whitaker, “I absolutely want New Yorkers to start feeling, by the end of this year, it’s definitely getting better.”

XXXTentacion: A Misunderstood Inspiration (Unit 2)

Video:
https://youtu.be/znTbuA6Qjj0

My creative project is gonna be a video on the late artist XXXTentacion, explaining his background and mainly how he inspired me both spiritually and emotionally. I want to make something related to videos we saw in class with Frank Ocean, describing the artist, his actions, and how they impacted me. I figured since I’m currently getting into video editing, this would be a great opportunity to go into detail on how this misunderstood artist was an inspiration to me.

Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, also known as XXXTentacion, a SoundCloud rapper from Miami, Florida, was shot dead in late June of 2018 and was 20 years old. It is truly sad that such an influential artist has passed away. Though we are all aware of what he had done wrong, from his violent history of beating people up to allegations of him beating his pregnant girlfriend. XXXTentacion had always been spreading love and positivity through his movements and messages he sent out to fans, and through his music, and that’s the point I want to make in this creative project.

Later in life he has donated to many different charities and helped a lot of people in need of help. His music inspires people to be creative and do what they want to do. It also helps people with depression and other personal issues feel better. If I had to summarize his music I would say that it is a audio therapy session. The music that he crafts has helped me get through hard times in my life and still does. His music makes your depression kind of fade away.  

X was such an amazing person who had the biggest desire to be a better person. He helped so many people through depression, and texted people helping them through hard times and telling them “ It’s gonna be alright.” I just wish he was right now. He gave his friends, fans, and family advice after advice when they were sad or in a bad state of mind. He was so inspirational and loved to make others laugh. Whenever he smiled he lit up the world. His name with be forever remembered in the pits of this earth. The difference he made and impact he put into the music industry is literally incredible. We all make mistakes and that’s what makes us human. Our flaws just define our differences and we all have them. I was one of his biggest fans and from my point of view everyone who listened to him and knew about him felt like they knew him personally because he was such a selfless, understanding, intelligent, and heart-warming blessing of a human being. He put others before himself, and somehow got everyone and understood how they felt from each part of his heart. He didn’t deserve to die in such a terrible way. He is was my motivation and he will continue to be. Because of X, I am who I am today, and I’m grateful for that. Thank you, Jahseh. Your legacy lives on.

Joshua’s Paper Draft

My creative project is gonna be a video on the late artist XXXTentacion, explaining his background, going in depth with his controversial lyrics, and mainly, how he inspired me both spiritually and emotionally. I want to make something related to videos we saw in class with Frank Ocean, describing the artist, his actions, and how they impacted me. I figured since I’m currently getting into video editing, this would be a great opportunity to go into detail on how this misunderstood artist was an inspiration to me.
Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, also known as XXXTentacion, a SoundCloud rapper from Miami, Florida, was shot dead in late June of 2018 and was 20 years old. It is truly sad that such an influential artist has passed away. Though we are all aware of what he had done wrong, from his violent history of beating people up to allegations of him beating his pregnant girlfriend. XXXTentacion had always been spreading love and positivity through his movements and messages he sent out to fans, and through his music, and that’s the point I want to make in this creative project.
Later in life he has donated to many different charities and helped a lot of people in need of help. His music inspires people to be creative and do what they want to do. It also helps people with depression and other personal issues feel better. If I had to summarize his music I would say that it is a audio therapy session. The music that he crafts has helped me get through hard times in my life and still does. His music makes your depression kind of fade away.

High School Journey (Final Draft)

Joshua Stone

2/13/19

Professor Carrie Hall

ENG 1121

Final Draft

High School Journey

The most memorable moment in my life for now would definitely have to be my high school graduation. Not only was it one of the most significant moments of my life, but it was one of the major stepping stones of my life. This was the turning point in my road to being an adult and choosing. my career. Despite it being a conjunction of emotions, being either the happiest day of your life or the saddest, it is still a day that is hard to forget. Many students have endured those difficult four years of high school, whether it was getting grades for your classes, passing the regents, or trying to receive honors for academic accomplishments. In my case, it a little bit of everything. My main focus were perfect attendance, above satisfactory grades, and passing the mandatory regents and then some to receive an Advanced Regents Diploma. After enduring those four long years, I was able to accomplish each one of these goals, as well as a few of my classmates. The feeling of accomplishment was definitely on unforgettable and I think everyone who had the same goals in mind would agree. Of course there were some students that simple settled for a regular high school diploma, but I couldn’t blame them. If didn’t have the encouragement of my parents, teachers, friends, tutors, etc., I would have the same mindset as them. Fortunately, my goals were set on being an overachiever and showing everyone that I’m different.  

I remember my high school the journey as if it was yesterday. I hardly believe there’s anyone who could forget this so-called “journey”. Freshman year was the start of it all. I was your typical student on his first day. I struggled to find classes, had trouble making friends, was dogpiled by assignments and homework. Those days eventually turned for the better. Even though I technically had a head start due to taking certain courses and regents early in middle school, everything was still so much to take in. After the first week, I finally started getting some stability. I basically become everyone’s friends, to my surprise, and the classwork started to seem less of a headache. After the first few months, freshman year was basically smooth-sailing. I kept my grades reasonably high, stayed away from the bad crowd, and was always on time. I eventually got used to this cycle and became fully adjusted to the high school life. Then sophomore year came around the corner.

Sophomore is by far the most headache-inducing, stress-giving, and agonizing year of high school by far. The reason I say this is for one reason only: regents. Most of the classes I took were hellbent on making sure each student passed each regents with a 80 or higher, and that’s only an understatement. Even an 80 would be considered disappointing in their eyes and that reflected in our class work. We received assignments and practice exams nonstop and they didn’t stop coming until everyone did well. Thinking back to it now, it did work, but only to an extent. To be precise, about 90% of the students benefited from this, and that’s me being generous. I’m more than positive there were more students that couldn’t take it anymore and gave up halfway or just burned themselves out. I was eligible to take some of my regents early (Geometry and Living Environment), in which I passed with exceptional grades. Some of my friends followed right behind, some surpassed me. And of course, there were some who could care less, would rather take it next year, and just flat out bombed it.

During junior year, everything seemed to be more laxed. We had less classes meaning that we got to go home early, which everyone was excited for. We had the same regimen for regents prep, but was definitely a weight of your shoulders compared to sophomore year. The same people that I’ve been friends with since day one has matured so much, it was like they were completely different people. Those who could care less about their education did a full 180 degree turn and started to treat their school with more seriousness. One of those students even ended up on the school council. We continued our year like an other. The classes were more difficult but our teachers managed made our lives more easier. By this time, we also took the time to start looking for colleges and deciding what career we were interested in. Finally, regents week came and had everyone on edge, since the time to make up for their mistakes is winding down. I managed to graze by with just a above average grade on my Trigonometry regents, above satisfactory on U.S. History regents, and passed with flying colors on my Spanish regents. I was just able to survive this storm of regents but I pulled through, and so did a majority of my classmates. For some, time for improvement is dwindling and senior year is their last chance.

And last but no least, senior year, my best year of high school. Not only was our school schedule was even shorter, but our classes were even more lax. On top of all that, most of us have regents out the way so we can all focus on getting our credits now. We were taking college level classes, so we had our fair share of difficulties. We also had a lot of free time on our hands, so a handful of us took that time to relax and unwind, while other took that time to study or start looking at colleges. For those who are behind, they received special attention to ensure their success and eligibility to graduate. After all is said and done, we could finally move on to the fun part of the year: senior activities. First came prom, in which in all honestly would be the third best day. Then a field trip to D.C., which was definitely a highlight of senior year. Third came a visit to a fancy restaurant in New Jersey.

Finally the day has come, June 23. Everything was about to change. This would be the day I become not only be a college student, but a step closer into adulthood. The silly things I used to do during high school days would be memories now. I used to enjoy the conversations I used to have with our friends, the parties, the classes, teases each other, and much more. Those things are no more in our life. It took place at Adelphi University The day started as a normal one and ended as memorable day in my life. It was mixture of emotions. Happiness of seeing friends after longtime and sadness of realizing the fact that there is no more high school days in our life. Others cried for other reasons, such as being unable to seeing friends and classmates again. But who could blame them? I’d be heartbroken too if I was unable to see the people I spent the past four years with laughing and learning. I sat there with my friends, probably for the final time, and watched as their names were called and as they receive their diploma. Others like me received awards for other accomplishments such as attendance and honor for other subjects like history and science. Finally, my name was called. I heard my parents, sisters, loved ones, and my soon-to-be former classmates cheer for me. All my dedication and accomplishments has lead to this moment. I walked on stage, shaked my principal’s hand as she gives my Advanced Regents Diploma. This diploma that was given to me is not just a paper, it’s the reward for the continuous hard work and dedication. It definitely wouldn’t possible without the support of parents, teachers and friends. Thanks to my parents, teachers and friends for being a back bone throughout the phase of my education.

My marginal comments are HERE. My endnote and grade are in the comment section.