BOSTON — Transit police are seeking the public’s help in finding a man who robbed a woman of her bag at an MBTA station.
Police said the robbery occurred at the Tufts MBTA station on Monday at 9:50 a.m. after an inbound Orange Line train entered the station. The suspect fled on foot toward Bay Village in the South End, police said.
Anyone who recognizes the suspect is asked to call police at 617-222-1050.
Lawmakers vote to rename South Station after former governor
BOSTON — A move is on in Massachusetts to rename Boston’s South Station in honor of former governor and presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.
But Dukakis was never asked about the honor, and is not so sure he wants it.
The state House of Representatives this week voted to rename the rail hub the Michael S. Dukakis Transportation Center at South Station. The measure was tucked into a $12 billion transportation bond bill that’s expected to sail through the Senate and be signed into law by the governor.
The station opened in 1898 and underwent a complete overhaul in the 1980s while the Democrat was governor. Dukakis is a longtime advocate of public transportation who took the subway to work while governor.
Dukakis tells the Boston Herald he’s “not in favor” of the renaming.
Yahoo Newsroom – The Public Transport Council announces fare adjustments which take effect on 6 April. (Yahoo photo)
Bus and train commuters in Singapore not eligible for certain concessions will pay between four and six cents more per journey on card transactions starting from 6 April this year.
Announcing the fare hikes in a press briefing on Thursday, the Public Transport Council also said that senior citizen concessionary fares will increase by two to three cents per journey, while student concessionary fares will rise by two cents per journey.
This table shows the fare adjustments for different groups. (Yahoo photo)
The PTC estimates that the average increases in fare expenditure to be S$21 for adults, S$10 for senior citizens and S$7 for students.
PTC chairman Gerard Ee pointed out that the council decided to grant an overall fare adjustment of 3.2 per cent rather than the total fare cap of 6.6 per cent for the 2013 fare review exercise.
“Clearly, 6.6 per cent in one go is very high, and so, to minimise the impact on commuters, it was quite obvious to us that we should just do part of the increase this year, and roll-over the rest, as provided for under the new “roll-over mechanism as recommended in the FRMC report,” said Ee.
He estimated that the next adjustment would be an increase of 3.1 per cent instead of the remaining fare cap of 3.4 per cent.
The council will consider what the 2014 fare adjustment formula would be and the new figure for adjustment would likely be finalised this April, he added.
Ee said the 2012 fare review exercise was suspended to allow the Fare Review Mechanism Committee (FRMC) to complete their review, adding that public transport fares were last adjusted in October 2011.
Meanwhile, cash fares for train and adult bus rides will increase by 20 cents per trip, while senior citizens and student concessionary cash fares for bus rides will increase by 10 cents per trip.
Only an estimated 3 to 5 per cent of public transport commuters pay in cash, as most commuters pay using ezlink contactless cards.
Ee said that in the council’s deliberations, it took guidance from the FRMC’s recommendations which were accepted by the government in November 2013, including the new fare formula, fare review mechanism and public transport affordability.
PTC chairman Gerard Ee (third from left) announces adjustments to public transport fares. (Yahoo photo)
During the press briefing, Ee also said that the adjustment of 3.2 per cent is significantly lower than the expected averaged national wage increase for 2013.
He explained that while the council don’t have the full-year’s data, there was a 4.1 per cent year-on-year increase based on January to September 2013 data, and the average national wage increase is likely to be close to 5 per cent for the full-year because of generally better year-end bonuses for 2013 compared with 2012.
“So from the affordability perspective, for the average commuter, I think a 3.2 per cent fare increase is acceptable, although clearly, specific groups may require some help to cope with fare increases,” said Ee.
These include lowering the monthly concession pass prices for polytechnic students by almost 50 per cent as well as two new concession schemes for low-wage workers and persons with disability that would be separately implemented by the government in July.
Where is the money going?
With the fare hike, there will be an increase of about S$53.5 million a year in fare revenue for the two public transport operators (PTOs), SBS Transit and SMRT.
Ee said while the fare increase will boost the companies’ financials – helping them have the money to improve service standards, raise wages for staff and increase bus fleets – the two PTOs are required to set aside a part of the additional revenue to the public transport (PT) fund to fulfill their public service roles.
In total, the two PTOs will contribute a one-off total sum of S$11.58 million to the PT fund, compared with previous years when they typically contribute under a million dollars.
The money will help needy families cope with the fare adjustment.
WAVERLY, Va. (AP) — Authorities say an Amtrak train has collided with a vehicle in south central Virginia and there are injuries.
Virginia State Police spokeswoman Sgt. Michelle Anaya says in a news release that the accident occurred on Route 40 in Waverly around 6 a.m. Thursday.
Anaya says there are unknown injuries and a medical flight is heading to the scene.
Amtrak spokeswoman Christina Leeds tells The Associated Press in an email that the Northeast Regional train 174 was traveling from Norfolk, Va., to Boston with 46 passengers on board. Leeds says there are no reported injuries to the passengers. She says the train will continue its route when authorities release it.
Troopers are investigating the crash.
Anaya says no other information is available.
Waverly is about 50 miles southeast of Richmond, VA.
It’s not certain if sleep woes were to blame for the Metro North fatal train derailment in the Bronx borough of New York City last Sunday, but the tragedy that killed four and injured more than 60 others has still put a spotlight on the importance of sleep.
Engineer William Rockefeller Jr. “caught himself, but he caught himself too late,” said Anthony Bottalico, leader of the rail employees union, relating what he said the engineer told him. “What he will tell everyone today is that he basically nodded,” Botallico said. “He had the equivalent of what we all have when we drive a car. That is, you sometimes have a momentary nod or whatever that might be. How long that lasts, I can’t answer that.”While investigators continue probing what exactly happened before the accident and what other factors may be involved, one expert says the tragedy should put on people’s radars that adequate sleep is essential.
“The best thing about this might be some more awareness about this very common problem,” Dr. Steven Feinsilver, director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, told CBS News. “Certainly not only in people who drive trains.”Many of us have experienced it before — that brief period of nodding off that we may not even realize occurred. Our eyes might even be open, but on an EEG scan that measures brainwaves however, sleep medicine specialists can see periods of these so-called “microsleep” patterns that last for brief periods of about 15 seconds.
“That can happen frequently, and depending on your job, you might get away with it,” he said. “But if it requires you to have a reaction time of less than 15 seconds, you might get in trouble.”
A poor night’s sleep or varying sleep schedules can affect daytime alertness and contribute to these periods of nodding off. That’s because everyone has a built-in biological clock, or circadian rhythm. Good sleepers often wake up or fall sleep at the same time every night due to this phenomenon, Feinsilver explained, which in part is driven by sunlight.
But many people have to change their clocks for work — not just transportation workers, but police officers, doctors, journalists and others who have to pick up various shifts for employment.
Typically, it’s easier to move to a later shift than an earlier one, he said, since it’s harder to go bed earlier than stay awake longer.
Earl Weener, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, said Tuesday there was “every indication” that Rockefeller would have been able to get “full, restorative sleep” between his previous shift and when he reported to work at 5:04 a.m. on Sunday.
“He has worked for Metro North for 15 years and has been an engineer for 10 of those years. This was his regularly scheduled route making two round trips each day with a typical day lasting nine hours,” Weener said. “The engineer had been running this particular route full time since Nov. 17.”
Rockefeller’s attorney, Jeffrey Chartier, said the engineer had switched in recent weeks from the night shift to the day shift, “so he did have a change in his hours and his circadian rhythms with regard to sleep,” CBS New York reported
Feinsilver says people need about one day per hour of adjustment when a work shift changes. For example, if your schedule switches to come in 8 hours earlier, it will take a minimum of 8 full days to readjust. The same goes for jet lag, he pointed out.
“If you are shifting your clock 12 hours every week, your clock will never work,” he warned.
Varying shift schedules, however, are far from the only important factor that could make a person doze off during a shift. Feinsilver points out individuals sometimes are “day” or “night” people in terms of how alert they are, a trait which tends to run in families, which could impact alertness. Also, there are many common sleep disorders that can lead to excessive sleepiness, including sleep apnea, which is about as common as diabetes.
In big cities where long commutes might be necessary to get to a job, Feinsilver adds that people often wake up earlier and lose even more hours of sleep.
There are guidelines in place to ensure transportation workers have had enough shut-eye. Engineers of Metro North trains, a part of New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, have to comply with certain sleep regulations established by the Federal Railroad Administration, a spokesperson told CBS News.
“Under regulations established by the Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. passenger railroads may not allow a train crew member to go on duty unless he or she has had at least 8 consecutive hours off duty during the past 24 hours,” said Aaron Donovan, deputy director for external communications at the MTA, in an email. “If an employee has been on duty for 12 consecutive hours at any point, he or she needs to have at least 10 consecutive hours off duty before reporting back on duty. Specific guidelines don’t exist for shift work scheduling. A full copy of the guidelines can be accessed through the Federal Railroad Administration.
Feinsilver thinks part of the overall sleep problem is people are too plugged in to their computers, television and devices and it’s disrupting sleep. Pressure to work long hours or pick up overnight shifts only add to the risk. Most people need at least 7.25 hours of sleep each night, but that’s by no means standard for everyone, and some may need even more.
Lack of sleep is believed to be a factor in high profile accidents like the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989 and the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island.
“I think we’re paying a price for what we do for sleep,” said Feinsilver.
Cuomo spoke Sunday morning at the scene of the crash in the Bronx. He says authorities believe everyone at the site has been accounted for and that the National Transportation Safety Board is en route.
Cuomo says the train operator is among the injured.
The train left Poughkeepsie at 5:54 a.m. and was due to arrive at 7:43 a.m., the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said in a news release.
Four or five cars on the seven-car train derailed about 100 yards north of the station, the MTA said. But none of the cars entered the Hudson or Harlem rivers, which are adjacent, the MTA said.
A passenger who was on the train, Frank Tatulli, told WABC-TV he takes the train every Sunday morning, and that it was travelling at a higher rate of speed than it normally does. Tatulli said he got out of the train on his own, and suffered head and neck injuries.
He said others on the train are being taken out on stretchers.
Edwin Valero was in an apartment building above the accident scene when the train derailed. He says none of the cars went into the water where the Harlem River meets the Hudson, but at least one ended up a few feet from the edge.
At first, he said, he didn’t notice that the train had flipped over.
“I didn’t realize it had been turned over until I saw a firefighter walking on the window,” he said.
Amtrak train service between New York City and Boston should not be affected by the crash, however Amtrak trains between New York City and Albany and Montreal will be affected.