Help-seeking signs are in place for transit workers

It’s Wednesday. You’ve probably heard of labor shortages nationwide. Today we’re going to take a look at the one affecting public transportation in the New York City area.

“I was lucky that there was such a need,” said Rashaad Milligan, who started as a subway driver in New York City in September after working two jobs to make ends meet.

The need is a chronic shortage of transit workers. Riders have endured it, with subways and buses coming less often or scheduled trips being canceled because transit agencies can’t muster enough crews.

Transport agencies are struggling to replenish a workforce that has been battered by the pandemic. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates New York’s subways and buses, has openings for more than 600 train operators, train conductors and bus drivers.

“It’s a big deal,” said Lisa Daglian, executive director of the Citizens’ Standing Advisory Committee to the MTA, an oversight group. “In order for there to be sufficient service, there must be enough crews.”

The MTA ramped up hiring after lifting the freeze on hiring some workers in February, when federal pandemic relief stabilized the agency’s finances. He recently sent nearly 800 letters to train operators and conductors who had retired in the past three years, asking them to return to work for up to $ 35,000 for three months. So far 20 have said yes.

[Why Retired Subway Workers Are Getting $35,000 to Come Back]

The MTA is hardly the only public transport agency to have installed a sign indicating the assistance sought. Amtrak lost 10 percent of its engineers and drivers through attrition during the pandemic. After hiring no new employees for 16 months, she is now in the process of adding 200 new workers, spokesperson Jason Abrams said.

Public transport jobs have always been “good” jobs – secure even when the economy turns sour. But the pandemic has highlighted the risks of working on a train or bus as opposed to working relatively safely at home. At least 173 MTA workers have died from Covid, the agency said.

“If you have a choice – and you have a choice right now because so many employers struggle to find people – you might want to choose something safer and less physically tiring,” Ruth said. Milkman, professor of sociology at the City University of New York.

For transit agencies, hiring is complicated by licensing requirements or test-based certifications that involve experience – New Jersey Transit bus drivers, which start at $ 22.20 the hour, must have a commercial driver’s license.

Such requirements can limit the pool of qualified applicants, said Nicole Smith, research professor and chief economist at the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University. New Jersey Transit is so desperate that it is offering bonuses of $ 6,000 to applicants with a commercial driver’s license.

Even when transit companies find skilled workers, Smith added, it can take months to train them. “As much as everyone wants it to be done in a few weeks or a few months,” she said, “it’s going to take a few years. “


Enjoy a partially sunny day in the mid 40’s and a rather cloudy evening. There is a risk of showers in the wee hours of the night.

parking on the alternative side

In effect until December 8 (Immaculate Conception).

Alice Sebold, the bestselling author of the memoir “Lucky” and the novel “The Lovely Bones”, apologized to a man who was wrongly convicted of raping her 40 years ago after she identified him in court. Sebold posted a statement on the website Average who said she regretted having “subconsciously” played a role in “a system that sent an innocent man to jail”.

[Alice Sebold Apologizes to Man Wrongly Convicted of Raping Her]

The apology came a week after the conviction of the man, Anthony Broadwater, was overturned by a judge in a state court in Syracuse, NY, where Sebold was raped while in a freshman at Syracuse University. Broadwater, who spent 16 years in prison before being paroled in 1998, told my colleague Karen Zraick he was “relieved and grateful” for Sebold’s apology.

On Tuesday, two centers that have long-term needle exchange programs for drug addicts became supervised injection sites, meaning there is a room for someone to shoot while a member of the trained personnel stand with medication to reverse an overdose. By early afternoon, the two centers had saved the lives of two people who had overdosed, officials said, one at the East Harlem center and the other at a similar facility in Washington Heights.

[Nation’s First Supervised Drug-Injection Sites Open in New York]

The city authorized the two centers in an effort to reduce overdose deaths from increasingly potent drugs, including fentanyl. The centers will make New York City the first city in the United States to open supervised injection sites, as these centers are commonly known – facilities that supporters say offer a less punitive and more effective approach to dealing with the situation. substance addiction. Opponents attack injection sites as magnets for drug abuse.

“We feel a deep conviction and also a sense of urgency,” said Dr Dave Chokshi, the city’s health commissioner, noting that someone dies from an overdose in New York every four hours and that 2020 was the deadliest year on record for overdoses. , both nationally and in New York.

Today is World AIDS Day – 40 years and five months after The Times first reported on AIDS, then so new it didn’t have a name. Today is also the fifth anniversary of the consecration of the AIDS Memorial in New York.

This afternoon, the memorial will feature “Words of Remembrance,” a poetry reading led by New Yorkers living with HIV, followed by a candlelight vigil. The candle light will come from 250 votive candles designed by French sculptor Jean-Michel Othoniel.

Dave Harper, executive director of the memorial, said he approached Othoniel about creating art for a fundraising project. “Jean-Michel asked that we help him pay homage to those who are lost by having 250 paper lanterns hand-blown into his design and engraved with the words ‘I believe in fairies,’ Harper said. do something that’s cheap or free, and we’ve gone free to allow anyone who comes to the event to take something with them. “

Dear Diary:

In the early 1970s, I was a new teacher and attended college two evenings a week. I would come home from work on the subway, take a nap, have a quick meal, then drive 15 minutes to Queens College, where I would start looking for a parking space. Finding one has always been a challenge.

One evening, after turning and turning to no avail, I saw a Dodge Dart attempting to squeeze into a space far too small for it, but just the right size for my tiny Mercury Capri.

I parked behind the Dodge and waited for the woman driving it to give up and leave.

But she kept trying, backing up and backing up from different angles and approaches, and refusing to accept that the space was just too small for her car.

Finally, after waiting several minutes, and my class starting soon, I stuck my head out the window.

“Come on,” I shouted, “you can’t get into this space! “

“Not with you looking at me, I can’t!” she cried back.

– Jay Stonehill

Illustrated by Agnès Lee. Send your submissions here and read more Metropolitan Diary here.

Our story yesterday on the new power transmission lines incorrectly described one of the investors in a transmission line and how the Related property developer could benefit from the new energy credits generated by the operation of the line. . The investor is EnergyRE, a subsidiary of Related, and not Related itself. And Related could reduce the impact of new penalties on the energy consumption of its buildings by buying credits in the market, not receiving and selling them.

Glad we can meet here. Until tomorrow. – JB

PS Here is today’s one Mini crossword and Spelling. You can find all our puzzles here.

Melissa Guerrero, Rick Martinez and Olivia Parker contributed to New York Today. You can join the team at [email protected].

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