Kate Hinds

Kate Hinds appears in the following:

Tappan Zee Without Transit: "An Eight-Track Bridge in an iPod World"

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tappan Zee Bridge (photo by icadrews via flickr)

New York State has been studying how to replace the aging Tappan Zee Bridge since 2002. When the process began, Metro-North was one of the agencies involved. Now, their name is no longer associated with the project. And a planning document (pdf) released this week confirms that the new span won't have mass transit -- at least when it opens in 2017. Officials are quick to say the bridge will be built to accommodate transit at a future point. And it will have something the current Tappan Zee lacks -- a path for bicyclists and pedestrians.

That promise didn’t sit well with some area residents, who turned out for a public information session about the bridge on Tuesday. Westchester County executive Rob Astorino hopes officials will reconsider transit. “We can’t build an eight-track bridge in an iPod world, ” he said.

Thursday's Tappan Zee Bridge information session is being held at the Palisades Center in Nyack.

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TN MOVING STORIES: Christie Says NJ "Will Do Our Share" in Secaucus 7 Plan; Roadway Travel Reaches Lowest Point Since 2003

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Extending the #7 subway to NJ could cost less than the ARC tunnel. (Link)

New York conducts bus inspection crackdowns, nets dozens of violations. (Link)

Specialty license plates generate revenue -- and controversy. (Link)

Should you treat a subway platform like Yosemite? (Link)

U.S. Highway 20, Idaho (photo by J.Labrado via Flickr)

Travel on U.S. roadways through the first eight months of this year is down 1.3% from a year ago -- or 26 billion vehicle miles -- and has reached the lowest level since 2003. (USA Today)

More on extending the #7 to Secaucus: Governor Christie said New Jersey "will do our share...All of this will be able to come together.” (Bloomberg via Stateline)

BP was granted a permit for deepwater drilling in the Gulf. (Politico)

Taxis are allowed to block bike lanes in San Francisco. (Bay Citizen)

UAW members reached a split decision over Chrysler contract. (Changing Gears)

Ten people were arrested in a $1 billion Long Island Rail Road disability scheme. (New York Times)

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says "continued failure is not an option" for regional transportation efforts in Metro Detroit. (

New York's elevated rail-line-turned-park, the High Line, received a $20 million donation. (New York Times)

A bus operator denies discrimination charges, says women on Brooklyn's B110 don't complain about having to sit in the back. (New York Times)

NY Daily News opinion piece: making all taxis wheelchair-accessible is a worthy goal, but it can't trump other considerations -- like cost.


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Should You Treat a Subway Platform Like Yosemite?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


(photo by Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

TN's Jim O'Grady was on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show this morning to talk about the NY MTA's attempt to reduce trash in the subway. One experiment: remove trash cans to encourage a sort of 'pack it in, pack it out' mindset.  Or, as Jim put it:  "Think of your subway platform as Yosemite, that must not be despoiled."

Listen to the interview below.

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TN MOVING STORIES: NYC Mayor Backing #7 Subway to Secaucus Plan, BP Profits Triple, BRT to Michigan?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Mitt Romney is making President Obama's support for two high-end green car companies a campaign issue. (Link)

The first Mexican truck has crossed the US border. (Link)

Formula 1 racing is coming to NJ. (Link)

Waiting for a bus on Staten Island (photo by johnpignata via Flickr)

But: is NY making its own "ARC mistake" by killing transit on the bridge? (Second Avenue Sagas)

And: the lack of transit drew criticism at a Tappan Zee public comment session. (Journal News)

Real-time bus arrival information will come to Staten Island by the end of the year. (Staten Island Advance)

A Maryland panel recommended a gas tax hike, fare increases and an end to transit raids to fund state transportation projects. (Baltimore Sun)

The NY Post reports that Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be announcing plans to move forward on extending the No. 7 subway to New Jersey.

The Port Authority will raise the Bayonne Bridge by 2016. (

Michigan's governor wants to jump start a regional transit system in Detroit with bus rapid transit. (Detroit Free Press)

NYC taxi update: the city will crackdown on the $350 no-honking-except-in-an-emergency rule (WNYC).  And the Taxi and Limousine Commission is surveying passengers about their cab rides (NY Daily News).

Boeing's Dreamliner made its maiden voyage after a three-year delay. (Guardian)

18 months after the massive oil spill in the Gulf, BP stages a comeback: company profits have tripled. (Marketplace)

Reporters complain about the Acela, continue to ride it. (Politico)

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Comments [1]

TN MOVING STORIES: The Future of Transportation Funding, Confederate License Plates in TX Pose Political Problem for Perry, and What Happened to Transit on the

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Senate Democrats are teeing up an infrastructure jobs vote. (Link)

The MTA wants to pick up garbage from NY's subways more frequently. (Link)

Daimler is expanding its car sharing program both here and in Europe. (Link)

The Tappan Zee Bridge (photo by Joseph A. via Flickr)

House Republicans are pitching a six-year transportation construction plan as a major jobs bill that can win bipartisan approval before next year’s election. (AP via Washington Post)

The battle over transportation funding is focusing on bikes, pedestrians, and wildflowers. (Washington Post)

What happened to transit on the new Tappan Zee Bridge? (Streetsblog)

Funding transportation through VMT won't solve the "political will" problem. (Politico)

California's Napa County rolled out a real-time bus information system named -- wait for it -- Vine. (Napa Valley Register)

Some Texans want to introduce a Confederate flag vanity license plate, which means governor -- and presidential hopeful -- Rick Perry has a decision to make. (Christian Science Monitor)

A look at Hudson Yards, the redevelopment of Manhattan's West Side. (DNA Info)

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Comments [2]

TN MOVING STORIES: San Diego's Transportation Plan Pleases No One, Metro-North Parking In Short Supply, and Why Are Today's Car Paint Colors So Boring?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Democrats are trying -- unsuccessfully so far -- to make headway in getting the president's transportation spending package passed. (Link)

A corgi dressed as a NYC bus won a Halloween dog costume contest. (Link)

(photo by Mirsasha via Flickr)

New York Times editorial: we hope Cuomo's appointments to the Port Authority and the MTA mean "the governor is ready to get in the game" -- and that he'll return the administrators' calls.

New York Daily News editorial: MTA head Joe Lhota has to figure out how to stop Albany from raiding transit money and hold the line on fare hikes.

The Bay Area's two dozen transit system face a $25 billion shortfall over the next 25 years. (San Francisco Examiner)

The proposed route for California's high-speed rail will "destroy churches, schools, private homes, shelters for low-income people, animal processing plants, warehouses, banks, medical offices, auto parts stores, factories, farm fields, mobile home parks, apartment buildings and much else as it cuts through the richest agricultural belt in the nation and through some of the most depressed cities in California." (Los Angeles Times)

A NY MTA board member from Staten Island says it's unfair his borough is the only one that has to pay a toll to get off the island, says he wants to toll 12 NYC river crossings. (Staten Island Advance)

Alaskan Way viaduct demolition: it's happening. (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

Also in Seattle: one out of every four roads is in serious disrepair, which critics say is the result of the city's "fix the worst first" policy. (Seattle Times)

San Diego's $214 billion transportation plan pleases neither transit advocates nor drivers. (North County Times)

Parking is in short supply at Metro-North station lots in Connecticut, where the wait list for a parking sticker can stretch past six years. (Wall Street Journal)

Passenger assaults on NYC bus drivers are up 20%. (New York Daily News)

Why were car paint colors so great in the 1960s and 1970s--and why are they so boring now?  (Slate)


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Corgi Dressed as M23 Bus Wins NY Halloween Dog Parade

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A corgi dressed as an M23 bus won Best in Show at the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Day Parade on Oct. 22, 2011. (Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC)

From WNYC: A corgi dressed as an M23 bus and his owner, Ben -- dressed as a bus stop -- won Best in Show at the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Day Parade on Saturday.

More pictures of the winner and the competition can be seen here.

With reporting from Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC

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Photo: Work Trikes We See Around Town: Underwater Piano Shop

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Underwater Piano Shop trike, parked on the corner of Spring Street and Sixth Avenue (picture by Kate Hinds)

Perhaps, my aunt theorized, "he calls it 'underwater' because he sometimes tunes below C level."   Other thoughts, theories?  Why would you need  a trike for a piano store? Who else would use a trike?

Chinese speakers, out there, help us out?






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Comments [1]

TN MOVING STORIES: Pennsylvania Pols Battle Over How To Fund Transportation, Taxi Group Joins AFL-CIO, Planned Bridge Between Detroit and Canada Tabled -- For N

Friday, October 21, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Power, politics, and a Brooklyn bike lane. (Link)

Joseph Lhota was named to run New York's MTA. (Link)

NYC okays wheelchair-accessible taxi. (Link)

New Yorkers support the incipient bike share program, 72 to 23. (Link)

Ambassador Bridge. Image: (CC) by Flickr user mcclouds

More on Joe Lhota's appointment to the NY MTA in the New York Times, the New York Daily News, the Staten Island Advance, and Crain's New York.

A coalition of environmental groups is suing three rail operators in California to force them to lower diesel soot. (Los Angeles Times)

A Pennsylvania state senator will introduce legislation to pump another $2.5 billion a year into that state's transportation system and is challenging the governor come up with his own plan. (AP via Penn Live)

Plans to build a second bridge between Detroit and Canada have failed in the Michigan Senate. (Detroit Free Press)

California adopts nation's strictest cap and trade standards, and is working on lowering the state's tailpipe emissions standards. (KQED)

The Metrorail link to Dulles Airport will probably be $150 million over budget. The overall price tag: $2.8 billion. (Washington Post)

A NYC taxi drivers association became the first non-traditional labor organization to join the AFL-CIO since the early 1960s. (Crain's New York)

Londoners fear the impact the Olympics might have on that city's transit system. And no pressure, London: "The success or failure of the games will hang in part on whether the system can keep up with the increase in demand." (AP via Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

NYC may shutter a bus franchise that makes women ride in back. (Reuters)

DC's Capital Bikeshare is raising prices to help pay for its expansion. (AP via WaPo)

One thousand shiny new sidewalk benches represent the latest effort by the NYC DOT to "elevate our streetscape." (Streetsblog, DNA Info)

Teen drivers: OY. Wait, make that OMG. (NPR)

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NYC Okays Wheelchair Accessible Cab

Thursday, October 20, 2011

An MV-1, parked outside NYC TLC headquarters (photo by Kate Hinds)

New York just approved a new vehicle for use in the city's taxi fleet -- a wheelchair-accessible, Indiana-made MV-1.  But riders will only have a few years to hail them before the city's non-accessible "Taxi of Tomorrow" becomes the only sanctioned model.

The vote, which happened at Thursday's Taxi and Limousine Commission meeting, came less than a week after the US Attorney's office weighed in on a lawsuit against the city and said that the lack of wheelchair-accessible cabs violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Disabled activists were on hand at the TLC meeting to testify in support of a rules change necessary to authorize the MV-1 -- and to talk about how difficult it is to hail a cab in the city. Jean Ryan with Disabled in Action said the lack of wheelchair-accessible cabs was frustrating.

Advocates for the disabled at the TLC hearing (photo by Kate Hinds)

"We can never see them, and the stickers are in the back," she said. "So they’ve passed us by the time we see that they’re accessible – if we ever see one. It’s like an Elvis sighting.”

City Council member Oliver Koppel was also there to support the rules change -- and to criticize New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said yesterday that it was too difficult for people in wheelchairs to hail taxis on the street in the first place, and that able-bodied people would feel uncomfortable in a wheelchair-accessible cab because "their suspension is much worse."

“I think the mayor’s concerns are totally off the wall,” Koppell said. He added that “37 members of City Council believe we should have an all-accessible fleet. The US Justice Department believes it. The governor apparently believes it, and it’s long past time for this commission to move in that direction.”

Currently, 231 of New York City's 13,237 taxi cabs are wheelchair accessible.

The MV-1 will retail for about $40,000. It weighs about 5,000 pounds and gets between 13 and 15 miles per gallon, depending on whether the engine uses compressed natural gas or regular fuel. No word yet on how many NYC medallion owners might be tempted to purchase one. But even if drivers take the plunge, they'll only be able to pilot it for a few more years. In May, the city awarded Nissan the contract for the Taxi of Tomorrow. The NV200 will begin to hit the streets by late 2013 and the Nissan will be the only cab in town by 2018. But the NV200 is not wheelchair accessible.

Assembly Member Micah Kellner, wearing a yellow and black button that said "Separate Is Not Equal," said at the TLC meeting: “I don’t care what the Taxi of Tomorrow is, because I think at the end of the day the Justice Department is going to decide that for us.”

Another view of the MV-1 (photo by Kate Hinds)

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Comments [5]

TN MOVING STORIES: Cuomo Expected To Name Lhota as MTA Head; NYC Taxi Medallion Goes for $1 Million

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Patrick Foye is the new head of the Port Authority of NY and NJ, pending board approval. (Link)

Power, politics, and the Prospect Park West bike lane. (Link)

Millions of Americans drive over structurally deficient bridges every day. (Link)

(Photo: Karly Domb Sadof)

NY Governor Cuomo is expected to name Joe Lhota to head the MTA. (Wall Street Journal)

Amtrak is now making Wi-Fi available on other regional trains besides the Acela -- but with a catch: content filters block some legitimate subjects, like gay rights sites. (Greater Greater Washington)

Senator John McCain's proposed amendment to the transportation spending bill was tabled yesterday. (The Hill)

NYC is taking a closer look at the B110 bus, which is privately operated public bus that asks Jewish women to sit in the back. (NY Times)

Million dollar medallions: two NYC taxi cabs medallions were sold for $1 million apiece, the highest recorded sale since the city’s modern livery system began. (NY Times)

NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg says a lawsuit demanding that taxicabs be wheelchair-accessible is unrealistic and would inconvenience all passengers. (NY Daily News)

Portugal can't afford to finish building a high-speed rail line originally planned to go between Lisbon and Madrid. (Marketplace)

NJ Transit is partnering with Google over a 'tap and pay' system. (Star-Ledger)

One NYC artist tells the story of the Puerto Rican diaspora through a Schwinn bicycle. (NY Daily News)

A team of engineering and seismic experts said a controversial proposal to build Los Angeles's Westside subway extension under Beverly Hills High School is safer than an alternate route. (Los Angeles Times)

Tweet from Howie Wolf, NYC deputy mayor: New Q poll finds strong support for @MikeBloomberg bike policies -- 72% of NYers support bike share, 58% support bike lanes #bikenyc

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210 Million Vehicles Cross Deficient Bridges Daily: Report

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Brooklyn Bridge, currently being repaired after receiving a "poor" rating (photo by Kate Hinds)

In Los Angeles, an average of 396 drivers cross a deficient bridge every second. In New York, that number is 203 drivers per second. And those cities don't even have the highest percentage of worst bridges in the country.

Transportation for America, an advocacy group fighting spending cuts to transportation, says in a new report that more than 18,000 high-traffic bridges are rated "structurally deficient."

In the New York metropolitan area, 17.5 million vehicles cross a deficient bridge every day. In the New Jersey portion of that metro area, 8,593,823 vehicles cross a deficient bridge every day.

This rating doesn't necessarily mean a bridge collapse is imminent. But it does mean that its "load carrying" elements are damaged or deteriorating, and a bridge that receives this rating will require frequent monitoring and significant maintenance to remain in service. Or, in a worse scenario, it will need to be taken out of service -- like Kentucky's Sherman Minton Bridge.

“The poor condition of our bridges is a problem that is not going away,” Andy Herrmann, president-elect of the American Society of Civil Engineers, “Most of the nation’s bridges were designed to last 50 years, and today, roughly a third are already 50 years or older.”

According to the report, Pittsburgh had the highest percentage of deficient bridges (30.4 percent) for a metro area with a population of over 2 million. Oklahoma City (19.8 percent) topped the chart for metro areas between 1-2 million, as did Tulsa (27.5 percent) for metro areas between 500,000-1 million.  You can download the full report here.

“Too many of New Jersey’s bridges are deteriorating and in desperate need of repair,” Senator Frank R. Lautenberg stated in a press release.  “Those in Washington who are undercutting transportation projects must stop, and work together to invest in infrastructure that will create jobs, make our communities safer and improve the economy for all.”

Everyone seems to agree that America's infrastructure is crumbling, but just how to pay for its repair is a politically divisive issue getting a lot of play in Washington these days. The Senate is considering a transportation appropriations bill this week, and the House and the Senate versions are far apart. Meanwhile,  President Obama's American Jobs Act -- which initially set aside $50 billion for infrastructure repair-- is being broken up into pieces by Democrats in an effort to get it to pass.

More about structurally deficient bridges from the Federal Highway Administration (pdf), below:

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Comments [3]

TN MOVING STORIES: Private Money Unlikely for California Bullet Train, Map Shows Who Swipes What NYC MetroCard Where

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Amtrak carried a record 30 million passengers. (Link)

Royals use bike share, too. (Link)

California is offering a ticket amnesty program. (Link)


A sculpture along a North Carolina trail, paid for by the state's transportation enhancement program (photo by Hagarjr via Flickr)

Private money for California's high-speed rail project looks unlikely, according to the California High-Speed Rail Authority -- at least until the line begins operating. (Los Angeles Times)

The Senate will vote today on a John McCain-sponsored amendment that would eliminate the beautification requirement spending in federal highway funding. (The Hill, Politico)

Maryland's two largest counties and Baltimore want the state to raise the gas tax to pay for transportation projects. (Baltimore Sun)

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel -- transit user and supporter of bike share programs -- is the "anti-Daley." (Atlantic Cities)

Subway swipe data shows where riders most often use senior discounts, unlimited passes and pay-per-ride MetroCards. Bonus: interactive map! (Wall Street Journal)

NYC wants to convert 21 on-street parking spaces into a "mini park" on one traffic-clogged Hell's Kitchen street. (DNA Info)

Drivers with expired registration will no longer be arrested in DC. (WAMU)

Transit advocate Gene Russianoff offers some advice for a new NY MTA head: slash borrowing, resurrect congestion pricing, and urge the governor to sign the lockbox bill. (NY Daily News)

If the bad economy is part of the reason Amtrak's attracting riders, what happens when there's a turnaround? (Marketplace)

"Green" policies don't benefit the lower middle class. (Slate)

Colorado will use police cars as pace cars to try to speed ski traffic along a highway. (Denver Post)



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Yes, William and Kate Use Bike Share

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What would make London's bike share more popular? What if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (a.k.a. Prince William and Kate Middleton) used it?

Well, apparently, they have.

People magazine is reporting that a spokesperson for the couple said "the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge occasionally use the London cycle scheme bicycles to undertake private journeys around London."

London's bike share program began in July of 2010 and has proven to be enormously popular, with 7.7 million bicycle rides taken to date.

Apparently -- and, on behalf of TN, I apologize for missing this tidbit when it came out last spring -- the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, gave the royal couple a specially built tandem bicycle for a wedding present. (There's no word on whether the couple has actually ridden their tandem, or just grabs a Boris Bike from one of the 400 docking stations around town.)

You can see an animated video of it, below:

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Snapshot | Street Signs on the UWS

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A truck hauling street signs is spotted on West 82nd Street on Tuesday morning.


Picture: Street Signs In Transport

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

(photo by Kate Hinds)

No, it wasn't piloted by an irate New Yorker fed up with having to following the city's often-confusing parking regulations.  It's a NYC Department of Transportation -operated truck that repairs street lights and puts up signs.  And it was parked on the Upper West Side earlier today.

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TN MOVING STORIES: Senate Approves Pipeline Safety Bill, London Bus Stops All Have Real-Time Info, and Did The BlackBerry Outage Lower Traffic Crashes?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Top stories on TN:

The US DOT handed out nearly $1 billion in transit grants. (Link)

Rep. Mica on FAA shutdown: been there, done that, don't want to do it again. (Link)

Orbitz was fined for deceptive ad practices. (Link)

(photo by Graeme Lawton via Flickr)

Last week's BlackBerry outage might be linked to a drop in traffic crashes. (Streetsblog)

The Senate approved a pipeline safety bill after a hold was dropped. (Los Angeles Times)

Could the Tappan Zee Bridge be High Lined? Probably not, but fun to imagine. (NY Times)

Electric cars are so popular with business travelers that Hertz is adding more to its fleet. (Marketplace)

How will Seattle replace its aging bridges? Not through a proposed $60 hike in car fees. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Real-time info is now available for every London bus stop. (Transit Wire)

A proposal to provide free transit service for San Francisco’s youth has some serious roadblocks -- namely a $13.2 million price tag and Clipper card incompatibility. (San Francisco Examiner)

NYC tries to coordinate street construction work via website. (NY Observer)

One plug to rule them all: automakers sign on to a single charging protocol. (Autopia)

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TN MOVING STORIES: East River Ferry Service Exceeds Expectations, Calgary Transit Booming, Looking Back at PATCO Strike

Monday, October 17, 2011

Top stories on TN:

As car sharing grows, auto makers see an opportunity. (Link)

The Florida DOT may be thinking about alternatives to driving for the state’s aging population. (Link)

Chris Ward confirms he's leaving the Port Authority; lays out plan for Brooklyn waterfront. (Link)

East River ferry (photo by synergii1 via Flickr)

New York's new East River ferry service exceeds expectations, has double the riders originally projected. (New York Times)

Half of Calgary's downtown commuters take transit -- a city goal that was reached 13 years ahead of schedule. (Calgary Herald)

More on Joe Lhota, the potential next head of New York's MTA. (New York Daily News)

Looking back at the PATCO strike and how it changed labor relations in America. (The Takeaway)

Electric vehicle owners celebrated the first National Plug In Day. (Good)

Op-ed about Tappan Zee Bridge replacement: "Leaving out mass transit repeats past sins of omission."  (LoHud)

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TN MOVING STORIES: Atlanta Sets Transpo Project List; Metro Officially Anoints the Silver Line; NYC Sued Over Taxi Accessibility

Friday, October 14, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Ray LaHood said he's a one-term transportation secretary. (Link)

GM will make a mini all-electric car. (Link)

Houston is getting a free downtown shuttle. (Link)

Atlanta (photo by J.C. Burns via Flickr)

Atlanta politicians overcame decades of distrust to finalize a massive, 10-county transportation project list. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

The US attorney's office in Manhattan filed suit against NYC, saying the city's isn't complying with ADA requirements in the new taxi design. (NY Daily News)

Metro officially named the Dulles rail extension the Silver Line. And it will cost $107 million to operate in its first three years. (Washington Post)

A new bill would give local transit agencies flexibility -- specifically, the ability to use federal funding for operating costs, not just capital. (The Hill)

NY's MTA is renovating two subway stations in upper Manhattan. (DNA Info)

Trucking companies are struggling to find drivers. (NPR)

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Have Lunch with DOT Head Ray LaHood Today

Thursday, October 13, 2011

US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood

Well, electronically. The U.S. Department of Transportation secretary will be making the case for the American Jobs Act at the National Press Club today at 1pm (ET), and the Press Club will be webcasting his speech.

According to the NPC's website: "LaHood will also discuss Congress's struggles over the 2012 federal budget and how it has affected transportation programs such as the Federal Aviation Administration, which was partially shut down this summer. Congress averted another possible shutdown of the FAA in a last-minute deal to avert another round of furloughs by approving funding until January. Spending for federal highway programs was approved through the end of March. LaHood had warned that a lapse in funding for programs that fund roads, bridges, and transit projects would cost nearly a million workers their jobs over the next year and almost $1 billion in highway funding after the first 10 days alone. The Obama administration’s view is that transportation investments create jobs and lay the foundation for future economic growth."

You can watch the lunch here, starting at 12:50.

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