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Kate Hinds

Kate Hinds appears in the following:

TN MOVING STORIES: Bicycling on the Rise in China, NYC May Update Ancient Parking Zoning Rules

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Top stories on TN:

The ARC tunnel dispute fueled rancor between NJ Governor Christie and the Obama administration. (Link)

Why is it going to take 8 months to put more L trains into service? The MTA and transit union blame each other. (Link)

Special parking for car share programs is being piloted in San Francisco. (Link)

Rand Paul: forget beautification, spend money on fixing infrastructure beasts. (Link)

Questions about subway service? Call 511 (photo by Kate Hinds)

Want to reach New York's MTA? Dial 511. (NY Observer)

Bicycling is on the rise in China. (NPR)

NYC may be getting ready to update the ancient zoning rules regulating parking spaces in the outer boroughs. (Crain's NY)

NJ Transit approved the $95 million settlement with the federal government over the canceled ARC tunnel. (AP via NJ.com)

A look at email correspondence between opponents of a Brooklyn bike lane, pre-lawsuit. (Streetsblog)

Virginia governor: EPA regulations are "job-killing." (WAMU)

NY Daily News editorial: MTA inspector general must investigate LIRR service disruptions, emergency responses.

The head of the Chicago Transit Authority blames the union for the agency's $277 million gap; the union says 'it's not us.' (WBEZ)

 

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Indiana Outpaces New York in Training Minorities, Women for Highway Construction Jobs

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

A state that has 6.4 million people has trained more women and minorities for highway construction jobs than a state with more than three times its population. When it comes to training for highway construction jobs, Indiana had twice as many women and minorities in apprentice programs as did New York between 2008 and 2010.

According to a new report (pdf), most states are failing to fully utilize a federally-mandated program known as On-the-Job Training -- or OJT.   Illinois and Indiana, the report said, had the best record of boosting women and minority participation in the programs.

OJT's are run out of state DOT's, and are designed to train women and minorities for federal highway construction jobs.

Populous states like California and New York fared particularly badly. In terms of sheet numbers, Indiana had 1,573 OJT apprentices from 2008 to 2010, whereas New York had 778 over the same time period.

The numbers are from a report by the Transportation Equity Network, a civil rights advocacy group.  TEN said its report, which is drawn from employment statistics state DOTs report to the federal government, is the first-ever compilation of data from all 50 states on their use of on-the-job-training and apprenticeship programs.

"[It's] a tremendous proram that's been under the wire," said Laura Barrett, executive director of the Transportation Equity Network (TEN).

But, Barrett said, "most states are doing a poor job" of fully utilizing them.

And as stark as the overall numbers are -- New Jersey had a total of nine people enrolled in its state OJT program in 2010 -- when you drill down deeper, the imbalance grows. "Women...are not doing well in terms of being moved into the construction trades," said Barrett. Only Maine and North Dakota's OJT programs have more than 50% women, and some states -- like Idaho and Utah -- have only 8%.


As President Obama touts his American Jobs Act, with its $27 billion for rebuilding roads and bridges, TEN and its supporters say they want to make sure some of those construction jobs go to unemployed people who really need them.

"Look: we’ve got a transportation infrastructure that needs repairs, we've got a workforce that need jobs," said Katherine McFate, executive director of government watchdog group OMB Watch. "You put these two things together and this program shows that with good public investments, you can meet both of those needs and also provide new opportunities for women and minorities."

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TN MOVING STORIES: Car, Truck Sales Up; Perry Dogged by Trans-Texas Corridor

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Transit ridership is up in 2011. (Link)

FAA workers will get back pay for this summer's shutdown. (Link)

(photo by Kate Hinds)

Following Transportation Nation story, Politico says, yeah, Rick Perry's campaign could be sidetracked by the Trans-Texas Corridor. (Politico).

Car sales soared for GM and Chrysler...(Los Angeles Times)

...and Hyundai's benefiting from an ad campaign that plays into people's worries about the economy. (NPR)

AND sales of trucks and SUVs are up. (AP via Boston.com)

Meanwhile: Ford, UAW reach tentative agreement. (Detroit Free Press)

Some Chinese are questioning whether infrastructure growth is worth a tradeoff for safety. (Marketplace)

NY's MTA said it will increase service on the L train after one politician said it has not kept pace with the line’s “meteoric” increase in ridership. (DNA Info)

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel held an 'aviation summit.' (Chicago Sun Times)

Chicago bicyclists can now be ticketed for biking while texting or talking on cell phones. (Chicago Sun Times)

Lobbyists for the Trans-Canada pipeline and staffers from the State Department appeared to have a cozy email relationship. (NY Times)

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TN MOVING STORIES: Paris Launches Electric Car Share, Warren Buffett Gets Into Urban Redevelopment, Furloughed FAA Employees Get Paid

Monday, October 03, 2011

Top stories on TN:

NJ and the federal government reach a settlement on ARC tunnel money. (Link 1, link 2)

A Bluecar on Paris's Boulevard Sérurier (photo by Portemolitor via Flickr)

Paris launched an electric "bubble car" auto sharing program. Paris transportation head: "It's the same principle as Velib'; you use the car, leave it and that's it. Simple." (Los Angeles Times, The Guardian)

Warren Buffett joined an effort described as "a holistic approach to urban redevelopment." (USA Today)

Forbes magazine: don't bother making transit pretty. "The point of transit is to transport. Money buys movement, and funds are finite."

Furloughed FAA employees will receive back pay for the time they missed. (The Hill)

The Boston Globe interviewed Janette Sadik-Khan: "Change is messy, and change is hard...but it’s really important that we don’t get stuck in an approach that’s 25 years old."

The New York Post looks at who taxi medallion owners  give campaign donations to local politicians, and concludes "they are often getting their money's worth."

New York Times editorial: say no to the Keystone XL pipeline.

DC's Police Complaints Board said that district police need to become better versed in the bike laws they enforce. (Washington Post)

Is the Tysons Corner Metrorail link on schedule or not? Fairfax County says no; the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority says yes. (WAMU)

Countdown clocks come to Chicago bus shelters. (Chicago Tribune)

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TN MOVING STORIES: NJ Now Owes Interest on Cancelled ARC Tunnel Debt, Maine Speed Limit 75 on One Road, and Lightning Zaps LIRR

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Top stories on TN:

DC's paratransit system battles financial woes, unhappy passengers. (Link)

NYC ramping up installation of accessible pedestrian crosswalk signals. (Link)

A Houston official tries to sell bike commuting in a car-centric city. (Link)

The ARC tunnel groundbreaking, during happier times -- and under another governor (photo courtesy of Tri State Transportation Campaign)

$2.6 million in interest was added to the $274 million bill New Jersey owes the federal government after killing the ARC tunnel. (AP via NJ.com)

Speaking of ARC: the enmity between New Jersey's governor, Chris Christie, and NJ Senator Frank Lautenberg stems from the tunnel's cancellation. (NY Times)

Virginia is withholding millions in transit funds until it gets seats on local transit boards. (Washington Post)

As the Port Authority's head prepares to move on, the agency reviews its project list -- and prepares to make some tough decisions. (Wall Street Journal)

On one lone highway in Maine, the speed limit is now 75. (Marketplace)

Mitt Romney, a Republican presidential candidate, wants to privatize Amtrak. (The Hill)

Three Miami police officers on bicycle patrol were hit by an SUV. (Miami Herald)

A lightning strike knocked out Long Island Rail Road service yesterday. (WNYC)

NYC subway: more platforms slated for cell service. (NY Post)

Tweet of the day, via Azi Paybarah: "price of medallion is about $650K today, which shows you 'how lucrative it is to drive a cab' said @mikebloomberg."

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NYC Getting More Audible Crosswalk Signals To Help Visually Impaired

Thursday, September 29, 2011

An accessible pedestrian crosswalk control panel (photo by William Alatriste/NY City Council via Flickr)

New York City is ramping up installation of accessible pedestrian crosswalk signals.

On Wednesday, the city showed off its newest APS at the intersection of Seventh Avenue and West 23rd Street. Twenty-one intersections across the city have been equipped with the audible signal devices since 2004. But the city said it's going to be putting them in at a significantly faster rate, with plans for 25 more in the next 12 months.

Janette Sadik-Khan, New York City Department of Transportation commissioner, said the audible signals "are literally sound investments that will help improve the safety and quality of life for the most vulnerable New Yorkers who use our streets."

According to DOT information, APSs are wired to a pedestrian signal and can send audible messages to indicate when it is safe to cross. (The button that initiates the sound emits a clicking noise so it can be found by pedestrians.) The units also vibrate to help those with hearing impairments.

Using the new signal, at the intersection of 23rd Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan (photo by William Alatriste/NY City Council via Flickr)

You can read more about the program -- as well as find out where the next audible signals are being installed -- here.

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TN MOVING STORIES: Port Authority Head Could Be Out, Staten Island's Transit Options, and Atlanta's Transit Vs. Roads Debate

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Top stories on TN:

What does cell phone service on NYC's subways sound like? "I can't hear you over the train!" (Link)

San Francisco's MUNI spent more money on transit -- yet customer satisfaction fell. (Link)

The outgoing head of NY's MTA said his replacement doesn't need to have a transit background. (Link)

 (photo by Kate Hinds)

The head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey may be leaving next month. (New York Times)

NY's DOT unveiled its short list of Staten Island transit alternatives: light rail, BRT, enhanced bus service. (Staten Island Advance)

Atlanta's 'transit vs. roads' debate "may be about to boil over." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Regional transportation officials voted to try to buy a new home in an old building in downtown San Francisco -- despite a looming audit over the purchase. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Dept. of Energy report: US should invest more in green auto tech, less on technologies that will take generations to come to market. (Good)

Faster bus service is coming to midtown Manhattan, as the city expands Select Bus Service to 34th Street. (New York Daily News)

A new agreement between GM and auto workers means that up to a quarter of GM's workforce could be 'two-tier' new hires. (Changing Gears)

Streetsblog looks at a March 2011 WNYC interview through a new lens.

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Jay Walder Says His Replacement Doesn't Need Transit Background

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Jay Walder, taking questions from reporters the September 2011 MTA board meeting (photo by Kate Hinds)

The CEO of New York's MTA, Jay Walder, said that his successor doesn't necessarily have to have a transportation background -- but he or she does have to love it.

"Whoever runs this organization should be dedicated to the organization," he said,  and "be dedicated to what it does on a day-to-day basis." Walder went on to say: "I think it is helpful to have a knowledge of mass transit. I don't know that it's an absolutely essential quality."

His remarks came at his final meeting of the MTA board before he leaves for a job in Hong Kong next month, where he'll be heading that city's transit agency.

In an interview last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose administration is currently looking for Walder's replacement, also telegraphed that the next MTA chief may not come from the transportation world.  He told New York State Public Radio's Karen DeWitt in a telephone interview that his administration was engaged in a  "very aggressive talent search." And he said didn't necessarily want to hire a "transit geek."

"The MTA primarily is an effective manager, and I think the ability to manage a complex process, that deals with highly technical services, in a political environment, in a large organization, at a financially strapped time, you know, that's where we are," Cuomo said. "To me, the management is very important. Of course, the technical expertise, but you give me a good manager, who can run an organization, and find efficiency, that this organization is going to have to find, that's going to be paramount."

The next head of the MTA will be managing a delicate financial situation, as Walder pointed out in today's meeting. "As you look forward for the MTA, I think you need to be able to find a way to have both sufficient resources and stability of resources," he said. "I think the ups and downs of the economic cycle create financial burdens for the organization that's inconsistent with the fact that we have a service that continues to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And frankly, I don't think all of us don't want to see that service have to suffer through that."

When asked later if he had any regrets about his tenure, he said "I wish the economic situation I came into was different...[but] you have to play the hand you were dealt. And the hand we were dealt was one that said this was a very very difficult time financially."

But Walder said he was proud of the work the MTA had done under his tenure. "Nothing happens at the MTA because the person in the corner office at 347 Madison Avenue [MTA's current headquarters] says it should happen. Things happen at the MTA because 67,000 dedicated men and women make it happen." He repeatedly praised MTA staffers of all stripes -- from token booth clerks to management to his colleagues on the board. "When we say we're going to get something done, the result is truly, truly incredible."

When the meeting's official business was over -- and it was dispatched with in under 20 minutes -- board members took to the microphones to tell Walder how much they'd miss him. Nancy Shevell said that right after she began working with Walder, she told a friend "well, it's just a short matter of time before a large public-sector company scoops him up. And it happened, and I'm not surprised. And it's sad, in my opinion, for the MTA."

"You are the tallest person in the room," said Allen Cappelli Mark Lebow. "You will probably be the tallest person in China, and you will, I'm sure, be the tallest achiever there as you were here."  (Walder: "I think Yao Ming is going back.")

Governor Cuomo hasn't yet said when he will announce Walder's replacement. As for Walder, he greeted a Chinese-speaking reporter with a hearty "Ni Hao" -- and then said he was going down to the Rosetta Stone store.

 

 

 

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Snapshot | 14th Street Subway Station

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A day after wireless service came to six city subway stations, straphangers waiting for a train at the 14th Street subway station took advantage of the new service.

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TN MOVING STORIES: Ford Denies White House Pressure To Pull Ad, and Shanghai Subway Collision Renews Doubts

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Top stories on TN:

A deputy DOT commissioner said no American manufacturers produce a type of rail used in streetcars and light rail -- and he wants that to change. (Link)

At some point, Rick Perry will be asked to defend his Trans-Texas Corridor infrastructure project. (Link)

Opponents of a bike lane in Brooklyn asked a judge for permission to appeal the rejection of their lawsuit. (Link)

(Photo by Kate Hinds)

Yesterday's subway collision in Shanghai has revived safety concerns about China's infrastructure boom. (Los Angeles Times)

The Brian Lehrer Show talks NYC subway station cell phone service this morning. (WNYC)

The government is delaying the release of new mileage and greenhouse gas emissions standards. (The Hill)

Ford denies that the White House pressured the automaker to pull an ad in which an actor, posing as a customer, tells a staged news conference that he would never buy a vehicle from a company that received a government bailout. (Detroit Free Press)

OnStar reverses gears, backs away from its earlier decision to track former customers. (Marketplace)

Transportation construction lobbyists are in favor of Obama's jobs bill. (Politico)

The Times Square pedestrian plaza redesign, unveiled.  (NY Times, DNA Info, NY Post)

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Deputy DOT Commish: No American Manufacturers Produce Track for Light Rail

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A streetcar in Portland (photo by Steven Vance via Flickr)

Buy America is a provision in U.S. law to "ensure that transportation infrastructure projects are built with American-made products."

And John Porcari, the Department of Transportation deputy secretary, says he's the man who signs the waivers allowing companies to buy materials outside the U.S. "Waivers for the  requirements have been routinely granted--I can tell you, I'm the person who signs the waivers, and I try very very hard not to."

But he said there's no American manufacturer who currently produces girder rail -- the type of on-street rail used for streetcars and light rail. Speaking this morning at the Building the Future: New York State Transit Manufacturing conference at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Porcari said he's been working to change that.

"What we've done is we're aggregated the demand. We've looked at, nationwide, every transit project, how much demand there is, got all the steel companies together, and basically said 'whichever one of you opens a production line for it first wins."'

The DOT estimates 18,000 metric tons of steel girder rail will be needed over the next three years to meet the demand of streetcar projects being planned and built in the U.S.

But Porcari acknowledged that winning the American girder rail business doesn't come cheaply.

"Existing steel companies in America would have to make a very large investment, on the order of over $100 million, for this production line," he said. "We've said [to the steel companies] 'there's enough demand to justify that investment. And if you take that risk, if you make that investment, we'll never sign another waiver.'"

Porcari said that he's hopeful that day will come. "I'm confident we'll have good news on that shortly."

 

 

 

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Snapshot | on the Waterfront: Construction in Brooklyn

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New construction is underway at Flushing Ave. and Vanderbilt Ave. in Brooklyn.

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Brooklyn Bike Lane Opponents Ask For Permission To Appeal

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Prospect Park West bike lane in Brooklyn (photo by Kate Hinds)

Opponents of a bike lane along Prospect Park West are asking for the right to appeal a judge's decision rejecting their lawsuit against the city.

In March, a group of Park Slope residents, known as Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes/Seniors for Safety, filed a lawsuit seeking the removal of the lane.  NBBL had said that the city had told residents the lane was a trial project. A judge dismissed that lawsuit last month, writing in his decision that the group "presented no evidence that D.O.T. viewed the bikeway as a pilot or temporary project.”

City attorney Mark Muschenheim said in an emailed statement: "This development isn't surprising. We are confident that our win will be upheld on appeal. The lawsuit was untimely to begin with, which the Court clearly recognized in dismissing it. The bike path's installation was an entirely proper, thoroughly considered project that continues to enhance the safety of PPW and remains widely enjoyed by the community."

You can read NBBL's request for an appeal here.

 

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TN MOVING STORIES: Boeing Delivers New Plane, Atlanta's Transpo System Needs Billions, and LA Stadium Plan Heavy on Parking, Light on Transit

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Top stories on TN:

FEMA disaster reimbursements -- on hold due to Congressional inaction -- are affecting Montana residents hit hard by flooding. (Link)

Obama administration officials continue to push for transportation spending, despite unpromising signs from lawmakers. (Link)

A Dreamliner 787 in mid-flight. (Bernard Choi / Boeing)

The train tracks under the New York's East River that support hundreds of Long Island Railroad cars daily will be replaced due to "significant water drainage issues." (WNYC)

The transportation plan for a proposed 72,000-seat football stadium in downtown Los Angeles is heavy on the parking, fuzzy on the public transit details. (Los Angeles Times)

Even if Atlanta's transportation referendum passes, its transit system will still face $2.3 billion in unfunded maintenance needs over the next decade. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

The Dreamliner takes flight: Boeing delivered its first new aircraft in over a decade. (Marketplace)

Urban bicyclists may be inhaling twice as much soot as pedestrians. (Los Angeles Times)

New York State is getting nearly $150 million in federal transportation funding to upgrade Amtrak's passenger service in the Albany area. (AP via Wall Street Journal)

New York's MTA is putting nine more properties on the block, including a mostly empty building in downtown Brooklyn. (Wall Street Journal)

The NYPD rolled out "Total Impact," a policing strategy designed to combat a spike in subway crime. (NY Daily News)

'Shovel-ready' jobs -- a term the president has avoided this time around - actually take a fair amount of time. (Politico)

About 30 percent of the natural gas produced in North Dakota is flared off as waste, an amount that no other oil field in the rest of the country comes close to. (NY Times)

New York City Council held hearings on bills that would change procedures for installing bike lanes. (Streetsblog)

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TN MOVING STORIES: Atlantans Warm To Transit, Gas Prices Down, and All-Night NYC Bike Ride a Tradition

Monday, September 26, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Paying customers have filled only 45 percent of Yankee Stadium’s 9,000 parking spots on game days this season. (Link)

BART: Maybe we don't need a cell phone shutdown policy after all. (Link)

The government's Passenger Carrier Strike Force is conducting surprise bus inspections. (Link)

Suitland and Deanwood tied for the worst station in Metro's second quarter crime report. (Photo courtesy of WAMU)

A new poll shows that Atlanta area residents are warming to public transit -- even in counties that have traditionally opposed MARTA. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Parsing New Jersey's commute, county by county. (Asbury Park Press)

Cuts in Milwaukee County's bus service would put 13,000 jobs out of reach, a new study says. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

DC's ten worst crime-ridden Metrorail stations. (WAMU)

Using public transit for a suburb-to-suburb commute in the Chicago area can mean being it takes six hours for a 48-mile round trip. (Daily Herald)

Gas prices are down. (AP via the Wall Street Journal)

A Columbia professor's all-night bike ride through New York City has become a tradition. (Wall Street Journal)

Auto reboot: the future of driving could mean autopilot, a dramatic cut in fatalities -- and a stronger economy. (NPR)

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TN MOVING STORIES: Port Authority Audit To Focus on Pay, WTC; NYC Subways to Test Cell Service; Maryland Toll Hikes Mirrors National Trend

Friday, September 23, 2011

Top stories on TN:

NY Governor Cuomo's schedule shows few meetings on transit and transportation. (Link)

President Obama delivered an impassioned pro-infrastructure speech at an "obsolete" Ohio bridge. (Link)

An Amtrak power outage stranded hundreds of NJ Transit rail riders in a train tunnel for hours. (Link)

The World Trade Center site in late August 2011 (photo by Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

An audit of the Port Authority of NY and NJ -- a condition of recent toll hikes -- will look at ten years of spending and zero in on executive compensation and World Trade Center rebuilding costs. (The Star-Ledger, The Record)

NY's MTA will begin testing cell phone service on some subway platforms next week. (New York Times)

Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority employees and retirees could soon lose their free rides on the T. (AP via WBUR)

Trend alert: Tolls will soon double on some Maryland highways and bridges, as officials confront deteriorating infrastructure and a lack of funds for improvements. (Washington Post)

There's a Congressional showdown over a bill that would provide $1 billion in immediate funding for FEMA -- but offset that spending with cuts to a program that funds fuel-efficient vehicles. (The Takeaway)

Tunneling is complete for the first phase of NY's Second Avenue Subway line. (Wall Street Journal)

BART will replace its notoriously grimy cloth seats with brand-new, easy-to-clean seats much sooner than anyone thought. (The Bay-Citizen)

Food trucks parked outside NYC's Tavern on the Green will be hitting the road in October, their contracts unrenewed. (Crain's New York)

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Power Outage Causes 1,500 NJ Transit Passengers to be Stuck in Tunnel

Thursday, September 22, 2011

(robotbrainz/Flickr)

A power outage stranded 1,500 passengers on two NJ Transit trains in a tunnel for hours this morning outside of Penn Station.

A spokesman for Amtrak, which operates the tunnel, said the power failure that occurred around 9 a.m. Thursday affected four trains — two of which officials say are being pulled from the tunnel by rescue engines after the others were successfully removed.

Amtrak doesn't know what cause the power outage, and had no estimate for restoration. There were extensive service delays between New York and New Jersey as of noon Thursday.

Passenger Jason Uechi, a software developer, was on the 8:20 a.m. train from Montclair, N.J.  He was stuck on the train for more than two hours. He said the lights were on in the car but the air conditioning was not.

“Like any incident in New York, it takes this kind of thing to make people talk," he said, noting passengers were calm and even shared electronic devices. "We were quick to crack jokes about getting rescued and all those kinds of things.”

Robin Isserles, a sociologist on the same train, said the experience of being stuck wasn't great, but "people have been really wonderful, the crew have been informing us when they could. It’s actually been not as bad as expected.”

The tunnels, which run underneath the Hudson River, carry NJ Transit and Amtrak trains between New York and points south. They are at capacity, and officials have been trying figure out how to build another trans-Hudson tunnel for some time. In a bill approved Wednesday by the Senate Appropriations Committee, Amtrak would get $15 million for preliminary engineering of two new Hudson River tunnels next year despite tight budget controls on overall transportation spending.

Last year, citing fears of cost overruns, NJ Governor Chris Christie pulled the tunnel on a new transit tunnel being built under the Hudson, which had already been under construction.

 

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Power Outage Strands 1,500 NJ Transit Passengers

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A power outage stranded about 1,500 NJ Transit passengers in a tunnel outside of Penn Station for more than two hours during the morning commute Thursday.


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TN MOVING STORIES: NY's Comptroller Sounds MTA Debt Alarm, House Dems Want to Save Auto Loan Program, and Where Have All the Hitchhikers Gone?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New census data shows how the nation commutes to work -- and how New York is different. (Link)

High-speed rail got a last-minute reprieve -- sort of. (Link)

Chicago will roll out a bike share program next summer. (Link)

The interim chief of the Texas DOT wants more travel options -- not just lanes. (Link)

New York's comptroller: the MTA's plan to borrow billions is fraught with risk. (WNYC's Empire, NY1, Bloomberg, Streetsblog)

House Democrats flirt with shutdown to save the $1.5 billion government loan program that helps car companies build fuel-efficient vehicles. (Washington Post)

The UAW agreed to extend its existing labor contract with Chrysler until Oct. 19 and plans to target Ford for a new labor contract next. (Detroit Free Press)

Freakonomics radio: higher rates of driver's licenses and car ownership have all but killed hitchhiking. (Marketplace)

Norfolk's light rail -- which just opened last month -- is already so popular that officials are talking expansion. (WTKR)

Massachusetts needs $15 billion in transportation fixes, and the MBTA is looking at a fare hike. (Boston Globe)

"If you smell something, sign something:" NYC transit workers -- whose contract with the MTA is up in four months -- demonstrated in Queens to protest staff cuts and sanitation issues at stations. (NBC New York)

President Obama returns to Boehner country today to use a major bridge in need of repair as a prop for yet another sales pitch for his jobs plan. (Politico)

Orioles pitcher -- and bicycle enthusiast -- Jeremy Guthrie (whose Twitter location puts him on "a bike or the bump") explored Boston on a Hubway bike. (Link)

 

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Chicago To Roll Out Bike Share In Summer 2012

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A bike lane being built in Chicago, June 2011 (photo courtesy of Chicago Bicycle Program)

 

UPDATED 4:37PM:   In an ambitious move, the Chicago Department of Transportation announced today it would have bike share up and running by next summer, with 3,000 bikes and 300 stations.  Another 2,000 bikes would be added in summer 2014.

In its  RFP, the city said initial funding for the program will come from federal grants, and the "program will be self-sustaining through member and user fees, as well as advertising and sponsorship." Responses to the RFP are due on October 25.

That's a furious pace compared to New York, which issued an RFP last November and announced the vendor last week. New York's program, with 10,000 bikes and 600 stations, will also be up and running next summer.

The Chicago story was first broken by the Chicago Sun-Times, which said,

“Chicago would have 3,000 bicycles to rent from 300 stations by next summer — with no charge for the first 30 minutes — under an ambitious plan, announced Wednesday, aimed at making cycling a “new transit option….Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein are looking for an operator to offer 3,000 bikes at 300 stations by next summer and 5,000 bikes at 500 stations by 2014.”

Shortly afterwards, Klein tweeted out the response "Yes!!" to the tweets: "some big bike sharing news coming out of Chicago today," and then RT: Is that true?

These are heady days for urban bike share programs.  Boston's bike share, Hubway, launched in July.  On Tuesday, DC's Capital Bikeshare turned one year old -- and hit its one millionth ride.

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel -- himself a bike rider and a transit-user -- has consistently said he wanted a bike share program.

 

 

 

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