Kate Hinds

Kate Hinds appears in the following:

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.


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


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.


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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TN MOVING STORIES: US Mayors Want Fully Funded Transpo Bill, Toll Hikes Send Staten Islanders Flocking to E-ZPass

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Top stories on TN:

MTA unveils iPad-like informational kiosk at some subway stations. (Link)

Audi is using fraying infrastructure and stupid drivers to sell cars. (Link)

Some NYC parking meters are experiencing second lives as bike racks. (Link)

An aeroponic garden at Chicago's O'Hare Airport

A group of U.S. mayors met with congressional leaders and White House officials to push for a "comprehensive, fully-funded" transportation bill. (The Hill)

New York City's Department of Environmental Protection is investigating a transit-disrupting water main break on Manhattan's Upper West Side. (WNYC)

Bus vs. train: which system does more to help a city? The answer: it depends. (TheStreet)

After this weekend's toll hikes went into effect, Staten Islanders are lining up to buy E-ZPass. (Staten Island Advance)

The pedestrian safety officer program on three East River bridges is costing NYC $80,000 a month. (NY Daily News)

San Francisco BART protesters have gone from wild to mild. (SFist)

St. Paul (MN) businesses, which have been struggling during the Central Corridor light rail construction, may get a financial boost thanks to the project meeting a key deadline. (Minnesota Public Radio)

Chicago's O'Hare Airport now has a no-soil, vertical garden that grows everything from Swiss Chard to green beans, right between Terminals 2 and 3 on Concourse G. (Marketplace)

The Long Island town of Ronkonkoma is seeking a developer for a 50-acre mixed-use hub that would "create new businesses and jobs, expand the property tax base, keep young people from leaving Long Island, encourage the use of mass transit, and create a regional destination." (Newsday)

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Snapshot | Soho Rewarding Bullfighters

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Free Sangria, apparently, for matadores in Soho.


From Parking Meter to Bike Parking

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New York City removed its last single-spaced parking meter this week.

But in some parts of the city, the bones of 160 old meters have been retrofitted to accommodate bike parking.

Formerly a parking meter, now a bike rack on Columbus Avenue (photo by Kate Hinds)

In addition to Manhattan's Upper West Side (see photo above) the NYC Department of Transportation has installed the parking meter bike racks along 7th Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and on 37th Avenue in Flushing, Queens.

This isn't a new idea. Other cities do this as well, like Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Cambridge bike parking (photo by Kate Hinds)

It saves cities the trouble of digging the poles out of the foundation, and gives bikers a much-needed place to lock up. According to Transportation Alternatives, there's only one bike rack for every 31 cyclists in New York City.


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TN MOVING STORIES: Virginia Closer to Tolling I-95, BART Wants To Ban Repeat Offenders, and Happy Birthday, Capital Bikeshare

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Top stories on TN:

A new study says more pedestrians are hit by bicyclists than previously thought. (Link)

NYC reduced its carbon emissions in 2010. (Link)

Goodbye parking meter, hello Muni-Meter. (Link)

Police in a BART station during a protest (photo by Ryan Anderson via Flickr)

California lawmakers passed a bill that would give BART the authority to ban those who repeatedly break the law -- fare cheats, vandals or possibly protesters disrupting train service -- from entering its stations. (Contra Costa Times)

The Federal Highway Administration has given preliminary approval for Virginia to impose tolls on Interstate 95 to help fund transportation projects. (WAMU)

General Motors will help China develop electric vehicles -- but it wants to buy back majority control of a joint China - GM company. (Marketplace)

New York's East River bridges now have pedestrian safety managers to keep bikers and pedestrians in line -- and in their lane. (NY Daily News)

DC's Capital Bikeshare turns one today. (AP via WTOP)

The TSA fired 30 employees at Honolulu's airport for improperly screening luggage. (The Hill)

Chrysler and the UAW are close to a deal on a four-year labor contract. (Wall Street Journal)

Another aspect of the Port Authority of NY/NJ's bridge and tunnel toll hike: "peak" hours were extended. (The Star-Ledger)

Fast Company published a list of five transit technologies for a low-carbon economy.


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TN MOVING STORIES: NYC To Ditch Last Single-Space Parking Meter; LA Eyes Lengthening Yellow Lights

Monday, September 19, 2011

Top stories on TN:

NY's MTA has a new weekend web page to clear up the service work information morass. (Link)

California upgraded its highway "mission control" traffic monitoring videos. (Link)

The new model parking meter (Kate Hinds)

Now that Los Angeles has killed its red light traffic camera program, the city is looking at lengthening yellow lights to improve safety. (Los Angeles Times)

New York City will remove its last single-space parking meter today. (New York Times)

Will New York's congestion pricing debate be revived? (NY Daily News)

San Francisco's Central Subway line -- which would finally bring service to its Chinatown neighborhood -- has become a key issue in that city's upcoming mayoral race. (NPR)

The MTA will unveil an iPad-like transit information device at a downtown station today. (New York Daily News)

Editorial: Atlanta can't improve transit by "winging it" -- the region must thoroughly vet its transit governance bill. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

DC's Metro has been trying to shorten station names. But one community wants the name of their stop to be longer. (WAMU)

Ray LaHood travels to St. Paul today to promote the president's jobs bill. (MPR)

Newark opened its first non-profit bike exchange shop. (Star-Ledger)

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TN MOVING STORIES: AAA Wants To Block NY/NJ Toll Hike, MTA Unveils New Weekend Subway Map, and Bike Share on Today's Brian Lehrer Show

Friday, September 16, 2011

Top stories on TN:

An FAA shutdown was averted. (Link)

NYC's Taxi TV -- bane of drivers and passengers alike -- gets a second channel. (Link)

Construction begins on the next segment of Houston's Grand Parkway. (Link)

An example of a Parking Day spot installation from 2010 (Photo: Rebar)

AAA wants the government to block an upcoming NY-NJ bridge and tunnel toll hike. (Forbes)

New York City's MTA is unveiling "The Weekender," an interactive subway map that explains weekend service changes. (New York Times)

Some NYC cab drivers are rebelling against racy rooftop ads. (New York Times)

TN's Andrea Bernstein will be on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show this morning to talk about the city's upcoming bike share program.

Want to buy a 1968 San Francisco Muni bus? It's on eBay. (SFist)

The 'return trip effect', explained. (MSNBC)

Today is Parking Day.

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Hey, You're Walking Here: Guerrilla Etiquette Artist Takes to the Streets

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Oh, if only. (Photo by Kate Hinds)

In the grand tradition of turning annoyance into art (remember Honku?), street signs -- bearing the imprimatur of the "Metropolitan Etiquette Authority" -- have begun appearing on some New York City corners.

The signs are the work of Jason Shelowitz -- also known as Jay Shells. He's also the designer behind last year's rogue subway etiquette campaign, in which official-looking posters appeared in subway stations, reminding  passengers to cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing, and to be courteous when exiting and entering a subway car ("it's called being aware of your surroundings, try it out!")

The sign pictured above is currently (at least until a city agency removes it) on the corner of Varick Street and Van Dam Street, which is on the fringes of the heavily trafficked Soho neighborhood. (Yes, Soho, where the sidewalks creak with map-wielding, bag-encumbered tourists, and even the most tolerant New Yorker has entertained uncharitable thoughts about the behavior of our fellow walkers.)

Shelowitz has three other signs in addition to the one above. You can see the designs on his Etsy page -- where he sells them in order to fund his street etiquette campaign.




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TN MOVING STORIES: No Contract Yet Between UAW and Auto Makers; NYC Bike Share Is A "Game-Changer"

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Top stories in TN:

NYC chooses Alta for its bike share system. (Story, photos)

Congressman John Mica -- chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee -- has a love/hate relationship with infrastructure. (Link)

A lone Republican senator is holding up transportation and FAA funding extensions, because he said they will fund things like a Corvette museum and an albino squirrel sanctuary. (Link)

A bike lane on Manhattan's Upper West Side (photo by Kate Hinds)

NYC bike share: coverage in Marketplace, New York Times, NY Daily News, NY Observer, DNA Info, Wall Street Journal.

NYC DOT head Janette Sadik-Khan's editorial in the New York Daily News: bike share is another option for New Yorkers.

Editorial in The Guardian: bike share is a "game-changer."

Auto workers and car manufacturers failed to reach a contract agreement by the deadline; GM and Chrysler agree to extend talks. (Detroit Free Press)

In Canada, a study found that new immigrants are twice as likely to use public transit when compared to Canadian-born workers. (Global News)

The Obama administration wants to ban electronic cigarettes on planes. (AP via AJC)

A Chicago official wants to crack down on distracted biking. (WBEZ)

Taking stock of technology in cars: we're not that far off from "partial autopilot." (Wall Street Journal)

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PHOTOS: Scenes from New York City Bike Share Announcement

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

As we reported earlier, New York City announced the vendor for its bike share program.

A bike share station (photo by Kate Hinds)

A close up of the handlebars of one of the sample bikes. Looks like a three speed.

(photo by Kate Hinds)

The formal announcement:

Dan Cantor (Working Families Party), Alison Cohen (President, Alta), Janette Sadik-Khan (NYC DOT Commissioner), Gale Brewer (NYC Council Member), Kathleen Wylde (Partnership for NYC), Paul Steely White (Transportation Alternatives) and Brad Lander (NYC Council Member)

Front view of a bike station:

(photo by Kate Hinds)

Musician -- and bike advocate -- David Byrne was on hand:

David Byrne (photo by Kate Hinds)

So were city politicians.

Gale Brewer, Janette Sadik-Khan, NYC Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, NYC Council Member Letitia James, and Colvin Grannum, president of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration (photo by Kate Hinds)

Eco-friendly parking stations:

The bike stations are solar powered (photo by Kate Hinds)

Docking instructions:

(photo by Kate Hinds)

A sample payment machine:

(photo by Kate Hinds)

And finally, a joy ride. NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and other city officials make a loop around the plaza in front of reporters.

 Janette Sadik-Khan test-driving one of the bikes (photo by Kate Hinds)

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TN MOVING STORIES: A Look at Auto's Two-Tier Wage System, and Feds Recommend Commercial Driver Cell Phone Ban

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Top stories on TN:

New York's bike share announcement is imminent. (Link)

The House passed no-drama extensions for the FAA and transportation. (Link)

The MTA is preparing to spend millions to rebuild its Port Jervis line. (Link)

United Auto Workers in February, 2011 (photo by P.T. Manolakos via Flickr)

The National Transportation Safety Board wants to ban all cell phone use for all commercial drivers. (Washington Post)

Members of New York's transit workers union -- whose MTA contract expires in January -- staged a flash mob-like protest at MTA headquarters. (New York Daily News)

The labor contract between the United Auto Workers Union and the Big Three American automakers expires tonight at midnight. (Marketplace)

And: could the auto industry's two-tier wage system work elsewhere? Should it? (The Takeaway)

Metropolitan areas that manufacture durable goods grew faster in 2010 than those without. (Wall Street Journal)

Star-Ledger op-ed: Hurricane Irene is a wake up call, highlighting the need for more transit redundancy in New Jersey.

The TSA will change screening procedures for children going through airport security. Less pat-downs, more shoes. (Politico)

Tougher state licensing laws have led to fewer fatal car crashes for 16-year-olds...but there's a catch. (NPR)

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