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Kate Hinds

Kate Hinds appears in the following:

Senate Approves $15M for Trans-Hudson Rail But Future Remains Uncertain

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

A trans-Hudson alternative – the Gateway Tunnel – won a small victory Tuesday when the Senate approved $15 million for Amtrak to begin design and engineering work on the project.

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Senate Approves $15 Million For Trans-Hudson Rail Project, Future Uncertain

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

(image courtesy of Senator Lautenberg)

In the wake of the ARC tunnel's cancellation last year, there have been different proposals for increasing trans-Hudson rail capacity. Like extending the #7 subway to Secaucus, which has recently captured the attention of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Now, another trans-Hudson alternative --the Gateway Tunnel -- won a small victory on Tuesday when the Senate approved $15 million for Amtrak to begin design and engineering work.

Like ARC, Gateway would dig two rail tunnels underneath the Hudson River from New Jersey, terminating just south of Penn Station. And, like ARC, the Gateway project aims to alleviate the biggest rail bottleneck in the Northeast -- trans-Hudson capacity in and out of Penn Station.

Amtrak had initially wanted $50 million for the study, but the corporation put a brave face on receiving $35 million less then it requested. "Today’s announcement also brings us one step closer to Gateway’s desired goal -- expanding track and station capacity necessary to enable Amtrak’s next generation high-speed rail plan and support improved service for thousands of Amtrak and New Jersey Transit passengers traveling between New York and New Jersey each day.”

But just how much closer it really brings that to fruition is unclear. Although the Senate has approved the $15 million funding, the bill must now be reconciled in an Amtrak-unfriendly House. And no one can even hazard a guess as to how the total cost of the $13.5 billion project might be funded.

But Gateway is the reality that New York and New Jersey have, and the fact that the Senate has approved funding puts it that much further along than the #7 to Secaucus. And Gateway does something the # 7 doesn't: it lays the groundwork for bullet trains in the northeast.

Petra Todorovich, the director of America 2050, said: "The way I see it is the ARC tunnel was primarily... regional commuter rail with side benefits for inter-city rail.  The Gateway tunnel is more of a project focused on inter-city rail with side benefits for commuter rail."

But while Todorovich viewed the $15 million as a positive step, she said: "Now we’re back to studying the options for relieving capacity constraints under the Hudson River."

New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, who championed ARC and is now a Gateway booster, said: “This funding will allow Amtrak to begin moving the Gateway Tunnel project forward to create jobs, increase access to commuter trains, and bring America’s first real high-speed rail project to New Jersey and the Northeast Corridor.”

His colleague, Senator Robert Menendez, added: "People crossing the Hudson River are facing outrageous tolls, traffic jams, and train service that is getting less and less reliable. The Gateway Project will add enormous capacity across the Hudson and also pave the way for true high speed rail for the entire region. This will create jobs now and unlock enormous economic opportunity in the future.”

New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand also emailed statements of support for the project.

Juliette Michaelson, director of strategic initiatives at the Regional Plan Association, said she was sorry to see the ARC Tunnel go. "There’s a very clear need for more transit service between New Jersey and New York. ARC was one way to do it, it wasn’t perfect, but it had the funding, it had all the environmental approvals, it was underway... Now that it's gone, there are any number of proposals on the table."  Not just the Gateway project and the #7 subway, but also options like building a new bus garage at the Port Authority, extending the L train, and adding ferry service. But, she said, "all of this will take a long time to shake out. And we've got to do it right."

 

 

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Rahm Emanuel Rides Transit During Zombie Apocalypse

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

 

(photo courtesy of Chicago Mayor's Office Facebook page)

Well, what else would you do? Traffic on Lake Shore Drive is murder.

No word on whether Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was heading off to trick-or-treat. But it looks like he has the zombie vote locked up.

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TN MOVING STORIES: California Bullet Train Cost Estimate Doubles, Atlanta Tries Downtown Transit Hub Again, and Honda Cuts Production

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Why NYC taxi medallions are worth more than ever. (Link)

The federal government says so-called "Chinatown buses" have more accidents. (Link)

Safety concerns prevent Pittsburgh bicyclists from becoming regular commuters. (Link)

A rendering of a California bullet train (image courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority)

The cost of California's high-speed rail project has jumped to $98.5 billion, according to a business plan being released today. (Los Angeles Times)

The president's infrastructure bank proposal comes up for a vote in the Senate this week. (The Hill)

Atlanta's trying one more time to build a transit hub downtown. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Ray LaHood says Republicans prioritize thwarting the president. “Republicans made a decision right after the election—don’t  give Obama any victories. The heck with putting people to work, because we can score points.” (The Daily Beast)

Parts shortages from three months of catastrophic flooding in Thailand have forced Honda to cut U.S. and Canadian factory production by 50 percent for the second time this year. (NPR)

Airlines are trying to cut boarding time on planes. (New York Times)

Transit wish list: the Triboro RX line, which would connect Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx -- without coming into Manhattan. (Second Avenue Sagas)

An upstate county official slams the NY State Department of Transportation for not being prepared for this weekend's snowstorm. (AP via Wall Street Journal)

Transportation groups are pushing for a gas tax increase, but Congress and the White House aren't biting. (Politico)

Does London's bike-promoting mayor put cars first? The Guardian says yes.

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TN MOVING STORIES: October Snow Snarls Northeast Transit, Massachusetts Judges Go Easy on Drunk Drivers

Monday, October 31, 2011

Top stories on TN:

A plan to expand managed toll lanes on highways around Florida has strong support. (Link)

There's no recession at the busy Port of Houston. (Link)

Downed utility pole on New York's Metro-North rail line following a rare October snowstorm (photo by John Wagner/Metropolitan Transportation Authority)

Massachusetts judges tend to go easy on drunk drivers. (Boston Globe)

The AP fact-checks Republican claims that $1 out of every $10 in transportation aid is spent wasteful projects. The verdict: "To make their case, lawmakers have exaggerated and misrepresented some projects that have received aid." (Link)

Union Pacific says California's planned high-speed rail project poses safety risks to its freight operations -- and disregards the company's property rights (Los Angeles Times). Meanwhile, the state releases its high-speed rail business plan tomorrow. (Mercury News)

NY Daily News: table the city's Taxi of Tomorrow until it's wheelchair-accessible. (Link)

Speaking of cabs: Taxi TV is making it easier to lower the volume -- or hit the mute button. (New York Times)

And: A NY Times editorial supports the city's crackdown on unnecessary honking.

Women are still sitting in the back on Brooklyn's B110 bus. (Wall Street Journal)

Qantas will resume flights after regulators ordered an end to work stoppages. (Marketplace)

Following a rare October snowstorm, two NJ Transit rail lines will be out of service Monday (MorristownGreen.com); there are also some disruptions on Metro-North (LoHud.com).

DC's Tourmobile is closing up shop. (WAMU)

And: Happy Halloween!

Halloween comes to the NYC subway (photo by Kate Hinds)

 

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Snapshot | Fall Offerings at Farmers Market

Friday, October 28, 2011

A cornucopia of autumnal goodies was available at the Union Square farmers market on Friday, a brisk fall day.

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NY Residents: We Want Transit on New Tappan Zee

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hundreds of Rockland County residents got their first look at plans for a new Tappan Zee Bridge – but many felt key details were left out of the discussion at the packed Palisades Center on Thursday.

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TN MOVING STORIES: Staten Island Pols Oppose #7 to Secaucus, Late School Buses Spur Boston Mayor To Action, and Robert Moses Biopic Coming to HBO

Friday, October 28, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Rockland County residents: we want a new Tappan Zee, but we want transit, too. (Link)

LIRR scam could total $1 billion. (Link)

Bay Area seniors go back to school to learn public transit. (Link)

Red light cameras may prioritize money, not safety. (Link)

(photo by Ben Walker via Flickr)

Staten Island elected officials oppose extending the #7 train to Secaucus, want that borough's toll burden lessened. (Staten Island Advance)

BART's board of directors tables talks on a cell phone ban. (San Francisco Chronicle)

As 25% of buses continue to arrive late two months into the school year, Boston's mayor orders oversight. (Boston Globe)

Pennsylvania's governor probably won't push for more transportation funding, despite a committee recommendation. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

A Los Angeles transit fan gets a special welcome from that city's mayor. (Los Angeles Times)

New York Times editorial on LIRR pension scam: So many questions, including: "what fostered such an apparent universal collapse of public servants’ integrity?"

Could bike share come to Beirut? (Daily Star)

A Robert Moses biopic is coming to HBO. Now, who should play him? (Atlantic Cities)

Look! On the streets of Seattle! It's the sperm bike! (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

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Rockland County Residents: We Want A New Tappan Zee, But We'd Like Transit, Too

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pointing the way to the meeting at the Palisades Center in Nyack (photo by Kate Hinds)

Hundreds of Rockland County residents packed a community room in the Palisades Center Thursday to get their first look at plans for a new Tappan Zee Bridge.

The replacement span is estimated to cost $5.2 billion. It will have eight lanes, leaving a space in the middle for future transit. It will also have other features the current bridge lacks, like a breakdown lane and a bike and pedestrian walkway.

But other details weren’t available --like how the bridge will be financed, or at what future date transit might be added.

Betty Meisler, who lives in Valley Cottage, said the plans didn't look that different from the current bridge. “I would say a bus lane would be helpful, because they do have the Tappan Zee Express (bus) that takes people from the Palisades Center over to Tarrytown, to the train station and to White Plains. But if they’re not even going to have that, what are they doing to improve the transportation problems that we have now?”  M.J. Plachy, a resident of Upper Nyack, said she was grateful the new bridge will have a walkway and she would walk to the train station in Tarrytown. "But if there was a more reliable public transportation way of getting across the river," she said, "it would make my life so much easier."

She wasn't alone in that opinion. A number of local officials began their testimony by thanking Governor Cuomo for his leadership -- and then by asking that transit be prioritized. Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski stirred up memories of last year's ARC tunnel cancellation with some cautionary words. “Certainly," he said, "this could be Rockland’s last chance for having a one-seat ride into the city.”

Harriett Cornell, a Rockland County legislator, was applauded when she said “I think there’s a bit of a difference between not precluding public transportation and actively making provision for future transit in the construction.”

But Joan McDonald, commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation, took issue with the characterization that the bridge lacks transit. “The transit has not gone anywhere. I think it’s very important to clarify that. We’re speeding up construction of the bridge, we’re not slowing down transit. The project that’s on the table now will be built to not preclude transit in the future, when it is financially feasible.”

Joan McDonald, New York State DOT Commissioner, at the Tappan Zee Bridge scoping meeting in Nyack (photo by Kate Hinds)

She said it’s not just a financial reality, but a practical one. “Some of the transit issues, whether it’s BRT (bus rapid transit) or commuter rail, are very detailed issues that need to be resolved with localities, particularly in Rockland County. Where do you site bus rapid transit stations, where do you put parking, if you want to add another lane for bus rapid transit, that would entail property takings, and that will take two to three years to get there, and the costs are between two billion and four billion to build that.”

Image from the Tappan Zee scoping information session (photo by Kate Hinds)

There are other pressures. The existing bridge is in such bad shape that officials say just maintaining it for the next ten years would cost $1.3 billion.

And locals are eager for the construction jobs a new bridge would bring -- as well as the future benefits of having a reliable structure. Al Girardi works for Local 137, the International Union of Operating Engineers. “For most of 2011 we’ve probably run at about 43% unemployment,” he said. “A lot of our members are running out of benefits.” Christopher St. Lawrence, the supervisor for the town of Ramapo, said he didn’t want to lose businesses to New Jersey or Connecticut. “We are always competing, whether we’re keeping Avon in Suffern, or LeCroy in Chestnut Ridge, or Novartis -- some of our big employers.” He mentioned that Pfizer pulled up stakes in Rockland County -- a major blow to the area. “We need to be able to attract those businesses. Having a Tappan Zee Bridge that is functional is key to being able to do that.”

The state will release a draft environmental impact statement in January, and hold public hearings the following month. Joan McDonald said she expects the federal government to issue a decision by August 2012; construction will begin shortly after.

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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. (MLive.com)

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. (NorthJersey.com)

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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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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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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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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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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