Kate Hinds appears in the following:
TN Moving Stories: NTSB To Look At Discount Bus Industry, South Korea Upgrades HSR, And British Posties Dismount
Monday, April 04, 2011
The National Transportation Safety Board will conduct a comprehensive review of the discount bus industry and the safety regulations governing it following a crash in the Bronx last month that left 15 passengers dead. (New York Times)
Inspectors have found small, subsurface cracks in three more Southwest Airlines planes that are similar to those suspected of causing a jetliner to lose pressure and make a harrowing emergency landing in Arizona. (AP via Washington Post)
South Korea will expand and upgrade its high speed train network over the next 9 years to cut travel time from the capital to major cities to under an hour and a half. (AFP)
Los Angeles will start testing its Expo Line; trains may formally roll in Westside in November. (Los Angeles Times)
Posties -- British mail carriers -- have been ordered to stop delivering mail via bicycle in a bid to cut down accidents and speed up delivery times. (The Mirror)
The Chicago Transit Authority is trying to revamp how it leases retail space on its properties, because "sixty-six of the 137 concession spaces at CTA rail stations are vacant." (Chicago Tribune)
Are bicycles more like cars or pedestrians? Discuss. (New York Times)
Transportation Nation stories we're working on: despite loud protest on both sides, bike lane poll numbers remain remarkably stable, only a minority wants Prospect Park West bike lane removed entirely. Congress may actually reauthorize FAA funding bill; LI buses saved, for now, Orlando suburban businesses kill plan to add a median to a busy roadway, arguing it would impede customer access to their shops, and transportation proves extremely popular in NYC big apps contest.
Friday, April 01, 2011
TN Moving Stories: US Traffic Fatalities Hit Lowest Point In 60 Years, Toronto Went From "Transit City" to "Transit Pity", and: Look Up! Invisible Bug Highway
Friday, April 01, 2011
U.S. traffic fatalities fell to the lowest levels in 60 years--representing a 25% decline since 2005 (New York Times). US DOT head Ray LaHood writes: "Despite this good news, we are not going to rest on our laurels."
A Los Angeles Times columnist says that the MTA, in eliminating bus lines, is making the wrong decision at the wrong time. Says he in the accompanying video (below): "We are cutting back at exactly the time we should be throwing a lot of resources into expanding public transportation."
The Toronto Star feels similarly about that city's transit plan. "Transit City has become a transit pity," they write of Mayor Rob Ford's commuter rail expansion, saying it "will take longer to build, deliver less service, and leave Toronto in search of an extra $4.2 billion."
Skanska AB, the construction giant working on some of New York's largest public works projects (including the Fulton Street Transit Center), will pay a $19.6 million settlement after being investigated for circumventing rules designed to encourage the hiring of minority- and women-owned businesses. (Wall Street Journal)
A decision about contested bike lanes in Boston's Charlestown neighborhood is expected in April. Last November, the city installed about a quarter-mile of a bike path on Charlestown's Main Street, then removed the lanes a short time later after neighborhood complaints. (Boston Globe)
U.S. sales of cars and trucks are expected to rise at a double-digit rate in March (AP via Detroit Free Press). Meanwhile, Toyota USA today announced higher sticker prices for nearly every 2011 model the company sells here. (USA Today)
A new report says that Texas will be facing a $170 billion gap between the amount of money that needs to be invested in transportation to keep commutes from getting worse and the amount of money the state expects to bring in from federal freeway funds, the gasoline tax and vehicle registration fees between 2011 and 2035. (Houston Chronicle)
President Obama signed a bill that funds the Federal Aviation Administration re-authorization bill through May. Meanwhile, a battle is brewing over some controversial pieces of the longer measure. (The Hill)
In Bethesda, Maryland, you can now use your cellphone to pay the parking meter. (WAMU)
Look up! Above your head is an invisible billion-bug highway. (NPR)
Top Transportation Nation stories we're following: Houston is contemplating natural gas-powered buses. NY Congressman -- and bike lane cipher -- Anthony Weiner kills at the Correspondents Dinner (sample line: "Vote for Weiner--he'll be frank.") We have the latest in the inter-city bus investigations. And: the K train rides again -- if only on the subway's roll sign.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) When I first began riding the rails in New York City, riders could take the K train from 168th Street to the World Trade Center. But because it duplicated existing lines (the C and the E), the MTA took the route out of service in the 1980s.
But this morning I saw an out-of-service train roll by me on the 81st Street B/C station this morning -- flashing the K sign. Was it a test? Is the MTA planning on bringing the K back?
In a word: no. Unlike, say, Adam Ant's comeback tour, the K train is not slated to roll again this decade. An MTA spokesman told me that even if a line is eliminated, it lives on in the car's roll sign. So what I saw was nothing more than a 80s flashback.
How might a revamped K train work? Check out this conversation at NYC Transit Forums.
And want to buy a vintage roll sign of your very own? The MTA's got them.
TN Moving Stories: Philadelphia Planning Center City Bike Lanes, NYS Passes Budget, and Will Atlantans Vote Together as a Region...For Transit?
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Two north-south bike lanes are being planned for Philadelphia's Center City. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
New York State's just-passed budget allots $8.5 billion for transportation spending. (Albany Times-Union)
Members of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) named Montana/Wyoming's Beartooth Highway their top scenic route. (Cody Enterprise)
The head of the 34th Street Partnership supports the NYC Department of Transportation's plan for revamping the street. (NY1)
A Straphangers survey found that announcements on New York City subways are mostly clear and accurate - except when there's unexpected trouble on the line. (NY Daily News)
Ohio can use private dollars to help pay for public road and other infrastructure projects, thanks to the $6.8 billion transportation bill that Gov. John Kasich signed into law during a public ceremony yesterday. (Columbus Dispatch)
The Atlanta region has put together a wish list of transportation projects that could change the region on a large scale, linking formerly isolated suburbs in Gwinnett and Cobb counties to MARTA with rail lines. To get there, though, voters in the region’s 10 counties and 68 cities will have to do something they’ve never done before: vote together as a region. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
California wants all of the $2.43 billion in federal high-speed rail funds recently rejected Florida’s governor. (Los Angeles Times)
A Florida air traffic controller supervisor has been suspended after officials said he compromised the safety of passengers by letting two planes fly too close to each other, officials said. (ABC News)
Top Transportation Nation stories we're following: KALW's Casey Miner talked about her personal car-sharing experience on The Takeaway. President Obama talked about energy security -- and the gas tax. Tougher DUI bills edge closer to becoming Montana law. And the federal DOT took the Super Luxury Tours bus company out of business.
TN Moving Stories: President to Speak About Energy Security, NY's MTA May Put Welfare Recipients To Work Cleaning Subways, and Birmingham Bus Cuts Held Off -- F
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Atlanta's mayor and its City Council are at odds over transportation funding. (Atlanta Journal Constitution).
Bicycle shops on Manhattan's Upper West Side say they're losing customers because cyclists are avoiding Central Park due to the ticket blitz. (DNAinfo)
Speaking of tickets: Rep. Anthony Weiner, who's made himself a top New York parking scold by complaining about UN diplomats who fail to pay parking tickets, racked up a whopping $2,180 in violations himself in Washington, according to a report. (New York Post)
New York's cash-strapped MTA may soon put welfare recipients to work scrubbing and cleaning the subways. (NY Daily News)
Critics of San Francisco's $1.58 billion Central Subway have called it expensive and unnecessary; now they're calling it inefficient and unsafe. (San Francisco Examiner)
Vermont wants Florida's rejected high-speed rail money, bringing the total of states competing for it to at least 33. (Vermont Public Radio)
The Birmingham City Council today approved $1.8 million for mass transit, deferring a slashing of that city's bus service--at least for now. (The Birmingham News)
NPR looks at the how the Canadian oil bottleneck in Cushing, Oklahoma, affects gas prices.
And here's your bizarre car picture for the day.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) WNYC's Gallerina interviewed Alexander Chen, the musician/graphic designer who turned a 1972 version of the New York City subway map into a digital work of musical art.
"Each time two trains intersect, you hear the sound of a note being plucked on a cello -- turning the visuals into an abstract musical improvisation."
Read the story -- and watch the composition unfold -- over at WNYC.
TN Moving Stories: Transit Cuts May Hit Minneapolis, DC, Following Canadian Oil's Tension-Filled Trek South, and Will Poetry Return to NY's Subways?
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Will "Poetry in Motion" placards make a return to NYC's subway cars? Signs point to maybe. (New York Times)
If Congress cuts $150 million from DC's Metro, the agency's general manager says "the customers will really bear the burden...They will see the system deteriorating at a more rapid rate.” (Washington Post)
Twenty years from now, Canada may be supplying one-fourth of the US's oil needs. Which means more megaloads in Montana now. (NPR)
But Canadian drivers have their own problems: "In a new survey of major world cities by the Toronto Board of Trade, Toronto and Montreal have the worst commute times, worse even than London or New York City...Canadians need real options, and that means more public transit." (Globe and Mail)
A Wall Street Journal opinion piece takes President Obama's high-speed rail plan -- and Amtrak -- to task. "With Amtrak now the key to the President's rail program, a review of Amtrak's recent performance reveals that this "transformational" event will take place upon a foundation of epic failure, gross mismanagement, and union featherbedding."
Two freshman Republican representatives from upstate New York want to derail plans for high-speed trains across the state, leading to a new division in the state delegation. (The Buffalo News)
But a few hundred miles away, the Southeast High Speed Rail Association is holding an event called "The Conservative Case for Intercity & Higher Speed Passenger Rail” in Richmond. “Not every conservative — not even every libertarian — believes America’s unofficial motto should be ‘drive or die,’ ”the center's website reads. “There is a long conservative tradition of not wanting to see America reduced to nothing but strip malls, gas stations and pavement.” (The Hill)
The Minnesota House voted to trim the state budget deficit by reducing spending on Twin Cities transit, a strategy that could trigger fare hikes and service cuts. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
Clinton Hill (Manhattan) residents say that the intra-city bus company, Megabus, has made the area of 9th Avenue in the lower 30s a "circus." (DNAinfo)
FastCompany passes along an infographic that shows, by state, what percent of commuters use bikes -- and then breaks down the 10 most popular bike cities.
The latest installment of WBEZ's "Dear Chicago" series interviews a bike advocate who wants the city's transportation infrastructure to pay more attention to pedestrians and bicyclists:
And finally: a plot synopsis of a new movie about a killer tire. "Rubber is the story of Robert, an inanimate tire that has been abandoned in the desert, and suddenly and inexplicably comes to life....Leaving a swath of destruction across the desert landscape, Robert becomes a chaotic force to be reckoned with, and truly a movie villain for the ages." Metaphor alert!
Top Transportation Nation stories we're following: New York City’s effort to create a fuel-efficient taxi fleet is getting a new legislative boost. Demand for fuel-efficient cars is "sluggish" -- despite high gas prices. And recent fatal bus crashes have led to a disagreement between the drivers' union and management.
TN Moving Stories: EU Wants To Ban Conventional Cars in Cities by 2050, and NY's Bike Lanes Continue to Fascinate the Media
Monday, March 28, 2011
A European Union policy paper calls for halving conventional cars in cities by 2030 -- and banning combustion engines altogether by 2050. "Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas also set out plans to shift half of "middle distance journeys" from road to rail, and to cut shipping emissions by 40%. He said: 'Freedom to travel is a basic right for our citizens. Curbing mobility is not an option. Nor is business is usual.'" (BBC, Bloomberg)
Massachusetts is vying for the high-speed rail funds rejected by Florida, and the Boston Globe writes about the state's application process -- and how state officials all got on the same page.
Meanwhile, New York City's bike lanes continue to be covered by the world's major media outlets. An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal says the lawsuit over a Brooklyn bike lane "isn't a culture war, as many would have it. It's about New Yorkers who want to walk safely across the street—maybe even while smoking a cigarette or eating a salty pretzel." The New York Times writes of Senator Charles Schumer's reticence to go on record about whether he supports the bike lane -- or the lawsuit. And the British paper The Guardian asks: "is New York really "too New York" for cycling ever to be acceptably mainstream?"
San Antonio launched a bike-sharing program this weekend, the first of its type in Texas. (Houston Chronicle)
New York collects 90 tons of garbage a day on the subway system. (NY Daily News)
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is backing legislation that would allow cities to rail fuel-efficiency standards in taxis. From an email sent by her office: "Just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a New York City program aimed to create a fuel-efficient taxi fleet, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and TLC Commissioner David Yassky will announce federal legislation ...(today) MARCH 28th that would allow all major cities to raise fuel efficiency standards for taxis. With the City’s green taxi plan now at a legal impasse, an act of Congress is required to give the City and other local governments the ability to upgrade to fuel-efficient taxi fleets."
The Cincinnati Zoo installed four acres of solar panels over its parking lot, which should produce 20% of its energy needs. (USA Today)
A Baltimore Sun transportation reporter writes about driver's ed and bicycles: "Most likely, the subject of interacting with bicycles got short shrift in your driver's ed class...many of us could use such a bit of midlife education in the things our driving instructors failed to mention. And nowhere is that more apparent than in the devastating consequences of clumsy interactions between motor vehicles and bicycles."
San Mateo County's "Comprehensive Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan" has some people worried about what they call a lack of coordination at the county level, leading to a patchwork network of bike routes. The plan lists projects throughout the county’s 20 cities that would cost an estimated $57 million to build and cover some 290.4 miles of roadway. (San Francisco Examiner)
Top Transportation Nation stories we're following: New York State is continuing to issue thousands of parking placards -- despite Governor Cuomo's promise to end "business as usual." A recent air traffic control issue has raised larger questions about how towers are staffed. And: high-speed rail might be dead in Florida, but some are hoping that the governor will agree to move forward with a commuter rail project.
TN Moving Stories: Japan Trying to Get A Handle on Infrastructure Damage, LA Passes Sweeping Bus Service Cuts, and Boston Band Powers Concerts with Bikes
Friday, March 25, 2011
Meanwhile, Toyota is warning factories and dealers in North America that production delays are coming, while Nissan is looking for ways around its factory closures in Japan by flipping the supply chain around. (Marketplace)
The Los Angeles MTA approved sweeping bus service cuts, eliminating nine lines and reducing 11. Officials say they are still providing adequate service while making the bus system more efficient; critics say L.A.'s low-income residents will be hurt the most. (Los Angeles Times)
WNYC looks at the 2010 New York census map.
A Boston-based band uses bikes to power their concerts. "One person can sustain about 100 watts without breaking too much of a sweat. Five people can amass enough wattage to power a small live show." (WBUR)
City-funded parking garages at Yankees Stadium have become a "financial swamp for taxpayers," writes a NYDN columnist. "Ever since it opened...two years ago, the 9,000-space parking system has operated at barely 60% capacity, even on game days. Meanwhile, its operating expenses have run twice what was expected."
NJ Transit paid nearly $3.6 million for unused vacation and sick time last year -- even as it raised fares and cut service. Gov. Christie says the agency should go to a 'use it or lose it' policy. (Asbury Park Press)
The Bay Area's Metropolitan Transportation Commission made a $10 million commitment to a new $50 million revolving fund for loaning money to developers to build affordable housing near rail stations and bus stops. (San Jose Mercury News)
The Ohio Senate voted to pass a measure banning signs that tout federal stimulus spending along Ohio's roadways. (AP via BusinessWeek)
Top Transportation Nation stories we're following: As massive bus cuts loom, Long Islanders get emotional at a hearing. A NYC deputy mayor goes on the BL Show to defend the city's bike lane program -- and voice support for the city's transportation commissioner. And: after reports that a former DC Metro employee left the agency to become a lobbyist, the agency's board put the brakes on a contract.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) An emotional NYC MTA hearing went well into the night last night in Hempstead. The transit authority is considering cutting service for some 16,000 Long Island Bus riders beginning this summer. And the financially troubled Nassau County government says it wants to privatize all bus service.
Alfonso Castillo covers transportation for Newsday. He was at the hearings at Hofstra University, and he spoke with WNYC's Amy Eddings about what happened at the hearing, what the cuts would mean for some Long Islanders, and what the next steps are.
You can listen to the interview here.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
After a wintry mix fell on New York overnight, snow blanketed Central Park on Thursday morning.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
(Washington, DC -- David Schultz, WAMU) Metro is delaying the extension of a nearly $500 million contract after reports that the contractor may have hired one of Metro's former top executives to lobby on its behalf.
MetroAccess is operated by the private company MV Transportation, which is one of Emeka Moneme's clients at the lobbying firm where he now works. Moneme is a former senior Metro executive turned lobbyist.
Metro's board of directors was scheduled Thursday to grant a two-year contract extension to the company MV Transportation, which operates MetroAccess, Metro’s paratransit service for people with disabilities. According to several sources within Metro, the extension was almost a formality.
But now, the board has removed the extension from its agenda for Thursday after reports that MV hired Moneme.
WAMU obtained a private email from Moneme's office in which he requests an in-person meeting with an advisor to Metro's Board to discuss the company and the MetroAccess program.
A spokesperson with MV Transportation says it hired Moneme to do "community outreach," not lobbying. Moneme refuses to comment.
Cathy Hudgins, the chair of the Metro board, says she wants answers about exactly what Moneme did and who instructed him to do it.
Listen to the story below. And read TN's previous coverage of this issue here.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) Yesterday, it was attorney Jim Walden's turn; today, it's Howard Wolfson's. The New York City deputy mayor will be on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show this morning at (about) 10:25am to talk about the city's bike lane program. In the New York area, you can find the program on AM820 and FM 93.9; it also streams live on wnyc.org.
TN Moving Stories: MTA May Halve LI Bus Service, LaHood Orders Air Traffic Controller Staffing Review, and Regional Bike Share Being Explored in Boston Area
Thursday, March 24, 2011
NYC deputy mayor Howard Wolfson goes on the Brian Lehrer Show this morning at around 10:25 (give or take a few minuites) to counter charges that the city has gone too far with its bike lane program.
Long Island Bus may put the brakes on 27 of their 48 lines this summer because, according to MTA chairman Jay Walder, Nassau County is not paying enough toward the service's $134 million annual budget. Walder said 16,000 people may lose bus service and 200 workers will be laid off. (WNYC)
After two planes landed without being able to reach an air traffic controller at Reagan National Airport, DOT head Ray LaHood ordered an additional controller to staff the overnight shift (Washington Post) -- and a study of air traffic controller staffing at airports around the country. (AP via BusinessWeek)
Towns in the Boston area are exploring a regional bike share program. (Boston Globe)
Accused of raiding local transit money, a Republican-led Minnesota House committee dropped a provision from a major state transportation bill that would have shifted money from new rail projects to existing bus operations. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
The Queensboro Bridge will soon be known as the Ed Koch Bridge. (WNYC)
Vice President Joe Biden chastised Gov. Rick Scott in Tampa, saying he cost Florida thousands of jobs and cutting-edge infrastructure improvements by rejecting $2.4 billion in federal funding for high-speed rail. “Your governor, God bless him — I don’t know him — but I don’t get it,” Biden said at a private fundraising reception for Sen. Bill Nelson. (Miami Herald)
Changing Gear's Micki Maynard looks at Detroit's decline. "Sixty years ago...people in all parts of the city could walk to work, or take a streetcar or bus. Some of them chose to drive, because they earned enough to afford to vehicles they were making (something their parents and grandparents might not have been able to do)."
A day in the life of Manhattan parking court -- real life, in-person court, not the newfangled online court. (NY Times)
Top Transportation Nation stories we're following: The Central Park Conservancy is removing the confusing signs that led the NYPD to ticket nine cyclists improperly for speeding. What’s more, the NYPD took the unusual step of making house calls to apologize for the erroneous citations. Speaking of Central Park: a NYC council member has introduced legislation that would ban cars from both Central and Prospect Parks. The attorney litigating the Prospect Park West bike lane lawsuit appeared on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show. And: a new transportation advocacy group grows in Houston.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) A New York City Council member is pushing to ban cars from the loop drives in Central Park and Prospect Park.
Gale Brewer, who represents the Upper West Side, said this isn't the first time the idea's been floated. In 2006, the City Council held a hearing on this issue, but the legislation was withdrawn after Mayor Michael Bloomberg banned cars in the parks for much of the day.
Which, Brewer said, made the parks even more popular.
"Parks are supposed to be livable, and you're supposed to be able to do exercise, and you're supposed to be able to breathe," Brewer said. "I think that cars do not have a place in these two parks...That’s why I’m introducing this legislation – to just have the people, not the cars."
Read the full story at WNYC.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
A City Council member is pushing to ban cars from the loop drives in Central Park and Prospect Park.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) If you follow two-wheeled news (and even if you don't), you probably know about the lawsuit to remove the bike lane along Brooklyn's Prospect Park.
On this morning's Brian Lehrer Show (WNYC), Jim Walden (the attorney representing the group suing the city) will be talking about why he thinks the lane should be removed. Tune in this morning around 11:30am --in NY, that's AM820, FM 93.9 -- or listen live on the internet at wnyc.org.
On tomorrow's Brian Lehrer Show, the city will air its point of view when New York City Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson (who recently wrote a memo defending the bike lanes), comes on the show.
Read more about the lawsuit here.
TN Moving Stories: Decline in Auto Manufacturing Costs Detroit 25% of its Population, and Where Does Manhattan's West Side Really End?
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
The Takeaway looks at how the disaster in Japan is affecting car manufacturing in the US.
And here's how the decline in car manufacturing is affecting the Motor City: New census numbers reveal that one in four Detroiters have moved out. "With 713,777 people, the city reached its lowest count in 100 years, though officials will contest it." (Detroit Free Press)
Seattle City Council is considering a one-year experiment to limit disabled parking in 14 blocks of downtown Seattle. The goal is to create more turnover of parking spaces and minimize disabled parking placard abuse. (Seattle Times)
North Carolina transportation officials announced an agreement that will free up $461 million in federal money to begin modernizing the state’s rail system. (Greensboro News & Record)
Confusion in Manhattan over exactly where the East Side begins and the West Side ends. (Or vice versa.) Surprise: the west side of Fifth Avenue is, technically, the West Side. Even if you're walking along Central Park. (NYT)
"Horrible" transit cuts (15% reduction in service, 29 bus lines eliminated) begin in Pittsburgh this Sunday. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
A NYC councilwoman is introducing a bill today that would restrict vehicles from traveling along the main, 6-mile loop in Central Park and inside Brooklyn's Prospect Park. (NY Post)
The attorney handling the Prospect Park West bike lane lawsuit will be on the Brian Lehrer Show (WNYC) this morning.
Ray LaHood is in Honolulu to report on that city's transit expansion. (KHON)
Watch the NY MTA's monthly board meeting here, starting at 9:15am.
Top Transportation Nation stories we're following: Safety problems are widespread on New York's inter-city bus companies. New York's bridges receive their worst grade ever, and California's aren't too great, either. Airlines carried more passengers in 2010 than they did in 2009, but have yet to fully rebound from the recession. And transit riders love their technology -- at least until someone looks over their shoulder.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The American Society of Civil Engineers gives New York its worst report card ever: 42 percent of bridges are structurally deficient, drinking water needs a $15 billion investment, and nearly half of major roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
WXXI of Rochester's Bob Smith spoke to Transportation Nation Director Andrea Bernstein about how it has come to this...and why negative political campaigning has created a populace skeptical of government spending of all forms...including infrastructure spending.