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Kate Hinds

Kate Hinds appears in the following:

TN Moving Stories: CT Transpo Overhaul Coming, London Gets A Hydrogen Bus, and New York's "Cagelike" Subway Turnstiles are Fare Eaters

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday time can mean bonus time...but not for San Francisco Muni operators. Management has "put the kibosh this year on year-end payouts from a special trust fund set up for the city's transit operators." (San Francisco Chronicle)

Connecticut governor-elect Dan Malloy intends to overhaul that state's Department of Transportation--starting at the top. (Hartford Courant)

The U.K.'s first permanent hydrogen bus was launched in London; there are more coming next spring. (The Guardian)

General Motors' CEO wants government to loosen restrictions on executive pay so GM can hold onto its best. He also called the Toyota Prius hybrid a "geek-mobile." (USA Today)

"Cagelike" subway turnstiles: the bane of  inexperienced subway riders, who sometimes have to pay twice if they can't figure the system out right away. (New York Daily News)

Surveillance cameras coming to some New York City buses this spring. (AP via Wall Street Journal)

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Bicycles: Not Just for Transportation, But Adornment As Well

Sunday, December 12, 2010

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) At today's Bust Magazine Craftacular, bike jewelry was all the rage. Have bikes replaced owls as the new crafts fair item?

UPDATE: seen at the Union Square holiday market!

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TN Moving Stories: 30,000 Unlicensed, Illegal Immigrants Deported After Traffic Violations, Jay St./Metrotech Connector Opens Today, and Boston Fare Jumper Bust

Friday, December 10, 2010

At least 30,000 illegal immigrants who were stopped for common traffic violations in the last three years have ended up in deportation, Department of Homeland Security numbers show. (New York Times)

Jay St./Metrotech subway underground walkway opens today in Brooklyn, connecting the A, C and the F lines with the R. One straphanger's reaction: "Thank God!"  (New York Daily News)  Another reason to be grateful: you'll soon be able to seek a replacement for your faulty Metrocard online.

Virginia governor Robert McDonnell announced that he will ask state legislators to spend $400 million immediately on roads and bridges while borrowing an additional $2.9 billion over the next three years for transportation. "This is the best opportunity in modern Virginia history to build roads," he said. (Washington Post)

NJ Transit to rehab Arrow electric rail cars in hopes of squeezing another five years of life out of them. "These are really tired vehicles. I ride them daily," said James Weinstein, NJ Transit executive director. "They are really threadbare." (Asbury Park Press)

Bus lanes coming to Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. (Los Angeles Times)

Did the Idaho Transportation Department bow to a powerful oil company, ignoring procedure and public will to pave the way for the mega-loads? That's the accusation in a hearing happening this week. (Idaho Reporter)

The Federal Aviation Administration is missing key information on who owns one-third of the 357,000 private and commercial aircraft in the U.S. — a gap the agency fears could be exploited by terrorists and drug traffickers. (NPR)

A surveillance camera catches a Boston fare evader being busted...by none other than the Boston transit general manager. (via Radio Boston)

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NYC Council Hosts "Heated Discussion" on Bikes

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Bicyclists outside the City Council hearing rooms at 250 Broadway (by Kate Hinds)

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) New York City Council’s Transportation Committee held a meeting today on the impact of bicycles and bike lanes in the city. Committee chair James Vacca told the packed room that when it came to bikes, he knew passions were high. “Believe it or not,” he said, “few issues today prompt more heated discussion than bike policy in New York City.”

And it showed: there was a long wait in line to clear security, and the City Council hearing room’s overflow room had to be used. More than 70 speakers signed up to voice their opinions about bikes and bike lanes, but the hot seat belonged to City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who was grilled by council members for almost two hours. (Click the audio player to hear her statement, as well as the extensive—nearly two hour—question and answer session, below. The transcript -- all 296 pages -- can be found here.)

Sadik-Khan said that her department's goal is to create an interconnected bike lane network citywide.  “Half of the trips in New York City are under two miles, we think cycling has a strong role to play in the transportation network,” she said. In other words, if you build it, they will ride. “The addition of 200 miles of new bike lanes between 2006 and 2009 coincided with four straight years of double-digit percentage increases in our commuter cycling counts,” she said, adding that the increase in cycling, and the concurrent pedestrian improvements made to streets, made 2009 “the lowest overall traffic fatality rate in New York City’s history.”

But some council members felt that their districts had been left out of the planning process, and Brooklyn’s Lewis Fidler said that the DOT needed to do a better job of getting public input.  “You gotta go back to communities and ask them again,” he said emphatically.

"That's what we do! That's what we do, that’s what we do, council member!” the commissioner interjected. “I'm asking that it be institutionalized,” said Fidler.  Sadik-Khan said during her statement that her agency “remain(s) committed to problem-solving for and with the people of the City on a nearly 24/7 basis.”

She also said that the lanes have proven to be a good investment, because bicycle commuting in New York City has increased by 109 percent since 2006. It's a bargain according to her figures: the federal government bears 80 percent of the total cost, leaving New York City to pay just 20 percent of the bill for bike lanes.

But the topic of enforcement—of bicyclists who run afoul of the rules of the road, of buses and cars who block lanes—came up continually, with many council members wondering how best to ensure that cyclists obey the rules of the road.

Sadik-Khan said that the DOT is planning a major media campaign in the spring that will feature celebrities “bluntly tell(ing) cyclists to stop riding like jerks.” There will also be a bike ambassador program to help people obey the rules of the road.

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TN Moving Stories: Mica Officially Becomes Infrastructure Chair, Civil Rights Groups Want Feds to Look at Cali's High Speed Rail, And Ikea's Two-Wheeled Holiday

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Florida Congressman John Mica was elected chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure by a vote of the Republican Conference on Wednesday. (Daytona Beach News-Journal)

New Jersey Transit's board of directors will consider today whether to hire a Washington, D.C., law firm to challenge the FTA's demands that the state return the $271  million allocated for the ARC Tunnel (AP via Wall Street Journal). We'll have more on this later today--stay tuned!

Also today: the New York City Council's Transportation Committee is having an oversight meeting on bicycling in New York. More on that later on today as well.

Civil rights groups are demanding a federal investigation into how California is awarding high-speed rail contracts. "Minority-owned business and small business have been almost totally left out of the planning, engineering and construction of this project," says one businessman. (Los Angeles Times)

The National Transportation Safety Board holds a forum on car seat safety in DC today. And some of the recommendations could mean wholesale changes to how Americans transport their kids--like keeping them in rear-facing car seats longer, and requiring that babies be buckled into car seats on airplanes instead of being held on their parents' laps. (NPR)

Mercedes Benz is testing a system uses night vision to detect pedestrians--then shine an extra beam of light upon them. (Automobile Magazine)

A free agent football player chooses being a train conductor over playing for the Jets.  "Fitzhugh said he has been blessed to work with his two childhood passions: football and trains." (WPIX)

Members of Edmonton's Chinese community are concerned that a proposed light rail line going through their neighborhood might destroy the city's energy flow. "It creates a sense of barrier, stopping energy from going to Chinatown," says one Feng Shui master. (Calgary Herald)

Ikea gives out bikes to 12,400 U.S. employees as a way of saying 'thanks for a great year.' (Consumerist)

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Koch Feelin' Groovy Over Queensboro Bridge Name Change

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

(Alex Gorzen via Wikimedia Commons)

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) Ed Koch is getting a 1,400 foot-long present for his 86th birthday. Mayor Bloomberg is planning to propose renaming the Queensboro Bridge after the former mayor at Koch's birthday party tonight.

Koch said that he was delighted, grateful and surprised when he got Mayor Bloomberg's phone call telling him the news late Tuesday afternoon. Moreover, Koch thinks it’s a good fit.

“There are other bridges that are much more beautiful, like the George Washington or the Verrazano,” he said, “but this more suits my personality because it's a workhorse bridge. I mean, it's always busy, it ain't beautiful, but it's durable.”

Read the story over at WNYC.



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Koch Feelin' Groovy Over Queensboro Bridge Name Change

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Ed Koch is getting a 1,400 foot-long present for his 86th birthday. Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed renaming the Queensboro Bridge after the former mayor at Koch's birthday party on Wednesday night.

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TN Moving Stories: Miami-Dade Transit Tries To Figure Out Fed $ Freeze, and Queensboro Bridge To Be Renamed for Koch

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Why did the federal government freeze funding to Miami-Dade Transit? Bad accounting practices--or fraud? (Miami Herald)

Two major New York transportation structures are to be renamed. So: to get from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn, take the Carey Tunnel; from Manhattan to Queens, take the Koch Bridge. The former mayor is delighted by the renaming of the Queensboro. “It’s not soaring, beautiful, handsome, like the George Washington or the Verrazano,” he said. “It’s rugged, it’s hard working — and that’s me.” (New York Times)

Ford begins shipping the Transit Connect, the first all-electric commercial van. (Detroit News)

Does Toronto Mayor Ford need the approval of city council to scrap Transit City? He says no; the council says not so fast. (Toronto Star)

Fed up by the lack of live transit data from the NYC MTA? Someone put together a crowdsourcing app that live-tracks trains. (Wired)

Public transportation workers strike in Athens to protest the Greek government's austerity measures. (MarketWatch)

What transit options are on the table for Staten Islanders, who suffer some of the longest commutes in the country?  Possibly resurrecting the North Shore Rail Line. (NY1)

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TN Moving Stories: DC Metro Has Bicycle Ambitions, NJ Transit Delays Increase, and Ford To Recycle Blue Jeans

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The DC Metro wants to triple the percentage of riders who arrive by bicycle by 2020 and quintuple it by 2030. (Greater Greater Washington)  Meanwhile, WAMU explains how Metro's track circuits work--and what happens when they don't.

Does California's largest high-speed rail project suffer from the "absence of a credible financial plan"? That's a criticism in the first report released by the California High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group. (San Jose Mercury News)

Things are...not great on NJ Transit's Northeast Corridor line. "Since July, the railroad's on-time percentage has been lower than the previous year's in every month except November." And this is after a 25% fare hike last May. (Wall Street Journal)

Dallas's Green Line--a 28-mile rail line--is open for business. (Dallas Morning News)

The head of a NYC taxi drivers' union is suggesting that cabbies racially profile passengers. "It's our own committing these crimes against us. It's weeding out the criminal element." (NY Post)

Starting today, Santa Rosa County (Florida) begins its first foray into public transportation--a one-year trial for a bus system aimed at helping people get to and from work more easily. (Pensacola News Journal)

The U.S. State Department agreed to the framework for an open-skies aviation deal with Brazil, a move that would liberalize one of the most restrictive international airline pacts in Latin America by October 2015. (Wall Street Journal)

Ford will use recycled blue jeans for the interior of the Focus. (Alt Transport)

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TN Moving Stories: All Aboard The European Road Train, A Possible Stay of Execution for LI Bus, and Santa Rides Chicago's L Train

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Washington Post's Dr. Gridlock ponders: is the federal transit benefit good transportation policy?

Port Authority looks to recommit ARC money, dusts off repair wish list. (Wall Street Journal)

"Road Trains" --known as the European Union’s Safe Road Trains for the Environment (or EU SARTRE--you can't make this stuff up)-- move closer to reality in Europe. (Wired)

Traffic fatalities are down in DC. But: "Just because there are fewer deaths doesn't meant that there are fewer accidents and injuries. Further, the fatalities MPD reports are just pedestrians, they don't take bicyclists into account." (DCist)

The Virginia Department of Transportation has wrapped up the installation of 70 mph speed limit signs on various rural sections of interstate. (Land Line Magazine)

If your NYC Metrocard is damaged or expired, chances are a token booth clerk can't help. (NY Daily News)

Bike lane editorials in the New York Daily News: First, Transportation Alternative's Paul Steely White sings their praises, but the editorial board wants Janette Sadik-Khan to prove the lanes' worth.

In Lyon, cyclists travel faster than cars during rush hour. And, interestingly, they ride faster on Wednesdays than the rest of the week. (Alt Transport)

Will the Long Island Bus be saved? New York's MTA has told Nassau County that it will conditionally keep operating the Long Island Bus through next year even if Nassau can't immediately fulfill its obligation to fund the system. (Newsday)

In Chicago, Santa rides the L train. "Santa and his reindeer can be found on a flat car in the middle." (Chicago Tribune)

(Flickr/Sabrina)

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TN Moving Stories: Transportation Funding Woes Dog States, and Looking Ahead to Looking Back: Will Rear View Cameras Become Status Quo?

Friday, December 03, 2010

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell wants to redirect $45 million in federal funds to stave off huge Port Authority service cuts, but says it's a short-term fix. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

NJ Spotlight writes about "New Jersey's troubled transportation outlook" and says that "a proposed subway to Secaucus and a depleted Transportation Trust Fund are only the beginning."

And PA and NJ aren't alone: Virginia is considering a host of options to help cover a massive shortfall in state transportation funding, including a small sales tax, tolls and the use of toll credits (Washington Post). And: Rhode Island officials are warning that "basic elements of the state’s transportation system are threatened. Officials responsible for both the highways and the transit system said a lack of money is undermining their efforts." (Providence Journal)

Now Ontario's transportation minister is getting into the transit fray, says it would be wasteful to scrap the $8.15 billion Toronto light rail plan because work has already started. (Toronto Star)

Rear view cameras could become more common in cars, as the Transportation Department proposes new safety rules. "There is no more tragic accident than for a parent or caregiver to back out of a garage or driveway and kill or injure an undetected child playing behind the vehicle," says Secretary Ray LaHood. (AP)

Buffalo Bills safety Bryan Scott bikes to practice. In Buffalo. In the winter. (Well, not when it's really snowing.) (Sports Illustrated)

Honda is ending production of the Element. (Auto Guide)

Outgoing congressman Jim Oberstar may land at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, where he's in talks about a possible role. (AP via Minnesota Public Radio)  But first, he gave an exit interview to TN's Todd Zwillich, which aired on today's The Takeaway. Listen below!

Tweet of the day, from WNYC's Azi Paybarah: "Think Rev. Billy, the eccentric 2009 candidate for #nyc mayor was just on my F train to #brooklyn. And he wasn't yelling about term limits!"

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New York City's 10,000 Designated Drivers

Thursday, December 02, 2010

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation)  The New York City Department of Transportation announced today that it will be handing out thousands of pre-paid debit cards this holiday season as part of its anti-drunk driving efforts.

You the Man -- as the campaign is known -- offers a find-a-ride search engine, sobriety tests, and a general reminder that the city has 10,000 designated drivers--also known as cabbies.

There's also an iPhone app that has a designated driver picker, as well as a blood alcohol level calculator (although as one reviewer put it:  "if you're buzzed you prob shouldn't base a decision to drive on an iPhone app.")

Beginning next week, the NYC DOT will begin distributing 2,000 free rides home in the form of pre-paid $25 debit cards, programmed for use in taxis and livery vehicles--as well as MTA, PATH and NJ Transit ticketing machines.  To find out where to get a card, follow You the Man on Twitter or Facebook.

As we reported earlier, presumably you can avail yourself of the You the Man services even if you don’t have a car--but just happen to be out and about, needing a ride home. Even if you're sober.

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November Auto Sales: Boy, 2010 Beats 2009

Thursday, December 02, 2010

(Detroit -- Jerome Vaughn, WDET)  Remember the auto bailout? The closing of the dealerships? The miasma of doubt and fear surrounding the future of the American auto manufacturer?

That was then, this is now. Most of the major U.S. automakers are posting double-digit sales gains for the month of November. And some analysts believe the car sales could be even higher next month.

Industry watchers say demand for new vehicles --which had bottled up for months as potential buyers nervously eyed the economy--pushed more consumers into dealer showrooms. General Motors sold more than 168,000 cars and trucks last month--up 11.4% compared to November 2009.

The report comes just days after the Detroit automaker issued its initial public offering of stock, amid international fanfare.

Ford sales jumped 20% compared to year-ago figures.  The automaker saw double-digit increases in demand for both its cars and its trucks. Chrysler sales rose 17%, and demand for the Jeep Grand Cherokee more than tripled from November 2009. November was the eighth consecutive month of sales improvement for the automaker.

Of the major automakers, only Toyota posted lower sales figures for the month, down more than three percent.

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TN Moving Stories: LA to Slash Bus Lines, and Toronto Councilors Tell Mayor Ford: Not So Fast--WE Have Final Say on Transit City

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Los Angeles' MTA will eliminate nine bus lines and reduce service on several others next week. (Daily Breeze, LAist)

Toronto's councilors to Mayor Ford: not so fast--we have final say on Transit City plan. (Globe and Mail)

Did Houston voters violate the constitution by voting against red light cameras? A judge will hear arguments on Friday. (KUHF)

GM's new crash-test dummies could be smarter than us: they transmit and receive data 10,000 times a second. And they do it from GM's excellently-named Anthropomorphic Test Device lab. (Smart Planet)

Recyclable subway cars: coming soon to a Warsaw Metro station near you. (Good)

Strasbourg's transit system makes the Transport Politic wonder: "Are U.S. cities building their light rail lines in an inappropriate fashion, or is there something inherently different about American tastes that make similar investments less effective this side of the Atlantic?"

The Vatican is looking for a new Popemobile -- preferably one that's electric. (Marketplace)

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Christie Hires Law Firm To Stop FTA From Collecting ARC Money

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) From the AP:

Governor Chris Christie plans to challenge the $271 million the federal government says New Jersey owes after canceling a rail tunnel.

Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak says the administration is completing plans to retain a Washington, D.C., law firm. The firm has expertise in federal transit matters and will try to stop the Federal Transit Administration from collecting money spent on engineering and construction for the Hudson River tunnel.

Christie killed what was the nation's most expensive public works project because of potential cost overruns.

The FTA sent New Jersey a bill on Nov. 24 payable within 30 days.

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TN Moving Stories: LaHood Harshes On Street Sign Overhaul, NJ Reacts to FTA Bill, and Will the Volt's Rising Tide Lift Michigan High Tech Industry?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

NJ politicians react to FTA's demand that the state repay $271 million in canceled ARC funds.  One report says that Gov. Christie has lawyered up and plans to file a lawsuit to fight the bill; another says that the state congressional delegation may try talking to the feds to get the amount reduced. The federal government says that the money must be repaid by Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg news says that Gov. Christie will reallocate $1 billion in ARC tunnel money to roads. "Governor Chris Christie, who killed the tunnel last month, is looking for ways to pay for highways and mass transit without support from the Transportation Trust Fund Authority, which has reached its borrowing capacity."

Minnesota governor-elect Walker declares his state's high-speed rail plan is dead, but will public meetings across MN and Wisconsin this week sway him? (Milwaukee Public Radio)

As the Chevy Volt launches, so too do the hopes of Michigan's high-tech industry. "Today, the state has 17 companies that help make batteries for electric vehicles, projected to create 63,000 Michigan jobs in the next decade." (Detroit Free Press)  Hey, want to see how the Volt is made?

Ray LaHood backs away from street sign overhaul, says the regulation "makes no sense." (New York Daily News)

Australia wants to reduce road injuries and deaths by 30%.  "Australians should not regard death and injury as an inevitable cost of road travel." (Sydney Morning Herald)

All 197 airlines that fly to the U.S. are now collecting names, genders and birth dates of passengers so the government can check them against terror watch lists before they fly. (AP via NPR)

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Bikes on Broadway

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) From Good: Broadway Bombing is a race that runs from the northernmost point of New York City's Broadway, all the way to its southern terminus. This bike (Vimeo user crihs) strapped a camera to his bike and completed the race in 38 minutes.

Broadway Bombing 2010 from crihs on Vimeo.

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TN Moving Stories: Copenhagen To Open Bike Superhighways, and the Return of the Roosevelt Island Tram

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More on the FTA demanding repayment of $271 million in ARC Tunnel money from New Jersey Transit in the Wall Street Journal.

Construction company Schiavone, which has worked on the subway stations at Times Square and South Ferry, admitted that it defrauded government programs and evaded federal minority hiring requirements. (New York Times)

Copenhagen to open bike "superhighways," which will hopefully alleviate the "two-wheeler traffic jams (which) are especially regular on the main Noerrebrogade thoroughfare used by around 36,000 cyclists a day." (Grist)

Lufthansa says it will begin using biofuel on a daily flight beginning next year. (Alt Transport)

RadioBoston looks at a new interactive map that shows all of Boston's reported bike crashes.

London Underground employees take part in another 24-hour strike--and say that walkouts could escalate in 2011. (BBC)

In Pakistan, trucks aren't just vehicles--they're art. (World Vision via WBEZ)

Some cities are testing a new network-based approach to parking. "Streetline...mounts low-cost sensors in parking spaces, retrofits existing meters and ties them into a mesh wireless network to draw a real-time picture of the spaces available, the cars needing tickets and how much to charge for parking." (Wired)  One of those places is Roosevelt Island, which may also begin its own bike share program. (DNA Info)

Speaking of all things R.I., the Roosevelt Island tram returns to service today. Just to be on the safe side, pack some lunch and forego drinking liquids 12 hours before boarding.

The Nissan Leaf wins the 2011 European Car of the Year designation. Take that, Chevy Volt! (USA Today)

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Feds to NJ: We're Telling You AGAIN -- You Owe Us for Killing ARC Tunnel

Monday, November 29, 2010

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation)  The Federal Transit Administration has told New Jersey Transit -- for a second time -- that it's on the hook for more than $271 million after canceling a rail tunnel connecting the state with New York, according to a debt notice obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

Here's a copy of the letter. (Which was sent certified mail, return receipt!)njtunnel2

Read the story here, and stay tuned!

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Take That, Non-Levitating Bicycle Thieves

Monday, November 29, 2010

Enter into the creative process as a group attempts to build a prototype of a bike lock that secures your bike against a post -- then raises it up.

Yes, the video is entirely in German, but I think we can all agree that the desire to build a better bike lock is universal.

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