Kate Hinds

Kate Hinds appears in the following:

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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TN Moving Stories: Reconnecting What the BQE Severed, Mass Transit Expanding in L.A., and Looking Ahead to Intelligent Flight Paths

Monday, November 29, 2010

New York City ponders how to reconnect two neighborhoods that were severed years ago by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. (WNYC)

Second Avenue Sagas talks budget woes with the MTA's Jay Walder.

The Guardian is providing live updates from the U.N. climate change summit, which opens today in Cancún. Last year's summit was described as an "unmitigated disaster" or a "moral outrage," so it's probably fair to say that expectations for consensus on reducing carbon emissions is low.

A proposed high-speed rail link between Milwaukee and the Twin Cities is the topic of two public meetings, with the first one scheduled for today in St. Paul. (Minnesota Public Radio)

The TSA says Thanksgiving travel went smoothly (Washington Post). But it might go even more smoothly in the future, when the FAA overhauls its air traffic control systems and institutes intelligent flight paths. (Smart Planet)

Mass transit is expanding in Los Angeles. “The whole old-school L.A. thinking that people don’t ride subways, that’s a thing of the past.”(New York Times)

Bicycle commuting has tripled in big cities over the past two decades."It's almost like a snowball effect...People see other people cycling and they say, 'Wow!' (NPR)

Your parking history lesson for the day: Think vertical parking lots are futuristic? Check out this Chicago lot, circa 1930.

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AAA Makes Holiday Travel Estimates

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


If you're reading this before stepping into your car tonight, know that you won't be alone. According to the American Automobile Association, 42.2 million Americans are making trips of 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving holiday.


Spirit Employees Probably Not In A Holiday Mood

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation)  Spirit Airlines' computer system has crashed. A visit to their website this morning at 11:13am revealed this image:

According to CNN, the crash is creating long lines at airports, because the airline has  been "going back to old pencil and paper system - checking people in manually. Instead of checking people in on a first come, first serve basis, agents have been taking people into groups and checking them in based on their departing times. That has led to agents being unable to give passengers approximate wait times."

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TN Moving Stories: Transpo Contractors Investigated Over Minority Hires, DC Metro Shakeup Coming, and Monetizing Old Car Batteries

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Arrive early and bring your patience: It's the biggest travel day of the year!

And it's snowing in the cities of Transportation Nation partners Minnesota Public Radio (Minneapolis) and Yellowstone Public Radio (Billings.) Could start snowing soon at WDET (Detroit).

In other news...

Did two of New York's largest construction companies finesse minority hiring requirements in order to win contracts? Federal authorities are investigating Schiavone and the U.S. unit of Swedish construction company Skanska AB. Skanska is working on a number of transit projects, including the Brooklyn Bridge rehabilitation, the 2nd Avenue Subway, and the PATH terminal at the World Trade Center site. (Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New York Daily News)

DC Metro shakeup in the works? The governors of Maryland and Virginia and the incoming D.C. mayor directed their top transportation officials to come up with a detailed plan for carrying out broad changes in how Metro is run. (Washington Post)

After your Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt dies, what will happen to its lithium-ion battery?  Automakers are trying to find ways to monetize old batteries. (Wired)

Riders at NYC's Union Square subway station might wonder: does this train go to Hogwarts? (New York Daily News).

The number of bicyclists in Portland continues to rise--8% increase over 2009. 190% increase (yes, 190%) since 2000. (KPTV)

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Scanned or Patted Down? Share Your Airport Stories with The Takeaway

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Traveling this holiday? Our partner, The Takeaway, wants your travel stories.  From their website:

Have you gotten scanned or patted down?

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) volunteer demonstrates a full-body scanner at O'Hare International Airport

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) volunteer demonstrates a full-body scanner at O'Hare International Airport (Getty Images)

If you're one of the estimated 24 million people flying over the Thanksgiving holiday period, there's a chance you may get to experience the TSA's new security measures. If you encounter the full-body scanners or receive the "enhanced" pat-down, we want to hear from you.

Text your airport story to 69866 with the word SCAN in the message. And if you have an iPhone, snap a photo for us with our app.

There are 358 full-body scanners at 68 U.S. airports (list here). You only get the pat-down if you opt out of the scanning machine or if you set off the metal detector. The pat-downs take longer (one to two minutes compared to five seconds for the body scans), which is why some people against the scans are calling for people to cause disruptions by opting out.

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Lautenberg Enters the Secaucus 7 Fray

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg sent a letter to Governor Christie today.  "The No. 7 Subway proposal...merits serious consideration," he writes, urging the governor to begin a dialogue about it with the various partners.  Read it below.

Letter to Governor Re 7 Subway 11-23-10

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Janette Sadik-Khan on NYC's Proposed Bike Share Program

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NYC transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan spoke with WNYC's Richard Hake this morning about the city's plans to operate a bike share program. (The RFP can be found here.) You can listen to the interview here; the transcript is below.


Richard Hake: New York City today takes the first step toward launching the largest bike-share program in the country.  New Yorkers will be able to rent bikes one-way for short term rides all over Manhattan.  The idea is that the program will  be entirely privately run, but the city will share the revenues.  Joining us now is the city's transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan.

Tell me how this program would work. If I get off work today, I'm here on Varick Street and I want to take a bike up to Union Square, would that be possible?

Janette Sadik-Khan: The system would be similar to the bike share format we've seen in Paris and London and Washington where heavy-duty bikes would be located at docking stations every few blocks throughout the system, and they can be ridden and dropped off at any other docking station in the system. So we're asking for companies to come in and give us their ideas where the best place would be to site a bike share system.

RH: So where would these docking stations be? Would they be in major sections like Union Square? Would there be one in Times Square? Have you investigated how that would work?

JSK: Well, the RFP does not specify the number of bicycles or the precise geographic area to be covered. But we do have preliminary research that says south of 60th Street in Manhattan in the central business district would be an ideal match for New York's geography because we've got high density and a growing bike infrastructure there.

RH: Now are you looking at this more for tourists, for people who just want to leisurely go around the city or could this be done for people who want to go to work and get some errands done?

JSK: We expect it to serve bothgroups. Bike share would give New Yorkers many more transportation choices as the city's population continues to grow and as traffic congestion increases. And it would be privately funded, so taxpayers will not be on the hook for coming up with dollars to support this, but they would share in any profits. And we think this is really the best deal in town for on-demand travel and a nice complement to our transit system.

RH: So when you say privately run, does that mean, there would be different companies or maybe one large company would actually purchase the bikes, maintain those bikes and actually rent the bikes out to people that want them?

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TN Moving Stories: Christie Likes #7 Extension Idea, and London's Double Decker Bus Gets Revamped

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NJ Governor Christie says extending the #7 subway across the Hudson is “a much better idea” than the ARC tunnel, but he hasn't yet spoken to Mayor Bloomberg about it. (AP via New York Times)

Traffic fatalities in NYC are at an all-time low, but pedestrians make up the majority of those killed. (NY1)

NYC transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan is one of Esquire Magazine's "15 Genuises Who Give Us Hope."

Talk about paving roads with good intentions: as BART extends to San Jose, "construction crews plan to use at least 250,000 old tires, ground up into 3-inch chunks and laid under large sections of the tracks, to act as shock absorbers, reducing vibration and noise along the route." (San Jose Mercury News)

London's iconic bus--the Routemaster--is getting updated. "The new bus has three doors: joining the single rear entrance are a front and a side door. There are also two staircases, solving a major congestion problem, and a source of missed stops on full buses." (Wired - Autopia)

Do electric cars spell cash or calamity for utility companies? "Plugged into a socket, the Nissan Leafs and Chevrolet Volts can draw as much energy from the grid as a small house." (The Takeaway)

NYC deputy mayor Steven Goldsmith is on today's Brian Lehrer Show.

With all the news about new TSA screening procedures, the Washington Post has assembled a good, sober guide of what to actually expect at the airport.  This Saturday Night Live video takes a more...whimsical approach:

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TN Moving Stories: Subway Inspection Reports Faked, CT Wants More HSR Money, and Stay Out of the Bus Lane...Or Else

Monday, November 22, 2010

The MTA's Inspector General found that New York City Transit workers falsified track signal inspection reports.  Subway riders are understandably jittery.

Surveillance cameras will begin monitoring motorists on Manhattan's east side bus lanes (Wall Street Journal); violators get mailed a $115 fine. Which bike lane billboardists will make clear.

The Wall Street Journal digs into New York's bike lanes. "The city has discovered...that remodeling its streets and increasing ridership is the easy part of building a bike town. It's a far greater challenge to change the habits of drivers, bikers and pedestrians in a dense urban environment with congested streets."

WAMU reports on the transportation challenges facing DC residents who moved to the suburbs for lower rent.

CT governor Jodi Rell has requested $100 million in additional high-speed rail funds. (Boston Herald)

Crain's profiles NYC DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. "Admirers hail the 50-year-old as the most innovative leader the Department of Transportation has ever had. She has transformed an agency long associated with humdrum tasks like filling potholes into an organization that is executing, on a sweeping scale, some of the globe's hottest urban-planning concepts."

Brookings has produced a State of Metropolitan America interactive map--which allows you to visualize commuting data. For instance: which city has the highest number of people driving alone to work? (Answer: Akron, OH)

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TN Moving Stories: LaHood Toys With Scrambling Technology, LA Mayor Says Homes Can Be EV Ready in 7 Days, and Good Week for American Auto Manufacturers

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Star Ledger is intrigued by the 7 train proposal. "Can this really work? At this stage, who knows? But let’s kick the tires and find out." Meanwhile, the New York Times looks at Flushing and Secaucus: "These two very different places might one day be knitted together by a single rumbling artery: the No. 7 subway line."

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa promises to make Los Angeles homes electric car-ready in under seven days (Los Angeles Times). And he also wants to make public transit free for kids on field trips. (Daily Breeze)

The Albany Times-Union devotes an editorial to Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch's depressing transportation analysis. "What his report doesn’t clearly say is that the state must stop playing the game of using money meant for construction to pay for operating expenses."

Is Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood looking at scrambling calls in cars? "There's a lot of technology out there now that can disable phones and we're looking at that," he told MSNBC. (Fast Company)

Charlotte scales back light rail expansion plans, looks at public-private partnerships. (Charlotte Observer)

What a week for the auto industry: the Chevy Volt wins "Car of the Year."  And General Motors stock is on a joyride. (Detroit Free Press)

The Federal Aviation Administration is preparing for a busy Thanksgiving holiday travel week by working with the Department of Defense to clear the way for commercial aircraft to fly in airspace normally reserved for the military. (FAA)

BMX whiz Danny MacAskill goes "Way Back Home" from Edinburgh, Scotland, to his hometown of Dunvegan, on the Isle of Skye.

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