Wednesday, December 28, 2011
By Kate Hinds
Unfinished subdivisions in Arizona have led urban planners to suggest "smart decline" strategies that sometimes even dismantle existing infrastructure. (NPR)
Hydrfracking moves to the suburbs. (Marketplace)
Friends don't let friends walk drunk, because "every mile walked drunk, turns out to be eight times more dangerous than the mile driven drunk."(Freakonomics)
California's plans to use Amtrak as a fallback for high-speed rail are coming under fire -- from Amtrak. (Los Angeles Times)
Megabus wants the feds to restrict--or break up--rival BoltBus. (Bloomberg via Crain's New York)
A red-light traffic camera manufacturer made a video of New Jersey intersection crashes and near-misses. (Star-Ledger; video)
Tweet of the day, from the Detroit News's David Shepardson: Ad in @BostonGlobe: Boston-area Saab dealer offering new Saab with $17,000 discount off MSRP
Monday, May 02, 2011
Robert Schwarz, Executive Vice President of Peter Phe said, “it's definitely increasing and we’re very optimistic for where it’s going to go this summer.” He added of rising gas prices, “it’s very good for the intercity bus industry” because travel is a discretionary item and habits can change with relative costs.
With gas over $4 a gallon, filling up the tank to go to Washington, D.C. can cost $60. You can get three bus tickets for that.
MegaBus has been expanding fast in the past few years, so it's hard to tell how gas prices might affect growth. Dale Moser, COO of MegaBus, said, that comparing ridership to this time last year on the same routes, the growth is "significantly greater" than projected, adding some of that "has to be somewhat related to gas." He cautioned, they do not ask riders to give the reason they choose the bus over driving when the buy a ticket.
Maureen Richmond of Bolt Bus had a slightly different report. For over a year, her company has been operating at above 95 percent capacity on weekends. So growth in ridership is difficult to identify, she says. But for weekday service, there's been a "slight uptick in passenger travel" in recent months. Bolt Bus is jointly owned by Greyhound and Peter Pan.
Overall, buses, particularly curbside pickup buses, are the fastest growing mode of intercity transportation. Professor Joseph Schwieterman of DePaul University studies the industry. He says, "the evidence suggests that ridership is up at least 33 percent now versus a year ago with all the new service as well as heightened fuel prices, but exact numbers are elusive." Pittsburgh recently added a bus hub that he says also contributed to new ridership numbers overall.
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TN Moving Stories: MTA Prepares To Go Beyond MetroCard, JetBlue Goes NextGen, and House Transpo Committee Announces ReAuth Road Trip
Thursday, February 03, 2011
By Kate Hinds
A bill will be introduced in Albany today that would give NYC more authority to regulate discount, intercity buses (think BoltBus). State Senator Daniel Squadron told the New York Times that the scramble for curbside space and shifting loading zones, with their potential to confuse customers, had produced an atmosphere akin to the Wild West.
The Toronto Transit Commission has approved a scaled-down plan to cut weekend and late-night service on some bus routes. (CBC News)
The Los Angeles Times has an editorial about the bus lane drama unfolding in that city. "Ever wonder why L.A.'s public transit system seems haphazard, with rail lines that don't go where they're most needed and inadequate bus service? A political battle over bus-only lanes on Wilshire Boulevard serves as an instructive example of the ways the best-designed plans of transit engineers are often thwarted."
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz says the city's cycling policy stigmatizes car owners. From his State of the Borough address: "For the majority of New Yorkers, it is simply not feasible to make bicycles their primary mode of transport. And unfortunately, that's the direction I believe the city's policy is heading. They are trying to stigmatize car owners and get them to abandon their cars, when the fact is, even many bicyclists also own cars. Cycling is no substitute for mass transit. And there are still tens of thousands of Brooklynites who live far from public transportation and who rely on a car to reach their jobs and live their lives." (NY1; video)
In the most extensive effort of its kind in the California Bay Area, the Valley Transportation Authority on Thursday approved a plan to give qualified homeless people in Santa Clara County free bus and light rail rides beginning in April. (Mercury News)
JetBlue goes NextGen: the carrier has signed an agreement to equip as many as 35 planes with satellite-based technology that allows air traffic controllers to see the planes at all times. (Wall Street Journal)
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee announced locations (but not final dates) for a series of national field hearings and public forums on the reauthorization bill. First stop: February 14 in West Virginia. "At least a dozen other sessions across numerous states are currently planned for February 17-25." A list of cities can be found here.
The MTA is preparing for the next generation of MetroCard--or, as Second Avenue Sagas puts it, "the death clock for the MetroCard moves another second toward midnight."
According to the MTA (and the commuter railroad industry), a train that arrives within five minutes and 59 seconds of its scheduled arrival time is not late. But an official advisory council says the MTA should set a higher standard than that. (Gothamist)
The residents of a new urbanist village built around planned light rail (or bus rapid transit) have decided that they don’t actually want the transit their community was designed for. (NRDC/Switchboard)
Did you abandon your car along Lake Shore Drive in this week's blizzard? The city of Chicago is using the web to reunite you with your relocated vehicle. (Jalopnik)
Top Transportation Nation stories we're following: Virginia scales back HOT lanes after lawsuit; Karsan unveils a prototype for NY's Taxi of Tomorrow, and Staten Islanders will get real time bus info by the end of this year.
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Inter-city bus travel has had a bad name for decades, associated with small seats, seedy stations and slow service. Some new companies are stepping in to re-brand busses in an effort to take on air and train travel in certain regional corridors.
The younger discount lines like BoltBus, RedCoach and Vamoose, are offering upgraded amenities like WiFi and more legroom. Their ambitions go beyond stealing marketshare from Greyhound, in large part because Greyhound is part owner of the market leader, BoltBus. These companies are now saying they want to tap into the lucrative business travel along corridors like New York to Washington, D.C. and Miami to Orlando.