TN Moving Stories: Sharing electric cars in Paris, and check out transit in the cities of the future
Thursday, June 24, 2010
By Kate Hinds
A new advisory committee aims to help the Federal Transit Administration in developing national safety standards for rail. The movement to "federalize safety oversight of rail transit" was spurred by last year's DC Metro crash. (Washington Post)
But how much to tie up to the hitching post? Plans for free shuttles and parking at Kentucky's upcoming World Equestrian Games have been ditched. Now parking will be at least $20 a car--and could be as much as $100. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
A bike-pedestrian option for NH's Memorial Bridge is looking less likely; equally unlikely is the bridge's replacement with a bus transit system. What looks likely: car traffic. (Portsmouth Herald)
Goodbye, X13: Staten Islanders gird themselves for a commute with less express bus service and more confusion. (Staten Island Advance)
Paris tried bike sharing. Now, the city is aiming to start a similar program of a more four-wheeled kind. Bienvenue, electric car sharing! (New York Times)
First, they came for the FDR Drive: The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy's exhibition, Our Cities, Ourselves, opens today in New York. But will the Highline play in Guangzhou? (WNYC)
Monday, June 21, 2010
(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) Facing system-wide cuts in mass transit this weekend, WNYC has learned New York City is looking to vastly expand it private commuter van network. So-called dollar vans, which actually cost $2.00, operate throughout the city, picking up passengers who flag them down and dropping them off along specified routes. The vans, which are privately operated, are regulated by the city Taxi and Limosine commission, or TLC. According to those with direct knowledge of the situation, the TLC has been quietly meeting with dollar van operators to expand their routes to pick up much of the slack left by bus line cuts. Those cuts go into effect on Sunday, though the expansion of dollar van routes isn’t expected to take place that quickly.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Obama, LaHood to Ohio to mark start of the 10,000th road project launched under recovery act. (Columbus Dispatch)
Boston commuter rail link to South Coast takes step forward with purchase of frieght tracks. (Boston Globe)
Toyota resumes building Mississippi facility, promising 2,000 jobs. UAW accuses company of skirting union shops. (AP)
Seattle jaywalking spot becomes YouTube sensation, police concern. (Seattle Times)
Thursday, June 17, 2010
(Matthew Schuerman, WNYC). School systems have been under pressure around the nation to cut transportation costs. Minneapolis plans to cut bus service for students who elect not to go to their district schools. Douglas County, Colorado, will start charging school kids to ride the yellow bus. But some 300,000 New York school kids will get to keep their free Metrocards to ride the bus or subway to get to school, under a tentative deal worked out in Albany.
Sources in Albany tell WNYC that New York Governor David Paterson will submit a transportation budget bill tomorrow that would give the Metropolitan Transportation Authority 25 million dollars to save the program. That's not as much as the MTA has wanted. But the bill would include other provisions that the MTA had sought, such as an increase in the debt limit for its capital program.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
(Nathanael Johnson, KALW News) - Californians go to the polls today to pick their party nominees for governor. It's a tough job -- facing the nation's highest budget deficit, and succeeding the meandering political mantle of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
So how do the candidates come down on transportation issues, and the Golden State's crumbling bus systems, rusty rails, ruby red budgets and push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? The leading pols haven’t said much about transit issues (and did not respond when this reporter asked them directly). Still, we can piece together some idea of how each potential governor would alter California’s transportation environment.
Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner are racing for the Republican nomination. Jerry Brown (barring a last minute scandal) has the Democratic nomination wrapped up. Here’s where they stand:
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
By Kate Hinds
Modern streetcars are long-term vision for Broward County travel (Sun Sentinel)--but will it be a hard sell in an area where residents are "car crazed?"
Indiana officials lure Chinese automakers to town to try to boost local auto parts manufacturers--and to continue Indy's bid to become an electric vehicle hub (Indianapolis Star)
In New York, bus drivers take two months' paid leave--after being spat upon (WNYC)
Leave your car at the gate: South Carolina developers plan a bicycle-only subdivision (The Item, Sumter, SC)
Meanwhile, across the border in North Carolina, Charlotte's light rail line is underfunded and likely to be shortened (The Transport Politic)
Pennsylvania doesn't make the grade: state gets a D-minus for roads and transit -- while watching construction costs increase 80% in five years (Altoona Mirror)
It might get worse: there's a shortage on an essential ingredient for those nice yellow road stripes. (The Takeaway)
Monday, May 24, 2010
The Transit Cuts Edition:
WNYC: NJ Transit Cuts Started Sunday
Jesse Jacksons rallies with transit workers in Cleveland to protest 12 percent service cuts and 80 layoffs.... (Plain Dealer)
...but Detroit had him first! He was there protest that city's 100 layoffs. (Free Press)
The Times chronicles the social death that occurs when a bus line stops. Kinda like when "Cheers" closed...
And In Houston, Mayor Annise Parker's criticisms of transit agency become fodder for Republican Governor Rick Perry in his re-election campaign. (American Statesman)
But, hey, the Olympics helped transit: Ridership up almost 20 percent in post-Olympics Vancouver. (The Province)
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation, May 12) In New York, no one really obeys traffic laws. Cars roll right through red lights (it was yellow when I first saw it, honestly!), pedestrians step off the curb well before they have the green signal, and even the more law-abiding cyclists routinely go through red lights if there's no oncoming traffic. Bus and bike lanes are routinely loosely regarded, and even in strict "don't block the box" grids cars can't help but inch forward.
In London, more people follow traffic laws. You can ascribe that to the British vs. New York temperament, but at least some transportation watchers say it also has to do with London's network of cameras, so that people are basically watched everywhere, intersections included.
On Tuesday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg traveled to London to observe their network of security cameras. But back at home, his DOT is lobbying for two new bills, one that would allow the city to add about 40 speed enforcement cameras, and one that would allow cameras to enforce bus lanes. Motorists HATE enforcement cameras, and if you google "red light camera" you'll find a battery of lawyers ready to help you fight your ticket.
But camera advocates like Transportation Alternatives argue that speeding is the number one killer on New York City roads, according to the DMV . They point to a study showing when speeding enforcement cameras came to Washington, DC, speeding dropped dramatically.
As for bus lane enforcement -- it's key to New York City's plans to have a workable bus rapid transit system.
But both bills have faced some hostility from Assembly Transportation Chair David Gantt (D-Rochester), who resisted for years before allowing red light enforcement cameras at 150 intersections in New York City (out of 12,000 with lights). Assembly members Deborah Glick and Martin Malave Dilan have put "99"s on their camera bills, meaning they'll get to committee, but both bills have steep climbs ahead.
Despite Mayor Bloomberg's warm and fuzzy feelings for cameras, everywhere.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation, May 11) In the movie Invictus, Francois Pienaar, the rugby star played by Matt Damon, gets a call from the President. Not the President of the rugby league, as his family first thinks, but the President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. "You must tell" Mandela, says Pienaar's housekeeper, Eunice, "that the bus service is very bad, and too expensive. He must please fix it." Pienaar did not ask Mandela about the buses -- at least not in the movie, and fifteen years later, South Africa is still struggling to deliver quality, inexpensive bus service.
A year ago, Johannesburg attempted to do just that, by introducing one of the world's longest Bus Rapid Transit lines, the Rea Vaya. As profiled in the New York Times the new, clean, fast buses offered a measure of dignified transport for still-poor blacks from Soweto -- but at a price. The system up-ends the largely lawless taxi minivan network that had been the main mode of transit in Johannesburg, and government officials have been targeted by gunmen, who, many believe, work for the taxi industry.
That gun violence spilled onto the buses earlier this month. Then, there was a strike by the system's drivers, settled May 11. Now, Johannesburg's leadership is trying to hammer out a truce with the taxi industry -- in time for the World Cup, which starts a month from now, with South Africa vs. Mexico.
Sports, strife, buses. As in Invictus, as in real-life Johannesburg, today.
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
(Nathaneal Johnson, KALW) Check it out, one card that works on all systems. Transit experts say the more people forget about paying for transit, the more they'll ride (kinda like how it feels free to drive, because you don't pay for each trip.) Nathaneal Johnson of KALW reports.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
(Houston - KUHF News Lab) Houston's traffic is stuck in the top 10 worst metro areas. In the search for alternatives, eleven thousand commuters have been drawn out of cars and into a Park and Ride bus system. It's a quiet, cheap ride that has those using it asking for more buses and weekend service. KUHF's Wendy Siegle steps aboard a service in high-demand.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
NEW YORK, NY January 14, 2010 —City plans for speeding up buses on First and Second Avenues do not include physically separating the buses from other traffic. But the new designs do include miles of protected bike lanes.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
NEW YORK, NY December 17, 2009 —The MTA board has approved an austerity plan to close a nearly $400-million funding gap by eliminating the W and Z subway lines, and more than 20 bus routes.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
NEW YORK, NY December 16, 2009 —The board members of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority have approved service cuts to the city's train and bus systems. The changes, intended to trim the MTA's budget, include cuts to student metrocards, as well as eliminating the W and Z subway lines and two dozen bus routes.