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Daniel Squadron

WNYC News

Public Advocate Candidates Bring Anti-Bloomberg Message to Campaign Trail

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The election to decide the number two job in city government is a little more than a week away, and both candidates seem to be betting that an anti-Bloomberg message will resonate with voters.

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Transportation Nation

BREAKING: NYC Transit Says G Train Expansion Permanent, Adds New Bus Routes

Thursday, July 19, 2012

(New York, NY -- WNYC) UPDATED New York's MTA will  add five new bus routes, restore one route, extend 13 existing bus routes and add midday, night or weekend service on 11 bus routes in all five boroughs. The temporary extension of the G subway line to Church Avenue during reconstruction of the Smith/9th Street station will be made permanent.

Full list here.

In all, the service enhancements add new routes to rapidly growing neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Dumbo, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard (home to Steiner movie studios)  where new housing and warehouses have been added to the city at a rapid clip. Manhattan's Far West Side, the South Bronx, and Brooklyn's East New York will also get brand new routes.

As unusual as the service additions are in a national environment where transit service is being routinely cut, they don't fully restore service to the level it was two years ago, before the NY MTA cut two train routes and dozens of bus lines, the biggest cuts in a generation.

In addition, Metro-North Railroad will enhance service on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven l with increased half-hourly frequency. West of the Hudson, a new round-trip peak train will be added on the Pascack Line.

The Long Island Rail Road will provide increased service from Ronkonkoma every 30 minutes on weekdays after the morning rush and during some weekend periods. Extra trains will accommodate increased rider demand on the Long Beach, Port Jefferson and Montauk branches. Trains from Atlantic Terminal will also be extended until 2 a.m.

Brooklyn is getting two new bus routes -- including one along the fast-growing Williamsburg waterfront and another connecting Dumbo, Downtown Brooklyn, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, home to Steiner movie studio

Services will be also restored on the following routes:

Bx13, Bx34, B2, B4, B24, B39, B48, B57, B64, B69, X27, X17, M1, M9, M21, Q24, Q27, Q30, Q36, Q42, Q76, S76, S93, X1, X17

 

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WNYC News

Standing Water in Chinatown Threatens Economy, Officials Claim

Friday, September 23, 2011

Standing water at curbsides is harming the quality of life and economy of Chinatown, community leaders claimed Friday.

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WNYC News

Brooklyn Bridge Park Will Move Forward Under New Housing Deal

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The city has cleared the way to move forward with the construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Two state lawmakers have agreed not to block a plan to build condominiums inside the park under a new agreement with Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

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Transportation Nation

Who Regulates Chinatown Buses?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

(Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) A second fatal bus crash in as many days has sparked renewed calls for increased regulation and safety oversight on so-called Chinatown buses. There just isn't that much oversight to begin with now.

The Super Luxury Tours charter bus flipped on its side while headed to Philadelphia from New York City's Chinatown. The driver was killed, along with one passenger. About 40 people were sent to area hospitals,  according to police.The cause of the crash remains unknown.

Listen to a radio report on WNYC about bus regulations and these two crashes.

The second crash comes as National Transportation Safety Board investigators are set to interview the driver of the World Wide Tours bus that crashed on Saturday, killing 15. The driver of that bus, Ophadell Williams, has not been charged with anything at this time, but he has come under public scrutiny after his initial story was contradicted by passengers and witnesses. His driving record is also under review because, investigators say, he gave a false name several times when stopped for traffic violations in the past. Federal and state investigators want to know if that should have resulted in a suspension of his driving privileges and why the violations weren't linked to his commercial driving record.

New York Governor Cuomo said he's "asking the NTSB do a top to bottom review of this industry."

Right now there isn't all that much regulation of intercity bus companies, Chinatown or otherwise, says DePaul University transportation professor Joseph Schwieterman.

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: MTA Prepares To Go Beyond MetroCard, JetBlue Goes NextGen, and House Transpo Committee Announces ReAuth Road Trip

Thursday, February 03, 2011

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.

A Bolt Bus boards on New York's 33rd Street (Alex Goldmark)

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.

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.

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Transportation Nation

Congestion Pricing Effort is Underway in New York

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation)  A private, non-profit group has been organizing to bring congestion pricing to New York City.  Environmentalist Alex Matthiessen, the former Hudson Riverkeeper and a former Clinton administration aide, has founded the Sustainable Transportation Campaign, a group devoted to seeking a regular, recurring funding stream for mass transit in the New York City region.  For the past six months, Mattheissen has been quietly meeting with potential supporters.  Still, there is no formal budget, list of supporters, or definite state proposal on congestion pricing.

The last time New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pushed congestion pricing, it foundered in the state legislature.  A plan once championed by the socialist former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, as a way to transfer wealth from well-to-do to not-so-wealthy transit riders, became seen as billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg's scheme to keep middle-class workers out of Manhattan once it jumped across the pond.

Now, Mattheissen is spearheading a non-governmental approach. Supporters of congestion pricing hope that can separate the issue from Mayor Bloomberg's political fortunes.

Still, Bloomberg doesn't seem quite willing to stay above the fray. At a press conference today, he joked with reporters, "My God! How did they think of that?" before adding: "If they're working on it, I happen to think it makes some sense, but I'm going to stay out of it.  We've done everything we can. We had an idea. We did all the work to implement it and explain it to people.  But unfortunately it was like jumping 95 % across the Grand Canyon -- it didn't work."

Other groups who have supported congestion pricing in the past say they are still behind the concept, but are waiting to see a specific proposal from Mattheissen. Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, said she believes relieving congestion is a key priority for business in New York, but said there's no proposal to support. The Working Families Party said they also were waiting for a specific plan, but they hadn't signed off on anything.

Governor Cuomo expressed skepticism during the campaign about congestion pricing. Speaking in Poughkeepsie last week, he said a payroll tax passed last year to fund the MTA was "erroneous" and he was open to a "better way" to fund the MTA -- but he didn't say what that would be.

Manhattan State Senator Daniel Squadron supports the idea of congestion pricing and is floating the idea in Albany, though neither legislative leader has come out in favor of it.

More TN coverage:

NY Candidate Cuomo: Congestion Pricing "Moot";

NY Third Party Candidate Charles Barron Opposes Congestion Pricing;

NY's New Deputy Mayor Likes BRT and Congestion Charging--But Does He Like Bike Lanes?

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