Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Rental car companies are driving in tens of thousands of extra vehicles to help avert a holiday shortage in the New York City region. But it's not enough to ease the post-Sandy crush during an already almost impossible time to find a car in the area.
Sandy destroyed or damaged between 100,000 and 250,00 cars, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association and one rental car company estimate provided to TN. At the same time, the storm closed, hampered, or damaged rental car branches and vehicles throughout the New York area. The final blow is transit: Sandy injected enough uncertainty into regional rail and bus service schedules that many would-be riders booked rental cars. All just in time for the biggest travel weekend of the year.
"Tight availability is typical of any holiday weekend," explained Paula Rivera, a spokesperson for Hertz. "For those who haven't made reservations, the availability is extremely tight at this point in time. So the probability of securing a car for travel over Thanksgiving weekend is slim," she said.
Travel websites had scant options Tuesday afternoon. Travelocity returned no available rental cars at all. Orbitz had 18 cars in total for all of New York City. Other sites delivered more results, at higher than average prices, and often suggested cargo or moving vans as the cheaper options.
"We're suggesting for people who have not made a reservation at this juncture to maybe look outside of New York City... where it might be a little bit better," Rivera said.
Enterprise, which owns several rental car companies, said some neighborhood branches remained closed because they just didn't have cars. “Although we are working hard to increase our local fleet as quickly as possible, there are still significant waiting lists in some communities where residents are requesting replacements for their damaged vehicles,” said Matt Darrah and executive vice president at Enterprise Holdings. "Despite our best efforts to be prepared, the magnitude of the storm has simply outstripped our resources and manpower in some locations."
"These rental fleets, whether it's Enterprise or Hertz or Budget, they only carry so many excess vehicles because every vehicle sitting on the lot is something that they are paying for," said Paul Eisenstein of the Detroit Bureau, an auto industry expert.
Rental car companies he said, "are not in business to keep vehicles around for an emergency ... They are not going to be keeping tens or hundreds of thousands of extra vehicles around in case there is a hurricane. That's just bad business."
Thursday, July 19, 2012
(Soterios Johnson, New York, NY, WNYC) The new space shuttle pavilion at New York's Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum opens to the public on Thursday. It will offer visitors an up-close and personal view of the space shuttle Enterprise, as well as exhibits on NASA's current missions on earth and space science, research on improving aeronautics and the rockets destined to take humans to explore the solar system.
See a slideshow of pictures from the new exhibit here.
Workers were putting the finishing touches on the pavilion, as opening day approached.
"All the graphics have been installed," said Eric Boehm, the museum's curator of aviation. "Right now, we're installing a lot of video monitors and all those shows will be test-run here the next couple days. You know, just getting everything tweaked."
The opening of the Intrepid Museum's Space Shuttle pavilion will be celebrated by a five day long Space Fest, featuring a free concert, special hands-on robotics and astronomy displays, and opportunities to meet former and current astronauts, many of whom have ties to the New York City area.
According to Boehm, visitors to the Enterprise will have much better access to this shuttle compared to the other shuttles on display at other museums.
"We've kind of propped her up a little higher," Boehm said. "The temporary structure kind of surrounds the shuttle, so really the best views will be right underneath and right around the sides of her. So, the public will get all around."
The shuttle and its exhibits are currently housed in a huge white inflatable structure on the Intrepid's flight deck, where it will remain for the next couple of years as the museum plans and builds a separate permanent structure to house the Enterprise. Boehm says when that new Space Center is completed, it will be a monument to the shuttle program, NASA and New York City.
Enterprise was NASA's first space shuttle, but it never actually went into space. It was built as a prototype to perform test flights and landings. Nonetheless, the museum considers it an important acquisition.
"We look at the Enterprise as really the test vehicle that made the rest all possible, that made all the space exploration possible with the space shuttle program,” said Matt Woods, the Intrepid Museum's senior vice president of operations. “Without Enterprise, you never would have gotten further with the program.”
The arrival of Enterprise in New York was a year in the making. It had been on display at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center outside Washington D.C., where it was the collection's centerpiece. On April 27, Enterprise was transported to New York's Kennedy Airport on the back of NASA's specially-modified Boeing 747 jetliner.
Before landing, the plane performed a dramatic low-altitude fly-over of its new hometown, passing by landmarks including the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center and the Intrepid itself. Then, in June, the shuttle was taken by barge to the Intrepid Museum, where it was hoisted on the museum's flight deck by crane.
With the space shuttle program's retirement in 2011, all of the surviving shuttles found homes at museums across the country. The Discovery’s new home is the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum outside nation's capitol. Shuttle Endeavor is in Los Angeles at the California Science Center. The Atlantis is at Florida's Kennedy Space Center.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
The new space shuttle pavilion at New York's Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum opens to the public on Thursday. It will offer visitors an up-close and personal view of the space shuttle Enterprise, as well as exhibits on NASA's current missions on earth and space science, research on improving aeronautics and the rockets destined to take humans to explore the solar system.
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
The space shuttle traveled up the Hudson River from Jersey City, N.J., on Wednesday guided by tug boat-guided barge. It passed the Statue of Liberty and the World Trade Center site as it made its way to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on Manhattan's West Side.
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
The space shuttle Enterprise floated by WNYC Wednesday morning en route to its new home at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Despite a construction elevator moving maddeningly to almost obscure the view, we were able to catch a glimpse.
The museum's Enterprise exhibit is scheduled to open to the public this summer.
Sunday, June 03, 2012
The Space Shuttle Enterprise will travel up the Hudson River from Jersey City on Wednesday. It will pass the Statue of Liberty and the World Trade Center before being hoisted by crane onto the flight deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. The Enterprise's original move-in date was Tuesday but organizers announced Monday that bad weather had delayed preparation work.
Friday, April 27, 2012
PHOTOS. Enterprise zoomed around the city, riding piggyback on top of a modified jumbo jet. Its trip included flyovers over parts of the city and landmarks including the Statue of Liberty and the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum before landing at Kennedy Airport.
Monday, April 23, 2012
Space Shuttle Enterprise is scheduled to come to New York this week on the back of a specially modified NASA 747. That is, if the weather permits. NASA officials are keeping a close eye on the forecast before they give their go-ahead.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum may have cleared part of its deck in anticipation of the arrival of the space shuttle, but it will have to wait a bit longer. NASA's planned flight of the Enterprise, piggy-backed atop of a 747, has been pushed back due to "an unfavorable weather forecast."
Thursday, September 29, 2011
The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum may build an off-site museum to house the space shuttle Enterprise, officials close to the plans told WNYC.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Over 20 locations across the country put in their bid to house one of the retired space shuttles, and only four won. NASA announced the winners yesterday on the 30th anniversary of the first space shuttle flight, Columbia. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida will soon have space shuttle Atlantis; Endeavor will head to the California Science Center in Los Angeles; the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City won Enterprise, which will move from the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, to make room for Discovery.