Tuesday, February 10, 2015
TN MOVING STORIES: Detroit's Furious Bus Riders, NYC Taxis To Remove "Off-Duty" Signs, LA To Get More Bikeways
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
By Kate Hinds
Top stories on TN:
Transit, Jobs, Construction Noise: Rockland Residents Air Worries About Swiftly Approaching Tappan Zee Bridge Project (Link)
Transit Museum Forum on Back of the Bus is TONIGHT (Link)
NY City Council Bill Would Up Electric Bike Fine (Link)
Study: Only 28 Percent of Neighborhoods Affordable (Link)
As GOP Struggles in Michigan, Obama Chortles — Says Fuel Efficient Cars Will Save $8000 (Link)
New Prospect Park Drive: Defined Lanes, Less Room for Cars (Link)
House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica thinks that critics who believe Congress can pass a better transportation bill next year are “smoking the funny weed.” (Politico)
Detroit transit riders are outraged over huge bus cuts -- and the mayor's hiring of a private contractor to manage the city's troubled transportation department -- and plan to seek federal help in reversing the mayor's decisions. (Detroit Free Press)
New York Times editorial: the proposed Tappan Zee greenway "could be a splendid public attraction." (Link)
NYC cabs will have to start removing their taxi-top 'off-duty' signs to make way for the new system: available if the medallion number is lit, or unavailable if it’s dark. (New York Daily News)
Rules requiring rear-view video cameras in cars have been delayed again. (AP via Yahoo Finance)
Megabus' weighty double-decker coaches, currently being investigated by New York's Department of Transportation, have run afoul of authorities from Canada to Maryland. (DNA Info)
Worried Democrats want Obama to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gas prices. (The Hill)
The mayor of London said some lines on the Underground would have driverless trains in two years. (Telegraph)
Commercial truck traffic on the NJ Turnpike has declined by 7.5%; high fuel prices and last month's toll hike are cited as possible reasons why. (Star-Ledger)
Nearly five months after a $50 million HOT lane project opened in metro Atlanta, drivers remain dubious, the impact on traffic is unclear, and many questions remain unanswered. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
830 miles of new bikeways have been approved for Los Angeles County. (LAist)
New Jerseyans on Toll Hikes: We Don't Care Why They're Being Raised, We Just Care That We Have To Spend More Money
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
By Kate Hinds
How do New Jerseyans feel about the New Year's toll hike on the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway?
"I don't think the commuters really care how you want to characterize it," said Star-Ledger reporter Mike Frassinelli on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show. "A lot more money is coming out of their pockets. You can call it a tax hike, you can call it a toll hike. They just know more money is coming out of their pockets and they're not really happy with it."
Wednesday's Brian Lehrer Show devoted the last segment of its show to talking about the impact upon drivers. (You can listen to the segment below.)
Callers were generally unsupportive of the hike -- like Joe in Madison, who said he worked for the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey. He called the toll hike a tax on small businesses. "It makes it harder for us to do business, and to provide the arts to the community."
One topic on the segment: what Brian called "the political blame game:" NJ Governor Chris Christie is blaming the toll hikes on his predecessor, Jon Corzine -- a statement that is factually correct.
The toll increases were initially planned as a way to help fund the now-canceled trans-Hudson ARC tunnel. Earlier this year, the NJ Turnpike Authority voted to redirect that toll revenue to the state's transportation trust fund.
This week NJ Senator Frank Lautenberg -- an ARC supporter --blasted the governor for allowing the toll hike to go through. "It's shameful that New Jersey commuters are paying more without getting more in return," he said in a statement. "The governor was quick to cancel the badly needed tunnel, but flat-out refused to cancel the associated toll increase."
You can listen to the segment below.
TN MOVING STORIES: California Bullet Train Hits Borrowing Bump, Boston Faces Steep Fare Hikes, and the Rise of the Gondolas
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
By Kate Hinds
Top stories on TN:
Romney: I’d Stop Funding Amtrak, and Have Big Bird With Ads (Link)
Chicago, New York to Make Snow Plow Locations Live During Storms (Link)
Coach Bus Files Chapter 11 (Link)
And: have you seen "New York’s Lost Subways" yet? What are you waiting for!
Expert panel: California's high-speed rail plan isn't financially feasible, and the state must delay borrowing billions for it. (Los Angeles Times)
Boston would raise subway fares by up to 70 cents and dramatically cull bus routes, eliminate ferries, and end weekend commuter rail trains under a plan unveiled Tuesday to help erase a projected $161 million deficit. (Boston Globe)
Honolulu's $5.3 billion commuter rail line will break ground in March -- unless a judge halts it. (New York Times)
The Transport Politic has a map of transit projects underway in 2012.
Pay the toll, or spend the extra time? Two reporters test-drive whether it makes sense to pay the new tolls on the NJ Turnpike -- or spend more time on free side roads. (New York Times)
Two retirees are suing the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for canceling their lifetime free passes over its bi-state bridges and tunnels. (Star-Ledger)
In San Francisco nearly 2 in 3 trips in the city are made by car -- but transportation officials want to get the number to 1 in 2 trips before the decade is over. (San Francisco Chronicle)
Chicago's street parking rates are increasing. (WBEZ)
Gondolas: the transit wave of the future? (Toronto Star)
The 2012 presidential elections will decide the fate of transit projects nationwide. (City Limits)
Thanks for paying taxes, San Francisco! Learn the story behind the billboard on the Bay Bridge. (SFist)
Thursday, September 08, 2011
By Kate Hinds
Money that was supposed to go to New Jersey's canceled ARC trans-Hudson transit tunnel has officially been redirected to the state transportation trust fund.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority voted Wednesday to pay money -- initially promised to the ARC tunnel -- to the state Department of Transportation instead.
The specifics are laid out in a memo to NJTA executive director Veronica Hakim from Donna Manuelli, the state's chief financial officer. Manuelli wrote she wanted to "take all necessary steps to terminate the Authroity's agreement with New Jersey Transit regarding the canceled ARC Tunnel project." (Read the funding agreement memo; pdf.)
Governor Christie killed the ARC Tunnel project last year, saying it was too expensive and he feared costs would spiral out of control. He said in January that he planned to put the NJTA's ARC money toward the state's ailing transportation trust fund, so yesterday's NJTA vote didn't come as a surprise.
The NJTA collects tolls on the NJ Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway ($952 million in 2010), and it had originally pledged $1.25 billion to the ARC tunnel project.
It's unknown at this time where that money will go. Tim Greeley, a spokesman for the NJ DOT, said the state legislature makes decisions about the capital transportation budget in the spring. New Jersey's capital construction budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2011 has already been set.
Though not unexpected, NJ Senator Frank Lautenberg, long a proponent of a tunnel, was piqued by the move. “This toll revenue was supposed to be used to build a desperately needed trans-Hudson tunnel for New Jersey commuters,” he said in a statement. “Using this money as a slush fund for other transportation projects is a disservice to New Jersey residents facing congestion on our roads and seeking access to more jobs and more trains in and out of New York.”
New Jersey's Transportation Trust Fund finances the annual capital program of the New Jersey Department of Transportation and NJ TRANSIT. The lion's share of its revenue comes from the state's gas tax, which is the third lowest in the nation. Governor Christie has said repeatedly he will not raise the gas tax.
TN Moving Stories: Amtrak Ridership Continues to Grow, SF Eyes Taxi Rate Hike, and LaHood Attends Emanuel Inauguration
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
By Kate Hinds
City Limits takes a long look at Iris Weinshall, former NYC transportation commissioner, bike lane opponent, and wife of Senator Schumer.
Amtrak posted its biggest April ridership numbers in its history. (AltTransport)
San Francisco may raise taxi cab rates "to heights unseen in any other part of the nation." (AP via Sacramento Bee)
Some scientists are casting doubt on the radiation dose delivered by the TSA's body scanners. (ProPublica)
Ray LaHood attended Rahm Emanuel's inauguration; says Chicago's new mayor is sending a team to DC to talk transportation priorities. (AP via Chicago Tribune)
The Hill reports that the Senate is set to vote today on the Democrats' bill that would cut the tax breaks received by the big five oil companies.
A Manhattan community board gets behind the idea of a car-free Central Park. (DNA Info)
Two towns that protested the effects of the widening of the New Jersey Turnpike have begun spending the millions awarded them for the loss of forested land. (The Times of Trenton)
Ottawa's bike share program begins this week. (Ottawa Citizen)
Pedicabs in New York must now obey motor vehicle law. (Wall Street Journal)
A move is afoot to get London to adopt a cycle map based on the iconic Tube map. (Fast Company)
Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.
In case you missed it on Transportation Nation:
-- Fernando Ferrer named to NY MTA board (link)
-- baby born on Verrazano Bridge (link)
-- a new report says essential urban infrastructure is disintegrating rapidly (link)