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Port Authority

New Jersey News

Christie Patronage Hires at Port Authority Excessive: Expert

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

WNYC

A Princeton professor emeritus and author of a book on the Port Authority says Governor Chris Christie's hiring recommendations at the Port Authority far outpace his predecessor's patronage hire. 

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: California's Governor Says Cap-and-Trade Will Fund Bullet Trains, Lots of Christie Loyalists Work at Port Authority

Monday, January 30, 2012

Top stories on TN: House Republicans intend to use their upcoming highway and infrastructure bill to push for approval of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.  Congressman John Mica says he will unveil a major five-year transportation bill to allow more public private partnerships to expand the capacity of interstate highways. Transportation Nation got a fan-composed jingle. Florida's SunRail commuter line broke ground. And: everything you ever wanted to know about biking in the Bay Area.

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Repairing DC streetcar tracks, 1941. (photo courtesy of Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection via Wikimedia Commons)

Patronage at the Port Authority? Dozens of people with ties to NJ Governor Christie have been hired at the agency. (The Record)

California governor Jerry Brown calls $100 billion high-speed rail estimates "way off," and says cap-and-trade will help fund the program. (Sacramento Bee)

Bus rapid transit may come to Nashville (The Tennessean) and Des Moines (Des Moines Register).

California's low-carbon fuel rule has become embroiled in a fierce public battle and has been barred from being enforced. (Washington Post)

Streetcars will roll out once again in DC in 2013 -- so it's time for a look back at the District's system, 50 years ago. (Washington Post)

San Francisco has removed public seating from almost the entire city to discourage the homeless from using it. (Bay Citizen)

A rail transit hub in downtown Minneapolis that officials want to begin building this year will go up for public review this week. (Star Tribune)

Trading places: London police are running safety events which give bicyclists the chance to experience exactly what a truck driver can -- and can't -- see. (The Guardian)

NYT Economix blog: the way to unsnarl city traffic -- especially in the face of more taxis on the streets -- is congestion pricing. (New York Times)

In New Jersey, toll cheat violations have dropped from 9 percent to 3 percent since photo enforcement began to target scofflaws in the exact change lanes on the Garden State Parkway. (AP via NJ.com)

A Basque company wants to manufacture an electric car that folds upward when parked. (The Economist)

Is President Obama's 2005 Chrysler worth $1 million? (The Takeaway)

A journalist whose bike was stolen -- twice -- puts technology to use for a sting operation. (Outside)

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: House To Take Up 5-Year Transpo Bill, Port Authority Audit Expected to Slam Former Head, Obama's Old Car Available eBay

Thursday, January 26, 2012

 Top stories on TN: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood doesn’t think there’s much chance Congress will pass a surface transportation spending bill this year -- but he's standing firm on the Obama administration's goal to connect 80 percent of Americans to high-speed rail by 2036. New York's MTA loses its only board member who's married to a Beatle. A Supreme Court ruling on GPS could affect a NYC taxi suit. And: Central Park gets its first crosstown shared bike/pedestrian path.

 

New York's subway (photo by Kate Hinds)

The new federal highway bill that will be taken up by the House of Representatives next week will be a five-year, $260 billion proposal. (The Hill)

Egyptian authorities are barring several U.S. citizens — including Ray LaHood’s son — from leaving the country after Egyptian government forces raided the offices of Washington-backed groups monitoring recent parliamentary elections there. (Politico)

A preliminary audit of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey's spending, initiated by Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie, is expected to criticize the agency's prior leader Chris Ward -- but offer few suggestions on how it could save money. (Crain's New York Business)

House Republicans accused the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Wednesday of trying to keep secret a battery fire in a Chevy Volt out of fear of damaging the value of the government’s investment in the car’s manufacturer, General Motors, and jeopardizing President Obama’s re-election prospects. (New York Times)

Calgary has taken steps toward launching a public bike share program as soon as mid-2014, but even the city official who oversees cycling improvements won't promise there will be enough on-street bike lanes in time. (Calgary Herald)

Look out, Midwest: Austin, Texas, wants its share of the auto industry. (Changing Gears)

Editorial: at long last, Michigan lawmakers are finally confronting that state's crumbling roads. (Detroit Free Press)

Why California Governor Jerry Brown is standing firm on high-speed rail. (Christian Science Monitor)

After spending $160 million on a failed radio system for police to communicate in New York's  subways, the city is buying transit cops two-way radios that will finally allow them to communicate with police above ground. (New York Post, New York Daily News)

What transit agencies can learn from Twitter."The most interesting thing we found is that transit riders do not give any positive sentiment at a particular time. They only give negative sentiment," said a researcher. "If there’s no negative sentiment at any given time, that means that things are running smoothly." (Atlantic Cities)

 

A 2005 Chrysler 300C that Obama reportedly traded in while he was a senator is on eBay for $1 million. (Politico) (And: six days left to bid! Come for the car, stay for the photoshopping.)

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WNYC News

Tenants Needed for Tower 3 at Ground Zero or Building Will Be Capped

Monday, January 23, 2012

Developer Larry Silverstein is facing a major problem in his quest to build an office tower at the former site of the World Trade Center: if he can't attract a major tenant for the building known as Tower 3, he can't build the 80-story skyscraper he envisions, and the edifice may instead be capped at seven stories.

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: LaHood Defends Auto Bailout, Christie Ready to "Get My Arms" Around the Port Authority

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Top stories on TN:
Joe Lhota, The MTA’s Rider/Chairman, Uninimously Confirmed (Link)
Transit Advocates: Where’s the Money for a Direct Train to New Convention Center? (Link)
Severe Weather Events Continue to Cost US: Big $$ to Alabama, Vermont, NY, NJ (Link)
New York’s Night Riders Unhappy with Subway Sleep (Link)
Rick Santorum, as Senator, Preached the Gospel of Transit (Link)

Ray LaHood (center; blue tie) at the Detroit Auto Show (photo courtesy of US DOT/Fast Lane)

NJ Governor Christie says he and NY Governor Cuomo are ready to work together on the Port Authority: "It's my time to get my arms around this agency now." (NorthJersey.com)

DOT Secretary Ray LaHood kicks off the Detroit Auto Show; defends government bailout of automakers. (Detroit Free Press)

And: automakers are flooding the auto show with new hybrids, but with gas prices below $4 a gallon, consumers are not buying them. (New York Times)

Chinatown bus company Double Happyness -- under federal orders to stop operating after being deemed an "'imminent hazard' to public safety"--has continued to sell tickets, violating a cease and desist order that was issued last week. (DNA Info)

Canceling the ARC tunnel last year cost NJ Transit nearly $300 million, according to an audit. (The Record)

DC's Metro is proposing a 5% fare increase. (WAMU)

Detroit's light rail project may yet live again, just .. shorter. (Transport Politic)

Want a state road for free? A Nevada transportation official said Monday that there has been "zero interest" in his agency's offer to give counties and cities 903 miles of state-owned and maintained roads. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: California Bullet Train Hits Borrowing Bump, Boston Faces Steep Fare Hikes, and the Rise of the Gondolas

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

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!

Billboard on the Bay Bridge (photo by Colin Mutchler/LoudSauce.com)

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)

Work has begun on BART's Oakland Airport connector (Oakland Tribune). (And learn more about the battle over the airport connector in our documentary, Back of the Bus.)

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)

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: Transit Fare Affects School Attendance in Chicago, Singapore's Subway Snarl

Friday, December 16, 2011

Top stories on TN:

More Congressional outrage for high-speed rail. (Link)
Chicago bike share, VA toll road big TIGER III winners. (Link)
Taxi advocates plead their case to New York's governor. (Link)

Singapore's subway (photo by DDay209 via Flickr)

Chicago school officials say the cost of transit fare can discourage school attendance. (WBEZ)

Two legislators from New York and New Jersey -- steaming over recent toll hikes -- have introduced a bill that would put the Port Authority under federal oversight. (Staten Island Advance)

Cuomo's approach to the outer borough taxi bill is "the legislative equivalent of the slow-food movement." (New York Times)

The new Tappan Zee Bridge must have bus rapid transit or be obsolete from day one, says a coalition of elected officials and local groups. (Journal News)

Singapore's subway system suffered a major breakdown yesterday when four trains stalled during rush hour, trapping thousands of passengers and affecting some 127,000. (Wall Street Journal)

The number of bicyclists in and around Minneapolis has soared in the past year. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Has crime really fallen on DC's Metro? Yes...and no. (TBD)

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WNYC News

Port Authority Releases Payroll Information

Friday, December 09, 2011

Police at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have racked up $41.4 million in overtime this year, including a rank-and-file patrolman at the George Washington Bridge who has made $221,000.

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: House to Hold Hearing on Volt Fires; Christie "Concerned" About Port Authority Toll Explanation

Friday, December 09, 2011

Top stories on TN:
Port Authority: no transportation funds are going to WTC reconstruction. (Link)
The redistricting proposal put out by Florida's House spells trouble for Mica. (Link)
The number of New Yorkers commuting by bike has doubled in the last four years. (Link)
Houston drivers + winter = danger. (Link)
The number of electric vehicles able to power buildings and feed the power grid will grow to more than 5 million in 2017. (Link)

London taxi (photo by kenjonbro via Flickr)

A U.S. House subcommittee will hold a hearing into reports of GM's Chevrolet Volt catching fire (Bloomberg); meanwhile, Ray LaHood insists the vehicles are safe and that information hadn't been withheld from the public. (Detroit Free Press)

Governor Christie is "concerned" about the Port Authority's changing explanation for the toll hike, calls former head Chris Ward "an awful manager...who didn't tell the truth."  (The Star-Ledger)

Salary information for all Port Authority employees is now on the agency's website.

Talks continue on an FAA bill. (Politico)

Suspension cables on the 80-year-old George Washington Bridge are being replaced. (New York Times)

New York Daily News op-ed: Governor Cuomo, sign the livery bill already.

Learning to drive a taxi in London changes your brain. (Atlantic Cities)

Does my EV's butt look big in this docking backpack? (GizMag)

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Transportation Nation

Port Authority: No Transportation Funds Are Going to the World Trade Center

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Holland Tunnel (photo by mrZiad.123 via Flickr)

The Port Authority didn't mislead anyone last summer when it raised the specter of a large price tag for rebuilding the World Trade Center while arguing for steep toll hikes for its Hudson River crossings.

That's according to Chairman David Samson, who says the authority's been clear:  it needs the money for its transportation network.

"Do I think there was consistency? Yes," said Samson after a Port Authority Board meeting Thursday. "Do I regret that somebody may have misunderstood  that, in some of the public statements? If there was misunderstanding, on the point of view of the listener, sure I regret that."

Samson's remarks came just hours after the AAA said in court on Thursday that the Port Authority's Interstate Transportation Network -- its revenue-producing bridges and tunnels -- is a cash cow. The motorist association says the Port Authority is using that money to pay for the financially draining World Trade Center rebuilding.

The Port Authority says the ITN is drag on its system and has operated at a deficit for half a century -  since the agency acquired the PATH train system in 1962.

That's the issue at the heart of a lawsuit wending its way through federal court. AAA is suing the Port Authority over toll and fare hikes which took effect in September. The judge heard arguments today and said he'd issue a written decision, but gave no timetable.

The Port Authority's ITN consists of  several bridges and tunnels, as well as the Port Authority bus terminals, the PATH train system, and trans-Hudson ferry service.

When the agency made the case for the toll hikes in August, it repeatedly talked about its 10-year, $25 billion capital plan. Forty-three percent of that amount -- or $10.7 billion -- is slated to go towards projects for the ITN, including hoisting the Bayonne Bridge, replacing the Lincoln Tunnel helix, and modernizing the PATH system.

The next big ticket item, coming in at $6.9 billion, is the cost of rebuilding the World Trade Center. The Port Authority insists it's funding the WTC rebuilding through borrowing, federal grants, and insurance -- not toll revenues.

Samson wouldn't comment on any of the specific details of the pending litigation, but he disagreed with the AAA's assertion that the agency had misled the public into believing toll revenues would support the WTC.

"I think we were pretty clear about what we were talking about at the time," he said. "There's no doubt that in discussing the proposed toll and fare increase, we attempted to describe the overall financial condition of the agency. Inevitably, if you're going to be talking about the overall financial condition of the agency, you're going to talk about security that was added post-9/11 and the World Trade Center redevelopment site. There was to my knowledge, no reference, no specific statement, that said the proposed toll and fare increases were going to some other use, or some other place, other than what the executive director said was the integrated transportation network."

Pat Foye, the Port Authority's executive director, wasn't heading the agency in August. But he said the Port Authority's message has always been consistent. And the bottom line, he said,  was if the agency hadn't raised tolls this summer, "there would have been a drag in the amount of $3 billion dollars on the rest of the organization, the non-interstate transportation part of the organization. And the fare and toll increase reduced the drag, reduced the burden, on the rest of the organization."

 

 

 

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WNYC News

Judge to Decide on Challenge to Port Authority Toll Increase

Thursday, December 08, 2011

A judge said he would soon issue a written opinion after hearing arguments from AAA on Thursday claiming that the Port Authority is turning a profit from its bridges and tunnels and has no need – or legal authority – to raise tolls.

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WNYC News

Port Authority Challenged in Court on Toll Increase

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The first public court hearing in a lawsuit challenging the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's recent toll hikes was held Thursday — and at the heart of the dispute is the shifting justifications for the increase: either to fund transportation or help pay for the $11 billion World Trade Center redevelopment.

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: LIRR Pilots Quiet Cars, and Higher Hudson River Tolls = More People Riding Mass Transit

Monday, December 05, 2011

Top stories on TN:

The lost highways of Washington, DC. (Link)

The MTA wants transit apps, but it doesn't want to release key data. (Link)

Do higher CAFE standards create more jobs? (Link)

Andrea Bernstein, Brian Lehrer discuss transit systems and climate change. (Link)

The George Washington Bridge (photo by Kate Hinds)

Lots of New York news this week, as the legislature returns to Albany for a special session:

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to create an infrastructure fund that will finance the repair and development of highways, bridges and major construction projects--and promote innovative public-private partnerships with business and labor. (Capitol Confidential)

Lawmakers will meet to enact a compromise bill extending “taxi hail” service to the outer boroughs, among other issues... (NY Post, NY Times)

...including the MTA's payroll tax, which sources say they want to modify without financially hurting the strapped agency. (NY Daily News)

But: New York Daily News opinion: repealing the payroll tax is "a train wreck of a proposal that would cripple the subway...The idea that the MTA could provide anything remotely close to a safe and affordable service after such a financial pounding is fantasy.'"

In other news:

Higher Hudson River tolls have led to less traffic -- and more people riding public transit into New York City. (New York Times)

House Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman John Mica said he's finished negotiating over some FAA funding issues until Congress resolves a dispute over a labor ruling. (Politico)

U.S. factory production is up--which means automakers are hiring. (The Takeaway)

Toyota begins selling "the world's smallest four-seater." (Detroit Free Press)

A blueprint for how Germany created a financially viable public transit system.  (Washington Post)

The Long Island Rail Road is piloting a quiet car program on one line. (Long Island Press)

The mayor of Ventura, California, is going blind -- so he's moving to Washington DC, where the transit system will enable him to lead a normal life without driving. (Los Angeles Times)

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Transportation Nation

NJ Lawmaker Calls for Probe of Port Authority Toll Hike

Friday, December 02, 2011

Lincoln Tunnel Helix(New York, NY -- Annmarie Fertoli, WNYC) A New Jersey lawmaker is calling on Governor Chris Christie's office to investigate how the Port Authority handled recent bridge and tunnel tolls and PATH fare hikes.

The agency argued last summer that it needed the money to pay for redevelopment at the World Trade Center site — but state Assemblyman Gary Schaer said legal documents the agency filed last month made no mention of the site.

"That brings us to question what happened between August and now, as well as are commuters going to be asked to pay for the World Trade Center additionally," he said. "So there's tremendous confusion, and confusion is a nice word."

Schaer said he's hoping to hear back from the governor's office next week.

The story was first reported this week by The Star Ledger.

The legal filing came in response to a lawsuit by the AAA motorists group that argues the hikes are not "fair and reasonable," as federal law requires. Both sides are due back in court for that case next week.

In September, cash tolls jumped on the Port Authority's Hudson River crossings, including the George Washington Bridge and the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, jumped from $8 to $12.

The Port Authority released a statement saying:

“In August, the Port Authority informed the Governors of New York and New Jersey that the Port Authority was facing a severe fiscal crisis if it pursued its planned capital plan in the absence of a toll and fare increase. In such event, the Authority would be unable to fund the interstate transportation network projects, much less complete the long lists of other important non-network projects. Ensuring an additional flow of revenue through the toll and fare increase provides for funding of the interstate transportation network projects and makes available other Port Authority resources to complete hundreds of capital projects that are critical to the region's infrastructure needs, and the World Trade Center."

Neither Governor Andrew Cuomo's office nor Governor Chris Christie's office is commenting, referring all questions to the Port Authority. The governors jointly control the bi-state authority.

For a copy of the letter, click here.

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WNYC News

NJ Lawmaker Calls for Port Authority Probe

Friday, December 02, 2011

A New Jersey lawmaker is calling on Governor Chris Christie's office to investigate how the Port Authority handled recent bridge and tunnel tolls and PATH fare hikes.

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: North Dakota's Oil Boom Strains Towns, GM Offers To Buy Back Volts

Friday, December 02, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Houston receives first-ever federal funds for light rail (link)

Democrats want stricter "made in America" rules for infrastructure projects. (Link)

John Mica could lose his seat under a redistricting proposal. (Link)

North Dakota (photo by John McChesney for NPR)

House leadership has put the brakes on a long-term transportation spending plan. (Washington Post)

The oil boom in North Dakota is straining small towns. (NPR)

DC Metro prepares to hike fares to close a budget gap. (Washington Post)

GM said it would buy back Volts from owners worried about battery fires. (New York Times)

The BART board voted to turn off cell phone service only in "the most extraordinary circumstances." (San Francisco Chronicle)

A New Jersey state assemblyman wants an investigation into the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's toll-hike discrepancy. (The Star-Ledger)

Thousands turned out for a New York City hearing on hydrofracking. (WNYC/Empire)

Friday video pick: watch as a video projection installation on the side of the Manhattan Bridge turns the structure into something resembling a portal to another dimension -- or a scene from the Matrix. (h/t Laughing Squid)

Projection on the Bridge - Immersive Surfaces - As Above, So Below from Light Harvest Studio - Ryan Uzi on Vimeo.

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: Sales of Hybrids and EVs Slower Than Expected; Public Sector Workers on Strike in U.K.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Top stories on TN:

In Its First Season, Boston Bike Share Exceeds Projections; Will Expand Next Spring (Link)

A Federal Grant Encourages Denser Development in San Francisco (Link)

New York DOT / Uses Haiku with Graphics / to Tame City Streets (Link)

VIDEO: Secrets of Grand Central Terminal (Link)

Striking public sector workers in the U.K. (photo by NASUWT Union via Flickr)

House leaders could hold a press conference Friday on their drilling-for-infrastructure proposal and unveil legislative text on Monday. (Politico/Morning Transportation)

Analysts see hope at American Airlines. (The Takeaway)

And: is bankruptcy 'business as usual' for domestic airlines? (NPR)

Sales of hybrid cars and electric vehicles haven't met automakers initial projections. (Marketplace)

The Port Authority won't be using new toll revenues to fund the WTC redevelopment after all. (The Star-Ledger, Record)

Public sector workers are staging a huge strike in the United Kingdom, affecting transportation in Northern Ireland and cancelling some flights in London. (BBC)

The funding plan for California's high-speed rail project is faulty, according to a new report released. (Los Angeles Times)

A recovering U.S. auto industry should add more than 150,000 new jobs by 2015, and most of them will be located in Michigan. (Changing Gears)

Four snowstorms and a hurricane kept more drivers off of the NJ Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, leading to $47 million drop in projected revenue. (Bloomberg News via NJ.com)

DC's Metro will unveil some new escalators today. (Washington Post) (Note: read TN's previous coverage of DC's broken Metro escalators here.)

Check out a map of the 643 transit projects nationwide. (Reconnecting America; h/t Politico MT)

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: American Airlines Files for Bankruptcy, Pittsburgh's Transit System Faces a 35% Cut, DC's Metro Considers a "Tourist Zone"

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Building the Second Avenue Subway: the sandhog tradition stays in the family. (Link)

Choose your own rail adventure -- via computer games. (Link)

Audio tour: the worst road in California's wine country. (Link)

(photo by caribb via flickr)

American Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection. (Bloomberg, New York Times, Marketplace)

DC's Metro is considering a 'tourist zone' to make buying fare cards easier for non-residents. (Greater Greater Washington)

Pittsburgh's public transit system may be facing a 35% service cut if elected leaders don't resolve a state transportation budget shortfall. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Following two separate battery fires, GM is reassuring Volt owners that the car is safe. (Detroit Free Press)

Troy's new mayor wants to send back $8.5 million in federal aid to build a transit center. (Detroit Free Press)

The Wall Street Journal doesn't like Governor Cuomo's plan to use pension funds to repair infrastructure. "As an "investment opportunity," the Tappan Zee isn't Google." (Wall Street Journal)

But: the governor now says he won't use pension funds as an investment vehicle to fund the Tappan Zee Bridge. (Wall Street Journal)

Researchers found a link between Houston's buses and tuberculosis. (Atlantic Cities)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution op-ed: a unified transit system will lift the Metro Atlanta region. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

One former resident's account: I lived in Los Angeles for eight years without a car -- and you can, too. (The Source)

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: Blasting on Second Avenue Subway Temporarily Halted, Ford and GM Resume Rivalry, More on Tappan Zee Funding Plans

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Watch a video short about a desk toy who uses Google Street View to take a virtual road trip. (Link)

Houston's red light camera squabble has yet to be resolved. (Link)

Drag racers and drug smugglers drive Houston's car thefts. (Link)

Welding work on the 2nd Avenue Subway (photo by Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Blasting on the Second Avenue Subway project was temporarily halted after complaints about smoke and dust from nearby residents. (New York Times, New York Daily News)

More on paying for the Tappan Zee Bridge project: Governor Cuomo is looking for alternative financing (Bloomberg) -- but says talk of leveraging pension funds for infrastructure is "premature." (Poughkeepsie Journal)

Two California representatives want federal help with a struggling airport. (Los Angeles Times)

NPR finishes up its series on fuel economy with a look at making gasoline-powered engines more efficient. (NPR)

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey received a negative credit rating outlook. (The Record)

Florida's rejected high-speed rail funding is now California's gain. (Politico)

Ford and GM have a bitter rivalry that sometimes devolves into name calling. (Wall Street Journal)

If you see a NYPD officer rappelling down the Roosevelt Island Tram, don't be alarmed -- it's only an exercise. (NY1)

And: a map of every U.S. road accident victim between 2001 - 2009 (Guardian)

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: DC Uses Decoys to Catch Bike Thieves, Toyota Plant Opens in Tupelo, Congress Approves Gateway Tunnel $

Friday, November 18, 2011

Top stories on TN:

For transit agencies, climate change could cost billions. (Link)

House Republicans marry domestic energy drilling to transportation funds. (Link)

Congress zeroes out high-speed rail funding. (Link)

Bike racks outside DC Metro (photo by Palmetto Cycling Coalition via Flickr)

Republicans hail "the end to President Obama’s misguided high speed rail program." (The Hill)

An East Side Access tunnel worker was killed by falling concrete under Grand Central Terminal. (New York Times)

Congress formally approved $15 million for the trans-Hudson Gateway Tunnel; engineering work will now begin. (The Star-Ledger)

DC's transit police are using decoys to catch bike thieves. (Washington Post)

Rethinking public transit, especially in rural areas, doesn't have to be expensive. (New York Times Opinionator)

"Secret" Port Authority bonuses are being investigated by the NY Comptroller's Office. (The Record)

A long-awaited Toyota plant is finally opening in Tupelo, Mississippi. (Atlantic Cities)

Staten Islanders will protest tolls tomorrow. (SILive.com)

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