Transportation Nation

Federal Budget Uncertainty May Shortchange Maryland's Purple Line

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A proposed 16-mile, years-in-the-making light rail line -- like many other transit projects -- is subject to the funding priorities of Congress. And these days, that's not so certain.

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Transportation Nation

'Every Transit Rider In America Owes a Huge Debt to Senator Frank Lautenberg'

Monday, June 03, 2013

U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg's final tweet was about a proposed train tunnel under the Hudson River. It was a fitting coda to a career that drove transportation policy — transforming everything from smoking on airplanes to instituting stricter blood alcohol standards for drivers. 

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Emergency ARC Meeting in Trenton, and BRT Begins in NYC This Weekend

Friday, October 08, 2010

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff head to Trenton to meet with Governor Christie about the ARC tunnel. (WNYC)

Paul Krugman gets into the ARC fray with an op-ed calling Christie's decision "destructive and incredibly foolish." He continues: "We have become...a nation whose politicians seem to compete over who can show the least vision, the least concern about the future and the greatest willingness to pander to short-term, narrow-minded selfishness." (New York Times)

Bus Rapid Transit to begin Sunday on New York's East Side.

The upcoming election will likely decide whether passengers on DC's future Purple Line will ride trains or buses (Washington Post). Meanwhile, Virginia governor fails in latest bid to put his representatives on Metro board. (WAMU)

From the Economist: electric vehicles are neither useful nor green. But here in the U.S., purchasers of EVs get bombarded with incentives. "It just keeps getting better and better," says one buyer. (New York Times)

San Francisco, Oakland, climb list of bicycle commuting cities, with Oakland posting a whopping 18% increase. (Streetsblog)

President Obama’s Transportation Department has collected nearly twice as much in aviation industry fines as in the final two years of George W. Bush’s presidency. (Boston Globe)

European high-speed rail network to expand: in 2014, Eurostar will offer trains from London to Amsterdam and Geneva. (Telegraph)

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Transportation Nation

ARC Tunnel's Launch - What A Difference A Year Makes

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

(photo courtesy of TriState Transportation Campaign)

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation)

"These are the bold projects that in the past, were either debated to death or simply ignored."

That's Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff, speaking at the June 8, 2009 ARC tunnel groundbreaking in North Bergen, New Jersey.

What a difference a year makes. Today, officials around the region are awaiting formal word that the $8.7 billion tunnel is dead, and that NJ Governor Chris Christie will revert NJ's $2.7 billion to its transportation trust fund, mostly for roads. We can't afford the overruns, Christie has said. It's time for belt-tightening.

But this is now.

In the tape below -- from only 16 months ago -- you'll hear a host of hopeful and optimistic politicians, including then-Governor Jon Corzine, U. S Senators Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, and others referring to the ARC tunnel as a monumental boon for the region. It would be America's largest public work, a cousin to the 1910 Pennsylvania Railroad's trans-Hudson tunnel (which marked the last time a trans-Hudson tunnel was built). It was described as a project that was critical not only to the region's economy, but safety as well. It would relieve congestion on all modes, reduce carbon emissions, and improve family life (no kidding!) The tunnel was nothing less than the start of a new era.

ARC groundbreaking Part 1

Here's another tip that you're listening to a different time: at ten minutes and 30 seconds into Part 1 of the groundbreaking below, you'll hear Governor Corzine talking about how both Democrats and Republicans from both states came together to make the project happen. "It's been bipartisan, something that we all have worked on," he said. "Governors [George Pataki]
[Eliot] Spitzer, [David] Paterson, all pitched in." Other speakers: at 14:30, you'll hear Senator Lautenberg; and at 21:50 Senator Robert Menendez speaks. (Even so, the crowd at the groundbreaking was overwhelmingly Democrats.)

ARC groundbreaking Part 2

Peter Rogoff, the head of the Federal Transit Administration, begins speaking at :43 in. "These are the bold projects that in the past, were either debated to death or simply ignored." Other speakers: at 9:30 the (now outgoing) chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Anthony Coscia, begins speaking. Executive Director Chris Ward starts at 14:26 . Congressman Albio Sires is 16:47, and Congressman Bill Pascrell concludes at 18:58, with "this is a happy day for all of us. You've heard all the biblical things today. It is time to move on!"

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