Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: LA Increases Night Service on Trains, Chicago Area Buses To Drive on Highway Shoulders, Passenger Attacks on Transit Operators On the Rise

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Top stories on TN:

A new bridge across Lake Champlain opened years ahead of schedule. (Link)

Van driving "rebalancers" keep watch over Capital Bikeshare stations. (Link)

The mass transit commuter tax break is set to expire at the end of the year. (Link)

Image courtesy of Pace Bus

Los Angeles is increasing night service on three rail lines to boost ridership. (Los Angeles Times)

Some buses will be driving on the shoulder next week in the Chicago area, when the region pilots a program designed to speed commuting times. (Chicago Tribune)

San Francisco weighs bus rapid transit on Van Ness Avenue. (The Bay Citizen)

Nearly a third of all drivers said they've almost fallen asleep while driving at least once in the last month, and the problem gets worse when the clocks change. (Washington Post)

Toyota's hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, which will hit the market in 2015, is expected to retail for about $138,000. (Autopia)

Attacks by passengers on mass transit operators are on the rise, and some say rage over fare hikes is the cause. (Atlantic Cities)

Does Salt Lake City's commuter rail have a higher accident rate than average? Signs point to yes. (Deseret News)

NYC is moving forward with plans to use a San Francisco-like "smart parking" system. (Streetsblog)

The US Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether police need a warrant to attach a GPS tracking device to a suspect's car. (NPR)

The Staten Island borough president says toll relief for NJ-bound drivers may be on the way. (Staten Island Live)

The long-delayed plan to overhaul the George Washington Bridge Bus Station in northern Manhattan is gaining traction with a flurry of leases for its expanded retail space. (Wall Street Journal)

Flood waters in Bangkok are inching closer to the subway. (CNN)

The architecture critic for the New York Times waxes poetic about bike lanes, writes that the city environment is "an urban glory best absorbed, I have come to realize, from a bike."

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Transportation Nation

Trouble Finding A Parking Space In San Francisco? There's An App For That -- And It's Changing Parking Meter Prices

Thursday, September 01, 2011

SFpark manager Jay Primus. (Photo by Casey Miner/KALW)

(San Francisco – KALW) The city of San Francisco is making its first round of changes to parking meter costs based on data gathered from its street sensors around town. The idea is for meter and garage rates to be based on demand – so popular blocks will cost more, less crowded ones will be cheaper, and everyone will spend a little less time circling the block. How's it working?

According to Jay Primus, the manager of the program, "it’s a little bit like the Goldilocks principle. We don’t want it too hot, we don’t want it too cold – we want it just right. In this case, prices not too high or too low, but just right for the demand we see."

You can hear the whole story over at KALW.


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Transportation Nation

SFpark Makes its First Move

Thursday, July 14, 2011

(San Francisco – KALW) San Francisco’s ambitious parking program will meet its first test later this month, when the city adjusts rates at meters in eight busy neighborhoods to try and better match supply and demand. The program, called SFpark, uses data from sensors embedded in the pavement to track parking demand in real time at meters around the city, and prices each block accordingly: meters in more congested areas are more expensive, while those on emptier streets are cheaper. City staff will make the first price adjustment later this month, based on data collected since the program’s official launch this past spring. The verdict? Prices at about one third of meters will go up by 25 cents to a high of $3.75/hr; another third will drop by 25-50 cents, to as low as $1.75/hr. The final third will remain the same, as will rates at city-owned garages.

SFpark manager Jay Primus said that while the preliminary data is fascinating, the really useful information will come out later this summer, when the city makes its second price adjustment.

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: SEPTA Needs Billions to Reach State of Good Repair, NY Holds Transit Data App Contest, and Europe Eyes Flying Cars

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

With stations and bridges that date back more than 100 years, Philly's SEPTA needs $4.2 billion to reach a state of good repair. (Philadelphia Daily News)

New York's MTA is releasing more data to app developers, with a competition as enticement. (AM NY)

Will high-speed rail finally end Britain's north/south divide? (BBC)

Elected officials on Manhattan's Upper West Side criticize the city for not swiftly fixing an intersection dubbed "the bowtie of death." (DNA Info)

Metro North wants to turn some Westchester train stations into retail and dining spots. (Wall Street Journal)

Why won't New York City test-drive car-free Central Park? (New York Times)

The first batch of data is in from San Francisco's SFpark program that ties parking meter rates to demand. Bottom line: some meter rates will go down, some will stay the same, some will increase. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Carmageddon update: contractors working on this weekend's Los Angeles freeway project will be penalized $6,000 for every 10 minutes they are late. (Los Angeles Times)

Flying car update: the European Union is investing $6 million to research the potential of Personal Aerial Vehicles (PAVs) for Europe’s most crowded cities. (SmartPlanet)


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Transportation Nation

LISTEN: Bay Area Transpo Update

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tester seats in BART's mobile seat lab.

Missed the news about the future of parking, the future of traffic jams, or the future of the (now germ-incubating) BART seats? Kick back and hear TN's Casey Miner tell you everything you need to know, over at KALW News.

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.

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Transportation Nation

SFPark Launches, and Works – For This Reporter, Anyway

Friday, April 22, 2011

(San Francisco–Casey Miner, KALW News) San Francisco launched its real-time parking data feed Thursday morning at City Hall – and, fittingly, there was more than enough parking to go around. A strong start, as the city hopes the dynamic pricing pilot will ease congestion and generally improve people’s quality of life.

People deciding whether to drive into one of the project’s eight test neighborhoods can look online to check parking availability and price – or, if they’re on the go, they can use a handy iPhone app. (Sorry, Android users, nothing for you yet, though the city promises apps for other smartphones in a few weeks.) Over time, the parking prices will change from block to block in response to supply and demand, raising prices consistently on some streets until there is at least one space available on every block.

I wanted to test it out for myself, so I checked the site from my home in the East Bay before heading out for the press conference. San Francisco's downtown is usually fairly crowded, and though some neighborhoods are worse than others, I usually won't even consider driving unless I absolutely have to. But at 10am, it looked like I’d have no trouble finding parking within one block of City Hall.

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SFPark Launches Thursday

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

(San Francisco – Casey Miner, KALW News) The price may be steep, but the payoff is high: a dense city where no one ever has to circle for parking. On Thursday, San Francisco will officially launch SFpark, a dynamic pricing program that aims to ensure at least one free space on every block at any given time.

The price of that space will vary depending on demand: for the first few months, prices will remain in the city's normal range of $2-$3.50 an hour, but eventually they could go as high as $18 a space for, say, parking outside the ballpark during a Giants game. But don't worry, you won't get walloped: prices will increase incrementally by no more than 50 cents each month (so no $16 jumps), and everyone will be able to access real-time pricing and availability info. If it's too expensive to drive, the city's hoping people won't.

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