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WNYC News

Major Weekend Subway Delays to Continue

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Expect another weekend of delays, diversions, backtracking and shuttle buses if you're taking the subway.  New York City Transit says 16 of the 19 weekend lines will be disrupted as contractors rush to complete construction work.

WNYC wants to hear about your weekend subway experience. Just text "SUBWAY" TO 30644 and record your stories about getting around this weekend.

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Transportation Nation

Houston's Metro To Make Cutbacks In Light Of Reduced Budget

Friday, September 24, 2010

(Wendy Siegle, KUHF - Houston) The Metropolitan Transit Authority in Houston posted its 2011 budget online today. It will be presented to the board in a public hearing on Monday. The proposed budget shows a 31 percent decrease from the 2010 spending plan. That's a difference of a whopping 430-million dollars.

Still, despite the drastic reduction, officials say customers won't feel the pinch: fares won't increase and services will remain intact. But Metro will have to do some significant trimming somewhere if it plans to stop operating in a deficit and on less than a billion dollars in the next fiscal year. But where to cut?

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WNYC News

Police Now Monitoring 500 Subway Cameras Round the Clock

Monday, September 20, 2010

For the first time, the city police department now has instant access to almost 500 video cameras installed in New York's busiest subway stations. Cameras located above turnstiles, platforms and entrances at Times Square, Penn Station and Grand Central are now feeding into a police database being monitored 24 hours a day at a location near Wall Street.

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Transportation Nation

Should Transit be Free? Oui, Say French Metro Riders

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

(Marketplace) A single ticket on the Paris Metro costs 1.70 euros -- about $2.15 at today's rate of exchange. Not bad as fares go for a major world-class city. But for some Metro riders in Paris, the actual amount isn't really the point. They don't want to pay at all. It's not about skipping out on the fare itself. It's about whether urban transit ought to cost anything to begin with.  From down in the Paris Metro, John Laurenson reports.

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Student Athletes WON'T have to pay up, self-service airport scanners, and cell service to hit NYC subways.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Oregon transit takes away parking spaces from crowded park and ride garage -- and puts in 74 biking parking spots.  Look at it this way, officials say:  you haven't lost eight spots --you've gained 74 bike spots!  (Oregon live)

Los Angeles Schools Chief, in reversal, says school athletes will NOT have to pay $24 towards transportation to sporting events.  He'll find "other financial options" to foot the $650,000 bill.  Good luck! (Los Angeles Times)

LaHood, Wisconisin Governor Doyle, get ready for "big announcement" on High Speed Rail Thursday. (Business Week).

The phone will be ringing off the hook: New York subway tunnels will also get wifi. (New York Daily News)

Self service "subway-style" scanners being tested at Houston airport.  Bloomberg

Suburban Nassau county sues NYC MTA for bus funding.  MTA says Nassau has been a deadbeat for a decade, Nassau says too bad, we're broke!  Buses could go private. (Long Island Press)

And crosswalks lights from around the world art installation graces Lower Manhattan construction zone:  (jaunted.com)

h/Crosswalk+Lights+from+Around+the+World

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Transportation Nation

New Rail Cars In DC? Not If They're Made In Japan

Thursday, July 08, 2010

(Washington, DC - David Schultz, WAMU News)  Metro, the D.C. area's embattled transit agency, needs new rail cars. Bad.

A third of its fleet of more than 1,100 cars have been in use since Metro trains began running -- that was in 1976.  Even before last year's deadly train crash, federal safety regulators declared these 34-year-old cars unsafe. Apparently, they are prone to severe "telescoping" - crumpling upon impact - when involved in a crash.

For years, Metro tried to replace these aging cars - as the National Transportation Safety Board had urged it to - but couldn't shore up the funding.

But in late May of this year,

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Transportation Nation

Subways Yield Safer Kids, in Review of Child Fatalities

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kids are better off riding the subway than driving. A report by New York's health department shows that children are about half as likely to die as a result of injury in New York City as they are in the rest of America, mostly because they use public transportation. Traffic accidents are the leading cause fatal injuries in American children one to twelve years old.  The report also called attention to disparities within city groups.  Children in the highest income neighborhoods are less than half as likely to die from injuries as children in areas with the lowest incomes.  - TN

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Transportation Nation

Dirty Train on the Tracks: NYC MTA to Cut 1000 more positions

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Even as a judge has temporarily blocked the layoffs of 475 Station Agents (the hearing is now set for Monday), the MTA's CFO Bob Foran announces the agency is cutting 1000 more positions, mostly in subway clean up. Way dirtier trains are on the way -- subway cars will be cleaned half as often, every round trip instead of every run.

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Transportation Nation

The Last Ride Home for NHL's Subway Fan

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thirty-six year old Scott Walker has played all over the National Hockey League -- Vancouver, Nashville, Raleigh. This year, the journeyman arrived on the Washington Capitals. He hoped he'd get another appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and he did. But his wife and kids stayed behind, and kept the car in Raleigh. So how does Walker get to work? Takes the DC Metro, it turns out.

Below, Walker describes his first ride. Turns out DC's distance-based fare system flummoxed him a bit. When he got off the train near Verizon Center, where the Caps play, he had it easy though -- just follow all the jersey-wearing fans and you'll find your way to work, buddy.

This story doesn't have a happy ending, though: the Capitals were eliminated last night by Montreal, ending one of the most-hyped and star-studded runs at the Stanley Cup. Walker, Alex Ovechkin and the rest of the Capitals have a hot DC summer to ride the train and think about what today is being called the "Capital Collapse."

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Transportation Nation

New York’s Subway Tunnels: Not Ready for the Briefcase Bomb?

Friday, April 23, 2010

(New York - Matthew Schuerman, WNYC) -- In the wake of a well-publicized double-stabbing in a Greenwich Village subway station last month, many hands were wrung about the woeful lack of security cameras in subways.

Turns out that New York's attempts to install security devices in subways have been fraught with questions from the beginning.

In the weeks after the London Underground bombing five years ago, New York City officials repeatedly hammered the region’s transit agency for being unprepared for a similar terrorist attack. Six weeks alter, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority responded with a massive $215 million dollar contract to Lockheed Martin.

But almost immediately, watchdogs and oversight officials began to wonder aloud whether Lockheed could deliver on a high-profile promise: installing cameras that could detect unattended bags on subway platforms.

Fast forward to 2010: Large portions of the contract have failed to deliver what was promised. MTA and Lockheed are fighting in court. And the zooming technology? Didn’t work, because it didn’t take into account the hundreds of people who would be passing in front of, behind, and next to that briefcase.

WNYC's Matthew Schuerman traces the history of the contract, from its original promise until today.

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Transportation Nation

Marta X'ed Out

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has some nice photos of the protest today -- sanctioned by Atlanta's transit system, MARTA -- putting big red "X"s on buses and train cars to visually represent cuts the system faces later this year.

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Transportation Nation

The Phantom Token Booth: Life Without New York's Station Agents

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An MTA station agent helps a subway rider read the service map.  (Photo: Stephen Nessen)

(New York - WNYC)  The Metropolitan Transportation Authority here is letting go of 450 station agents this spring because of its budget crisis. There are many New Yorkers who wonder what these people were supposed to be doing anyway, considering that they stopped selling tokens years ago and ticket vending machines were installed instead.

An unstaffed booth, like many more to come.  (Photo: Stephen Nessen)

An unstaffed booth, like many more to come. (Photo: Stephen Nessen)

But they are invaluable for parents who want to take their strollers through service gates, for tourists who need directions, and for subway riders who don’t want to use their credit cards in machines.

The people that station agents now serve are outliers who need a human touch in an increasingly mechanized transit system. But in a city of 8 million, it turns out there are a lot of outliers. They are slowly learning to adapt—but they aren’t happy about it. WNYC brings us a report from Matthew Schuerman and a photo essay from Stephen Nessen.

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Transportation Nation

WNYC: Brooklyn Officials Bristle as MTA Considers Service Cuts

Monday, January 11, 2010

NEW YORK, NY January 11, 2010 —As the MTA considers making deep service cuts to deal with a nearly $400 million budget gap, elected officials from South Brooklyn are pushing back. Bay Ridge councilman Vincent Gentile wants the commuter tax reinstated.

Read the full story.

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Transportation Nation

WNYC: Bloomberg: MTA Needs New Funding Sources

Thursday, December 17, 2009

NEW YORK, NY December 17, 2009 —The MTA board has approved an austerity plan to close a nearly $400-million funding gap by eliminating the W and Z subway lines, and more than 20 bus routes.

Read the full story.

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Transportation Nation

WNYC: MTA Expected to Approve More Service Cuts Today

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

NEW YORK, NY December 16, 2009 —As Yogi Berra would have said, it's deja vu all over again. Just seven months ago state lawmakers said they had rescued the MTA from a crippling deficit and riders from steep fare hikes and severe service cuts. But Dale Hemmerdinger, who was MTA chairman at the time, warned reporters a few days later it wouldn't be easy.

Listen to full story.

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Transportation Nation

WNYC: MTA Approves Service Cuts

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

NEW YORK, NY December 16, 2009 —The board members of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority have approved service cuts to the city's train and bus systems. The changes, intended to trim the MTA's budget, include cuts to student metrocards, as well as eliminating the W and Z subway lines and two dozen bus routes.

Read the full story.

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Transportation Nation

WNYC: Shortfall in MTA Revenues

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

NEW YORK, NY December 08, 2009 —The MTA is warning about new financial problems. The transportation authority says a new payroll tax on metropolitan-area businesses has generated less revenue than expected.

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Transportation Nation

WNYC: MTA Criticized for Countdown Clocks for Bus and Subways

Friday, December 04, 2009

NEW YORK, NY December 04, 2009 —An influential Long Island lawmaker is criticizing the MTA's decision to install countdown clocks throughout the bus and subway system. At a hearing yesterday on the authority's capital plan, State Senator Craig Johnson said he had a tough enough time voting for a new payroll tax this spring to bail out the MTA.
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Transportation Nation

WNYC: New MTA Taxes Take Effect Starting Sunday

Friday, October 30, 2009

NEW YORK, NY October 30, 2009 —Two new taxes intended to help the MTA are going into effect this Sunday and Monday. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has the details.

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Transportation Nation

WNYC The Brian Lehrer Show: The New MTA Chief

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What will mass transit in New York look like in ten years? Chairman of the MTA, Jay Walder, talks about his vision for the future of the MTA.

Listen to the full story.

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