The Brian Lehrer Show

Taxi of Tomorrow

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

David Yassky, commissioner of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, wants you to weigh in on what matters to you in picking the winning design for future NYC taxis.

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: LA Looks At Congestion Pricing, a Streetcar Named Red Hook, and Is NY Closer to ARC $?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Is New York "well-positioned" to snag some federal ARC funds? Senator Gillibrand spoke to Ray LaHood Monday -- and she thinks signs point to yes. (Wall Street Journal)

The Los Angeles MTA is considering bringing some form of congestion pricing to the city. (Los Angeles Times)

Ray LaHood predicts that Rahm Emanuel will win Chicago's mayoral race.  (Chicago Sun-Times)

China will soon have more miles of high speed rail tracks than the rest of the world put together. (NPR)

The "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign heads to the DC region. Just in time for the holidays! (Washington Post)

Some airline travelers are not so happy about new TSA screening requirements. Neither are pilots.  (NPR)

If a Republican House bans earmarks, one of those transportation projects in doubt could be the Minneapolis region's Central Corridor light rail. (Minnesota Public Radio)

New York's Department of Transportation will present its Brooklyn Streetcar Feasibility Study (read: trolley service in Red Hook) at a community board meeting tonight. (NYC DOT)

More on New York's taxi of the future finalists. (WNYC)

GM dealers say that Chevy Volt production has begun. (Detroit Free Press)

Is F train performance now better F? New York City Transit says yes. (New York Times)

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Transportation Nation

New York City Picks Finalists for Taxis of Tomorrow -- You Can Vote!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Here's one-- there are three other "Taxi of Tomorrow Finalists:  Click here for the others --

From the Press Release: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Taxi and Limousine Commissioner/Chairman David S. Yassky today unveiled the three finalists to be the new, exclusive New York City taxicab. The competition, called the “Taxi of Tomorrow,” will introduce the first-ever custom-built taxicab specifically designed for New York City. The Taxi of Tomorrow project includes a public input campaign where New Yorkers can vote of the features they want to see in the next New York City taxicab. The winning vehicle will be the exclusive New York City taxicab for a minimum of ten years and will be chosen from among several competitive proposals. The three designs selected as the finalists to be the Taxi of Tomorrow are submissions from Ford Motor Company, Karsan USA and Nissan North America, Inc.

Love 'em? Hate 'em?  Vote here

And send us your comments!

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Transportation Nation

NYC Taxis, Ready for A Makeover

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

(Felix Morgner, Flickr)

An iconic symbol is facing a makeover: NYC is holding an international design competition to redesign the yellow cab. The winner will have the exclusive right to make taxis for the next decade.

Currently 16 different vehicles are approved for use as taxis. But the city is looking for a single model that will be used by all: one that is safe, comfortable, fuel efficient, affordable and accessible.  One taxi to rule them all!

Read the story at WNYC.

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Unintended Consequences of the Tarmac Rule, NJ Transit Not Eager to Repay $271 Million, and Cabbies Help Tweak GPS

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wisconsin gov-elect Scott Walker's response to Ray LaHood: fix roads before you build rail. Also, some friendly advice: "All across the country, in states like Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida, the voters chose new governors who are opposed to diverting transportation funding to passenger rail. I believe it would be unwise for the Obama administration to ignore the will of the voters." (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

New Jersey is not exactly whipping out its checkbook to repay $271 million to the Federal Transit Administration for the canceled ARC tunnel project, because "NJ Transit does not agree that the issues are as clear cut as portrayed in the FTA letter." (Asbury Park Press)

US airlines are stranding less passengers--but canceling more flights. Unintended consequences of the tarmac rule? (Bloomberg via MPR)

A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 41% of drivers have fallen asleep behind the wheel at some point. (Los Angeles Times)

How can you improve GPS directions? Ask a cabbie. (Good)

Lansing wants to dip its toes into bus rapid transit. (Lansing State Journal)

Czech transport minister loses his license for 6 months for driving without valid license plates. (Czech Happenings)

Good Magazine wants to know: What is the best bus route in America?

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: John Mica's Phone Is Ringing Off the Hook, The Rise of the Roundabout, and How To Survive a Plane Crash

Monday, November 08, 2010

A newly popular John Mica, who may head the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is already fielding calls from Ray LaHood and Joe Biden. (St. Augustine Record)

Amtrak officials are looking at resuscitating the ARC tunnel. (AP via WSJ)

Less trains, more buses: Indianapolis's new transit plan tables light rail until the 2030's. (Indianapolis Star)

The rise of the roundabouts: places like Chattanooga, Central Louisiana and Indiana are putting in traffic circles to reduce crashes; the Wall Street Journal talks about why. Meanwhile, there's a traffic circle backlash in Petaluma.

The Great Urban Hack visualizes what taxi rides look like in NYC -- who takes them, how far they go. Their findings: "At least 1 out of every 4 current NYC taxi rides could be shared with another rider."

Chrysler posts operating profit, narrows net loss to $84 million (Detroit Free Press)

Following last week's Qantas A380 engine failure, the Telegraph has some helpful suggestions on "How to Survive a Plane Crash."

Fast and slow lanes come to...the sidewalks of London's Oxford Street, to divide the dawdlers from the power walkers. (Marketplace)

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Election Outcome Stops HSR Work in Wisconsin, Top Int'l Transit Systems, and What Cuomo's Plan Now?

Friday, November 05, 2010

Outgoing Wisconsin governor halts work on its high-speed rail line "temporarily" after rail opponent Scott Walker's victory in the governor's race (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).  Walker repeated his vow this week that he would kill the project.

On today's Brian Lehrer Show, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) talks about what this week's election might mean for the future of transportation legislation.

Capital New York asks: post-campaign, will Cuomo get serious about public transportation?

Taxi drivers in New York want a 19% fare hike--which means the base fare would increase to $3. (New York Daily News)

Does Jim Oberstar have a future in Washington after all? Say, in the Department of Transportation? Let the guessing begin! (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

The Transport Politic tries to assess John Mica's transportation goals, but points out that "he will have to operate within a labyrinthine system of conflicting goals and limited funds. Whether he — or anyone — will get anything done under those conditions remains an open question."

AOL ranks the top ten international transit systems. You go, Curitiba, Brazil!

The victory celebration for the San Francisco Giants shattered records for both BART and Caltrain. (San Francisco Chronicle)

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Transportation Nation

Color-Code Your Ride -- Badge System for NYC Car Services to Cut Down on Illegal Taxis

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Livery decal (courtesy of the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission)

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) It doesn't have the same worrisome connotations as the Department of Homeland Security's threat advisory system, but the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission is implementing a color coding system of its own.

The city says that there are about 50,000 licensed for-hire vehicles (non-yellow taxi) in New York--and countless unlicensed ones. So the TLC has introduced a system in which stickers are placed on the back windows of vehicles. And you shall know the type of vehicle by the color of the sticker:

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Transportation Nation

Participate: Show Us Your Commute

Monday, October 25, 2010

One of our partners The Takeaway has opened a collaborative project to get people like you all across the country helping us really understand the American commute. You can send in snapshots and sounds of your daily routine.

Share the pictures and the sounds of your morning commute. Send us a photo, a video or audio of one thing that tells the story of your commute. It could be the train that always comes late. The people you see on the bus line. The spot where you always park your car.

The Takeaway will harvest your daily observations, insights and gripes and post the collection here for listeners to vote on their favorites. You can upload a photo or audio file here, or you can download The Takeaway iPhone app and use that.

What is the American commute? Tell us.


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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: GM Gives Volt a Boost, HUD Funds Development Along Transit Corridors, and Christie Says Sen. Lautenberg Should Find Money to Pay For ARC

Friday, October 15, 2010

HUD awards $100 million in sustainability grants (Streetsblog).  Among the winners: the Twin Cities area, which received $5 million to plan for development along transit corridors. (Star Tribune)

GM says consumer demand for the Volt is so high, it will boost production (Detroit Free Press)

MTA still working out the kinks in the whole electronic countdown clock process (New York Daily News). Meanwhile, a mistake in the Second Avenue Subway work cuts the gas off for more than 100 families (New York Times). But there is some good news: love is now allowed on the subway.

The Southtown Star looks back at the career of Metra's first female engineer, who's now ready to retire.

Are driverless taxis in Berlin's future? (Marketplace)

And, from the Star-Ledger: a video of Governor Christie's response to Senator Lautenberg's press conference yesterday: "Senator Lautenberg should find the money to pay for it."

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Airline tarmac delays down, complaints up; MTA sued for lack of access; and New York's most veteran cabbie retires after 62 years

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A class-action lawsuit being filed today says that New York's MTA "makes travel next to impossible for New Yorkers with physical disabilities." (New York Daily News)

Ridership on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor line is up almost five percent over last year -- which translates into $900 million more in revenue for Amtrak. (WBUR)

Long tarmac delays for airlines continue to decline (Los Angeles Times). It's not all rosy, though: complaints about airlines are up over a third (Columbus Dispatch).

DC's Metro conducts review of escalators and elevators, finds a host of problems (WAMU)

Vancouver creates a continuous network of protected bike lanes (Good)

Will Silicon Valley become the Detroit of the electric car industry? (NPR)

New York City cabbie hangs up license after 62 years behind the wheel (New York Daily News)

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The UN General Assembly Seen though the Eyes of one City Cabbie

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Abdul Quyyam has been driving a taxi for more than 11 years. He's got the endurance thing down. But mention the United Nations General Assembly and he shudders. Quyyam allowed me to ride along with him on Thursday to see first hand what it's like to navigate Manhattan while the U.N. is in session.


Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: NYC Taxi Drivers Accused Of Overcharge Scheme, and Virginia's DOT has millions in unspent funds

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dozens of New York City taxi drivers have been arrested on charges that they defrauded customers by doubling fares. (WNYC)

More than a year after Virginia implemented a statewide ban on texting while driving, local police officers say they're unlikely to write a ticket for a violation. (WAMU)

Another round of strikes hobbles transportation in France.  (NPR)

The results of an audit of Virginia's Department of Transportation are expected to reveal that the department has almost $500 million in unspent funds. (Washington Post)

The Bay Area's AC Transit voted to slash weekend and overnight service (San Francisco Chronicle). Meanwhile, BART is considering selling naming rights to stations to raise revenue (Sacramento Bee).

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Transportation Nation

Men, Not Taxis, Are Most Likely to Hit NYC Pedestrians

Monday, August 16, 2010

(New York, NY - Collin Campbell)  Five years of data and 7,000 crash records are showing a rich picture of collisions between pedestrians and cars in New York City.  They're at the lowest point in recorded history, the Bloomberg Administration says, and the analysis released today may inform policy decisions to push them lower.

Among the findings from the mayor's announcement today:

•    Male drivers are involved in 80% of crashes that kill or seriously injure pedestrians.  They're only 57% of registered drivers in New York City.
•    Private vehicles – not taxis, trucks or buses – are involved in 79% of crashes that kill or seriously injure pedestrians.
•    Pedestrian fatalities in 2009 were down nearly 20 percent from 2001.

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Taxi Hot Spots, Subway Commuting Excuses, and Let My Transit Data Go

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Driver, follow that hot spot: a plan is in the works to bring Wi-Fi to NYC cabs (WNYC)

Subway made you late to work? The MTA will provide an excuse for you, online (WNYC)

Let my data go: a video plea for transportation agencies to end their data monopoly. Which apparently some are.  (Streetfilms)

The elderly and disabled must pay full fare. Oh wait, they don't. DC Metro reverses paratransit fare decision.  (Washington Examiner)

The Sheridan Expressway's possible dismantling to be discussed on today's Brian Lehrer Show.

Potholes: they're not just for spring anymore, as one Massachusetts highway is erupting after years of neglect (Boston Globe)

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Transportation Nation

Why is Transit in Such a Fiscal Hole?

Friday, June 25, 2010

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) There's not a transit system in the nation that isn't under water. MARTA in Atlanta is looking a cutting a quarter of its service. The board of the Caltrain, through Silicon Valley, is reserving the option of ceasing to exist entirely. But why is the NYC MTA, the nation's marqee transit system, facing an $800 million budget gap?

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Transportation Nation

Facing Big Bus Cuts, New York City to Expand Van Network

Monday, June 21, 2010

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) Facing system-wide cuts in mass transit this weekend, WNYC has learned New York City is looking to vastly expand it private commuter van network. So-called dollar vans, which actually cost $2.00, operate throughout the city, picking up passengers who flag them down and dropping them off along specified routes. The vans, which are privately operated, are regulated by the city Taxi and Limosine commission, or TLC. According to those with direct knowledge of the situation, the TLC has been quietly meeting with dollar van operators to expand their routes to pick up much of the slack left by bus line cuts. Those cuts go into effect on Sunday, though the expansion of dollar van routes isn’t expected to take place that quickly.

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