Transport For London
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
By Kate Hinds
On January 9, 2013, the world's first underground journey took place in London.
According to the London Transport Museum:
The original Underground line was built and financed by the Metropolitan Railway, a private company which had been formed in 1854 to undertake the project to link the mainline stations at Paddington, Euston and King’s Cross with the City centre business district to the east.
Travelling on the new railway was a novelty that thousands of Londoners were eager to experience and on the first day of public service – long queues formed at every station. The line was a huge success with 26,000 passengers using the railway each day in the first six months.
In 1969, Queen Elizabeth opened a section of the Victoria Line and actually took the controls. According to press reports, it was her second time riding the Tube.
But she didn't just ride. The queen apparently also took the controls.
Carriage 353 was a four-wheeled first class carriage built in 1892. Amazingly, it had been "relegated to use as a garden shed." Check out a video of its history -- and restoration process -- below.
Here's what the interior of a 1938 car looked like:
To celebrate the 150th anniversary, Google UK blessed its site with an Underground-themed Doodle.
Today, Transport for London estimates around 3.5 million journeys are made on the network each day, across 11 lines serving 270 stations.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
By Kate Hinds
London's transportation network has survived the first workday of the Olympic Games -- and, according to one transit user, is well organized. And colorful.
WNYC's Kathleen Ehrlich is in London this week, so we've tasked her to be TN's official Olympic transport correspondent. (Vacation time be damned!) She shared with us her impressions of the first weekday of the Games. "The system is crowded, but holding up," she says.
View a slideshow of photos from the London Olympics (all photos by Steven Z. Ehrlich)
Kathleen says the flow of foot traffic on the rail system is being carefully controlled. "Many routes were adjusted so that at certain busy stations you can only get on or get off at certain parts of the day," she says, "or you can only enter or exit through certain entrances." And there's a lot of help for transit riders. "Tube stations/train stations are staffed with large numbers of volunteers as well as extra workers," she says. "The people helping out have been cheerful and knowledgeable. The system is spotlessly clean. Workers are giving people free rides on the tube if people are having issues with their Oysters and getting them on their way is taking priority over making sure everyone is paying."
If there are issues, it's easy to ID help. The four official colors of the 2012 Olympics are pink, blue, green and orange -- colors that, according to the official website, "were carefully chosen to communicate the spirit of the London 2012 Games: energetic, spirited, bright and youthful."
Not to mention unmissable.
"It stands out," says Kathleen. "Nothing else is fuchsia. So as soon as you see it, you know it's about the Olympics and likely about travel."
So far, the transit system seems to be keeping people off the roads. Boris Johnson, London's mayor, told ITV that "we've been able to turn off a lot of the Games lanes because so many people are going by public transport."
TN MOVING STORIES: Senate Approves Pipeline Safety Bill, London Bus Stops All Have Real-Time Info, and Did The BlackBerry Outage Lower Traffic Crashes?
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
By Kate Hinds
Top stories on TN:
The US DOT handed out nearly $1 billion in transit grants. (Link)
Rep. Mica on FAA shutdown: been there, done that, don't want to do it again. (Link)
Orbitz was fined for deceptive ad practices. (Link)
Last week's BlackBerry outage might be linked to a drop in traffic crashes. (Streetsblog)
The Senate approved a pipeline safety bill after a hold was dropped. (Los Angeles Times)
Could the Tappan Zee Bridge be High Lined? Probably not, but fun to imagine. (NY Times)
Electric cars are so popular with business travelers that Hertz is adding more to its fleet. (Marketplace)
How will Seattle replace its aging bridges? Not through a proposed $60 hike in car fees. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Real-time info is now available for every London bus stop. (Transit Wire)
A proposal to provide free transit service for San Francisco’s youth has some serious roadblocks -- namely a $13.2 million price tag and Clipper card incompatibility. (San Francisco Examiner)
NYC tries to coordinate street construction work via website. (NY Observer)
One plug to rule them all: automakers sign on to a single charging protocol. (Autopia)
TN Moving Stories: NJ Transit's "Quiet Car" Program Spurs Not-So-Quiet Debate, and Has London "Misjudged Bike Demand?"
Monday, January 10, 2011
By Kate Hinds
The Star-Ledger's editorial board is not loving New Jersey Governor Christie's transportation plan, which they describe as a short-sighted "money grab — all to protect his image on the gas tax."
Speaking of the Garden State, NJ Transit's recently expanded "quiet car" program is experiencing some growing pains, like hearty debates over the difference between "silent" and "merely quiet." (New York Times)
Police in Fairfax, Virginia, are cracking down on distracted driving -- and say there's been a 45% decrease in fatal crashes and a 42% decrease in all crashes. (WAMU)
Bike sharing comes to Dubai -- along with a plan to build 900 km of bike tracks (lanes) by the year 2020 (Khaleej Times).
$500 million subway "boondoggle?" The New York Post says that more than a decade after the MTA pledged to transform the subway data network, the equipment is still busted and the multimillion-dollar price tag is growing.
Is London "a rather unpleasant place for cyclists?" That's the assertion made by an article in The Economist, which says London may have "fundamentally misjudged the nature of bike demand." “There has never been a shortage of bikes in London,” says one transport economist. “It’s just that people are afraid to use them.”
Florida Governor Rick Scott met with Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara at the Capitol to discuss trade -- and high-speed rail. (AP via the Miami Herald)
The New York Times profiled that friend to bicyclists, Denver mayor -- now Colorado's governor-elect -- John Hickenlooper.
California's new drivers' licenses are so complicated to produce that "up to 80% of some batches have had errors, forcing tens of thousands of motorists to wait as long as six weeks, rather than a few days, to get their cards." (Los Angeles Times)
Best Buy will sell 240-volt home charging stations for Ford's 2012 electric Focus. (Fast Company)
Supporters rally to save Toronto's Transit City; city councillor says “Transit City is a lot more than a transit plan, it’s a city-building exercise." (Toronto Star)
TN Moving Stories: More Ethanol Allowed in Gas; Ray LaHood's High-Speed Rail Dream; and Car-Eating Rabbits in Denver
Thursday, October 14, 2010
By Kate Hinds
Iowa, the new Saudi Arabia? The EPA is now allowing up to 15 percent ethanol in gas. (NPR)
A plan to to pave parking lots and roadways with solar panels (turning them into solar grids) gains traction--and a little more R&D money. (Wired)
London's bike share program is on track to turn a profit--making it the only Transport for London system to do so. (The Guardian)
Jay Walder, head of New York's MTA, wants to stay in his post through 2015 (Bloomberg). That's a lot of bus and subway rides: so far he's taken 887 in his first year on the job (New York Daily News). But some of those trips get thwarted, because sometimes he forgets to check for subway diversions before he goes out on weekends (WNYC).
Arlington and Alexandria officials to meet today to talk about joint transportation issues. Why is this news? Because "this is the first meeting of the two local governmental bodies in recent memory." (WAMU)
Ray LaHood imagines a United States in which 80% of all cities are accessible by high-speed rail by the year 2035. (Las Vegas Sun)
Car-eating rabbits plague Denver International Airport's parking lots. Mmmm...soy-based wiring compounds! (Jalopnik)