Monday, March 9, 2015

Why It Is Easy to Hate the Poor

The Stranger: "But this is to be expected, because in our society it is easy for the middle class to hate the poor—to hate their lack of money (stalling a line in a store as they count pennies for a pack of cigarettes or bottle of beer or bag of diapers or can of food), their seemingly endless run-ins with the law, their bad habits, their constant neediness. Indeed, the hatred of public transportation is intimately tied with the hatred of the poor. Middle-class types who are unfortunate enough to use the bus expose themselves to the talk, the begging, the bad health of the poor. But instead of blaming the society, they blame the form of transportation. The unpleasant practices connected with poverty thus reinforce a generalized sign system that identifies these practices not with social conditions but with individuals. Poverty is identified as a "life choice." The use of food stamps, a character flaw. You notice chicken bones under a bus seat. The hatred grows."

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Public transportation is right choice for Queens

Queens Chronicle: "If New York is serious about creating jobs and improving access to employment for hundreds of thousands of residents, it should invest in the Rockaway Beach right-of-way as a public transit option. Alleviating travel times for residents will better connect the outer borough to economic opportunity. Public transportation is the best choice for Queens."

Friday, December 19, 2014

Brooklyn Dollar Vans Offer Free Rides This Saturday "Riders, who can catch the vans by hailing them or by waiting at bus stops along the routes, will be able to win tickets to a Brooklyn Nets games if they post about the free ride with the hashtag #MetroFreeRide and everyone will get MetroPCS gift bags, organizers said. But beyond the marketing push, nothing is required of customers.

“We are just a couple of commuter vans who want to give back to the community,” Williams said."

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Albany among cities setting records in public transit ridership

timesunion : "The Capital Region is among a number of mid-size American cities seeing record levels of ridership on its public transit, the American Public Transportation Association reported Wednesday. It said that nationwide, 2.7 billion trips were taken on public transit in the third quarter, the highest level since 1974, the oldest third quarter APTA said it has available for comparison."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Staten Island #publictransit is poor. What is the solution? ""Yes, I know, it's all but impossible. The truth is though, for a city (yes, I'll use that word here) of half a million people, it really isn't that big a deal," oxfdblue continued in his comment. "It just doesn't exist because of the poor planning and ineptitude of planners like Robert Moses who hated trains and loved cars (even though he never learned to drive).""
Capital intensive rail projects are not the answer. Make the buses fare-free and people will show you what they want.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Join Us In Improving Public Transit To Improve Our Quality of Life

Bensonhurst's News Blog: "When public transportation services are cut or reduced, the entire neighborhood suffers. But, if public transit is improved, whether by restoring previous services or adding new ones, the entire community benefits. It’s a win-win situation for everyone."

Monday, March 31, 2014

NY governor takes away dedicated #publictransit funds

Cuomo seals the deal for a $30 million transit raid :: Second Ave. Sagas: "For a little while, it appeared as though Albany would stop Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s latest raid on transit funding, but when the budgetary dust settled this past week, the status quo remained unchanged. Despite an initial plan to grab $40 million that didn’t pass the New York State Assembly or Senate, state legislators ultimately accepted a budget that diverted $30 million in transit funding the state had previously agreed to issue. With fare hikes on tap for 2015 (and every two years after that), the diversion is a stark reminder of the way Albany treats New York City’s transit riders."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Plenty of room in Rochester, if you get rid of cars

Parking Madness: Rochester, Streetsblog USA: "Submitter Matthew Denker describes the empty heart of this grotesque parking cluster: ”It’s an intersection with surface parking at all 4 corners. There is literally no reason to have a road here when it’s just a sea of parking. Even better (worse) you can see a massive parking garage on the left edge on the same block, and if you move just a hair north, you can see a park that was cut in half by a highway. And of course the area used to be the main square of Rochester and where the town Christmas tree was raised.”"

Monday, January 27, 2014

Why Did Police Beat an Elderly Man for Jaywalking? : "84-year-old Kang Wong is recovering today from a brutal attack on the streets of New York City.
Wong’s attackers jumped him as he jaywalked across a busy street in Manhattan, threw him up against a wall, and left him with cuts all across his face that have since been sealed up with four metal staples.
The attackers then brought Wong to the nearest police station, where he was booked on charges of jaywalking and resisting arrest.
Kang Wong’s attackers, you see, were New York City cops."

Friday, January 17, 2014

There is a killer on the loose -- the private auto

De Blasio aims for zero traffic deaths with plan to halt pedestrian killings   - NY Daily News: "Eleven New Yorkers have been killed in auto crashes in 2014, including seven pedestrians. Last year, 173 pedestrians were killed in the city, and overall 286 people died in traffic accidents. The mayor’s push includes handing out more tickets to reckless drivers and lowering speed limits."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bus Ridership on the Rise in Rochester, NY

WXXI Photo
Bus Ridership on the Rise | WXXI News: "More people are taking public transportation in Rochester, while the number of commuters traveling by car is down."

Saturday, December 28, 2013

NYC Subway Ridership Reaches Its Highest Levels Since 1950

Skift: "The subway system served an average of 5.4 million riders on a typical weekday in 2013. This was the highest volume served since 1950. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has used some form of rider measurement since at least 1946.

In fact, subway ridership has been on the rise for several years. Annual ridership reached a 62-year high in 2012 with 1.654 billion trips."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, December 26, 2013

"we need to plan our cities for less cars and more public transit use" - @leahgolby

Credit CDTA
Ticket To Ride: Albany Keen On Public Transit | WAMC: "According to the study, 76 percent of Americans are open to taking public transportation instead of driving, up from 69 percent in 2010.

Albany 10th ward Council Member Leah Golby says alternatives make sense as the population continues to grow. "The writing is on the wall and we need to plan our cities for less cars and more public transit use, more people choosing to walk and ride bicycles.""

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Convenience of fare-free rides increases ridership in Ithaca, NY

Ithaca Public Transportation: Popular, Award-winning, and Under-funded - Ithaca Times : News: "Why is ridership growing? “That’s the question of the day at TCAT,” said Turcotte.
Fernando de Aragon, the executive director of the Tompkins County Transportation Council, can martial several criteria to explain why the system is so popular.
“Cornell employees and students apparently ride free,” he said. “Of course, that’s not true; the university pays, but it makes for easy on-easy off and it’s a tremendous service. Some kids jump on just to a couple of blocks.”"

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth

@ae911truth : "This November’s “New York Times Billboard Campaign” is the perfect opportunity to get outside and educate hundreds of Times reporters and thousands of New Yorkers about the destruction of Building 7 and the need for a new 9/11 investigation."

Monday, November 4, 2013

200+ Groups Call on Governor Cuomo to Sign the Transit Lockbox Bill

Mobilizing the Region: "The Lockbox Bill (S.3837/ A.5084), sponsored by State Senator Martin Golden and Assemblyman James F. Brennan, unanimously passed both houses of the New York State legislature in June 2013.  The bill helps to assure revenues dedicated to public transportation are spent on public transportation, not diverted to plug budgetary holes in the state’s general fund. The bill was introduced in response to the dramatic negative impacts to the economy after Governor David Paterson diverted $260 million of dedicated transit funds in 2010, at the height of the recession. This diversion contributed to the worst service cuts and fare hikes in recent memory, impacting transit riders, as well as employers and transit manufacturers across the state. This bill will protect the revenue streams of over 130 transit providers across the state."

'via Blog this'

Monday, October 28, 2013

Commuting's Hidden Cost "“In places where people walk more, obesity rates are much lower,” she noted. “New Yorkers, perhaps the ultimate walkers, weigh six or seven pounds less on average than suburban Americans.”"

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

“Why Regional Rail Should be a Top Transport Priority for NYC’s Next Mayor”

Streetsblog New York City: "As NYC gears up to select a new Mayor, transportation issues often get lost in the sea of other important issues. Yet the Mayor has substantial power to influence public transit policy, even for services not directly under city control.  Especially important to the economy and sustainability of the city are good rail links that connect the city and its suburbs. For many years, The Institute for Rational Urban Mobility, Inc (IRUM) has been advocating making better use of the three commuter rail lines–the sleeping giant of regional mobility–that converge on the city, by remaking them into a coordinated Regional Rail system, with frequent service, integrated fares and through-running.

This month’s working group meeting will feature a presentation by George Haikalis, President of IRUM."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Widen Main St.? Community Had Other Ideas, and Thrived

Brendan Bannon for The New York Times
U.S. 62, which is Main Street in Hamburg, N.Y., was rebuilt to slow traffic and aid pedestrians. The changes have inspired business investment and civic activity. "Twelve years ago, the State Transportation Department proposed improving U.S. Route 62, the village’s mile-long Main Street, by adding another traffic lane, removing parallel parking and narrowing sidewalks. When Susan Burns, a lifelong Hamburg resident, saw the plan, she remembers asking, “What are you doing with the trees and the people?” She said she was told by state officials, “We have to get the traffic through.”"

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Banks benefit twice from bailout as they milk MTA with interest-rate swaps

Money For Nothing – New York Interest Rate Swaps: "The economic collapse and federal bailout changed the “rules of the game” with respect to interest rates. Now taxpayers are suffering and governments are stuck with the old rules while banks are allowed to play by the new ones. We need one set of rules for everyone.

Banks should be held accountable for their part in crashing the economy, not rewarded with a second bailout under lucrative swap agreements."

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cutting #publictransit service is cruel and unusual punishment of disabled #NFTA

Walk and Roll for Public Transportation: "Currently about 22 disabled individuals rely on the 8:30am dropoff at DDRO in order to arrive at their jobs or to get training. At 4:30pm, they catch the paratransit bus home. If the end of the line stops at Southgate Plaza as proposed, these individuals will have to walk or take their wheelchairs for the remainder of the trip—over a bridge and half a mile down Union Road, then a mile on East and West Road where there are no sidewalks, and only a narrow paved shoulder—in all kinds of weather.

Michael Rogers, the grassroots organizer for SANYS, describes how difficult it was for him to navigate the route in his motorized wheelchair. “I had gotten stuck, and luckily a passer-by was able to help. Otherwise, I would have been on the phone to the authorities. Or, I would have become road-hamburger.”"

'via Blog this'

Friday, July 19, 2013

"We're opening up channels for the gas to creep up to the surface and into the atmosphere."

Former Mobil VP Warns of Fracking and Climate Change: "The other [difference] is that the rock above the target zone is not necessarily impervious the way it was in the conventional wells. And to me that last point is at least as big as the volume. The industry will tell you that the mile or two between the zone that's being fracked is not going to let anything come up.
But there are already cases where the methane gas has made it up into the aquifers and atmosphere. Sometimes through old well bores, sometimes through natural fissures in the rock. What we don't know is just how much gas is going to come up over time. It's a point most people haven't gotten. It's not just what's happening today. We're opening up channels for the gas to creep up to the surface and into the atmosphere. And methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas in the short term - less than 100 years - than carbon dioxide."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Privatization - the best way to kill #publictransit "Private transit company Veolia Transport has been accused of lobbying Congress over HR7, legislation currently making its way through Congress which would (among other things) weaken public transit agencies, according to a StreetsBlog post on Friday. At the same time Veolia is taking over and gutting the Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) bus system, amid its continued expansion of transit system operation business around the world."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fares: Maybe buses should be free

The Economist: " Fares bring in a lot of money, but they cost money to collect—6% of the MTA's budget, according to a 2007 report in New York magazine. Fare boxes and turnstiles have to be maintained; buses idle while waiting for passengers to pay up, wasting fuel; and everyone loses time. Proof-of-payment systems don't solve the problem of fare-collection costs as they require inspectors and other staff to handle enforcement, paperwork and payment processing. Making buses and subways free, on the other hand, would increase passenger numbers, opening up space on the streets for essential traffic and saving time by reducing road congestion."
Economist article leaves out the biggest cost. The opportunity costs of lost riders, those who are turned away by fares. The marginal cost of an additional rider is small but the benefit is great. First, more riders means lower unit costs, or better return on fixed investment. Also more riders means better quality of life via greater freedom of movement in the city, and fewer people on the roads.

Monday, June 24, 2013

354,000 people a day in Times Square, but 90% of space allocated to cars "Discussing the need that she feels for pedestrian zones, she talked about “354,000 people going through Times Square every day, and you had 90 percent of the space there allocated to cars.” Slow buses? “Twenty-five percent of the delay is waiting to get on the bus.” Bicycles? “In the last Quinnipiac poll, New Yorkers gave 66 percent support for bike lanes. We saw 72 percent support for bike share.”"

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How many new roads have we built since 1990 and how much is it costing us?

Buffalo Rising: "Even as our population has declined over the past two decades, Erie and Niagara Counties have built 525 miles of new roads adding more than $26 million in road maintenance costs every year."

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