Monday, July 9, 2018

NY commuter gives his assessment of the state of #publictransit

timesledger.com I could not agree less with Larry Penner's assessment of local mass transit.

The cost per passenger mile of mass transit is way out of line. Mass transit is a disgrace. Have you ever noticed how almost every how every mass transit construction program goes ENORMOUSLY over budget and takes eons longer than originally planned & promised?

As particular examples, please consider the 2nd Ave subway in Manhattan and the Eastside connection of the LIRR. After spending not a fortune, but several fortunes, and close to half a century, on the 2nd Ave subway they hooked up a few stations, & seem to have forgotten about the rest of the line.

The slowwwwww progress & excessive cost, of the Eastside connection, would be comical if it wasn't so painful.

While it sounds good on paper, Mass Transit in NYC has been an expensive boondoggle.

Yes, it is used by tons & tons of people all of the time, but they don't have a choice.

Please find a copy of an old LIRR timetable from the 1930's or 1940's. You may be surprised to see that despite all types of improvements & new trains, travel times to Penn Station in Manhattan are about the same now as they were then. (At least for the Port Washington Branch, the one I use.)

If you take the Eastbound LIRR during evening rush hour, I'm sure you are familiar with the notably disgusting delays there have been during the past year or two. The LIRR blames it on AmTrak, but either way, it's mass transit.

AmTrak has a notably BAD record for not meeting the deadline for the installation of mandated safety devices.

The train tunnel under the Hudson River, connecting NYC with NJ, is VERY old & in SERIOUS disrepair. Additionally it is inadequate for the present traffic & certainly inadequate for any additional traffic; however, NJ has turned a blind eye to the problem & refuses to do anything about it.

And, while I'm on the subject, let me remind everyone that the MTA & LIRR are unable to support rail service from the fair box & demand contributions from other aspects of life (like mortgages payments, & bridge tolls, inter alia).

Investment in public transportation has funded notably expensive public works projects which have yielded only a pittance of an improvement to the transit situation. This is not unlike what the robber barons & exploiters of the RR industry did during the final quarter of the 19th century.

Please tell us, Larry, how much per linear foot have we paid so far for the 1.7 miles of the 2nd Ave. subway currently in service?

The Venerable Stan from Flushing

Friday, May 25, 2018

Op-ed: Public transit is key to tackling global warming

Crain's New York Business : "New York has a major opportunity to lead the nation in reducing emissions and to strike a blow against inequality by making significant and bold investments in public transit across the state. These could give most residents access to efficient, reliable and extensive public transit networks, and provide transit-dependent communities access to opportunities that are not readily available."

Sunday, April 22, 2018

#Autosprawl meltdown continues. US chose cars overs buses. Now, can't afford either.

Times Union : "AMSTERDAM – In a move that some say will hurt the chances of young people to get afterschool jobs, the city's transportation department is being dissolved because financial woes."

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

RVT Begins Clinton County Public Transportation; Free Through March 10

The Record Online : "LOCK HAVEN – Two years in the making, Clinton County’s first public transportation in a generation is now up and running. Today was the first day of service for Williamsport-based River Valley Transit, the agency charged with implementing the new bus routes. The blue, grey and red natural gas-powered RVT buses are serving the Lock Haven area from the Clinton/Lycoming County line to the WalMart off Hogan Boulevard in Bald Eagle Township."

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Free public transit trial drew 98 employees from Medical Campus

The Buffalo News: "A program to get more people to take public transit to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus drew 98 campus workers from member institutions that took advantage of a one-week free trial in May, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Inc. said.

The campus organization and public transportation officials partnered to offer the free trial to entice people to consider alternative forms of transportation to the growing Medical Campus."

Monday, April 10, 2017

In US, #publictransit sucks, while billions are spent fighting for oil to waste on cars

The New York Times: "Commuters from the East End of Long Island to the western edge of New Jersey suffered a transportation meltdown and four days of upheaval last week — all because of the faulty maintenance of a federal railroad they may never ride."

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Auto-Free New York!

Auto-Free New York!: "Traffic jams in both directions crowd the East River Drive in this view looking north from the Manhattan Bridge (Sept 2016). Hundreds of millions of dollars of public money have been spent adding lanes and ramps to this waterfront-killing highway. This new space for cars was sold to us as a way to eliminate traffic bottlenecks, but of course only invited even more motorists. The vast majority of the cars in this picture carry only one person - the driver; most of the cabs and for-hire cars carry only one passenger. Photo: Wayne Fields."

Cohoes City School District considers free public transportation for some students

WNYT.com: "Mayor Shawn Morse said the Cohoes City School District is considering a proposal to give about 960 eligible students swipe cards to take CDTA buses.

“It's just about time that our kids have this opportunity so I applaud the school district,” Morse said. “I'm fully supportive of it as is the rest of the city officials I believe,” he said.

The proposal follows the death of 16-year-old Brittany Knight who was killed along 787 by a driver last June.

Knight’s death sparked outrage over the dangerous intersections on 787.

It was the third pedestrian death in 15 years at that stretch of road where the highway becomes an urban street."

Why #publictransit should be fare-free

Next City : "The more people who use public transit, the more people who benefit, whether they are riders or not, due to reduced congestion and pollution and increased potential for productivity. Eliminating fees to use public transit (rail and bus) would entice more riders to use the system and would reduce cost burdens on low-income families. How would transit budgets be covered? By paying for it out of the city budget, the same way we do with roads and public education, thereby sharing the cost across all taxpayers. This is the fairest solution since non-riders also are gaining benefit from the transit system."

Monday, March 27, 2017

Transit riders air grievances in Lackawanna march to bus stop

The Buffalo News : "Passengers who frequently use public transportation marched Sunday afternoon along Ridge Road in Lackawanna, calling for "transit justice" and urging the Niagara Frontier Transit Authority to improve service and offer more bus routes.

About 60 marchers traced the steps walked by residents of Lackawanna's First Ward, who on Saturdays must hike at least a mile by foot to catch a bus on South Park Avenue heading south toward McKinley Mall. Depending on where you live in the First Ward, that walk could be much longer, and on Sundays there are no buses. If you want to head east, toward the Southgate Plaza, you're out of luck entirely on weekends for bus service."

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Cuomo urged to provide extra funding for ROC public transportation

WHAM: "Rochester, N.Y. - Leaders and businesses in Rochester are calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to provide additional funding for public transportation in town."

Friday, February 3, 2017

Why does #publictransit suck? Ask yourself "who benefits"

Public transit in the US is just a minimum to keep the system from collapsing. It's frustrating to get to work. Those who profit from autos, oil, and sprawl, keep it in bad shape to keep cars rolling.

27east: "“They are talking about the first step—restoring some of the funding,” Ms. Fleming said. “Cutting [the bus routes] really left people without a way of getting to important appointments, and to and from work. We need to restore the service.”"

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Autosprawl meltdown, people can't get to work

Public transportation highlight of Beacon town hall session: "Mayor Casale said with the new improvements to public transit, and having seen a number empty county buses running through Beacon from time to time, the main effort is to get people to utilize public transit.

“We need people to start riding public transit to sustain public transit,” said Casale. “The more we promote it, and the more the businesses promote it, and the more people get used to it- we talk about parking problems, we talk about, ‘It’s hard to walk here to there,’- use the public transit. So, that’s what we plan on moving forward and hopefully we can promote it, we can get people to ride it and the more people that ride it, the better the service will get I believe.”"
The US has $Trillions in autosprawl infrastructure, but buses go begging. We can't afford buses because they are empty, but they are empty because they are too few and unreliable. Make them fare-free. You will get your money back ten times in better health, lower congestion, less parking headaches, fewer collisions, etc etc.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Economists "confused" as they try to figure out #degrowth without considering energy

The New York Times: "It increasingly looks as if something fundamental is broken in the global growth machine — and that the usual menu of policies, like interest rate cuts and modest fiscal stimulus, aren’t up to the task of fixing it (though some well-devised policies could help)."

Monday, December 5, 2016

Lackawanna residents calling on NFTA to expand public transportation

wivb.com : "More than 800 Lackawanna residents have signed a petition. They say they can’t make it to their jobs, grocery stores, and schools due to a lack of public transportation."

Monday, September 26, 2016

Don't ferry public money to those who need it least

Crain's New York Business: "There are better, more targeted ways of helping average folks. Resources 
should be spent on addressing the transportation deserts where dollar vans operate, improving intra-borough travel. After all, the outer boroughs have more residents commuting within them than to Manhattan, according to the Regional Plan Association.

New Yorkers have urgent public transportation needs, but subsidizing boat rides for tourists and mostly higher-income people living along the East River will exacerbate the city’s inequality, not reverse it."

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Glens Falls, NY, cars have death grip on US public, more pain to come

poststar.com: "A proposal to remove funding from the federal gas tax for public transit systems, such as those that operate in Glens Falls and Watertown, has resurfaced in the Republican presidential platform."

Friday, July 15, 2016

Public Transit Riders Want Better Service, Not Free WiFi

WIRED: "TransitCenter asked more than 3,000 online respondents from 17 regions across the country what sorts of upgrades they’d like to see on their commutes, with choices like free Wi-Fi, outlets, more frequent service, faster travel times, cheaper fares, robust shelters built for bad weather, and updates on when their bus would arrive.

PEOPLE MOVERS

Watch London Get Its Shiny New Crossrail Tunnels Ready for Action

Get Ready for Quieter NYC Subway Stations (Yes, It’s Possible)

LA’s New Metro Line Won’t Reduce Traffic—And That’s OK
They ranked perks like outlets and Wi-Fi dead last. Even tap-and-go fare cards, a relatively low-tech update many agencies are racing to implement, landed near the bottom of the pile. Surprise—people care more about reliability and practicality than frills."

Monday, July 11, 2016

Move more people with less fuel

The Buffalo News: "Millions of Americans today utilize various public transportation alternatives. They include local and express bus, ferry, jitney, light rail, subway and commuter rail services. All of these systems use less fuel and move far more people than conventional single-occupancy vehicles. Most of these systems are funded with your tax dollars thanks to Johnson.

Depending upon where you live, consider the public transportation alternative. Try riding an NFTA bus or light rail vehicle. The ability to travel from home to workplace, school, shopping, entertainment, medical, library, etc. is a factor when moving to a new neighborhood. Economically successful communities are not 100 percent dependent on automobiles as the sole means of mobility. Seniors, students, low- and middle-income people need these transportation alternatives. Investment in public transportation today contributes to economic growth, employment and a stronger economy.

Dollar for dollar, it is one of the best investments we can make."

Saturday, June 18, 2016

People of Yates County want #publictransit

fltimes.com: "Of those surveyed, more than 400 said they would use public transportation to get to and from Penn Yan, and more than 300 said they would use it to go to Geneva. More than 200 said they would use it to go to Canandaigua if a route there were offered.

Yates County is one of only two counties in the state without public transportation. The plan would see Arc of Yates provide public transit along five routes that would go from Penn Yan to Dundee, Dresden, Rushville, Naples and Geneva."

Monday, April 25, 2016

Subways are very expensive, but if we didn't have cars in the city, we would not need them.

One day, 624 Delays (New York Mag) | A post-automobile world?: "Money is naturally behind all the system’s shortcomings. Last year, after the MTA leadership declared a funding crisis, the city committed a record $2.5 billion to the agency’s capital plan, and the state committed $8.3 billion. Even with that new $29 billion budget, only 68 percent of stations will have countdown clocks by 2020."

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Car-loving NY governor gets some push-back

Spotlight News : "“The Assembly’s investment in transportation finally provides funding for all users of the road, whether they are a pedestrian, a user of public transit, or a motorist,” said Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy (D-Albany). “This unprecedented appropriation for pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements will make an incredible impact of the lives of all New Yorkers.”"

Monday, March 28, 2016

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus offering employees free bus/rail passes

The Buffalo News: "The Medical Campus has launched the “Try Transit” program, an initiative designed to promote bus and rail use among employees. It will provide free NFTA-Metro passes to employees who have not tried local public transportation before.

Try Transit is part of a larger GO BNMC program, which encourages alternative transportation such as public transit, carpooling, biking and walking. It has also worked to make sure the medical campus’s infrastructure is friendly to alternative modes of transport."

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Citywide car-free day in New York City is ‘great idea’ but requires planning, expert says

Metro: "For the city that never sleeps, going a full day without cars on the road may seem like an out-of-this-world plan, but according to one transportation expert, the idea is possible — it just needs a little more planning.

On Wednesday, Councilman and Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez announced the launch of the first Car Free NYC to be held on Earth Day, the New York Daily News reported."

Monday, March 14, 2016

People can't get to work in Rochester, NY, area.

Boost public transit aid: "An example of how that investment will pay off can be seen in the more than 9,000 employees in Monroe, Livingston, Ontario and Seneca counties that we are currently unable to serve because their employers have staffing hours that don’t match our route schedules or locations that fall outside our service area.

These companies face employee recruitment and retainment challenges, and having the necessary funds to expand our services to these companies will help provide stability for the employers and employees."

Friday, March 11, 2016

An efficient, unbureaucratic way to fight poverty -- #freetransit

Can better public transit curb inequality in Rochester?: "“We’ve done a good job identifying the problem," said Maureen Duggan, executive director for the Community Design Center. "Now we really need to see what we can do to identify some solutions, to move the needle on poverty.”"