Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Albany Automobile Ugliness

Photo from @leahgolby on twitter

Tired of automobile ugliness? Fight for free public transit.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sensible Plan: Make public transit fare-free in New York City

...This plan encourages drivers to use public transit, reducing pollution, congestion, car accidents and energy consumption. By unclogging traffic, life would much easier for those who must drive, saving them time and money. Everyone wins — even the drivers who are paying for an upgrade to their service.

Free Transit has the potential to transform New York City for the better. Instead of subsidizing Wall Street or condo developers, Free Transit invests in millions of transit riders, the backbone of our economy....
Go to Free Transit

Monday, December 6, 2010

Nation’s Transportation Policy Violates Civil Rights

From Flickr by Sonja Shield
Does Our Nation’s Transportation Policy Violate the Civil Rights Act? – AltTransport: Your Guide to Smarter Ways of Getting Around: "Manhattan (the city’s richest and whitest borough) is abundantly better connected to trains and buses than any of the other boroughs. In fact, when the Metropolitan Transit Association cut its buses and train lines, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens felt it the hardest.

Minorities and other low income groups, who overwhelmingly live in the outer boroughs, are far more affected by transit cuts and increasing highway spending than their largely white counterparts who live in wealthier neighborhoods.

And that’s a problem."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Streetsblog New York City » Good Gov Groups, Transit Advocates Call on Cuomo to Stop MTA Raids

Streetsblog New York City » Good Gov Groups, Transit Advocates Call on Cuomo to Stop MTA Raids: "Albany’s repeated plundering of the MTA’s dedicated funds has robbed transit riders of more than $140 million in the past year alone. With a $9 billion budget gap looming, straphangers could end up paying again very soon. An impossible fix, you ask? I know the subject is Albany and we’ve all been conditioned to think that change is hopeless, but as it happens, all it takes is one person, the governor of New York, to say enough is enough.

For as long as he’s in office, Andrew Cuomo can put a stop to the practice of raiding dedicated transit funds, without waiting for the state legislature to take action. Not only would this policy change be good for transit riders, advocates say in a new report, it would be consistent with principles of good government."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

[Montreal] Board of Trade sold on public transit

Board of Trade sold on public transit: "For years, cities and environmentalists have been calling for better bus, metro and commuter train service.

Yesterday, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal joined the cause, publishing a study suggesting efficient transportation boosts productivity and wealth.

'The business community is resolutely behind public transit,' which is 'vital to Quebec's prosperity,' said Board of Trade chief executive Michel Leblanc.

Expenditures by public transit authorities help fill provincial and federal governments coffers, while productivity is boosted because transit users spend less time stuck in traffic, the study said. Employers benefit because they can choose from a wider selection of candidates and their workers can efficiently get to and from work."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Theodore W. Kheel, Mediator, Free Transit Advocate, Dies at 96 -

Theodore W. Kheel, Mediator, Dies at 96 - "Theodore W. Kheel, who was New York City’s pre-eminent labor peacemaker from the 1950s through the 1980s, a mediator and arbitrator sought after by both City Hall and the White House to help avert or end strikes of crippling consequence, died on Friday. He was 96 and lived in Manhattan."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Freedom Party - Free Transit Advocates

NY Freedom Party advocates free public transit: The Freedom Party will not stand by & allow the Democratic Party or anyone else to take the Black &Latino vote for granted. For New York?s Black and Latino Community the real issue must be the acquisition of economic and political power, for the purposes of self-help and self-determination. Politics is about power- the power that decides who has income, education, affordable homes, health care, respect and justice. The Freedom Party says the struggle is about economics:

Institute free public transportation & CUNY (public Higher Ed.)

Friday, October 22, 2010

We have another candidate! Howie Hawkins free public transportation

Meet the Minor Party Candidates - WNYC: "Hawkins envisions taking extra tax revenue from the rich and using it to fund free tuition at public colleges and free public transportation. He would also fund a “Green New Deal,” which would invest in environmentally-friendly public infrastructure projects."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Free transit people, we have another candidate!

After Harlem Heckle, Barron Takes Freedom Party To Steps Of Brooklyn Borough Hall | The New York Observer: "Barron said that there was very little difference between the economic policies of Cuomo and G.O.P. candidate Carl Paladino, and said that his platform consisted of free public transportation, lowering the cost of college tuition, and paying for it all with an income tax on upper income earners."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Streetsblog New York City � Rider Anger Grazes Incumbent Pols at Fare Hike Hearing

On the eve of today's primary election, most of the anger over the impending fare hike was directed at the MTA, not state legislators. Photo: Noah Kazis
Streetsblog New York City � Rider Anger Grazes Incumbent Pols at Fare Hike Hearing: "Outside Cooper Union yesterday evening, the sidewalks were packed with news cameras, security squads, political campaigners and activists pressing passersby with their plans for the MTA. Inside, the transit authority held the first of ten mandated public hearings on its proposed fare and toll hikes. Though attendance was sparse, the citizens who lined up to speak in all but unanimous opposition to the fare hike spared no venom for whichever target they chose, the MTA or the state government.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Phineas Baxandall: In The Public Interest: More Jobs for the Same Money

Phineas Baxandall: In The Public Interest: More Jobs for the Same Money: "By looking at twenty governmental Metropolitan Planning Organizations and the projects listed in their Transportation Improvement Programs, the study found that shifting half of funds for highway projects to public transit would result in 36,000 additional annual jobs. For instance, in Atlanta such a shift to public transit would result in 23,000 additional full-time jobs during the life of their five-year transportation plan. In San Diego, the expected increase would total over 18,000 jobs."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Anna Sterne Outlines Transportation Initiatives for the 92nd District | GroundReport

Anna Sterne Outlines Transportation Initiatives for the 92nd District | GroundReport: "Free Teenage Public Transportation Cards:� �To encourage the use of public transportation and make it a ‘cool’ option, Sterne advocates issuing free public transportation cards to teenagers in the 92nd District – kids between the ages of 14 and 18.� Public transportation is safer than driving a car and it is more environmentally friendly.� Having kids on the buses would make public transportation more fun and the next generation would get into the habit of using public transportation.� Since buses and trains are rarely at capacity, this initiative would be cost free, except for the cost of issuing the passes."

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Billions for oil wars - nothing for transit - get it?

NY lays off 194 subway workers

From New York comes a reminder that the revenue problems facing Washington's public transportation systems aren't unique. The New York area Metropolitan Transit Authority faces an $800 million deficit, and Friday 194 New York City subway workers lost their jobs.

A judge had prevented the Metropolitan Transportation Authority from closing more than 40 subway booths and firing the workers in June. She said the transit agency needed to hold a new round of public hearings first... WashingtonPost

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Working Families � Public Transportation

Working Families � Public Transportation: "We need massive new investment to meet the demands of a growing city, but city and state aid for the MTA hasn’t kept up.

Now, faced with looming budget deficits, the MTA is talking about raising fares again, further driving up the cost of living in a city working people already can’t afford.

We need a transit system that’s affordable and reliable. But without increased state and city aid, more fare hikes are inevitable."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Streetsblog New York City � NYPD Let Witnesses Leave Scene of Fatal Fort Greene Crash

Streetsblog New York City � NYPD Let Witnesses Leave Scene of Fatal Fort Greene Crash: "Aileen McKay-Dalton
The NYPD failed to follow up with at least one key witness in its investigation of the crash that killed Aileen McKay-Dalton earlier this month, according to a woman who saw the collision and stayed at the scene."

This is heart-breaking. But, let's face it. We don't care. Why do we blame the police? This is not a problem of individual accountability. It is a system problem. Saying otherwise is to prolong the agony. We have let this monster, private auto traffic, grow and kill... and we have done little or nothing. Now, you CAN do something. Join the international campaign for free public transit. Let's get rid of this killer once and for all.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pump price doesn’t cover gasoline cost /

Pump price doesn’t cover gasoline cost / "That means the gasoline you’re buying at the pump is — stick with me here — too cheap. The price you pay is less than the product’s true cost. A lot less, actually. And it’s not just catastrophic spills and dramatic disruptions in the Middle East that add to the price. Gasoline has so many hidden costs that there’s a cottage industry devoted to tallying them up. At least the ones that can be tallied up."

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pollution Free Cities

Pollution Free Cities: "Key Quotes:
“I would have mass transit be given away for nothing and charge an awful lot for bringing an automobile into the city.” (Michael Bloomberg, Mayor New York City)
“in 2000 the government subsidy to each private vehicle owner was about $5,378 in Canadian dollars. In that year, the average cost of providing each trip taken by transit in Vancouver was approximately $5. The equivalent subsidy for transit users would have been 1,075 free trips’
“Revenue for any system drops when ridership dips or when fares are increased.. the Simpson-Curtain rule.. It drops 3.8 per cent for every 10 per cent increase in fares, researchers have found.”
“public transport .. an essential public service, and as such, like health and education, should be paid for out of general taxation.”
“72% of people interviewed in a recent survey said they would not give up their car until they could use public transport without charge (UK survey)”"

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Students fight for the free transit pass

NEW YORK -- About 1,000 New York City high school students chanted "This is what democracy looks like!" and waved homemade signs and banners Friday as they marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to protest a plan to eliminate their free transit passes.

The students walked out of classrooms all over the city at noon and converged at City Hall Park for a rally with elected officials and transit union members.

Then they marched across the bridge for a second rally near the former headquaters of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in Brooklyn.

Read more:

Friday, June 11, 2010

New York Students fight for free transit

Students are planning to walk out of 23 high schools to demonstrate outside City Hall against the threatened end of free bus and subway rides to and from school, protest organizers said Thursday. NYTimes

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Komanoff and Kheel New York Heroes

Reuters/Eric Thayer
Komanoff’s work may not have made him a celebrity, but his rigor gained him a reputation within the rarefied world of traffic geeks. In 2007, he got a phone call. Ted Kheel, a legendary labor lawyer and one of Komanoff’s heroes, had made it his personal mission to completely rethink New York City’s traffic policy. Was Komanoff free to help?

Now 95 years old, Kheel has been trying to improve New York’s traffic for more than half a century. He is obsessed with the economic damage that cars do to cities—damage that’s much greater than most people realize. In 1958, as the New York City Transit Authority was preparing to raise subway fares, Kheel wrote a paper citing a survey that found that traffic congestion cost more than $2 billion a year. “This vast sum,” Kheel wrote, “equal to $1 a working day for every man, woman, and child in the city, has to be paid by someone, and it is. It is assessed against all of us in the form of higher prices, inflated delivery costs, and increased taxes.” It would be cheaper, he argued, to subsidize public transportation and save the hidden costs associated with driving.

Kheel made the same point a decade later, in a New York magazine cover story arguing against another fare increase: “Any balanced analysis will surely prove that the taxpayer actually pays, for every person who chooses to drive to and from work in his own car, an indirect subsidy at least 10 times as great as the indirect subsidy now paid the mass-transit rider.” Reuters

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Michael Bloomberg - have the courage of your convictions !

He did venture to suggest his plan to charge people for driving into Manhattan would funnel millions into mass transit. He noted that more money would come from increased ridership and that the feds would kick in a bigger chunk of change. He allowed himself to imagine an ideal that is not likely ever to come to pass.

"I would have mass transit be given away for nothing and charge an awful lot for bringing an automobile into the city," he said.

A reporter might have expected a politician to then rumble away in a black SUV. He instead walked the two blocks to the G train without a single news camera to record the event. The subject of the subway fare again came up as he strode toward the turnstiles and he noted that the MTA currently offers significant discounts geared to those who commute underground.

Read more:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Peak Auto?

... The question is whether or not we in the USA will wake up to this new reality in time to take advantage of the economic opportunities and needs of the new era -such as the need for American manufacturers of streetcars, for instance.
The really good news in this story is that this could be a transition to a time when the carnage from motor vehicle crashes will no longer be considered an accepted part of modern life. A time when our urban places will once more be designed for people and not be trashed to accommodate cars. And when the profligate burning for mobility of the earth’s finite store of petroleum will be looked at as a quaint relic of the past. A past not unlike the one now regulated to the movies where people smoked in doctor’s offices and on airplanes. A past that causes us to say: what were they thinking?...Norman Garrick on Planetizen

Thursday, March 18, 2010

How can I help?

When you plan your vacation, if you are going to a resort town, ask them if they have free buses. Contact the local Chamber of Commerce or mayor's office.  Many ski resort towns have free public transit. Other resort areas are catching on.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Public Transit - Fiscally Responsible Investment

Welcome to the Tri-State Transportation Campaign

[NYC bus]
It’s time to face what all of us know: much of our transportation system is broken. Traveling in the NY/NJ/CT metropolitan region is often a nightmare. In fact, transportation is our region’s number one economic and environmental problem.

Follow on Twitter        Webpage
"Connecticut is making significant steps towards spending its transportation capital dollars in a more sustainable manner," the report says. "Projected capital funding for transit projects is up significantly, and funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects has also increased." ConstructionPros

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Costs of NOT HAVING free public transit

New York City – The average New York City driver loses $1,888 each year as a result of driving on roads that lack some desirable safety features, have poor pavement conditions or have inadequate capacity to meet travel demands. In total, New York State motorists lose $16.4 billion each year due to traffic crashes, additional vehicle operating costs and congestion-related delays, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.
Tripnet [PDF]

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Free transit for seniors in NY State - bill introduced

2009-2010 Regular Sessions
January 7, 2009
Introduced by M. of A. PERALTA, WALKER, GREENE -- Multi-Sponsored by --
TOWNS -- read once and referred to the Committee on Transportation
AN ACT to amend the transportation law, in relation to providing free
public transportation for senior citizens
1 Section 1. The transportation law is amended by adding a new section
2 15-d to read as follows:
5 S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
6 it shall have become a law, provided, however, that the commissioner of
7 transportation shall promulgate any rules and regulations necessary for
8 the implementation of this act on or before such effective date.
Peralta for State Senate

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Want jobs? Fund mass transit

If we’d spent as much federal stimulus money on public transportation as we spent on highways, we would have created twice as much work and put a bigger dent in the unemployment rate. Read more at Wired

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Red state shows yankees how its done

 CAT ridership skyrocketing in Oconee County
... During its inaugural fiscal year in 1996, which consisted of only six months because of its late startup date, there were 173,917 passengers who used the CAT system.
However, that number jumped in subsequent years and, during the 2002-03 fiscal year, CAT achieved a milestone when Janice Young, at the time a senior Clemson University special education major and Six Mile resident, became the millionth rider to board the transit system.
Babinicz said CAT’s fare-free transit system, which is funded through state, federal and local dollars, has provided tremendous dividends to the city that can be measured in more ways than just bus service.
“The part we didn’t anticipate completely when we started was that everyone benefits from CAT — even if they never use it,” he said. “Studies are beginning to show across the country that transit eases congestion, reduces air pollution, saves energy and spurs economic development and job creation, increases real estate values and improves the quality of life for riders and non-riders....” upstatetoday