Photo from @leahgolby on twitter http://yfrog.com/h33jauj
Tired of automobile ugliness? Fight for free public transit.
...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.Go to Free Transit
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....
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.
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
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."
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: http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=940476&category=STATE#ixzz0qgKDj4Ys
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
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
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: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2007/06/07/2007-06-07_its_hizzoner_to_ride_train-2.html#ixzz0l529D0I9
... 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
"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
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.
... 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