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."

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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.""

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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.”"

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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."

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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."

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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.”"

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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."

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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."

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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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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Do you like #publictransit, #walkability in Albany,NY? Then re-elect Leah Golby

Albany, NY (June 6, 2013) -- Leah Golby's campaign announced three key endorsements today in her re-election bid for Albany's 10th Ward Common Council seat. The announcement comes on the heels of Monday's passage of her Complete Streets ordinance, which has been lauded by state and national Complete Streets advocates. Leah Golby has been cited for her leadership on the Albany Common Council during her first term, and her dedication to progressive values in Albany."

The bill for Robert Moses's dream has come. Ready to pay? #agw

Bloomberg Outlines $20 Billion Storm Protection Plan - "The cost of fortifying critical infrastructure like the power grid, retrofitting older buildings to withstand powerful storms, and defending the coastline was estimated to be $20 billion, according to a 430-page report outlining the proposals."

Monday, April 15, 2013

How Robert Moses and others wrecked, and are wrecking #publictransit

Sweatshops on Wheels - Chris Hedges - Truthdig: "“These are the worst conditions for mass transit since the Depression,” Hanley said. “The MTA is raising fares while it is cutting services in New York, including routes they have been running for 100 years.”"

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Things that go away with #freetransit - fare-enforcement, what is the cost?

Courthouse News Service: "BROOKLYN (CN) - NYPD officers pepper-sprayed three little children, including 2-year- and 5-month old babies, because they thought the kids' mom jumped a subway fare, the family claims in court."

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Will University at Buffalo destroy a neighborhood for more parking?

Petition | University at Buffalo: Listen to McCarley Gardens and Fruit Belt Residents | "HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, stable communities of quality affordable homes, which McCarley Gardens exemplifies. We ask that the University at Buffalo listen to the dignified residents of the McCarley Gardens and the Fruit Belt. Dissolve the current panel immediately and impanel a new decision-making group made up of those who live in the development and the surrounding neighborhoods. Residents are concerned about parking, litter, impact on the current sewer system, and other quality of life issues. The University at Buffalo is not privileged to make decisions about the Fruit Belt and Hospital Hill neighborhoods. The residents of McCarley Gardens and the Fruit Belt have the right to use their deserved voice regarding this neighborhood planning. "

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

How climate change could threaten, transform LI

How climate change could threaten, transform LI: "Scientists say the Long Island of the future will have shorter, wetter winters and oppressively hot summers, with seas rising and storm surges so strong they will threaten beaches, salt water marshes and infrastructure."

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Retirees want #walkability, #publictransit

Sun City It’s Not — Upper West Side Retirement - "The most recent census estimates indicate that 22 percent of Upper West Siders, or 46,000 people, are 60 or older, compared with the citywide average of 17 percent. Attracted by convenient shopping, abundant mass transit and a wealth of cultural activities, many older residents hope to remain in their apartments the rest of their lives."

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What Promised Land Doesn’t Mention – EcoWatch: Uniting the Voice of the Grassroots Environmental Movement

What Promised Land Doesn’t Mention – EcoWatch: Uniting the Voice of the Grassroots Environmental Movement: "But there are many more problems from fracking that Promised Land doesn’t mention, much less explain.

  • Most importantly, fracking’s huge and growing contribution to our global heating crisis. Methane is 72-105 times as powerful a greenhouse gas as CO2 over the first 20 years after it’s released into the atmosphere. Studies over the past two years, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), show that there is much more methane leakage over the lifecycle of fracked, as well as conventionally-produced, natural gas, than the oil and gas industry admits.
  • Constant heavy truck traffic transporting water, sand and fracking fluids that pollutes surrounding air, causes damage to roads, creates traffic congestion and noise and other negative impacts.
  • The contamination of rivers close to fracking sites through either deliberate dumping of “flowback” toxic wastewater after a well is drilled or through migration of those fluids underground.
  • The drawdown of massive amounts of sometimes-scarce—as in historically dry or dought-impacted areas—nearby river and lake water, many millions of gallons per well.
  • Documented radiation levels in wastewater 100 or more times the U.S. EPA’s drinking water standard.
  • Disruption of other economically- and socially-valued industries or practices, such as agriculture, tourism, hunting and fishing.
  • Fragmentation of woods and forests via construction of well sites, pipelines, roads and other infrastructure.
  • A decline in property values of homes and land adjacent to or near wells.
  • Earthquakes—the U.S. Geological Survey has reported that deep underground injection of drilling wastewater is the probable cause of a six-fold increase in earthquakes in middle America in 2011 compared to 20th century levels."