Governor Rell Nominates Transit Expert for Top ConnDOT Post

Last week, Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell nominated Joseph F. Marie to be the new head of the Connecticut Department of Transportation. In doing so, Governor Rell chose the first ever transit expert to lead the agency. According to the Governor’s press release, Mr. Marie, currently the Director of Operations and Maintenance for METRO, [...]

UVA Has Big Plans for the Sheridan

This past Saturday a set of architecture and landscape architecture students from the University of Virginia returned to the Bronx to present their visions for the future of the Sheridan Expressway footprint.

A community-based plan for the removal of the under-utilized highway is currently being studied by the NYS DOT as a [...]

MTA Gearing Up For Real Action on Transit-Oriented Development

It seems like the MTA is finally taking transit-oriented development (TOD) seriously. The agency announced that it “is developing a region-wide TOD program to support local communities throughout the MTA service territory,” and has added a description of this program to its website, which includes a single point of contact for communities interested in [...]

Conservation Voters' Long Island Agenda: Smart Growth, Smart Transportation

This week the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) released its Long Island Policy Agenda for 2008, a document with a heavy focus on smart growth and important transportation initiatives for Long Island. NYLCV called for “a new and more comprehensive growth strategy” that would be able to meet the needs of Long [...]

Tearing Down the Route 34 "Disconnector"

A slide shows one City of New Haven vision for its post-Route 34 future.

On Wednesday, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign and the New Haven Urban Design League hosted a public event, attended by approximately 150 people, in order to raise awareness of and increase support for the [...]

Your Input Needed on Clinton/Hell's Kitchen Transportation Issues

Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen residents will get a chance next Wednesday to contribute to an ongoing study of traffic problems in their neighborhood. On April 30, NYCDOT, Manhattan Community Board 4, and CHEKPEDS (the Clinton Hell’s Kitchen Coalition for Pedestrian Safety) will host a public input session where community members can suggest improvements to the project [...]

Buses Bloom in the Bronx (and Beyond)

Bx12 Select buses greeted attendees of the “Buses in the Boroughs” symposium Tuesday morning.

With spring colors and fragrance in full bloom at the New York Botanical Garden Tuesday morning, TSTC along with Transportation Alternatives, the Straphangers Campaign, and the Pratt Center for Community Development hosted a symposium on bus rapid transit to showcase how this transit option has transformed major cities around the world and to preview New York’s plans for BRT throughout the five boroughs.

Walter Hook and Oscar Edmundo Diaz, both of the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy, discussed BRT systems in nearly two dozen cities around the world (both presentations are available on TSTC’s website). Hook’s presentation spanned multiple systems and highlighted some technical “dos and don’ts” for BRT providers (such as the advantages of median bus lanes, the need for multiple-door buses, how to fit BRT into narrow streets, etc.). His presentation drew on the broad and detailed knowledge of ITDP, which consults governments around the world in planning BRT systems and produces an 850-page BRT Planning Guide.

Diaz, a native of Colombia and a specialist in urban transport systems, focused on what many consider the world’s most successful BRT system, the TransMilenio of Bogota, Colombia. TransMilenio can carry up to 42,000 passengers per hour per direction and travels an average 18.1 mph, more than twice as fast as the average bus in NYC. It is top-of-the-line BRT, with pre-boarding fare collection, level boarding at platforms, and enclosed stations — a worthy transit system for a city of 7 million. Of course, the quickest way to get a sense of TransMilenio is through pictures:

Clockwise from top left: TransMilenio in dense urban areas, level boarding between bus and station platform, fare collection at turnstiles (not on the bus), interior of a TransMilenio bus.

Diaz emphasized how a well-built system can dramatically improve the lives of commuters and residents who lack transit access, and as a result, economic and social opportunity. While 21% of TransMilenio riders own cars, the system is also accessible to low-income commuters, mothers with children in tow, the handicapped, and the elderly. In surveys, the #1 reason TransMilenio riders said they liked the system was because it allowed them to spend more time with their families.

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Are NJ Funding Woes Threatening Access to the Region's Core?

At a New Jersey State Assembly budget hearing last Tuesday, NJDOT Commissioner Kris Kolluri told state legislators that the state needed to come up with $1.5 billion for the “Access to the Region’s Core” trans-Hudson rail tunnel and Penn Station extension by October or it would risk losing federal matching funds. This should serve [...]

Connecticut Metro-North and Shore Line East Ridership Up

Last week Governor M. Jodi Rell announced a dramatic jump in Connecticut rail ridership in 2007 — a combined increase of nearly 1.4 million riders on Metro-North and Shore Line East over 2006.

According to the Governor’s press release and subsequent news reports (The Day and Stamford Advocate), 2007 ridership on the state-run Shore [...]

Looking Back, Looking Forward: Early Reflections on Congestion Pricing Defeat

After the defeat of congestion pricing, many in the transportation advocacy community are facing two questions. Why did New York fail to pass congestion pricing? What can advocates do now? Two TSTC board members recently sought to answer those questions.

Writing in Gristmill, environmental economist Charles Komanoff gives his answers to the question of [...]