9 Out of 10 Transit Agencies Cutting Service, Raising Fares

Across the country, transit agencies are raising fares (in green) or cutting service (blue).

Transportation For America has released its most comprehensive analysis of nationwide transit cuts and fare increases. According to T4America, tough economic times have forced almost 90% of transit agencies in the country to cut service or raise fares, making […]

NJ’s Transportation Budget: Step-by-Step to Fiscal Meltdown

The TTF is New Jersey's main source of funding for transportation capital projects.

As MTR has previously lamented, the main pot of money that feeds New Jersey’s transportation capital program, the Transportation Trust Fund, is expected to dry up by summer 2012.

At the TransAction conference in May, a Transportation Trust Fund Authority […]

NYSDOT Region 10 Promises to Restart Traffic Calming Program

Unsatisfied with verbal assurances from NYSDOT Region 10 that it had not, in fact, scrapped the Local Safe Streets and Traffic Calming (LSSTC) Grant Program, TSTC filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request last month to obtain documentation of grant disbursements, along with implementation and budget reports pertaining to the program.

What we […]

Brick City Bike Collective Puts Newark Back on the Bicycle Map

Mayor Cory Booker and Newark residents meet for the Brick City Bike Collective's first ride.

(Zoe Baldwin contributed to this story.)

Founded in June, the Brick City Bike Collective (BCBC) recently hit Newark’s streets, with Mayor Cory Booker joining the group for its first ride on August 7th.

Since the middle of the […]

NJ Court Denies Turnpike Authority Motion; Allows Parkway Suit to Proceed

Last week Tri-State issued a press release stating that the New Jersey Turnpike Authority had made a motion to sanction Tri-State in its  suit over the Garden State Parkway widening, potentially leading to Tri-State paying thousands of dollars for NJTA’s legal fees. The request, accompanying a motion to dismiss the case, appeared to serve […]

After Delay, County Moves On Nassau Hub Transit

After a three year hiatus, the Hub plan to densify and add transit to central Nassau County is back. Nassau County is looking for consultants to complete an environmental impact statement for the project.

While the Long Island Lighthouse project, a plan to revitalize Nassau Coliseum and its surrounding area […]

Better Buses, Large Funding Gap Seen in Next MTA Capital Program

The MTA has released its next capital program, which outlines the agency’s rebuilding and expansion plans between 2010 and 2014.

According to the MTA, 73% of the $28 billion program ($25.5 billion for NYC Transit, LIRR, and Metro-North and $2.5 billion for MTA Bridges and Tunnels) is for rebuilding existing infrastructure. The rest is […]

When Will "Queen Bee" Bus Buzz Into Westchester?

Westchester County’s Bee-Line bus system could be getting a “Queen Bee.” That’s the working title for the Central Avenue bus rapid transit service the county wants to run for 12 miles between White Plains, Yonkers, and the Bronx. The full report and a summary newsletter are available on the Westchester County DOT’s website.

Bloomberg's Transportation Rhetoric and Reality

Earlier this week Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign released a “Plan to Reform Mass Transit” consisting of 33 proposals to improve transit service, safety, and planning. As transportation advocates and journalists have pointed out, the plan contains no funding mechanisms and most proposals would require cooperation with the MTA, which the mayor has limited control over. Still, the proposals are intriguing, and include free crosstown buses in Manhattan, expansion of CityTicket (previously endorsed by mayoral candidate Bill Thompson and TSTC), reopening unused LIRR stations in Queens, and open-road tolling on all MTA crossings.

In 2001 Michael Bloomberg promised to ride the subway to work if elected. In 2009 he still regularly takes transit, but journalists found that his commute often includes an SUV ride to the station.

Michael Bloomberg's pledge to ride the subway to work if elected (which he hasn't always stuck to) was only one of many transportation promises he made during his 2001 campaign.

Will any of these campaign promises become reality if Bloomberg wins another term? There’s no way to tell, but as the incumbent the mayor does have a track record. Here’s a look at how Mayor Bloomberg has done when it comes to his 2001 transportation platform. (The mayor made few transportation-related promises during the 2005 campaign, which makes it all the more surprising that one of his major second-term initiatives was the environment and transportation-focused PlaNYC.) Words in italics are direct quotes or close paraphrases from the 2001 platform. Not every promise is listed.

Pedestrians and Cyclists

“Where pedestrians and vehicles are at a critical mass, have a four-way red light… countdown clocks should notify pedestrians and motorists how much time there is for crossing.” The city has used the four-way red (“Barnes dance”) as a traffic safety tool and has expanded use of countdown clocks.

“Slowdown speeders to protect pedestrians… stricter enforcement of the speed limit… ‘You are going XX mph’ signs on roads where speeding is common… cameras to catch speeders and save lives.” Speed cameras didn’t make it through the state legislature; speeding is rampant, according to Transportation Alternatives. But road redesigns have made Queens Blvd. and other dangerous roads safer.

Interestingly, candidate Bloomberg had nothing to say about cycling, and the 2001 platform had few pedestrian recommendations. Clearly, the hiring of NYCDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan in 2007 changed all of that. Arguably, the mayor’s biggest impact on New York City transportation has been the reclaiming of city street space for walkers and cyclists, including the pedestrianization of Times Square, rapid expansion of bike lanes, traffic calming throughout the city, and other aspects of PlaNYC.

Traffic Enforcement

“Use technology to boost compliance with traffic laws… use existing red-light cameras to keep bus lanes flowing… give traffic agents hand-held devices to record parking violations.” NYC is now authorized to use 150 red-light cameras, compared to 50 in 2001, and traffic agents now use digital hand-held devices instead of paper tickets. But bus lane enforcement is lacking.

“Introduce congestion pricing for parking meters.” NYCDOT’s “Park Smart” program charges higher meter rates at peak times in certain neighborhoods.

“Use crosswalk markings to stop parking where pedestrians are blocked and drivers’ vision of approaching cars is impaired.” This technique, also known as “daylighting,” has become part of NYCDOT’s traffic calming toolbox.

“Curb privileged parking.” In 2001, the city didn’t even know how many parking permits were given out to city employees. Under Bloomberg, the city found that there were over 140,000 permits — and then cut the number issued in half.

Other promises are more difficult to quantify. Has the city made good on a promise to “simplify street signage“? The New York Times would probably say no. And a recent Transportation Alternatives report makes it clear that NYC is far from “zero-tolerance of flouting traffic laws,” which candidate Bloomberg called for.

Click to read about Bloomberg’s transit promises and overall record…

TSTC Report: New Jersey Residents Flocking to Transit

New Jerseyans are driving less and taking transit more, according to a just-released update of the Campaign’s The State of Transportation: Benchmarks for Sustainable Transportation in New Jersey.  The number of miles New Jersey residents traveled by bus and rail grew by 45 percent from 1997 to 2007, while driving grew by less than […]