In the Region | Long Island
Transit as Downtown's Savior
By VALERIE COTSALAS
WHEN Maurice Fox, a vice president for a development firm, heard that an acre of land four blocks from the Valley Stream Long Island Rail Road station was for sale, he told his boss at the Dennis Organization, and "we jumped on it."
Next week, the developer will start laying the foundation for a $26 million 90-unit condominium complex with 37 one-bedroom units starting at $325,000, and 53 two-bedroom units starting at $395,000. Sales haven't begun yet, but Mr. Fox said there were 293 names of potential buyers on a waiting list.
The main selling feature of the complex, called Hawthorne Court, is its proximity to the station, which offers a 32-minute commute to Manhattan by express train, he said. With so many young commuters and empty nesters living in the area, he added, "I realized that Valley Stream is in dire need of it."
In Chile, Commuters Sue City over Transit System
by Julie McCarthy
All Things Considered, October 8, 2007 · Cities around the world have been trying to lure commuters out of their cars and onto mass transit with the aim of making urban life cleaner and greener. While a state-of-the art system installed in Chile has reduced pollution in the city of Santiago, a bungled adjustment has also left millions of passengers reeling - and hundreds of others suing the government.
The new system may be generating less pollution, but it is also generating mountains of complaints. What was once a 40-minute trip can now take 2 hours. As a result, commuters report losing their jobs for being late, or being forced to change jobs because routes have changed.
So troubled is Santiago's new mass transit system, known as Transantiago, that President Michele Bachelet made an unusual admission just days after its disastrous roll-out.
M.T.A. Says Mayor's Plan to Ease Traffic Will Cost $767 Million to Accomplish
By ROBERT D. McFADDEN
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's plan to ease traffic congestion by charging motorists who drive into the busiest parts of Manhattan would cost hundreds of millions of dollars for new bus and subway services and mass transit improvements to accommodate tens of thousands of new riders, transportation officials say.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, in a report to a commission created to evaluate the mayor's plan, estimated that expanded transit service and capital improvements for city and suburban riders who would give up their cars to get into Manhattan over the next five years would cost $767 million.
The total, the authority said, comprised $284 million in 2008 and 2009 for 367 new city and suburban buses, 46 new subway cars and many station renovations and service enhancements; $163 million for other subway and bus improvements from 2010 to 2012, and $320 million for two new bus terminals in Queens and Staten Island.
Volume 59 Issue 3 Page 365-377, August 2007
To cite this article: Edmund J. Zolnik (2007)
Cost Attribution in Unlimited Access Transit Programs: Case Study on the UConn Prepaid Fare Program Failure
The Professional Geographer 59 (3), 365-377.
Using a case study approach, this article explores the potential to increase public transit ridership via the expansion of Unlimited Access (UA) from a university- or employer-based program to a community-based program. UA partners universities or employers with regional transit organizations to provide free or discounted public transit service to students as well as employees and, potentially, to local community residents. A case study on the only known UA program failure highlights the importance of equitable cost attribution as well as stakeholder coordination and dedicated operations funds to the long-term success of community-based UA programs.
The agency vowed to appeal the ruling in a suit brought by Philadelphia
By Paul Nussbaum
Inquirer Staff Writer
The transfers live.
A Common Pleas Court judge ruled yesterday that SEPTA must not eliminate the paper transfers that permit bus and subway riders to change vehicles for 60 cents.
The transit agency said it would appeal Judge Gary F. DiVito Jr.'s decision.
SEPTA had wanted passengers to pay full fares ($2 with cash or $1.30 with tokens) whenever changing from one bus to another. The city sued, saying that poor and minority passengers would be especially hard-hit by the elimination of the transfers.
In ordering the board to reinstate the transfers, DiVito called the SEPTA decision "capricious and . . . a manifest and flagrant abuse of discretion."
"What the evidence demonstrates," DiVito wrote, "is that SEPTA's board (1) voted to eliminate paper transfers (2) to mollify the legislature in hopes of ensuring funding (3) without any study of the impact on those who would be most adversely affected (4) without any semblance of a 'modernization plan' ready (5) with no agreement with the school board in place when (6) they could have designed a plan with an equitable impact on all of its riders."
By Steve Hymon
Times Staff Writer
August 6, 2007
In November 2004, voters in the Denver metro region went to the polls and, much to the surprise of some political observers, decided to tax themselves to begin the nation's largest ongoing expansion of mass transit.
If all goes as planned, the Denver region is expected to build 119 miles of light rail and commuter rail by 2016. Among the projects are six new lines from Denver to the suburbs, including one to the airport, the extension of two other light-rail lines and a new rapid transit bus line.
It's a relatively unusual approach. Constrained by a lack of money, most cities build one or maybe two lines at a time. In Denver, they're betting the entire system can be built at once.
As with any massive public works project, there are reasons for skepticism. The projected cost of the program — called FasTracks — has grown from $4.7 billion to $6.2 billion because of rising construction costs, before construction has started. Transit officials and politicians continue to insist that each of the new lines will be built, but cuts will have to be made, perhaps in the form of smaller stations or lines that have only one track.
By Lena H. Sun
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 2, 2007; A01
Metro's new general manager wants to get rid of the carpet in trains, brighten the lighting in stations and increase advertising in stations, trains and buses.
In many places, such mundane changes would be met with a shrug.
But this is the Washington area Metro, which has long prided itself on a dignified ambiance that is supposed to make it better than the average commuter system.
The changes are intended to help make the nation's second-busiest subway more modern and functional. As the system struggles to keep pace with growing demand, Metro's new top executive, John B. Catoe Jr., wants to focus the agency's limited resources toward moving people to and from work and away from some costly features that gave the subway a distinctive, first-class feel when it opened 31 years ago.
With ridership continuing to swell, the debate over those trade-offs is sharpening.