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Transit Elsewhere News Roundup

August 2, 2010

It’s been a while! I’m still only going to cover the past week or so. You’re on your own for any more catch-up.

  • Los Angeles is hoping to become the nationwide leader in mass transit:

    Los Angeles County voters agreed two years ago to pay a half-cent sales tax over the next 30 years to extend train and rapid bus lines, projects that would routinely require federal assistance.
    But the mayor, who sits on a county transportation board, wants a loan instead of Washington handouts to get the projects built in a decade rather than 30 years. He contends it would save money in the long run, result in more construction jobs and less traffic and pollution.
    If the approach works, it could set a precedent for cities and states across the country considering major rail and road improvements.[…]
    Now, with gridlock commonplace, the focus is back on high-capacity transit systems — light rail, interurban heavy rail, dedicated busways — to catch up with the transportation demands of millions of people.

    Which all sounds awesome, and makes me wonder why LA gets a bad rap, both from the rest of the country and its citizens? I mean, sure, they have crashes between trains and buses like everyone else… Wait.

  • Even China has its fair share of bus incidents. (Is that too blase? I’m really just trying to work all this shit in.)
  • Amtrak hasn’t been having the best weekend ever, either. On Friday (video), an unidentified man was struck and killed as a train passed through Ardmore, PA, where it didn’t have a scheduled stop, and also wasn’t planning for a man to be on the tracks. (Like trains plan for anything, right?)
    On Saturday, an Amtrak train struck a vehicle at a private, ungated crossing near Williamsburg, Virginia. The train was traveling near it’s top speed, probably not expecting a vehicle to be at a private crossing, if I can assume that it means private property with limited public visitation. Several Amtrak passengers were treated for dehydration. Which is strange. Go to the snack car and get yourself a water.

  • In New York, people have two things to get excited about. French soccer player (I’m guessing?) Thierry Henry took a commuter train from the city to Jersey for a game.
    And MTA is getting wi-fi underground and shit! Except, now everyone is asking how, since the organization is cutting service, they can provide wi-fi?

    So how does the hand “that is taking away” – all of a sudden get an opportunity to give something of value to its commuters? Well, apparently in winning the contract, Transit Wireless is under and obligation to pay the NY City Transit $46 million dollars for the privilege. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

    This is the same type of arrangement that Transit TV has (had?) for all the flat screens that show crap you don’t really want to watch on some trains and buses. Why a company would pay to provide shit for free to riders, I don’t know, but rest assured, no transit system is going to be wasting their limited funds on entertainment shit for you.

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  • 3 Comments leave one →
    1. Debbie permalink
      August 2, 2010 12:07 pm

      Just a bit of clarification on the MARTA screens: TRN, The Rail Network, couldn’t make ends meet so the contract is now handled by CBS Outdoor who contracts for MARTA’s other transit advertising. Transit TV also had trouble keeping their operation going for the bus screens and went out of business. MARTA is entertaining proposals from other businesses who express interest in providing content and selling ads on the bus monitors, but so far no deals. And you’re right, MARTA did not pay for the equipment nor the service.

    2. CCTgirl permalink*
      August 2, 2010 3:02 pm

      But can y’all get wifi? I need it.

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