Today’s Headlines

  • Walder: Improvements Coming in Bus Lanes, Tech, Cleanliness, Efficiency (News, Reuters)
  • DiNapoli Highlights Perils of MTA Farebox Dependence; Are Recalcitrant Pols Listening? (SAS, Post)
  • Why the Second Avenue Subway Costs So Much (SAS)
  • Booth-Free Toll Experiment Coming to Henry Hudson Bridge (NYT)
  • Bob Mionske Chronicles Long, Winding Path to Justice for Fallen Cyclist
  • Times Letters Section Belies Supposed Public Clamor for Built-In Driver Distractions
  • Political Reporters Get Fired, Jailed for Domestic Abuse; What About Politicians? (Gothamist, NYT)
  • City May Be On Its Way to Taking Control of Governors Island (Villager)
  • Former Riverdale Press Reporter Really, Really Excited About Alternate Side Changes
  • RIP: Urban Center to Close Its Doors; Checker Cab Company Is No More (City Room)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • vnm

    To all the Monserrate fans out there: Don’t worry, if he’s expelled from the Senate, he’ll run to win his seat back.

  • Let’s hope that the booth-free tolling will finally shut up those know-nothings who claim that bridge tolls would add to pollution.

  • Very sorry to see the Urban Center close. I feel like I got my formal education in livable streets issues there from 2005-2009.

  • J. Mork

    It will be interesting to also see how many drivers switch from free crossings to a higher-throughput HHB.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Is mass transit a waste of energy?

    “Let’s compare the average energy efficiency of different methods of transportation, expressed in British thermal units (BTUs) per passenger mile. These numbers were compiled or computed from government sources by my assistant Una, a professional engineer:

    • Motorcycle—2,200 with single rider.
    • Heavy rail (includes subway and commuter trains)—2,600.
    • Commercial aircraft—3,100.
    • Bus—4,300.
    • Auto—5,500 with single occupant, 3,500 with average passenger load.”

    I’ve seen figures like this before, and they aren’t fictional, though the ones I’ve seen have heavy rail doing much better.

    The key is a passenger load, which is assmed to be a little high for auto. If I drive my daughter somewhere, is that one passenger or two? They say two for auto, but don’t count the bus driver.

    Bottom line, lightly used bus lines use a lot of energy, and much could be saved if people shared rides in autos. But bikes, walking, telecommuting and heavy rail beats them all.

  • Larry, I am sure that the key is passenger load, which is why I find his ranking of bus use so puzzling. He says that he’s not talking about “lightly traveled suburban transportation systems,” but he gets his data from the Chicago CTA. Could it be that the CTA has especially lousy busses?

    I dug up this CTA news release from 2008. It says their busses only get 3.27 miles per gallon at that time:

  • Larry Littlefield

    The CTA did have lousy buses when I was there, but their occupancy was high. Because there is less traffic on Chicago streets, the buses more, and out-draw the rapid transit system. So I’m surprised about Chicago — I expect overnight and suburban service is what pushs down ridership.

    The typical figure used for auto use is 1.3, but that isn’t justified, and I think it’s high. Out there in suburbia, often when there is more than one person in a car, the passenger (a child, a senior) is the only one making a trip, not the driver.

  • rlb

    “often when there is more than one person in a car, the passenger (a child, a senior) is the only one making a trip, not the driver.”

    In these cases, the occupancy should be .5.
    The reason being that the driver will go back and forth twice, while the person making the trip only once.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (In these cases, the occupancy should be .5. The reason being that the driver will go back and forth twice, while the person making the trip only once.)

    Good point, and of course shorter trips have much lower mpg because the engine isn’t warmed up.

  • David_K, both buses and cars are less fuel-efficient in inner cities due to congestion. In New York City, both hybrid and non-hybrid buses consume about 50% more fuel than identical buses elsewhere in the country; the non-hybrid buses’ average fuel economy is 2.75 mpg (link), whereas the overall average, including hybrids, is 3. However, because those buses are relatively full, the city bus system’s emissions-equivalent fuel economy is 47 passenger-mpg. The last figure includes adjustment for the fact that diesel emits more carbon per unit volume burned.

    Urban rail’s fuel economy depends on both load factors and what fuel powers the local grid. In the hydro power-rich Bay Area, BART’s emissions-equivalent fuel economy is 217 passenger-mpg (link). The coal-powered Chicago L’s figure is 32.5, the worst in the US after the underused Cleveland and Miami heavy rail systems. The national average is 81.

    Average automobile load factors depend on what trip you’re talking about. The overall average is 1.57, but it’s much lower for commute trips, about 1.2. The higher number includes family vacation trips, which are not where transit competes with driving.


Today’s Headlines

Bloomberg Budget Reveal Today (NYT); Albany Timetable Anyone’s Guess (Gotham Gazette)  Injunction Keeps Subway Station Agents on the Job (WNYC); Walder: More Cuts Coming (News) Former Clinton Aide to Run Against Harlem Senator Bill Perkins (Post, News) More From WNYC on Performance Parking City Planning Big Takes Issue With Parking Policy Critique (Wonkster) Critics Say […]

Today’s Headlines

Sources: REQX Buys Alta; Citi Bike to Double in Size (CapNY) No Charges: Driver Hits 10 Outside Kingsbridge School, Kills Rylee Ramos, 8 (News 1, 2; NYT, ABC) Driver Kills Pedestrian Florence Bello in Flatlands; NYPD Blames the Dead (Post, CBS, News 12, News) Driver Critically Injures Bensonhurst Pedestrian, Arrested for Failure to Yield (News 12, @NYPDHighway) […]

Today’s Headlines

More on Kerry and Lieberman’s Climate Bill (NYT) Who Is Sgt. Tim Horohoe? A Cyclist Assaulter Who Still Has a Badge (NYT) Homeland Security Cuts Transit Safety Aid to NYC (SAS, News) Judge Questions Whether MTA Can Lay Off Remaining Station Agents (WNYC) Say It Ain’t So, Fred Wilpon — Mets Thinking About Building Soccer […]

Today’s Headlines

Shocker: Cuomo Will Probably Pay for MTA Capital Program By Borrowing (News) NYT: Albany Should Pay for MTA With Higher Gas Tax or Tolls on Free East River Bridges Here’s How Much Rolling Stock the Capital Program Will Buy for NYC (Crain’s) And Here’s What the Daily News Thinks of the MTA Funding Deal Coke Truck […]

Today’s Headlines

NYC Bike-Share: Read All About It (Post, News, DNA, Crain’s, TransNat, MTR, NBC, Observer, SAS) Sadik-Khan Grabs Some Ink on the Daily News Op-Ed Page Haughney and Grynbaum Invoke Spandex in Graf One, Coast Downhill From There (NYT) Felix Salmon Expertly Picks Apart Sean Sweeney’s Bike-Share NIMBYism Cue Michael Herzenberg: AAA Afraid Its Members Will […]

Today’s Headlines

Crash Kills 2 Off-Duty Cops, Hurts 4 Others; 3rd Officer Hit by Motorcycle (NYT, News 1, 2, Post 1, 2) Drunk Driver Kills 2 Passengers at JFK (Post) "Elle’s Law" Could Bring Jail Time for Drivers Who Injure While Committing Moving Violation (News) Tunneling Machine Gets to Work Below Second Avenue (SAS, NY1) Bloomberg Supports […]