Today’s Headlines

  • Andrea Bernstein: “The ARC Project Is in Deep, Deep Trouble.”
  • MTR Zeroes in on Chris Christie’s Transit Tunnel Hypocrisy
  • Van Hits Ambulance, Flips Onto Sidewalk, Kills 75-Year-Old Queens Man (News, Post)
  • Carolyn McCarthy Bill Would Cut Fed Funding to States Soft on Distracted Driving (Transpo Nation)
  • Freakonomics: Cash For Clunkers a Waste
  • Walder: MTA Fare Hike Structured to Protect Low-Income Riders (Post)
  • Bronx Lobbying Overturns Some MTA Bus Changes (Bronx Times)
  • Carl Paladino Unwittingly Makes the Case for Congestion Pricing (NYT)
  • Will Schneiderman’s Transit Advocate Past Be AG Selling Point? (NYT)
  • School Buses Late or Missing for Special Ed Students (News)
  • Plumb Beach Bike Path So Bad Cyclists Take to Riding on Belt Parkway (YourNabe)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Moser

    Great RPA report on why ARC is a good investment for NJ:
    http://www.rpa.org/2010/07/arc-to-raise-home-values-by-18-billion.html

  • vnm

    Re ARC: The Sierra Club is against a rail tunnel? (mind explodes)

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign said that while the base fare of $2.25 isn’t increasing, the amount needed to get the discounted rate on pay-per-ride cards is increasing by $3 — while the discount is being slashed by more than half.”

    What discounts are you talking about Gene? As you told us, the evil MTA has jacked up the fare from $1.50 to $2.25 in recent years while keeping two sets of books and having hidden $billions that make fare increases unnecessary. And everyone believed you because it is what they wanted to believe, and will continue to believe it no matter what you say now.

    No one appreciated how much the fare was cut, and how much money was borrowed to pay for it. The MTA is doing exactly the right thing.

    As for ARC, one of two things is going on.

    1) Christie is freezing contruction to try to force the contractors to stop raising prices, and cut them back instead. The MTA should do that too. I’m talking being overcharged by 1/3 or more.

    2) Christie is backing out of the tunnel. In that case New York State should pounce.

    One nightmare, one I raised in a NYMTC conference some years ago, is that the Port Authority would use funds collected in part in NY to build ARC, while the MTA failed to build the SAS and ESA. That would make New Jersey massively more attractive to middle class people with links to Manhattan jobs than Long Island, and lead to an outflow of the state’s tax base.

    Let’s offer Christie $1 billion of the Port Authority ARC money to solve his short term budget needs, in return from $2 billion shifted to SAS and ESA, to be used after prices come down and our own moratorium expires.

  • Ray

    The Sierra Club is against many transit projects because they believe that they create sprawl by allowing people to live further out. They are very opposed to the Lackawanna Cutoff route to the Poconos and Scranton. I have mixed feelings about that attitude. Having lived in the Poconos I can tell you that many, many people commute by bus into NYC. I would certainly rather see the Cutoff be built than a widening of I-80 through the Gap.

  • Cuomo: STEAL THIS FROM PALADINO:
    “How do they handle take-home vehicles? Does everybody have a take-home vehicle? Because we heard that’s a monster of a problem with state government.”

    Very much of what Paladino says in that Times piece could sound very appealing indeed to a lot of voters. Cuomo must steal whatever sensible ideas Paladino comes up with so that the only difference remaining between them are Paladino’s clownishness.

  • Shemp

    Paladino was actually hilarious with the stories about Cuomo not wanting to touch door handles.

  • Shemp

    If you could spend a quarter billion on a train to Pennsylvania to reinforce 100-mile-commute bedroom communities or spend it on an additional light rail line in Newark to try to rebuild a real city where would you make the investment?

  • Sierra

    The head of NJ Sierra Club is a blowhard whose main goal in life is to see his name in print.

  • Ray

    Shemp:

    Point well taken. I agree, given that choice, NJT should spend money to serve in-fill and close in users. But, I do believe that reactivating the Lackawanna is a worthy long term goal. Perhaps as a corridor service instead of a “commuter” service.

  • Bolwerk

    This notion that it’s kind of stoopid to extend rail services roughshod to the boonies is not without merit, but it must be remembered that many settlements of several thousand people have existed for easily more than a century (places like Scranton and Utica, even in their diminished states) come to mind. Likewise, long distance services are necessary.

    IIRC, the NJ Sierra Club has a lot of rather crazy NIMBY leanings, for instance advocating I-80 widening. What really needs to change are land use regulations; without that, current rail projects will encourage sprawl and energy inefficiency no matter what we do.

  • I really don’t get this all venom for the NJ Sierra Club. Another Hudson tunnel? Yes, of course, definitely, but do we really want to spend…how much money…and get a lemon:

    http://newjersey.sierraclub.org/PressReleases/0070.asp

    I only wished the design, construction, and future operation of the 7 train extension, the SAS, and the East Side Access had met this same level of scrutiny before either project got this far.

  • I’m more than happy to stand on ARC Alt P’s grave. Hopefully it’ll be resurrected by people who’d rather government worked rather than drowned in a bathtub.

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