Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Drought and flood, flood and drought. It's #climatechange

Photo By Joe Raedle/Getty Images 
Drought now affecting two thirds of Texas - Houston Chronicle: "The Lone Star State can't seem to stay out of the heat. In a new drought report by the Texas Water Development Board, the state saw worsening conditions that now affect two thirds of Texas."

Flooding in the South Swamps Birmingham, Atlanta; Child Found Dead in Mississippi, 1 Dead in Georgia - weather.com: "Severe thunderstorms dumped heavy rains across the Southeast on Monday and caused flash flooding in central Alabama, where crews in small boats and military trucks had to rescue dozens of people from their homes and cars."

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Koch Brothers Quietly Seek To Ban New Mass Transit In Tennessee

ThinkProgress: "The Tennessee Senate passed a bill last week that, if approved, would broadly ban mass transit projects in the region, an anti-transit effort that’s gotten some help in the state from Charles and David Koch."

Monday, March 31, 2014

Austin Texas, bad #publictransit means more drunks on the road

Austinite Creates Change.org Petition To Denounce City's Public Transportation Shortcomings: Austinist: "The glaring flaws in the quality, infrastructure, and availability of public transportation in Austin have received increasing attention in the weeks following SXSW. "

Gretchen Nielsen: On giving up my car and riding the bus

azstarnet : "Having been converted, I’ve joined the Bus Riders’ Union. The back of our bright, yellow T-shirts display the words of Enrique Penalosa: “An advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars, but rather one where even the rich use public transport.”

We need more Tucsonans to wise up and live like city folks who wouldn’t dream of being a slave to a car. As an incentive to get real, bus fares should be lowered. Everybody in Tucson will be better off when more of us — rich and poor, young and old — are leaving the driving to a pro."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Columbiana's free public transportation trolley begins rolling around town April 1

AL.com: "The trolley is part of the city's new public transportation service that will run along a still undetermined route in the community and give passengers a ride for free. Donations will be accepted."

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Raleigh mayor sums up the #publictransit race to the top in one bite

NewsObserver.com: "“In order for us to remain competitive, we must address the fact that we need a robust public transportation system,” the mayor said in her 15-minute speech at the Raleigh Rotary Club. “This is key for our economic development. Without it, we will be overcome with our success and choke ourselves off with congestion.”"

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Guest Column: Effective public transportation for our city

HISTORIC CITY NEWS: "If this city wants to solve our parking crisis the only solution is effective public transportation. When we can development real mass transit to and from our city, non-automotive visitation from St. Johns County and other cities will increase resulting in less pressure on existing parking space making futile plans to squeeze in more unnecessary.

I believe in our city everyone understands the need for viable mass transit to alleviate congestion on all levels and promote minimum impact tourism. We must realize that this is rapidly becoming a crisis that can’t be ignored for much longer. As your commissioner, using my qualifications, experience and expertise, I can and will create and implement a real plan and lay the groundwork for the good of every resident of our neighborhoods, our businesses and the good of our city’s future."

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Three Texas Lakes Hit Record Low Levels as Drought Deepens

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
weather.com: "According to a drought update issued Friday by the National Weather Service in Ft. Worth, Texas, Lakes Granbury, Nocona, and Ray Hubbard each plummeted to new record lows since dams creating those lakes were completed in the 1960s. "

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Houston among top cities in public transportation ridership growth

khou.com : "Houston, which has been more notable for its sprawl than its public transportation offerings, had a large ridership gain. So did Seattle, Miami, Denver and San Diego. The New York area's behemoth transit network saw the greatest gain, accounting for one in three trips nationally.

Transit advocates argue that the public increasingly values the ability to get around without a car. They offer as evidence the nation's urban shift and the movement to concentrate new development around transit hubs.

"People want to work and live along transit lines," Melaniphy said. "Businesses, universities and housing are all moving along those corridors.""

Another privatization scam exposed

WJBF-TV ABC 6: ""Is it more expensive to have the private contractor in there?" we asked. "Most certainly, it is more expensive plus it limits what you can do," says Lockett.

During the Finance Committee meeting, Commissioners questioned the Finance Department's number, suggesting employee benefits or other factors were not included, and that the comparison was not "apples to apples".

"Those were the bottom line numbers. It includes all of the costs, not just salaries and fringes," says Susan Kain, the Finance Department's grand coordinator.

"So, it shows when the city ran transit for a six month period, it was less expensive," we asked Kain. "Correct," said Kain. "So, there was no manipulating of the numbers?" we asked. "Absolutely none," she said."

Thursday, March 13, 2014

When will enough be enough. The private auto system does not work. Does. Not. Work.

washingtonpost : "The man who crashed into a crowd of pedestrians at the South By Southwest festival in Austin will be charged with two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggregated assault, police said Thursday morning."

Houston sees public transportation ridership rise

Houston Chronicle: ""People always ask, 'Are Houstonians going to be willing to give up their cars?' Well, a lot of people already have," O'Brien-Molina said."

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Baton Rouge expanding #publictransit

CATS on target for March 30 expansion rollout | NOLA.com: "The Capital Area Transit System is set to roll out its expansion at the end of the month, with additional routes and shuttles that CEO Bob Mirabito says are meant to increase interconnectivity among Baton Rouge neighborhoods, shorten bus wait times and increase the amount CATS buses are on the road by about 40 percent."

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Cars are not freedom, choice is freedom - TrAC, Miami

Nonpartisan PAC aims to increase the priority of public transportation in Miami-Dade - Miami-Dade - MiamiHerald.com: "“We want accessible transportation options,” said Francine Madera, 30, one of TrAC’s supporters. “We want choices.”

TrAC’s vision is to have “freedom in movement” where residents and visitors of Miami can choose if they want to walk, bike, take public transportation or drive.

...Viciedo hopes to change the habits and perceptions of Miami residents who see a car as a symbol of freedom.

“Freedom is having ultimate choice,” Viciedo said. “If you can choose how to get around, that is freedom.”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/03/04/3973479/nonpartisan-pac-aims-to-increase.html#storylink=cpy"

I-55 in Arkansas nearly impassable for 36 hours due to wrecks, ice

wptv.com: "The combination of ice, jackknifed trucks and minor traffic accidents have made Interstate-55 in Arkansas nearly impassable for about 36 hours, with crews unable to reach the problem areas."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tupelo moves forward with public transit options

WTVA.com: "TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) — A hot button issue has once again come up before the Tupelo City Council: public transportation.

Everyone on the council believes there's a need for public transportation in the city. The problem is how to pay for it."

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Got transit? #Publictransit wins 8,000 jobs for Atlanta.

State Farm Opts for Atlanta Transit Over Sprawl | Streetsblog USA: "The insurance giant will eventually house a total of 8,000 employees at a truly massive mixed-use development connected to a MARTA rail station. Developer KDC is planning a 2.2 million square-foot project at a 17-acre site by the Dunwoody MARTA station near Perimeter Mall. The development will include 585,000 square feet of office space for the initial lease to State Farm, which plans to expand, as well as 100,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space and a 200-room hotel, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle."

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Public transportation would benefit Troy, Alabama

The Troy Messenger: "With a well planned and well run public transportation system, new and old employers would thrive with a larger work force being made available by adding all those people who had no way to get to work. This would in turn generate more tax revenues that would allow the city to renovate and repair some of the older historic buildings in the downtown Troy area. It would also allow Troy to expand existing services and create new ones for its residents. A good start would be for the city to purchase two twenty-five person buses to run two separate routes in the city. One route could cover Troy University to handle students and support staff. This same bus would also be used to cover large key employers in the city and transport seasonal agricultural workers. The second bus would be used to pick up the elderly, people in need of health care, and people who need to buy groceries or shop. The use of the second bus to assist the elderly and people in need of health care is especially important as these people are the most at need in any community. This is also true in a small town like Troy with no mass transit and where many of the elderly may not have any friends or family to help them get to the doctor or to the grocery store. As a side benefit, having a city employee check in on the elderly for a regular bus pick up insures that if something has gone wrong in their home, there is someone there to check in on that person and get them help if they need it."

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Free trolley proposed for St. Augustine Beach

StAugustine.com: "A comment from St. Augustine Beach Mayor Andrea Samuels, who suggested creating a free or low-cost shuttle from St. Augustine Beach to St. Augustine and back, seemed to be generally agreed upon as a good idea.

“We want people to leave their cars at their hotels,” Samuels said. “We need public transport. I think (the city and beach) can work as a team to drive the economy.”

St. Johns County Commission Vice Chair Rachael Bennett said there are visitor destinations all over the county.

“Up until now, we’ve all planned automobiles. I think we’re starting to enter a new paradigm about how we get around. The county is building bridges with the cities. We’re all working for the same goal,” she said.

However, she added, the county’s been listing its infrastructure needs for the next 10 years.

“We’ve had to close our beaches because they were full (of cars),” she said. “People are parking in neighborhoods.”"

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

#Freetransit system in North Carolina records 6% growth

AppalCART Public Transportation Authority Reports Six Percent Ridership Increase Over Last January | High Country Press: "Feb. 10, 2014. AppalCART, the public transportation authority serving all of Watauga County announced a 6 percent ridership increase on its routes over January a year ago. The authority recorded 148,129 passenger trips last month versus 139,154 for the month of January 2013. "

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Proposal for #freetransit in Austin, Texas from 13 years ago. Still relevant.

Bus Riders Union of Austin, Texas: "Urban sprawl results from the real estate-intensiveness of a transportation system that relies on the single-occupancy personal auto for most metropolitan trips, particularly peak-hour home-to-work trips. Roughly 75% by acreage of Austin's metropolitan developed real estate is now occupied by the transportation system, by roadways and parking lots. This is the sole reason for the low densities found in newly developing areas. Absent the parking lot, the modern regional mall is a far denser concentration of retail activity than was ever found in the Central Business District, and homes in new residential subdivisions are likely to sit on smaller, not larger, lots than are found in older neighborhoods. But while a neighborhood such as Hyde Park can be served by a two-lane Duval and a two-lane Speedway, the roadway systems serving newer subdivisions comprise 5-and 7-lane arterials. Only by reducing the sheer volume of vehicular traffic can sprawl be reversed."

Friday, January 31, 2014

Miami Beach free trolley loop starts Monday

In an effort to improve access to businesses during the FDOT Alton Road construction, the new free service operates from 8 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Sunday. Free four-hour parking at Fifth & Alton Garage.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Free is cheaper for Palm Tran Connection

Sun Sentinel: "Offering Palm Tran Connection riders to travel fare-free on regular Palm Tran buses that pick up at bus stops ends up saving the county about $21 per trip, according to county projections."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Candidate for mayor of Athens, Georgia, calls for #freetransit

flagpole.com : "Platforms Announced: Mayoral candidate Tim Denson and Commission District 3 candidate Melissa Link both released ambitious, lengthy and decidedly liberal campaign platforms last week. 

Denson wants to set a goal of cutting Clarke County's 35 percent poverty rate in half by 2025. To that end, he's proposing a number of policies, including universal pre-K education, free and expanded public transit, easing restrictions on home businesses, focusing economic development on small, local businesses, paying all ACC employees a living wage (that's already happening), encouraging affordable housing and increasing support for adult education like GED classes."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Time for Bexar to focus on mass transit

San Antonio Express-News: "A workable mass public transportation network, and the infrastructure to support it, is a much better alternative to building double and triple-deck freeways to accommodate the million or more cars and trucks, which will otherwise be occupying and polluting our community.

It's time to refocus our attention on mass public transit and the creation of a safer, more pedestrian-friendly community as the best way for people in San Antonio and Bexar County to get around."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

NC trying to take the "politics" out of transportation funding

Port City Daily: "“To help determine these priorities, each division is asking local residents to provide their thoughts on which transportation improvements are most important. Projects can be as large-scale as an interstate improvement or as small as a new turn lane or traffic signal, and can be for any mode of transportation, including public transit, bicycle/pedestrian, ferry, aviation and rail,” the release from the DOT said."

'via Blog this'

Friday, January 3, 2014

Buses should be frequent and free, then you will see where to put rail

It is starting to sink in. Public transport is about moving people, not large capital projects.
Tampa Bay Times: "The answer is, obviously, a more efficient way to get around in a region that badly needs it.
This means not only rail routes that make sense, but an infinitely better bus service that goes where we need to go.
And also, no small point here, an easy and welcoming ride.
It has to be affordable, dependable, there when we need it weekends and at night, with plenty of sensible routes."