Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday Wrap: Strikes and (Jay)walks

Wednesday Weekly Wrap-Up is a new Track Twenty-Nine feature looking back on transportation and planning news and opinions from the last week or so.

  • Strike One: In the City of Brotherly Love, Transit Workers Union Local 234 began striking tuesday morning. Affected are most of Philadelphia's bus and streetcar routes and all subway and elevated services. Fortunately for Philadelphians, Regional Rail trains are still operating, although a Wednesday morning fire aboard a train cripled service on the R5 line.
  • State Takeover: The commonwealth of Massachusetts has taken over transportation in the Bay State, including the MBTA. This move brings all of the transport agencies under one roof.
  • Funding Safety Gap: A recently released study commissioned by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick reveals that due to funding shortages, critical safety issues have gone unaddressed at the MBTA, Boston's transit provider.
  • Cincinnati Streetcar Hurdle Fails: A November 3 vote to amend the city charter so as to require a public vote to afirm city expenditures on rail transit failed. This means that transit projects will not have to jump through an extra hoop in Cincy.
  • Up a Creek: The Amtrak Niantic River drawbridge along the Northeast Corridor in Connecticut got stuck down, trapping boats in the harbor on Monday. That's funny, because on Thursday, my train to Boston got delayed when the bridge wouldn't close.
  • WiFi at 125 mph: Amtrak announced plans to introduce WiFi service on Acela trains by the second quarter of 2010.
  • Buffet buys the Number 2: Warren Buffet has made a big wager on the future of transportation in the United States by buying BNSF Railway, the second largest American railroad for $34B.
  • To WALK or to DONT WALK: Tom Vanderbilt on Monday penned a well-reasoned defense of jaywalking.
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