Blog Profile / Cap'n Transit Rides Again

Filed Under:Industries / Transportation
Posts on Regator:434
Posts / Week:1.1
Archived Since:March 4, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Expanding transit and taxis

I wrote recently that by making taxi service more convenient and flexible, electronic taxi hailing services like Uber and Lyft have the potential to replace private car trips and even some car ownership. But some argue (or worry) that they can go further and replace public transit. Show More Summary

Next stop: 34th Street-Hudson River Greenway

I rode the 7 train to the new 34th Street stop for the first time today. Too late? Well, I figured you all had the opening covered. I want to talk about the new connections that this station makes possible. The Times has mentioned that...Show More Summary

The value of Uber and Lyft today

Over the past few weeks in New York we heard a lot of overheated rhetoric about electronic taxi hailing apps like Uber and Lyft, particularly from the former taxi monopolists and their proxies in the de Blasio administration and City Council member Ydanis Rodriguez. Show More Summary

What if Amtrak cared about its Hartford riders?

Welcome to another installment of our "What if?" series, where we ask what would happen if the people who ran our transit system treated it as an essential service that people relied on, rather than a luxury or a charity. In the past...Show More Summary

Our third world airport

I remember when Joe Biden remarked that LaGuardia Airport felt like the Third World to him. I remember thinking, "What the fuck is this guy talking about?" I thought about writing something, but my thoughts were kind of messy and it felt kind of hopeless, so I moved on to something else. Show More Summary

Transit vs. e-hailing and transit vs. cars

Recently I wrote about some discussion from Timothy B. Lee and Chris Plano about the possibility that "ride-hailing could actually be stealing riders from transit." Building on Plano's musings and some data released by Uber, in April...Show More Summary

Do New York's "manufacturing zones" promote driving?

I read on YIMBY that some people who live or work in the Jerome Avenue corridor in the Bronx are concerned that rezoning the area to allow residential development could price out many of the auto body shops and other car-related businesses that operate in the area. Show More Summary

No, e-carpooling will not replace fixed-route buses

A lot of people have been talking about "microtransit" lately - sometimes meaning shared e-hailing services like Uberpool and Lyftline, but also some larger services like Bridj, Via and Leap, and even dollar vans. I've read some wise things, and other things that are...less wise. Show More Summary

The Montauk Branch should go to Queens Plaza

I was pleased to see that Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley has come out in favor of restoring passenger service on the west end of the Long Island Rail Road's Montauk Branch, which actually goes from Jamaica to Long Island City. I took a Long Island Rail Road train along this once, years ago, when they still ran passenger trains. Show More Summary

Autonomous cars in the advanced city

Robin Chase, founder of Zipcar, said this to Yonah Freemark last month:Would you prefer what we have today, [where] only poor people use [most transit service] and it sucks, or would you rather that poor people use the exact same thing...Show More Summary

Can the trains really handle weekend passenger loads?

The Daily News had a good piece on subway overcrowding yesterday, featuring some odd comments by MTA officials. Much as I appreciate the work of reporter Dan Rivoli and his colleagues, there's a few things that need some clarifying around these issues. Show More Summary

Who's getting out of the way of the buses?

The Transit Workers' Union Local 100 has been campaigning against New York's recently enacted Right of Way law, which gives the police and courts more power to punish drivers who injure or kill people in the crosswalk. Essentially, it...Show More Summary

The new short game in transit advocacy

In my last post I focused on the difference between playing a long game in transit advocacy, which requires thinking strategically about what government priorities will encourage people to choose car-free lifestyles, and a short game, where the focus is on getting more people to take transit and making it easier for them. Show More Summary

The long game in transit advocacy

While I generally appreciate other transit activists, I’ve criticized plenty of them in the past. Recently I’ve figured out what it is that bothers me most: a lot of them are playing a very short game.They’re playing up routing improvements...Show More Summary

The most important post of 2003

Josh Barro is not alone in being stuck in the mindset that transit always needs more riders. It seems to be a hard thing to grasp, but sometimes you have enough riders to fill your buses and you have to create more capacity so that you can take more people out of their cars. Show More Summary

They can't go back to Ohio

One of the nastiest aspects of NIMBYism in New York City is the scapegoating of people who moved here from somewhere else. For years I've heard complaints about "people from Ohio" or "from the suburbs," and a veneration of "native New...Show More Summary

NYCHA and the fetishized green space

Today the Daily News published a hyperbolic "EXCLUSIVE: NYCHA selling off green space to developers!" As one person remarked on Twitter, this was a bait-and-switch: the headline now says "NYCHA quietly selling off parking lots, green...Show More Summary

Transportation myopia of the week: 7- make that 6 ways transit can be financially sustainable

Alex Block has a summary of a discussion between David Levinson and Lisa Schweitzer on making transit sustainable from last June and July. I was quite dismayed to see three otherwise intelligent people wasting their brainpower on problems that were pretty much irrelevant. Show More Summary

To Save Money on Marketing Buses, Try Running Enough Buses

I like bus improvements. I hate Governor Cuomo's terrible proposal to run an elevated "AirTrain" from Willets Point to LaGuardia Airport. So you'd expect that I would like Josh Barro's post last week arguing that we should improve the buses to LaGuardia instead of building the AirTrain. Show More Summary

Transit setback roundup: I can't even

These past few weeks have been discouraging for me as a transit advocate. From almost every level of government I've heard elected (and appointed) officials promoting "roads and bridges," or crappy, uninspiring, unproductive transit, or opposing reasonable transit improvements. Show More Summary

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