transportation

The Colin McEnroe Show
12:32 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Giving Wings to Flight

Cameron Robertson.
PopTech Creative Commons

Toronto-based engineers Cameron Robertson and Todd Reichert set out to achieve the impossible: to build the ever first human-powered helicopter. Decades of attempts by aeronautical engineers had proved unsuccessful. But for Robertson and Reichert, that was no deterrent. 

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Commuter Rail
8:05 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Good News, Bad News for Metro-North

Metro-North was praised for its handling of winter storm service, and criticized for another derailment.
WalkingGeek Flickr Creative Commons

Metro-North received something this week that it's not used to: praise. The commuter rail line was commended by transportation advocates for its handling of this week's snow storm and getting passengers to their destination before the storm hit.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue January 27, 2015

New Session, New Term: Governor Dannel Malloy Live In Studio

Governor Malloy returns to WNPR and he'll take some of your questions.
Chion Wolf WNPR

***Due to the snow storm, this show with Governor Malloy will be re-scheduled.***

For the first time since his re-election, Governor Dannel Malloy returns to WNPR’s studios to discuss his plans for this legislative session. Near the top of his priority list is the state budget, which faces a nearly $121 million deficit. Malloy has also proposed some plans to improve transportation in the state, including the widening of two major highways.

You can join the conversation and ask questions of Governor Malloy. Call us live between 9:00 to 10:00 am on Tuesday, January 27 at (860) 275-7266. You can also leave questions in the comments section on this page, or on Twitter and Facebook.

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Blizzard
7:20 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Amtrak Service Suspended in Connecticut

The snow isn't as bad as expected in western Connecticut, but rail service is still suspended.
Credit MTA Metro-North Railroad

Amtrak says it's suspending service north of New York and reducing its schedule for trains operating south of New York due to the massive winter storm.

Northeast Regional and Acela Express services are operating on a reduced schedule between New York and Washington. The Keystone Service between New York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, also is reduced. 

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Drive My Car
9:13 am
Mon January 26, 2015

For Tesla, a Fight in Connecticut to Open Stores and Sell Cars

A Tesla Motors Store in Toronto, Canada. Currently, Tesla is not allowed to sell its product directly to consumers from storefronts in Connecticut.
Wikimedia Commons

When Art Linares wanted to buy a Tesla, it wasn't as easy as walking into a store and taking a test drive. Instead, he had to go to New York -- because in Connecticut, it's illegal for a car manufacturer to sell directly to a customer.

"It prevents companies like Mercedes and BMW from creating their own stores, so they have to go through a dealership," said Linares, who's no ordinary customer -- he's a state senator for the 33rd District.

Linares wants to change those dealership laws for at least for one company, Tesla, which has a world-wide policy of selling directly to customers. "What we're trying to do here in Connecticut is make an exemption for Tesla to be able to open up their own stores and sell their cars," he said.

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Infrastructure
2:32 pm
Sat January 24, 2015

Four Connecticut Transportation Proposals From Gov. Malloy

An elevated portion of I-84 in Hartford.
Ryan King WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy announced Thursday he’d like to widen Interstate 84 in Danbury, one of many initiatives he's proposed this month.

Already in place in the state’s transportation overhaul is an expansion of the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter rail -- slated for completion in 2016 -- as well as the opening of CTfastrak, a Hartford-New Britain rapid busway that will launch in March.

Meanwhile, Connecticut Department of Transportation research and public discussion surrounding the eventual replacement of the I-84 viaduct in Hartford is underway.

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Airline Safety
8:44 am
Fri January 23, 2015

To Keep Planes From Disappearing, NTSB Urges Constant Tracking

One of many relatives who waited in vain for news of loved ones aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The NTSB hopes to get faster answers by requiring better technology, especially on planes that fly over large bodies of water.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 12:48 am

In a response to recent incidents in which large commercial airliners have vanished into oceans, the National Transportation Safety Board is calling for new regulations requiring all passenger planes that fly over large bodies of water to be equipped with more sophisticated flight tracking technologies.

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Infrastructure Investment
7:57 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Gold Star Bridge in New London Illustrates Transportation Challenges

The double spans of the Gold Star Bridge dwarf the Gov. Dannel Malloy and assembled politicians.
Harriet Jones WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy took his transportation road show to New London, talking about the need to strengthen the Gold Star Bridge and widen I-95. 

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Washington, D.C.
8:56 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Smoke-Filled Subway Train Leaves 1 Dead, 84 Hospitalized In D.C.

Smoke inhalation victims walk past a firefighter towards a medical aid bus Monday after passengers on the Washington, D.C., subway were injured when smoke filled the L'Enfant Plaza station during the afternoon rush hour.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 12:32 pm

One subway passenger died and more 84 were taken to the hospital, including two still in critical condition, when a Washington, D.C., train filled with smoke late Monday afternoon, WAMU reports.

The train halted in a tunnel just outside L'Enfant Plaza station, a major junction in the system, and then the power went out and smoke flooded into the car, NPR employee Luis Clemens told the radio station.

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Bond Commission
10:33 am
Mon January 12, 2015

State Bond Commission Approves Funding for Rail Stations

Ben Barnes.
Credit CT-N

Governor Dannel Malloy announced that $5.75 million was approved Monday by the state Bond Commission to improve railroad stations on the Hartford Line and the New Haven Line. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon January 12, 2015

The Price of Oil and Gas Is Dropping Like a Rock

Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision Thinkstock

The price of gas was nearly $4.00 per gallon two years ago. Economists worried the rate would continue to rise, causing financial hardship on those with an already lean budget. What if it went to $5.00 a gallon? Well, those days are long gone.

Gas in Connecticut is around $2.50 a gallon and it's much cheaper elsewhere in the country.

But the higher rate also made people drive less and conserve more, and pushed higher fuel efficiency standards through Congress, nearly doubling the average fuel economy of new cars and trucks by 2025.

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State of the State
5:07 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Transportation Takes Center Stage in Second Term For Gov. Malloy

Gov. Malloy delivers a brief inauguration address at the state armory earlier on Wednesday. He later delivered a state of the state address.
Jessica Hill The Associated Press

Governor Dannel Malloy has confirmed that investment in transportation infrastructure will be the signature issue of his second term. 

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Transportation
9:48 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Condition of State Roads, Bridges Evaluated in Research Group's Report

A flooded road in Granby, Connecticut.
Dave Ginsberg Creative Commons

A national transportation research group says Connecticut’s deteriorating roads are costing state drivers more than $4 billion a year. 

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Transportation
8:29 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Officials Inaugurate High Speed Rail Line In Western Mass.

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 4:15 pm

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and a host of federal, state and local officials took an inaugural train ride Monday on newly rebuilt tracks in western Massachusetts.

The trip from Springfield to Greenfield highlighted the dawn of high speed passenger rail service along what is known as the Knowledge Corridor.  For the first time in decades passenger trains will stop in Northampton and Holyoke.  Kathleen Anderson, president of the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, said it opens a lot of possibilities including more tourism.

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Infrastructure Investment
4:01 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Gov. Malloy Pledges Transportation Focus in Second Term

Gov. Dannel Malloy speaking at a Middlesex Chamber of Commerce event.
Credit CT-N

Governor Dannel Malloy said he'll turn the focus onto solving Connecticut's transportation challenges in his second term.

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Europe
11:04 am
Fri December 12, 2014

'Computer Failure' Restricts Airspace Over London

A Eurocontrol map showing the air traffic situation over Europe on Friday.
Eurocontrol

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 3:34 pm

The airspace over London has been severely restricted because of a "computer failure," Eurocontrol, the European flight safety body, said on Friday.

NPR's Ari Shapiro tells us many flights are expected to be grounded for more than three hours.

"The U.K.'s National Air Traffic Control Center experienced a mid-afternoon power failure," Ari reports. "That forced Heathrow and other airports in the London area to stop all air traffic in and out. Heathrow is Europe's busiest airport, so this will have ripples all across the continent."

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Development
10:18 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Talks Imminent Over Union Station Future in New Haven

Union Station in New Haven
City of New Haven

Transportation officials and representatives from New Haven city government will sit down this week to discuss long-range plans for Union Station. 

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Business
4:58 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

GOP Leaders: Gas Tax Hike Could Fuel Fixes To Bad Roads And Bridges

Thomas Harden of Chicago pumps gas into his truck. He says he wouldn't support a gas tax increase.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 1:57 pm

Gasoline prices are at their lowest level in four years. The price at the pump in many states is almost a full dollar cheaper than it was last spring.

So some politicians think this is a good time to raise gasoline taxes. Several states are tired of waiting for Congress to fix the federal highway trust fund, so they're considering raising gas taxes themselves to address their crumbling roads.

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Trains
2:40 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Officials Highlight Regional Rail Line in Massachusetts and Connecticut

Downtown Springfield, Massachusetts.
Expos1225 Creative Commons

Massachusetts and Connecticut officials are riding the rails on Monday to highlight upgrades in the so-called "knowledge corridor" through southern New England. 

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Transportation
2:43 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Metro-North Says It Needs New Infrastructure to Meet Punctuality Goal

Metro-North Railroad workers repair a damaged section of track after a Bronx derailment in December 2013.
Patrick Cashin Metropolitan Transportation Authority

The president of Metro-North told Governor Dannel Malloy that the commuter rail line cannot reach its target of 95 percent on-time service, and that the best way to achieve the goal of punctuality is to continue to rebuild the rail system. 

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Roadways
9:10 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Pilot Who Landed on Busway in West Hartford Details Scary Landing

A Cessna made an emergency landing on CTFastrak in West Hartford on Saturday.
Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian J. Foley

A pilot of a single-engine plane made an emergency landing on the CTFastrak busway in West Hartford, Connecticut, over the weekend. 

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Rail Safety
2:59 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

DOT's James Redeker: Metro-North Can Achieve Safety and On-Time Performance

Credit Sean Marshall / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s transportation commissioner has rejected criticism that his department is more concerned with reliability than with safety on the Metro-North Railroad. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Rails, Roads, and Buses: A State Transportation Check-In

Commissioner James Redeker from the Department of Transportation stopped by in December, 2013.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker to provide updates on the latest transportation news including CTfastrak, I-84, and our regional railways. Also, as we head into the winter months, how prepared are the state's roads?

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Metro-North
8:17 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Federal Report Recommends Attention to Sleep Disorders for Safer Railroads

On December 1, 2013 a Metro-North train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station in the Bronx.
Steve Guttman Creative Commons

The National Transportation Safety Board released a report Wednesday recommending better training for the nation's doctors in identifying and treating sleep disorders. This follows last year's deadly Metro-North derailment in the Bronx that it blames on an engineer's sleepiness. 

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Congressional Check-In
3:44 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Jim Himes on Wall Street Regulation and Transportation Deficiencies

Rep. Jim Himes will represent the 4th district for his 4th term.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Connecticut's Fourth District Congressman Jim Himes was in the running to lead the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee but lost out to New Mexico congressman Ben Ray Lujan.

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Metro-North
11:54 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Transportation Safety Board Issues Report on Metro-North Accidents

A 2013 Metro-North train derailment in Bridgeport injured 65 commuters.
NTSB
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Transportation
7:53 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Woman Killed By Amtrak Train in Milford, Connecticut

An Amtrak train from a file photo.
Credit John Mueller / Creative Commons

A woman was struck and killed by an Amtrak train in Milford on Monday.

A Metro-North official said the woman was struck at 12:21 pm west of the Milford train station. 

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Transportation
8:59 am
Fri October 24, 2014

An Answer to "Are We There Yet?" on Connecticut Highways

Some state highway signs now give travel time to motorists.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

If you're driving on one of the state's major highways and you see one of those electronic message boards overhead, it may now offer you something new: real-time information about how long a trip will take. 

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Massachusetts
4:11 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Gov. Patrick Announces State Contract To Build Subway Cars In Springfield

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 6:11 pm

The administration of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is recommending a Chinese company be awarded a contract to build new subway cars for the MBTA.  The railcars will be assembled at a new factory that is to be built in Springfield.

Gov. Patrick made the announcement Tuesday standing in front of an empty 40- acre lot on Springfield’s east side,  where the CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles Co. has said it will build a $50 million factory creating over 250 new construction and manufacturing jobs.

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Trucking
4:21 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Blumenthal, McGovern Oppose Driving Limit Revisions

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 6:56 pm

Connecticut’s U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern are calling attention to a recent poll in hopes of blocking a Republican-driven amendment that would adjust limits on the number of hours truck drivers can be behind the wheel.

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