transportation

Sam Churchill / Creative Commons

Many cities across the country are bringing back the streetcar. Providence, Rhode Island just received $13 million in federal TIGER grant funding to build a streetcar system. Could a Connecticut city be far behind?

Patrick Cashin / Metropolitan Transportation Authority

The head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority told federal safety officials that traffic control staff at the Metro-North Railroad worked seven days straight for weeks when several accidents, including one fatal, disrupted commutes in Connecticut and New York last year. 

Massachusetts' Transportation Secretary Richard Davey, who oversees the state's highways and public transit as well as other agencies, is stepping down after three years on the job.

Updated at 12:40 p.m. ET

Call it a sign of the times: An airline passenger sneezes, makes a joke about Ebola and is quickly escorted from the plane by hazmat-suited personnel.

That's what reportedly happened aboard a US Airways flight that had landed in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, shortly after arriving from Philadelphia on Wednesday.

New York state officials, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, welcomed the one of the world’s largest floating cranes to the construction site of the replacement Tappan Zee Bridge Monday. At the same time, the governor’s opponent in the November election called for details on the new bridge’s expected tolls. 

Updated at 8:08 p.m. ET

Flights in and out of Chicago's two airports came to a halt Friday morning after a fire at an air traffic control facility.

As of early Friday afternoon at least some of the flights had begun taking off and landing, reports NPR's David Schaper in Chicago.

The Associated Press says: "The fire started in the basement of the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center in Aurora, about 40 miles west of downtown Chicago, city of Aurora spokesman Dan Ferrelli said in an emailed statement."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio held a press conference this afternoon to tamp down comments made by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

De Blasio said American authorities had found no "specific, credible threat" against the New York City subway system.

Earlier today, al-Abadi caused concern when he said his government had uncovered a plot targeting the mass transit system. The Chicago Tribune adds:

Jim Maurer / Creative Commons

Commuters on Metro-North's New Haven Line can expect more trains during the off-peak hours and on weekends. 

Kevin Ortiz / Metropolitan Transportation Authority

At a transportation forum in North Haven, Governor Malloy and Republican challenger Tom Foley outlined their plans to fix Connecticut's transportation problems.

Paul Kimo McGregor / Creative Commons

Metro-North Railroad is launching a pilot program to offer its broadest tryout yet of bicycle racks on trains.

Judd Everhart, spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Transportation, said Metro-North will install two racks apiece on 50 cars by November.

Thomas MacMillan / New Haven Independent

In 2010, Dan Malloy beat Tom Foley in the race for governor by just over 6,400 votes statewide. The smattering of polls that have been released in this year’s race show a similarly close rematch.

If Malloy does win a second-term, he’ll need to win the cities -- by a lot. In the city of New Haven alone, Malloy won by a margin of more than 18,600 votes. It’s no surprise that Malloy continues to court the votes in the Elm City.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced a milestone agreement today in the effort to bring high- speed passenger rail service to western Massachusetts.

Governor Patrick arrived in Greenfield onboard a train from North Adams to announce a tentative agreement to have the state purchase the rail line between East Northfield on the Vermont border and Springfield.  The 49-mile stretch is nearing the completion of a major restoration that will return passenger rail service to communities along the Connecticut River.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

CTfastrak, the bus-only corridor between Hartford and New Britain, won't start running until early 2015. On Monday, state transportation officials already started showing the buses off. 

Uber And Lyft Spar Over Alleged Ride Cancellations

Aug 12, 2014

Uber and Lyft are battling for customers looking for rides via smartphones, but maybe not everyone is fighting fairly.

CNNMoney reports that Uber employees have ordered and canceled more than 5,000 Lyft rides since October, according to Lyft's data.

"And it's not just a rogue employee or two," CNN reports. "Lyft claims 177 Uber employees around the country have booked and canceled rides in that time frame."

Malaysia plans to nationalize its flag carrier Malaysia Airlines after back-to-back disasters and a 12-year stretch that saw the company restructured four times. NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Beijing that another complete restructuring will follow, in a bid to pull the airline out of its financial tailspin.

Dutch Call Off Search For Additional Remains In Ukraine

Aug 6, 2014

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has called off the search for additional remains at the site of the downed airliner in Ukraine.

At a news conference in The Hague on Wednesday, Rutte said the search has become too dangerous.

As we reported yesterday, Russia has stationed more than 30,000 troops near its border with Ukraine for military exercises.

A state-financed expansion of public transportation in western Massachusetts is being launched this month.

    The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority will introduce seven new bus routes, including a much demanded cross-town bus in Springfield, and a new route between Amherst and Holyoke.   There will be more hours, mostly on the weekend, on 14 routes and buses will run more frequently on 15 routes.   PVTA Administrator Mary MacInnes said ridership was up 2 percent last year.

South Portland, Maine, is known as the place where Liberty ships were built by tens of thousands of workers during World War II. Now, the city's waterfront is home to an oil terminal and the beginning of a 236-mile-long pipeline.

For more than 70 years, the Portland Montreal Pipeline Corp. has pumped crude oil up through the pipeline, across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, to be refined in Montreal.

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a 24-hour ban on flights to and from the Tel Aviv airport.

"The notice was issued in response to a rocket strike which landed approximately one mile from Ben Gurion International Airport on the morning of July 22, 2014," the FAA said in a statement.

This post was last updated at 7:10 p.m. ET.

Pro-Russian separatists have given what they say are Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17's data recorders to Malaysian officials in Donetsk, the city in eastern Ukraine that has been the militants' stronghold.

Along with the release of victims' bodies hours earlier, the transfer of the black boxes fulfills part of a deal Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said he had reached with the rebels Monday.

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET.

In the most emphatic U.S. statement to date on culpability for the downing of a Malaysian airliner over Eastern Ukraine that killed 298 people, Secretary of State John Kerry says evidence overwhelmingly points to Russian-backed separatists.

In an interview with CNN, he says that U.S. intelligence, as well as social media put out by the rebels, "obviously points a very clear finger at the separatists.

This post was updated at 5:00 p.m. ET.

This post was last updated at 6:40 p.m. ET.

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 298 passengers and crew aboard has crashed in eastern Ukraine in an area of the country that has been wracked by a separatist insurgency.

Strike Averted On Nation's Largest Commuter Rail Line

Jul 17, 2014

A tentative agreement has headed off a strike at the nation's largest commuter railroad.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who became personally involved in talks between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and unions representing Long Island Rail Road workers, announced Thursday that a deal had been reached, three days ahead of a planned strike.

The 5,400 LIRR employees had been working without a contract since 2010.

"This is a compromise by both parties after four long years," Cuomo said.

Israeli Defense Forces / Creative Commons

Once again, violence has escalated in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine. Rockets are now reaching northern Israel and that government is responding with barrages of its own rocket attacks on Palestinian targets. We talk with a local professor who recently returned from the region and studies this on-going conflict.

m01229 / Creative Commons

Known as The Land of Steady Habits, the Nutmeg State, and somewhere you can be "Still Revolutionary," Connecticut is ever-changing, if sometimes very slowly. 

WalkingGeek (Flickr Creative Commons)

Metro-North Railroad said train service was temporarily suspended through Fairfield while authorities investigated a suspicious package near the station.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation has scheduled two meetings to provide information about improvements at railroad grade crossings. This is for a planned high-speed rail line from New Haven to Springfield via Hartford.  The railroad grade crossings are planned for Wallingford and Meriden.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Toll booths have lots of bad connotations in the Northeast, and not just because of a the tragic accident in Connecticut nearly 30 years ago, which forced the closing of the toll booth.

Contributed Photo / Connecticut Department of Transporation

Highway tolls are again being discussed in Connecticut as part of an 18-month study conducted by the state Department of Transportation. It's got road planners asking an interesting question, can one type of toll actually reduce traffic?

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