transportation

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?

Governor Dannel Malloy, along with Early Childhood Commissioner, Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor, and local officials, have announced the allocation of about 1,000 additional School Readiness opportunities for low-income children in 46 municipalities throughout the state.

Lawmakers Battle Over Bridge Repair and Transportation Funding

State regulators are giving the public one last chance to weigh in on rules governing utilities’ tree-trimming practices before issuing a final decision in the case. The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority held a hearing today. A final decision by PURA is expected tomorrow.

Navy Submarine Returns From European Deployment

WalkingGeek / Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy, Senator Richard Blumenthal and other leaders met in New York City on Monday to discuss the latest problem for Connecticut rail travel. The 118-year-old Walk Bridge in Norwalk has gotten stuck in the open position twice in recent days, leading to major Metro-North and Amtrak delays.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This summer, we'll be regularly spotlighting sites on the National Register of Historic Places that have some significance to issues of race and culture.

The Montgomery Greyhound Station, Montgomery, Ala.

Griffin Hospital in Derby says it has tested about 750 patients for hepatitis, HIV and other infections . This comes after an announcement last month that staff had been misusing insulin pens dating back to 2008.

New State E-books System Taking Effect In July

tcly/iStock / Thinkstock

A Middlefield company has been presented with the President's Award for Exports at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Sean Marshall / Creative Commons

Metro-North customers can expect residual delays on the New Haven Line Thursday morning because of mechanical problems with a bridge in Norwalk.

Google Is Becoming A Car Manufacturer

May 28, 2014

Google is taking a detour into the world of automobiles, by becoming a carmaker.

But not just any car: a car that drives itself. In an effort to create a fully, 100 percent self-driving vehicle — something that needs no human being at the steering wheel — the company is building a car without a steering wheel.

Scientists at the company's research wing, Google X, have been working on this project hush-hush for the past year.

Today's Self-Driving Car

Members of the state’s congressional delegation want to see the full details of audits conducted at Veterans Administration medical facilities, including clinics in Danbury, New London, Stamford, Waterbury, Willimantic and Winsted. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Congressman John Larson appeared today with veterans at a VFW Post in East Hartford to discuss a letter they are sending to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Design Pics / Thinkstock

A group of taxi firms in Connecticut is suing two new ride-share companies, trying to stop them from doing business in the state.

F Delventhal / Creative Commons

Connecticut ranks 27th among 50 states when it comes to pedestrian safety, according to Dangerous By Design, a new report compiled by the National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America. 

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