On Monday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, announced the end of gas rationing in his state.
But two weeks after Sandy hit, it’s still hard to find gasoline in parts of the tri-state area. A rationing system is still in effect in New York City and parts of Long Island. So, what happened? Why aren’t we able to get enough gas to the places that need it?
I don’t normally think of commuting as an adventure. But it did seem a little like one yesterday morning as people got word that they could finally take the train from Stamford into Manhattan once again. Trumbull resident Brian Keane usually commutes from Westport into the city. Today, he drove to Stamford’s train station – and was ready for a little adventure when it came to parking.
“I actually have a bike in my car, because I figured if there wasn’t any parking, I’d park up on Bedford Street and bike down," he told me.
Like other government programs, there is a debate over funding for Amtrak. It’s a complicated business model for the rail operator because it’s owned by the government but operates in many ways like a private company.
Today, we’ll talk about the current state of rail in the United States. With all of this talk about high speed rail...including here in the northeast, how did we get to where we are today?
Today, Governor Dannel Malloy is in China - leading a delegation trying to drum up business between our state and increasingly powerful economic force. He’ll also be making an appearance at the World Economic Forum being held there.
There’s talk of Hartford to New York in half an hour. New York to Boston in 90 minutes. Tunnels under the Long Island Sound zipping trains across the region. It’s exciting stuff. But here in Connecticut, many are saying, ‘wait a minute. First thing’s first.’
“We don’t have money today to run the railroad that we operate – or try to operate – today," says Jim Cameron.
I'm convinced that people in Connecticut really hate and fear mass transit, which is why mass transit in this state is stuck the era of Don Draper from Mad Men. The way people react to the Hartford/New Britain busway project is basically the way Gollum reacts when he's tied up with Elvish ropes: "It burns! It burns! We hates it!"
There are lots of reasons why now, getting into the game very late, Connecticut is going to face a lot of extra challenges. One of them is that development has followed no particular logic.
Home values continue to fall, and yet housing is becoming increasingly difficult to afford. As WNPR’s Neena Satija reports, a new study from the Center for Housing Policy shows the situation is particularly dire in Connecticut.
In 2010, nearly a quarter of all working households suffered from what’s called a “severe housing cost burden.” That means more than 50 percent of households' income goes toward housing. The problem is worst for people who are renting. Megan Bolton is a senior research analyst at the National Low-Income Housing Coalition.
Federal transportation officials have officially committed $275 million for a busway from New Britain to Hartford. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, state officials say construction will begin this Spring. The state says that when the busway opens in 2014, it will be a bus-only stretch of road with 11 stops and service every three to five minutes, carrying an estimated 16,000 passengers a day. The half-billion dollar project has drawn criticism from those who say it's too costly to those who say it's the wrong transportation plan to begin with. At a press conference, Governor Dannel Malloy defended the busway as he celebrated it.
More than 100 people chanting and carrying signs marched through downtown Hartford yesterday, calling for jobs, public safety and infrastructure investment, and an end to corporate greed. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, the march was part of a national protest to declare an economic emergency. The culmination of the rally was to be the occupation of a busy onramp to Interstate 84. On the way there, people from labor groups, community organizations, and the Occupy Hartford movement talked about what brought them out.
Governor Dannel Malloy has appointed his interim Department of Transportation commissioner to oversee the agency permanently. WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. Governor Malloy named James Redeker to run the department, which employs 3,000 people and oversees the state's highways, ports and airports. Redeker was appointed as the interim commissioner in March as the governor conducted a national search to fill the job. But Malloy said that the national search eventually turned up the local guy. "It turns out that the right person was here in our own backyard.
Connecticut’s multi-million dollar investment in a new high-speed rail line from New Haven to Springfield is supposed to spur economic development. And for some communities it will mean big changes. WNPR’s Harriet Jones went to talk to small business owners in Meriden about their hopes for the city as the new line comes through.
It’s a sunny day in downtown Meriden and Ron Dagan and I are walking on a street parallel to the nearby train tracks.
Earlier this month, Connecticut received $30 million for the New Haven to Springfield rail project from the federal government. As the money starts to trickle in, WNPR is checking in with a few towns along the line to see how they're preparing. The next stop is Enfield, where one neighborhood hopes the momentum of the train will help turn around the city's fractured reputation.
Nearly 30 million trips are made every day using public transit, mostly in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas. And the main destination of these millions of commuters is, not surprisingly, work. So a new Brookings report surveyed public transit in 100 cities in the U.S. including Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford, to see just how effective public transit is in getting people to their jobs every day.
A new report says almost all low-income residents in Connecticut's biggest cities have access to public transportation. But those buses, shuttles and trains are often too infrequent to get them to work.
After two years of crunching data, Alan Berube was surprised to find that nearly 70 percent of people in America's metropolitan areas have access to public transit.
That's true in Connecticut too. But "access" here could just mean a bus runs down your street every half hour.
Connecticut commuters reacted with cautious relief Monday to news of the death of Osama bin Laden. Some say they’re concerned about a possible backlash.
Police look on as Connecticut commuters rush to catch trains at New Haven’s Union Station. Madison businessman Jim Morrissey says he’s not sure yet what Osama bin Laden’s death will mean for Americans.
Governor Dannel Malloy has given his stamp of approval on construction of a New Britain to Hartford busway. The busway will travel along a 9.6 mile route of abandoned railroad bed, easing congestion on Interstate 84. Opponents and Supporters of the project met late last month with the Governor to offer their opinion on this controversial project. One of those opponents is University of Connecticut Civil Engineering professor, Norman Garrick.
Connecticut is closer to getting its first rapid transit system. Governor Dannel Malloy announced today his support for a rapid bus project from New Britain to Hartford. As WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports the Governor says he also wants to devote state funds to study a rail project in Waterbury.
Governor Dannel Malloy was in Washington D.C. today (Thursday) to meet with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. They discussed Connecticut’s application for high-speed rail funding. WNPR's Jason Cunningham reports.
Governor Malloy says he's confident that Connecticut will receive a portion of the $2.4 billion in federal transportation funding released last week. Speaking by phone to reporters he said he'll continue to pursue the $100 million in transportation funding that Florida’s Governor passed up.
Connecticut’s Transportation Committee is considering a proposal to take funds designated for a New Britain to Hartford bus project and spend it on reinvigorating train service from Waterbury to Hartford. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.
The “busway” project, as it’s known, is designed to reduce the congestion on Interstate 84 by building a separate 9.4 mile road just for busses. There would be elevated platforms, similar to a train station with service every three to six minutes during peak commuter hours.
Connecticut transportation is in crisis on the ground and in the skies.
The Northeast corridor has the nation’s busiest airspace and Metro-North’s New Haven Line the most commuter traffic in the U.S. But thanks to relentless winter weather and continued delay of the MTA’s new M8 train cars, more than half of Metro North’s New Haven line trains are out of service. The result is a decrease in service and plenty of livid commuters.
A pilot landing at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks hears a roaring noise just above his plane, but checks his traffic alert system and sees nothing in the area.
“Do you have traffic on top of us?” he asks an airport controller. The response is matter-of-fact but chilling: The plane has entered an area of “heavy military operations,” with a pair of F-15 fighter jets that departed nearby Barnes Municipal Airport coming close enough to deem the incident an “NMAC,” or near midair collision, a January 2010 report says.
The underlying theme this month (right after the elections, of course) is transportation. It seems much-anticipated changes are slowly happening, on the national and local level. This week, Connecticut and Massachusetts announced that they will share nearly 121 million in federal funds to help launch high speed passenger rail service. One step closer to the long awaited Springfield – New Haven rail line.