12:15 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Call for Tolls Grows Louder as Transit Funds Diminish

Transportation advocates and officials across Connecticut gathered in the state capitol Monday to ask some tough questions about how the state will pay for badly-needed transit upgrades. Commuters themselves will probably have to chip in.

On the national level, we’re looking either at a “fiscal cliff” meltdown with big spending cuts or possible tax increases. Here in Connecticut, the state’s own money problems seem to be getting worse each day. So where does that leave funding for transportation?

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5:37 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Rant & Rail: The Plight of a Train Station Parker

Metro-North ridership is at its highest ever in Connecticut, but for many of these new passengers, driving – and parking – are still a part of their daily commute.

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10:57 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Filling Up and Topping Off: A Look At Gas Stations

Patrick Emerson (Flickr Creative Commons)

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?

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5:27 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

When the Trains Stopped: Getting From New Haven to New York

Dru Nadler

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.

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9:49 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Rant & Rail: The Hassle of Train Tickets

DanTD (Wikimedia Commons)

As traffic on the highways gets worse, and gas prices rise, more people are shedding their cars. But using alternatives like trains and buses won’t always get you where you need to go.

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Where We Live
10:30 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Raving, Ranting & Riding on Railroads

Anders Illum (Flickr Creative Commons)

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?

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Stamford Parking
10:26 am
Mon October 15, 2012

The DOT's $35 Million Secret...Shhh, It's a Parking Garage

Commuters will have a chance to weigh in on state plans to rebuild a parking garage at the Stamford train station tonight. But since the names of potential developers and their plans will be kept a secret, no one’s sure what they’ll be able to weigh in on. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports.

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Where We Live
11:41 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Building Bridges Between China and Connecticut

World Map from CIA World Factbook; Malloy photo from Chion Wolf

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.

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6:08 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Will the Future of Rail Travel Include Metro-North?

WalkingGeek (Flickr Creative Commons)

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.

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High Speed
10:32 am
Mon August 27, 2012

High Speed Rail Set To Speed Through Connecticut


You’ve probably seen the plans: Amtrak wants to build high-speed rail in the Northeast running trains from Boston to Washington at 220 mph to make the trip in 3 hours!

Amtrak is betting that rail can once again compete with cars and planes to get us where we want to go, faster, more efficiently, and with less gridlock.

But there are a few problems with the plan here in Connecticut.

First,"we don't have money today to run the railroad that we try to operate today."

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Off Track
12:43 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

CTfastrak: Is It On Track? A Busway Update

Courtesy CTfastrak

The busway planned between Hartford and New Britain has been dubbed CTfastrak, perhaps to get out from under the divisive political connotations of “busway.” But as the plans start to take shape, local politics are again playing a role.

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Higher Traffic Local Road
1:46 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Downtown Crossing in New Haven Loses Support of Elm City Cycling

Courtesy City of New Haven

On August 6, New Haven's Board of Aldermen gave final approval to a major project that will remove highway 34, and replace the open land with biotech and medical facilities. It will also open up a part of the city that has been closed off to downtown by the highway since the 1950s.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:55 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Transportation Etiquette

A.M.F. photo

In some ways, it's a miracle that we all travel together as well as we do. 

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Where We Live
10:44 am
Wed August 8, 2012

The Future of Cities

Chion Wolf

TV shows and Sci-Fi books and  from the 1950’s and 60s brought us images of future cities filled with flying machines, moving sidewalks, helpful robots and meals at the push of a button.

Although we never quite got there,  we do have internet, a phone in our pocket that does everything and we sent a roving space lab on Mars.

But what do the visionaries of today have planned for the city of tomorrow?  

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9:10 am
Thu June 28, 2012

Hartford Wins $10 Million for Smart Growth


The grant, announced last week, is part of the TIGER program begun by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2009. Several dozen cities and towns across the country, out of hundreds of applicants, were awarded a total of $500 million for projects following smart-growth principles.

The city plans to use most of the money to improve access from Union Station to Main Street and Asylum and Pearl streets downtown. That way more people can take the train to Hartford and easily get to their nearby office -- potentially dramatically changing the fabric of downtown.

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That Midnight Train
8:32 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Connecticut Department of Transportation Examines Rail Environmental Impact Report

Keene/Cheshire Cty (NH) Historical Photos (Creative Commons)

Connecticut's Department of Transportation has released an environmental impact report for the proposed high speed rail line between New Haven and Springfield Massachusetts. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:55 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

The Nose: The New Busway, Chasing Doctor Clinics, And The Facebook IPO Drama

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.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:56 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Humans In Flight

Max Nash.

It's time to try defying gravity.

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Income and Housing
2:58 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Low-Income Renters Struggle to Find Housing

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.

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3:20 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Busway Gets Federal Funding, Construction To Begin In Spring

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.

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6:38 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Protest Briefly Closes Interstate On Ramp

Chion Wolf/WNPR

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.

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Where We Live
10:09 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Transportation And Development Funding

Chion Wolf

Last week, Connecticut handed out $5 million to a variety of towns and cities to create transit-oriented development projects around existing or planned transportation hubs. Here to talk with us about what this means is Tom Condon, he's deputy editorial page editor and columnist with the Hartford Courant who writes about transportation and development.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:32 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

Was Connecticut First in Flight?

Dick Howell, Wikipedia

Contrary to what you've been told, the first flying machine may have flown in Bridgeport.

Gustave Whitehead is a mostly unsung pioneer in American aviation, and there's some evidence supporting the claim that he flew before Wilbur and Orville did.

Whitehead's story stayed buried a long time, and some believers say this was because of anti-Teutonic attitudes at the outbreak of World War I.

We'll check in with the New England Air Museum about Gustave's flight and the storm of controversy his story ignited among aviation historians.

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3:20 pm
Mon October 3, 2011

Hartford's Star Shuttle Spared

6:38 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

DOT Considers Raising Fares For Buses And Trains

Rich Moffitt, Flickr Creative Commons

Public Hearings are being held this week on proposed fare increases for buses and trains in Connecticut. Tonight there are hearings in New Haven and tomorrow in Hartford. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports. 

Earlier this month Connecticut’s Department of  Transportation was proposing a fare increase of more than 16% for rail service. This would affect Shore Line east and the New Haven Line.  

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3:51 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Malloy Appoints New DOT Commissioner

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

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.

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10:26 am
Mon August 22, 2011

Study Shows Switch To Low Carbon Fuels Could Benefit Economy

Chion Wolf

A new study reports on the economic impact of shifting from gasoline --- to fuels with lower carbon emissions. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports the study focused on 11 Northeast and mid-Atlantic states

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Uncertain Future
8:21 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Morning Edition: The Ferries' Communication Problem

Photo by Chion Wolf

Today was supposed to be the day crews start the process of dry docking Connecticut's two state run ferries for the winter. The future of these historic ferries are uncertain. After state union workers rejected the first labor and concessions deal with Governor Malloy, the ferries were targeted for closure, but remain open while union members mull over a second deal. In the meantime the towns that surround the ferries are looking for other ways to keep them open.

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Gas Prices
8:41 am
Fri July 29, 2011

Gas Price Hikes Hit Small Businesses

Harriet Jones

The rest of Connecticut might groan at summer gas prices, but in Fairfield County, four dollar gas has a whole different meaning. Small businesses especially, pay the price for the county’s transportation woes. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

When gas prices spiked this year, and gas was more than $4.30 a gallon in southwest Connecticut, the help wanted ads began going up all over Fairfield County.

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