transportation

Business leaders said in a new survey that their top priority for transportation in Connecticut is addressing overcrowded roads.

Chion Wolf

It’s a snowy commute this morning. That means you’ll be sharing the road with Connecticut Department of Transportation crews, plowing and treating the roads.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

James Redeker, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation, joins us to talk about the latest in infrastructure. What with Metro-North woes, CTfastrak progress, talk of changes to the I-84 viaduct in Hartford, and more emphasis on transit-oriented development, is the state doing everything it can to improve the quality of our trains, buses, bridges, and roads? Check in below to see what Redeker has to say.

A commuter train crash that killed four passengers in New York is raising questions about whether a high-tech safety system could have prevented the derailment.

The investigation into the Bronx, N.Y., train crash that killed four people Sunday will continue without the direct involvement of the rail employees union the Association of Commuter Rail Employees. The move was in response to remarks the union's leader made at a Tuesday news conference regarding the train engineer's awareness level moments before a catastrophic derailment.

Updated at 2:00 a.m. ET Wednesday:

Federal investigators in New York announced late Tuesday that they had removed the rail employees union, the Association of Commuter Rail Employees, as a participant in the investigation. According to The Associated Press, investigators cited a breach of confidentiality after Anthony Bottalico, leader of the union, spoke to the media concerning comments train engineer William Rockefeller had made about what happened moments before Sunday's derailment.

Update at 8 p.m. ET:

Update at 6:50 p.m. ET. Speeding Into Curve; A Mile Or More To Safely Stop:

A commuter train headed into New York City was traveling at 82 mph Sunday morning when it entered a curve where the speed limit was supposed to be 30 mph and derailed, National Transportation Safety Board investigators have concluded. Four people on the train were killed and at least 60 others were injured.

Kevin Dooley / Creative Commons

Metro-North has had a tough year. Yesterday's derailment in the Bronx follows the May derailment in Bridgeport that injured more than 70 people, the death of a rail worker repairing tracks in West Haven one week later, the July derailment of a freight train that occurred about 1,700 feet from Sunday's derailment, and a nearly two-week power outage in September that severely disrupted rail traffic.

Daniel Cohen / @danielcohen on Twitter

A Metro-North train on the Hudson line derailed Sunday morning in the Bronx. Four people were killed and more than 60 people were injured.

It's been a difficult year for Metro-North. In May, two commuter trains collided outside of Bridgeport, injuring more than 70 people. Just weeks later, a track foreman was killed by a train near West Haven. Then in September, a power failure disrupted travel on the New Haven line for nearly two weeks.

A commuter train crash that left four people dead and dozens injured Sunday in the Bronx is the most serious among a number of incidents in the past year for Metro-North Railroad.

As the investigation into what caused the derailment continued Monday, thousands of commuters were looking for alternate ways in and out of New York City.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

A commuter train derailed as it was heading into Manhattan this morning, killing four people and injuring more than 60. Witnesses say the train appeared to be going too fast as it rounded a curve just north of a train station in the Bronx. The National Transportation Safety Board is trying to piece together what happened.

(This post was last updated at 5:02 p.m. ET.)

A Metro-North commuter train derailed on Sunday in the Bronx borough of New York City, killing four passengers, and injuring 63.

WABC-TV in New York reports the train derailed at about 7:20 a.m., while navigating a curve just outside the Spuyten Duyvil station.

Unless Congress acts quickly, taking mass transit to work is about to get more expensive for some people.

For the past four years, public transportation users and people who drive their cars to work and pay for parking have been able set aside up to $245 a month in wages tax free if they're used for commuting costs or workplace parking.

As I write this, snowstorms are swirling over the East Coast, threatening Thanksgiving holiday travel plans for millions of travelers. How much time in the purgatory of airports will this mean for you? Check out FlightAware's MiseryMap, which combines weather and flight data into a live map that lists which airports are being struck by storms, the number of delays and cancellations, and graphs that show flight destinations and the chances they'll actually make it on time.

Rain, sleet, snow and an estimated 43.4 million Americans traveling to be with family or friends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Flodigrip's world / Flickr Creative Commons

It's been a rough and frustrating year for Metro-North commuters. Aside from the derailment in Bridgeport and the power outage in September, the service has been slower and less reliable than usual. On a recent episode of Where We Live, we heard many suggestions from our guests and listeners on how to make Metro-North better.

Listen to the recent episode of Where We Live on Metro-North.

Sean Marshall / Creative Commons

It’s been a rough year for Connecticut’s commuter rail line. From the derailment in Bridgeport to the extended power outage, Metro-North commuters have had headache after headache. So what can we do to improve the rail system and get people to and from New York City safely and on time?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Christopher Brown is a cyclist in Hartford, and he's suing the Connecticut Department of Transportation for closing Flower Street. Brown described the street as "a crucial North/South route for safe bike and pedestrian travel between Capitol and Farmington Avenues." 

London's colorful mayor, Boris Johnson, has made it a priority to get more of his constituents on two wheels. But a series of deaths on the city's roads have shaken cyclists and noncyclists alike.

The number of Londoners cycling to work has more than doubled in the past decade. On some roads, cyclists now make up more than half the rush hour traffic.

And for years, Johnson has been among them. Many think the London mayor has his eye on Prime Minister David Cameron's job.

National Transportation Safety Board

The National Transportation Safety Board began an investigative hearing today on two Metro-North Railroad accidents in Connecticut earlier year. On May 17 in Bridgeport, an east-bound train derailed, and was struck by a west-bound train, injuring 73 passengers, two engineers and a conductor. Later in the month, a track foreman was struck and killed by a train in West Haven.

On Monday, a congressional field hearing was held in Bridgeport to discuss ways to improve Metro-North railroad service after a power failure impacted thousands of commuters last month. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal organized the hearing. He said inadequate management and insufficient funding in infrastructure led to the the breakdown in service September 25.

It is still as dark as night as Jim Rix steps out of his red brick Chicago bungalow and gets into his car, parked on the street. It's 6 a.m., and the 53-year-old engineer is getting an early start on his 35-mile commute out to Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago's southwest suburbs.

"Depending upon weather and time of day, it can take 45 minutes to two hours to get to and from work," Rix says.

Senator Richard Blumenthal is chairing a hearing in Bridgeport on the recent Metro-North power outage. The hearing is examining the causes of the outage, how to prevent such failures from reoccurring, and the economic impact of such a major service disruption. It's hearing of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security.

National Air and Space Museum

If Connecticut thought a state law acknowledging Bridgeport resident Gustav Whitehead as the first in flight would put the issue of who flew first to rest, Ohio and North Carolina are saying: not so fast. North Carolina Republican State Senator Bill Cook and Ohio Republican State Representative Rick Perales held dual news conferences Thursday reasserting the Wright brothers' legacy as the first to achieve powered flight. 

cgosnell90 / Flickr Creative Commons

Starting this month, Connecticut began imposing stiffer penalties against drivers who speed through work zones. The endangerment charge will be applied to motorists driving more than 75 mph or truckers going faster than 65 mph in a work zone.

Mark Fischer / Flickr Creative Commons

Ridership on Amtrak is up for the year, the company reported, despite the disruptions in service during and after Sandy. Amtrak transported a record 31.6 million riders in the past year ending September 30, and made a record $2.1 billion in ticket sales.

epSos.de / Creative Commons

State police and local law enforcement are out on the roads and stopping drivers caught texting or using hand-held cell phones while driving.

The New Haven Register reports that the crackdown began this week in Danbury and northern Fairfield County and is meant to highlight Connecticut's new law that allows reporting of distracted driving offenses to insurance companies.

redlegsfan21 / Wikimedia Commons

On the surface, air travel appears very much the same as it did before the government shutdown. But there have been big changes behind the scenes. Even when there isn't a government shutdown in effect, most people involved in putting planes in the air are invisible to travelers.

Connor Harris / Creative Commons

The Metropolitan Transit Authority says Metro-North's New Haven line is back to full service today. The nation's second largest commuter rail line has been crippled since September 25, when a high voltage power feeder cable failed.

Connor Harris / Creative Commons

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted unanimously Tuesday to credit Metro-North New Haven Line customers who have been inconvenienced by the ongoing disruption in service. Riders must have monthly or weekly tickets between Connecticut and New York City that were valid during the power outage.

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