Transportation headlines, Thursday, Nov. 1

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

Some New York subway service resumes; restrictions put in place on bridges (New York Times)

Fourteen of the 23 subway lines in New York began service again this morning although some lines have considerable gaps because of flooding and other damage from Hurricane Sandy. Service between Manhattan and Brooklyn remains by shuttle bus only and lines are long. Gov. Cuomo also announced that all bus and subway fares were waived for the rest of the week as a way to help people get around.

Traffic in the area has been more terrible than usual, resulting in a key policy change: vehicles headed over some key bridges into Manhattan were required to have three or more passengers. The Times reports that some police checks to enforce passenger loads may have added to traffic woes because they were so vigorous.

However, New Jersey Transit rail service — which connects Manhattan to the vast suburbs of the Garden State — remains suspended. There is both infrastructure damage and/no power to run trains, switches and signaling systems. Gov. Christie said that it will be seven to 10 days before PATH subway trains are running again between Newark, Hoboken and Lower Manhattan. The above slideshow from New Jersey Transit shows damage to the system.

A gas line in New Jersey. Photo by Jeff Jarvis, via Twitter.

New Jersey is running out of gas (Grist)

There were warnings before the storm that gasoline would likely be short supply after Sandy swept through the region. And the warnings were correct. Gas is in short supply for cars as well as the generators needed to supply electricity in some areas. Lines are long but here’s one interesting tidbit: there was a rule already in place prohibiting gas stations from gouging customers and the Christie Administration has been serious about enforcing it.

Are humans to blame? Science is out (New York Times)

Was Hurricane Sandy caused by or made worse by climate change? Scientists say they don’t know but do think that storm surges were likely made worse by seas that have already risen in response to global warming. Warmer seas may have also contributed to providing the storm with more energy. Bottom line, however, is this: scientists predict there will be a blizzard of scientific papers produced about the storm and climate change.

Californians commute ranks as 10th longest in U.S. (California Watch)

The average commute time in the Golden State between 2009 and 2011 was 26.9 minutes. Excerpt:

On average, Americans spent 23.7 minutes getting to work. More than three-quarters of them drove alone to their jobs, nearly 1 in 10 carpooled and 5 percent took public transportation. Californians were less likely to drive alone – about 73 percent did – and were more likely to carpool (11.4 percent) or ride public transit (5.2 percent).

Californians’ commuting habits have not changed much in recent years. They drive, carpool and ride public transit at about the same rates they reported in the 2006-8 American Community Survey, and their journeys to work are about the same duration.

Maryland has the longest average commutes at 31.8 minutes. In California, Contra Costa County had the longest commute times at 32.2 minutes. Contra Costa and Riverside counties had the highest proportion of commuters requiring an hour or more to get to work — 17 percent.

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