Meet the 98% Recyclable Subway Car – Coming in 2012 (Treehugger)
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By way of Treehugger (via Crisp Green) comes word that Poland is bringing 97.5 percent recyclable subway cars to the Warsaw Underground. They are said to be more energy efficient too, due to the use of lighter materials such as aluminum for the carriage and the installation of demand-controlled air conditioning and an electrodynamic braking systems. Check out the computer-generated vision of the subway car of the near future and take close note of the tree-like ground to ceiling handrails, which aims to bring nature into the underground.
An odd twist in a tale of honesty (L.A. Times)
Columnist Steve Lopez tells the story of an out-of-luck veteran who finds nearly $1,000 on a Metro bus and who turns the money into Metro. At first he’s told he can keep the money if it’s unclaimed, then he’s told he can’t due to Metro policy. When the matter is brought to the attention of Metro CEO Art Leahy, he changes the policy, allowing the veteran to keep the money that went unclaimed. As for the vet, he still says he would give the money back to its rightful owner if they could be found. Nice column.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat (CityWatchLA)
CityWatch’s Ken Alpern responds to Steve Lopez’s recent column in the Times lamenting the decision not to bring the “Subway to the Sea” past the VA Hospital. Reasoning that there is a learning curve for those new to transit advocacy, Alpern gives four reasons why he and others don’t think the Westside Subway Extension should or could make it past the VA. One of them, he notes, is the concern that the extension of the subway to Santa Monica could result in lower ridership for both the subway and second phase of the Expo Line (which will end near the ocean in downtown Santa Monica) — thus lowering the cost effectiveness of the subway project.
Amtrak to Allow Guns on Trains (Sacramento Bee)
Reversing its current policy, Amtrak on Dec. 15 will allow unloaded guns in checked bags to be carried on its trains. The article notes that the gun ban on trains was one of the few areas in which security rules in the post 9/11 era have been tighter on trains than planes.
Making Boarding Rapids Rapid (PlusMetro)
The blog takes a look at the age-old problem with buses: how to quickly get paying customers on board so the bus can get moving. One possible solution — used elsewhere — is to allow customers to pay before boarding and to allow them to enter buses in both the front and back doors.