What’s happening at other transit agencies?

The Tappan Zee Bridge carries Interstate 87 over the Hudson river. Image via flickr user waywuwei.

Good question! This weekly post features news from other transit agencies and planners from around the world. Did we miss a good story? Let us know in the comments.

Tappan Zee Bridge plan a dud without public transportation

The decade-long process of deciding how to replace New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge has been long and arduous one, so much so that Kate Slevin called it “a civics lesson in how not to do a transportation project,” in an editorial for the Lower Hudson Valley Journal News. The public consensus seemed to be that any replacement should have a transit component, and that bus-rapid transit would suffice until funding could be amassed for a rail line. It appears, however, that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to fast-track a proposal with no transit option, despite projections that the BRT system would have roughly 50,000 riders each day.

Kudos to Kazakhstan

The first subway in the central Asian republic opened last week in the country’s largest city, Almaty. Planning for the 5.2-mile line began in 1988, the Associated Press reports, before the fall of the Soviet Union severely disrupted the project. President Nursultan Nazarbayev was on hand with thousands of residents for the opening ceremony.

The new RER line A trains arrive at the station

This post from the Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens — the agency that operates Paris’ regional trains — will be a test of my French. New rolling stock is coming to line A of the RER regional train system. The new trains will be welcome news, surely, to line A’s over one million daily riders. The double-decker trains can each carry 2,600 passengers, 1,000 more than the previous generation. And with 6-foot-wide doors, all those riders should be able to hop on and off with greater ease.

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority advances Fairmount Line projects

Massachusetts’ Commonwealth Conversations transportation blog celebrated yesterday the recent completion of the Fairmount Commuter Rail Rehabilitation Project. The project’s first phase featured

…rehabilitation of Upham’s Corner and Morton stations; the reconstruction of three bridges; the implementation of new interlocking; and the de-leading and painting of neighborhood bridges. Phase II involves the construction of four new commuter rail stations with three of four station projects now underway…

Sure, it doesn’t sound as flashy as a brand new transit project, but this type of project is critical to keeping transit systems, especially aging ones, in a state of good repair.

Innovative Financing Points the Way Ahead for a Rail Project in Charlotte

Transit financing “innovation” is a buzzword these days, given that agencies are having to do more with less, as ridership gains are met with funding cuts. But here’s one that’s even knew to me: transit-oriented industrial development. As the Transport Politic reports, the Charlotte Area Transit System has found that it lacks the funds to finish a commuter rail line from the city’s center to suburban communities to the north. So CATS is working with rail company Norfolk Southern to allow freight trains to use excess capacity on the commuter line. To further support ridership and industrial development, officials are taking steps to encourage developers to build housing around stations and industries to build manufacturing centers in between.