An idea to get train safety on track (Daily News)
The editorial says it’s time to implement positive train control on America’s passenger railroads in order to prevent crashes — and not delay federal mandates to do so by 2015. Excerpt:
In the interest of getting PTC installed in the nation’s trains as soon as possible, American train passengers (and those who love them) should be willing to pay more of the price. If this means putting more federal taxpayer money into the project, so be it.
Californians can probably think of a chunk of money that would work nicely: the $3.3 billion in federal cash earmarked for the Los Angeles-to-San Francisco-area high-speed rail project, a sum whose fate is uncertain after the bullet train’s latest legal setback.
What’s more valuable, perhaps the most significant rail safety feature that will be adopted in our lifetimes, or the California bullet-train plan that sounds more and more like a futurist’s fantasy?
Metrolink has been extremely proactive in installing PTC. But they’re the exception, not the rule.
L.A.’s Union Station in black-and-white (L.A. Times)
Photographer Mark Bolster breaks out his Leica M6 and black-and-white film to shoot the venerable station. And the results are predictably beautiful. One of my dream cameras, btw: the Leica M Monochom, a digital camera that only shoots in black-and-white. Only problem is the price; the body alone costs about 8,000 boxes of ziti.
Cincinnati’s mayor: we’re going to have a streetcar (Cincinnati Enquirer)
The City Council voted 6-3 today to resume the city’s downtown streetcar project after earlier this month voting 5-4 to put construction on hold, a rare move. There were two items in play: an audit that found that stopping the project would cost more than resuming it and a $900,000-a-year commitment for 10 years from a private foundation to pay for streetcar operations.
I’m from Cincy and I think it’s a smart move to finish the project. The city has been bleeding population to the suburbs for decades and downtown desperately needs a way to help reinvent itself and lure more people back to the city beyond pro sports. No, the streetcar is not a panacea for Cincinnati’s ills — but if it lures development and jobs back to the city core, then it’s a good thing.
Chicago’s smart card debacle and privatization (The Nation)
The first of a two-part series on problems encountered by the Chicago Transit Authority when they adopted fare cards similar to TAP cards. The big question the article ponders is who profits from such efforts — and why public officials are allowing private companies to charge so-called ‘convenience fees’ to users of a public transit system.
That’s eighth best among federal agencies, that is. They ranked ninth last year, says the press release. May I humbly suggest that any workplace that devotes time to issuing news releases boasting about being eighth best….never mind.
Ten most ambitious subway projects ever (Jalopnik)
Some have been built, some not — such as the Transatlantic tunnel that ranks first on the list.
Categories: Transportation Headlines