Art of Transportation:
This would seem an appropriate juncture to post “Highway to Hell” in tribute to AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young. Instead, I’ll give Young Source readers a taste of some other fine work by the band:
Dept. of Blame the Bus:
— Brett Taylor (@Brett_A_Taylor) November 20, 2017
It’s hard to know where to begin on this good piece of investigation journalism that looks at why the New York subway is losing ridership and has more delays than other large transit system around the world. The key four graphs:
None of this happened on its own. It was the result of a series of decisions by both Republican and Democratic politicians — governors from George E. Pataki to Mr. Cuomo and mayors from Rudolph W. Giuliani to Bill de Blasio. Each of them cut the subway’s budget or co-opted it for their own priorities.
They stripped a combined $1.5 billion from the M.T.A. by repeatedly diverting tax revenues earmarked for the subways and also by demanding large payments for financial advice, I.T. help and other services that transit leaders say the authority could have done without.
They pressured the M.T.A. to spend billions of dollars on opulent station makeovers and other projects that did nothing to boost service or reliability, while leaving the actual movement of trains to rely on a 1930s-era signal system with fraying, cloth-covered cables.
They saddled the M.T.A. with debt and engineered a deal with creditors that brought in quick cash but locked the authority into paying $5 billion in interest that it otherwise never would have had to pay.
It’s a long story but worth a read. Although no other metro area in the U.S. runs a rail system anywhere nearly as large as the one in NYC, there are a lot of good lessons here about what to avoid. The big one: maintenance and improvements.
Speaking of maintenance…
Media coverage of the audit by Metro’s Inspector General that was presented to Metro Board committees last week. The article concluded with this:
Metro also needs to improve communication with passengers who face delays, rider Burman Timberlake told the board Thursday. Too often, he said, conductors and employees say nothing, or say something vague.
“This is what we call, in the military, the mushroom theory of communication,” Timberlake said. “Keep them in the dark, and feed them fertilizer.”
Dept. of Bus Lanes:
I actually don’t think blaming the lack of bus lanes on the cheap taxi industry is fair. Cities and pols have been reluctant to install more bus lanes for decades for obvious political reasons — complaints about the loss of a parking lane or traffic lanes.
Some cars can’t be fixed (Popular Mechanics)
If the car was designed and assembled by humans, shouldn’t humans be able to figure out what ails it? The biggest factor driving this is that cars have become so complex. Gone are the days where the only wires under the hood went to the distributor or the battery. Now, most cars contain more computing power than 1960s NASA had at its disposal.
Dept. of Sportsing: On paper, the NFL has an excellent game this Sunday afternoon at the Coliseum: the 8-2 New Orleans Saints at the 7-3 Los Angeles Rams. It’s by far the best game of this weekend’s slate and far more interesting than the lame Sunday night game pitting the punchless Packers at the Steelers.
The Rams appear headed for the playoffs but this game will help determine whether they get a home playoff game or have to travel (maybe not a big deal considering their road record). If you don’t feel like driving and dealing with traffic and pricey parking, the Expo Line and Silver Line are good options. More info here.
Categories: Transportation Headlines