public transit

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DC Abruptly Shuts Down Metrorail for 29 Hours

Move will paralyze region's transport Wednesday

(Newser) - The Metrorail system in Washington, DC, has shut down for emergency inspections following an electrical fire Monday that sent smoke into a tunnel. The system shut down at midnight on Tuesday, just hours after the 29-hour closure was announced, paralyzing the area's transit system and snarling the travel plans... More »

Seattle Transit Charges People Based on Income

ORCA Lift program cut fares by more than half

(Newser) - A Somali immigrant outside Seattle took her child to the doctor this week and left with something unexpected: a card that lets her take public transit for more than 50% off. "What’s the trick in it?" asked the 27-year-old mother of two, Basro Jama. "No trick,"... More »

Obama Intervenes to End Philadelphia Transit Strike

Workers back as of this morning

(Newser) - Commuter rail service in the Philadelphia area was restored early today, just hours after workers returned to their jobs following a brief strike that was ended when President Barack Obama intervened, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority officials said. SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams says all workers scheduled for morning shifts today showed... More »

Medics Aid Fans in Crammed Public Transit

But NJ transit officials deny witness testimonies

(Newser) - A massive crush of passengers heading to Super Bowl XLVIII overwhelmed the New Jersey transit system today and caused several passengers to pass out, Gawker reports. "We got off there and it was like sardines in a can," a 28-year-old Pittsburgh resident tells the Star-Ledger of the crowd... More »

Why Politicians Don't Get Mass Transit

Ray LaHood wants better infrastructure after crash, but it'll never happen

(Newser) - In the wake of the train disaster in the Bronx , Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood took to MSNBC and called on lawmakers to invest in America's "50-year-old transit systems." But when it comes to public transit, that plea will probably fall on deaf ears. "Mass transit is... More »

Americans' Growing Ride of Choice: Public Transit

Ridership was up 2.3% from 2010

(Newser) - If you think the subway has felt extra crowded lately, you likely aren't imagining things: Americans are hopping on public transportation more often, according to a new report out today, with the number of bus and train passengers last year reaching its second highest level since 1957. Nationwide, transit... More »

DC Subway Plans Random Bag Checks

Follows Boston, NYC in long-planned move

(Newser) - Following the lead of Boston and New York City, the Washington, DC, subway system will begin random bag inspections, the AP reports. The move isn’t a reaction to any particular danger; it’s been planned for years, said an official. The past few months, however, have seen a few... More »

Artist Gives NYC's Subway Riders a Lesson in Manners

Poster blitz also targets seat hogs, litterers

(Newser) - Call him the 21st-century Emily Post: Artist Jason Shelowitz is out to teach New York City subway riders that groping, sneezing, preaching, and littering is totally uncool. Shelowitz quizzed passengers on their pet peeves and made the top 10 into pretty humorous posters in the style of the transit authority's... More »

DC Launches Mass Transit Terror Drill

Metro will be scene of simulated mass-casualty attacks

(Newser) - Commuters at one of Washington Metro's busiest stations are being met today by dozens of transit police officers and bomb specialists as part of the system's biggest-ever security drill. "There is no immediate or credible threat" to the Metro, a spokeswoman tells the Washington Post. "We want to... More »

NYC Targets Subway Gropers

Officials want offenders' photos on 'wall on shame'

(Newser) - Sexual harassment is on the rise in the New York City subway system and city officials are cracking down on gropers and flashers. Sexual harassment is the "No. 1 quality of life offense on the subway," the chief of the NYPD's Transit Bureau told a hearing yesterday. The... More »

Dubai Unveils Gulf's First Metro

Sheikhdom aims to get drivers onto public transport despite rock-bottom fuel prices

(Newser) - Dubai yesterday opened its gleaming new $7.6 billion metro rail system, the first on the Arabian peninsula, AP reports. The sheikhdom's leaders hope the system will help clear Dubai's chronically traffic-clogged streets and provide some good press for the downturn-battered emirate.  Each 5-car train on the driverless system... More »

Honolulu Mulls Body-Odor Crackdown

City delays vote barring smelly people from riding public transit

(Newser) - Honolulu's city council has delayed voting on a measure to bar stinky people from public transit, reports the Advertiser. The ordinance would crack down on people with “odors that unreasonably disturb others or interfere with their use of the transit system.” Part of the reason for the delay... More »

No-Car Suburb in Germany May Prove Tough to Translate

Americans 'suspicious' of green model

(Newser) - Will Europe’s assault on the American way of life stop at nothing? Vauban, a town in the southwest corner of Germany, is a working model of a leafy-green suburb without cars. People walk or bike, and a tram runs through the middle of town. “When I had a... More »

'Human Gridlock' Plagues Ceremony

Inauguration spectators wait for hours to get in and out of Mall area

(Newser) - The record-breaking crowd—an estimated 1.8 million people—at today’s inaugural events is overwhelming Washington’s streets and mass-transit systems, creating long waits for spectators trying to exit the Mall area, the Post reports. Hours after the swearing-in, some were still waiting to enter Metro stations. “It’... More »

Frisco Debates Downtown Traffic Fee

Motorists balk at prospect of paying up to $5 to drive to city center

(Newser) - A plan to charge motorists for driving downtown in peak hours could be a step too far even for famously green San Francisco, the Los Angeles Times reports. City officials say the plan, which would be the first of its kind in the nation if it passes, would reduce traffic... More »

DC Cuts in Half Inaugural Crowd Estimates

Transit survey shows about 2.5M are heading for the capital

(Newser) - Washington officials have sliced in half earlier estimates for the number of people expected to swarm Washington for the inauguration, the Washington Post reports. The original projections, as high as 5 million, were founded on the election’s historic nature, while revised numbers are based on talks with transport companies... More »

Transit Ridership Soars—for Now

Plummeting gas prices haven't driven us back to cars ... but now fewer have jobs to commute to

(Newser) - Dramatic increases in public transportation ridership have outlived sky-high gas prices, but the souring economy could reverse the trend, USA Today reports. Nationwide, third-quarter ridership was up 7% compared to last year, spurred by $4-a-gallon gas in July. Some municipalities saw almost 20% more commuters on their trains and buses.... More »

Public Transit Returns to Baghdad

Commuter train has run for a month, mayor proposes subway system

(Newser) - After years of destabilizing violence, Baghdad has a commuter train again, the LA Times reports. For about a month, the “Baghdad Metro,” as employees call it, has made two complete trips around the city in the morning and afternoon for the benefit of working Iraqis who have to... More »

Financing Deals Make AIG a Drag on Transit Agencies

With AIG sinking, banks are calling loans to transit agencies

(Newser) - Transit agencies nationwide are facing the prospect of unexpectedly having to repay billions in loans to large banks under financing deals made years ago, the Washington Post reports. Because AIG guaranteed many of the agreements, the insurance behemoth's woes could potentially affect millions of public transit riders as banks worldwide... More »

Engineer Sent Texts Just Before Crash

Feds find message 22 seconds ahead of fatal Sept. 12 train wreck

(Newser) - The engineer steering the Metrolink train that crashed last month sent a text message 22 seconds before the fatal collision, the Los Angeles Times reports. Robert M. Sanchez sent 29 text messages Sept. 12, a federal investigation reveals. The commuter train ran through a red signal and hit a freight... More »

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