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Alon Levy, guest-writing at The Transport Politic, recently did a great piece proposing that the New York region’s commuter rail lines, which currently all terminate in Manhattan, should be connected to each other so that trains would flow through, for example, from Long Island to New Jersey and back. Paris commutes are widely distributed to major employment centers located mostly on the edges of the city. The Paris that tourists know is compact city built mostly at a rather consistent 4-6 stories, with few high-rises; instead, as noted, the high-rise employment is in transit-oriented clusters on the edge of this area. Los Angeles and Paris have come to their similar structures by very different paths, and have drastically different cultures of planning. UPDATE 1: ┬áThe Overhead Wire has a post that applies this principle to a number of other American cities. I completely agree – there is no reason for the center to have hegemony over the rest of the region. This does have the effect of increasing transit usage in the off-peak direction to some extent (but only on local transit including the subway, not on the commuter trains). As one example — North York Centre is a suburban node on the Yonge subway with lots of high-density office and residential buildings. One thing that makes Los Angeles a bit different from Paris is that in addition to having multiple peripheral employment centers, there’s also at least one very long linear employment center along Wilshire Blvd, which will make for an exceptionally effective line along that corridor. Paris is less centralized than New York and Chicago, but is still far more centralized than Los Angeles, with a greater share of metro area jobs in the central city (31% versus 23%, I believe). How does the pending Expo line from Downtown LA to Downtown Santa Monica play into this LA-as-Paris model?
Of course, these outcomes should have been possible along the Green Line and I-105 too, but last time I visited LA two years ago, there wasn't much. Secondly, Transit Oriented Development, or denser mixed use developments constructed along transit lines is an even better model as ridership is refreshed at multiple nodes along the line not just the end points.
LAMTA and the cities of Pasadena and Los Angeles have made huge strides along these lines within the last ten years with numerous mixed use projects built on top of Red and Gold Line stations.
You are correct that there will be some densification of Culver City and plans are currently under foot for the Venice and Robertson station but do not expect anything high or even mid-rise. Obviously increase mixture of uses at all scale will reduce some of the current need for mobility, but well-integrated European cities still display substantial travel demand, and I would expect the same in a future Los Angeles even if every part of it were mixed use and walkable. The two-way travel you are discussing is particularly true of the proposed extension of the Purple Line from Downtown to Santa Monica.
Race and class are huge issues in Los Angeles and unfortunately our transportation planning gets bogged down in arguments about race and class and and inexhaustible supply of NIMBYs and demagogues. A true sea change has occurred and for once, at least for the Purple Line extension, it seems that quality transportation planning has prevailed and for once the NIMBYs and demagogues did not.
Portland is starting to see more leftist critism of Tri-Met, the local transit agency, on similar grounds. While Tri-Met generally doesn’t reduce bus service to pay the operating expenses for rail (MAX pretty much pays for itself), when cuts occur, they are applied across the board. I think we’re pretty much in agreement that bus-vs-rail is not much of a class issue in Portland.
The Streetcar is an interesting case; right now it serves mainly upscale neighborhoods (NW 23rd, the Pearl, and South Waterfront).
The interesting question is how much development along streetcar lines, or bus lines, or MAX for that matter, is due to transit. I think the bottom line of rail-vs-bus (for local service, in particular), simply depends the quality of ride an area wants to pay for. They want to prevent another Los Angeles situation where the courts are running the system.
The consent decree is a legal remedy that allows the defendant to remedy a plaintiff as an alternative to a settlement or worse, a judgment — one that could have been precedent-setting.
The lawsuit may have forced Metro to be more respectful, but during the consent decree something crazy happened.
1) As mentioned above, BRU had legitimate grounds to file a lawsuit; whether intentional or not, the combination of increased rail service to wealthy parts of town, AND service cuts to less wealthy parts of town, resulted in a disparate impace to minorities. 2) BRU had (and still appears to have) strong allies with the LA transit unions–indeed, many critics of BRU frequently allege (among other things) that the organization is fronted by the union, and really exists to keep bus drivers employed, not to address the concerns of bus riders.
3) While Tri-Met has made its share of mistakes; the agency appears to enjoy a better reputation (among customers) than LACMTA does. There is also the matter of Propositions A and C, the local sales taxes that stipulated a clear percentage of funds to be spent on rail constructions. The BRU would have to argue Propositions A and C are racist in themselves and overturned them on equal protection or civil rights grounds. In court, a judge cannot rewrite the propositions to say rail was inappropriately allocated. Even in Manhattan, which enjoys a high level of density and an excellent mix of commercial and residential, one sees a mad rush downtown in the morning, and a mad rush uptown in the evening. I’m constantly amazed by the number of MAX critics in Portland who argue that mass-transit is unncessary, because you can ride the bus into town.
From the point of view of a transit-dependent individual who lives in town, is used to living around a bus schedule, and values comprehensive service among all else; mass transit to the suburbs might indeed seem superfluous.
It might be useful if the moderator fixes the broken HTML above; in the meantime I just added closing tags, which the moderator might also remove.
Paris is actually a very highly centralized city, and much more so than North American cities. In addition, the Paris CBD, along with the corridor to the La Defense area, creates a large centre of commerce, with another 200,000 or so jobs in La Denfense, and who knows how many more in the corridor between the CBD and La Defense. This I feel is really going to limit transit use, as you need that critical mass going into the core city. IN the old days, they came north on the trains, shipped in boxes and sent out of Grand Central Terminal, and were tossed onto platforms for the ticket agent to dole out to riders on Metro-North. They are the pocket-size schedules often found in racks by the door or the ticket window of stations along the New Haven line. Now, with ticket machines replacing agents, some stations have gone months without the schedules. Visits to 18 stations from Greenwich to New Haven this month found that the schedules were either hard to come by or nonexistent at a third of the stations.

At the bigger, busier stations like the ones in Stamford, Bridgeport and New Haven, schedules abound.
While the Old Greenwich station doesn't have a ticket agent anymore, it does have Jack Kennedy, who helps out at the newspaper stand by giving out schedules when he has some to give out. Rowayton is another station without a ticket agent, but it does have five people who try to make sure there are some schedules around. Dominick Tesauro, the parking attendant on the New York-bound side, keeps a stack in his booth.
Eventually, some schedules make their way inside the Rowayton station to the concession and newsstand operator, Bob Diroma, but even those run out quickly. Dan Brucker, a Metro-North spokesman, said that any station with a ticket agent has schedules dropped off. According to Metro-North's Web site, only eight stations on the main artery of the New Haven line still have ticket agents. In the last two years, ticket machines have replaced ticket agents at a number of New Haven line stations, including Old Greenwich, Noroton Heights and Greens Farms. So fewer than half of the New Haven line stations have agents, leaving 11 stations where parking attendants or newsstand vendors are taking it upon themselves to get schedules.
The pocket schedules are produced by Viacom Outdoor for Metro-North and cost the railroad nothing, Mr. GREENWICH -- Next to the ticket window on the second floor are the racks for the schedules.
A woman boarding the 10:19 to New York said she liked to take a bunch to keep for visitors going into the city. ROWAYTON -- No ticket agent, but has its Team Rowayton of parking lot attendants making sure there are schedules. BRIDGEPORT -- Plenty of schedules, although the ticket agent said she ran out of them all the time. Hong Kong Photo Gallery - To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. New York, London, Prague, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Greece, and much more!
Visit the Reorganized To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. Which Manhattan-bound services originate in the Bronx other than NYC subway lines and gameday NYY shuttles? I'd just like to see them broken out by metro instead of lumped together in one country thread, that's all. Five people are critically injured after a major derailment leads to a crash involving two trains carrying 250 people. View full sizeEmergency personnel work at the scene where two Metro North commuter trains collided Friday near Fairfield, Conn.
A suburban New York train derailed on Sunday, killing at least four people and injuring 63, including 11 critically, when all seven cars of a Metro-North train ran off the tracks on a curved section of the line, officials said. Emergency workers examine the site of a Metro-North train derailment in the Bronx borough of New York December 1, 2013. Overturned train cars are seen at the site of a Metro-North train derailment in the Bronx borough of New York December 1, 2013.
Emergency workers stand near the the site of a Metro-North train derailment in the Bronx borough of New York December 1, 2013.
Emergency crews help injured passengers after Metro-North train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station December 1, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City.
Police officers riding an inflatable boat look for victims of a Metro-North train derailment in the Hudson river in New York December 1, 2013. An New York Police Department boat passes as emergency crews respond after Metro-North train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station December 1, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Onlookers and media watch after Metro-North train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station December 1, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City.
Fire Department of New York (FDNY) Commissioner Salvatore Cassano (left) speaks to the media after Metro-North train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station December 1, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City. A Metro-North commuter train lies in the brush near the Hudson River after it derailed just north of the Spuyten Duyvil station December 1, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Emergency crews respond after Metro-North train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station December 1, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City.
A man is taken away on a stretcher at the site of a Metro-North train derailment in the Bronx borough of New York December 1, 2013.
Emergency workers at the scene of a commuter train wreck on Dec 1, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York. A woman is taken to an ambulance at the site of a Metro-North train derailment in the Bronx borough of New York December 1, 2013. A spokesman for the city fire department confirmed the number of dead and said 11 people were in critical condition, six were in serious condition with non-life threatening injuries and another 46 sustained minor injuries.
The train was about half full at the time of the crash, with about 150 passengers, the MTA said. New York Police Department divers were seen in the water near the scene of the accident, and dozens of firefighters were on the scene helping pull people from the wreckage. The derailment was the latest in a string of problems this year for Metro North, the second busiest U.S. In July, 10 cars of a CSX freight train carrying trash derailed in the same vicinity, Anders said.
In May, a Metro-North passenger train struck a commuter train between Fairfield and Bridgeport, Connecticut, injuring more than 70 people and halting service on the line. After touring the scene, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said officials from the National Transportation Safety Board were traveling to the scene and would conduct a thorough investigation. The MTA said details about how the accident would impact the morning commute on Monday were not yet available. Amtrak said its Empire Line Service between New York City and Albany was being restored after being halted immediately after the crash. Those injured were being transported to area hospitals, said New York City Fire Department spokesman Michael Parrella.

This train was not scheduled to stop at the Spuyten Duyvil station and was headed toward Grand Central terminal in Manhattan, the MTA said. The Darkroom offers Facebook and WordPress commenting in the hopes of fostering constructive conversation among our users. ABOUT THE DARKROOMThe Darkroom, the photography and video blog of The Baltimore Sun, shines a light on visually captivating stories of our past and present. I’d also like to add, as a corollary, that greater Washington is in this same sense a lot more like Los Angeles (and, more obviously, Paris) than New York.
Paris (as well as DC, London, and I’d assume many other similar cities) have a network of lines. But along those lines, wouldn’t running through-trains in Manhattan help create the sort of polycentric metropolis we prefer? North York Centre, Scarborough Centre) plus several office parks, and this has continued in the outer suburbs (Mississauga, Vaughan, Markham).
Indeed, I suspect that just by adding the Wilshire line, LA’s heavy rail ridership will surpass that of BART, with a system about 3 times smaller.
If rail runs through a wealthy area, that’s because those areas have the highest existing bus ridership and the largest share of jobs where transit riders work.
Though in each, 35% and 40% of the funds were marked for operating funds, so they also sustained the bus system. The state and matching funds for rail construction could only be used for rail and nothing else.
The results of the vote showed the highest support for those taxes among minorities, and the highest opposition among whites. Since he had so much appeal among proles, he consciously smothered any quality of service issues because they were bourgeois. I have large concerns about this project, as they are planning to decentralize things by moving activities out to the suburbs, like college campus’s, etc. So I would watch this project, as it may not work as well as they think, if they are going to purposely try to spread everything out.
Commuters have become so frustrated that they have been returning from Grand Central and other stations with stacks of schedules and supplying the stations themselves. At the moderately busy stations, the ones without ticket agents, like Old Greenwich and Rowayton, let's just say it takes a village to get a schedule. Kennedy said that some commuters had been stocking the station with schedules, taking them up from Grand Central, but it is never enough. Kennedy in Old Greenwich said he heard a barrage of questions about the missing schedules and he had a stock answer.
At many of the stations where commuter traffic is light, it ''does not pay to have a ticket seller there,'' Mr. Soltesz said people often pulled up in cars to his parking booth at the Rowayton station and ask for schedules.
Fresh ones are printed at least twice a year when Metro-North fine-tunes the schedule of the New Haven line. A ticket agent, Scott Coady, is restocking them in a never-ending battle of supply and demand. No ticket agent here, but Belinda Ramos makes sure she has a few of the large accordion-like timetables available behind her coffee counter.
I think times should be set so that they come at the same time each hour (eg: 5, 20, 35, 50 minutes past the hour) so people can memorise the times.
At least four people were killed and 63 injured, including 11 critically, when the suburban train derailed, with at least five cars from the Metro-North train sliding off the tracks, officials said.
Multiple injuries and several deaths were reported after the seven car train left the tracks as it was heading to Grand Central Terminal along the Hudson River line.
Multiple injuries and at least 4 deaths were reported after the seven car train left the tracks as it was heading to Grand Central Terminal along the Hudson River line. The train bound for New York’s Grand Central Station derailed in the Bronx Sunday with at least four people reported dead after several rail cars left the tracks near the Spuyten Duyvil railroad station. Partial service was restored four days later, but full service did not return for more than a week. A center for passengers’ family members has been set up at JFK High School in the Bronx. It showcases the exciting work of our staff, offers tips in the craft, and highlights the emerging community of independent media makers. Which makes the need for integrated, frequent, transit-level commuter rail throughout that region all the more important.
The Bus Riders Union just saw its victory as a license to grow progressively more extreme to the point of being, as we say in the States, batsh-t crazy. You can build a system that looks similar on a map, but how long does it take to get to these different places, and how much does it cost?
She could go to South Norwalk and pick up a supply of smaller ones, but said most people just looked at them, picked their train and tossed them out. A waiter at the nearby Shell Station restaurant produces a timetable upon request from the waiters' station. It works outside of peak and weekends here, but frequency is usually good enough to just turn up at the station at any time. The southbound train was traveling from Poughkeepsie to Grand Central Terminal when the accident occurred. In a city like Chicago (which might be the quintessential example of a centralized city with radial transit lines), it is nearly impossible to move anywhere in the city without passing through the Loop. As the population increased there was a natural progression toward taller buildings at the urban core just like there was in other cities such as Seattle, San Franciso, and Chicago. All were unpleasant choices in each of their own way, but the consent decree ended up being snatching an ever-small victory from crushing defeat.
The Green Line was also the product of another consent decree and started just to get the freeway built.

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