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Posts Tagged ‘mass transit’...

Beyond the Motor City — at the Dryden Theater, June 28

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010







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BLUEPRINT AMERICA: BEYOND THE MOTOR CITY is screening in a handful of cities this May and June. It will screen here in Rochester on June 28, 2010.On Monday June 28 at 7:00pm you are invited to a FREE screening of PBS’s eye-opening film, BLUEPRINT AMERICA: BEYOND THE MOTOR CITY. The documentary is touring cities across America to raise questions—and seek answers—about the future of transportation in America. Can we build the “infrastructure of tomorrow” today? Can the cash-strapped and car-dependent cities of the so-called Rust Belt become new models for fast, clean, public transit? The links and similarities between Rochester NY and Detroit MI are glaringly obvious—and I think you owe it to yourself to see this film.

(more…)

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010
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Posted in Events, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 1 Comment »

‘Google Transit’ Tames Rochester’s Baffling Bus Schedules

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Rochester's bus routes and schedules can be intimidating for someone who doesn't frequently ride the bus.
If we’re being 100% honest with each other I have to tell you I used to pee myself with fear at the thought of having to ride Rochester’s bus system. Not because the buses are dirty—they’re actually some of the cleanest buses I’ve ever been in. And no, I’m not afraid of the “people” who ride the bus—some my best friends external link use RTS to get everywhere they go. I’m ashamed to say I used to avoid taking the bus because I couldn’t read those damn bus schedules. Pathetic I know.

Traveling to and from downtown wasn’t the problem. All I had to do was find a bus stop and hop on—it’s a straight shot. But if I had to get anywhere involving a transfer (which, in Rochester, is pretty much everywhere) then I was lost. How in the world would I know which bus to transfer to once I got downtown? And how long would I have to wait? Would it be quicker to walk? How do I know if this is the most direct route? How much time do I have to leave myself to catch the 7 o’clock show at the Little? AAAAAAH! Forget it! I’ll drive.

Not so fast… There’s an app for that…

(more…)

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
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Posted in Transit + Infrastructure | 5 Comments »

NYC Subway Etiquette

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Jason Shelowitz, a NY graphic designer, created about 360 of these subway etiquette posters. Photo via leonem's flickr.

The West Village artist behind these subway etiquette signs, Jason Shelowitz (aka jayshells external link), is being embraced by the masses for his good deed/public art project. He’s created around 400 of the posters, all calling out straphanger’s on their unsavory underground habits. So far only 50 are up, and the NY Post external link notes that he used double-sided tape that won’t leave a mess once the sign is removed (he is the etiquette artist after all!).

(more…)

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
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Posted in New York City Subway | No Comments »

See Seattle’s Super Sweet Streetcar

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

About a year ago I had the awesome pleasure of riding Seattle’s new South Lake Union Streetcar—a 1.3 mile line that opened in December 2007. Peep this video from Streetfilms.org. Seattle’s state-of-the-art streetcar line features real time arrival message boards, solar-powered ticket vending machines, and human-activated doors to save energy while the train is in layover mode. And check this out, you can find out the next arrival time external link and actually watch the streetcars moving external link via GPS trackers all from the Seattle Streetcar web site.

But what has this hi-tech investment done for the South Lake Union neighborhood? For one thing, a Whole Foods Market moved in—downtown Seattle’s first full service supermarket in decades. Plus, new condos, mixed-use development, and Amazon.com’s brand new world headquarters. That’s impressive.

Oh and while I was there I made sure to ride the monorail external link! You know I love you Rochester, but I had some serious reservations about returning fromthat trip.

See also Rochester’s Case for a Streetcar Line.

Saturday, February 20th, 2010
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Posted in Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development, Video | 1 Comment »

Rochester’s Case for a Streetcar Line

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Photo simulation of a new Rochester streetcar on Main Street.

America seems to have taken a renewed interest in mobility. Maybe due to President Obama’s recent commitment to high speed rail—or perhaps the positive results seen in towns like Portland and Denver have caught our collective attention. Whatever the reason, from the top down, people are rethinking our automobile-oriented culture—and getting excited about the possibilities.

There’s also good reason to focus on transportation as a way of jump-starting economic development. Industry requires access to people. And people need to have easy access to centers of employment. Continually improving access makes further development possible. Interrupting access will have the opposite effect. Likewise, doing nothing or simply maintaining existing infrastructure for an extended period of time will also hinder development.

For 30+ years Rochester has relied on the infrastructure choices it made in the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s. At that time we made development choices that encouraged our population to emigrate from the downtown core. We scrapped our extensive streetcar system, choked off downtown with the construction of the inner-loop, and paved super highways to take us from the city to the NY State Thruway and beyond. Since then that’s exactly where our money, our workforce, and our future have gone—down I-490 and out of state.

(more…)

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010
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Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Video | 38 Comments »

The Electric Interurban Railways in America

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

A vintage postcard (available on RochesterSubway.com) entitled 'Electricity versus Steam'. The photo shows the tracks of the Rochester and Eastern Rapid Railroad and the Auburn branch of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad where they parallel each other between Rochester and Canandaigua, with the trains of each railroad running at full speed in the same direction. The electric car shown here was capable of reaching speeds of sixty miles per hour.
Long before hybrid cars, SUV’s, JetBlue, and even Amtrak, travel between American cities occurred largely by rail. With the industrial and technological revolution around the turn of the 20th century, America’s interurban railway developed so fast and connected so many of us, it must have seemed like the future had suddenly arrived out of nowhere. So when Henry Ford’s Model T was introduced who could have anticipated the turn transportation history would soon take.

If you’re interested in understanding the history of rail travel in American (its rise and quick fall), we’ve got a book for you. One of our readers, Laurence Keefe, recently brought this one to our attention. The following is Larry’s review…

“When we were children on summer vacation, the highlight of the day was when Dad got home from work. We would eat dinner at six o’clock, when the news came on the radio. That was because it took him 50 minutes to get from his office near the Four Corners in Rochester, NY to our farm in Victor…

(more…)

Sunday, January 17th, 2010
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Posted in Opinion, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure | No Comments »

Rochester Misses Out on a “No Pants Subway Ride”

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Yet another reason to bring back the Rochester Subway… We’re missing out on No Pants Day! Hundreds of New Yorkers stripped down to their skivvies on Sunday for the ninth annual No Pants Subway Ride. The event, organized by a Guerilla group called Improv Everywhere, has grown from 7 or 8 people riding the NY Subway in 2002 to over 3,000 people taking part in 44 cities and 16 countries around the world.

(more…)

Monday, January 11th, 2010
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Posted in New York City Subway, Rochester Subway, Subways Around the Globe | 1 Comment »

Light Rail 1 – Van 0 Caught on Camera

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

A light rail commuter train crushes a passenger van in Phoenix Arizona after the van ran a red crossing signal.
Wow, this match wasn’t even close. An Arizona driver runs a red rail crossing signal and gets plowed into by an oncoming commuter train. Her van is then dragged… well, I don’t need to give you the play-by-play. The entire violent fiasco was caught on the train’s onboard surveillance camera! Watch the video…

(more…)

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
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Posted in Subways Around the Globe, Train/Railroad Stuff, Video | 1 Comment »

Ray LaHood Announces Money for Transit Projects

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, announced $280 MM in federal money will be made available for street cars and public transportation projects.

BECKY BOHRER (AP) NEW ORLEANS — The federal government is making available $280 million for street cars and other public transportation projects aimed at creating jobs and more walkable, environmentally friendly communities.
(Will Rochester see a dime?)

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made the announcement Tuesday at a streetcar barn in New Orleans. The city, which has been trying to overhaul its public transit system since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, was LaHood’s first stop on a listening tour on federal transportation policy.

The last transportation spending bill expired in September. While President Barack Obama’s administration has sought a reprieve into 2011, given the federal stimulus package that passed earlier this year and was aimed largely at public works projects, Congress hasn’t agreed to an extension past mid-December.

LaHood said there’s a “pent up demand” for infrastructure work around the country… (more…)

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
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Posted in Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | No Comments »

Maggie on Ren Square, “This is no fast ferry”

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Monroe County Executive, Maggie BrooksIn a recent post I implored our readers to send Maggie Brooks an email and request that she listen to Mayor Duffy’s concerns about the Renaissance Square project. It took a while but I actually did receive a response from Ms. Brooks. There no big surprises in it. As expected she defends the project citing the federal dollars, potential new jobs, and the 11 years it’s taken the project to get off the ground (11 years and still counting). But there are a few points that seem rather curious to me—one of which is a “full return on investment [for taxpayers] within seven years. Sure sounds dreamy. Here’s Maggies full response…

(more…)

Sunday, July 5th, 2009
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Posted in Interviews, Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | No Comments »

Shhh! Secret Offer: The 1928 Rochester Subway Poster…

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

1928 Rochester Subway Poster based on an Electric Railroader's Association map by Vitaly Uzoff and Chas. Yingling.Okay, the cat’s out of the bag. Our fans have been patiently awaiting this news for nearly a year. The 1928 Rochester Subway Poster is now in production and will be available to purchase right here beginning July 1! But subscribers to our newsletter have already put their orders in. “How’s this possible” you ask? That’s because our dedicated followers received an invitation to pre-order a copy of the 1928 poster early. BUT WAIT, there’s more… not only did these lucky railfans get to pre-order, they also received a hefty discount offer. Want to find out how much they saved? Oh alright you beat it out of me… Sign up for our newsletter before July 4, 2009 and I’ll send you the very same offer! Tick, tock.

UPDATE: This offer has expired. Email me for new offers & promotions on our Rochester Subway merchandise.

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009
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Posted in Rochester Gifts, Rochester Subway | No Comments »

Mayor Duffy Awakening

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Anti-RenSquare banners hang over the neglected storefronts at Main Street and Clinton Avenue. Photo taken May 2009.

The City Newspaper this week published an interview with Mayor Duffy, ‘It’s not too late to change’: Duffy on Ren Square external link. In it Duffy explains his recent coming out against the project as it is currently proposed. He cites recent changes in the business and development landscape downtown, new transportation stimulus funding, and sort of a personal awakening for his change of heart. Let’s show the Mayor we support him…

(more…)

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
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Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 1 Comment »

Rewind: High Speed Rail Art from 2002

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Fast forward or rewind? The dream of high speed rail in Upstate NY is nothing new. Back in 1993 external link Mario Cuomo wanted to see Amtrak service upgraded to 125mph between Albany and Buffalo. And the idea has been studied up and down since the 70’s. But now with Obama and Biden calling for a new high speed rail network to ease congestion on U.S. roadways, and Representative Louise Slaughter spearheading a new push to bring high speed upstate external link, what’s old just may be new again. Check out this poster…

'Fast Forward - High Speed Rail for Rochester' poster designed by Laura Wilder circa 2002. Commissioned by the Genesee Transportation Council to drum up support for high speed rail.
(more…)

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009
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Posted in Rochester Gifts, Rochester History, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure | No Comments »

Rochester 2020 — Rail vs. Fast Buses?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Bogota, Colombia - notice the separate lanes and enclosed shelters. A fixed guideway BRT system may one day serve Rochester.If I said Rochester may one day have a rapid transportation system linking RIT to downtown Rochester and beyond, you might automatically think ‘light rail’. Think again. RochesterSubway.com recently discussed the future of Rochester’s transportation infrastructure with Richard Perrin, Executive Director of the Genesee Transportation Council external link and an AICP certified city planner.

NOTE: If you’ve got a question that we didn’t ask in our interview, please leave a comment at the end of this post and we’ll pass it along to Mr. Perrin who will do his best to answer it as time permits.

(more…)

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009
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Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 18 Comments »

Monroe County Transportation, Highly Satisfying?

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Monroe County Executive, Maggie BrooksI asked Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks if our current transportation infrastructure (highways, bus routes, etc.) are adequate to serve the needs and growth of our community moving into the future. I also asked what she thought Rochester mass-transit should look like by the year 2020 and if there was anything she’d like to see changed or improved. Read her response, then please let me know what YOU think…

(more…)

Saturday, February 28th, 2009
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Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure | 6 Comments »

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