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Posts Tagged ‘NYC’

APTA has a very, very bad week

The New York MTA says that the situation with APTA is hopeless and wants out:

The country’s largest transit agency is withdrawing from the country’s main transit trade association.

In a letter dated April 8, top executives of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority wrote they were canceling the agency’s membership in the American Public Transportation Association, known as APTA.

APTA is theoretically a league of all American transit agencies. To understand the magnitude of the MTA’s withdrawal, though, it’s worth reiterating the extent to which discussions about public transportation in this country are really discussions about the MTA. In 2015, the MTA accounted for 35 percent of all U.S. transit ridership—an even higher percentage than ten years ago despite substantial transit investments elsewhere in the country. The idea of a transit industry association that doesn’t include the MTA is akin to an OPEC without Saudi Arabia.

Two out three rail trips are in the New York metropolitan area. So without NYMTA participation, APTA is irrelevant on rail transport matters. Not that it ever was — in their very candid and scathing letter, the MTA states that “the knowledge transfer and technical assistance front is even more robust both nationally and internationally” with other organizations:

Knowledge transfer and collaborative activities with these organizations, especially the LUL in London, Network-Rail in the UK and RATP and RER in Paris, provide support and assistance to the MTA and its transit operating agencies not found through APTA.

This blog has frequently criticized APTA, in particular for wanting to adopt FRA-style safety rules on metros and light-rail. If MTA’s exit reduces the influence of APTA, then that can only be a good thing, as it would open the door to badly needed reforms in the transit industry.

 

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Articulated trains (also known as open-gangway cars) have become ubiquitous on metro systems outside the US. And now, finally, they may be coming to New York:

This week, the authority released an image of the model, known as an open gangway plan, delighting train aficionados who had wondered when the idea would arrive in New York City. The model has already appeared in systems in Paris, Toronto and other cities.

The cars are still years away here: The authority could award a contract as early as next year to build 10 of them, and they would not be delivered until at least 2020, or later, officials said. But their inclusion in a presentation to the authority’s board members brought to life an idea that has been debated for years.

Open gangway subway cars — similar in concept to accordion-style buses — could have several benefits, officials said, including a greater capacity for riders. In Toronto, officials have said the model allowed them to increase capacity by up to 10 percent, and some riders there have praised the new layout.

Articulated trains provide an easy way to expand capacity. Given their peak-hour capacity problems, it is disappointing that neither BART nor Washington Metro would even study the idea of articulated cars for their new fleet orders.

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7-Extension TBM Reaches 34th Street

Some amazing video of TBM cutter head break through the 34th St. cavern wall. This completes phase one of number 7 subway extension.

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