Take NJ Transit to Los Angeles

Amtrak locomotive and NJ Transit rolling stock in front of Gateway Plaza at LA Union Station

Amtrak locomotive and NJ Transit rolling stock in front of Gateway Plaza at LA Union Station

I spotted some NJ Transit rolling stock at Los Angeles’ Union Station last Friday.  I should have taken that instead of flying back to the East Coast.

New Jersey Transit in Los Angeles

New Jersey Transit in Los Angeles

TSA Failure: Terrorists with Pilots Licenses

STB_3399

The New York Times reported another TSA failure today.  A man on the FBI’s most wanted list has been able to keep his pilots license and try to sell his old plane online:

With such a straightforward match, David M. Schiffer, president of Safe Banking Systems, said it was “highly unlikely” that, despite assurances in June, the Transportation Security Administration was matching the publicly available F.B.I. list with the publicly available F.A.A. list.

Classic TSA – make me take off my flip flops and take all of my electronics out of their cases (a five minute ordeal for a geek like me), but let known terrorists keep their pilot licenses.

Google Transit for LA Metro

The Los Angeles County MTA finally launched Google Transit, or at least a “data test” for it.  Too bad SEPTA beat them by a week.

National Train Day

Acela

Acela

Today marks the 140th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.  In celebration, Amtrak hosted National Train Day at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.  I talked with some members of the National Association of Rail Passengers, picked up some new information on the Silverliner V, saw some great paintings of trains, heard a former Pullman Porter talk about his experiences, and saw Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.  Probably the most exciting part was the rolling stock tour.  I got to walk through an Acela trainset as well as an old Santa Fe dining car.

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On the Move featured on Bostonist.com

bostonist

A website I maintain, bostononthemove.org, was featured by Bostonist today in a post about the MBTA’s debt.  I maintain this site for the Greater Boston Transportation Justice Coalition, of which ACE and TRU are members.

Governor Patrick’s Transportation Plan

The Big Dig

The Big Dig

[Another blog entry I wrote for ACE:]

Governor announces Transportation and Economic Security Plan

February 23, 2009

At a press conference on Friday, Governor Patrick announced a broad set of goals for transportation funding and reforms. Although the proposed six cents per gallon of new gas tax revenue dedicated to the MBTA may not be enough pay down the $2.7 million backlog of system maintenance and repair, the Governor’s plan is a step in the right direction.  [Read More]

Transportation Planning Workshop

Planning a new street network for Marshall's Creek, PA

Planning a new street network for Marshall's Creek, PA

Two consulting firms, one focused on urban design and one focused on transportation engineering, made guest appearances in my Cities and Transportation Systems class at UPenn last week.  They each gave informative presentations on what careers in those two fields are like.  After the presentations, they gave us a scenario that the two firms had worked on together: developing new downtown for the bedroom community of Marshall’s Creek, PA.  It was fun to work with a team of City and Regional Planning students to formulate our own plan for the area; it feels like my goal of playing SimCity for a job is one step closer.

John Wayne Gets Virgin America

John Wayne Airport

John Wayne Airport

Virgin America will begin flights to and from John Wayne on April 30th, occupying the slots that Aloha Airlines opened up when they ceased operations last year.  I would have preferred an airline that flies to Philly; the Register reports that AirTran had a spot on the waiting list ahead of Virgin America, but was noncommital.  Oh well.  It will still be nice to be able to try Virgin America without driving to LAX.