I know I’m not the only one upset about the news that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has killed the New Jersey-to-New York tunnel project, the ARC (Access to the Region’s Core) as it is known. To me, this project represented a huge step forward in the rebuilding of America’s transportation infrastructure. The current tunnel beneath the Hudson was built 100 years ago; do we really need to wait any longer to build another?
The existing 100-year-old tunnel under the Hudson River has only two tracks that are pushed to their functional limits each rush hour with NJ Transit and Amtrak trains. The ARC tunnel would more than double peak capacity from 23 trains per hour to 48 between New Jersey and New York; reduce roadway congestion; and generate 6,000 jobs annually during construction until project completion. The tunnel, once it entered service, would have also ultimately created 44,000 permanent jobs in the region, according to ex-NJ Transit Executive Director Richard Sarles in a 2009 article.
I am frustrated that Gov. Christie is being so shortsighted and apparently using this project’s costs to make a political stance. While he says that New Jersey can’t afford to build this tunnel, I say they can’t afford not to.
I’m just hoping the Republican gubernatorial candidates in Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin don’t succeed in pulling a “Christie” if elected, by terminating high-speed rail projects in their respective states.
It drives me nuts when people litter. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people throw trash out of their car windows while they’re driving. I’m always tempted to honk my horn when I see drivers slyly ditching cigarette butts through their open window. Listen up, people. We see you!
Agencies that use Twitter to respond to users’ complaints or answer questions get more positive Twitter reaction and more civil discourse online, according to Lisa Schweitzer the author of a recent study analyzing tweets of public transit agencies. “It’s about the marketing potential of social media — a lot of public transit agencies are simply tweeting their problems to the world by blasting out late service announcements. That’s not a good use of Twitter,” she says. “Transit agencies can influence the tone of the discussion by interacting with patrons online,” Schweitzer explains. “It gives people something to respond to, and it reminds people that somebody is listening.”
Usually by early January, I will hopefully have taken down the last of our holiday decorations and eaten or given away the remaining sweets that have become a part of my regular diet during the month of December. Then, of course like most people, I’ll think about ways I want to improve myself for the coming year. Whether it be exercising more (walking from the parking lot to my office doesn’t count), eating less ice cream or managing my email better. The latter practice alone would help improve my efficiency at work immensely. I’m sure you probably feel the same way.
A new National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) study solidifies what the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Transit Savings Report has been telling us for years now: riding public transportation can save users money.
June 20 will mark the 8th annual National Dump the Pump Day sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, in partnership with the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council.