Tag Archives: subway

I heart NY(C): “NYC Can’t Afford to Build the Second Avenue Subway, and It Can’t Afford Not To”


Article: NYC Can’t Afford to Build the Second Avenue Subway, and It Can’t Afford Not To – CityLab.


More than 355,000 people per day enter Manhattan south of 60th Street along the Lexington Avenue IRT, the only subway line serving the East Side. On the West Side, 458,000 people enter that same area, but they’re split among two local and two express lines.

Meanwhile, another 285,000 people enter the East Side by car while only 144,000 enter the West Side via auto. The differences are dramatic.

The 2nd Ave line should have been built as part of the IND’s Second System plan but the market crash of ’29 stopped that.  Parts of it actually got built in the 1970s, but the city’s near-bankruptcy stopped that.  Nonetheless, the MTA claims it will open … the Phase 1 stub, at least, in two years.

Benjamin Kabak, the author of the article, writes 2nd Ave. Sagas.

Transit nerdery: “Why can’t Metro keep more trains on the Blue Line?”


Article: Ask GGW: Why can’t Metro keep more trains on the Blue Line? – Greater Greater Washington.

Starts as a simple question and goes from there.  Perfect illustration, graphically, of what happens when a line splits or combines which is a theme Jarrett Walker has talked about in the past.

“Full transition to Ventra begins Tuesday”

Chicago Tribune Photo

Article: Full transition to Ventra begins Tuesday – chicagotribune.com.

Chicago’s RTA, part-time parent of the CTA, Pace, and Metra, has another new fare collection system.  The CTA had tokens many years ago, then they and Pace went to magnetic stripe cards that either had a certain amount of cash on the card or was valid for a certain amount of time.

Then came a smart card that could be tapped instead of swiped, the Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus (one of which could be tied to a credit card).  I think those were also good on both CTA and Pace.

None of that was good enough, though, so now the CTA is spending $454,000,000 on another system, Ventra.  This one comes as a fare card or as a Debit card (MasterCard branded).

Questions of waste, fraud, and abuse aside, tap in/tap out cards are clearly the future … at least until the next big thing.  If we could just convince transit authorities to use the tap out feature.  You could charge accurate distance-based fares, because you know the start and end of the trip, but more importantly for transit nerds, you’d have really accurate ridership data.  Heck, you could even calculate revenue passenger-miles, something that isn’t possible with unlinked trips, the current standard.  Very exciting.  For a few of us.

Oh, and don’t try to pay your Metra commuter train fare with Ventra – for that, you still need to have a ticket, 10-ride punch card, or monthly pass.  Or you can pay cash on board to the uniformed men that make their way through the coaches after each stop.  Yes, really.