Federal Transportation Department Shuts Down a Staten Island Bus Company After It Strands 53 Passengers in Virginia for 24 Hours

Photo Credit: Chοkz via Compfight cc
Did you know that when Nietzche wrote all of history happens in circles, that we are eternally bound to repeat the past in an endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, he was referring to delinquent bus companies in Staten Island? Kidding. But also: The U.S. Department of Transportation shut down All Nations Coach Inc. for stranding 53 passengers at a Virginia gas station for 24 hours without a replacement bus back in July. The investigation found that the company was in fact the zombie of a company that USDOT shut down in 2012 for multiple safety violations. An equally negligent zombie, it seems.

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Darius McCollum, Autistic Man Jailed 29 Times for Stealing Buses and Trains, Will Finally Get Some Professional Help

Photo via Condren Rails
A very cool vintage Trailways bus, not the one McCollum stole. But who could blame him if he had?
Darius McCollum is what you might call a public transportation enthusiast. As a teenager in Queens, he'd cut class to be near the subway tracks, and dreamed of being a conductor. But at age 15, he became front-page news instead, when he drove an E train from his favorite stop, 34th Street, all the way to the World Trade Center before promptly being arrested. Over the next three decades, McCollum, now 48 and diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, was arrested dozens of times for non-violent transit-related offenses, including impersonating an MTA worker in 1996 and attempting to steal a Long Island Railroad car in 2004.

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Citi Bike Stations Moved From Wealthy Neighborhoods; Commence Class Warfare?

Sam Levin
Another week, another Citi Bike dilemma. As the bike share program blows past the 250,000 rides mark, the placement of stations has become the subject of contention since its Memorial Day inauguration. The reasons are varied: The streets are too narrow to fit them; the streets are too packed with them; the streets are too ugly because of them. But, as it turns out, the physical response by the Department of Transportation has created a more income-based controversy.

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Officials to South Brooklynites: No Ferry (in Lieu of R Train) For You

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Ferry service hasn't run out of this Bay Ridge station since 2010. And now commuters need it more than ever
A few weeks ago, we learned that the R train required drawn-out help. Its purveyor into Manhattan--the Montague Tunnel--was still wrecked by Hurricane Sandy; the construction witnessed the worst flooding of any other tunnel in New York. As a result, the MTA announced it would close the tunnel for 14 months, starting in August, leaving commuters strapped for travel options between Brooklyn Hall and Whitehall Street. Now they can strike "ferry service" off their list of possibilities.

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Finally, Someone Explains Why Getting from Brooklyn to Queens is the Absolute Worst

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If I want to visit my 81-year-old grandmother in Forest Hills, Queens, from my place in Bushwick, Brooklyn, Google Maps tells me I'm approximately five miles away. What Google Maps doesn't tell me is that in order to get there I will have to fight five krakens in a moat, machete through 18 miles of poison-tipped brambles, and defeat Lord Voldemort.

Really, I just have to take the F train. But folks who want to get from Brooklyn to this part of Queens have to take the train through Manhattan and back to Queens. It would be faster to walk to Forest Hills from where I live. Backward.

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Hey, Carroll Garden Residents: After Two Years, Your Smith-9th Street Station Will Finally Reopen This Morning

BSH Shooter via Compfight cc
For the past two years, the inhabitants of Brooklyn's finest nabes have been without a major transportation hub. But that'll all end today.

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$280,000 In Maseratis Stolen In New York In Last Three Days -- Which Equals Precisely Two Maseratis

A Honda serves the same purpose as this Maserati. You can get a Honda for about $16,000. Maseratis cost upwards of $150,000. You live in New York, where people love stealing expensive cars. Do the math.
It's a bad week to be a Maserati owner in New York City.

In the past three days, $280,000 worth of Maseratis have been swiped in the Big Apple, which may seem like a ton of money -- and it is -- but it equates to only two Maseratis.

For comparison, you could buy 17.5 2010 Honda Accords with 33,000 miles on them for the same price as the two Maseratis stolen in New York City in the last three days.

Regardless, the latest Maserati stolen belongs to a New York City corrections officer, and the way he lost it isn't nearly as stupid as how the last pricey ride got jacked.

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When Will New York Get Its High-Speed Rail?

This is the Wuhan high-speed rail in China. It clocks in at 217 mph.
With news last week of the first major high speed rail project receiving the green light in California, transportation aficionados were ecstatic at the prospects of the project, especially as China continues to pump them out like hot cakes. But, from a New York perspective, our competitors on the West Coast hold claim to something the Empire State desperately: an extremely fast, relatively cheap mode of commute from Albany to New York. Or, as Governor Cuomo has cleverly called it, "the 21st century Erie Canal."

Although it started (and failed) during the Pataki Era, the Empire Corridor Rail System's rejuvenated ambitions started in January of 2010, when Cuomo asked Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for the high speed cashflow. And he got it: out of the $8 billion distributed nationwide as a result of the stimulus package, New York received $560 million for its project. But, with the results of the project coming out this month from the Governor's office, it looks as if New York's high-speed rail will not be happening any time soon. 

Oh, the train is going to be built... it just won't go as fast as we'd like it to go. And, for the million passengers who ride between the capital and the metropolis each year, that comes off as a huge disappointment. California - 1; New York - 0.
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LIRR's Ban On Booze Starts At Midnight -- And Five (Video) Reasons Why

The party's over (sigh).

Starting at midnight, commuters using the Long Island Railroad will no longer be allowed to get sauced while traveling from Manhattan to Long Island on early morning weekend trains thanks to the railroad's attempt to curb "rambunctious behavior" (see several examples of the aforementioned behavior below).

LIRR officials say there were six incidents last year where railroad employees were attacked by passengers, which is the most in five years.

The ban would be applied to trains that run between midnight and 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday mornings.

The problem with the ban, as we see it, is that there's no way to control how much commuters drink before they get on a train. In other words, unless the LIRR plans to check the sobriety of every passenger prior to letting them on the train, drunk people will still be using the railroad and the "rambunctious behavior" will continue.

See several video examples of drunken LIRR shenanigans below.

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New York Airports Are Good At Making People Late

It wasn't too long ago we brought you the latest report on how New York's airports suck. Well, today we have some more good news from the New York Times . The paper reports that the airspace that includes JFK, LaGuardia and Newark (as well as Jersey's Teterboro Airport and Philadelphia International Airport) "accounted for nearly half of all delays in the nation" in the first half of 2011. Meanwhile, those airports were only responsible for 12 percent of domestic flights. Yikes.

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