The Shortcomings of Mass Transit
and Car Pooling
Few things are as unappealing to me as the prospect of riding across Dallas on a bus or train, accompanied by a variety of unsavory strangers.  Mass transit is one of many supposedly good ideas that may not be good at all.  Left-wing politicians love the idea of mass transit, because it means greater control of our everyday lives and another way to raise money.

Information about Amtrak -- all of it unfavorable -- is available here.



Subsections on this page:

Criminals, psychopaths, and unruly passengers
The police state on wheels
Health and safety concerns
Unreliable drivers and unexpected delays
Crowds
Car pools
High speed rail projects
Other countries' experiences with high-speed rail
Houston's Metropolitan Transit Authority
Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Bicycles
Other related information

Subsections on page two:

Great promises never come to pass
Mass transit comes with a hefty price tag
Inefficiency
Mass transit is unpopular
Cost overruns and wasted taxpayer dollars
Pork barrel politics
An atmosphere of secrecy, corruption and graft
Coercion
The Indoctrination of a Captive Audience

Also nearby:

Amtrak
California's high speed rail project




Criminals, psychopaths, and unruly passengers

When you climb aboard any mass-transit venue, you share the ride -- knowingly or not -- with a number of nasty smelly strangers, many of whom should be (or have been) in prison.

Violent:

Man sucker-punches 70-year-old Pennsylvania man, attacks his wife at Port Authority Bus Terminal.  An elderly Pennsylvania couple was bum-rushed by a brazen ruffian as they walked through the Port Authority Bus Terminal, law enforcement sources said Tuesday [3/21/2017]. [...] No arrests have been made.  A motive behind the attack was not disclosed.

The Editor says...
Yep, there's no shortage of "brazen ruffians" at the bus station.  And the police haven't come up with any possible motive, other than maybe it's a black guy who hates white people just because they're white, so he instigates an unprovoked attack on an elderly white couple because there's zero chance they'll fight back.  If that explanation is out of the question, then I too find myself at a loss, just as the police seem to be.

Chicago police warn CTA Red Line riders of violent robbers.  Police warn CTA commuters who take the Red Line to look out for thieves.  There have been three robberies this week.  During the robbery, three-to-four offenders approach the victims outside of a CTA Red Line Station or on the train.  One asks a question to distract the rider — then the others punch the victim in the face multiple times and goes through their pockets or purse.

Elderly woman beaten after spat with young mom.  A high-strung mom was so offended when an elderly lady scolded her about her rude kid that she snatched a walking cane out of the old er lady's hand and whacked her at an Upper East Side subway station, police sources said.  "She just beat me up," the aghast 71-year-old lady told the [New York] Post on Tuesday.  "I'm in a lot of pain."  The brawl broke out as the older woman, who has trouble climbing stairs, was about to step onto an elevator at a Q train station at East 86th Street and Second Avenue at around 2 p.m.  Monday [3/6/2017], police said.

Subway rider beat up by dancers says he was protecting fiancée.  The straphanger attacked by four thugs on a subway was pummeled when he told the breakdancing fools not to badmouth his fiancée, he told The [New York] Post.  "They were telling people, 'Move!  Give us room!'" chivalrous victim David Giaccone, 40, told The Post about the four men, all in their 20s, who boarded the southbound A train in East New York about 1:20 p.m. Wednesday [2/22/2017].  "One dancer started saying, 'If I had a gun, you would all tip me better,'" he said.

Dancers attack straphanger who wouldn't move for performance.  Four subway dancers attacked a straphanger who refused to move aside so they could perform in the middle of a Brooklyn train car, police said Thursday.  The four men, described as being in their 20s, walked onto the southbound A train in East New York at about 1:20 p.m. Wednesday, asking for money and shouting at people to step aside so they could do their routine, according to police.  When the 40-year-old victim, who was with his 26-year-old girlfriend, refused to move, one of the dancers punched him in the face, cutting him on his left cheek, police said.

Woman reportedly says she threw girl on train tracks as a human sacrifice.  The woman facing attempted murder charges for allegedly throwing a five-year-old girl in front of a train called the Courier-Post newspaper from a psychiatric hospital, saying she felt like "it was just a sacrifice."  Autumn Matacchiera, 20, of Hainesport, was arrested Jan. 27 on the light rail platform on West Broad Street after police jumped onto the tracks and got the train to stop before it reached the girl.  Authorities said the girl, whom Matacchiera did not know, had a scratch and bruises.

Man on Subway Alarms Riders With Bomb Threat:  NYPD.  Police are looking for the subway rider who yelled that he had a bomb, causing panic among fellow straphangers, authorities say.  The man was on the northbound 6 train going from 86th Street and Lexington Avenue at about 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 5, when he allegedly said, "I have a bomb and am not afraid to die," according to the NYPD.

Three pot smokers busted for attacking straphanger, harassing conductor at Penn Station.  Cops nabbed three pot-smoking straphangers who harassed a conductor and punched a passenger after he tried to intervene, police said Monday [1/30/2017].  Latiq Deveaux, 22; Lezon Deveaux, 21; and Kinard Oliver, 19, were riding the downtown No. 3 train and smoking weed on Sunday around 5:45 a.m., sources said.  When the train pulled into 34th St./Penn Station, the conductor asked them to get off.  As a result, they started yelling at her and banging on her door, police sources said.

Criminal who beat elderly man in the Bronx may have also pummeled 86-year-old woman in Midtown.  A 22-year-old career criminal beat up an elderly straphanger inside a Bronx subway station — and may be responsible for a similar attack less than three hours earlier on an 84-year-old woman, authorities said Wednesday.  Jahaid Turner blew his top when 76-year-old Julian Sandoval tried to get past him after getting off the No. 4 train at the 167th St. station about 4:45 p.m.  Tuesday [1/24/2017].

Diplomat busted for grinding against woman on subway released thanks to immunity.  A diplomat from Sudan was arrested for allegedly grinding against a woman on a Manhattan subway Monday [1/9/2017] — but the charges were dropped because he has diplomatic immunity, police sources said.  The 49-year-old diplomat, Mohammad Abdalla Ali, was riding an uptown 4 train at about 2 p.m. when he allegedly approached the 38-year-old woman from behind as the train was leaving Grand Central and rubbed his crotch against her, police sources said.  He was taken to the Midtown South police station house, where he was charged with sexual abuse and forcible touching.

Stranger pushes man under subway train.  A man was pushed by a stranger onto subway tracks in Manhattan on Sunday.  It was the second subway push in less than a week.  The latest incident took place at the 18th St.-Seventh Ave. station in Chelsea around 7:20 a.m. [11/14/2016] Police say the man was found under a subway car with a laceration to his foot and a contusion to his head.  Paramedics took the 54-year-old victim to Bellevue Hospital but he was expected to survive.

Teen killed trying stunt at Brooklyn subway stop, police say.  The New York Police Department says the victim, an unidentified 14-year-old boy, was riding in between the cars of a southbound L train when he tried to jump onto the platform at the New Lots Avenue station around 10:40 p.m.  Wednesday [12/7/2016].

NYC subway creeps
Cops arrest three high-risk sex offenders in subway incidents.  Three high level sex offenders have been arrested in separate Manhattan subway stations the past two days, police sources said.  Transit cops inside the Times Square subway station on Thursday [12/1/2016] cuffed the first fiend, Ralph Hargrove.  While on patrol they recognized his face from a forcible touching wanted poster, sources said.  The 62-year-old creep, who has 13 prior arrests, was carrying a gravity knife and drug paraphernalia when he was busted.


Man Wearing Donald Trump Hat Attacked on NYC Subway.  A man says he was attacked by two men on a New York City subway simply because he was wearing a hat in support of President-elect Donald Trump.  Corey Cataldo, 24, of the Bronx, said he was riding the uptown 5 train from Union Square to Morris Park Friday [11/18/2016] when a fellow rider on the subway noticed his "Make America Great Again" hat and didn't like it, WABC reported.  "He asked me if I'm a Trump supporter.  I said 'yeah' and thought he'd say 'me too.'  People have been doing that," Cataldo said.  "But no.  This man was not a Trump supporter."

Woman accused in NYC subway push insists she's not guilty.  A former home health aide rolled her eyes and insisted she wasn't guilty as she was charged Tuesday with shoving a woman onto the subway tracks under Times Square, killing her.

Woman shoved to her death in front of Times Square train.  A woman was shoved to her death in front of a moving train at Times Square station Monday afternoon, authorities said.  The 49-year-old victim was standing on the platform waiting for the 1 train when a 30-year-old woman wearing a pink shirt and scarf shoved her onto the tracks around 1:20 p.m., authorities said.  She was struck by an oncoming train and died at the scene, police said.  The suspect, who has a history of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, was taken into custody, according to police.

Homeless woman arrested for pushing stranger into oncoming subway train in Manhattan.  A 50-year-old woman was lucky to avoid serious injury after a vagrant shoved her into the side of an oncoming subway train in Manhattan, sources said Wednesday [10/26/2016].  The homeless assailant, Patricia Abraham, 62, was busted Tuesday less than 24 hours after the unprovoked attack at the Prince St. station, sources said.  The victim was waiting on the northbound platform at about 4:50 p.m.  Monday when Abraham hurled her into the train, sources said.

Goon
Police bust goon seen on video beating 66-year-old man on Brooklyn subway train.  Police say they've arrested the heartless cretin who beat and robbed a 66-year-old man in a brutal subway attack in Brooklyn that was caught on video.  Troy Sales, 26, of Crown Heights, was arrested Tuesday and charged with the Sunday robbery, which police say left the bloodied and bruised victim with a broken rib.  Police said a Crimestoppers tip led to his capture.


NYPD looking for man connected to subway menacing.  A woman told police she was on the Manhattan-bound E train coming from Queens on Friday morning [10/14/2016] when a man sat next to her and threatened to slap her.

Mugger brutally beats senior on subway.  Cops released video of a mugger brutally beating a 66-year-old man on a Brooklyn train this weekend.  The elderly man was on a Manhattan-bound M train at the Myrtle/Wyckoff Avenue station in Bushwick at about midnight on Sunday when a thug approached him, knocked him to the floor and kicked and punched him before snatching his wallet — containing a credit card and $20 — and his cellphone.  The attacker made a quick getaway off the train.  [Video clip]

10-times deported Mexican man accused of raping a child on a Greyhound bus.  A man from Mexico who had been deported 10 times in the last six years is behind bars on charges of raping a child on a Greyhound bus.  Hays Post reported Tomas Martinez-Maldonado, 41, sexually abused a 12-year-old girl while on Interstate 70, in Kansas' Geary County, late last month.  "A Greyhound bus had made a stop in Kansas City and there was an alleged rape that occurred on the bus, however they had no idea where this rape took place," Geary County Sheriff Tony Wolf told Hays Post.

Surly Straphanger Sought In Subway Stiletto Shoe Slashing Of Senior.  New York City police are seeking the public's help in identifying a woman who used her high-heeled shoe to bloody a 75-year-old man during an attack last month on a Manhattan subway train.  According to cops, the suspect was arguing with the victim as their train pulled into the Times Square station before noon on August 19.  The attacker, cops allege, removed one of her shoes and slashed the pensioner across the face.  The victim suffered a laceration during the assault and was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Man in custody after armed standoff aboard Amtrak train.  An hours-long standoff with an armed man who barricaded himself aboard an Amtrak train ended early Saturday [9/17/2016] after police used tear gas.

New video shows man punching victim in face on Q66 bus.  Police are asking for the public's help Saturday [8/27/2016] to identify a man in connection with an assault that occurred on a Q66 bus in July.  The victim was sitting on the bus while it was idling at the corner of 21st Street and 35th Avenue around noon Friday, July 8.

Cuomo stiffens penalties for assaulting subway employees.  New Yorkers will face stiffer penalties for assaulting subway station agents and cleaners.  Gov.  Cuomo on Friday [8/19/2016] signed legislation allowing prosecutors to seek punishment of up to seven years in prison for such crimes.  The law makes the punishment the same as the one meted out to anyone who attacks subway-train operators and bus drivers.  Some 117 transit workers were assaulted between June 2015 and May of this year, according to transit-union officials.

Teen caught fondling commuters tells cops he'd never seen white women.  A Jamaican student who was caught in the act fondling a woman in a downtown Brooklyn subway station Monday morning [7/25/2016] — and allegedly did the same to four other women last week — told cops he committed the act because he'd never seen white women before and "they're absolutely beautiful," police sources said.  Lt.  John DiMeola and Officer Lauren Garcia spotted Damario Johnson, 19, a Jamaican national who is in New York on a student visa, pacing around the Hoyt Street 2 and 3 station before running up to a woman and sticking his hands up her skirt, according to Capt.  Zahid Williams, the commanding officer of Transit District 30.  They immediately arrested him without incident.

Police ID suspect in fatal stabbing outside Metro station.  Metro Transit Police say 36-year-old Ali Anthony Jovan of Fairfax, Virginia, was taken into custody and faces first-and second-degree murder in Wednesday night's [7/20/2016] stabbing in Prince George's County.

Man Stabbed To Death At DC Metro Station After Argument Escalates.  D.C. Metro Transit Police officers ran down and arrested a suspect after a fatal stabbing outside a station in Prince George's County, Maryland Wednesday night [7/20/2016].  An argument broke out between two men at the Addison Road Metro station's bus bay in Prince George's County at roughly 7:15 p.m., and quickly turned physical.  The suspect allegedly pulled out a "switch blade style" knife and stabbed the victim in the chest.  Metro Transit Police at the station quickly responded to the incident and chased the suspect down before he could flee the area, according NBC Washington.  Authorities pronounced the victim, 35-year-old Vontrel Laarius McDaniel, dead at the scene.

Suspect pushed man, 69, down flight of stairs at Queens subway station:  NYPD.  Police are searching for a man who allegedly pushed another man down a flight of stairs at a Queens subway station.  The incident happened Wednesday afternoon around 1:30 p.m. inside of the 36 Street M/R subway station in Long Island City. [...] The suspect is described as being 6-foot, heavy set and in his late 20s.

Subway sex crimes are increasing at an alarming rate.  Reported sex crimes on the city's subways have soared more than 50 percent so far this year compared to the same period in 2015, according to newly released NYPD numbers.  There were 458 incidents reported between Jan. 1 through June 19, up from 299 for the same time frame last year.  "Not many men know that this happens, but far too many women do," NYPD Transit Chief Joseph Fox said Monday [6/20/2016].  But Fox said he doesn't believe that the increase means there is more groping and flashing out there — it's just that it's being reported more.

Child molester drops his pants, rubs against woman on subway.  A convicted child molester dropped his pants and pushed himself against a female passenger aboard a crowded subway car during Friday's [3/4/2016] morning rush in Union Square, police said.  The disturbing encounter happened a day after a convicted murderer rubbed his groin against another female passenger entering the same station, police said.

New York man, 21, slashed across the neck on Manhattan subway platform after string of similar attacks.  A Subway passenger has been viciously slashed across the neck inside a New York city subway station early Monday morning [6/20/2016].  The dispute between two groups of passengers began aboard a northbound A train at around 1.30 am, according to the NYPD.  But the row quickly escalated and spilled out onto the 59th Street Columbus Circle platform.  A 21-year-old man had pulled out a knife and slashed his victim, also 21, across the neck as he left the train.

Teenagers beat woman on Brooklyn subway for 'sucking teeth' in disrespect.  A 21-year-old woman was attacked by a group of teenage girls after she sucked her teeth at them in disgust on a Manhattan-bound A train in Brooklyn, cops said Saturday [6/11/2016].  Police have released images of the teens, who are still being sought for the May 27 attack.

Video: Bus passenger kicks elderly woman.  Man kicks a woman in the face, attempts to hijack a bus.

The Editor says...
The suspect's face is blurred in the accompanying video clip, for reasons that are not readily apparent.

Two teen girls 'put elderly woman, 78, in the hospital after senselessly beating her on a New York City subway.  The two teenage girls who are being accused of beating an elderly woman so severely that she had to be rushed to a New York City hospital have reportedly been turned in to police.  The New York Daily News reports that police are questioning the two suspects, with the first girl being brought in Friday morning by her mother after she recognized her from surveillance photos released by authorities after the attack.  The second suspect was brought in shortly after.

The Editor says...
Guess which five-letter adjective is completely absent from the article immediately above.  Here's a hint:  It starts with a B and rhymes with LACK.

Man beaten to death by vagrant at bus stop in Queens.  A 57-year-old man was beaten to death by a homeless man as he stood at a bus stop in Queens early Thursday [5/26/2016], police said.  The victim was found unconscious with head trauma laying at a bus stop on Mott Avenue near Beach Channel Drive in Far Rockaway at around 4:30 a.m., cops said.  Emergency responders rushed the man, whose identity was not immediately released, to St.  John's University Hospital where he died about 40 minutes later.

Crime In The DC Metro System Sees Dramatic Year-Over-Year Spike.  D.C. Metro officials are responding to a troubling double-digit spike in the crime rate this year within the transit system, directing police to immediately notify the public of any incident of violence.  A spokesman for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) said Tuesday [5/24/2016] crime is up year-over-year by 10.1 percent, and is only increasing.  The alleged rape of a woman at knife point on a moving red line train in April, which broke Monday, drew renewed concern among riders about the growing crime trend.  A bloody robbery Monday night aboard a green line train heading to the Suitland station is the latest crime in the system, reports WJLA.

Hijacked Metrobus fatally strikes D.C. pedestrian.  Details are emerging about fatal bus hijacking in Northeast Washington on May 3.  Keith James Loving, 30, attacked a D.C. Metrobus driver, hijacked the bus and then hit and killed 40-year-old Anthony Payne in a gas station parking lot.

Hijacked Metrobus kills pedestrian in DC, 1 in custody.  After boarding the bus, the rider hovered near the driver.  Within a few blocks, police said there was some sort of confrontation between the rider and driver, and a weapon was "displayed."  Seeing the commotion, passengers escaped the bus through the rear door.  The driver also fled, but not before hitting an emergency button, summoning help.  The hijacker closed the doors, took the wheel and drove just a few blocks before losing control of the bus.

Metrobus hijacked in northeast DC; pedestrian struck and killed.  Police said the suspect, identified as 30-year-old Keith James Loving of Northeast D.C., remained unseated and stood at the front of the bus near the driver.  At the next stop, which was on Kenilworth Avenue, the man attacked the driver with an unknown weapon.  D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the passengers and the driver were able to flee the vehicle.

Woman wanted for punching straphanger on 7 train: police.  Police are looking for a woman who punched a straphanger, then threw her phone out of the train when she tried to call police.  On Friday [4/29/2016] at 3 p.m., the suspect was arguing with a straphanger on a Queens-bound 7 train en-route to 46th Street station.  The suspect accused another passenger, a 48-year-old woman, of staring at her, then approached and punched her in the face, police said.

Nursing student robbed and beaten in broad daylight on Chicago 'El' train as other passengers ignore her plight.  It has taken a lot of concerted effort on the part of the grievance industry, but the bonds of civil society are finally fraying to the breaking point.  In broad daylight at 10 AM Thursday [4/28/2016], 19 year old nursing student Jessica Hughes was attacked and beaten by a pair of muggers whose race the media do not care to mention, as other passengers on the train did not lift a finger to help her.

Migrants who attacked pensioners that stood up for harassed woman walk free from court.  The three Afghan men were arrested after attacking an elderly man who tried to stop them groping a woman on a subway train in Munich, Germany.  They also attacked an elderly woman, retired doctor Gloria R, 76, who said:  "He spat on the ground between my legs, and when I wanted to stand up and go, he tried to steal my walking stick.  I told him not to grab me, but he did and he kicked me in the backside."  They were caught after police officers issued their images around the country, and an alert police officer had then spotted one of the men, Haroon H, aged 20, and arrested him.  A short while later the 19-year-old, Fardin A, who was also wanted, was spotted by police and arrested.

Woman 'screaming racial profanities' attacks passenger at King's Highway Station.  A suspect with a history of violence has been arrested for attacking a passenger, police said.  According to police sources, the suspect, Monique Barbaro, 25, of Queensbridge, was lying across seats on a northbound Q train.  Barbaro stood up and started yelling "Move!" at the victim, sources said.  The victim got up and Barbaro followed her, then start punching her in the face and head, police sources said.

Teen girl recounts how she was pushed in front of Queens subway train; police arrest man who allegedly shoved her.  When a 15-year-old girl was shoved into the path of an oncoming train in Queens, nothing seemed real — especially the massive subway car barreling down on her.  "It just didn't seem realistic," the still stunned Xinyi Huang told the Daily News on Friday to describe the March 5 brush with death at the 103rd St./Corona Plaza station in Corona.  "I was just standing there waiting for the train to go to Manhattan (and) he pushed me from behind.  I'm still not sure what happened.  I'm not brave ... I was just lucky."

Man menaces straphangers with knife on the Q train in Brooklyn.  Imagine you're riding a crowded Q train in Brooklyn and all of a sudden, you see a man walking inside the subway car brandishing a knife. [...] Ysaac Paul, 31, was arrested after police say he was observed "aggressively standing with a knife in hand," around 2 p.m. Thursday [3/3/2016], alarming fellow subway riders.  He's been charged with menacing and criminal possession of a weapon.

Child molester drops his pants, rubs against woman on subway.  A convicted child molester dropped his pants and pushed himself against a female passenger aboard a crowded subway car during Friday's morning rush in Union Square, police said.  The disturbing encounter happened a day after a convicted murderer rubbed his groin against another female passenger entering the same station, police said. [...] This is the second sex crime arrest near the Union Square subway station in as many days.

Subway rider slashed in face by attacker blocking doorway.  A worker at the high-end Swiss jeweler Chopard became the city's latest slashing victim when he bumped into a man who was blocking the door of a crowded subway train in Manhattan on Friday [2/26/2016], police sources said.  Arman Telfeyan, of Mahwah, NJ, was boarding a northbound train at the N/Q/R station in Times Square around 8:15 a.m.  when he made contact with his attacker, the sources said.  The slasher, described as an Indian man around 45 years old, stared at Telfeyan, then cursed at him, saying, "F*** you," according to law-enforcement sources.  They got into an argument as the train continued moving uptown — and at 57th Street and Seventh Avenue, the attacker suddenly pulled a knife out of his pocket and sliced Telfeyan on his left cheek.  The victim was also slashed on the left thumb as he tried to defend himself.

Exclusive: Long Island woman punched out by mentally ill ex-con in Times Square.  A 27-year-old woman was punched out without warning by a mentally ill ex-con in the Times Square subway station.  "I saw him wind back and punch me," Erin Reilly, 27, said of the unprovoked Wednesday [2/24/2016] beatdown.  "I wasn't expecting it.  When he leaned back I remember saying to myself that there was no way he was going to punch me — but then he did.  The next thing I know I was lying on the ground."  Reilly was headed to catch a No. 2 or 3 train to Penn Station, where she planned to connect to the Long Island Rail Road, when she was attacked about 12:30 a.m.

Teen suspect in DC subway shooting charged as adult.  A 16-year-old suspect was charged as an adult Wednesday [2/24/2016] after a robbery and shooting on a subway train in Washington, D.C. left one passenger wounded, investigators said.  A suspected accomplice, 19, was also charged with armed robbery.

Accused granny slasher says he thought 71-year-old on the subway was armed.  A deranged Brooklyn man who allegedly sliced the face of a random 71-year-old granny tried to tell cops she may have been armed, court papers say.  "I observed a silver object in her coat pocket and it made me lose it.  I felt threatened," said accused slasher Damon Knowles who also he had been on a five-day crack bender when he encountered Carmen Rivera on Jan. 25 about 7 p.m. as the D train they were on pulled into the Broadway-Lafayette station.  "I approached her and slashed her in the face with a razor," the accused menace continued.  He described the imaginary object as "an illusion" that caused him to "black out."

Woman slashed across face in another terrifying NYC attack.  A young woman was sliced across the face in the early morning attack Friday [2/12/2016] that left her with a six-inch wound — becoming the latest in a spate of terrifying slashings across the city.  "It all happened very quickly," said Paula Delos Santos, 20, who was cut across the left cheek at 12:15 a.m. in The Bronx.  "I was terrified, very frantic, hysterical.  I had blood all over me.  I thought it was because he kicked me in the face."  The pretty brunette had just gotten off the No. 2 train and was talking to a pal on the phone on her way home when she was attacked from behind on Holland Avenue near Morris Park Avenue.

Cops investigating second anti-white attack in Brooklyn this week: 'This is for Malcolm X, cracka'.  Police are investigating a second anti-white bias incident in Brooklyn where the attacker called his victim "cracka," the [New York] Daily News has learned.  A 51-year-old white man told cops he was on Nostrand Ave. near Glenwood Road in East Flatbush when a black man ran up and knocked him to the ground about 5:40 p.m. Monday [2/8/2016].  "This is for Malcolm X, cracka," the brute said before storming off.

Exclusive: Brooklyn train commuter explains attack by man who called him 'cracka'.  [Scroll down]  Once they were on the train, [Randy] Aveille thought he saw actress Emily Bergl of the Showtime series "Shameless" on the other side of the train car.  His attacker — a well-groomed black man sporting a beard and wearing a skull cap with embossed white lettering on it — was in his line of sight, he said.  "He must have thought that I was staring... or challenging him in some way," Aveille said, showing the bruised right eye he suffered because of his stargaze.

The Editor says...
Notice that there was no attempt on the part of the perpetrator to settle the dispute verbally or negotiate a peaceful settlement.  The assailant didn't like (what he perceived as) being stared at.  So badly was he offended, or his male dominance threatened, that he met the stare with physical aggression.  That's exactly the behavior one would expect in the gorilla cage at the zoo.

Woman slashed in the face on NYC subway train.  Police in New York City said they were on the hunt for a man suspected of slashing a 71-year-old woman in the face on a Manhattan subway train Monday. [...] Both the man and woman got off the train when it stopped.  The suspect escaped on a southbound D train.

71-year-old woman slashed in face with razor while riding on 6 train in NYC.  Another slashing by a random assailant — the 10th unsolved attack since October — took place Monday morning [1/25/2016] when a 71-year-old Brooklyn grandma was cut across the face as she sat on a subway train in lower Manhattan.  The victim said the latest attack took place on a Manhattan-bound D train at the Broadway-Lafayette station when a man wielding a razor slashed her as the train pulled into the station.  It was also the latest incident in a disturbing citywide spike in stabbings and slashings since Jan. 1, which has seen a nearly 15% increase compared with last year, police said.

D.C. NPR Family Another Victim of Black Violence and Denial.  If Lori Kaplan depended only on her employers at NPR for news, she was probably surprised at the black mob violence that almost killed her white husband.  Kaplan is the Senior Director of Audience Research at NPR in downtown Washington, D.C.  That is where she regularly meets her husband at the end of his evening commute on the Metro Red Line.  That is what she was recently doing when she received a text message from him:  An "idiot gang" was acting belligerently in his train car, so he was going to move.  That was the last she heard from him until he got off the train:  bloody, beaten, and dazed.  With a broken jaw and missing teeth. [...] The attackers of Kaplan's husband were black — as are virtually all of the violent predators on the Washington Metro.

BART killing exposes security gap — many train cameras are decoys.  BART police investigating the weekend killing of a passenger on a train in Oakland have no onboard video of the crime, even though the transit agency had what appear to be surveillance cameras just feet from where the suspect shot the victim at close range, The [San Francisco] Chronicle has learned.  Although all BART cars have what look like cameras mounted to their ceilings, the vast majority of the devices are decoys incapable of capturing footage, BART officials conceded Wednesday.  And some of the actual cameras are broken, two police sources said.

The Editor says...
This is what's know as security theater.  They sure look like security cameras!  But they are only there to make you think you're safe.  In reality, even if all the cameras work and they're all well-positioned, they cannot prevent crime.  They can only provide clues about the identity of the suspects — and then only if the suspects aren't completely covered up with a hoodie (in July) and sunglasses (at night).

Transit officer shot near San Francisco-area train station.  Authorities say a San Francisco Bay Area transit officer was shot in the arm [12/25/2015] by a fleeing suspect who was then shot by a second officer.

New Orleans police considering drones, transit hub changes, in wake of weekend violence.  An estimated 5,000 passengers pass every day through the 20 or so transit lines that stop in that Canal Street area, which has experienced its share of violence.  With so many people from across the city converging in one place, [8th District Cmdr. Jeff] Walls said bus stops can become places where pre-existing disputes get settled.  "The criminal element runs into each other there," he said.

Durham woman shot by teen at bus stop may lose an eye.  A 43-year-old woman who attempted to counsel three wayward youths at a bus stop Tuesday [11/17/2015] may lose an eye after one of the teens pulled out a pellet gun and shot her.  Investigators have charged Tyrease Anderson, 16, of Durham with malicious maiming, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, felony conspiracy, injury to property, defrauding an innkeeper and misdemeanor conspiracy, said police spokeswoman Kammie Michael.

Suspected C train slasher Stanley Gray released from jail days before alleged attack with box cutter: court records.  Suspected C-train slasher Stanley Gray had been released from jail on an assault charge just days before he allegedly attacked two subway passengers with a box cutter, according to court records.  Gray was arraigned Thursday [11/5/2015], two days after he terrorized a Manhattan-bound train and randomly slashed two men in the head at a train station in Bedford-Stuyvesant.  Gray, 29 of Brownsville, was charged with assault, criminal possession of a weapon, menacing and harassment.

Woman dies of injuries stemming from Muni bus altercation.  A 55-year-old woman who was severely injured this month when an argument that spilled out of a San Francisco Muni bus turned physical died Friday [10/23/2015] after being taken off life support, police said Monday.  The woman, who was not immediately identified, was on life support with a traumatic brain injury at San Francisco General Hospital following the Oct. 15 attack in the city's Mission District.

Bystanders spring into action; protect elderly man from attack on city bus.  Buses are a terrible place to start a fight, especially for this guy who was bullying an elderly man.  He had nowhere to run when a few good Samaritans decided to get involved.  [Video clip]

U.S. trains are soft terror targets.  An attack like the one last week on a Paris-bound train could easily happen in the U.S. given current security measures, and a security expert said Americans would likely be unwilling to commit the time and expense needed to fix the problem.  Robert Taylor, founder of the consulting firm Security Services International Associates, said train stations should have similar security measures as airports, making travelers pass through metal detectors and feed their bags through x-ray machines.  Absent that, there's little to stop a similar attack from taking place in the U.S.

Man kills himself, woman on bullet train.  A man set himself ablaze on board a moving bullet train in Japan on Tuesday, killing himself and a woman, in an unprecedented incident on a network with an enviable safety record. [...] Reports said a blast was heard from a toilet stall, filling the front carriage with choking white smoke, and bringing the train to an emergency stop as passengers rushed through carriages to get away.

Man beaten on MetroLink train after attacker asks him about Michael Brown, police say.  A video posted to Facebook appears to show the attack, and MetroLink released surveillance images of suspects.  Police said the victim, who is white, was punched and kicked by three black men, one of whom had made the reference to the teen killed in Ferguson by a police officer Aug. 9.  The assault took place about 8:54 p.m. as the eastbound train was nearing the Forest Park Metrolink platform, police said.  The victim told police he was seated when the three men approached him from behind.

Another Mike Brown Inspired Attack In St. Louis.  The media's lies about "HandsUpDonShoot" are the gift that keeps on giving.  [Video clip] And just remember, this isn't the failure of the State to maintain order.  This is policy.  If the man had defended himself, or if he had used a gun, the suspects in this video would be the new "Gentle Giants" and Civil Rights Heroes.

Two men arrested over brutal attack on St Louis commuter who refused to answer question about Michael Brown's death.  Two thugs who brutally assaulted a commuter on a St. Louis light rail car when he refused to give his opinion on the shooting of Michael Brown have been arrested.  David Autry, 43, was travelling home on the MetroLink train at 10pm last Monday when he was punched and kicked in the head by the men.  The two suspects, a 15-year-old juvenile and a 21-year-old man, will be formally charged tomorrow [4/1/2015], police said.

Police: Man stabs two after asking about religious beliefs.  Both of the victims were standing at the bus stop outside of Detroit with the suspect on Saturday [2/14/2015], Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins said. Several people there "engaged in conversation" until the suspect, identified by Hawkins as 39-year-old Terrence Lavaron Thomas, "asked some of the folks there if they were Muslims."  Two of them answered, the chief told The [Washington] Post on Tuesday:  They were not Muslims.  Thomas "was not not happy with that answer," Hawkins said.  Shortly after, "without provocation," Thomas pulled out a 3-inch folding knife "and attacked one of them," Hawkins said.

Aurora teen robbed on RTD bus and shot for his cell phone tells story.  An Aurora man who was robbed on an RTD bus and shot over his cell phone, said he hopes someone will come forward with information.  No one would blame Jordan Hough if he didn't feel up to telling his story with his jaw wired shut, but the 19-year-old said he refuses to live in fear while the guys who shot him walk. [...] Aurora police are now releasing a more detailed description of the two suspects:  Two black males in their mid-to late-teens, both between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a medium build.

No Hate Crime Charges in Stabbing of SF Transgender Woman.  Two victims got off a Muni bus on Saturday [1/3/2015] at Golden Gate and Van Ness avenues to get away from a man screaming insults at them.  However, once they were on the sidewalk, he was right behind them with a knife.

Seattle bus passenger stabbed during ride, suspect at-large.  Police said the victim boarded Metro route No. 132 and sat down next to the suspect.  The suspect began to argue with how close he sat to him, the Seattle Police Department said. [...] The suspect is said to have been a black man, about 40 years old, wearing a black coat with blue jeans and a black knit hat.

Girl robbed in Jersey City after she tells men she has $90 to buy shoes.  A 15-year-old Jersey City girl was robbed yesterday after she told two male acquaintances she had $90 on her to go buy shoes, according to a police report.  The girl was waiting for a bus inside the U.S. Fried Chicken at Bidwell Avenue and Martin Luther King Drive around 5:15 p.m. when she shared the information with two people she knew from the neighborhood, according to the police report.  Once she told them about the money, one of the males she was speaking with struck her in the head and then held her wrists, while his accomplice, a 22-year-old later identified as Nigel Nealey of Bidwell Avenue, took the money and a cellphone from her pockets, reports said.

Teenage thugs slapped and taunted elderly passenger on train before posting footage on Facebook.  Two thugs attacked an elderly passenger on a train — then boastfully uploaded the video on to social media.  The Facebook video show two young males taunting and laughing at the man before spitefully slapping him round the head.  The pair then grin gleefully at the camera.  The footage shows the man sitting quietly on his own before one of the youth jumps out from behind a door and smacks him quite hard on head.

Police stop man on 'stabbing rampage' aboard Amtrak train.  Police officers churning their way through a chaotic scene aboard an Amtrak train in Michigan are being credited with preventing even more bloodshed after a man stabbed a conductor and three fellow passengers.  "It was pretty incredible that they may have saved some lives," passenger Tyler Vandermolen said.  Michael Williams, 44, of Saginaw was charged Saturday with attempted murder.  He's accused of stabbing four people while the train was stopped Friday night [12/5/2014] at a depot in Niles in southwestern Michigan, about 10 miles north of South Bend, Indiana.  The victims were reported to be in stable condition.

Suspect arrested following stabbing in Port Huron-bound Amtrak train.  More than 100 Amtrak passengers on a train headed to Port Huron have been stuck in the Niles train station since about 7 p.m. as police comb their parked train for evidence following a stabbing that sent the conductor and three passengers to area hospitals, authorities said.  The Chicago-to-Port Huron Amtrak passenger train was the scene of a multiple stabbing at about 7 p.m. as the train pulled into the small town west of Battle Creek, and the 18-officer Niles Police Department took one man into custody, police said.

Police: Man held in DeKalb bus stop shooting suspected in rapes.  A man arrested last week in the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old woman at a DeKalb County bus stop is suspected in three sexual assault cases in the county dating back to last year, police said Monday [12/1/2014].  Officials said during an afternoon press conference at DeKalb police headquarters that Christopher Merritt, 18, of Lithonia was arrested without incident Friday afternoon [11/28/2014] at an abandoned apartment in the 5800 block of Trent Walk Drive in Lithonia.  DeKalb police said Merritt on Nov. 23 shot and killed Marcaysia Dawkins, a 2014 Lithonia High School graduate, while she waited at a bus stop near her home.

Man arrested in subway shoving that killed Bronx man is suspected in another case, has long rap sheet.  Kevin Darden, a career criminal with 30 arrests in 15 years, was the target of a massive police search as a 'person of interest' in the Sunday death of Wai Keun Kwok, who was shoved by a deranged assailant into the path of a D train at the 167th St. station in the Bronx.  Darden's rap sheet includes an arrest for trying to burn down his own brother's house.

Ex-Con Arrested for Fatal Subway Push, Police Say.  Police have arrested an ex-con suspected of pushing a 61-year-old father to his death in front of a D train.  Kevin Darden, who has an extensive criminal history and was released from jail only two days before the fatal shove, was caught walking on a street in the 48th Precinct shortly after his mugshot was released Tuesday to the public, according to the NYPD.  Darden, 34, was on the Manhattan-bound platform of the 167th Street station about 8:45 a.m. Sunday [11/16/2014] when he pushed Wai Kuen Kwok, a stranger, in front of the train in full view of Kwok's horrified wife, sources said.

Suspect Charged In Deadly Subway Incident.  And as CBS2's Weijia Jiang reported, detectives have also linked Darden to two other crimes at subway stations — both of them earlier this month.  The first incident took place on Nov. 6 at around 5:30 p.m., police said.  In that incident, a 51-year-old Asian man said he was pushed to the ground while waiting on the platform at West 4th Street in Manhattan, police said.  The victim in that incident was hospitalized with serious bruising, CBS2 reported.  He came forward after recognizing the suspect from the surveillance photo released following the most recent fatal incident.

Cops Arrest Suspect In Fatal Subway Shoving.  After an extensive manhunt, police apprehended the suspect in Sunday's fatal subway shoving.  Kevin Darden, 34, was caught yesterday near his mother's house in the Bronx.  And investigators believe he had also pushed a passenger in another violent incident earlier this month.

Unprovoked machete attack by illegal aliens caught on camera in Chicago.  A horrific machete attack by an illegal alien gang on two innocent young men waiting on a platform for a Chicago El train has been caught on surveillance camera, and is making big news in Chicago.  Chicago is, of course, a sanctuary city for illegal aliens under the policies of Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Caught on video: Machete attack on Brown Line platform.  Seven people, including two 15-year-old boys and a 15-year-old girl, have been charged in a machete attack on the Kedzie Brown Line CTA platform in Albany Park, police said.  The seven attacked a 17-year-old boy and a 26-year-old man on the platform in the 4600 block of North Kedzie Avenue at 12:35 a.m. Monday [9/8/2014] after asking them to flash gang signs, police said.  The two refused, saying they were not in a gang, and Mario Elvira, 18, pulled out a machete and struck the 26-year-old in the head, cutting his head and neck, police said.

Shooting at NJ Transit station.  Police were investigating a shooting at the NJ Transit train station in Elizabeth, N.J. on Friday morning [8/1/2014]. [...] The victim was shot in the leg in an apparent robbery.

Teen Punches Homeless Man on Red Line While Friends Videotape the Attack.  More than 250,000 people have viewed an online video that appears to show a thug punching a homeless guy at a Chicago L stop.

Man Beaten to Death at Amtrak Station.  Michael Fobbs Jr., 21, is accused of beating a stranger to death with his bare hands.  Police say it happened just after eleven Thursday night [7/3/2014] at the Amtrak station east of downtown.  Witnesses claim they saw Fobbs pacing back and forth in the waiting area before suddenly attacking a 56-year-old man sitting on a bench.

Man Beaten to Death at Texas Amtrak Station.  An unidentified man was killed Thursday night [7/3/2014] in San Antonio while waiting to board an Amtrak train to Houston.  He was allegedly beaten to death by a large man who witnesses observed stating, "I just like killing someone."  The victim was a white male in his mid-fifties who weighed about 150 pounds, according to an Amtrack [sic] employee who spoke with Breitbart Texas on condition of anonymity.  The alleged assailant was described as a black male weighing approximately 350 pounds.

Man, 65, Beaten On Train Platform Succumbs To His Injuries.  Los Angeles County Sheriff's detectives investigating a beating last week on a train platform are now investigating a homicide.  The 65-year-old victim, now identified as LA resident John Whitmore, was standing on a Metro-Blue Line Imperial/Wilmington train platform on Friday afternoon June 13, when he was accosted and assaulted by two black females.

National Guardsman thwarts Red Line robbery; 3 teens arrested.  Three teens who attempted to rob a judo instructor with a replica gun at a CTA station got more than they bargained for, police say.  It wasn't the judo teacher who taught them a lesson, authorities say, but an Army National Guardsman armed with a real gun.

Also posted under guns save lives.

Cops Name Suspect In Subway Hammer Attacks.  Police have released the name of the man they believe has attacked at least three people with a hammer in New York City subway stations.  The suspect is Anthony Coward, 28, police said. He is described as a 28-year-old black man with black hair and brown eyes, standing 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighing about 160 pounds.  On Wednesday, Coward allegedly attacked 32-year-old Richianand Brijanand, of Ozone Park, with a hammer and robbed him as the victim tried to buy a Metro Card at the Fulton Street and Rockaway Avenue station in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Girl, 15, and teenage boys assault woman, then minutes later, rob man with tire irons in Jersey City: police.  On Thursday at around 12:25 a.m. in the area of Grant and Barrow Streets, the 15-year-old girl and two of the teenage boys approached a 29-year-old Jersey City woman walking home from a PATH station, according to a police report.  The 15-year-old girl growled at the woman several times and "then struck her with what appeared to be a sock with batteries or rocks in it," the report stated.

5 Newark men charged in NYC subway robbery.  Five Newark men are among a group accused of robbing a passenger on a New York City subway Sunday morning, according to a report on NYPost.com. [...] Robert Rainey, 20, Tyquan Goggins, 23, Corey Barber, 18, Devonte Young, 21, and Malik Samuel, 24 are all charged with second-degree robbery.  The men fled the train after taking the New York man's wallet, the [New York] Post reported.

14-year-old arrested for deadly bus shooting.  A 14-year-old boy is in custody and faces a second-degree murder charge in connection with a shocking shooting on an MTA bus in New York City.  A 39-year-old passenger died after he was shot in the head while on a B15 bus in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, authorities said.  Police say the teen was on the bus near Lafayette Boulevard and Marcus Garvey Boulevard around 6:20 when he got into an argument with a rival.  He began firing shots on the bus.

Brutal Olympia bus attack caught on camera.  A simple route along the west side of Olympia became a ride from hell Tuesday afternoon [2/25/2014].  Surveillance video from the Intercity Transit bus shows a horrific attack on a driver after a confrontation and yelling turned into a beatdown.  The video shows a man swearing and harassing passengers, which drew the attention of the driver. [...] The driver went to the hospital.  He was treated for broken bones in his face and released Tuesday night.

Exclusive: Mob of teens attack man in downtown Cleveland.  There's evidence of more violent teens running around the heart of downtown Cleveland.  A disabled Army vet spoke out about the latest attack that happened Friday, Feb. 7, 2014.  Matthew Robinson told our Ed Gallek he was riding RTA's Healthline when six to eight teenagers surrounded him on the bus, and then started following him.  Then, he said they attacked, took his stuff, and videotaped what they were doing.  The incident went down at 6th and Euclid, and the crowd scattered when cops showed up.

Flint police believe assault on MTA bus driver part of so-called 'knockout game'.  Police say a Mass Transportation Authority bus driver was punched in the face as part of the so-called "knockout game" that's gained national attention.  The "knockout game" has been blamed for attacks in several cities and involves suspects punching strangers for no reason.

More about violent black-on-white crime.

DDOT Drivers Refuse To Work: 'They're Scared For Their Lives'.  Henry Gaffney, spokesman for the D-DOT bus drivers union AFL-CIO Local 26, [said] this was not an organized maneuver by the union.  Gaffney said it's a matter of bus drivers fearing for their safety, citing an incident that happened Thursday afternoon [11/3/2011].  "Our drivers are scared, they're scared for their lives.  This has been an ongoing situation about security.  I think yesterday kind of just topped it off, when one of my drivers was beat up by some teenagers down in the middle of Rosa Parks and it took the police almost 30 minutes to get there, in downtown Detroit," said Gaffney.

Detroit police chief says cops will ride buses to deter violence.  Police Chief James Craig promised Monday [10/21/2013] to create a transit safety unit to ride city buses to deter crime in what bus drivers called untenable conditions that prompted many to call in sick and others to rally at City Hall.  Craig, whose father was a Detroit bus driver, said at least 10 uniformed officers from the Tactical Services Section will ride Detroit Department of Transportation buses in a few days.  Then, in November, more than 1,000 security cameras will be installed that transportation officials say will equal "eight per vehicle."  "We'll focus on the problematic routes," Craig said.

Absorbed device users oblivious to danger.  A man standing on a crowded Muni train pulls out a .45-caliber pistol.  He raises the gun, pointing it across the aisle, before tucking it back against his side.  He draws it out several more times, once using the hand holding the gun to wipe his nose.  Dozens of passengers stand and sit just feet away — but none reacts. [...]"These weren't concealed movements — the gun is very clear," said District Attorney George Gascón.  "These people are in very close proximity with him, and nobody sees this.  They're just so engrossed, texting and reading and whatnot.  They're completely oblivious of their surroundings."

Student, 21, hit by train after homeless man pushed her on the tracks because 'she refused to give him money'.  The homeless man accused of shoving a student in front of a train yesterday appeared in court this morning rambling incoherently about people trying to kill him and seeing 'colors and darkness'.  Hunter College student Maya Leggat, 21, received horrific injuries after she was allegedly shoved on to the tracks at White Plains station in New York after she refused to give money to Howard J. Mickens, 39. [...] According to The Journal News, Mickens has 11 previous arrests with a criminal record dating back more than two decades.

Bus rider's face smashed in during 'hate attack'.  An attacker pummeled a bus passenger so hard he smashed the bones in his face after calling the victim a "cracker" in Manhattan — marking the second time in two days that people appeared to be randomly targeted in racial tirades against white people, authorities said.  In the latest incident, the suspect passed a 31-year-old rider on the M60 bus riding through Harlem, on West 127th Street, between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive, around 2:45 p.m., Friday, when he shouted the racial slur and punched the victim in the face, breaking his nose and eye socket, cops said.

Subway Stabbing Victim Can't Sue NYPD For Failing To Save Him.  A man who was brutally stabbed by Brooklyn subway slasher Maksim Gelman two years ago had his negligence case against the city dismissed in court yesterday [7/25/2013], despite the fact that two transit officers had locked themselves in a motorman's car only a few feet from him at the time of the attack.  Gelman stabbed Joseph Lozito in the face, neck, hands and head on an uptown 3 train in February 2011, after fatally stabbing four people and injuring three others in a 28-hour period.

Wild Brooklyn melee erupts as NYPD arrests Muslim teen for allegedly taunting Jewish subway rider.  The attempted arrest of an allegedly hate-mongering teen aboard a Brooklyn subway quickly turned into a wild showdown between cops and a roiled mob, according to sources and video obtained by the Daily News.  The melee began when suspect Stephan Stowe, 17, and a group of eight friends approached a Jewish man wearing a yarmulke aboard a Brooklyn-bound 3 train just before 3 p.m. Monday [4/15/2013], police sources said Wednesday.

Mother throws her baby aside so she can fight another female passenger.  When this young mother felt she was being disrespected in front of her baby by another bus passenger, she only saw there was one thing to do:  Throw said baby and beat up the other woman.  The shocking incident was caught in a two-minute cell phone video by another passenger on the bus, which was reportedly driving through Connecticut.

Top cop defends police response to downtown disturbances.  Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said today that his officers responded effectively to a number of disturbances in the downtown area involving large groups of teens on Saturday night that led to nearly 30 arrests ranging from bumping into passersby on sidewalks to attacking women aboard a CTA train.  Eleven of Saturday's 28 arrests came about 6:35 p.m. when a group of teens attacked two women aboard a train at the State/Lake station in the Loop and snatched one of their purses.  The women were bruised during the attack but declined medical treatment.

Attacks on Mag Mile, CTA.  An outbreak of wildings on North Michigan Avenue and a separate attack on a CTA Red Line train culminated in the arrest of 25 juveniles and three adults on a sunny and warm Saturday that drew the usual crowds to the Magnificent Mile.  Seventeen of the arrests were made around 6 p.m. near Chicago and Michigan after a mob of young people started fighting among themselves, bumping into bystanders and blocking sidewalks and traffic.

On First Day, Democrats Propose Eight Anti-Gun Bills.  Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) led the way with four bills introduced.  Her husband was shot to death in 1993 and her son was severely injured when Colin Ferguson, a mentally unstable black militant (he spent time in his apartment chanting, "all the black people killing all the white people"), shot up a Long Island commuter train.

The Editor says...
You've heard of Colin Ferguson, right?  No?  His is the kind of story that the news media like to ignore and forget.

Man pushed to death in front of NYC subway train, second time this month.  New York City police say a man has been shoved in front of a subway train and has been killed.

Video shows suspect fleeing the scene of fatal Queens subway shove.  A madwoman last night pushed a stranger onto subway tracks in Queens, where he was killed by a train, police and witnesses said.  It was the second such nightmare in less than a month.

Woman charged with murder as hate crime after shoving man in front of subway.  A Muslim-hating woman was charged with murder as a hate crime for senselessly shoving a Queens man to his death in front of the 7 train, officials said today [12/29/2012].

Police detain woman who 'pushed hardworking business owner from India to his death under NY subway train'.  Police have detained a woman Saturday suspected of pushing an Indian immigrant to his death onto the subway tracks in New York City.

Troubled Past for Suspect in Fatal Subway Push.  Long before Erika Menendez was charged with pushing a stranger to his death under an oncoming train at a Queens elevated station, she had years of contact with New York City's mental health and law enforcement establishments.  She was treated by the psychiatric staffs of at least two city hospitals, and caseworkers visited her family home in Queens to provide further help.  She was also arrested at least three times, according to the police, twice after violent confrontations.

Gunman dead, 2 wounded at Texas transit station.  A man suspected of wounding a police officer and two bystanders when he opened fire from the platform of a suburban Dallas transit station was found shot to death Tuesday [2/7/2012] after exchanging gunfire with other officers who pursued him, authorities said.

In New York City alone...
Beware: 11,000 psychotics on streets.  The city streets are teeming with thousands of mentally ill homeless people capable of psychotic acts of random violence if left untreated, experts warned yesterday [12/29/2012].  As many as 11,000 of the city's 33,000 homeless adults have some form of mental illness, said D.J. Jaffe, executive director of the Mental Illness Policy Organization.

Black Mobs Take Over Washington Metro.  Members of this mob call themselves the 44th Street Crew in Southeast Washington.  For those not familiar with the different sections of Washington, that is not the lobbyist/media/functionary dinner-party part of town.  Reporters at the Fox affiliate in Washington seemed surprised at the mob violence.  But to people who ride the Metro, it was just another day.  Metro police have seen so much of it they are ready with instructions for riders who encounter it:  Resistance is futile.

Homeless crazies can't be rounded up — until they attack.  Mentally ill people have been responsible for some of the year's most horrific crimes — including murders and rapes — yet authorities are nearly powerless under current law to sweep them from the streets. [...] "The state Office of Mental Health says they can't be treated until they [show they] are a danger to themselves or others," said DJ Jaffe, a mental-illness policy analyst.  "Rather than prevent violence, the law requires it."

NYC subway train kills man pushed off platform.  A 58-year-old man died Monday [12/3/2012] after he was pushed off a subway platform in Midtown Manhattan and hit by a train pulling into the station, according to news reports.

Fiend watched his victim die: Homeless man arrested in Times Square subway murder.  A homeless drifter was arrested and charged this morning for allegedly tossing a Queens dad onto a Times Square subway track, where he was fatally crushed by a Q train, law-enforcement sources told The [New York] Post.  Naeem Davis, 30, confessed yesterday while being grilled in the grisly death of Ki Suk Han, 58, who was struck in front of horrified onlookers Monday after trying desperately to scramble back to the platform. [...] He was charged with murder in the second degree and depraved indifference.

Muslim New York Subway Killer Calm After His Murder.  Everybody is talking about the New York Post cover photo showing Ki Suk Han about to be killed by the subway train, but the real story here is yet again being ignored by the mainstream media.  The real story here is that Naeem Davis is clearly a devout Muslim, and one who displayed behavior characteristic of jihadis after he committed murder.

Subway shove monster: I couldn't stop the voices in my head.  The homeless man charged with fatally shoving a Queens father into the path of a subway train said he couldn't drown out the voices in his head.

Not even a baby can get in the way of scrap between two women.  Nothing could get in the way of these two women and their beef — not even a baby.  Straphangers watched in disbelief as two passengers viciously attacked each other on an L train recently, as a baby stroller belonging to one of them rolled out the door onto the platform.

Authorities Ignoring another Black-on-white 'Hate Crime'.  Like the three monkeys who see, hear and speak no evil, our authorities seem intent on ignoring the true nature of yet another black-on-white racial attack.  In the New York City subway this past Sunday, 29-year-old Jason Fordell was attacked by a group of black men who taunted him for being white.  Yet NYC police "are unsure" if the incident is a bias crime.  The problem started when Fordell transferred to a crowded 4 train at 42nd street, where he encountered four black men who began harassing him.

Delta Employees Attacked On MARTA Train.  Two Delta Airlines employees were attacked on a MARTA train.  MARTA police said they were investigating the incident.  A witness said he watched the violent attack unfold Sunday [4/17/2011].  "We were intimidated.  Everyone was terrified.  People were trying to run, but there was nowhere to run," the man, who requested anonymity, told [WSB]'s Erica Byfield.

Three arrested in Atlanta subway mugging.  Authorities have arrested three suspects in the assault of two Delta Air Lines employees who were mugged and beaten on Atlanta's subway earlier this month. ... The suspects include a 16-year old male whose name is not being released because of his age and two brothers, Zantavious Sanchez Scott, 20, and Jarquez Scott, 19, MARTA police said.

The Editor says...
Wow, what a coincidence.  My wife and I were going to name our son Zantavious, or perhaps Jarquez, but we settled for something more traditional at the last minute.

Transit Violence:  Violent acts, as well as the fear of violence, have a tremendous effect on transit systems.  The most immediate, and irreversible effect is the physical, emotional and financial suffering of the victims and their families.  But also detrimental to public transit are the resulting lost workdays, revenue decreases, equipment damages and negative impact on the public's decision to use mass transportation services.

Metro Has A Lesson For Unruly Students.  When the last bell rings, thousands of District schoolchildren make their way to the nearest Metro train — their school bus on rails — where many let loose a day's worth of bottled-up angst, energy and emotion.  All that the tens of thousands of other riders want, in most instances, is a quiet trip home.

Detroit's five most violent bus routes:  Death threats, beatings and even stabbings are not uncommon on at least five of the city's bus routes, fueling a mix of fear and anger among drivers and riders who are clamoring for a police presence.  Since the start of 2006, the first full year after Detroit cops stopped policing the buses, more than 50 people have been assaulted — five of them stabbed, according to drivers' reports obtained by The Detroit News.
This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2013 by Andrew K. Dart

Girl involved in bus attack ordered to juvenile jail.  The 15-year-old Robert Poole Middle School student whom prosecutors accused of sparking an attack on a city bus passenger in December was sentenced Wednesday to a juvenile jail until she turns 21 or the judge releases her.

Vicious Sydney bashing horrifies family.  The Canadian family of the wheelchair-bound man allegedly bashed with a metal bar in an unprovoked attack at a Sydney railway station is stunned by its brutality.  Shellan Proden, the mother of the victim, was horrified to learn that two teens had allegedly hit her 35-year-old son with metal bars before running off with his wheelchair in the 11pm assault on Tuesday [3/9/2010].

The MTA must protect subway riders.  In dismissing a lawsuit by a rape victim, Judge Kevin Kerrigan may have been technically correct in finding that transit workers did not violate procedures.  But this does not negate that flawed procedures allowed this crime to take place.

Man beheaded on Greyhound bus.  A 40-year-old man is expected to be formally charged today [8/1/2008] after allegedly repeatedly stabbing, decapitating and then trying to eat parts of a young man who was sleeping next to him as they rode in the back of a Greyhound bus together. … Witnesses said the attacker, who police believe is not from Manitoba, also waved the man's severed head around after cutting it from his body.

AP Photo
Greyhound Scraps Ads After Beheading.  Greyhound has scrapped an ad campaign that extolled the relaxing upside of bus travel after one of its passengers was accused of beheading and cannibalizing another traveler.

Greyhound Kills 'Bus Rage' Campaign Following Beheading.  If you're a bus company with an ad campaign that touts the fact nobody's ever heard of "bus rage" and them some freak goes and beheads a dude on the bus, you're quite likely to pull the campaign which is exactly what Greyhound did in light of last week's bus murder.

Update:
Vince Li found not criminally responsible for beheading on Greyhound bus.  A man who believed he was following God's orders when he stabbed and beheaded a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus in Manitoba has been found not criminally responsible.  Justice John Scurfield said Vince Li's attack on Tim McLean last summer was "grotesque" and "barbaric" but "strongly suggestive of a mental disorder."

Years later, another update:
Infamous Greyhound Beheader to be granted escorted community strolls?  [Scroll down]  A subsequent diagnosis of schizophrenia only seemed to validate what any layman's reading of the account could deduce by inference:  the man is completely nuts.  If insanity could ever be deemed to be a sufficient excuse for murder, he has it.  With that being said, there is a reason why Li was not released back into the general public, merely ordered to visit a nearby psychiatrist and to faithfully consume his medication.  Aside from the obvious presumption that a man in such a state probably needs more than independent living aided by some light therapy, the committal protects members of the general public from having their heads cut off.  Importantly, it also protects them from the fear of having their heads cut off, which is a level of comfort to which Canadians, by and large, should be entitled.

Man who beheaded, ate fellow passenger on Greyhound bus in Canada wins bid to leave grounds of mental hospital.  The Criminal Code review board said Vince Li's treatment team may grant him short escorted trips into the central Canadian city of Selkirk, Manitoba.

Schizophrenic thought he was beheading alien.  A Chinese immigrant who beheaded and cannibalized a Canadian bus passenger in front of horrified travelers four years ago spoke out for the first time Tuesday [5/22/2012], saying he believed his victim was an alien.  Vince Weiguang Li, 43, after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, was found not guilty of murdering 22-year-old Tim McLean on a Canadian Greyhound bus on July 30, 2008.

Yet another update:
Canadian man who beheaded bus passenger granted total freedom.  A Canadian man who was found not criminally responsible for beheading and cannibalizing a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus has been granted his freedom.  Manitoba's Criminal Code Review Board announced Friday it has given Will Baker, formerly known as Vince Li, an absolute discharge, meaning he is longer subject to monitoring.

Canada man who beheaded bus passenger granted freedom.  A man with schizophrenia who beheaded a fellow bus passenger in Canada in 2008 has been granted freedom.  Will Baker, formerly known as Vince Weiguang Li, killed 22-year-old Tim McLean after hearing what he thought was "the voice of God".  He was deemed not criminally responsible and received mental health treatment.  A review board in Manitoba ordered his discharge — without monitoring — saying he did not pose a significant threat.

ANOTHER crazy man with a knife!
Man threatens beheading on bus.  A harrowing bus ride from Fort McMurray is over for two brothers who feared they were going to be victims of a knife-wielding man in a manner similar to a gruesome attack last month in Manitoba.

Threatened riders want their money back.  A man who took a nerve-racking bus trip where he and his brother were threatened by a man with a knife is considering taking the bus company to court.  Josh MacDougall and his brother Andrew were taken off a Greyhound bus Monday [8/18/2008] after a man allegedly threatened to cut their eyes out and behead them.  The man was also harassing other passengers.

This sounds a lot like 'bus rage' ...
Woman beaten on bus.  As Sarah Kreager, 26, tried to sit down on a Baltimore City bus Tuesday, police say, a middle-schooler told her she couldn't.  When she attempted to take another seat, a middle-schooler wouldn't let her.  Finally, according to police, Kreager just sat down.  She was "immediately attacked" by nine students — three females and six males — from Robert Poole Middle School. … The suspects in the incident are black.  The victim is white, according to the police report.

Update:
Hate crime charges rejected.  Prosecutors in Baltimore have decided not to charge the nine middle school students accused in the beating of a 26-year-old woman on a city bus with a hate crime as a judge postponed their trial yesterday until Jan. 31.

More 'bus rage' ...
Surveillance Photos Released In Bus Attack.  Maryland Transit Administration officials are investigating a second reported assault on a bus in the last week.  Meanwhile, surveillance photos have been released and the bus driver has been taken off the road.  Patrick Green and Robert Rothe told WBAL TV 11 News that they were antagonized and attacked after boarding the No. 64 bus late Monday night in south Baltimore.

The Editor says...
If the colors were reversed, these would be called hate crimes and Al Sharpton would be all over it.  But as it is, it's just another miserable day on the stinkin' city bus.

Philadelphia:
Subway attack was to amuse, police say.  The four teenagers who ambushed Sean Patrick Conroy in a subway concourse Wednesday [3/26/2008] chose their victim at random and attacked him for no other purpose than to amuse themselves, police said yesterday. … Police yesterday discounted robbery as a motive, and said the youths apparently launched the attack on a lark.

The Editor says...
If the victim had been black and the assailants had been white, the press would be having a "hate crime" field day.

Man dead after beating on Center City SEPTA platform.  A 36-year-old man died after being severely beaten by a gang of youths inside the SEPTA concourse near City Hall this afternoon, police said.  One youth was taken into custody and police were still looking for three juveniles, possibly four, who fled the scene.

Police:  Subway attack was random.  In a chilling confession in the murder of 36-year-old Sean Patrick Conroy, 16-year-old Kinta Stanton allegedly tells police that he and his friends went out randomly looking for somebody to beat up just for kicks.

Philadelphia again:
Subway Attack by Allah-shouting Assailant Caught on Tape.  Police are asking the public for help in capturing a hammer-wielding attacker, who seemed to assault his prey for no apparent reason.  On Monday night [9/8/2008], police released the video of the attack, in the hopes that someone can identify the man.

Subway attack caught on tape.  "According to the victim, the male continued to assault him and tried to throw him into the track area," said Det. Kenneth Roach of the Philadelphia Police Dept.  Taylor told Action News last week that all throughout the attack, the man kept chanting something, and he distinctly recalled the word "Allah."  Police were stunned that some 20 passengers onboard the train scattered, and did nothing to stop the attack.

Police Near Arrest In SEPTA Hammer Attack.  The attack caught on tape sent shivers down the spine of every SEPTA rider.  Philadelphia police think they know who started hitting an unsuspecting subway passenger with a hammer last week.

Serial Subway Groper Arrested Once Again.  About two weeks after he was released from prison, Freddie Johnson boarded a crowded subway train in Manhattan and illegally rubbed up against a woman, authorities said.  It is a fairly common crime on subways in New York.  But this was no common criminal.  Johnson has been arrested a staggering 53 times — the majority for groping women on the subway, police and prosecutors said.

Women-only subway cars in 2008.  The subway corporations serving South Korea's capital will introduce women-only cars next year to make rides more comfortable and free of groping male hands, a subway official said on Wednesday [10/30/2007].  "Sexual crimes happen frequently when the cars are packed and people are pressed against each other," the subway official said.

The Editor says...
When that takes effect, pity the female who -- for whatever reason -- rides the non-segregated train.

Mexico City Rolls Out Women-Only Buses.  Groping and verbal harassment is an exasperating reality for women using public transportation in this sprawling capital, where 22 million passengers cram onto subways and buses each day.  Some men treat women so badly that the subway system has long had ladies-only cars during rush hour, with police segregating the sexes on the platforms.

The Editor says...
Does this have any relevance to American mass transit?  Unfortunately, yes.  Experience has shown that Mexicans bring various aspects of their culture with them when they come to the U.S.

Seized on a bus:  a baseball bat, six knives and two screwdrivers.  A double-decker bus was commandeered by police to prevent a planned gang fight that would almost certainly have resulted in death, Scotland Yard said yesterday [5/19/2008].  Officers in Deptford, South London, arrested 24 teenagers aged between 14 and 18 and seized six knives, a claw hammer, a metal bar, a mallet, two wrench handles, a metal baseball bat, two screwdrivers, a corkscrew and a golf club.

Saw Maniac in Subway Horror.  "I screamed for help, 'Please help, please help me,'" Steinberg said.  "The Transit Authority people heard me — they just looked.  They never stopped to help me, and that disturbs me more than anything else.  I begged for someone to call an ambulance and get this guy off me.  "He just kept on stabbing me, and stabbing me and stabbing me, and the transit employees kept on working and working and working."

Update:
Man Pleads Guilty In Power Saw Attack.  A man who sliced into a postal worker's chest with a power saw inside a subway station while other people fled for their lives pleaded guilty yesterday to second-degree assault.  Tareyton Williams, 34, had been charged with attempted murder and faced up to 25 years in prison for the attack on Michael Steinberg last summer.  He pleaded guilty in exchange for a sentence of 18 years in prison.

Train Defecator Hunted.  Police are searching for a man who has been defecating on trains across the country, causing around £60,000-worth of damage.  The offender has struck on at least 30 trains since August, mainly in the South East, smearing excrement inside the carriages.

Driver to face punishment for kicking kissing girls off bus.  A transit agency chief apologized Wednesday to two lesbian teenagers who were kicked off a bus when a passenger complained about them kissing.  "Removing the girls from the bus was not consistent with our policy," said TriMet General Manager Fred Hansen.  "I want to reiterate that we welcome all riders on our system."

Tired of being harassed on the CTA, women fight back.  [Lillian] Matanmi is a member of the Rogers Park Young Women's Action Team, a group of teen and college-age women who have fought street harassment in their neighborhood, distributing thousands of posters to businesses and homes to encourage people to shoo away congregating men so girls and women can walk in peace.  They successfully pushed for better street lighting in the Far North Side neighborhood.  Now, the group has turned its attention to the "hey-babying" and other lewd language they hear on the CTA.

The Bernard Goetz case:  From 1984-1987, [Manhattan District Attorney Robert] Morgenthau pursued a vindictive prosecution against Bernard Goetz.  Goetz ... at Christmastime, 1984, had defended himself against four 18- and 19-year-old black men attempting to rob him at midday in a subway car.  Goetz, who had previously been mugged three times, and been brutally beaten the last time, shot each of the would-be robbers once.  While seeking to put Goetz away for 30 years for attempted murder and illegal gun possession, Morgenthau treated the would-be muggers, all hardened thugs who had criminal records and were wanted on outstanding warrants, as if they were crime victims.

Subway riders sealed in murder car.  Nearly 30 petrified passengers were trapped on a Midtown hell train yesterday with a knife-wielding madman and the blood-soaked body of a straphanger he just stabbed to death in a senseless argument over a seat.  The Bronx-bound D train came to a screeching halt at around 2 a.m. in the tunnel between the Rockefeller Center and Seventh Avenue stations when a rider yanked the emergency cord after watching the carnage unfold.

The Editor says...
How could that happen?  Why are there so many psycho killers running around loose?  Keep reading.

The Killers Within.  A time bomb began ticking in the mid-1970s, when the psychiatric and mental health professions went politically correct and identified the mentally ill as "victims" who required advocates.  While patients in general do need assistance, the activists turned caring into political action that changed the American cityscape and endangered our well-being. Announcing in the mid-1970s that confining mental patients violated their civil rights, a cadre set to work to release as many patients as they could, resulting in the huge homeless phenomenon of the 1980s that remains with us now.  Suddenly the streets of major cities and small towns hosted a permanent population of vagrants who harassed passersby and businesses.

That's right -- many homeless people are insane and should be locked up.

Brawl on the Metro: Where was the coverage?  The fracas occurred near midnight on Aug. 6, and authorities said it involved as many as 70 people.  It started at the Gallery Place Station and continued to the L'Enfant Plaza Station.  There were arrests, and several people landed in the hospital.  On deadline, The [Washington] Post gathered enough information for a news brief in Saturday's paper, and a short story was quickly posted online.  Throughout Saturday, it was among the most-viewed stories on the Web site, signaling intense reader interest.  But as the day wore on, some readers grew frustrated that there was nothing more.

Police:  10-year-old gunshot victim shot himself during robbery.  The 10-year-old boy who suffered a gunshot wound in the arm Tuesday night [8/17/2010] aboard a Metro Transit bus in Seattle accidentally shot himself during a robbery, police said.  The boy, who is being treated at Harborview Medical Center, will likely face charges of robbery and a weapons violation when he is released from the hospital, police said.

Woman fatally knifes thug in subway attack, then flees on F train.  Several thugs tried to drag a woman off a Queens subway train Thursday night, but she fought back and fatally stabbed one of her tormenters before fleeing on another train, police said.  The large group of men — perhaps as many as eight — surrounded the woman outside a chicken restaurant above the 21st St.-Queensbridge station about 9 p.m., police and a witness said.

Subway slay rap for teen.  The 16-year-old girl who fatally stabbed a man after he harassed her at a Queens subway station turned herself in yesterday [12/29/2009] and has been charged with manslaughter.  But a lawyer for Cyan Brown said she is confident in her claim of self-defense in the knifing death of Thomas Winston, 29, last week.

The Editor says...
Here's the lesson to be learned from this incident:  If you get mugged in the New York subway and you fight back, you — not your multiple attackers — will be charged with a felony.

Warning:  This video is replete with expletives and offensive language,
such as you might expect to hear in the back of a city bus.
You Tube video of AC Transit bus fight in Oakland.

Man blows his nose, ends up in jail.  The man arrested at the Ashby MARTA station Monday night remains in jail, waiting for a probation hearing.  Alfred Murphy captured the attention of a MARTA police officer when he started blowing his nose — using paper towels from a MARTA maintenance cart.  By the end of the night he was arrested on charges of hitting that police officer and another one.

Beating Caught On Tape On New York City Subway Train.  It's not even summer yet things are already heating up underground.  A fight between passengers on a New York City subway train was uploaded to YouTube on Sunday [6/12/2011].  It is yet another example of the bizarre world that's beneath our feet.

Mobs Attack on City Buses: Police.  In two separate incidents, as many as 15 teens have stormed Chicago Transit Authority buses, attacked their victims and darted off with cell phones and other electronic devices, authorities said Tuesday [6/7/2011].  Both incidents were near the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, prompting city and campus authorities to issue community alerts.

Bullets fly on crowded Queens subway train as two gangs brawl.  Shots rang out on a crowded Queens subway train Thursday [6/9/2011], forcing riders to duck and run as two gangs brawled.  Riders panicked when three shots erupted from the last cars of a Manhattan-bound A train at the Howard Beach station about 6:30 p.m.

WCBS-TV seems very sympathetic with this gang of teenage armed robbers.
Brazen Teenage Gang Robbing Straphangers During Rush Hour.  Police are searching for teenage thugs targeting subway riders.  There have been at least three armed attacks recently.  CBS 2's Dave Carlin has seen pictures of the suspects and knows what they're after.  A team of baby-faced bandits, young enough to still be in high school, is making life quite stressful in Gotham's underworld.

Shooting On Q111 Bus Another Sign Congress Must Do More To End Gun Violence.  This is how Christmas in New York really began on Friday [12/2/2011], less than two days after the famous tree is lit at Rockefeller Center.  This was a New York that had nothing to do with the tree lights and magic and romance of December and everything to do with a guy with a Ruger P85 on the Q111 bus in Queens.

MBTA: Have you seen this spitter?  The MBTA has released surveillance video of two teens who allegedly spit at and threatened a bus driver last week in hopes of bringing them to justice.  The incident took place around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday [4/18/2012] after a suspect believed to be in his late teens refused to pay when he boarded a Route 28 bus at Ruggles Station, putting only a quarter in the fare machine when told by the 51-year-old driver to either pay up or get off the bus, according to the MBTA.

Drunken gang of girls in subway stab attack: cops.  A wolf pack of drunken young women "acting stupid" on a downtown No. 6 train in Manhattan stabbed a 63-year-old man early today [7/30/2012] — for having had the nerve to ask them to pipe down, police said.  The man was on his way to work at about 6:15 a.m. when he was attacked as the train entered the East 23rd Street station, a law-enforcement source told The [New York] Post.

NJ Transit train crew members hurt in melee following Colombian fest.  Three NJ Transit crew members were sent to the hospital after they tried to break up a melee on a train filled with passengers returning from a Colombian Independence Day festival, officials said today.  The fight, which broke out while the train was entering the Perth Amboy Station on Sunday night [7/21/2013], led to seven arrests and a citation, officials said.  An NJ Transit engineer and two conductors were punched in the face and body.

Chicago Thugs Celebrate Obama's New Gun Laws By Shooting Woman on Bus.  The report says police are looking for three men.  No descriptions of the suspects, of course.  We doubt they are law-abiding gun owners or members of the NRA.

Bible stops two bullets to save life of Ohio bus driver, police say.  A Bible saved the life of a Ohio bus driver after the man was shot twice in the chest early Monday [2/24/2014], police said.  Rickey Waggoner, a Dayton RTA bus driver, was making a mechanical fix outside his bus when three assailants approached him and shot him in what appears to have been a gang initiation, the Dayton Daily News reported.

RTA bus driver: Attack on me a 'gang initiation'.  An RTA bus driver survived being shot and stabbed in a seemingly random attack Monday he told police occurred during what he believes was some kind of gang initiation.  Rickey Wagoner, 49, of Trotwood, was standing outside his bus in the 1900 block of Lakeview Avenue when three males assaulted him.  He described his attackers as black teenagers who were wearing dark colored hoodies.  All three wore dark blue bandannas to obscure their faces.

Semi-violent:

NYC subway riders fight back at groping, grinding, lewd acts.  With subway ridership approaching all-time highs, averaging 5.6 million daily riders, reports of sex crimes are also rising, up nearly 57 percent.

White subway rider assaulted by black man in Brooklyn station: 'Cracka, you don't belong here'.  A 44-year-old white straphanger was beaten [2/6/2016] in a Brooklyn subway station by a black man who told him, "Cracka, you don't belong here," police sources told the [New York] Daily News.  The suspect also allegedly elbowed the victim's fiancée in the head, then spit in another straphangers' face.

Brooklyn man sentenced to 12 years for subway hammer attacks.  A mugger who hit two New York City subway riders on the head with a hammer has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.  Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson says Anthony Coward, 30, was sentenced Monday [2/8/2016].  The May 2014 attacks occurred in the Rockaway Avenue station in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The victims were ambushed from behind and hit in the head with a hammer while they were buying fare cards.

Slash City.  In his 1951 poem "Subway Rush Hour," the Harlem Renaissance writer Langston Hughes sketched a portrait of an underground world, where people of all colors, ethnicities, and backgrounds are packed so tightly together that there's "no room for fear."  Late last week — in an effort to convince New Yorkers that the subways are safe despite a rash of recent stabbings and slashings on the transit system — NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton made a similar point.  "It's amazing anybody can assault anybody because you can't really move on some of those cars," he said.  Bratton's attempts at reassurance clash with the growing sense among New Yorkers that the city's celebrated public-safety gains are increasingly under threat.  Ten people have been slashed or stabbed so far this year on the subways.  Overall, such crimes are up nearly 20 percent.  "I'll chop you up right on this f---ing train!" 37-year-old Ras Alula Nagarit allegedly yelled at two women after bumping into them on a crowded platform in Brooklyn.

Man slashed on subway platform in sixth attack this year.  A man was slashed Sunday [1/31/2016] in the sixth such attack in New York's subways and on streets this year — following a spate of blade-wielding assaults in public places that started in the fall, police said.

Woman slashed on subway in another random attack.  A psychopath sliced a woman with a 2-foot-long machete Tuesday night [1/26/2016] aboard a Brooklyn-bound 3 train after he threatened to "chop" her up — the third city slashing this week, police sources said.  The 29-year-old woman, identified by police sources as Natalie Lewis, was hacked on the hand by a man wearing a green cap after he bumped into her as she was waiting for the train with her sister around 9:30 p.m. at the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center station, cops said.

Mob in S.F. stabs 2 men at Mission District bus stop.  A crew of 10 young assailants viciously stabbed two men at a Mission District bus stop, sending the victims to the hospital, where one man was clinging to life Wednesday [1/13/2016], police said.  The attack happened around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday when the attackers, described as between the ages of 18 and 20, approached two men sitting at a bus stop at 18th and Mission streets, San Francisco police officials said.

Longtime transit impostor arrested for 30th time says he needs help not prison.  The New York transit impostor who first commandeered a train at age 15 has been arrested 30 times over the years for transit-related crimes, most recently in November when he was nabbed driving a Greyhound bus.

City subways are a pervert's paradise.  Sex crimes on the city's subways have soared by nearly 20 percent this year, due to a surge in the number of gropers, flashers and voyeurs, NYPD officials said on Monday [12/14/2015]. [...] In the past five months alone, the rate of increase has more than doubled — with a total of 699 incidents reported, or 106 more than the 593 recorded for the same period last year, authorities said.  The most common offenses are forcible touching, lewdness and unwanted surveillance, NYPD Deputy Chief Vincent Coogan told MTA officials at a meeting.

Muslim man yells at Christian woman on train for putting her feet on chair, then threatens to call police.  Last time I checked, England wasn't under Shariah law.  Apparently some Muslim man doesn't think so, as he began yelling at a woman on a London train for putting her feet on one of the chairs.  She attempts to explain that she is a Christian, and so she has no restrictions on praying with her shoes on, but he doesn't care and says it's wrong in his religion.

Bus Mugger Gets Smacked Down By Bus Driver.  This bus mugger was in for a surprise when he tried to steal a purse from the woman sitting in the front row.  The bus driver handled this guy like a pro.

NY Subways overrun with homeless.  It's an express train — to the bad old days.  Cops are giving homeless people and panhandlers in the subways the kid-glove treatment, arresting subterranean scofflaws far less frequently than just two years ago, data show.  The ranks of the homeless, meanwhile, have swelled to 1,841 this year — a 13 percent increase over last year's tally, the city's Department of Homeless Services says.  For straphangers, it has created an atmosphere of fear.

Thefts of cell phones rise rapidly nationwide.  Nearly half of all robberies in San Francisco this year are cell phone-related, police say, and most occur on bustling transit lines.

The Editor says...
"Most" of "half" means at least one-quarter of the robberies in San Francisco take place on transit lines.

MBTA:  Be careful, crime is up on Boston subways.  Pickpockets and other thieves coveting small, expensive carry-around electronic devices like iPods helped drive up crime on the Blue Line and other Boston area subway lines last year.  Incidents in the category of larceny or theft increased from 506 to 699. ... Aggravated assaults dropped from 112 to 103, while robberies rose slightly, 183 to 207.

panhandler

Panhandler who regularly works CTA Green Line arrested 178 times.  Clarence Ervin had panhandled on CTA trains all night, and he looked like it.  Cold and bleary-eyed, he said he was afraid of getting caught — a surprising sentiment for a man who has been arrested 178 times, according to police and court records.  Ervin, 52, has amassed charges ranging from panhandling on trains and disorderly conduct to drug possession and assault and battery, the records show.

Wall Street Intern Flips Out At The Conductor On Metro North.  A woman traveling on Metro North flipped out after a conductor scolded her for having an allegedly loud and profane conversation.

'Apple picking' phone theft increasing on CTA.  Hang on to your iPods when riding on the CTA.  Chicago police say there is an increase in robberies targeting the devices.  In addition, thieves have been stealing other electronic devices.  According to The Chicago Tribune, 581 robberies were reported on CTA property in 2010.  That's an average of 48 a month.

NYPD Searching For Subway Perverts.  Police in New York City are looking for men suspected in separate acts of public lewdness on trains passing through Union Square.

Registered sex offender accused of groping Jersey City woman on PATH train, his 169th arrest.  A 60-year-old registered sex offender has been arrested for the 169th time, in this case on charges he groped a Jersey City woman on a PATH train, authorities said today [7/17/2012].  Giovanni Verdelli's latest arrest came Monday morning, when undercover Port Authority Police Department officers nabbed the Brooklyn man at the Grove Street Station in Jersey City as he tried to board a train bound for 33rd Street in Manhattan, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Union Exemptions from Criminal Laws.  In the "Miscellaneous Crimes" title of the [California] Penal Code, the state has declared that "willfully blocking the free movement of another person" in a public transit system facility or vehicle is punishable by a fine of up to $400 and 90 days imprisonment in the county jail.  That is, unless the offender's actions can be said to be related to collective bargaining.  In that case, the state legislature has created an exemption from the crime, and so long as the offender is pursuing union objectives, it is permissible to block the free movement of commuters in the transit system, people who are invariably just trying to get to work or an appointment on time.

Non-violent:

Straphangers participate in No Pants Subway Ride.  The temperature was low, snow was on the ground, yet on a Sunday in January, thousands of New Yorkers were without pants.  It was the 16th Annual No Pants Subway Ride where straphangers braved the freezing cold weather in their undies for the chance to shock unsuspecting subway riders.

New Yorkers lose their trousers for the 15th annual No Pants Subway Ride that took place worldwide.  Scores of New Yorkers flocked to the subway on Sunday without any pants on.  The 15th Annual No Pants subway Ride kicked off at 3:00 p.m. and had participants strut their stuff from seven different points all over New York City only to eventually meet in Union Square.  The event began in 2002 in New York City with seven members of the improvisational group, Improv Everywhere, known for their flash mobs, boarding the subway without trousers.

The Editor says...
People who go out in public dressed immodestly and inappropriately are not funny or cute, whether they are in a group of a hundred, or by themselves.

Annual No Pants Subway Ride Gets Giggles Across the Globe.  Public transit passengers in major U.S. cities and around their world left their pants at home Sunday, or at least stashed them in their bags, as they participated in the 14th annual No Pants Subway Ride.  The prank, which began as a New York City stunt in 2002, has spread internationally, with more straphangers flaunting their drawers each year.

Cops crack down on subway panhandlers.  Begging on subway trains increases during the holiday season with the influx of tourists and shoppers, and transit cops are cracking down on offenders, police said.

Photo of black man sleeping on a Jewish man's shoulder on the subway goes viral around the world.  Oscar "Isaac" Theil, 65, was on his way home to the Kensington section of Brooklyn on the Q train when an unidentified man fell asleep on his shoulder for more than a half hour last Thursday night.  Another rider was amazed at the scene — a black man sleeping on the shoulder of a white man in a yarmulke — so he gently asked if he wanted help to wake the slumbering straphanger.  "He had a long day so let him sleep.  We've all been there," Theil responded.

The Editor says...
The photo which is the centerpiece of the article immediately above is supposed to be a heartwarming look at the great American melting pot; however, outside of the New York subway system, it is considered blatantly anti-social to lean on a stranger and go to sleep in a public place.  It's a transit system, not a homeless shelter on wheels.  And this went on for half an hour.  Where are the cops on this train?  The notion that "we've all been there" is a canard:  If I've ever been drowsy in any public transit vehicle, I have certainly never leaned upon and drooled and slept on a total stranger's shoulder.  Normal, sane adults do not act like that.

Nevada buses hundreds of mentally ill patients to cities around [the] country.  Over the past five years, Nevada's primary state psychiatric hospital has put hundreds of mentally ill patients on Greyhound buses and sent them to cities and towns across America.  Since July 2008, Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas has transported more than 1,500 patients to other cities via Greyhound bus, sending at least one person to every state in the continental United States, according to a Bee review of bus receipts kept by Nevada's mental health division.

SEPTA: Mom, Grandmom Dodge Fare, Leave Baby Behind.  SEPTA officials say a mother and grandmother left behind a baby girl while trying to avoid paying full subway fare.  Authorities say the incident happened Monday on the Market-Frankford El at the 60th Street station.  The baby's 15-year-old mother had a single one-day convenience pass that allows one person to take eight rides. [...] The two women didn't realize they had left the baby until they got to the 56th Street station around ten minutes later.

Courtesy's Sad Substitute.  For all the clackety-clack of the tracks and the distorted announcements crackling out of raspy speakers, trains are getting to be awfully quiet places.  A decade ago Amtrak started designating "Quiet Cars" in which there was to be no cellphone yammering, no insect-like buzzing or muted thumping bleeding from headphones, no keening conversations.  Now commuter lines are finally following suit.

Silent Rage:  "This is the quiet car!"  The voice belonged to a woman glaring at my kids, ages 5 and 2, standing (quietly, I should add) next to the door.  I ignored her and focused on snagging an empty spot on a packed Amtrak train — a miracle the day before Christmas — for our nuclear family with big luggage.  (Why Amtrak can't figure out how to assign seats on its "reserved trains" like every major European rail company will have to be left for another day.)  In any case, we weren't about to give ours up.  The pitch went up a notch:  "This is the QUIET car!!"  "So be quiet."  Ah, my wife to the rescue.

Woman feels 'disrespected' after being kicked off train.  A woman who got pulled of an Amtrak train by police after passengers complained she was speaking too loudly on a cell phone said she felt "disrespected" by the entire incident.  Lakeysha Beard of Tigard was charged with disorderly conduct after police said she got into a "verbal altercation" with train passengers on Sunday [5/15/2011].  Passengers complained she refused to put down her cell phone and conductors had to stop the train in Salem, where police got involved.

Nude Woman Bathes On NYC Subway Train.  In this week's crazy NYC subway video series, a woman, nude from the waist down, sets up a wash station on the blue bench of a subway car and proceeds to take a camping-style shower.

Lotto tickets bought with bags of coins lead to bust in massive Metro theft.  A long-running scam to steal thousands of Metro riders' fares unraveled this week after a man in a police uniform driving a Jaguar bought thousands of Virginia lottery tickets with bags and bags of apparently stolen coins.  A tip about the odd purchases led authorities to an extensive investigation involving GPS-tracked cars, surveillance videos from Woodbridge gas stations and money drops by an Alexandria underpass.




The police state on wheels

You would think violent crime would be extremely rare in the world of mass transit, with all the law enforcement personnel in attendance.  You would be wrong.  It's the worst of both worlds.

Suspect killed in police shootout on Chicago-area train.  Authorities say a suspect in a Chicago-area slaying was killed [1/6/2017] in a police shootout on a Metra commuter train while dozens of other people were aboard.

NJ Transit keeps recordings of your conversations for a month, it says.  NJ Transit officials have broken their silence over what happens to surveillance recordings it makes of passenger conversations on light rail trains.  In April, the state American Civil Liberties Union and commuter groups demanded that NJ Transit disclose information about the surveillance after an NJ Advance Media article revealed that the conversations of passengers on light rail trains were being recorded.  "Audio and video remain in the surveillance device for approximately 30 days, with new video and audio overwriting (recording over) previous files," said Nancy Snyder, an NJ Transit spokeswoman.  "It is our practice and procedure."

Homeland Security to release harmless gas in NYC subway system for bioterrorism drill.  The Department of Homeland Security will release "harmless particle materials" in the city's subway system next week.  The "non-toxic, safe gas material" will be released at subway stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens in order to understand where hazardous material would travel in the event of a biological terrorist attack.

Harmless gas to be released in subway for airflow study.  Harmless gas and other materials will be released at several subway stations in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn.  One of the stations will be Time Square.  The reason they are doing this is to prepare in the event of a terrorist attack.  Don't be alarm if you see boxes at some subway stations next week.  The boxes will gather real-time data of particle concentrations in the air.

The Editor says...
Does this "harmless gas" have a name?  I doubt if this mystery gas comes in a big tank with a label that says HARMLESS.  It is difficult to imagine that a majority of us would consider this stuff safe and inert, since we don't all agree that even carbon dioxide is harmless.

Man arrested for 'ridiculous' iPhone crime.  A 45-year-old UK artist was arrested Friday [7/24/2015] on a London train for the dastardly crime of "abstracting electricity" — and according to arrestee Robin Lee, the crime is just as "ridiculous" as it sounds, the Evening Standard reports.  Even though the outlets on the London Overground are clearly marked as being for cleaners only — a London Underground forum pointed out by the Guardian notes others using the outlets could cause a power surge — Lee decided to charge his iPhone while commuting and ended up getting nailed for it by an "overzealous community support officer," as Lee describes it.

The Editor says...
Does any sane person believe that one guy charging his phone is going to cause an overload?  If the cleaning crew can plug in a vacuum cleaner there, it should be safe to charge a phone for a few minutes.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: None Are Safe from the State's Plundering Parasites.  I don't know if Aaron Heuser, a mathematician from Eugene, Oregon, is familiar with "The Mortal Storm."  He doesn't need to see the movie — he has lived it.  As Heuser recounted to Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic magazine, during an Amtrak trip from Eugene to Washington, D.C. last fall, he received an unwelcome visit in his sleeper compartment by a DEA agent whose comportment was indistinguishable from that of the cinematic Nazi officials who terrorized Freya Roth.

How the DEA Harasses Amtrak Passengers.  Earlier this year, Aaron Heuser of Eugene, Oregon, had to travel to Washington, D.C.  The trip had two purposes:  The 37-year-old mathematician was officially leaving his job at National Institutes of Health and starting a new position at a private firm.  Since he is terrified of flying he booked himself a sleeper car on Amtrak.  Upon reaching Reno, Nevada, there was an unexpected knock at his door.  "There was a DEA badge on the window," he said.  "Having a good reason to be making this trip and being a law abiding citizen, I opened the door and politely asked if there was a problem.  The officer asked if I was Aaron Heuser, and then asked to see my ticket.  He then told me that there were many red flags on my trip, mainly that I had a sleeper car, was traveling alone, and did not check my luggage."  A sleeper car is a main Amtrak product!  Plenty of people travel alone!  Why would anyone with a whole sleeper-car compartment to themselves go through the hassle of checking luggage?

The Editor says...
And another thing:  You're traveling 2800 miles and you don't care if it takes a week to get there.  What's in that bag, anyway?  My drug-sniffing dog says he got a whiff of mometasone furoate monohydrate when I opened this door, along with a hint of Old Spice.  He'll be happy to testify to that effect in federal court.  Better keep your hands where I can see them.

This is exactly the treatment you would expect in Mexico or Cuba or North Korea:
DEA to traveler: Thanks, I'll take that cash.  A DEA agent boarded the train at the Albuquerque Amtrak station and began asking various passengers, including [Joseph] Rivers, where they were going and why.  When Rivers replied that he was headed to LA to make a music video, the agent asked to search his bags.  Rivers complied.  Rivers was the only passenger singled out for a search by DEA agents — and the only black person on his portion of the train, [his attorney, Michael] Pancer said.

This took place on an Amtrak train.
Black aspiring businessman has $16,000 life savings seized by DEA agents.  It was a lifetime ambition for 22-year-old Joseph Rivers to arrive in Los Angeles and become a big name in the music business.  And he nearly made it... until a team of DEA agents put a stop to everything by snatching his life savings without even charging him with a crime.  The aspiring businessman from the outskirts of Detroit had managed to scrape together $16,000 and was finally on the train to Los Angeles when the justice department stepped in, reported the Albuquerque Journal.  Officers found Joseph's thousands of dollars stashed in a bank envelope and questioned him about the origins of the cash.

Your movements can and will be tracked by your use of public transportation.
Ebola doctor lied about his NYC travels: police.  The city's first Ebola patient initially lied to authorities about his travels around the city following his return from treating disease victims in Africa, law-enforcement sources said.  Dr. Craig Spencer at first told officials that he isolated himself in his Harlem apartment — and didn't admit he rode the subways, dined out and went bowling until cops looked at his MetroCard the sources said.

BART Defends Cell Phone Shutdown.  San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit is defending its order last August to shut down commuters' cell phone service.  BART's actions attracted a considerable amount of negative attenion.  Digital rights groups have spoken out against government agencies assuming the authority to shut down wireless coverage.  "BART is a government agency, and the First Amendment prevents the government from censoring communications.  Also, federal law — the Communications Act — outlaws both the government and carriers from interfering with wireless service," said Rebecca Jeschke, spokesperson for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

NYPD, Brookhaven Releasing Harmless Gases in Subway for Chemical Weapon Study.  The NYPD is releasing harmless gases into the subway system during the morning rush beginning Tuesday to study how chemical weapons could be dispersed through the air.  Police, working with Long Island's Brookhaven National Laboratory, were spotted placing air-sampling devices in specific areas on the street and within the subway system across the five boroughs.

Good news: Government's recording your conversations on the bus too.  A timely video from Reason TV on the surveillance state's newest venture: Cameras and microphones on city buses, just in case Al Qaeda decides to plan its next attack on municipal transportation within earshot of other passengers.  Not every city does this, but the practice is spreading — early adapters include San Francisco, Baltimore, and Hartford with funding from, you guessed it, DHS.

Feds Swarm Metra Train After Detecting Nuclear Risk.  Sources say the agents were members of the elite TSA VIPR team on the 5:04 pm Union Pacific West line.  They were carrying hand-held nuclear-detection devices that picked up a reading.

Big Brother's Listening.  The era of private conversations on city buses — and even on San Francisco's iconic streetcars — may be coming to an end.  Government officials are quietly installing sophisticated audio surveillance systems on public buses across the country to eavesdrop on passengers, according to documents obtained by The Daily.  Plans to implement the technology are under way in cities from San Francisco to Hartford, Conn., and Eugene, Ore., to Columbus, Ohio.

Public Buses Across Country Quietly Adding Microphones to Record Passenger Conversations.  Transit authorities in cities across the country are quietly installing microphone-enabled surveillance systems on public buses that would give them the ability to record and store private conversations, according to documents obtained by a news outlet.  The systems are being installed in San Francisco, Baltimore, and other cities with funding from the Department of Homeland Security in some cases, according to the Daily, which obtained copies of contracts, procurement requests, specs and other documents.

Activist Forced to Show Papers to DHS or be Detained for 72 Hrs.  Alex talks with Derrick Broze, a founding member of The Houston Free Thinkers.  Broze has covered TSA agents working in the Metro rail is Houston.  [Video clip].

NYC subway's anti-terror steps the new normal.  New York's subway system, the largest in the country, has more than 465 far-flung stations, most with multiple entrances, and 800 miles of track that would stretch to Chicago if laid end to end.

TSA Now Storming Public Places 8,000 Times a Year.  Bus travelers were shocked when jackbooted TSA officers in black SWAT-style uniforms descended unannounced upon the Tampa Greyhound bus station in April with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and federal bureaucrats in tow. ... The TSA clearly intends for these out-of-nowhere swarms by its officers at community transit centers, bus stops and public events to become a routine and accepted part of American life.

NYC Subways Adding Dogs, Armed Officers.  Teams of police officers equipped with submachine guns and bomb-sniffing dogs have become a part of the landscape of post-Sept. 11 New York, patrolling around Wall Street and such landmarks as the Empire State building.  Similar squads are set to begin daily patrols of the busiest sections of the city subways this month, in what officials describe as a first for a U.S. mass transit system.

Machine Gun-Toting Officers To Patrol NYC Subway.  The NYPD is pulling out all the stops to beef up safety of the subways.  On Thursday it launched a new anti-terror effort called "Operation Torch," but the cost of the program is raising some eyebrows.  The NYPD's new firepower consists of cops with Mp5 submachine guns, rifles, body armor and bomb-sniffing dogs.

New Operation to Put Heavily Armed Officers in Subways.  In the first counterterrorism strategy of its kind in the nation, roving teams of New York City police officers armed with automatic rifles and accompanied by bomb-sniffing dogs will patrol the city's subway system daily, beginning next month, officials said on Friday [2/1/2008].  Under a tactical plan called Operation Torch, the officers will board trains and patrol platforms….

The Editor says...
The subways must be really dangerous if the cops carry machine guns.  What's next, fixed bayonets?

Random Pat-Downs Turn PATCO Into Police State.  Commuters who ride PATCO trains between southern New Jersey and Philadelphia should expect random searches of their clothing, pockets, bags and vehicles on their morning trip to work.  Twelve Transportation Security Administration screeners, armed with an explosive-sniffing K-9, checked 663 commuter bags randomly selected from the morning rush at the Lindenwold station Tuesday [9/7/2010]. ... "We can conduct any kind of search we want," said [Delaware River Port Authority Police Chief David] McClintock.

Airport-style searches are now spreading all over town.
Metro Randomly Inspects Passengers' Bags.  At Braddock Metro, one man was stopped for about 8 minutes because there was some sort of chemical substance on his bag.  Police X-rayed the bag, finding nothing.  They also took his identification and questioned him.  Another woman, who did not object to the bag screening, was stopped for 45 seconds.  She missed her train as her bag of Christmas presents was searched.

All Metro stations to get surveillance cameras.  Metro will install surveillance cameras outside all 86 rail stations in an effort to curtail rising crime, officials said Thursday [3/24/2011].  The project will be paid for with a $2.8 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security, Metro Transit Police Chief Michael Taborn said.  The money will buy 153 color cameras.

Boston transit police begin passenger ID stops.  Although officials would release few details about the initiative, the identity checks will mark the first time local rail and subway passengers will be asked to produce identification and be questioned about their activities.

San Francisco Steps Up Transit Surveillance.  San Francisco's Municipal Transit Authority has announced it will deploy 288 surveillance cameras equipped with special software to monitor suspicious behavior in the city's buses, trains, and 12 transport hubs.  The cameras will be outfitted with BRS Labs' AISight artificial intelligence software, which is programmed to recognize "normal" behavior.  Activities not meeting these criteria are deemed suspicious and activate a text message or phone call to MTA guards.  Each camera reportedly is able to monitor 150 suspects simultaneously.

It's Mayor Do-Wrong.  The longest, loneliest ride ever taken by Mayor Bloomberg came Monday [11/5/2012], when Hizzoner, proving he's down with the little people, boarded a packed subway train for the journey downtown to City Hall.  But the goodwill gesture erupted into farce.  Bloomberg was picked up at his East 79th Street town house by a Chevy Suburban and, bypassing the local No. 6 train, he settled into the No. 5 express at 59th, reading the Financial Times while surrounded by six bodyguards.

The Editor says...
Apparently one or two bodyguards would not have been enough for the mayor.  What does that tell you about the New York subways?




Health and safety concerns

Health:

Which city has the germiest cabs, buses and trains?  Whether it's hopping on a city bus or hailing a taxi, public transportation has the reputation of being a bacteria hotbed.  But are all cities equally grimy?  Jeff Rossen and the Rossen Reports team used a bacteria meter to test public transportation systems across New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago to see how dirty they really are.  Health experts say anything over 100 is a fail.  Are buses cleaner than subways?  What about taxis?

Panic on NY subway train as crickets, worms let loose.  A woman who said she was selling crickets and worms on a crowded New York City subway car appeared to become frazzled by some teenagers and let the critters loose on riders, then urinated on herself, according to social media posts and news reports.  Riders on the subway train were locked in close quarters with the bugs for half an hour during rush hour on Wednesday evening [8/24/2016] after a passenger pulled the train's emergency brake while they were on the Manhattan Bridge.  Two days later, on Friday, a woman who identified herself as Zaida Pugh came forward, saying she staged the episode as a prank to raise awareness of how people treat the homeless.  She said she is an actress and was not concerned about a backlash from inconvenienced commuters.

Woman admits crickets, worms spilling on subway was a stunt.  A woman who caused chaos aboard a subway train by releasing a container of crickets and worms says it was all a prank.

Metro subway smoke: union sues to reinstate fired mechanic.  A union that represents the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has filed a lawsuit to reinstate a mechanic fired last year over a deadly smoke incident inside a subway car.

Rat Crawls Up Sleeping Subway Rider's Neck.  Here's another reason to not sleep on the subway.  Video captured aboard a 7 train in Manhattan shows a rat crawl up an apparently clueless, sleeping man.  When the rodent makes his way to the man's neck, he wakes up and shrieks in horror, the video shows.  [Video clip]

Audit: New York City Subway Tracks Filthy, Overrun With Rats.  An audit by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has revealed that subway tracks are filled with rats, dirt and garbage.  The audit found only 3 percent of tracks in 276 underground stations were cleaned according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's own standards, which include cleaning track beds at underground stations every three weeks and using special equipment to vacuum up trash from the tracks every six months.

Among New York Subway's Millions of Riders, a Study Finds Many Mystery Microbes.  Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College released a study on Thursday that mapped DNA found in New York's subway system — a crowded, largely subterranean behemoth that carries 5.5 million riders on an average weekday, and is filled with hundreds of species of bacteria (mostly harmless), the occasional spot of bubonic plague, and a universe of enigmas.  Almost half of the DNA found on the system's surfaces did not match any known organism and just 0.2 percent matched the human genome.

Obama Repeats: You Can't Get Ebola on a Bus — [a] Day After [a] Bus [was] Quarantined in D.C..  On Saturday — one day after a bus that had departed from the Pentagon was quarantined on Capitol Hill in an Ebola false alarm — President Barack Obama issued a video message to Americans telling them that "you cannot get it [Ebola] from just riding on a plane or a bus."  "Ebola is actually a difficult disease to catch.  It's not transmitted through the air like the flu," Obama said in his weekly video message.  "You cannot get it from just riding on a plane or a bus."

Ebola scare at Pentagon after woman vomits in parking lot.  The Pentagon confirmed an Ebola scare on Friday in one of its parking lots when a woman vomited after getting off a bus headed to a high-level Marine Corps ceremony.  The Pentagon said the woman was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where she was isolated.  A spokesman for the local health authority said it was still unclear, however, whether she would meet the criteria for Ebola testing.

Obama: You Can't Get Ebola 'Sitting Next to Someone on a Bus;' CDC: 'Avoid Public Transportation'.  Speaking in a video message to residents of West African countries currently experiencing outbreaks of Ebola, President Barack Obama dispensed advice on how residents can avoid the disease, including:  "You cannot get it through casual contact like sitting next to someone on a bus."  At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising Americans who travel to the Ebola-stricken nations to "avoid public transportation."

42 percent of subway cars clean in 'shumtz' survey.  A new survey says the number of clean New York City subway cars has gone down since 2011.

Atlanta Transit Deters Public Peeing with Urine Detection Device.  Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is no longer tolerating public urination in their transit system elevators.  Through the installation of a urine detection device (UDD), any splatter of urine will set off alarms and alert police to get to the elevator and catch the peeing perpetrators.  Improved lighting and cameras will also be installed to record offenders.

Rats Found at 13% of NY City Subway Platforms.  The Straphangers Campaign last summer surveyed every platform in the system to assess quality-of-life conditions like lighting, graffiti, exposed wiring — and the prevalence of rodents.  The scavenging critters were spotted at 21% of the underground platforms in the Bronx, compared to 15% in Brooklyn, 13% in Queens and 10% in Manhattan.  Bronx riders said rats sightings are common on the tracks where litterbugs throw their trash.

Greyhound bus to Manhattan from New Jersey is invaded by cockroaches.  Riders on a New York City-bound bus from New Jersey are reporting an invasion of cockroaches.  A passenger on a Manhattan-bound bus from Atlantic City told reporters that roaches started coming out of the vents inside the bus just 15 minutes into their Friday afternoon [3/15/2013] journey.  The passenger reports roaches could be seen crawling on seats, windows, side panels and even on people.

America is Burning.  Two weeks ago, I visited New York City with my wife, who was interviewing at a local medical school located in the Bronx.  I dropped her at the school.  Since I was lacking a car, I hopped on a public bus, intending to take it to the local subway station.  I have never been so frightened for my country in my life.  The bus itself was fine; all the people on it had places to be.  It was the subway station that was truly scary.  The station itself looked like a bomb had hit it.  Debris covered the shattered tile floor.  The stench of vomit and urine permeated the place.  Rust layered the tracks; wooden boards between the tracks moldered into dust.

One sneeze, 150 colds for commuters.  Tissues at the ready.  A single sneeze in a busy area can end up infecting 150 people with a cold in just five minutes, new research suggests.  An analysis of the germs unleashed from a single commuter's sneeze showed that within minutes they are being passed on via escalator handrails or seats on trains and underground carriages.  At the busiest stations, one sneeze not smothered by a tissue or handkerchief will provide enough germs to infect another 150 commuters.

Woman dies mysteriously on Via train; others sick.  With hundreds of passengers aboard, many believed to be foreign tourists, a VIA Rail train remained under quarantine in a small northern Ontario town Friday afternoon after a 60-year-old woman was found dead in a passenger coach and six others complained of feeling unwell with a flu-like ailment.  It was unclear, however, whether the two sets of circumstances were connected.

Uneasy rider raises a stink.  Tossed off a city bus for refusing to change her fragrance, a local woman believes she was unfairly singled out just for trying to smell nice.  Natalie Kuhn was getting on her regular bus route yesterday, the No. 137 Dalhousie, when she said she was told by the driver he was no fan of her perfume, Very Irresistible by Givenchy, and she had to get off.

Chicago Train Riders Breathing Highly Toxic Air.  A devastating investigation by the Chicago Tribune is casting serious doubt on the environmental benefits of public transportation.  Day after day, the Tribune reported on November 5, "thousands of commuters are breathing high levels of toxic diesel pollution trapped in Chicago's two major rail stations and even inside the trains they ride."

Loose rat crawls up sleeping subway rider's leg.  The nightmare of every subway rider was caught on video after a chubby sewer rat crawled up the leg of a sleeping straphanger on a No. 4 train in Brooklyn and came face-to-face with the man.

Subway graffiti artist, 20, struck and killed by Manhattan-bound D train.  Cans of spray paint were found near the body of a 20-year-old graffiti artist who was struck and killed by a subway in Brooklyn early Monday [5/16/2011], police said.  The man, whose name wasn't immediately released, was hit by a Manhattan-bound D train at the 59th St. station.  Transit officials said the motorman tried to stop the train just after 5 a.m., but couldn't bring it to a halt in time.

The Editor says...
Graffiti is included here a safety issue, not only because of the risk to the "artists" but also because of the paint fumes lingering in the subway tunnels.

Woman forced to drop pants on New York subway train after giant rat runs up her trouser leg.  A woman was forced to drop her trousers in the middle of a packed rush hour subway train when a rat ran up her trouser leg.  Ana Vargas, 40, was sitting in the train at 7:50 am as it approached New York's Columbus Circle station when the terrifying rodent suddenly crawled up her leg.

Human waste shuts down BART escalators.  When work crews pulled open a broken BART escalator at San Francisco's Civic Center Station last month, they found so much human excrement in its works they had to call a hazardous-materials team.  While the sheer volume of human waste was surprising, its presence was not.  Once the stations close, the bottom of BART station stairwells in downtown San Francisco are often a prime location for homeless people to camp for the night or find a private place to relieve themselves.  All those biological excretions can gum up the wheels and gears of BART's escalators, shutting them down for long periods of extended repairs, increasing station cleaning costs and creating an unpleasant aroma for morning commuters.

Safety:

Pickup truck slams into a passenger bus in NY.  Passengers were sitting inside a public bus in Syracuse, New York when a pickup truck came crashing into the bus.  [Video clip]

LIRR Train Derails in Brooklyn; 103 People Hurt.  The train derailed [1/4/2017] at the busy Atlantic Terminal at rush hour; all of the injuries were considered minor.

Brooklyn commuter train derails leaving dozens injured.  A commuter train travelling at rush hour has derailed in Brooklyn injuring around 103 people.  The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) came off the tracks at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal after it jumped the tracks.  Paramedics rushed to treat the injured after the locomotive derailed around 8.20am on Wednesday morning [1/4/2017] at the height of rush hour.

Metro fires six employees after derailment probe reveals inspectors falsified records.  Metro fired six workers after determining that nearly half of the agency's 60-person track-inspection department created a pattern of fabrication and negligence that led to the derailment of a Silver Line train in July, the transit agency said Thursday [12/15/2016].  The fired employees falsified track-inspection records for as long as three years, officials said.  A criminal investigation ended without charges, but the findings of Metro's internal review have been sent to prosecutors to decide whether to pursue other legal action.  Six more terminations or suspensions are pending and a total of 28 workers received disciplinary action, Metro said.

Police say subway 'surfer' falls to [his] death in NYC.  Police say the unidentified man was holding onto one of the doors of a subway car when he lost his grip and fell.

Engineer sues Metro-North over crash.  A Metro-North train flew off the tracks in the Bronx on December 1, 2013.  It was on its way from Poughkeepsie to Grand Central Terminal.  The engineer who says he now struggles with PTSD among other things is suing Metro-North for $10 million saying the company could have prevented the crash.  Engineer William Rockefeller fell asleep at the controls.  He had undiagnosed sleep apnea.  He filed the lawsuit in Manhattan federal court exactly three years to the day of the crash.  The train barreled toward a curve at 82 mph — almost triple the speed limit.  The crash killed four passengers and injured at least 60 more.

Owner of tour bus in deadly crash had faced previous negligence lawsuits.  The owner and operator of the tour bus involved in the Desert Hot Springs crash that left 13 people dead had been previously sued at least twice for negligence after collisions with vehicles, one of which ended in three deaths.

Thirteen people dead and 31 injured in horror crash after tour bus collides with semi-truck on California freeway.  Authorities have said that they may never know why a tour bus collided with a truck on a major highway in southern California because the driver was among 13 people killed in the crash.  Officials have not released the identities of any of the crash victims but neighbors identified the bus driver as Elias Vides, 59, who also owns the tour company.  The bus was traveling west on Interstate 10 when it plowed into the back of a large truck early on Sunday [10/23/2016].  The freeway was closed for hours before it finally reopened at around 7pm on Sunday.

Concerns over train safety rise amidst recent rail accidents.  With millions of people using train systems on a daily basis, there have been increasing concerns about train safety especially after a recent series of rail accidents in the tristate area.  In 2013, a Metro-North passenger train derailed in the Bronx and killed 4 people.  In 2015, an Amtrak crash in Philly killed 8 while in September, an NJ transit crash in Hoboken killed 1.  For many commuters, traveling within the northeast, their trust in rail safety has been at an all-time low.

Dozens of passengers injured after New York City commuter train derails.  Several passengers on New York's Long Island Railroad were injured Saturday night [10/8/2016] after an eastbound train derailed when it struck a work train.  LIRR spokesman Sal Arena told the Associated Press that the first three cars of the 12-car train went off the tracks east of New Hyde Park, N.Y. shortly after 9 p.m. local time.  He says the work train caught fire after the crash.  New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted early Sunday that 29 passengers were treated for injuries, with 11 transported to hospitals.

Train crash in New Jersey station turns deadly.  One woman was killed and 108 people were injured when a crowded New Jersey Transit train crashed into the Hoboken terminal Thursday during morning rush hour, sending debris crashing down, officials said.  Disaster struck at around 8:45 a.m. when a speeding commuter train No. 1614 on Track 5 on the Pascack Valley Line collided with the platform and slammed into structural beams, causing the roof of the terminal to collapse, officials said.

NTSB says Hoboken train crash captured on camera.  [Numerous technical details of the Hoboken crash.]

One dead and more than 100 people injured after New Jersey commuter train crashes into the station.  The engineer of a train that crashed at a 'high rate of speed' into the Hoboken, New Jersey train station during Thursday morning rush hour, killing one person and injuring 112 people, is cooperating with police at the hospital where he is in critical condition.  The crash happened after 8:30 am, and involved the No. 1614 Pascack Valley line train.  The train left Spring Valley, New York at 7:23 am and was scheduled to arrive in Hoboken at 8:38 am.  Passengers said the train never slowed down as it approached the station, crashing at a 'high-rate of speed' into the terminal which tens of thousands of people use to travel into New York City every day.

At least 100 hurt in New Jersey Transit train accident at Hoboken terminal.  At least one person was killed and more than 100 hurt when a commuter train carrying 250 passengers barreled into a New Jersey rail station during the Thursday morning [9/29/2016] rush hour, causing serious damage to both the train and station.

Nightmare Commute After Two Buses Headed for NYC Collide in Lincoln Tunnel, Injuring 44.  An accident involving two NJ Transit buses shut down the Lincoln Tunnel's center tube into New York City Monday morning, causing delays of nearly two hours and injuring dozens.  Some 44 people were hurt, though the injuries were not considered life-threatening.  Port Authority spokesman Joe Pentangelo said the most serious injury was a broken jaw.

More than 40 reported hurt after 2 buses bound for NYC crash in Lincoln Tunnel.  As many as 44 people were hurt after two New Jersey Transit buses headed to New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal crashed in the Lincoln Tunnel.  The crash unfolded around 8:50 a.m. in the tunnel's center tube, Port Authority Police spokesman Joe Pentangelo said.  Crews had to cut open the door of one bus.  Pentangelo said most of the injuries weren't considered life-threatening and the most serious was a broken jaw.

NJ Transit Bus Demolished in Horrific T-Bone Crash; 1 Dead, 18 Hurt.  The driver of the number 59 bus from Dunellen to Newark broadsided the number 13 bus from Irvington to Clifton while heading west on Raymond Boulevard shortly after 6 a.m.  The driver of the 59 bus, who was the only person on board, died.  Seventeen passengers were on the other bus; all of them and the driver were taken to hospitals in varying conditions.

1 Killed, 7 Critically Hurt After NJ TRANSIT Buses Collide In Newark.  Investigators are trying to determine if a NJ TRANSIT bus ran a red light and broadsided another NJ TRANSIT bus, killing a driver and injuring 18 people.

15 injured in Lincoln Tunnel bus crash.  A New Jersey Transit bus rear-ended another New Jersey Transit bus inside the Lincoln Tunnel heading to New York, leading to delays, Monday morning [7/18/2016].  One bus driver and 14 passengers were injured, said Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Steve Coleman.

'Mass Hysteria' Causes Stampede at NYC Subway Station:  NYPD.  Dozens of commuters ran out of a crowded Manhattan subway station Tuesday morning after one straphanger thought someone claimed to have a gun, according to the NYPD.  Straphangers stampeded out of the Central Park North - 110th Street subway station in Harlem at about 9 a.m. in what police are calling mass hysteria.

Two construction workers dead and 30 passengers injured after Amtrak train crashes into a crane near Philadelphia.  Two construction workers have died after an Amtrak train collided with a backhoe on the tracks near Philadelphia.  The front carriage of the train from New York to Savannah, Georgia, derailed after crashing into the crane early this morning [4/3/2016].  The Palmetto train 89 was packed with nearly 350 passengers and crew at the time of the fatal smash and up to 35 people have been injured.

At least 32 reported injured after Amtrak train derails in Kansas.  An engineer noticed a significant bend in a rail ahead and hit the emergency brakes before a passenger train derailed in western Kansas, a government official told the Associated Press.  Amtrak said 32 people were taken to hospitals for treatment and that 29 had been released by late morning [3/14/2016].  The U.S. official who was briefed on the investigation into the early Monday derailment of the Amtrak train said the train appeared to have been traveling at about 75 miles [per hour] when the engineer pulled the emergency break [sic].

Police Say 19 Hurt in San Francisco Bus Crash.  Witnesses describe a chaotic scene after a sightseeing bus smashed into cars and construction scaffolding in the heart of San Francisco's Union Square, leaving 20 people hurt — six of them critically [11/13/2015].

More than 300 injured in passenger train crash in South Africa.  A commuter train crashed into another passenger train during rush hour Friday in South Africa's largest city injuring more than 300 people, an emergency services spokeswoman said.

Woman raped, beaten at Port Authority Bus Terminal, cops say.  Police on Saturday [7/11/2015] were searching for a man who they said raped and beat a 21-year-old woman at the Port Authority Bus Terminal parking garage in Midtown Manhattan.  The woman was left with cuts to her face and body in the attack early Friday, reported around 1 a.m. at the 8th Avenue garage, the New York City Police Department said.  Police described the attacker as a black man, 30 years old, with brown eyes, short braided hair, a mustache, about 5-foot-9 and weighing 190 pounds.

Woman killed, 8 others injured in downtown Chicago bus crash.  A woman was killed and eight others were injured Tuesday [6/2/2015] when a Chicago bus jumped the curb onto a crowded sidewalk during rush hour.

DC Metro riders continue to look out for each other.  Over the weekend I posted on the murder on the Red Line of the DC Metro on July 4.  Long story short, a young man was stabbed about 40 times and beaten by a single assailant while 10 or so adult passengers looked on and did nothing.  It received at least one interesting response from a self-avowed coward who asserted that you had to be Chuck Norris in order to intervene in an attack (in this case, the attacker was smaller than the average 14-year-old boy.[)]  This particular commenter's view was that the best thing to do is to let the other guy get killed and hope and pray you aren't next [...]

D.C Metro Murder Undermines Liberal Talking Points.  The brutal killing of Kevin Sutherland in the Washington, D.C., subway on July 4, does much to undermine popular leftist tropes, in this case, race, crime, guns and drugs, just as the murder of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco challenges liberal immigration policies. [...] Sutherland's killer, 18 year old Jasper Spires, shares many characteristics with more famous and lionized Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, except that while the latter two were shot to death by armed men in the midst of physical assaults, Spires took full advantage of his unarmed victim (and other passengers) to complete his crime and survive, and is now in custody.  The mainstream media and leftist politicians have mostly downplayed the incident, since Spires cannot be caricatured as a victim of white racism.  Indeed, the problem for the media is that in almost every respect, this encounter shows the utter inanity and hypocrisy of many of their favored talking points and positions.

Witnesses to fatal stabbing on D.C. Metro train didn't intervene.  Kevin Sutherland died in the first-ever homicide aboard a Metro train in the subway system's nearly 40-year history, stabbed to death after resisting a robbery attempt.  The attack stunned passengers who watched it unfold.  In the days since, it has sparked a furious debate:  Should Sutherland's fellow passengers have done anything to stop it?  Could they have done anything even if they wanted?

The Horrifying Details Of The Independence Day Train Stabbing In DC.  Two men among many got on a train heading for festivities in downtown D.C. on the Fourth of July, but only one of them got off alive.  A police affidavit released Tuesday [7/7/2015] shows the gruesome details of a robbery attempt gone wrong.

Horrified passengers witnessed brutal July 4 slaying aboard Metro car.  Police and a witness interviewed said passengers trapped in the moving train huddled at both ends of the car and watched in horror as [Jasper] Spires punched 24-year-old Kevin Joseph Sutherland until he fell to the floor, then stabbed him until he was dead.  Court documents say the victim was cut or stabbed 30 or 40 times, in the chest, abdomen, back, side and arms.  Police said the assailant then threw the victim's cellphone and returned to stomp on Sutherland's body.

It took them a month to come up with this information?
NTSB: Engineer not on phone when Amtrak 188 derailed.  Federal investigators have determined that Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian apparently was not using his cellphone when his eight-car train derailed May 12 in Philadelphia, the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday [6/10/2015].  "Analysis of the phone records does not indicate that any calls, texts, or data usage occurred during the time the engineer was operating the train," the NTSB said in preliminary report.

It took them a month to come up with this information?
NTSB: Engineer not on phone when Amtrak 188 derailed.  Federal investigators have determined that Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian apparently was not using his cellphone when his eight-car train derailed May 12 in Philadelphia, the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday [6/10/2015].  "Analysis of the phone records does not indicate that any calls, texts, or data usage occurred during the time the engineer was operating the train," the NTSB said in preliminary report.

Amtrak Mystery: Crash probe finds no mechanical trouble, official cites 'human factor'.  The Amtrak engineer, Brandon Bostian, suffered a head injury in the accident and has told investigators he can't remember what happened.  The train was equipped with a "black box" data recorder and an outward-facing camera focused on the track ahead, but neither of those devices reveals what was happening inside the cab.  The NTSB report said forensic experts are now examining the phone records for the engineer, apparently to check if he was texting or making calls right before the crash.

Amtrak's Missing Technology.  An "absolute, disastrous mess" is how Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter described Tuesday's Amtrak derailment, in which eight passengers were killed and more than 200 injured.  And though it will be some time before its causes and consequences are fully assessed, one point is already clear, and one question already imperative:  Technology exists to prevent speeding trains.  Why wasn't Amtrak using it?

Amtrak speed control system installed but wasn't turned on.  Amtrak had installed the "Positive Train Control" system on the track where a speeding train fatally crashed Tuesday [5/12/2015], but the system was not switched on.  The system could have automatically slowed the Amtrak 188, but instead it jumped the rails, killing 8 people and injuring more than 200.

Liberal Media's Latest Lie: Lack of Infrastructure Spending Caused Amtrak Crash.  In 2009, didn't Barack Obama market his unprecedented $787 billion "Stimulus" program under the banner of repairing America's failing infrastructure?  Why, yes, yes he did. [...] Fast forward to this week's tragic Amtrak accident.  Cue legacy media jumping to the "You low-life taxpayers aren't spending enough money on infrastructure!" argument.

'Reckless' Amtrak engineer, 32, who was driving doomed train at 106mph claims he has no memory of crash.  It has been reported the 32-year-old, who has been an engineer with Amtrak since 2009, has been interviewed by police, had a blood sample taken and has handed in his cell phone to the authorities.

Investigators: Train that derailed was going around 106 mph when emergency brakes applied.  An Amtrak train carrying 243 people derailed in Philadelphia Tuesday night [5/12/2015], claiming the lives of at least seven passengers.  Train 188 was traveling from Washington D.C. to New York City when it derailed in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia around 9:21 p.m. on the 2000 block of Wheatsheaf Lane.

Amtrak Has a Trust Problem in Congress.  "The problem is you give Amtrak the money and they blow the improvements or squander it," said Republican Rep. John Mica on Wednesday [5/13/2015].  "Congress does not trust Amtrak.  They've given them the money before."  Democrats, for their part, have for years complained that Amtrak is underfunded.

Trump, liberal MSM blames Republicans for Amtrak crash.  Some hardcore liberal ghouls came out of the woodwork shortly after the overnight crash of an Amtrak train near Philadelphia, saying Republicans are to blame for failing to fund infrastructure spending and increasing the federal train agency's budget.

Engineer in control of doomed Amtrak train refused to speak with investigators and has 'no explanation' for crash.  The engineer in control of the speeding Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia is a Queens man who's refusing to talk to investigators about the deadly Tuesday night crash.

Amtrak Train That Derailed Was Going 106 M.P.H., Officials Say; 7 Killed.  The Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, killing at least seven, was barreling into a sharp turn at 106 miles an hour — more than twice the speed limit on that stretch — when the engineer slammed on the emergency brakes, seconds before the train jumped the tracks, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.  The maximum allowed speed was 50 m.p.h. on that curve, in the Port Richmond section of the city, but data downloaded from the "black box" recorder showed that just before it crashed, the train was speeding at 106 m.p.h., Robert Sumwalt, the National Transportation Safety Board member leading the investigation, said at a news conference late Wednesday [5/13/2015].

Six dead and 65 injured as train carrying 243 derails and rips apart in Philadelphia.  An Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night [5/12/2015] prompting a mass casualty incident that claimed the lives of six people.  Train 188 was traveling from Washington D.C. to New York City when it crashed around 9.20 pm as it went into a turn just a few miles outside of 30th Street Station.  The train, which had been carrying 238 passengers and five crew members at the time of the crash, had seven cars derail, all of which came entirely off the tracks.

Speed, not 'crumbling infrastructure,' eyed in Amtrak derailment.  As we reported last night [5/12/2015], the derailment of an Amtrak passenger train traveling from Washington, D.C. to New York City set off a fury of instant analysis that GOP cuts to infrastructure spending were probably to blame.

The Editor says...
Many on the political left immediately politicized the accident, some blaming it on "crumbling infrastructure."  But infrastructure spending can't prepare for a train that's going twice the speed limit.

AP estimates train in deadly crash was traveling 107 mph.  An Amtrak train that derailed Tuesday evening in Philadelphia was travelling about 107 miles per hour as it approached a curve where the speed limit less than half that, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

Amtrak train was going 100 mph, twice the speed limit before fatal crash: report.  The Amtrak train involved in a fatal crash in Philadelphia Tuesday night [5/12/2015] was going about twice the speed it should've been traveling, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.  The speed limit is 70 mph just before the curve and 50 mph along the curve itself, the Federal Railroad Administration said.

26 dead as passenger train cars derail in India.  Three coaches of a passenger train derailed in northern India on Friday [3/20/2015], killing 26 people, and rescuers were using gas cutters to rip apart the mangled wreckage to find trapped people.

30 Injured, 1 Possibly Dead After Metrolink Train Hits Vehicle in Ventura County.  Twenty-eight people were hospitalized, four of them in critical condition, and the driver of a produce truck that was struck by a Metrolink train was being questioned following a fiery wreck that caused several train cars to derail in Oxnard early Tuesday morning [2/24/2015].

Four passengers critical among 28 injured after LA commuter train hits tractor-trailer.  Four people were critically injured and several carriages overturned in the early morning [2/24/2015] derailment in Ventura County, California.  A total of 28 passengers suffered injuries when four cars of a Southern California Metrolink train tumbled onto their sides after slamming into a truck which burst into flames.

Federal Transit Administration to conduct safety inspection of DC subway after fatal accident.  One passenger was killed and more than 80 others were sent to hospitals when smoke filled a train inside a tunnel near a busy downtown station last month.

Metro-North Train Hits S.U.V., Killing 7 in Railroad's Deadliest Accident.  A crowded Metro-North Railroad train passing through Westchester County at the height of the evening rush on Tuesday [2/3/2015] slammed into a sport-utility vehicle on the tracks at a crossing, creating a fiery crash and explosion that killed seven people, injured a dozen and forced the evacuation of hundreds.  It was the deadliest crash in the railroad's history.

Giving Up On Black America.  To get to any bus that will take me to Manhattan or other parts of the city, I have to keep my eyes on the ground to avoid stepping on three things:  dog crap, hacked up phlegm, and spoiled fast food.  This is too bad because except for the people who mostly create this problem, the neighborhood, referred to by locals as the poor man's Riviera, is actually quite wonderful.  One reason that I'm not liked on my block is that I rarely make eye contact with people.  Unfortunately, I've become more occupied with where my feet will land than with acknowledging and greeting my neighbors.

Stray bullet strikes St. Charles streetcar passenger in weekend shooting, NOPD says.  A stray bullet struck a woman as she was stepping off a St. Charles streetcar over the weekend, New Orleans police said.  The 25-year-old was hit in the hip.  The shooting happened at St. Charles Avenue and Erato Street just before midnight Saturday (June 21).

Caught On Camera: Drexel Hill Man Punched In The Face At Trolley Stop.  A man sitting at a trolley stop in Drexel Hill is punched in the face, and it's all caught on camera.  "It's a real shame that something like this could take place," said the victim.  The victim does not want to be identified, but wants his story told.  He says he was just minding his own business at the Burmont and Morgan trolley stop last week when about six teens came up to him.

Watch: Riders exact street justice on bus attacker.  A belligerent bus rider who was caught on camera attacking a pair of senior citizens received a taste of street justice from fellow riders, who took him down and tossed him onto a sidewalk.  The nearly 2-minute video starts with a straphanger verbally assaulting a woman sitting down in the bus' priority seating.  He goes on an expletive laden, sexually derogatory tirade, gradually moving closer toward the victim.  Soon after, a rider with a cane stands up to defend the woman and the attacker pounces, knocking the man's cane from his hand.

Senator's close call with train in New Haven.  Richard Blumenthal was standing close to the platform edge during a speech by Milford Mayor Ben Blake, when a train hurtled past, disturbing a diagram.

Dem Senator Nearly Hit by Train During Press Conference About Commuter Safety.  Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) has been waging a campaign demanding safety accountability for the Metro-North railway this week after it was discovered that the MTA has had 139 violations resulting in $552,000 worth of fines over the last ten years.  But as he discovered this week, there is also an element of personal responsibility when it comes to commuter train safety.  Blumenthal was holding a press conference Friday on the Milford Metro-North station platform when an Amtrak train came barreling into the station and almost knocked him out cold.

Chance encounter with CHL holder saves Frisco woman from robber.  There is constant sound and motion at DART's Convention Center Station, and it's one of Kim Lanphere's regular stops.  "I use DART 30-to-40 times a week," she said.  "At most stations, I feel relatively safe, because there's light and people."  But as of Saturday, her feeling of safety is gone.  Dallas police say she passed 23-year-old Jamail Koroma on a sidewalk near the station.  "I felt him change his gait, and at the time I had by bag here," she said, motioning by her side, "and I put it on my shoulder, just to hold it safe."

Union: Chicago train operator 'extremely tired'.  An operator of a Chicago public-transit train that jumped the tracks and scaled an escalator at one of nation's busiest airports Monday [3/24/2014] may have dozed off, a union official said.

The Editor says...
You would think there would be some kind of mechanism that would bring a commuter train to a gentle stop in the event of the driver's death or drowsiness.  But apparently that hasn't been invented yet.

Documents detail fire, maintenance issues with Charlotte airport buses.  Charlotte's airport in 2007 started buying hybrid buses from a local company that promised better gas mileage, cleaner emissions and a quieter ride.  But more than six years later, the airport's DesignLine buses have traveled a rocky road.  The vehicles have been plagued by maintenance problems, including braking issues and a fire that a former executive says still causes him concern.

Metro-North Engineer Was Dozing Just Before Train Derailment, Sources Say.  Veteran engineer William Rockefeller all but admitted he was falling asleep as the train came roaring to a curved section of track north of Spuyten Duyvil in statements made shortly after four people were killed and dozens were injured in the wreck, sources said.  He apparently woke up just as the train, traveling at 82 mph, was heading into a precarious curve that called for the train's speed to be reduced to just 30 mph.  As the train entered the curve, sources said, Rockefeller was jolted from his sleep and hit the brake, but not in time.

Amtrak train carrying 218 derails in South Carolina.  Several cars of the New York City-bound Amtrak Crescent with 218 people aboard went off the tracks in South Carolina early Monday as bags flew and jolted passengers clung to each other, authorities and passengers said.

Spaghetti Dinner Leads To Full-Blown Brawl On NYC Subway Train.  Who thought that eating spaghetti on a packed subway car could cause such problems?  Well, it did.

Sex Offender's Kidnap Attempt Stopped By Metro Commuters.  Metro commuters stopped a teenage girl from being kidnapped by a registered sex offender Thursday afternoon [3/17/2011] in South Los Angeles.  According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the attempted abduction occurred around 2 p.m. Thursday at the Avalon Green Line station.  As many as 10 metro commuters stepped in to interrupt it before police arrived.

Chatsworth crash's roots lie 20 years in Metrolink's past.  The commuter line's founders gambled that the line could operate without an automatic braking system, interviews with safety experts and documents show.

Metro is unsafe at any speed.  With billions spent to build and expand Metro, the most important day-to-day task for the system's managers remains operating and maintaining it to ensure passenger safety.  Despite huge taxpayer subsidies, 10 of the nation's 25 largest transit agencies have had to raise fares (as high as 33 percent in San Francisco and Boston) to cover looming deficits.  But Metro has taken a slightly different route:  It's deferred literally billions of dollars in needed maintenance while appeasing ever-escalating union wage and benefit demands.

In Washington:
Senators to Metro:  Fix problem or face intervention.  Four U.S. senators have told the chairman of the Washington area's subway system — the second largest in the country — that the recent string of accidents is unacceptable and direct federal intervention is possible if he fails to promptly fix the problems.

Three Metro workers disciplined for 10-car Green Line train.  Three Metro employees have been disciplined for allowing a 10-car train — two cars too many — to run on the Green Line last week. ... Such trains are a concern because rail platforms are built to hold a maximum of eight cars, leaving the remainder hanging into the tunnel and potentially exposing passengers to the dangerous third rail and tracks when doors open.

MTA supervisors faked subway inspections.  It's a disaster waiting to happen.  NYC Transit supervisors falsified thousands of vital signal inspections across the subway system for years, leaving straphangers at risk for deadly collisions like the one that killed nine people in Washington, DC, The [New York] Post learned.

Metro engineers lacked licenses.  The lack of required engineering certification didn't prevent three high-level engineering managers from getting jobs at Washington's $2.2 billion transit operation.  A previously undisclosed internal review at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) found that three of its engineers did not have engineering certifications from Maryland, Virginia or the District.

The French Fry's Revenge.  I really don't understand how DC commuters continue to resist the allure of mass transit.  There's the serene quiet found as you stand at the base of one of Metro's frozen escalators and gaze in wonder at the glimpse of daylight far in the distance.  The tactile sense of community that exists on the Red and Orange lines during rush hours.  And now, the system has announced the highest Metro crime rate in history, which takes some doing.  Crime rates are down in Washington, DC and Fairfax County, VA yet Metro, which operates in both, has seen its crime rate skyrocket 12 percent in 2010.

D-train riders surprised when opossum hitches ride.  Early morning commuters had a furry surprise on their trip into Manhattan last week.  Riders on a Manhattan-bound D train had to evacuate the car at around 4:30 a.m. on Friday morning [1/13/2012] after someone spotted the adorable — yet possibly dangerous — opossum taking a free ride, an MTA spokesman confirmed.

49 dead, hundreds injured in Buenos Aires train crash.  A packed commuter train slammed into a retaining wall at a railway terminus in Buenos Aires during rush hour Wednesday [2/22/2012], leaving at least 49 dead, 600 injured, and dozens trapped in the wreckage.

Drunk man is electrocuted [urinating] on third rail of G train.  A drunken man was electrocuted and killed relieving himself on the third rail in Brooklyn this morning, sources said. [...] His 26-year-old pal tried saving him and was also shocked, police added.




Unreliable drivers and unexpected delays

Man's Ebola Claims Briefly Shut Down Port Authority Bus Terminal.  Part of the Port Authority bus terminal was briefly closed Thursday evening as authorities investigated a man's claims that he "may have Ebola," officials say.  The lower level of the North Wing, comprising gates 60 to 85, was closed during the evening rush.  Police were seen stationed outside the cordoned-off gates.

Passengers stuck overnight on Amtrak train.  Power was finally restored to a stranded Amtrak train in the Bronx Friday morning [2/10/2017].  Passengers aboard a Boston-bound train say they were stuck overnight for about five hours without heat.  The train began moving again shortly before 8 a.m.

TriMet closes MAX platforms around Pioneer Courthouse Square because of protests.  Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in downtown Portland and marched onto [I]nterstates 5 and 84 on Wednesday [11/9/2016] as they protested Donald Trump's election.  After roaming on both sides of the Willamette River during rush hour, at times chanting "Not my president," they entered I-5 near the Moda Center and closed it down.  Authorities blocked off northbound and southbound lanes on a stretch from the Fremont Bridge to the Marquam Bridge in one of multiple freeway closures during the protest.

Unauthorized vehicle on tracks struck by Long Island Railroad.  A Long Island Rail Road train struck a vehicle on the tracks near Central Islip, forcing the evacuation of about 500 passengers and causing suspension of service between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma.

Public transit workers in Philadelphia go on strike as contract expires.  Public transportation workers in Philadelphia went on strike at midnight on Monday [10/31/2016] after they were unable to reach a contract agreement with the transit system that provides almost one million rides a day in and around the fifth largest U.S. city.

Muslim train driver in Paddington crash had gone without food for 15 hours for Ramadan.  The accident, which occurred on June 16, was caused when the driver passed a red signal before coming off the track and hitting a mast — resulting in the station's closure and rail chaos across London.  Investigators are now probing whether the accident occurred because the driver was undergoing a Ramadan fast and had not eaten in the 15 hours before the crash.

L train to shut down for 18 months starting 2019.  An East River tunnel that carries one of New York City's most crowded subway lines will be closed for a year and a half starting in January 2019.

LIRR service resumes with delays.  Service on the Long Island Rail Road resumed late Monday morning following an earlier suspension due to a derailed, non-passenger track maintenance car.  Cancelations were reported between Jamaica Station, Queens and Penn Station, Manhattan.

Signal Problems Cause Extensive Subway Delays.  Extensive delays struck half a dozen subway lines Wednesday afternoon [7/13/2016] due to power issues, threatening to make for a nightmarish commute. [...] Earlier, the MTA said all lines were delayed because of a power outage; it said it switched to a backup power system and trains were running.

Big Delays:  Metro-North Trains on Modified Schedule After Inferno Under Rails.  The fire that broke out underneath elevated Metro-North tracks in Manhattan and caused crippling problems on the busy rail line appears to have been sparked by an accidental fuel spill, fire marshals said Wednesday [5/18/2016].

Washington DC is shutting down the entire subway system on Wednesday with no notice for urgent safety checks.  The entire Washington, DC, subway system will shut down for at least 29 hours to inspect electrical components on the tracks following a fire near one of the system's tunnels, officials said on Tuesday [3/15/2016].  The shutdown comes after a fire broke out on Monday about 4.30 am in the tunnel outside the McPherson Square station in downtown Washington.  The fire led to delays on the orange, blue and silver lines, which go through the station.

Amtrak signal issues create headaches for Boston commuters.  The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) warned commuters early Friday [2/19/2016] to expect further delays and be prepared to take alternate routes after a damaged Amtrak signal snarled train traffic on Thursday.  Passengers on commuter trains from west and south of Boston were forced to get off of trains at outlying stops before South Station and transfer to rapid transit lines or walk the remaining distances to their destinations Thursday.  The damaged signal forced Amtrak to operate track switches manually.

Greyhound driver reportedly leaves riders in bus while he naps at hotel.  The bus was reportedly on its way to Denver when it stopped at the La Quinta in Salina, Kansas on Tuesday [1/5/2016].  Passengers claim the driver never said where he was going or why, and eventually called Greyhound and police to figure it out.

Head of Boston-area transit system resigns after snow delays.  The general manager of the Boston-area public transit system resigned Wednesday [2/11/2015] amid commuter frustration over service disruptions during a spate of recent snowstorms that have pounded the region.

New England Digs Out From Latest Winter Whopper.  Boston-area subways, trolleys and commuter rail trains ground to a halt at 7 p.m. Monday [2/9/2015] and remained idle Tuesday, with only limited bus service continuing.

How's America's Rail Security Doing?  Are we ready for a nefarious terrorist attack on our train and transit lines? [...] On Tuesday, an estimated 150 New York Fire Department personnel responded to a three-alarm fire at Penn Station that started before 2:30 a.m.  Two firefighters suffered injuries battling the Big Apple blaze, which was initially deemed "suspicious" and then "accidental."  Worth noting:  A militant ISIS sympathizer published multiple threats on Twitter a few hours before the fire, warning that "tomorrow New York will burn" and predicting a "3:00 a.m. bomb."

Driver of Times Square bus had license suspended 11 times: DMV.  The double-decker tour bus driver who slammed into another bus and injured 14 people in Times Square on Tuesday [8/5/2014] while allegedly high on drugs has had his driver's license and vehicle registration suspended a combined 20 times, officials said.  William Dalambert's struggles behind the wheel date back more than two decades to 1993, according to a spokeswoman at the New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles.  His license was suspended a total of 11 times; four were for unspecified violations; two were for not having insurance; two were for not filing paperwork properly, and three were over unpaid child support, according to the spokeswoman.  He also had his registration suspended a total of nine times for driving uninsured.

Amtrak train leaves Penn Station for Washington, D.C., without its passengers.  An Amtrak train bound for Washington pulled away from Penn Station on Saturday without some pretty important cargo:  its passengers.  Scores of travelers were stranded after the Acela Express 2253 took off from one platform about 3 p.m. — while they were waiting at another and unaware the train was leaving them behind.  Several minutes passed before the passengers even got wind of what had happened, one told the [New York] Daily News.

Obama Intervenes in Philadelphia Rail Strike.  President Barack Obama on Saturday intervened in a commuter rail strike in the nation's sixth-largest metropolitan area, granting Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's request to create a presidential emergency board to mediate the contract dispute between the Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and its engineers and electricians['] unions.

Great moments in union contracts.  Following up on the sensational Blue Line crash at the Chicago Transit Authority's O'Hare Airport terminus:  "The CTA's contract with the Amalgamated Transit Union authorizes the agency to fire rail operators who have had two serious safety violations in a short period of time [emphasis added], and officials said the two incidents when [Brittney] Haywood dozed off qualify her for termination."  Falling asleep just once at the controls of a train wasn't enough!

Operator of Train That Derailed and Drove Up an Escalator Has Been Fired.  The driver of the Chicago commuter train that crashed into O'Hare airport and climbed halfway up an escalator, injuring 32 but somehow killing no one, has been fired.  According to the Chicago Tribune, Brittney Haywood, 25, was a relatively new employee but already had at least one "serious safety violation" on her record before the early morning March 24 crash.  Haywood told the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the accident, that she "dozed off" while driving.  She'd also done this at least once before — on February 1, she fell asleep and missed a stop.  Haywood had also overslept at least one shift.

Train driver in deadly New York crash had 'severe' sleep disorder, NTSB says.  The driver of a New York commuter train that derailed at high speed last year, killing four people, had a serious sleep disorder that interrupted his rest dozens of times each night, federal investigators disclosed on Monday [4/7/2014].

Bus riders frozen out as fight over snow removal leaves many NJ Transit stops packed in ice.  Commuters getting on and off NJ Transit buses along highways in Bergen and Passaic counties have been climbing over boulders of ice and snow for the past week because no one seemed to know who was supposed to plow the bus stops.

Super Bowl fans trapped for hours at MetLife stadium.  One of the biggest blowouts in Super Bowl history was capped by one of the biggest blunders in regional transit history.  Overwhelmed by a record number of riders, NJ Transit kept fans waiting after the game for hours for shuttle trains from MetLife Stadium.  Jubilation over the Seattle Seahawks' 43-8 stomping of the Denver Broncos quickly deteriorated into transportation chaos.

Hundreds of Passengers Rescued After Night on Frozen Amtrak Trains.  Hundreds of Amtrak passengers were rescued today [1/7/2014] after spending a bone-chilling cold night stranded on board three Amtrak trains that were crippled by snow and ice outside of Chicago.  More than 500 passengers who were affected by the delay are expected to arrive in Chicago this afternoon, likely on charter buses nearly 20 hours after the got stuck, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari told ABC News.  The trains were halted late Monday [1/6/2014] near Mendota, about 90 miles west of Chicago.

Lost NJ Transit bus arrives nearly 2 hours late to NYC.  Passengers on NJ Transit's No. 113 Express bus were taken on a ride from hell during Thursday's morning rush when a lost driver took a really scenic route to New York, leaving commuters nearly two hours late for work.  The express from Dunellen to the Port Authority Bus Terminal became a local — and then some.  Passenger Aileen Iosso sent this text to her boss:  "I don't know where I am and I don't know when I'll be in."

Cameras catch 67 Metrobus operators dozing while driving.  A total of 67 Metrobus drivers were caught sleeping on camera while driving their buses on local roads in a 19-month period, according to data obtained by The Washington Examiner.  And one of them was caught dozing while driving twice within six months.

Driver walks off Greyhound bus in Missouri, stranding passengers.  Greyhound officials located a driver on Monday [11/21/2011] who walked away from her bus in the middle of the night in rural Missouri, leaving 45 passengers stranded for about eight hours at a gas station, the company said.

Protest closes 4 BART stations, leaving commuter crowd stranded.  Market Street was choked with hundreds of pedestrians struggling to get home, stopping at each successive Bay Area Rapid Transit station entrance only to be turned away. ... The stations were closed for about two hours during a demonstration against alleged BART police brutality and a decision by agency officials last week to cut underground cellphone service in an effort to quell an earlier protest.

In England...
Muslim bus driver halts bus to pray.  A Muslim bus driver told stunned passengers to get off so he could pray.  The white Islamic convert rolled out his prayer mat in the aisle and knelt on the floor facing Mecca.  Passengers watched in amazement as he held out his palms towards the sky, bowed his head and began to chant. … After a few minutes the driver calmly got up, opened the doors and asked everyone back on board.

We can't stop the train because our GPS is broken.  Passengers on a Southern [England] service from East Croydon were stunned when they were told that their stopping train would skip six stations and go direct to the end of the line in Caterham, Surrey.  When they got there the driver said the reason was that the train had lost its satellite link.

Power outages hit NYC subway Searing heat wreaked havoc on travel plans for New Yorkers as power outages shut parts of LaGuardia International Airport and the city's subway system during the morning rush hour.

Cell Phone Ban May Follow Massachusetts Trolley Crash.  The head of the Boston-area transit authority said Saturday he'll ban all train and bus operators from even carrying cell phones on board after a trolley driver told police he was texting his girlfriend before a collision Friday.  About 50 people were hurt in the underground crash in downtown Boston, though none of the injuries was life-threatening.

Update; slightly off topic:
Texting Trolley Driver Is Transgendered Male.  The Boston-area transit authority trolley driver who allegedly slammed into another train while text-messaging his girlfriend Friday was hired as a minority because of his transgendered "female-to-male" status and had three speeding tickets on his driving record in recent years, ABC News has learned.

Blackout Lesson:  Keep the Gas Tank Full.  For the 90 percent or more of commuters who use cars to get to work, this was the lesson — make sure there is always enough gasoline in the tank to get home.  The blackout [of August 15, 2003] demonstrated the vulnerability of downtown areas that rely on electric urban rail.

Big freeze kills dozens in Europe.  The death toll from winter storms across Europe rose to more than 50 on Monday [12/21/2009] as transport chaos grew amid mounting anger over the failure of Eurostar high-speed trains. ... The breakdown of the Eurostar service under the Channel, linking London with Paris and Brussels, has symbolised Europe's suffering.  After the nightmare of more than 2,000 people stuck in the tunnel when five trains broke down, tens of thousands more people have missed trains that have been cancelled since Friday night [12/18/2009].

Amtrak strikes again:
'Train from hell' arrives almost a day late.  Pulling into Chicago almost a full day behind schedule, one Amtrak passenger recounted "the train from hell," and others are vowing they will never use the rail service again.  Amtrak's California Zephyr arrived 19 hours late full of "tired, hungry and stinky" passengers, according to a story posted on WMAQ's Web site.

Muslim bus driver pulls over and begins praying in the aisle.  A Muslim bus driver stunned passengers by pulling over mid-route and beginning to pray in the aisle.  The driver stopped the bus without warning before removing his shoes and, using a fluorescent jacket as a prayer mat, beginning to chant in Arabic.

Metro fires bus driver after road rage incident.  Metro on Wednesday [4/21/2010] fired a Metrobus driver who was arrested earlier this month after allegedly displaying a knife to a motorist while operating his bus, the latest transit driver let go after reports of misconduct.

London Tube power failure forces passengers to escape through pitch black tunnels.  Thousands of London Underground passengers were forced to leave trains and walk along tracks during one of the biggest power failures in the Tube network's history.  More than 4,000 passengers were affected when five Tube trains broke down, leaving many claiming they were traumatised by having to walk through pitch black tunnels.

Thousands of Tokyo Commuters Stranded as Quake Shuts Down Train Services.  Tokyo's subway system, the world's busiest with about 8 million riders a day, shut down, leaving commuters to wait hours for taxis or search for somewhere to spend the night.  Commuter trains serving the city and suburbs were also halted.

Amtrak CEO ditches broken train to travel by car.  Today's the big day for Amtrak's Wilmington train station.  It is being renamed in honor of Vice President and former Delaware Senator Joe Biden following major renovations made possible with stimulus funds.  One problem:  the CEO of Amtrak got stuck on the train.  ABC News Deputy Political Director & Political Reporter Michael Falcone tweeted at approximately 10 a.m. that the Acela train he was riding had been "delayed" in Baltimore and that he was sitting next to Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman.

Indian train travels 980km in wrong direction... without any rail staff noticing.  More than a thousand furious rail passengers stormed a station office after they noticed the train they were on had gone 980km in the wrong direction.  As the packed service pulled into the Indian city of Warangal people on board went berserk as they realised they were five hours away from where they should have been and no staff on board had noticed.

The Editor says...
What does that tell you about the scenery in India?

Three trains damaged, 300 riders trapped after piece falls from Metro train.  About 300 Metro riders were stuck underground waiting in dark rail cars for more than two hours Tuesday morning [12/20/2011] and thousands more saw their commutes delayed after a piece of a train broke off, damaging two following trains and bringing the Blue and Orange lines to a standstill.

Expiring CharlieCards causing confusion and frustration.  For frequent riders, the expiration proves largely invisible:  Their cards get an automatic software upgrade, and two-year extension, when swiped.  But irregular riders may find themselves suddenly unable to use their plastic CharlieCard.




Crowds

New York is falling down.  Tonight I walked onto the subway and saw the car was half-empty because a stinking bum was lying on a seat, and no one wanted to smell him. [...] Another thing that bothers me is allowing bikes on trains.  If these environmentally oriented bike riders want to keep the world clean, they should ride in the streets.  I am sick of their taking up an inordinate amount of space in the subway cars.  There is no law against it, but there should be.

NYC's Aging Subway: Why They're Playing Catch Up To The World.  If you've ever been to New York City you know all about the hot, crowded, slow-moving, and — more importantly — aging subway system there.  It's nearly 112 years old.  And it's more congested than ever.  The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) reported 1.75 billion trips were made in 2014, with numbers expected to have grown even more in 2015.

War on Men: First Arrests for 'Manspreading' on New York Subway.  Two men have been arrested in New York for 'man-spreading' — the act of taking up too much space on the underground or metro system. The arrests have come to light in a report on the efficacy of 'broken window's policing in New York.  Man-spreading came to prominence through a politically correct public-shaming Tumblr campaign which described the practice as "a classic among public assertions of privilege", although it was the AM New York blog which coined the term in October last year.  Breitbart London covered it as well.

A Scourge Is Spreading. M.T.A.'s Cure? Dude, Close Your Legs.  It is the bane of many female subway riders.  It is a scourge tracked on blogs and on Twitter.  And it has a name almost as distasteful as the practice itself.  It is manspreading, the lay-it-all-out sitting style that more than a few men see as their inalienable underground right.

When you ride the bus, you travel with the lowest of the lower class.
Bus Driver Organizes Black Mob Violence Against White Family.  A black Baltimore bus driver organized a mob of 20 black people to assault a white family of three on her bus, which they did with gusto and pepper spray.  All the while, the other black passengers hooted and hollered in encouragement.  All while the bus driver waited for the beating to finish so the attackers could get back on the bus.  With her thanks.  The bus company didn't [care].  And it took Baltimore police two months before they even investigated it.

Top 10 Scary Things About Living in Washington, D.C..  [#4]  The Metro:  Don't switch subway lines at Metro Center or Gallery Place at rush hour or be prepared to be confronted with a sea of humanity on the tiny platforms.  Expect to be packed in like sardines during the day and share a car with inebriated patrons when the bars let out.  And when they say there will be delays on the Red Line, they mean it.

Standing room only plan for New York subway.  In London seasoned Tube travellers jostle for the best place to stand on the platform to be first on to an overcrowded train.  In Tokyo they employ packers — men in white gloves who stuff commuters into carriages.  Now New Yorkers are to be subjected to the cleverest scheme yet designed to cram more commuters — known in the US as straphangers — on to the groaning subway system.  The city's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) plans to lock the flip-down seats in almost half of the carriages during rush hour to prevent passengers from sitting down.

London's Sweaty, Squashed Underground Riders Balk at $7 Fares.  Deran Garabedian is so fed up with the London Underground's erratic service that he'd rather walk 30 minutes to work.  He's incensed that fares are going up as much as a third next year. … The cheapest cash fare in central London will rise to 4 pounds ($7.45) on Jan. 1, the third straight increase exceeding the inflation rate.  It compares with cash fares of $2 in New York, 1 euro ($1.27) in Berlin and 160 yen ($1.36) in Tokyo.

How do they do it?  In terms of punctuality, safety and price, the Tokyo subway system is arguably the world's model urban railway.  But for overcrowding and groping, it must rank as one of the worst.  At peak morning hours, some stations employ part-time platform staff to cram in passengers.  With carriages filled on average to 183% of capacity at such times, bones are occasionally broken in the crush.  Who wants to live in a society like that?

Standing room only.
Ripping out seats would ease crowding on trains, suggests public pending watchdog.  Removing seating and allowing more passengers to stand would help ease congestion on packed trains, the National Audit Office suggested today [6/4/2010].  The public spending watchdog's report on rail passenger capacity recommended a 'reconfiguration' of carriages.  The idea will appeal to train companies because it would be a cost effective way to transport more people but is likely to anger passengers.

Third-world trains.  Walk into Grand Central Terminal on a weekday afternoon, and you'll see some of the world's wealthiest workers girding themselves for a third-world commute.  For the last month on Metro North's New Haven Line, "it's been short trains and long waits," as one commuter told me.  Passengers crowd onto platforms in the morning to wait for trains that come late and then squeeze into standing-room cars for a slow ride, facing the same on the way home.

Pol push to ban eating in the subway.  A local lawmaker is pushing a bill to ban eating in the subway to help cut down on vermin — but the measure is already causing some straphangers to lose their lunch.  "I eat most of my meals on the train!" said Nisse Greenberg, 25, between bites of a falafel sandwich yesterday on the N line.




Houston's Metropolitan Transit Authority

Metro chief asks DA to investigate document shredding.  Metro Chairman David Wolff ... speaking in the Metropolitan Transit Authority's second news conference in as many days to respond to the open records request and subsequent court order, denied any connection between the agency's firing of its chief counsel and another lawyer this week and the discovery that Metro documents were shredded on Monday [2/22/2010].

State of Texas:  Metro has been breaking the law for years.  More problems for Metro:  Texas officials say the troubled transit authority has failed to follow a state records and documents preservation law.  That statute requires local government agencies to tell the state how long they will keep public records before destroying them.  Officials with the Texas State Library and Archives Commission say Metro has failed to comply with state law since 1991.

FTA:  Metro plans $2.6 billion bond issuance.  In countering a claim that Metro is not in good enough financial shape to afford construction of the University light rail line, the FTA has pointed to a strangely overlooked fact — the transit authority plans the sale of $2.6 billion in bonds.  And, since the debt is not secured by sales tax proceeds, voter approval is not needed.

Metro issues:  from wedding to shredding.  An executive of the Metropolitan Transit Authority's light-rail contractor is married to a high-ranking Metro official, a relationship that prompted the transit agency to try to isolate the official from the lucrative contract.

Metro ordered to preserve documents, e-mail.  A judge on Friday [3/5/2010] ordered the Metropolitan Transit Authority to preserve every document and e-mail produced within the agency until further hearings and a criminal investigation can examine allegations that Metro has destroyed documents of interest to the public.

District Attorney investigating document destruction at Metro.  District Judge Al Bennett laid down the law Friday [3/5/2010], ordering the embattled Metropolitan Transit Authority to stop shredding and start saving all of its documents.

CEO of Metro accused of 'improper' relationship with employee.  The president and CEO of the Metropolitan Transit Authority was accused in open court Wednesday of having an improper relationship with a female employee who works for him.  That alleged relationship may include taxpayer-funded trips to Spain, additional compensation and benefits, and other items the public paid for with tax dollars, according to the attorney for former Houston Controller Lloyd Kelley.

Critics blast Metro's $2.6 billion bond plan.  The Metropolitan Transit Authority intends to issue an estimated $2.6 billion in bonds in the next four years to help pay for five new light rail lines, about four times the debt capacity voters authorized in a 2003 referendum, Metro officials confirmed Tuesday [2/9/2010].

Turbulence at Metro must not impede light rail work.  With the Metropolitan Transit Authority embarking on a massive five-line light rail construction binge, the timing couldn't be worse for the eruption of an agency scandal and the ouster of its top lawyer.

Mayor doubts funding for Uptown, University rail lines.  Mayor Annise Parker cast doubt Wednesday on whether the Metropolitan Transit Authority has the money to pay for two planned light-rail lines that proponents say are critical to the success of the agency's plans.

FBI helps investigate Metro's document shredding.  The FBI confirmed Friday that it is helping the Harris County District Attorney's office in its ongoing investigation at Metro.  This week a team of investigators from both the DA's office and the FBI descended upon Metro headquarters as a part a part of an ongoing criminal investigation looking into allegations of improperly shredded public documents.

This bus has passed by here before.  Cronyism, conflicts of interest, ethical lapses.  There was something familiar about the allegations Metro's fired former general counsel Pauline Higgins hurled against agency CEO Frank Wilson in a lawsuit filed this week.  Oh, yes.  They've been made against Wilson before, by the State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation, in an exhaustive 150-page report juicily titled "E-ZPass: The Making of a Procurement Disaster."

Metro needs to focus on its purpose.  In 2003, after many years of acrimonious debate over what role Metro should play in our region's transportation policy, we supposedly settled the issue with a referendum that was passed by a narrow margin. ... Soon a decade will have passed since that referendum.  During that time, taxpayers have pumped more than $3 billion into Metro.  Its debt has increased fivefold, from about $250 million to $1.25 billion.  Yet ridership for the past two years — about 81 million passengers annually — is the lowest since 1995 and down almost 20 percent just since 2006.




Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Editor's comment:
The one percent mass-transit sales tax in Dallas generates more than enough money to keep the trains and buses running, even if they're nearly empty, which they often are.  I believe the primary purpose of the non-zero price of an all-day train ticket is to keep homeless people from living on the trains.  The DART system has been built -- as far as I can tell, it isn't expanding.  Every time there is a fare increase, it is just another tax increase to raise money for some other project.

DART operates in a political climate that necessitates awarding "contracts to disadvantaged, minority and women-owned business enterprises."
Some of the rapid transit executives have really nice offices, and there is a lot of money being spent on decorating the train stations.
DART Rail:  10 Years and Growing.  DART Rail ... [is] laying the groundwork for a $2.4 billion expansion that will more than double its size to just over 90 miles.

[Do the math.  That's about a thousand dollars per foot of track.]

City Hall hears accusations of DART racial hiring.  Allegations of hiring discrimination at the DART transit agency have now spilled over to Dallas City Hall.  Community leaders, frustrated over the lack of action by DART officials are now asking Dallas City council members to investigate.  Former DART employee Rebecca Williams is among at least five people who have filed federal discrimination complaints against their old bosses.  Williams says she was fired after complaining about being ordered to hire Hispanics underqualified for the job.

Runaway Train to Higher Taxes.  [At the end of 2007] the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority announced that it would be $1 billion short of what is needed to meet existing building obligations.  Assuming local taxpayers are hip to the notion of paying more on every purchase so they can cruise around — or subsidize others cruising around — in trains, it might be wise to consider how well this expanded rail network can be sustained in the future.  Taxpayers should ask whether the apparently cash-strapped rail system fleecing them today will get better as it gets bigger.

US Public Transport Operating Cost per Passenger Mile:  Dallas has one of the least cost-effective public transportation systems at 78.9 cents per passenger mile.

The recently opened DFW Airport Skylink train system cost $880 million to construct, making it perhaps the most costly mass transit system ever, in dollars per mile of track.

Dallas has High Downtown Vacancies Despite Light Rail.  The latest available data (9/1999) shows downtown Dallas to be among only four downtown areas with vacancy rates above 20 percent, at 32.0 percent, and second worst only to Oklahoma City.  This situation has not improved since light rail was opened (June 1997).

DART Gets $700 Million Federal Grant but Doesn't Go to Love Field.  While discussing the exercise of the right of eminent domain regarding a DART station near Love Field, some Dallas City Council members raised an interesting question.  Why is DART not going directly to the airport?  It appears as though the ball was dropped in 2004 when it was learned that the $700 million grant to fund DART would be in jeopardy if the tunnel would be allowed.

The 1999 Texas Transit Opportunity Analysis:  Dallas Area Rapid Transit.  The 1983 campaign for the DART tax referendum made impressive claims to the voters.  Voters were told that DART trains were needed to reduce traffic congestion, and that within 25 years:
  •  160 miles (14 routes) of rail would be built, including a downtown subway.  All of this was to be built for $17.8 million per mile.
  •   500,000 daily riders would be carried on DART buses and trains.
  •   Over 50 percent of downtown commuters would ride DART services.
As has become typical in transit, the results fell far short of the promises. … Voters were also told that without DART, Dallas traffic congestion would soon reach Houston levels and that traffic congestion would get increasingly worse without DART.  In fact, with DART, traffic congestion in Dallas now equals that of Houston. … Because of its slow operating speed, DART's light rail provides no time savings relative to automobiles.  Moreover, time savings with respect to buses are limited by the fact that light rail operates at virtually the same speed as DART's buses.




Car pools

Uber sued for allegedly refusing rides to the blind and putting a dog in the trunk.  An advocacy group for the blind is suing the app-based ride-sharing service Uber, alleging the company discriminates against passengers with service dogs.  The federal civil rights suit filed Tuesday [9/9/2014] by the California chapter of the National Federation of the Blind cites instances in California and elsewhere when blind Uber customers summoned a car only to be refused a ride once the driver saw them with a service dog.  In some cases, drivers allegedly abandoned blind travelers in extreme weather and charged cancellation fees after denying them rides, the complaint said.

Uber Slashes New York Fares, Now Cheaper Than Taxi.  Uber's war against entrenched taxi companies saw its most recent move Monday when the company announced that it would slash prices 20 percent in New York City.  An UberX, the cheapest ride offered by the company, is now several dollars cheaper than a traditional taxi in New York City, where yellow cabs are still a staple, Uber says.

Uber may not be worth $17 billion valuation.  The tech startup has grown 6,000 percent since 2010 — making it the most valuable private tech startup.  And Travis Kalanick, CEO of the 4-year-old company, has no plans to slow down.  Now in 128 cities and more than 40 countries, Kalanick wants to keep the pedal to the metal.  But there are some little-publicized warning signs on Uber's horizon that could slow its meteoric growth.

Ridesharing Wars: Uber, Regulators, and the "California Compromise".  In the early days of ridesharing, Uber and others took a head-on approach to regulatory challenges.  They called themselves a tech company and (unconvincingly) denied they were in the transportation service business per se.  They called for dramatic deregulation and effectively harnessed their customer bases to engage in grassroots lobbying.  But with the California compromise, ridesharing providers seem to accept that they will be regulated and must "work with the system."  However, it is far from clear that this is a more effective strategy.

Lyft and Uber Get Banned from Virginia.  For once, Uber and Lyft are going to need to work together for a common goal.  Both car services were banned in Virginia by the Department of Motor Vehicles this week.  The cease and desist ordered the California-based transportation startups to stop "operating in Virginia until it obtains proper authority."  The DMV also threatened to fine the drivers if operations continue.

City halts ride-sharing company's foray into Chicago airports.  The city has shooed away the first attempt by a ride-share company to make illegal inroads at Chicago's airports, which up until now have been the profitable domain of taxis and limos fiercely competing for passengers.

2,000 Area Federal Workers Get Taxpayer-Funded Commutes.  The Tobyhanna Army Depot, at the crack of dawn, is when many of the depot's 4,000 employees report for work.  Almost half of them arrive in vans.  And their trip to work is free, paid for by the U.S. government.  "It is one more benefit that is provided to federal employees, just as we are provided vacation time or health benefits," says James Antonelli, the CFO of the Army Depot.

The Editor says...
I'm not opposed to a van pool operation, especially if it is voluntary, and it carries a dozen people from a remote park-and-ride lot into a congested city or onto a military base.  The fact that the employer pays for the vehicle is just a perk, and if the taxpayer is paying, he or she can at least appreciate the efficiency of this expense.  I would be opposed if the program was mandatory, or if the vans ran around empty all day, like city buses do.

Mayor wants to impose regulations on ride-sharing industry.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel will move Wednesday [2/5/2014] to fill a "regulatory vacuum" that has given ride-sharing companies an unfair advantage over taxicabs, with no safeguards to protect consumers.  The 20-page ordinance, expected to be introduced at a City Council meeting, would license ride-sharing companies as "transportation network providers" and require them to pay an annual, $25,000 fee, plus $25 per driver.

California becomes first state in nation to regulate ride-sharing.  California regulators have approved the nation's and state's first rules for fast-growing ride-sharing companies that connect passengers to drivers via smartphones.

Vanpools and Carpools can Complement Transit.  Transportation officials often overlook one of the easiest ways to decrease congestion — encourage carpooling.  According to 2011 data from the U.S. Census, fewer than 5.0% of commuters choose any of the typical alternatives to single-person commuting.  About 5.0% choose transit; 2.8% decide to walk; and less than 0.6% actually bike. But almost 10% of commuters choose carpooling despite the reality that carpooling receives little marketing and virtually no funding from any level of government.  While single occupant driving continues to dominant as the choice of 76.4% of the population, carpooling comes in second at 9.7%.

Once Popular, Car Pools Go the Way of Hitchhiking.  Remember the 1970s? Watergate, disco, oil embargoes and, of course, car-pooling.  Many big companies organized group rides for their employees, and roughly one in four Americans who drove to work shared a ride with others.  But now far more people are driving alone, as companies have spread out, Americans are wealthier and cars have become cheaper to own.  The percentage of workers who car-pool has dropped by almost half since 1980, the first time the Census Bureau started systematically tracking the numbers, according to new data from the bureau.

Impatient commuters form impromptu car pools:  Traffic congestion has a growing number of commuters [in Houston] ignoring a basic rule from childhood:  Never get in a car with strangers.

The Carpool Canard:  Car-sharing is hardly ever practicable.  Human needs are too individualized and too unpredictable.  The carpool movement is entirely collectivist, in fundamental principle and in form.

Let it ride.  Thanks to the government, you now can sit in a yellow car with complete strangers.  This week, New York City is launching a one-year pilot program for giving people cab rides at discounted rates ($3 or $4 per passenger) from three select locations.  The goal of the share-a-cab program, which is limited to weekdays (6 to 10 a.m.) is to "save money" for passengers, make more money for drivers and (of course) "help the environment."  These things are to be achieved by putting New Yorkers who do not know each other in cars together.




High speed rail projects

With Trump on board, Texas puts high-speed rail on the fast track.  Texas is closer than ever to building the first high-speed train in the United States, thanks to President Donald Trump's fascination with these transportation projects and a well-timed pitch to his administration.  Now developers nationwide are looking to the privately owned Texas Central Railway as a test case of what can get done with Trump in the White House.  Former Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane Jr., a member of the company's board of directors, met recently with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in Washington.  He wasn't seeking any of the taxpayer-funded grants sought by high-speed rail projects in California and the Northeast.  What the $10 billion Texas Central Railway really needs is a green light from the agency Chao oversees.

Two construction firms seek an extra $300 million for bullet train work.  Two huge construction firms that are helping to build about 54 miles of bullet train structures in the Central Valley are seeking an additional $300 million on their fixed-price contracts, the Los Angeles Times has learned.  The increases, if the state ultimately agrees to cover them, would further bloat the bill for what has been touted as the easiest and most predictable section of the Los Angeles-to-San Francisco system.  The potential increases lend credence to the findings of a December risk assessment by the Federal Railroad Administration that costs for building the full 118 miles of work in the Central Valley could jump by 50%, or $3.6 billion, above current estimates.

High-Speed Train Going Nowhere Fast.  Six years have chugged by since the federal government awarded billions of dollars for California's high-speed passenger train but not a single track has been laid.  The "bullet train" promised to make the 520 mile trip from San Francisco to the Los Angeles area in less than three hours by traveling over 200 miles per hour. [...] With a price tag of nearly $100 billion, this rail system is the single largest public works project currently underway in the U.S.  Already billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule, the only ones being taken for a ride by the train are taxpayers.

More on HSR.  At dinner last night [4/27/2010], our speaker (Eric Peterson, President of the American High Speed Rail Alliance) estimated that a complete national truly High Speed Rail system for the United States (on the order of 220 MPH peak speed), not simply an improved Amtrak system, would cost about $2 Trillion Dollars, give or take.  This sounds about right.  This is about the cost of 2000 Vikings Stadiums, and I think I agree with the speaker that a HSR network would be a better investment than 2000 Vikings Stadiums.  This would also be the cost of 2000 Central Corridor LRTs, which would serve more people on a daily basis, and probably more passenger miles as well. [...] Some individual HSR lines may cover the cost of running trains, but not the cost of infrastructure.  The idea of profitability is nonsense.  If this were to be private, following the history of most transportation infrastructure investments, the first generation of investors are likely to be wiped out in bankruptcy.  Governments do not typically go bankrupt, they just borrow from other sources, tax, or reduce spending elsewhere.

The Editor says...
Or, in the case of the federal government, they just print more money, which causes inflation.

California's $64 Billion Bullet Train To Nowhere Gets Delayed — Again.  In the late 1800s, it took railroad companies six years to lay 1,907 miles of track for what was to become the Transcontinental Railroad (or as Barack Obama calls it, the Intercontinental Railroad).  Building that railroad line required tunneling through mountains — at one foot a day — building bridges — including one that spanned 700 feet — and doing all the work almost entirely by hand.  As best, it will now take seven years for California to lay 119 miles of track — on relatively flat ground in the middle of nowhere.  That news came from a contract revision that the Obama administration approved late last week.

The Eminent Domain Train.  Trains propelled human beings into the modern world.  Before trains, no human being had ever traveled faster than a horse.  They have been integral to the growth of our economy, connecting societies, and providing the comforts we now enjoy.  They are big and powerful, they are romantic — they represent freedom.  However, when Johnny Cash sings about trains, he's reminding Folsom Prison inmates about life passing them by because of their lost freedom.  A fight over trains could similarly steal freedom from some Texas residents living along the I-45 corridor.

Did Elon Musk Just Make California's $64 Billion Bullet Train Obsolete Before It's Even Built?  Just three years after Elon Musk described his sci-fi-esque vision for "hyperloop" travel, one of two competing companies, Hyperloop One, successfully conducted its first proof-of-concept test in Nevada.  Musk's idea with hyperloop was to send floating transportation pods through depressurized tubes at speeds of up to 760 mph.  At that speed, a trip from San Diego to San Francisco would take a little more than 30 minutes.  Development on Musk's idea is now moving at hyper speed.  Hyperloop One's test, for example, came just 16 months after that company was founded.  Company executives say they will be able to ship goods on its system in three years, and carry passengers by 2021.

HS2 at risk of derailing at top speeds, report finds.  Trains on Britain's HS2 rail scheme are at risk of derailment and catastrophic track failure, according to previously secret research commissioned by HS2 itself.  Engineering changes will be needed to make the project safe, the study says.  The alterations will raise costs, increase journey times, or both, and will "collapse" the scheme's already shaky business case, according to opponents.

California's Bullet Train Will Take Even Longer To Go Nowhere.  California's high-speed rail project will never make its current 2022 arrival time, according to the Los Angeles Times.  Doesn't this strike anyone in charge of this costly boondoggle as ironic?  The Los Angeles Times does a commendable job of providing a reality check to the increasingly out-of-touch project.  After reviewing project documents and talking to various experts, the paper concluded, "The deadline and budget targets will almost certainly be missed," and state officials have "underestimated the challenges ahead."

$68-billion California bullet train project likely to overshoot budget and deadline targets.  The monumental task of building California's bullet train will require punching 36 miles of tunnels through the geologically complex mountains north of Los Angeles.  Crews will have to cross the tectonic boundary that separates the North American and Pacific plates, boring through a jumble of fractured rock formations and a maze of earthquake faults, some of which are not mapped.  It will be the most ambitious tunneling project in the nation's history.

Dianne Feinstein's husband wins near-billion dollar California 'high speed rail' contract.  To the surprise of absolutely no one familiar with the ways of Corruptifornia, the one-party state completely in the hands of the Democrats, a consortium whose lead firm is controlled by Richard Blum, husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, was awarded a nearly billion-dollar contract for the construction of the first phase of the so-called high-speed rail line to link San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Those paying attention to the project call it the "half-fast" rail line because it will share trackage with conventional commuter rail trains in the sprawling Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, lowering its average speed to levels achieved by American railways a century ago.

What 50 Years of Bullet Trains Have Done for Japan.  Fifty years ago this month, Japan's bullet trains completed their first trips and were welcomed by hundreds of people who had waited overnight in the terminals.  The new high-speed line connected two massive economic hubs, Tokyo and Osaka, cutting the travel time between them from about seven hours to four. [...] Most of Japan's population lives in a surprisingly small number of places — only 20 percent of the country's land is habitable — and a high-speed train is an elegant solution for shuttling workers from one dense city to another.

High-speed rail gaining momentum in Texas.  The number of Texas cities that could be served by high-speed rail is growing quickly and now includes Bryan-College Station, an area best known as the home of Texas A&M University that was bypassed by the interstate highway system.  High-speed-rail advocates stepped up their efforts Wednesday to bring bullet trains to Texas as early as 2021.  A commission set up to oversee a proposed connection between Dallas and Fort Worth unanimously agreed to seek federal funding to also study a Fort Worth-Austin connection.

A high-speed train wreck for Obama and liberalism.  Few of President Obama's initiatives are more emblematic of his early ambitions to be a transformational liberal leader than his vision for connecting the nation with a vast high-speed rail network.  The dream of building a system of bullet trains in the United States akin to what exists in Europe involves massive and sustained government spending, more money for unions, and promises to move the nation away from car-based transportation.  Thus, it represents everything that excites American liberals.  Obama's February 2009 economic stimulus package committed $8 billion to 79 projects spanning 31 states that were to lay the groundwork for "13 new, large-scale high-speed rail corridors across the country."  In his 2011 State of the Union address, Obama touted high-speed rail as a central part of his plan for "winning the future."

The Editor says...
Oh, good.  A plan for winning the future.  That argument makes perfect sense!  You wouldn't want to lose the future, would you?

California eyes plan to speed bullet train using cap-and-trade program proceeds.  As envisioned, California's $68 billion bullet-train system, the nation's first, would take passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco at speeds of more than 200 miles an hour.  The project, though, has been beset by planning delays, fluctuating cost estimates and court challenges that have threatened to kill or delay it indefinitely.  Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed using one-third of funds raised annually through cap-and-trade auctions to help pay for high-speed rail.

California's multi-billion dollar 'bullet train' becomes election issue for Dems.  California's effort to build the country's first taxpayer-funded, high-speed rail system is facing a midterm derailment — as Republicans make it an election-year issue and lawmakers with re-election challengers appear reluctant to continue to support the most expensive project of its kind.  The $68 billion project has the backing of some of the country's most powerful Democrats including President Obama and California Gov. Jerry Brown, who in announcing his reelection bid last week restated his goal of building the county's only high speed-rail system.  However, other California Democrats are less supportive, including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who pulled his support amid a Republican challenge in November, and Rep. Grace Napolitano, who is seeking a ninth term.

How Insider Politics Saved California's Train to Nowhere.  Environmentalism may be religion to some on the left, but its high priests aren't all pure and righteous.  Consider the not-so-immaculate conception of California's bullet train.  Last week, the state's legislature authorized $4.7 billion in bonds to start construction on high-speed rail, which had been stalled in Sacramento for more than a decade due to logistical and political malfunctions.  This train is now out of the station — though it's almost certain to break down soon.

Bulk of high-speed rail costs could fall to state.  As California prepares to commit tens of billions of dollars to an ambitious high-speed rail line from San Francisco to Southern California, Congress' political will to provide the bulk of the funding is disappearing, leaving the possibility that the state could end up stuck with a crushing financial burden.  State voters have agreed to issue more than $9 billion in bonds to build the system, but that's a fraction of the $43 billion projected tab for the initial phase.  And those costs could swell to $65 billion or more, by some estimates.

California should kill 'train to nowhere'.  A wave of rational, common sense is sweeping the nation.  Four states have rejected billions of dollars in federal money for high-speed rail construction, realizing long-term costs far outweigh wishful-thinking benefits.  That's good news.  The bad news is California political leaders, from Gov. Jerry Brown to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, want to spend the money wisely rejected by governors in Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and most recently Florida, for California's own proposed high-speed train.

A Rail Boondoggle, Moving at High Speed.  The Obama administration's enthusiasm for high-speed rail is a dispiriting example of government's inability to learn from past mistakes.  Since 1971, the federal government has poured almost $35 billion in subsidies into Amtrak with few public benefits.  At most, we've gotten negligible reductions — invisible and statistically insignificant — in congestion, oil use or greenhouse gases.  What's mainly being provided is subsidized transportation for a small sliver of the population.  In a country where 140 million people go to work every day, Amtrak has 78,000 daily passengers.

All Aboard the T-Rex Express.  President Obama is going to call for spending $53 billion over the next six years on high-speed railroads between major cities, with $8 billion in the 2012 budget.  He touted the idea in the State of the Union and, indeed, has been pushing it since he took office.

Taking us on a high-speed ride to the poorhouse.  High-speed rail seemed like a good idea to the Chinese.  They announced plans to spend $300 billion on a 16,000-mile HSR network in addition to bidding on a contract to bring HSR to the United States.  On July 1, China's new G5001 Shanghai-Nanjing High-Speed Railway — the longest and fastest intercity rail line in the world — opened to much fanfare after being fast-tracked with government stimulus funds.  (Sound familiar?)

Debate Over High-Speed Rail Plan Intensifies.  Proponents of the Obama Administration's high-speed rail initiative have been intensely busy promoting the project in recent weeks, but harsh requirements proposed by the White House are jeopardizing necessary cooperation from the railroad industry.

High-speed rail:  not much in other continent-sized countries.  I've long been fascinated by high-speed rail lines and I have written about them before in this space.  I would like to see high-speed rail service (higher than the current Acela speed) in the Boston-New York-Washington corridor, which seems well adapted to it.  But I think proposals for high-speed rail in almost every other part of the country are crazy — likely to be hugely expensive and unlikely to attract substantial ridership.

Rail Service Expansion Imperiled at State Level.  Republicans running for governor in a handful of states could block, or significantly delay, one of President Obama's signature initiatives:  his plan to expand the passenger rail system and to develop the nation's first bullet-train service.

High-speed rail will take taxpayers for a ride.  I have ridden the Shinkansen — Japan's bullet train — and, let me tell you, it's cool.  But in their techno-envy, American advocates of high-speed passenger trains lose any sense of economic rigor.  Yes, fast passenger trains may be awesome — but exactly why do we need them?  Cars, buses and planes are already doing a good job of moving people around.  If the purpose of high-speed rail is to create jobs, other infrastructure investment can do that.  If the purpose is to save energy or limit greenhouse gases, then rail, which uses massive amounts of electricity, much of it presumably generated by coal-fired plants, may be inferior to air or car travel.

New Midwest Governors Could Derail High-Speed Trains.  Republicans Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio, who won their races for governor Tuesday [11/2/2010], both have sharply criticized the high-speed passenger-rail projects championed by President Barack Obama.  Their victories cast doubt on high-profile projects in their states that were awarded hundreds of billions of dollars in federal stimulus funds.

California high-speed rail gets $624 million more.  California received an additional $624 million to start building the $43 billion statewide high-speed rail system in the Central Valley — money that will likely be used to take the initial stretch of rail south to Bakersfield.  Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Thursday [12/9/2010] that $1.2 billion in federal high-speed rail funds allocated to Wisconsin and Ohio would be rerouted to other states.

This train is bound for red ink ... really fast.  Amid great fanfare, the Obama administration last week announced plans to spend $13 billion in "seed money" for 13 high-speed rail projects around the country — $8 billion in stimulus funding now with a promise to seek $5 billion more over the next five years.  Among the projects being funded is the St. Louis-to-Chicago route, which will receive $1.1 billion.  A relative pittance of $31 million went to Missouri to upgrade service between St. Louis and Kansas City.  With apologies to futurists, people in the construction industry and rail buffs, investing $13 billion (or even $8 billion) in passenger railroads is a little like building a bridge to the 19th century.

America's high-speed rail shambles:  Where has all the money gone?  This time last year, President Obama promised a brave new world for America's train spotters, committing $8 billion to fund 13 high-speed rail projects around the US.  But 12 months later, where has all the money gone?  The comically inept projects range from Ohio's (now abandoned) plan for a $400 million "high speed" train averaging just 39 mph, to Florida's 84 mile, $2.7 billion plan to link two cities that are only 90 minutes apart by road.  Not to be outdone, Iowa managed to receive $1 billion for a line to Chicago that will be slower than the current bus service.  But, even in such illustrious company, California's high speed shambles stands out:  a "train to nowhere" costing $4.15 billion to connect the "unincorporated community" of Borden to the tiny town of Corcoran (combined pop. ∼25,000).

The Little Engine That Could Chug Florida Straight Over the Cliff.  Some of the same puffy Florida politicians who spent the runup to the midterm elections decrying federal stimulus money because it's running up the deficit ... look at them now.  They're gimme-guys drooling over the extra $342 million headed to Florida for high-speed rail.

High-speed trains are not an alternative to cars.  High ticket prices mean that running a car is still the cheapest travel option for most people.

The folly of high-speed rail, redux.  Like so much of the [State of the Union] speech, the high-speed rail folly is recycled claptrap (he tossed it into last year's speech, too).  The remarks will appease Big Labor and eco-radical social planners led by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who'll have his grubby hands all over the high-speed rail slush fund faster than you can turn off your soon-to-be-banned cell phone.

High-Speed Rail, Budget Buster.  If the nation is going to reduce its out-of-control spending, the first step is to stop spending money on things we do not need.  Despite President Obama's call in his State of the Union speech for linking 80 percent of the nation by high-speed rail, it is hard to imagine a more unnecessary program.

The High-Speed-Rail Boondoggle.  Key Republicans are rightly going after President Obama's $53 billion pie-on-the-tracks high-speed-rail schemes.  House Transportation Committee chair Rep. John Mica (R., Fla.) calls it a "Soviet-style train system," while Railroads Subcommittee chair Rep. Bill Shuster (R., Pa.) says it's "insanity."  These are strong comments, coming from officials who have in the past expressed support for rail projects.

A $53 Billion High-Speed Rail Program to Nowhere.  [Railroads Subcommittee Chairman Bill] Shuster was also critical of the manner in which the Administration has administered the program.  "Selecting routes behind closed doors runs counter to the Administration's pledges of transparency. ... High-speed rail funding could become another political grab bag for the President. ... If the Obama Administration is serious about high-speed rail, they should stop throwing money at projects in the same failed manner."

High-speed rail is a fast track to government waste.  Vice President Biden, an avowed friend of good government, is giving it a bad name.  With great fanfare, he went to Philadelphia last week to announce that the Obama administration proposes spending $53 billion over six years to construct a "national high-speed rail system."  Translation:  The administration would pay states $53 billion to build rail networks that would then lose money — lots — thereby aggravating the budget squeezes of the states or federal government, depending on which covered the deficits.

It's the Bullet Train ... to Nowhere.  Hailed as a high-speed road to the future, a jobs program and a symbol of America's dedication to innovation, President Obama proposed Monday spending $8 billion on a bullet train — a down payment on a nationwide network that will cost $58 billion over the next six years.  But in the one state where the federal high-speed rail project is underway, critics say money is being misspent, ridership studies are inflated, the route is politically corrupted and the system will never be self supporting.

Runaway Trains:  Obama's high-speed rail plan is a fiscal pipedream.  We suppose every President is entitled to a pipedream, but President Obama's vow in his State of the Union address that 80% of Americans should have access to high-speed rail in 25 years is a doozy.  Vice President Joe Biden has followed up by proposing $53 billion in high-speed rail funding over the next six years.  Seriously?

41% Favor High-Speed Rail Plan, 46% Oppose.  Voters aren't paying much attention to the president's plan for building a high-speed rail system, but there is a huge partisan gap in perceptions of the plan.  A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that, overall, 41% of Likely Voters favor the plan and 46% are opposed.

High-Speed Rail, Budget Buster.  If the nation is going to reduce its out-of-control spending, the first step is to stop spending money on things we do not need.  Despite President Obama's call in his State of the Union speech for linking 80 percent of the nation by high-speed rail, it is hard to imagine a more unnecessary program.

High-Speed Pork.  President Obama's high-speed-rail proposal will, over the course of six years, pour $53 million of taxpayer money into a megaproject that produces little value for the vast majority of Americans.  It uses the classic pork-barrel strategy of starting a program small and then expanding it after Congress, prodded by special-interest groups, is fully committed.

What Big Government Can Do.  A business entity that suckers people with ridiculous promises that can never be kept will be sued for fraud.  Government, on the other hand, does this all the time, with complete impunity.  Virtually every action Big Government takes produces an obligation against future generations.  For example, Obama's budget continues his weird obsession with spending billions on "high-speed rail."  Whatever other functions high-speed rail might serve, you must understand that it is also an obligation.  If we followed Obama's plan of spending $53 billion to develop a massive high-speed rail network, future politicians would be obliged to keep spending on it forever, no matter how much money it might lose.

Florida Governor Joins Two More in Rejecting Federal High-Speed Rail Spending.  Florida Gov. Rick Scott is canceling a proposed high-speed train line between Orlando and Tampa, rejecting more than $2 billion from the federal government in a move echoing decisions by Republican governors in Ohio and Wisconsin.  Scott said Wednesday [2/16/2011] the proposal is too costly for Florida and could put the state's taxpayers on the hook for roughly $3 billion, while ridership is unlikely to pay for the operating cost, meaning the state would have to pump even more money into the line each year.

Florida Gov. Scott Cancels Tampa-Orlando High-Speed Train.  Florida Gov. Rick Scott is canceling a proposed high-speed train line between Orlando and Tampa, rejecting more than $2 billion from the federal government.

Obama budget gives light rail $200 million.  President Obama's 2012 budget proposal on Monday allocated $200 million to the Central Corridor light-rail line.  The federal money is necessary to make the project go forward, Tim Busse, University of Minnesota Services spokesman, said.

A lost cause: The high-speed rail race.  President Obama's fiscal 2012 budget includes $8 billion for high-speed rail next year and $53 billion over six years.  In the president's view, the United States needs to spend big on high-speed rail so that we can catch up with Europe, Japan — and you-know-who.  "China is building faster trains and newer airports," the president warned in his State of the Union address.  But of all the reasons to build high-speed rail in the United States, keeping up with the international Joneses may be one of the worst.

Florida's Scott Defends Rejection of Rail Funds as LaHood Cries 'Baloney'.  Florida Governor Rick Scott, defending his rejection of $2.4 billion from the Obama administration for a high-speed rail project, said the program would have been a bad deal for taxpayers.  Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood rejected Scott's criticism as "baloney."

High Speed to Insolvency.  Florida's new Republican governor, Rick Scott, has joined Ohio's (John Kasich) and Wisconsin's (Scott Walker) in rejecting federal incentives — more than $2 billion in Florida's case — to begin a high-speed rail project. ... Washington, disdaining the decisions of Ohio and Wisconsin voters, replied that it will find states that will waste the money.  California will.  Although prostrate from its own profligacy, it will sink tens of billions of its own taxpayers' money in the 616-mile San Francisco to San Diego line.  Supposedly 39 million people will eagerly pay much more than an airfare in order to travel slower.

Money Train.  [California's] proposed high-speed rail system serves as a perfect example of the gap between the promise of transformational liberalism and the reality of big government.  Taxpayers everywhere should pay attention, because the project has already been granted $3.2 billion in federal funds, mostly through Obama's economic stimulus package — and its backers hope to gobble up billions more over the next decade.

President Obama Busts the Budget for Pie-in-the-Sky Amtrak and "Livability" Proposals.  While the President promises high-speed rail (HSR) service (top speeds of at least 150 mph), most of his projects involve signal and track improvements on privately owned freight rail systems that would provide marginal improvements in the Amtrak service sharing those tracks.  As Heritage has noted, the President's HSR plan is best characterized as an exercise to benefit Amtrak and for-profit freight railroads, which received 55 percent of the so-called HSR rail money included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Despite his State of the Union proclamation to spend $56 billion on HSR over five years, the President's transportation budget offers no such plan.

John Galt vs. Bamtrak.  "U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Friday that $2.4 billion in high-speed rail funding intended for Florida will be sent to other states after the state Supreme Court upheld Gov. Rick Scott's decision to reject the money," the Associated Press reports from Tallahassee. ... Why was the federal government trying to force this boondoggle on the Sunshine State?  If Florida doesn't want the money, why not return it to the Treasury rather than throw it at boondoggles in other states?

High-speed derailed.  Florida's Supreme Court on Friday [3/4/2011] dealt a serious blow to President Obama's $53 billion high-speed rail pet project.  The seven jurists sided unanimously with Republican Gov. Rick Scott's right to forgo $2.4 billion in federal taxpayer-backed grants the Obama administration wanted to blow on an 84-mile train track linking Tampa and Orlando.  More and more, Republican governors are rejecting this type of federal bribe in the name of fiscal responsibility.

Obama's Edifice Complex.  What do most Americans come across every day that is the legacy of one President?  One more clue:  think Dwight Eisenhower.  Bingo!  The highway system was created and promoted by Eisenhower and has outlasted his mortal self.  Does Obama want to create a monument to his own Presidency, miles wide and sprawling across the nation for all of us to behold?  Could Obama leave a similar edifice behind — say a high speed rail network costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars?  He has been forcefully trying to get this past Congress and past recalcitrant Governors worried about the real-world viability of high-speed rail networks across America.  These high speed rail projects would be a disaster.

The Bullet Train to Bankruptcy.  [Scroll down]  Just this week, a new report raised even more questions about plans to pay for the [California high speed rail] project:  Compared with the plan the voters passed, the authors found, costs have doubled to $66 billion, and the scope of the project has been dramatically reduced.  If built according to the original specs, the project would have the potential to almost double the state's bonded indebtedness, to $200 billion or more.  This would cost each of California's 40 million residents $275 to $320 annually for 30 years.

Californians question high-speed rail.  "Californians have a reputation for questioning authority.  And increasingly, they appear to be questioning the High-Speed Rail Authority, which voters empowered in 2008 to issue $9.95 billion in bonds and build the nation's largest such system.  Opposition hasn't reached critical mass — not yet.  But it is broad, and it includes Republicans, some Democrats, community groups, local governments, fiscal conservatives, and neighborhood preservationists.

Time to sidetrack high-speed rail.  An astute journalist in the 20th century once defined public relations as "organized lying."  Keep that in mind as a barrage of news features and op-ed columns extolling the benefits of President Obama's high-speed-rail initiatives appear in coming days.  Indeed, some of Washington's largest and most ruthless public-relations firms are spearheading the effort to revive rail, and no wonder.  Billions of taxpayer dollars are on the turntable and likely to be picked up by foreign companies like Canada's Bombardier and Germany's Siemens.

Gangsta Wrap.  [Q]:  What's so wrong about high-speed rail?  [A]:  Two things:  Inevitable cost overruns and long-term operating losses that require long-term government subsidies.  It's no wonder that governors in three states have turned down multi-billion-dollar grants.  They love free money, but they don't want to be on the hook for all the extra money later.  Everything I've read so far about the project in California suggests that people will someday be building statues honoring all of the governors who refused the money.  Most long trips will be both faster and cheaper by air.  Most short trips will be as fast or faster, and much cheaper, by car.  Just imagine a family of four shelling out over $800 for the round trip between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

High Speed Delusion.  Last Tuesday, March 22nd, saw two Obama high speed rail shills, hapless Illinois Governor Quinn and the loyal, ebullient, camera centric Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, shamelessly announcing with pride, the next phase of the so called Chicago to St Louis High Speed Rail project.  The new $1.2 billion phase is to run from Bloomington, IL to Dwight IL, a distance of 58.5 miles of what could only be described as the "Billion Dollar Train to Nowhere."  Folks, that amounts to a mere $20,618,556 per mile, with an estimated heart stopping speed of 110 mph.  Google Map estimates driving between these destinations to be 1 hour 10 minutes.  This breakthrough rail line will take only 32 minutes, assuming your actual destination in either Bloomington or Dwight is the train station itself.

California high-speed rail: The next stop is bankruptcy.  Like most large public infrastructure projects, the California high-speed rail project was sold to the public based on false promises, exaggerated benefits and lowball cost estimates.  Before the election, the cost of the project was estimated at $33 billion for the Los Angeles/Anaheim to San Francisco portion, and an additional $7 billion for the spurs to San Diego and Sacramento.  Voters narrowly passed a $9.95 billion bond in 2008, and the federal government and private investors were supposed to cover the remaining $30 billion.

Philly to New York trains to become nation's fastest.  Amtrak was awarded $450 million on Monday [5/9/2011] for major improvements that will make Philadelphia-to-New-York trains the fastest in the country.  The money was part of $2 billion for high-speed rail projects awarded Monday by the U.S. Department of Transportation, after the new governor of Florida rejected the money earlier this year.

The Editor says...
In other words, they're determined to spend the money somewhere, so you might as well poke your nose into the trough.

US awards $2bn for high-speed rail upgrades.  The US government has awarded $2bn (£1.2bn) for high-speed rail in critical corridors, after Florida's Republican governor declined the funds.  The projects will boost rail services between Washington DC to Boston, as well as in the mid-west and California.

California High-Speed Rail Still on Track to Nowhere.  The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) in California has released a devastating report on the California High-Speed Rail project.  The report highlights the follies of the project managers and the crippling fiscal impact the project will continue to have on state and federal-level coffers.  The California High-Speed Rail Act, which is now in its 15th year since being passed in 1996, established the California High-Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) and detailed a plan to establish high-speed rail in California by 2020.  The project has been bogged down by numerous delays and constant calls for additional funding.

Fast Train To Hell.  If the president wants to spend public money that helps the US compete, wasting it on a massively expensive and ineffective national high speed rail system, it is almost a high crime. ... Investing in rail is like building livery stables when automobiles took over highways.

California's high-speed train wreck.  California's much-vaunted high-speed rail project is, to put it bluntly, a train wreck.  Intended to demonstrate the state's commitment to sustainable, cutting-edge transportation systems, and to show that the U.S. can build rail networks as sophisticated as those in Europe and Asia, it is instead a monument to the ways poor planning, mismanagement and political interference can screw up major public works.

The insane California high-speed rail project.  I have been appalled by the Obama administration's obstinate insistence on spending $3.6 billion of stimulus on the high-speed rail project in California, and I become more appalled the more I learn about it.  The latest report of the state Legislative Analyst's Office makes clear that this is crazy.  California voters approved $9 billion in bonds to pay for the high-speed rail project ... but the 2009 estimate of the total cost of the first phase, from Anaheim to San Francisco, is $43 billion.  The state's High-Speed Rail Administration, whose members are appointed by the governor and not subject to legislative confirmation or any further state oversight[,] has agreed to spend $5.5 billion on a high-speed segment from Borden to Corcoran in the Central Valley — the high-speed train to nowhere — and the feds have resisted spending it elsewhere.

Chicago-to-Detroit high-speed rail 'positioned' to receive stimulus funds.  The Obama administration said Friday [3/20/2009] that a Chicago-to-Detroit high-speed rail plan is "well positioned" to receive federal stimulus funding, according to a state lawmaker.  Michigan House Speaker Pro Tem Pam Byrnes said the description came from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood during a day of meetings at the White House on the stimulus plan.

Public Transit Gets Stimulated.  Greens are lining up at the stimulus trough to fund a wish list of alternative-energy boondoggles.  But an old green favorite — public transit — is also looking to sneak a few million through the back door while the gettin' is good.  Sen. Harry Reid's Vegas-to-L.A. train has gotten the headlines, but with a staggering $8 billion in stimulus set aside for public transit, every pol with a pet rail program is looking to bring home the bacon.

Vegas, Midwest seek the $8 billion for fast trains.  The Republicans attacking President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package point to a project they dub the "Sin Express" — a high speed rail link between Anaheim, Calif., site of Disneyland, and Las Vegas.

The Boondoggle Express.  The largest construction boondoggle in recorded human history continues to unfold in the Central Valley of California.  The initial segment of Obama's pet project, a high-speed rail line from Merced to Bakersfield, just had its first announced cost overrun.  With costs jumping from $7.1 billion to a staggering $13.9 billion, the project now has doubled in price even before a single shovelful of earth is turned.  Now that is the seat-of-the-pants, lets just make up a number, government contracting that the Democrats and the unions so dearly love.

California bullet train funding slashed by House panel.  The fortunes of California's high-speed rail project, which would connect Southern California to the Bay Area with a 220 mph train, took a big financial hit Thursday afternoon [9/8/2011], when a congressional panel slashed the Federal Railroad Administration budget.

Hi-speed train to financial ruin in California.  Federal spending for high-speed rail is coming under close Congressional scrutiny.  Both political parties have begun to recognize the enormous capital costs required for another Solyndra style payoff; in this case the billions of Federal dollars needed to fund a lucrative union-only jobs program.

A High-Speed Rail Mirage.  [Scroll down]  Most of Obama's plan should really be called "moderate-speed rail," as it would upgrade existing freight lines to run passenger trains at top speeds of 110 mph.  At around $5 million per mile, the total cost would come close to $50 billion.  Not satisfied with moderate-speed trains, California says it wants half of all federal funds so it can build brand-new 220-mph rail lines.  But it's unlikely other states will settle for the slower trains if California gets the faster ones.  Building fast trains nationwide would cost at least $500 billion.

This article appeared in the Detroit Free Press on August 3, 2009.
Are Proposals For High-speed Rail a Boondoggle?  On June 17, the Federal Railroad Administration asked states for proposals for spending $8 billion of stimulus money that Congress allocated to high-speed rail.  This raises a question:  Would you pay $1,000 so that someone — probably not you — can ride high-speed trains less than 60 miles a year?  That's what the FRA's high-speed rail plan is going to cost:  at least $90 billion or $1,000 for every federal income taxpayer.

This article appeared in the Gainesville Sun on June 18, 2009.
High Speed Spending.  As of this writing, $99 will get you from Washington to New York in two hours and fifty minutes on Amtrak's high-speed train, while $49 pays for a moderate-speed train ride that takes three hours and fifteen minutes.  Meanwhile, relatively unsubsidized and energy-efficient buses cost $20 for a four-hour-and-fifteen-minute trip with leather seats and free Wi-Fi.  Airfares start at $119 for a one-hour flight.  Few people who pay their own way will spend an extra $79 to save an hour and twenty-five minutes of their time.

We Can't Afford the Luxury of High-speed Rail.  This past Tuesday [9/28/2010], Amtrak proposed to spend more than $100 billion increasing the top speeds of trains in its Boston-to-Washington corridor from 150 to 220 miles per hour.  In August, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood estimated that President Obama's proposal to extend high-speed rail to other parts of the country will cost at least $500 billion.  No one knows where this money will come from, but President Obama argues that we need to spend it because high-speed rail will have a "transformative effect" on the American economy.  In fact, all it will do is drag the economy down.

The Editor says...
Maybe that's exactly the "transformative effect" Obama seeks.

High-Speed Rail:  The Wrong Road for America.  [Scroll down]  Planners have predicted that a proposed line in Florida would use more energy and emit more of some pollutants than all of the cars it would take off the road.  California planners forecast that high-speed rail would reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by a mere 0.7 to 1.5 percent -- but only if ridership reached the high end of projected levels.  Lower ridership would nullify energy savings and pollution reductions.

High-Speed Rail Costly for California.  California high-speed-rail proposal approved by voters in 2008 has strayed so far above original cost estimates and so far under ridership estimates that one key transportation analyst is calling it the greatest scam to hit the state — ever.  "The California high-speed-rail project is on track to be the biggest boondoggle in the state's history, and for California, that is saying something," said Adam Summers, a policy analyst with the Reason Foundation.  "The project's planning and viability have been dubious from the beginning."

Congress, Governors Nix Obama's High-speed Trains.  Dead.  Kaput.  Through. ... That, I think, is a fair description of the Obama administration's attempt to build high-speed rail lines across America.  It hasn't failed because of a lack of willingness to pony up money.  The Obama Democrats' February 2009 stimulus package included $8 billion for high-speed rail projects.  The Democratic Congress appropriated another $2.5 billion.  But Congress is turning off the spigot.

Bullet train cost estimates rise to $98.5 billion.  California's bullet train will cost an estimated $98.5 billion to build over the next 22 years, a price nearly double any previous projection and one likely to trigger political sticker shock, according to a business plan scheduled to be unveiled Tuesday [11/1/2011].  In a key change, the state has decided to stretch out the construction schedule by 13 years, completing the Southern California-to-Bay Area high speed rail in 2033 rather than 2020.

Bullet train's $98-billion cost could be its biggest obstacle.  The ambitious plan to connect Anaheim and San Francisco with high-speed trains has encountered plenty of obstacles, including intensifying resistance from wealthy and poor communities lying in the track's path.

High Speed Rail Costs Balloon to $100 Billion.  Nearly $100 billion.  That's what High Speed Rail is now going to cost California taxpayers -- more than double the costs initially promised by the proponents of Prop 1A, which contained the initial taxpayer financing for the project.

Congress about to kill high-speed train program.  Congress voted Thursday [11/17/2011] to kill funds for President Barack Obama's signature high-speed rail program, but the initiative may have some life in it still.

Californians would reject bullet train in revote, polls finds.  The estimated price tag for the 520-mile system between San Francisco and Los Angeles is now $98 billion to $117 billion — at least triple the initial projection of $33 billion and over double a more recent estimate of $43 billion.  Planners have extended the construction deadline from 2020 to 2033.  "If there were a revote, its chances of passage given this poll are not very good," said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll.

Take this bullet train. Please.  So, the California High-Speed Rail Authority was wrong.  The bullet trains from Anaheim and Los Angeles to San Francisco will not cost $34 billion as originally estimated, or $43 billion as the authority insisted just two years ago, but closer to $100 billion.  Critics say the agency's new $98.5-billion estimate is low, and the authority admits it might go as high as $117.6 billion, but for sake of argument call the cost $100 billion.  The authority is offering us less for more.  The original system included Sacramento and San Diego.  They are not part of this estimate.

Detroit light-rail line plan scrapped for city, suburban buses.  The death of the light-rail plan brings an end to about four years of intensive effort by the city, private developers and nonprofit groups to create what was widely viewed as the most promising attempt in decades for a light-rail system to Detroit. Bullet train's travel-time mandate adds to ballooning of costs.  California's proposed bullet train will need to soar over small towns on towering viaducts, split rich farm fields diagonally and burrow for miles under mountains for a simple reason:  It has no time to spare.  In the fine print of a 2008 voter-approved measure funding the project was a little-noticed requirement that trains be able to rocket from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to San Francisco in no more than two hours and 40 minutes.

High-Speed Railroad Job.  If politicians are good for anything, it ought to be reading polls.  Yet there was Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood last week telling Congress that California's high-speed railroad is "not a cheap project" but "the people in California want this."  What people would that be?  According to the latest Field poll, two-thirds of Californians want a new referendum on the project.

Plan to use Amtrak as fallback for high-speed rail criticized.  When the Obama administration gave California $3.4 billion in startup money for a high-speed rail system, it insisted on a guarantee that the project would not become a white elephant — something critics could brand as a train to nowhere.  The first section of track had to run down the spine of the Central Valley and have another use, should the rest of the bullet train project collapse.  Those requirements are now at the center of an intensifying political battle...

The governor can strong-arm companies with the state's new Thermageddon Law.
California To Pay For High Speed Rail With Extortion.  The governor told ABC 7's "Eyewitness Newsmakers" program that environmental impact fees paid by industries that emit large amounts of greenhouse gas will help fund the big train project.

Getting Nowhere, Very Fast.  California has a huge state debt and Washington has a huge national debt.  But that does not discourage either Governor Jerry Brown or President Barack Obama from wanting to launch a very costly high-speed rail system.  Most of us might be a little skittish about spending money if we were teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.  But the beauty of politics is that it is all other people's money, including among those other people generations yet unborn.

California Struggling to Find High-Speed Rail Funds.  California's plans for high-speed rail, which envision tracks connecting Southern California to the Bay Area with riders traveling at speeds of 220 miles per hour, suffered a setback in mid-September as Congress cut billions of dollars from the Federal Railroad Administration's budget.  President Barack Obama, who is pushing high-speed rail projects in select states, sought $8 billion in funding for fiscal 2012.  House Appropriations subcommittee members, however, cut nearly $7 billion from that request.  The bulk of the remaining $1 billion is already allocated for Amtrak operations.

High Costs of High-Speed Rail:  While the Obama administration has started funding high-speed rail, it has no detailed financial plan, no cost estimates for the proposed system, no source of long-term funding, and no expectation that passenger fares will cover all of the operating costs or any of the capital costs.  Only two high-speed rail routes in the world, Tokyo-Osaka and Paris-Lyon, earn enough revenues to cover capital and operating costs.  The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) plan, upon which the Obama administration is basing its high-speed rail ideas, could more accurately be titled "moderate-speed rail."  For the most part, it calls for trains running no faster than 110 miles per hour, which high-speed rail aficionados do not even consider to be true high-speed rail.

Borrowing costs for bullet train revised upward.  California's distressed state budget will have to allot more than $700 million each year to repay billions of dollars that officials plan to borrow to build the first phase of a proposed bullet train, a nonpartisan government research office has found.  The repayment projection by the state legislative analyst's office includes principal and interest on $9.95 billion in high-speed rail bonds approved by voters in 2008.

Panel Sees 'Immense Risk' in California High-Speed Rail Plans.  Transportation experts and taxpayer advocates are hailing an independent review panel's recommendation against borrowing to build a high-speed rail line in California, but the state's rail authority indicates it plans to keep rolling with its plans.

Now Obama Wants To Build A $5 Billion Bullet Train From Las Vegas To Nowhere.  On a dusty, rock-strewn expanse at the edge of the Mojave Desert, a company linked to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to build a bullet train that would rocket tourists from the middle of nowhere to the gambling palaces of Las Vegas.

Derail this gravy train.  The Federal Railroad Administration is considering lending $4.9 billion to a company called Desert Xpress, for the purpose of building a high-speed rail line to Las Vegas from Victorville, Calif., some 81 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.  The brainchild of several wealthy Las Vegas casino moguls, Desert Xpress enjoys the backing of Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and has already secured approvals from the Bureau of Land Management, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Fish and Wildlife Service, among other federal and state agencies.  It is pursuing about $1.6 billion in private financing.

California High-Speed Rail Has $55-billion Budget Gap.  Without a concrete plan for funding, proponents of a California high-speed rail project began pitching their plan this week to legislators and the general public.  Updated from a previous proposal, the new plan narrows the scope of the project and intends to speed up construction to save money.  However, despite the spending reductions, the rail still leans on shaky funding sources that might never materialize.

Jackson Lee presses for bullet train in Texas.  Officials in Japan and South Korea told Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee that they are interested in helping Texas build a high-speed rail line between Houston and Dallas.  The Houston Democrat said the foreign officials described their interest to her during an official congressional visit to Japan, South Korea and China.  "This is absolutely the right direction America should be moving toward," said Jackson Lee, who traveled between Osaka and Tokyo on Japan's world famous high-speed rail system.

The Editor says...
If you live in some city other than Dallas or Houston, let me tell you why there will never be a bullet train between Houston and Dallas:  Southwest Airlines has a flights between those two cities about once an hour, and they're making a lot of money on that route.  The flight takes less than an hour.  Driving to Houston takes at least four hours.  (Driving from Houston to Dallas takes longer.  At least it seems longer.)  Even a "bullet train" would probably take at least two hours.  I'm sure lobbying has a lot to do with it, but for whatever reason, the elected officials of Texas are not inclined to tamper with something that works.

Congressional panel launches probe of California's high-speed rail project.  A congressional committee has launched a wide-ranging examination of the California high-speed rail project, including possible conflicts of interest and how the agency overseeing it plans to spend billions of dollars in federal assistance.

It's 'Next Stop 1970' For California High-Speed Rail.  Gov. Jerry Brown is doing all he can to save his state's ill-conceived high-speed rail project, but he's no magician.  He's finding that there's no way to cut the project's cost other than to make it smaller and less speedy — in short, even less like the scheme that voters approved in 2008.  He has just endorsed a new business plan that lowers the system's projected price tag from $98 billion to $68 billion.  This is still well above the $40 billion estimate of 2008, and the project is scaled back.

California high-speed rail takes a new hit.  The latest blow to California's plan to connect north and south with an ambitious network of high-speed rail lines came Monday [4/9/2012] in Washington.  Rep. Darrell Issa (R) of California announced that the oversight committee he chairs will investigate crucial federal funding of the project.  That followed two studies — one by and independent panel, one by the state auditor — that called the plan risky.  Polls show faltering support among California voters because of rising costs.

Social engineers drive bullet train.  Americans suffer under the delusion that transportation systems are just that — systems for transporting people from one destination to another.  What most of us fail to recognize is that the politicians, activists and planners who play the greatest roles in creating those systems have far different goals.

The government can't make its projects work if it must conform to its own environmental red tape.
California bullet train chief seeks environmental exemptions.  The chief of the state bullet train authority said Tuesday that he hopes to obtain some type of relief from environmental laws that would eliminate a risk that the 130-mile initial construction project could be stopped by an injunction, a potentially growing prospect as agriculture interests in the Central Valley gear up for a legal fight.

Dissecting Obama's High-Speed Rail Boondoggle and other Transportation Nightmares.  It's 45 minutes long, but this video from the folks at Reason TV is filled with good information on the foolish ideas of central planners who want to control our transportation. [...] Around the 25-minute mark, you'll hear about how the Obama Administration wants to divert revenues from the gas tax to all sorts of schemes (such as mass transit) that violate the user-pays principle.

California high speed rail project going pretty much as expected.  The proposed service hopes to whisk commuters from San Francisco to Los Angeles in a matter of hours without all that bother of using the existing regional air service to do the same thing faster.  Earlier this year, Ed noted that some observers felt that the financing for this effort was looking "increasingly risky."  This weekend the Wall Street Journal reports that our earlier estimation was in error.  The financing isn't "risky" at all... it's an unmitigated disaster.

Poll: Voters turn against California bullet train.  A new poll finds California voters are experiencing buyers' remorse over a proposed $68 billion bullet train project, as the number of lawsuits against the rail system grows.

Environmental objections in path of bullet train.  The California bullet train is promoted as an important environmental investment for the future, but over the next decade the heavy construction project would potentially harm air quality, aquatic life and endangered species across the Central Valley.  Eleven endangered species, including the San Joaquin kit fox, would be affected, according to federal biologists.  Massive emissions from diesel-powered heavy equipment could foul the already filthy air.

Bias alert!
Alarmists always paint the worst possible picture to describe events that haven't happened yet:  The project would potentially pollute the air.  It could foul the already filthy air.  Really?  The air in California is filthy, after years and years of the strictest air pollution laws in the world?  And if already filthy air is "fouled", who would notice?  The primary obstacle to the bullet train is economics, not air quality.  Bullet trains are luxury items for the benefit of the upper class, paid for by everyone.

Assembly approves high-speed rail funding.  The [California] Assembly passed $8 billion in funding for high-speed rail and other projects on Thursday [7/5/2012], sending the bill back to the state Senate for final approval.

Cash-Strapped California OKs Funding for High-Speed Rail.  California lawmakers approved billions of dollars Friday in construction financing for the initial segment of the nation's first dedicated high-speed rail line connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Amtrak's high-speed Northeast Corridor plan at $151 billion.  Amtrak's updated plan for high-speed train travel on the East Coast envisions 37-minute trips between Philadelphia and New York, after a $151 billion redevelopment of the entire Northeast Corridor.  Faster service would be phased in gradually, as Amtrak improves existing tracks, signals, bridges, and power lines and then builds a separate high-speed corridor between Washington and Boston to accommodate trains traveling at 220 m.p.h.

California High-Speed Rail: Unsafe at Any Speed.  Democratic California state Sen. Joe Simitian probably is best-known as the author of California's bill to ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving.  After Friday's vote, Simitian may be best-known as the Democrat who warned his colleagues not to issue $4.6 billion in bonds for big-ticket high-speed rail.  "Any of us who talk to our folks know that they're asking the same questions," Simitian reasoned.  "They're saying, 'Really?  You made these cuts.  We're threatened with more.  And you want to build a high-speed train?'"  The state Senate, nonetheless, passed the bill with 21 votes.  Gov. Jerry Brown praised lawmakers for their "bold action."  Bold or foolhardy?

California Goes Off the Rails with High Speed Train.  The State of California was already facing a $19 billion budget deficit, shorted public schools $8 billion, and was set to release imprisoned rapists into "community probation" when the Legislature approved selling $4.6 billion in new state bonds to build 130 miles of railroad track through some of the most uninhabited farm country in Central California.

Bay Area faces new high-speed rail costs.  Now that Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation to allow the state to spend billions on high-speed rail, Bay Area residents had better brace for the real ride — a push for $650 million in toll hikes and new San Francisco taxes.

How Insider Politics Saved California's Train to Nowhere.  The rail authority promised voters that the train wouldn't require a subsidy and that the feds and private sector would pick up most of the $33 billion tab.  Expecting a free ride, voters leapt on board and approved the initiative in November 2008.  Not long afterward, the authority raised the price to $43 billion.  Investors refused to plunk down money without a revenue guarantee — that is, a subsidy — from the state, which wasn't forthcoming.  California's attorney general, whom we now call Gov. Jerry Brown, declined to investigate the bait-and-switch.

Monumental waste.  Apparently, no expense is to be spared if it furthers the Obama administration's high-speed-rail scheme. [...] This $7.5 billion won't build a wholly new station; it merely will add a bit of additional capacity to the existing location.  There will be new passenger concourses, wider platforms for stepping off the train, a few new street entrances and a shopping area that will be built over the tracks.

New York Gov. Cuomo to Sell Failed High-Speed Trains.  In 1998, then-governor George Pataki (R) announced a "historic" high-speed rail partnership with Amtrak.  The state poured $70 million into a plan calling for retrofitting seven sets of Amtrak gas turbine trains and making track improvements to facilitate high-speed travel from Albany to New York City.  Now, 14 years later, the state will sell what's left of the unused trains, probably for scrap.

Obama's $107 billion transportation plan: Trains and roads to nowhere.  [Scroll down]  Then there is the $47 billion that Obama wants to spend on brand new high-speed rail projects across the country.  One need only look at how his signature rail project in California is progressing to get a sense of how well this money will be spent.  More than three years after Obama's stimulus funded California's high-speed rail dream, the project's first phase hasn't even broken ground.  Even if the first section of track is ever completed, all it would do is it would connect the Central Valley town of Madera (population 60,000) with Charles Manson's prison home in Corcoran (population 24,000).

Amtrak to test trains at 165 mph along Northeast routes.  Starting tonight and ending next week, Amtrak plans to set speed records in tests along the Northeast Corridor — 165 mph. [...] To accommodate the faster trains, Amtrak is spending $450 million in federal funds to upgrade track, electrical power, signals and overhead wires.

Obama fast-tracks high-speed rail permit.  For almost the entire 11 years he seems to have been president, Barack Obama has been coveting gargantuan infrastructure projects like China's.  Obama thinks the United States should have brand-new airports like China's, even though the ones Americans already use have trouble running as it is.  Obama has also displayed rail envy.  He especially loves the idea of China's high-speed rail projects, even though America has less than one-quarter China's 1.35 billion population and it's not concentrated in the large urban centers necessary to nourish such rail passenger volumes.

The XpressWest Train to Las Vegas: Most Traffic Congestion Won't Be Avoided.  Virtually all of the traffic delays from Los Angeles to Las Vegas occur in areas the high-speed train won't serve.

Obama Is Right.  Disingenuously, he portrays himself as the "Energy President," while his policy has always been none of the above, unless it is wind or solar, which he calls the energy of the future when it is truly the energy of the past.  With Barack, it is always yesterday's answers to today's problems.  That's why he likes high-speed rail so much.

Tax-the-Rich Obama Fairy Tale Won't Magically Restore Public Services.  [Scroll down]  Now California and the federal government mean to collaborate on a laughably impractical high-speed rail system that could cost $100 billion.  A first-stage route will connect an underpopulated corridor between Merced and Bakersfield, with a serious environmental impact on desert toads but no impact whatever on Los Angeles's clogged freeways.

Why fast trains are a waste of money.  Somehow, it has become fashionable to think that high-speed trains connecting major cities will help "save the planet."  They won't.  They're a perfect example of wasteful spending masquerading as a respectable social cause.  They would further burden already-overburdened governments and drain dollars from worthier programs — schools, defense, research.

California still hasn't bought land for bullet train route.  Construction of California's high-speed rail network is supposed to start in just six months, but the state hasn't acquired a single acre along the route and faces what officials are calling a challenging schedule to assemble hundreds of parcels needed in the Central Valley.

U.S. Taxpayers to Bailout Rail Project with $42 Billion.  After getting slammed with higher taxes, Americans throughout the U.S. will be on the hook for the multi-billion-dollar infusion necessary to complete a grossly mismanaged high-speed rail system in California.  Even those who have never been to the state and have no association with it will contribute because federal lawmakers have essentially agreed to fund the project, which will end up costing a monstrous $68.4 billion to finish and hundreds of millions of dollars annually to operate and maintain.  The high-speed rail system will run 520 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles and is scheduled to be completed by 2028.

Lawmakers question 'risky' $5.5B loan for high-speed Vegas train amid sequester cutbacks.  While the Transportation Department warns that the sequester will lead to cutbacks causing snarled lines at airports across America, the agency is still considering a massive $5.5 billion government gamble on a high-speed train from suburban California to Vegas.  The total cost of the XpressWest project is $6.9 billion, with 80 percent potentially being fronted by the federal government.  It would create a train that runs from Victorville, Calif., to Las Vegas and, if green-lighted, would be the largest loan of its type issued in America.

There Are No High Speed Trains And There Won't Ever Be.  Twelve billion in and we've made some very trivial speed upgrades — 10 fewer minutes for the Seattle-Portland route — to low-speed trains, and, with a single exception that started ten years ago (and also will never happen), zero high speed trains.  Not even high-speed train rails.  Not even high-speed rail plans.

Obama's great high-speed train robbery.  The state of California, already $28 billion in debt, is supposed to begin construction of a $68 billion high-speed rail project in July.  The state's High-Speed Rail Authority voted last week to issue $8.6 billion in taxpayer-approved bonds to build the first 130 miles of track between Fresno and Bakersfield.  But a slew of lawsuits threatens to delay the project, and state authorities still have not purchased a single acre of land on which to build the rail line.

Calif. High-Speed Rail to Cost $97 Million More.  KTTV reported that the high-speed rail in California will cost taxpayers an addition $97 million more than expected.  [Video clip]

All Aboard California's high-speed train to nowhere.  [Scroll down]  Legally, California's high-speed rail project should be dead in its tracks, because it's en route to operating subsidies, too — another no-no.  "California's Democrat supermajority are pulling all the levers and changing the rules, as a payoff to the public unions that elected them," Katy Grimes, investigator at the free-market Pacific Research Institute, tells The Daily Caller.  The GAO report doubts private investment will come without such "revenue guarantees."  There's no model for public-private partnerships in the U.S.  They've failed before in Texas and Florida.

Diane Feinstein's husband's company lands big high-speed rail contract.  The group lead by Tutor Perini bid $985,000,000 to build the initial 29-mile stretch, roughly from Fresno to Madera, which doesn't include the costs for electrification and land purchase.  And, as Laer points out at Crazifornia, they started with this section because it's the cheapest.  (I can't wait to see what the bids are to lay track through the mountain passes...)

Dianne Feinstein's Husband Bags High-Speed Rail Construction Contract.  Sen. Diane Feinstein's husband Richard Blum won a construction contract for California's high-speed rail project, reports the California Political Review.  Author Laer Pearce says Perini-Zachary-Parsons, a construction group partially owned by Blum's investment firm, Blum Capital, and their investors, bagged the nearly billion dollar contract.

The high cost of low information voters.  Look at the travel time scale.  First it assumes the train will move at 220 mph — quite a feat.  If you ever have taken the Acela train in the Northeast Corridor you know that this is pie in the sky.  Plus, even at that unobtainable speed, the trip from New York to L.A. would take almost a day of actual travel time — as opposed to a few hours on a plane.  Good luck selling those tickets.

California High Speed Rail Falls Short of Expectations.  Various proposals have envisioned a high speed rail system that spans the United States.  In California, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has already begun implementing its decades-old plan to connect Northern California with Southern California.  However, the rail system would lose more than $100 million per year, say Joseph Vranich, Wendell Cox and Adrian Moore in a new study for the Reason Foundation.

California High-Speed Rail: An Updated Due Diligence Report.  Reason Foundation's 2008 report, The California High Speed Rail Proposal: A Due Diligence Report, warned that plans by the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA or Authority) issued prior to and during 2008 were inaccurate, misleading and not in compliance with California statutes.  As well, it found that the Authority's financing plan overstated projected revenues and private financing, and understated capital requirements and operating subsidies needed from taxpayers.

The California High-Speed Rail Proposal: A Due Diligence Report.  With the high costs of building in California and the history of cost overruns on rail projects, the final price tag for the complete high-speed rail system will actually be $65 to $81 billion, according to the Reason Foundation report.  And while the Rail Authority forecasts between 65 and 96 million intercity riders by 2030, the due diligence report finds these projections are dramatically inflated.

Victorville-to-Vegas bullet-train plan imperiled by U.S. loan denial.  Federal transportation officials have halted their consideration of a $5.5-billion government loan to a private company that has planned for years to build a high-speed train between Victorville and Las Vegas.  The decision represents a major setback for the XpressWest project, which has had difficulty obtaining financing from investors to construct the 185-mile line.

Peak rail?  [Scroll down]  One of its problems is its inflexible nature.  Rail may be the best current answer to particular problems such as getting tens of thousands of commuters into city centres or making certain mid-distance inter-city journeys, but its inflexible nature means it cannot be changed to meet new needs.

Light-Rail to Nowhere: Honolulu, Hawaii's Train Boondoggle.  In 2011, officials in Honolulu, Hawaii began construction on a controversial 20-mile rail project partly because of almost $1.8 billion in federal subsidies to President Barack Obama's home state.  The project's total cost estimate stands at $5.3 billion, but if other similar projects are any indication, the final price tag will increase dramatically before anyone even gets to buy a ticket.  What's playing out in the Aloha State is happening all over the country.

52% want bullet train stopped, poll finds.  A majority of voters want the California bullet train project stopped and consider it a waste of money, even as state political leaders have struggled to bolster public support and make key compromises to satisfy critics, a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll found.  Statewide, 52% of the respondents said the $68-billion project to link Los Angeles and San Francisco by trains traveling up to 220 mph should be halted.  Just 43% said it should go forward.

California bond sale for high-speed rail project blocked by judge.  A California judge ruled on Monday [11/25/2013] against the state's plan to issue more than $8 billion in bonds to help build an 800-mile high-speed train system and rescinded the project's funding plan, which estimates the system's cost at $68 billion.

A Major Setback for California's High-Speed Train.  [Scroll down]  At a November 8 hearing on the remedies, Deputy State Attorney General Michele Inan stated the Authority was spending only federal money pursuant to an agreement with the federal authorities to "front load" expenditure of federal funds.  However, she acknowledged that by April 2014 the project will need Prop 1A bond funds to match the federal contributions.  Given the court's ruling, it is questionable whether state bond funds will be available to provide that match.  Without access to the bonds, the Authority would need other sources of public or private funds in order to complete construction of the initial 29-mile stretch (estimated at $2 billion) and continue building the line.

High-Speed Rail Decision Is [a] Victory for [the] Rule of Law.  California Judge Michael Kenny has barred state bond funding for the California high-speed rail system, finding "the state's High-Speed Rail Authority failed to follow voter-approved requirements designed to prevent reckless spending."  These protections had been important in securing voter approval of a $10 billion bond issue in 2008.  Judge Kenny's decision means California government officials cannot ignore the state's laws, even when its leadership finds them politically inexpedient.  The ruling forbids the state from arbitrarily casting aside legally binding promises.

High-Speed Train in California Is Caught in a Political Storm.  Gov. Jerry Brown of California is riding into an election year on a wave of popularity and an upturn in the state's fortunes.  But a project that has become a personal crusade for him over the past two years — a 520-mile high-speed train line from Los Angeles to San Francisco — is in trouble, reeling from a court ruling that undermined its financing, and from slipping public support and opponents' rising calls to shut it down.

U.S. and Mexico could be connected by multi-billion-dollar high speed train.  A multi-billion-dollar high-speed train network linking America with Mexico moved a step closer as officials from both sides of the border thrashed out details.  The proposed 300 mile route would link San Antonio, Texas, to Monterrey, Mexico — slashing the current journey time from five hours by car to under two hours.  Advocates say the project, which would be the first high-speed train line in North America and is set to be completed by 2018, will provide huge economic boost to regions in both nations.

The Editor says...
If there are billions of extra dollars sitting around waiting to be spent, and there aren't, then the money should be spent on something that will promote interstate commerce, rather than making it easier to cross the already porous Mexican border?  How many people commute between Monterrey and San Antonio every day?  Enough to fill several trains every day?  I doubt it; in fact I suspect it would cost less to give each of those passengers a plane ticket.  I also suspect that 100 percent of the money from this project will come from the U.S., not Mexico.  A much more profitable and sensible route for a bullet train would connect Houston and Dallas, but the airline industry lobbyists will never let that happen.




Other countries' experiences with high-speed rail:

China Opens World's Longest High-Speed Railway.  The world's longest high speed rail route has opened in China, covering a distance of 1,427 miles.

High-speed rail line 'will cost every family in the country £1,000'.  Every family in the country will have to shell out £1,000 to pay for a high-speed rail line that only the rich will use, campaigners claimed last night.  The TaxPayers' Alliance spoke out as Transport Secretary Philip Hammond defied countryside campaigners as he launched a consultation on the hugely expensive project.

High-Speed Derail.  China's technology of the future has become a boondoggle of the present, piling up debt and resulting in the arrest of the minister of railways.  Maybe it's that last part we should be copying.

Derail High-Speed Spending.  President Obama won't put high-speed rail on the block to ease the debt crisis.  He insists we need to keep up with China.  But its rail has become a $300 billion boondoggle.  Yes, that's billion with a b.  China's Railway Ministry continues to lose money and is now an eye-popping $267 billion in the hole.

The Editor says...
Competition with other countries is sometimes used as a means of generating support -- in our sports-saturated society -- for projects with very high price tags and little or no benefit.  For example, the Superconducting Supercollider, the Space Shuttle, and now high-speed railroads.

Two high-speed bullet train coaches fall off bridge in eastern China.  Thirty-two people were killed and 191 injured when two high-speed bullet trains slammed into one another in eastern China Saturday [7/23/2011], causing several cars to derail and fall off a bridge.  A power outage triggered by a lightning strike caused one train to stall — only for another to ram into its rear, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Signal design flaw blamed for deadly high-speed rail crash in China.  A weekend train collision that killed 39 people in eastern China was caused by design flaws in railway signal equipment, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported Thursday [7/28/2011].  The signal system failed to turn a green light to red after it was struck by lightening, [sic] causing a high-speed train Saturday to plough into the back of bullet train near Wenzhou in Zheijian province, the report said, citing an investigation by the Shanghai Railway Bureau.

Chinese bullet trains pulled over 'flaws'.  A state-owned Chinese train manufacturer said on Friday it is recalling 54 bullet trains being used on a new high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai because of "flaws".

Are China's high-speed trains heading off the rails?  China's expanding network of ultramodern high-speed trains has come under growing scrutiny here over costs and because of concerns that builders ignored safety standards in the quest to build faster trains in record time.  The trains, a symbol of the country's rapid development, have drawn praise from President Obama.  But what began in February with the firing and detention of the country's top railway official has spiraled into a corruption investigation that has raised questions about the project's future.

Train kills reindeer 'like meat grinder': farmer.  A new high-speed railway in northern Sweden has already claimed the lives of 200 reindeer since it opened three months ago, forcing the farm owner to move to safer pastures.

China railway workers repair 'collapsed' new line.  A newly built section of a high-speed rail line has collapsed in China's central Hubei province following heavy rain, state media reports.  The line was set to open in May and had been in use for test runs.

New safety fears as Chinese high-speed rail line collapses.  Part of a high-speed railway line that had undergone test runs has collapsed in central China after heavy rain, reviving worries over safety.

Metro gag order at odds with law.  The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's policy of forbidding employees from speaking to the media is at odds with a law designed to reduce impropriety at transit agencies by protecting insiders who bring concerns to light, an expert said.




Bicycles

City Of Chicago 2012 Bicycle Crash Analysis.  Bicycle crashes in Chicago remain a serious concern.  In the six-year period between 2005 and 2010, there were nearly 9,000 injury crashes involving bicyclists, with 32 bicyclist fatalities.  As a percentage of all traffic crashes, bicycle crashes are on the rise:  from 6.7 percent of all crash types in 2005 to 9.8 percent of all crash types in 2010.

Carnage on China Roads Shows Dark Side of Electric Bikes.  Electric bicycles are China's answer to the Prius because they're green, they're zippy and they're cheap.  They're also emerging as a safety hazard in a country where road accidents are the biggest killer of young people.  As Chinese cities impose car quotas to fend off record pollution, more residents are turning to rechargeable electric cycles.  That's putting a spotlight on e-bikes that snake through traffic as fast as 40 kilometers an hour (25 mph), occasionally mowing down pedestrians or taking a hit themselves.

Wisconsin Democrat's bike business hasn't paid state income taxes for three decades.  The family bicycle business of Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke has not paid state income taxes for more than three decades. [...] Trek, which claims its bicycles can "combat climate change," has sales of roughly $900 million.  However, according to records from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue obtained by Fox 6 in Milwaukee, Trek Bicycle has not paid net income taxes since at least 1982.

Feds Spending $1.5 Million on 'Bicycle Trains,' 'Walking School Buses' to Get Fat Kids to Lose Weight.  The federal government is spending more than $1.5 million to research how "bicycle trains" and "walking school buses" can help obese children lose weight.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is currently funding two studies to a researcher at Seattle Children's Hospital, both of which aim to get more children to stop riding the school bus.  Dr. Jason Mendoza has received $405,835 for a pilot study on "bicycle trains," or a group of kids who bike to school with adult chaperons. [sic]  The project is billed as a "low-cost, practical program to reduce risk of obesity for at-risk children."

The Editor says...
(1) All children are "at risk" in some way.  (2) The diesel-engine school buses will still be running all over town even if the kids are walking.

Wall Street Journal columnist launches vitriolic attack on New York City bike share program.  A Wall Street Journal columnist made an impassioned attack against New York city's new bike share program, known as Citi Bike.  In an online video segment entitled 'Death by Bicycle,' editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz criticized Major Bloomberg for allowing the 'dreadful program' to come to New York.  Rabinowitz also attacked cyclists who she said were given carte blanche to ignore the rules of the road in the interest of environmentalist programs.

Bicycles to Be Taxed for Causing Global Warming.  The triumph of moonbattery means that there is no longer any limit whatsoever to government greed or tyrannical absurdity.

Topeka Cracks Down On Unlicensed Bicycles.  Topeka police are warning local bicycle owners they could face up to $76 in fines and court costs if they're caught pedaling unlicensed bikes.  Already this year 27 cyclists have received citations that include a $10 fine plus $66 court costs for riding unlicensed bikes.

New Jersey may soon require teens and adults to register bikes.  New Jersey residents older than 15 may soon be required to register their bicycles — and attach license plates to prove compliance — if a recently proposed law passes the state assembly.  On Jan. 6, assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker of Newark introduced Bill A3657, requiring registration of all bicycles ridden on public roads.




Other related information

Free rides on the subway:  Another handout for people who are too lazy to work.
De Blasio:  MTA shouldn't hike fares because 'people are hurting'.  Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday the MTA should seriously reconsider its plan to raise fares for subway and bus riders next year.  "I am very concerned about any fare hike because I think people are hurting economically right now, and I think we have to be very, very careful about putting an additional burden on people's lives," the mayor said on his weekly radio show on WNYC.  "I think the MTA should be very careful on this fare hike issue."  Hizzoner also said he has yet to make a decision on a separate proposal by anti-inequality advocates calling for Metro Card discounts based on people's incomes.

Riding the Roads on Greyhound Is an Education in People.  We all have interesting summer-vacation stories.  This year, mine involved the colorful characters I met taking Greyhound two-thirds of the way across the country, from New York to Denver, and back.  Emergency eye surgery meant I couldn't fly to attend important obligations for work, so it was either the train or the bus.  Amtrak seemed a logical choice until I learned that the train would lack Wi-Fi for 75 percent of the trip.  In theory, I could have bought a wireless card, but I knew Greyhound Wi-Fi was consistently better than Amtrak's.  Having just finished my 40-hour return trip on the bus, I can say I look forward to being able to fly again.

Red Line rejection could show developers Baltimore is 'moving backwards'.  A robust public transit system is increasingly important to developers. [...] M.J. "Jay" Brodie, the former longtime head of the Baltimore Development Corp., does consulting work for two Washington developers who he says were watching closely to see what would happen with the proposed 14.1-mile Light Rail extension.

The Editor says...
Can you read between the lines?  Here's what I saw:  Transit lines are built for the benefit of real estate developers, not for the general public.

The Great Emancipator vs. the Green Menace.  My world would get very small if I lost my car, shrinking to the area covered by bus routes. [...] I am reminded of my college experience when I encounter attacks from environmentalists who casually dismiss the tremendous, life-serving value that cars provide.  "A $10 monthly bus pass plus a bike can take you anywhere you want to go," writes an anti-car blogger, thoughtlessly.  His anti-car sentiment is embodied in numerous government attacks on driving.  There are burdensome state gas taxes, which are as high as 39.5¢ per gallon, and are expected to increase in the future, to compensate for mandatory increases in fuel economy, which drive up the prices of cars.  HOV lanes and inadequate highways target commuters by increasing congestion to discourage driving. [...] What about a handicapped person, a pregnant woman, a family with small children, a 60-year-old with arthritis, or anyone whose aspirations extend further than his physical strength — or a filthy government transit system  — can take him?

Obama: the Pen, Phone, and Failure.  [President Obama's] EPA is trying to regulate the coal industry out of business.  Coal provides 37% of our electricity.  Do not be alarmed, he is replacing that generating capacity with... well, nothing.  You see, skyrocketing the price of electricity was an objective not a side effect.  If you can't afford it, you won't use it.  The goal is to push Americans out of single-family homes into high-density cities, where tiny, cubicle-like apartments, clustered around mass transit will become the norm.  In these progressive Shangri-Las, no one will own a car, which is a good thing since Barry has doubled the price of gasoline in his first term and will probably double it again before the end of his second.

Uber executive spoke of investigating female journalist, but this one fought back.  This is a tale of corporate arrogance, of hostility toward journalists, and of one woman who stood up to one of the fastest-growing companies in America.  It's also a disaster for Uber, which once enjoyed the image of a cool, innovative company that outsmarted the taxi industry and now seems like a gang of adolescent dirt-diggers.

The most common New York cab driver name is now Mohammed.  Thousands of snippets of data have been gathered to provide a detailed look at one of New York City's most iconic sights — the yellow cab.  An info-graphic by Vizual-statistix this week has revealed that the most common first name in 2014 among the 52,131 authorized drivers (those behind the wheel of both yellow cabs and limousines) is Mohammad — and alternate spellings MD, Mohammed, Muhammad, and Mohamed.  The next most common names were Jean and Abdul.

Cabbies cry foul over body odor test, claiming ethnic discrimination.  Body odor is among 52 criteria that officials at San Diego International Airport use to judge taxi drivers.  Cabbies say that smacks of prejudice and discrimination.  For years, inspectors with the San Diego Regional Airport Authority run down their checklist for each cabbie — proof of insurance, functioning windshield wipers, adequate tire treads, good brakes.  Drivers are graded pass, fail or needs fixing.  Anyone who flunks the smell test is told to change before picking up another customer.  Leaders of the United Taxi Workers of San Diego union say the litmus perpetuates a stereotype that predominantly foreign-born taxi drivers smell bad.

The Editor says...
Stereotypes don't just pop up out of nowhere.  All stereotypes have some basis in fact; otherwise they would not be believable or even understandable.

Third World Cabbies Say Expecting Them to Shower is Racist.  Cabbies who smell badly are probably just oppressed folks who came directly from their terrorist training camp to the airport and didn't have time to change.

Riding the No. 10 Bus in Atlanta.  "As affluent young professionals and older empty nesters flock back into cities across the country in search of better lifestyles," writes Rebecca Burns, "the suburbs left behind are increasingly stuck with a demographic — the working poor and struggling middle class — they were never built to accommodate."  The problem is especially bad in Atlanta, where reverse migration is exacerbated by a notoriously poor transportation system — built that way on purpose — that is gradually turning a sprawling metropolitan area into a patchwork of disconnected enclaves, seized by gridlock and scrambling to absorb their new residents. [...] Here's what it's like trying to get from Cobb County to Atlanta and back, on the bus.  It's a nightmare.

How fed dollars for trolleys in Miami-Dade [and] Local cities spurred [a] civil rights investigation.  Miami's snazzy new trolleys, painted to look like quaint street cars and designed to draw riders with free public transportation, hit all the hot spots:  Mary Brickell Village and AmericanAirlines Arena, the Adrienne Arsht Center, Midtown and downtown Coral Gables.  There's even a route to Miami's sprawling health district near Jackson Memorial.  But where the trolleys do not venture is the West Grove, a largely black neighborhood founded over a century ago by Bahamian laborers who helped build the city.

Endangered Crustacean Could Delay Metro Plans in Maryland.  The discovery of the tiny Hay's Spring amphipod, a federally protected endangered species, in the waters of Rock Creek Park could delay plans for the Purple Line train to be added to the D.C. Metro rail system.  According to the Rock Creek Conservancy, the amphipod is a ½-to-1-inch colorless, eyeless crustacean that uses hairs to move about and find food.  The Conservancy's website also states that Rock Creek is the only place in the world that the amphipod is found.

Are Liberals Misanthropes?  Liberals love mass transit.  They think it's impossible to spend too much on it.  They generally despise automobiles. Automobiles have done more for individual freedom than almost any other human achievement.  Liberals think that automobiles are the chief culprit in global warming and the destruction of the planet.  For conservatives, our endowment of fossil fuels and hydrocarbons is seen as a blessing.  For liberals, it is seen as a curse.

Government hates competition:
Florida Beach Town's Million Dollar Bus Waste.  Last year, two young college graduates had a great business idea that has become a huge success in the town of Delray Beach, Florida.  Observing the ordeal of vacationers lugging beach chairs and other heavy beach equipment for the long, hot walk to the beach, they introduced a free golf cart shuttle service called "The Delray Downtowner."  They are on call until 11 p.m. every night and can take anyone anywhere in the downtown area.  Not surprisingly, the Delray Beach city government is apparently doing everything it can to drive The Downtowner out of business.

SEIU threatening San Francisco Bay Area Greenies.  An ugly drama is playing out as the most powerful leftist union in the country is signaling its intention to paralyze the transit backbone of San Francisco Bay Area travel by striking BART, possibly for an extended period, devastating air quality and selling out the progressive coalition allies, environmentalists.

The train station is ugly — so leave it that way!
Metro rips out Phantom Planter's flowers at Dupont Circle station.  The transit system regularly pleads poverty, yet employees devoted supposedly valuable time to remove more than 1,000 morning glories, cardinal flowers and cypress vines that Docter donated to the city — albeit without permission.  The plants would have bloomed from August to October in a patriotic display of red, white and blue.  Instead of greenery today and colors to come, the 176 flower boxes along the top stretch of the escalators at the station's north entrance now feature dirt, a few straggling stems and the occasional discarded soda can.

Washington's Blooming Bureaucrats Make 1,000 Flowers Wither.  A guerrilla gardener planted 1,000 flowers at the ugliest subway stop in the capital.  Instead of saying thanks, D.C. Metro authorities ripped the plants out to show him — and the public — who's boss.

San Francisco transit aims to snuff out private rival.  On a typical work day in San Francisco, at least 27 private employers are picking up workers in shuttle buses — complete with cushioned seats and WiFi — at more than 200 stops across the city.  The transit option is a booming private enterprise that reduces traffic congestion and air pollution.  Some in the city want to snuff it out, San Francisco-style, with government regulations and fees.

USA Urbanized Areas over 500,000:  A statistical comparison of population, land area and density trends using data from 1990 and 2000.

NJ Transit to end free rides for non-union workers.  NJ Transit's 1,800 non-union employees could have to pay their own way on buses and trains starting Jan. 1, as the Christie administration on Monday said it intends to end a 30-year-old perk that provided free rides into retirement.  The measure would also stop some 700 retirees and their spouses from enjoying free rides.  As much as $1.6 million in additional revenue could be generated, officials said, if the NJ Transit board approves eliminating the perk — a standard benefit for mass transit workers nationwide.

Metro awards rail contract to Japanese firm despite union protests.  In a break with Los Angeles' organized labor movement, Metro board members Monday [4/30/2012] awarded a crucial $890-million rail car contract to a giant Japanese firm that unions claim will create fewer jobs than a competitor and might violate federal requirements to use American workers.  Metro officials say the contract with Kinkisharyo International to build 235 cars is critical for opening new light rail lines on time and replacing aging equipment on existing systems.

The Editor says...
Take a ride on a commuter train in Dallas and see what you can expect from Kinkisharyo rail cars.

Planes, Trains ... and Buses?  It's the new face of bus travel.  After years as the ugly stepchild of intercity transportation — thanks to its long-held reputation as unfriendly, uncomfortable and tawdry — bus travel is bouncing back.

Rails Won't Save America.  Rising gas prices and concerns about greenhouse gases have stimulated calls to build more rail transit lines in urban areas, increase subsidies to Amtrak, and construct a large-scale intercity high-speed rail system.  These megaprojects will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, but they won't save energy or significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Hudak on transit: World-Class means subways.  For Toronto to retain its world-class status, Queen's Park needs to heed voters, community leaders and the lessons of other major cities when it comes to transit development, Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak said today [3/1/2012].  "Truly world-class cities build underground — not on street-level," Hudak said.  "They've learned to avoid ripping up major arteries, further snarling traffic and harming productivity, commerce and quality of life."

Why Your Highway Has Potholes.  In a typical year only about 65 cents of every gas tax dollar is spent on roads and highways.  The rest is intercepted by the public transit lobby and Congressional earmarkers. [...] One reason roads are shortchanged is that liberals believe too many Americans drive cars.  Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has been pushing a strange "livability" agenda, which he defines as "being able to take your kids to school, go to work, see a doctor, drop by the grocery or post office, go out to dinner and a movie, and play with your kids in a park, all without having to get in your car."  This is the mind of the central planner at work, imagining that Americans all want to live in his little utopia.

PATH problems caused by Hurricane Sandy are driving some out of N.J.  Superstorm Sandy crippled the Port Authority Trans-Hudson line, a 24-hour subway which last year ferried 76.6 million passengers between Manhattan and New Jersey.

Woman killed after stepping in front of Metro train.  The woman was struck around 11:30 a.m. after she "intentionally placed herself in the path" of an Orange Line train.

Hillary tries to show 'real New Yorker' Sanders how to ride the subway, but takes five swipes to get through the turnstile.  Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton rode the New York City subway today, in a swipe at Bernie Sanders who said in a recent interview that 'tokens' were still used to pay for the system.  But it was the swiping of a Metrocard that tripped Clinton up, with the former senator from New York swiping her card nearly five times before entering a Bronx station.  America Rising PAC — which produces opposition research against Democrats — already called out Clinton for her multiple swipes, calling it 'shocking' video of an 'out-of-touch' candidate struggling to use her Metrocard.

The Editor says...
I'm not sure it's entirely fair to pin this on Hillary.  The fault probably lies with the transit system machines.  I've never been on the New York subway system, but I have spoken with a co-worker who has been there recently, and he says he had the same trouble.

Hillary Clinton Struggles To Use NYC MetroCard.  Hillary Clinton had some difficulty using a New York City MetroCard Thursday [4/7/2016] during a televised one-stop subway ride.  Clinton reportedly swiped her card five times before successfully entering the platform and boarding the 4 train from Yankee Stadium to 170th Street.  Before boarding the train, Clinton made an apparent jab at Bernie Sanders, who in an April 1 interview with the New York Daily News mistakenly said that the New York subway still uses tokens.

The Editor says...
It's hard to imagine either of these two limousine liberals riding the subway.  And indeed, even if they board a subway train for a brief photo op, they are surrounded by cops.

The Real Scandal of Clinton's Subway Trip: She Violated the NYC Metro Rules.  Hillary Clinton swept headlines Thursday [4/7/2016] after her struggle to get through the turnstiles at the New York subway, but social media critics missed the greater story of the former secretary of state violating the metro rules while city officials looked on. [...] Media outlets flooded the Internet with videos of Clinton swiping her MetroCard five times before she was finally given the green light to walk through the turnstile.  Critics took to twitter to evaluate the situation.




"As urban growth and transportation expert Randal O'Toole notes in his recent book The Best Laid Plans, the New York City subway is the only rail transit line in the country that carries as many people as a single freeway lane."

[*]



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Updated March 29, 2017.

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