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  1. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/bus-overcrowding-stm-1.3454141 "We are crammed in like animals," piped in Lamia Salhi, a regular passenger on line 18 on Beaubien Street. "Soon it will be like in India, and we'll have to ride on the roof. It's become unbearable." And it's only been getting worse in the past two years, she said. STM's new AZUR Metro train remains rare sight STM feeling pressure from increasing ride-share options "For the first time in 15 years that I use public transit, I'm thinking about taking a car to get to work," Salhi added. Fewer buses on the roadSince 2012, the total number of kilometres traveled by all Montreal buses has gone down year after year, which means there are fewer buses on the streets. One reason is Montreal's aging bus fleet. About of a quarter of all buses are under repair at any given time. Total kilometres travelled by all buses has fallen since 2012. (Source: STM. Graphic: Radio-Canada) At the same time, the number of passengers transported by the STM has increased continuously. The number of passengers has gone up in two years. (Source: STM. Graphic: Radio-Canada) Every time a bus is too full to take on new passengers, drivers are supposed to alert their managers. CBC's French-language service, Radio-Canada, obtained a document from the STM that lists all the instances of overcrowding for the first four days of February. Drivers don't bother signalling overcrowding anymoreThe drivers who took the time to fill out the paperwork reported 170 cases. This is just the tip of the iceberg because most drivers interviewed by Radio-Canada said they never bothered making a report, the problem being so common. According to this document, a dozen lines suffer overcrowding several times a day, especially the 51 Edouard-Montpetit, 18 Beaubien and 141 Jean-Talon. This map shows the worst ones. The most overcrowded bus lines in the first four days of February. (CartoDB) Tap or click here for an interactive version of the map. Transport 2000, an association of public transit users, has been receiving more reports of overcrowding. It says drivers have also been complaining more. "Often, on line 24 Sherbrooke, I am full after three stops," one driver's complaint noted. "When users are angry, they complain to us, but we had nothing to do with it," another driver said. Drivers also tell the association that the bus schedules often do not correspond with reality. Many buses simply don't get deployed, and a single missing bus means the next ones will be crammed. "It's getting worse. We're leaving more people behind than before… Users don't complain enough to the STM, and when they complain, they are not heard," said Renato Carlone, president of the union of bus drivers and Metro operators. "It creates stress, negative comments, assaults, burnout, absenteeism, accidents, fines," Carlone said. This, in turn, creates a vicious circle as absent drivers are not always replaced, which means the bus is taken out of circulation, and the delays pile up, he said. Same problem in MetroPhilippe Schnobb, the president of the STM, knows the problem well, since he is also a Metro user. "Last week, I missed three trains before I could get on," he admitted in an interview last October where he was asked to explain the delays and shortage of buses. Amélie Régis, spokesperson for the STM. (Radio-Canada) STM spokeswoman Amélie Regis recognizes there's a problem on certain routes and at certain times of the day. Technological upgrades will help the agency better measure usage and plan accordingly, she said. "In 2016, we'll have a more detailed analysis of traffic to adjust the service where it is really needed," Régis said. Currently, only 20 per cent of buses have counting devices. The new I-bus mobile application expected later this year will let users know where each bus is located on the territory in real time. "It will allow us to better regulate the service and adjust the service when necessary," Régis said. Petition calls for STM to lift age limit on student rate STM developing mobile payment system for Android phones She also urged passengers to complain when they experience problems, since these are used in the STM's analysis of needs. Pilot project for boarding through rear doorsInspired by what is done in other major cities, the STM will conduct a test this spring on one bus line, letting users board through the rear and middle doors. This will be restricted to passengers with unlimited, monthly and weekly passes. The drivers' union is worried about the idea, fearing it could encourage fraud and imperil passenger safety. Getting flagged sucks. Boarding through rear doors will help, many times people don't move back and there is room in the back.
  2. http://www.lohud.com/story/news/transit/2016/08/01/westchester-new-bee-line-buses/87924304/ Westchester legislators OK new Bee-Line buses Matt Coyne, mcoyne@lohud.com 5:17 p.m. EDT August 1, 2016 The $9.98 million bond act pays for approximately 33 new, articulated hybrid buses to serve Central Avenue routes (Photo: JOURNAL NEWS FILE PHOTO) It took two recesses and some squabbling over punctuation, but the Bee-Line's Central Avenue routes are going to be getting new buses. Two measures at the Westchester County Board of Legislators related to a $9.98 million bond act that would see the county spring for approximately 33 new, articulated hybrid buses to serve the system's busiest routes passed unanimously Monday. But they did so only after legislators worked out exactly how to structure a sentence in the bond act that would mandate the new buses to have driver safety shields. Legislator and infrastructure committee Chairwoman Mary Jane Shimsky, a Hastings-on-Hudson Democrat, initially moved to add language to the bond act that would read "including driver safety shields and external bicycle racks, where practicable." But Catherine Parker, D-Rye City, and Ken Jenkins, D-Yonkers, questioned the "where practicable" part, with Parker suggesting the driver safety shields — clear barriers separating drivers from would-be assailants — be mandatory and that the amended language be rewritten to reflect that. After going into two brief recesses, and a discussion on where the "where practicable" clause should be placed, legislators eventually settled on "shall include driver safety shields; and where practicable given existing safety concerns, bicycle racks." The spending includes $2.4 million in federal funding for the new buses, which will replace the 14-year-old diesel buses that currently carry more than two-thirds of all Bee-Line riders. The federal government will also foot the bill for battery replacement. Last year, the county approved an $8.2 million bond to replace between 35 and 40 articulated buses, those with the accordion-like connectors, on non-Central Avenue bus lines. This county had explored the idea of fully electric buses, but driving range was a concern. “Hybrids certainly are (doable). The technology is good. We’re going to move forward with those," Shimsky said at Monday's meeting. “This is part of a regularized replacement to make sure that our transit system on one of our busiest routes is functioning properly.”
  3. What would you prefer? Riding on the Train or this? http://www.amny.com/transit/de-blasio-to-focus-on-neighborhoods-in-state-of-city-speech-1.11426710
  4. http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/columnists/john-cichowski/2017/02/25/road-warrior-technicality-kills-tiny-bus-firms-dream/98338610/
  5. https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-major-construction-begin-new-grand-moynihan-train-hall We also have some new renderings for the project:
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