When COVID-19 hit us this spring, more than just our normal rail commuting patterns were disrupted. One young entrepreneur’s business simply imploded… but now he’s coming back, stronger than before.
Am I going to have to change the name of this column to “NOT Getting There?” That’s what Gov. Ned Lamont says. Post-COVID he predicts the end of daily commuting as we know it. Lamont told Bloomberg that his New York business buddies tell him they’re saving so much money by having people work from their homes they may cut office space in the city by 30%.
You know those big brown trucks that are keeping us well-delivered during this time of COVID-19? Well, there’s some interesting history and tech to United Parcel Service, or UPS.
The road ahead for commuters may be less crowded, or maybe more. One theory has it that, as people gradually return to work, they will shun mass transit out of safety concerns and commute, instead, by car. That could create problems on our roads if people try to drive five days a week. The other speculation is that the “new normal” will mean less commuting overall as people have found they can be just as productive from home and will commute less than the normal five days a week.
In the post-COVID-19 world (whenever that may be) commuters will be asking themselves one question: Is this trip really necessary?
Our “aw shucks, golly” governor seems to have a mean streak. While he probably deserves all the credit he’s getting for his handling of the COVID-19 crisis, what he did recently at the Bond Commission meeting seems uncharacteristically mean and vindictive.
“In my 30 years in the transit business I never thought I’d be asking people NOT to take the bus,” says Doug Holcomb, CEO of Greater Bridgeport Transit, the operator of 57 buses carrying 5 million passengers a year. But not this year.
When it comes to transportation, Joe McGee is often the smartest guy in the room. If I want a vision of our state’s mobility future, he’s the first man I turn to.
Trucks. We used to hate them, but now we love them. We used to hate them when we thought they were clogging our over burdened highways, causing accidents and slowing our drive. We even seemed happy when tolling would affect trucks but not passenger cars. Now we finally appreciate how truckers are crucial to resupplying our stores, keeping us well fed in this time of crisis.
“One door closes. Another door opens.” So said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a recent briefing. He’s doing such a great job at relaying facts and allaying our fears. Too bad he’s not running for president.
You can’t beat the convenience of on-demand ride services like Uber and Lyft. But wouldn’t it be great if a similar ridesharing service was available locally… and for free?
Trains make noise, especially when they blow their horns entering stations and at grade crossings. But for folks who live near the railroad branch lines, which have dozens of such crossings, the noise is too much. Those neighbors crammed a Stamford meeting recently seeking solutions. What they got was an education… and maybe some hope.
Remember Rodney Dangerfield, the comedian always complaining that he “gets no respect?” That’s how Waterbury line commuters (and local officials) feel. Their little branch line gets no respect.
The new year will bring some big changes at Greater Bridgeport Transit (GBT): the introduction of two new, all-electric buses to the fleet. GBT current runs 57 buses, 35 of them diesel-powered and 22 of them hybrids. The diesels get 3.2 mpg and the hybrids just 4.5 mpg, which means the busy transit agency must buy over a half-million gallons of diesel fuel a year.
Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti is about to finish his first year on the job and his plate is more than full. It’s overflowing with controversy. Last week, in part one of an exclusive, no-holds barred interview, he spoke of his challenges in speeding up Metro-North, coping with the over-budget, behind-schedule Walk Bridge replacement and ordering new rail cars.