Tag Archives | public transportation

Los Angeles’ Hidden Original Subway System

Gelatobaby‘s Alyssa Walker went on an unmissable clandestine urban exploration tour — through the abandoned subway system nestled below L.A., revealing an uninhabited sub-city filled with strange sights:

Behold the Subway Terminal Building, hidden in plain sight in the middle of downtown LA, where at one point during the 1940′s over 65,000 riders were shuffling down into the depths of Los Angeles to board a train which traveled beneath the busy streets. We found ourselves in a vast, pillared space that, even with the tracks and trains removed, felt very much like a subway station. We did reach the end, where there was, of course, graffiti. After being used as a fallout shelter, the tunnel was sealed in the 1960s.

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SF Transit System Blocks Cell Phone Service To Thwart Protests

0816-bart-protests-Transit-Phone_full_380Mobile technology may be a powerful tool for grassroots organizing, but the flip side of the coin is that authorities can block such technology when they wish to crack down on dissent — case in point, San Francisco’s public transit system. SF Weekly writes:

This might just be a first in the annals of Bay Area transit agencies’ political suppression (such as those annals are). BART has fessed up to jamming cell-phone signals yesterday at downtown stations in San Francisco in order to disrupt protests over the death of Charles Hill, who was shot by BART police on July 3.

Here is what BART had to say in a statement on its tactics that was released today:

Organizers planning to disrupt BART service on August 11, 2011 stated they would use mobile devices to coordinate their disruptive activities and communicate about the location and number of BART Police. A civil disturbance during commute times at busy downtown San Francisco stations could lead to platform overcrowding and unsafe conditions for BART customers, employees and demonstrators.

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GOP Hopes To Slash Funding For Mass Transit, Biking, Walking

3524633909_f20d047323What’s the wave of the future of transportation? Highways! At least that’s the case according to our Republican-controlled Congress, who are eager to wipe out federal funding of public transit and bike- and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure with a new six-year transportation bill. Streetsblog writes:

There has been speculation for months now that the House Republicans’ transportation bill proposal would be terrible for transit, biking, and walking. And sure enough, John Mica didn’t disappoint. The proposed bill, which has a working title of “A New Direction,” is decidedly pro-highway and anti- just about everything else.

The chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee yesterday released a six-year reauthorization proposal that would slash overall transportation funding 33 percent and eliminate dedicated funds for biking and walking.

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China’s Public Transportation You Can Drive Under

How could a bus be faster, cheaper and greener? Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Ct., Ltd has the answer. China Hush reports:

A big concern on top of urban transportation planner’s mind is how to speed up the traffic: putting more buses on the road will jam the roads even worse and deteriorate the air; building more subway is costly and time consuming. Well, here is an cheaper, greener and fast alternative to lighten their mind up a bit: the straddling bus, first exhibited on the 13th Beijing International High-tech Expo in May this year. In the near future, the model is to be put into pilot use in Beijing’s Mentougou District. (The official site of the high-tech expo put it as 3D fast bus, which I think is more confusing, for now I’ll just call it the straddling bus.)

Proposed by Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., Ltd, the model looks like a subway or light-rail train bestriding the road. It is 4-4.5 m high with two levels: passengers board on the upper level while other vehicles lower than 2 m can go through under. Powered by electricity and solar energy, the bus can speed up to 60 km/h carrying 1200-1400 passengers at a time without blocking other vehicles’ way. Also it costs about 500 million yuan to build the bus and a 40-km-long path for it, only 10% of building equivalent subway. It is said that the bus can reduce traffic jams by 20-30%.

Here is the presentation by Song Youzhou, chairman of Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., Ltd.

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