Free is good in Rhode Island and Detroit; Seatless subways in New York, and the underside of New York Penn Station

July 28, 2017

Rhode Island DOT says free commuter trains attracting riders

By The Associated Press, Turn to 10 NBC; July 27, 2017

Ridership on Rhode Island’s commuter rail service has risen 50 percent over the same time last year after the state made them free.

Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti told The Providence Journal that the state’s period of free rides for in-state trains is going well. He said once the free-ride period is over, RIDOT will be “looking for the sweet spot” for fares low enough to entice people to ride.

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Detroit’s QLine seeing increasing ridership during free period

By Shawn D. Lewis, The Detroit News; July 28, 2017

Detroit — The free rides appear to be paying off for the QLine.

In its 77 days of service, Detroit’s new streetcar service has seen a growth in daily ridership, an increase in the number of operators and shorter wait times, according to a report released Thursday.

“Over the past month, we’ve increased QLine service, putting more streetcars on the road, reducing wait times between vehicles and integrated rider feedback into our operational improvement plan,” said M-1 Rail CEO Matt Cullen in a statement.

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New York Today: Seatless Subway Cars


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority recently released its roughly $800 million plan to fix our beleaguered subway system.

Among the proposals: seatless subway cars.

That’s right. To accommodate more passengers, subway officials will remove seats from a few trains on certain lines, possibly later this year, starting with a pilot program on the L train between Brooklyn and Manhattan and the shuttle train between Times Square and Grand Central Terminal.

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Descending into ‘summer of hell’

By Randi F. Marshall, Newsday; July 27, 2017

 The Newsday editorial board spent its morning touring the operations of Penn Station. We saw the high tech, in the enormous digital screens of the station’s control center, where red lights gleamed as trains went by. And, we saw the dilapidated, in the rotting wooden railroad ties holding the tracks together in the dark, grim strategic spot known as A Interlocking.

That’s where two derailments occurred within a month of one another in the spring, necessitating the emergency repair work that started the “summer of hell.”

Here’s what we saw:

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