Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – July 26, 2010

July 26, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Monday, July 26, 2010 – ISSN 1529-1057

Upcoming Visit to Hanover, New Hampshire-White River Junction, Vermont Area

One of the things I like to do when traveling is meet TCN readers.  I’ll soon be making a visit to the Upper Connecticut River Valley and would welcome the opportunity to meet any TCN readers who are in the area.  Please drop me a note and let’s see if we can get together.


1) ‘Greener Skies’ Project Lowers Flight Emissions by 35%

Use of NextGen flight procedures allows more efficient landings.

Link to article in Fast Company:

Link to news release from Alaska Airlines:

2) Spain Approves Plan to Liberalize Air Traffic Control Services

Link to article in the Latin American Herald Tribune:

3) Atlanta Hartsfield Airport Puts Aerobahn Plane Locator to Use

System uses sensors to track all aircraft on the ground and those circling within ten miles.

Link to article in USA Today:

4) English Skills Taking Off Among Pilots

Link to AP article:

5) US Air Force Wants Drones to Sense Other Planes’ ‘Intent’

Link to article from Wired:


6) The £2 Million Traffic Camera Which has Snared 16,123 Drivers in Three Months

Confusing signs partially blamed for large number of fines.

Link to article in The Daily Mail:


7) Indian Transport Minister Wants Mysore to be a Model Transport City

Announces system to deliver real-time bus information; says latest technologies should be in city.

Link to article in The Times of India:

8) Dial-an-Auto Picks Up Speed in Pune, Registered Autorickshaws to Get GSM Soon

Link to article in Indian Express:–registered-autos-to-get-GSM-soon/651359

9) Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles Installs TVs to Help Divert Waiting Motorists

Link to article in The Providence Journal:


10) Washington, DC DOT FOIA Officer Wasting Time Stonewalling Request?

Link to commentary in The Washington Post:


11) North Dakota DOT’s Road Work Goes High-Tech

Link to article in The Bismarck Tribune:


12) Still Not Perfect, but Myki Makes Full Debut in Melbourne – at Last

Link to article in The Age:–at-last-20100725-10qkw.html

13) Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Official Pushes TVs for Buses

Link to article in the Journal Sentinel:

14) Cell Service, Wi-Fi Coming to a Subway Near You

New York MTA deal with Transit Wireless back on track.

Link to article in the Daily News:

15) TriMet Driver Offers Mea Culpa, Explains ‘Kill This Bicyclist’ Post

Link to article in The Oregonian:

Link to Bus Driver Blog post:


16) Eyes on the Highway

Staff at Texas DOT’s TransVision headquarters in Fort Worth monitor conditions and inform drivers.

Link to video in the Star-Telegram:

17) Funds Slated for Intelligent Traffic System for Commonwealth Games Will Not be Installed in Time

Link to article in The Times of India:


18) Concept of Commuting is Approaching a Turning Point

In-vehicle technology is already changing how we drive.

Link to article in the Star-Telegram:

19) Ads on License Plates Could be Trend of the Future

Link to article on AOL Autos:

News Releases

1) New Blog Tracks Intelligent, Cooperative Vehicle Technologies

2) NASA Astronaut Sends First Message in American Sign Language from Orbit

3) Pilot My-Casta iPhone App Includes Aviation Fuel Prices and Charts

4) Qualcomm Tops New ABI Research Commercial Telematics In-Cab Hardware Vendor Matrix Ranking

Upcoming Events

13th International IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems – September 19-22 – Madeira Island, Portugal

Today in Transportation History

1990 **20th anniversary** The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law.


The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe (for free) or unsubscribe, please contact me at

TCN archives:

Questions, comments about the TCN?  Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast at

© 2010 Bernie Wagenblast

Bringing Sexy Back … To A British Bus-Station!!!

July 24, 2010 at 11:44 am

(Source: via Fast Company)

Image Courtesy: Bustler

Image Courtesy: Bustler

Image Courtesy: Bustler

At the first glimpse, it looks like an awkwardly shaped UFO.. Oh, but it is not! This is the futuristic bus stop proposed for the humble English town of Stoke-o-Trent, which wants to build a new city bus station.  Now, for those of us who are used to conjuring up images of a bus stop – the quintessential dingy floors, chaotic bus parking bays, bums hanging around the corner, etc..- this comes as a sweet shocker, this one by designer team Austin Smith Lord would create what is surely the world’s most futuristic bus depot.  These images show bus stops doesn’t have to be ugly and creepy – they can be functional while looking stunningly beautiful.

Austin Smith Lord was the people’s choice winner against stiff competition, which included Wilkinson Eyre and Zaha Hadid. (The winner was a plan by Grimshaw Architects.) Though the Austin Smith Lord design concept looks bizzare, it is moored to a brilliant logic: The main performance feature is a flowing layout that allows buses to enter and exit without ever having to back out of a parking space.

Loving the Brits for encouraging such outta the box concept design.

Click here to read more and to view more pictures.

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Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – July 23, 2010

July 24, 2010 at 10:04 am

Friday, July 23, 2010 – ISSN 1529-1057

IVBSS Program Public Meeting October 20, 2010 in Ypsilanti, MI

U.S. DOT will host a one-day public meeting on October 20, 2010 to provide a report on results from the Integrated Vehicle-Based Safety Systems (IVBSS) field operational test to members of the vehicle safety research community and other interested parties.

The IVBSS program is a five-year cooperative research agreement to combine several crash warning subsystems — including forward collision, lane departure, lane change, and curve speed warning — into a single, integrated concept to enhance the safety of both passenger vehicles and heavy trucks. Field tests using a fleet of light vehicles and heavy trucks were recently completed and the resulting reports are being finalized. The Key Findings report for the Heavy Truck field test will be available by the end of August.

Click here for registration and additional information.  Online registration deadline is October 15.


1) Cockpit Technology Aids Aviation Efficiency Drive

Link to AP article:

2) FAA Naming Group to Study ADS-B in Requirements

Link to article in Aviation International News:

3) Naverus Offers Precise Pathway in the Sky

Link to article and video in The Seattle Times:

4) Business Aviation Celebrates Social Media Day

Link to program on Blog Talk Radio:


5) Washington, DC DOT Unveils New Bike-Sharing Map

Link to story and video on WJLA-TV:

Link to District DOT news release:


6) Arizona Cancels Study of Speed Enforcement Cameras’ Impact on Safety

Link to AP article:


7) Drivers to be Warned of Oncoming Trains

Wireless technology would broadcast an audio and visual warning to vehicles approaching crossings when a train is expected.

Link to AAP article:

Link to video release from La Trobe University:

8) Deepwater Horizon Alarms Were Switched Off ‘to Help Workers Sleep’

Link to article in The Guardian:

9) Hill Opposition Grows to FCC Spectrum Auction Plan

Link to article on Nextgov:


10) Teachable Moments from NASA’s Social Media Project, Spacebook

Link to article in Federal Computer Week:


11) Moving to Broadband on Public Transport

Link to column in Mass Transit:

12) Toronto Subway System Briefly Shut Down on Control Center Failure

Link to article in The Globe and Mail:


13) Man in Charge of Traffic Management for Rugby World Cup Talks About His Plans

Link to article in The Aucklander:

14) Company Adds Surprise Fee to Lifetime Agreement

TrafficGauge says $9.95 ‘annual network access fee’ is now required.

Link to column in the Los Angeles Times:,0,1687635.column


15) Windows Embedded Car Hits the Road

Link to article on

News Releases

1) ITS America Applauds FREIGHT Act’s Focus on Innovative Technology Solutions

2) Southern California Transit Training Consortium (SCRTTC) Announces New University Affiliate Member

Upcoming Events

First GSC Workshop – September 14 – Brussels

Friday Bonus

Ever been in a situation where you just can’t get the voice-recognition system to understand you?  Well, it could be worse.

Today in Transportation History

1945 **65th anniversary** The first Vista Dome railcar car was put into service on the Twin Cities Zephyr.


The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe (for free) or unsubscribe, please contact me at

TCN archives:

Questions, comments about the TCN?  Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast at

© 2010 Bernie Wagenblast

Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – July 21, 2010

July 22, 2010 at 11:47 am

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 – ISSN 1529-1057

Please Help Increase Circulation of TCN

Whether you’re getting the TCN delivered to you directly, or have a copy forwarded to you, you hopefully find the newsletter a welcome source of news and information.  Currently, 7,300 people around the world receive the TCN directly.  Unknown numbers get forwarded copies or read it online.  I’d welcome your help in letting others know about the TCN.  If there are people you work with who you think might find these daily updates helpful, please pass along a copy and invite them to subscribe.  As always, the TCN is and will remain free.  Folks can subscribe by sending an e-mail to me  Thanks!


1) David Warren, Aircraft ‘Black Box’ Inventor Dies in Australia

Link to AFP article:

2) Aerospace Industry Seeks Air Traffic Collaboration

Link to Reuters article:


3) Birmingham, Alabama-Area Traffic Cameras, Highway Message Boards Apparently Shut Down by Vandals

Link to article in The Birmingham News:


4) Russia May Mandate Compatibility with Russian Variant of GPS

Link to article on cellular-news:


5) Changing the Car Culture Down Under

Australia is using an educational marketing program and first-rate bike-pedestrian facilities to talk commuters out of their cars.

Link to article in InTransition:


6) Boise, Idaho Approves $60,000 for Airport Bond ‘Educational Outreach’

Link to story and video on KTVB-TV:


7) EU Proposes ‘Black Boxes’ for Buses and Taxis

Link to article in The Telegraph:

8) Safety-Driven Software Aims to Block Texting While Driving

Link to article in USA Today:

9) Progress Report: Interoperability

Link to article in Emergency Management: (page 48)

10) Taking Photos in Public Places is Not a Crime: Analysis

Link to commentary in Popular Mechanics:


11) What? Ford’s Sync Voice System Turns Deaf Ear to Women

Link to column in USA Today:

12) eCall Legislation – To Care or Not to Care?

Link to commentary in GPS Business News:–To-Care-or-not-to-Care_a2372.html


13) UK Rail Passengers ‘Shun Confusing Ticket Machines’

Link to BBC News story:

Link to news release from Passenger Focus:

Link to report:

14) Where’s the Astoria Riverfront Trolley?

GPS allows antique vehicles to be tracked online.

Link to article in The Daily Astorian:

15) TriMet Embraces Open Source with ‘Open Trip Planner’

Link to blog on

16) When Transportation and Religion Collide: Muslim Ads on the Bus

Link to blog on The Infrastructurist:


17) New Travel Information Standards for European Digital Radio Platforms

Link to article in Radio:

Upcoming Events

Insurance Telematics USA 2010 – September 13-14 – Chicago

Today in Transportation History

1925 **85th anniversary** Malcolm Campbell became the first person to break the 150 mph land-speed barrier.


The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe (for free) or unsubscribe, please contact me at

TCN archives:

Questions, comments about the TCN?  Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast at

© 2010 Bernie Wagenblast

DC Ink! Washington, DC highlights City’s Relationship with War and Loss with a Road Tattoo

July 20, 2010 at 2:05 pm

(Source: via the DC Department of Transportation Tweet)

As part of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty’s ongoing efforts to advance arts in the District of Columbia, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) selected tattoo artist Steed Taylor to paint a road tattoo entitled “Daughters and Sons Knot”. Mr. Taylor’s design highlights Washington DC’s relationship with war and loss by honoring metropolitan area soldiers recently killed while serving their country. The names of those soldiers’ children will be incorporated in the design. The design is a complex Celtic Knot with 6 loops, a symbolic number for harmony and alluding to the interdependence within a community as well as a family. The road tattoo is approximately 60 feet wide and 300 feet long and made with the help of local volunteers and neighbors.

Installation Begins Saturday July 24 through Sunday July 25 from 7AM – 7PM each day. A dedication ceremony will be held Sunday at 1pm after which the design’s outline will be painted by the community.

A road tattoo? If roads are considered the skin of a community, then a road has a similar relationship to the public body as skin does to the individual body, allowing roads to be marked as people mark their skin for commemoration, communication or ritual. View an example of how a road tattoo is created.  Gallery plan b is coordinating the installation with Mr. Taylor. Images and additional information can be found on their website.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO HELP PAINT! Help make an incredibly meaningful public artwork for our city and be a part of DC history! For questions or more information e-mail Gallery Plan b, 202-234-2711, or Steed Taylor.

Note: The project will require traffic and parking restrictions along the 800 block of Vermont Avenue, NW, from Friday after rush hour to Sunday evening. Participants are encouraged to arrive via Metro (The McPherson Metro Station-Vermont Avenue exit). Limited on-street parking is nearby.

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Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – July 19, 2010

July 20, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Monday, July 19, 2010 – ISSN 1529-1057


1) Glitch of New Hijack Warning System Leads to Israeli Fighter Intercept of Ethiopian Airlines Flight

Link to article in Haaretz:


2) New South Wales Mobile Speed Cameras Send ‘Security’ Info Back to Base

Link to article in TechWorld:

3) Speed Cameras: Good or Bad?

Link to story and audio report on American Public Media’s Marketplace:


4) North Texas Tollway Authority Acknowledges Camera Problems, Vows to Boost Billing

Link to article in The Dallas Morning News:


5) GPS Warns of Red Light Cameras, but Database Isn’t Reliable

Link to McClatchy Newspapers review:


6) Inside the World’s Most Advanced Submarine

Link to CNET News blog:

7) COMSAR Initiates Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) Review

Link to article in IMO News: (page 15)


8) Pay-by-Phone Parking Tested in DC

Link to article in The Washington Post:


9) Toyota Educates Customers as Floor Mat Alert Ignored

Link to Bloomberg article:

10) Montana Develops App for Driver’s Exam Practice

Link to AP article:

11) Failure to Bash

Former road industry publication editor recounts his experience dealing with FHWA PR staff.

Link to commentary in Better Roads:


12) Eurostar Launches First TV Spot in Three Years

Link to article and video on Brand Republic News:


13) Fixed Electronic Road Signs in New Zealand Will Not be Used to Warn Drivers About Ice

New Zealand Transport Agency says mobile warning signs are sufficient.

Link to article in The Nelson Mail:


14) US Public Safety Officials to Kick Off Lobbying Blitz for Spectrum

Link to article on Nextgov:

15) US Customs to Promote Registered Traveler Program

Link to article in USA Today:

16) West Virginia Amber Alert Gets New Look

New logo designed to catch drivers’ attention on highway signs.

Link to story on WSAZ-TV:

17) Mobile Mapping While Driving: Is It Risky?

Link to CNN story:

18) Distracted Driving Solution Hits Market After 17 Years in Making

Link to article in Wireless Week:


19) Cross Country Provides Drivers Critical Info

Link to article in Highlands Today:


20) DC Metro Seeks to Ease Congestion on Busy Bus Routes, Saving Time and Millions

Transit agency uses GPS data to identify slow zones for buses.

Link to article in The Washington Post:

21) KSRTC to Introduce ITS for Mysore Public Transport

Link to Sify article:

22) Shield for Metro Near Chennai Airport to Prevent Interference with Radar Signals

Link to article in The Times of India:


23) Wisconsin Company has Eye on Traffic so You Can Avoid Jams Ahead

Link to article in the Wisconsin State Journal:

Number of BlueTOAD Devices in Wisconsin is Growing

24) Driven to Distraction by Twits’ Signs

Motorists groups say message signs advertising traffic information on Twitter are a safety risk.

Link to article in The Scotsman:

25) Idaho 511 Expands to Include Bus Schedules

Link to video report on KBOI-TV:

26) Clearwater, Florida Earns Patent for Device to Control Traffic Remotely

Link to article in the St. Petersburg Times:

27) ViaMichelin Launches Free iPhone Traffic App

Link to article in Tyres & Accessories:


28) Subaru Outback to Double as Wi-Fi Hot Spot

Link to CNET blog:

News Releases

1) TrafficLand Adding Caltrans Los Angeles and Orange County Traffic Cameras to Its National Network

2) Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority to Implement More Technology-Based Improvements

3) California’s MTC Invites Bay Area Residents to Shape Strategy for Expanding Public Involvement

Upcoming Events

2010 ITS Tri-Chapter Information Exchange Summit – August 18-19 – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Today in Transportation History

1985 **25th anniversary** US Vice President George H.W. Bush announced that Christa McAuliffe would become the first teacher, and the first private citizen, in fly in space.


The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit:

If you have any difficulties please contact me at

TCN archives:

Questions, comments about the TCN?  Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast at

© 2010 Bernie Wagenblast

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Germans throw the biggest damn block party EVER.. on the Autobahn!!!

July 19, 2010 at 5:28 pm

(Source:  via Irish Times, NY Times, Guardian, UK)

On July 18th, Germany shut down its busiest Autobahn for celebrating life – appropriately titled “Still-Life A40”.  The “Still Life” festival on Sunday in the Ruhr region in western Germany offered some surreal images and video footage of the autobahn without cars and overrun with pedestrians.

A 37-mile stretch of Germany’s famous highway system, between Dortmund and Duisburg, was closed to motor vehicles for the street festival and replaced by a line of 20,000 tables, reports The Guardian. Around three million people attended the event.

The ambitious aim of “Still Life” was to change negative attitudes in Germany towards the Ruhr, a region known for the last six decades as the capital of smokestacks, steel mills, and soot.

Some five million people live in this urban sprawl of cities, where Duisburg runs into Essen into Bochum and on to Dortmund. Yesterday more than two million locals – every second resident – flooded the A40 expressway for this highlight of the 2010 European Capital of Culture in Essen and its Ruhr sister cities.

For one day the Ruhr was connected up with 20,000 tables and as many mini-parties from bowling clubs alongside school groups, scout troops and theatre troupes. A friendly festival on the otherwise hostile, anonymous Autobahn.

For kilometre after kilometre, the party kept on rolling. Strangers salsa danced in the sun near Duisburg and 100 newly wed brides in their gleaming white wedding dresses handed out red roses near Essen.

Television pictures from the air showed crowds milling around on a road where cars usually race along at speeds of 160 kph (100 mph) or more.

One lane of the autobahn, which crosses North Rhine-Westphalia state, was kept free for skaters and cyclists – and more than one million revellers brought bicycles, including the state premier, Hannelore Kraft.

There are no general speed limits on Germany’s autobahns. Cars often speed up to 200km per hour (125mph) or more. In dense or dangerous areas, drivers are often required to slow down to 120 km per hour (75mph).

Transportgooru Musings:  I wonder what is the total fuel savings from this shut down?  Does anyone have any idea of potential savings resulting from this event (fuel savings, CO2 Emissions reduction, etc).  Oh well, beyond the economic/monetary benefits, it is always wonderful to see the community getting a chance to explore their own infrastructure by foot and bicycle.  I dream of a day our Washington,DC’s infamous beltway shuts down once a year for a festivity like this, bringing together communities for a get together that celebrates the diversity of the region.  It would be nothing but a MASSIVE  hit and I’m sure my fellow American citizens would definitely celebrate this.  After all, the Americans know how to throw a party, better than anyone on earth.

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New York’s LIRR delivers safety message via the Gap Rap – Look Down, Step Over and Watch The Gap!

July 19, 2010 at 1:15 pm

(Source: WSJ)

How do you deliver rail safety message to the General public in the age of twitter and YouTube.  Here is one such effort and it’s called Gap Rap (Warning: Geeky & Corny Video and Lyrics).

The music video, which premiered online Thursday, features LIRR Medical Director John Clarke — an army of fifth graders from Long Beach accompanying him as backup dancers — giving safety tips to railroad riders from Times Square, trains and LIRR stations. Here it is:

Dr. Clarke has a history of public-service raps.  He’s taken on psoriasis (“No one knows the cause or why is brings drama”) and H1N1 (“If you have it stay at home so you don’t spread none”).  The effectiveness of this effort is definitely worth watching in the months to come.

(Transportgooru’s Review: A full 10/10 for the thought to promote safety; 0/10 for the execution.  Summary: Doc, please spend a couple of $$ and find some pros can can really deliver and pls. stick to what you know best – medicine).

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Argentina Says Ni Hao! China Splashes $10B in Argentina’s Rail and Subway Projects

July 19, 2010 at 12:58 pm

(Source: Reuters The Transport Politic)

China and Argentina have agreed to invest about $10 billion over several years to renovate the Latin American country’s dilapidated railway system and build a subway for its second-largest city. Funds come from the China Development Bank and will require a 15% match from the Argentinian government.

The $10B breaks down as follows:

Argentina will receive $4.35 billion to renovate three freight railroad lines, including $1.85 billion to improve conditions on the Belgrano Line, which links the country to Bolivia and is an important link for the nation’s agricultural producers.  Argentina’s once-extensive rail network was largely dismantled during the privatisations of the 1990s. But as agricultural output soars, farmers and grain elevators — who send more than 80 percent of grains by costly road transport — have been calling for investment to revive the railways.

Road transport costs about 7 U.S. cents per tonne per kilometre in South America’s No. 3 economy — about twice the cost of rail cargo and four times what it costs to transport grains by boat, according to the grains exchange in the country’s biggest agricultural port, Rosario.

More than four billion dollars for the improvement of the Buenos Aires Subway and the creation of a four-corridor Metro in Cordoba — projects.

China in recent years has been dipping into its deep pockets to fund infrastructure projects in poor and emerging economies that bolster relations and often further Beijing’s own economic goals by helping bring goods and raw materials to market faster.  I’d not be surprised if the Chinese are looking to export their rail technology to not just the developing parts of the world but also to advanced economies such as the USA.  The world better learn fast how to say Ni Hao!

Click here to read more.

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Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – July 16, 2010

July 16, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Friday, July 16, 2010 – ISSN 1529-1057


1) Raleigh-Durham Airport Surrenders in Six-Year Legal Fight Over Newspaper Boxes

Link to article in The News & Observer:

2) Wi-Fi Available on One in Three US Planes

VoIP is a non-no.

Link to article in Computerworld:

3) NextGen Airportal Project Seeks to Streamline Aviation Ground Operations and Blend Terminal Control at Adjacent Airports

Link to article in Avionics Intelligence:


4) Why GPS Voices are so Condescending

Link to CNN story:

5) iPad as the Ultimate Navigation Tool

Link to article in Forbes:


6) Who’s Responsible for Warning Cruise Travelers About Dangers in Port?

Link to article on Cruise Critic:


7) Riders Flock to Smartcards to Pay for Cabs

Link to article in amNew York:


8) Long Island Rail Road Doctor Debuts Public-Service Rap

Link to blog and video in The Wall Street Journal:

9) Catching Them Young on Traffic Management

Education of the young may help change chaotic traffic conditions in Nigeria.

Link to article in the Daily Independent:


10) Toronto Transit Panel Suggests Better Ways

Link to article in the National Post:


11) Get Traffic Alerts, Accidents, Route Diversions in Delhi Through SMS

Link to article in the Hindustan Times:

News Releases

1) Los Angeles International Airport Improves Social Media Sites on Facebook and Twitter, Launches YouTube Channel

2) Washington State Transportation Secretary Announces Stronger Communication Reporting Protocols for Project Oversight and Delivery

3) Four Out of Five Cell Phones to Integrate GPS by End of 2011

4) Lockheed Martin Unveils GPS Exhibit at the United Nations in Vienna, Austria

Upcoming Events

IBTTA Annual Meeting and Exhibition – September 12-15 – San Diego

Friday Bonus

You never know who or what you’ll run into on the New York City subways.

Today in Transportation History

1935 **75th anniversary** The first parking meter was installed.  The meter was located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit:

If you have any difficulties please contact me at

TCN archives:

Questions, comments about the TCN?  Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast at

© 2010 Bernie Wagenblast