Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – December 9, 2010

December 9, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Thursday, December 9, 2010 – ISSN 1529-1057


1) Complaints Lodged Over Winnipeg Speed Cams

Group says police refuse to release data on red light offenses.

Link to article in the Winnipeg Free Press:


2) Privacy Changes in Store for FasTrak

Link to article in The Examiner:


3) In-Car Navigation Systems: A Dying Breed?

Link to blog in The Wall Street Journal:


4) Jilted Pittsburgh Parking Partners Promote Online Petition

Link to article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Link to site:


5) China to Develop Telematics

Link to article on CapitalVue:


6) The Unsung Heroes Who Kept Dublin Moving in the Storms

Dublin Bus central control gathered information on road conditions and delays and tracked buses via AVL.

Link to article in the Evening Herald:

7) Singapore Road Tests Smart Traffic Cloud

Link to article on FutureGov:

8) Traffic Jam? Inrix Versus Waze

Link to blog on TechFlash:


9) US House Lawmakers: No Letter Grades on New Cars for Fuel Efficiency

Link to article in The Seattle Times:

10) GM Offers Owner’s Manual Tutorials on YouTube

Link to article and video on Social Car News:

News Releases

1) South Carolina DOT Launches 511 Traveler Information System

2) States Use Technology and Efficiency to Cut the Cost of Battling Winter

3) MBTA and Underground Signs to Sell Boston Transit Signs to the Public

4) New Passenger Information System from Mentor Engineering Keeps Riders Informed

5) Crash Data in Test Markets: Digital Billboards Not Linked to Accidents


–  Presolicitation Notice – Safety Pilot Model Deployment of IntelliDrive Safety Applications – Federal Highway Administration

Upcoming Events

IEEE Vehicular Networking Conference – December 13-15 – Jersey City, New Jersey

Today in Transportation History

1910 **100th anniversary** Georges Legagneux became the first person to fly at over 10,000 feet.


The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

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

TCN archives:

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

© 2010 Bernie Wagenblast

Publication Alert: Modernizing Public Transportation – Lessons Learned from Major Bus Improvement Projects in Latin America and Asia

December 9, 2010 at 7:44 pm

(Source: EMBARQ)

Research led by EMBARQ’s Senior Transport Engineer Dario Hidalgo provides key findings and lessons learned from a comprehensive review of major bus improvements in 13 Latin American and Asian cities.

“Modernizing Public Transport,” a 40-page report released in October 2010, is based on research and interviews with planners and public officials in cities and transport agencies around the world.

The report reviews and synthesizes information regarding challenges experienced by transport system decision makers in three key areas: planning, implementation and operations. In order to assist urban transport planners and implementing agencies, the study also provides recommendations on avoiding or mitigating similar difficulties when introducing bus reforms in developing world cities.

The report looks at transportation in 13 cities and will present in-depth case studies of nine of the cities. The first two case studies—profiling Leon and Guadalajara, Mexico—will be available by the end of October. The remaining seven case studies will be published by the end of November, including Bogota and Pereira, Colombia; Curitiba, Brazil; Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador; Mexico City, Mexico; and Santiago, Chile. The other cities covered in the report are Sao Paulo, Brazil; Beijing, China; Ahmedabad, India; and Jakarta, Indonesia.

Also, don’t forget to check out the two-part Q&A with Dario Hidalgo on   For those who are interested, you can access the official press release here.

Click here to learn more about EMBARQ and it’s awesome work across the globe.

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Bad timing, bro – Fare Jumper Caught Red Handed By Boston MBTA General Manager

December 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm

(Source: Boston Globe)

Boston MBTA’s General Manager Richard Davey was headed to Ashmont on the T’s Red Line for the unveiling of banners created by youth artists from Dorchester when he spotted the scofflaw attempting to climb over the fare gates at the lesser-used Winter Street entrance to Park Street.

He walked up the evader and confronted him for jumping over the turnstiles.  Caught by surprise and enveloped in shame, the  scofflaw retreats back. This is where it gets better.

“He kind of fumbled around, and he did not have the CharlieCard (aka the fare card) and had just a couple of bucks on him, so I actually offered to pay for him,” Davey said. “He declined and said he would get his own ticket.”

Oh well, at least the young man had the pride to pay for his own ticket after getting caught red handed.  Good job, Richard Davey.  MBTA should be proud to have a vigilant man at the top running the show.

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Job Alert: Chief Information Officer – USDOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)

December 9, 2010 at 2:18 pm

The Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) seeks a Chief Information Officer to join our team.  RITA coordinates the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) research programs and is charged with advancing rigorous analysis and the deployment of cross-cutting technologies to improve our Nation’s transportation system.

RITA is looking for an experienced, motivated, self reliant individual who will lead program/project management, business process engineering, and other assessment activities with an overall objective to improve program performance, accountability, and achieve results.

This position is located in the Research and Innovative Technology Administration’s (RITA), Office of Administration.  The RITA Office of Administration’s mission is to develop administration-wide policies and plans and provides support and assistance to RITA offices.

If you know someone interested in this Washington, D.C. based position with relevant experience and proven results, please encourage them to apply under the attached vacancy announcement.  We are looking for a diverse pool of qualified candidates.

The vacancy announcements can be found on:

Please direct any questions to Human Resources

Auto Wars – American vs. Japanese: Who makes better cars?

December 8, 2010 at 7:17 pm

(Source: via Infographlove)

Interestingly, the infographic below summarizes the data into this nugget: Americans make better cars than Japanese.  No wonder GM and Ford are making a comeback.  After all, this country love a good comeback.

Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – December 8, 2010

December 8, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Wednesday, December 8, 2010 – ISSN 1529-1057


1) Debating New York Subway Map Form and Function

Link to blog on 2nd Ave. Sagas:


2) Feds Quick to Blame Massachusetts for Revenue Lost from FastLane

FHWA says Citizens Bank sponsorship can stay.

Link to article in the Boston Herald:


3) Russia Probes Navigation System Spending After Crash

Link to AFP article:


4) Iraq Looks to Buy Maritime Awareness Systems

Link to article in Defense Industry Daily:

Link to news release from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency:


5) Black Cab ‘Oyster Card’ Ends Worry of Finding Cash for Your Fare Home

Link to article in the London Evening Standard:


6) Flash Mob Promote Seattle DOT’s Umbrellas for Pedestrian Safety Campaign

Link to story, audio and video on KIRO Radio:


7) ACLU Sues New Jersey for Keeping Road Salt Barn Plans Confidential

State says releasing plans would be a security risk.
Link to article in The Star-Ledger:

Link to news release from the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey:


8) European Tech Firms Look Toward Payment-Equipped Cell Phones

Link to AFP article:,,6303182,00.html

9) Wireless Carriers Join Forces on Mobile Tap-to-Pay — but Will It Fly?

Link to story on CNN:

10) Smile for London Uses Underground Art to Cheer Up Rush Hour

Link to story on Transportation Nation:

Link to Smile for London:


11) UK Traffic Radio Service Succumbs to Government Cuts

Link to article in The Guardian:

Link to Traffic Radio:

12) Beijing to Issue More Rigid Measures to Reduce Traffic Congestion

Steps include achieving full ITS coverage within the five ring roads.

Link to article in the People’s Daily:

13) Waze: A People-Powered Mapping App is Finding Its Way

Link to article on DailyFinance:

14) Traffic and Transit Updates: How Do You Get Yours?

Toronto transit disruptions lead to angry messages on Twitter.

Link to CBC News story:


15) Thinking Cars Video Documentary to Debut on TV This Week

Link to further information and trailer:

16) IntelliDrive Mobility and Environment Workshop Presentations Available Online

Link to presentations:

News Releases

1) RITA and ITS America Invite Comments on Real-Time System Management Information Program

2) Salk International Debuts First ‘Airport Transit Guide’ App

3) Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Offers New Touch-Screen Directories, Mobile Phone Application

4) PayPal Canada Launches ‘Mall Traffic Reports’ on Twitter

Upcoming Events

Webinar: Bringing Research to Deployment: Urban Energy Efficiency Pilots for Commercial Vehicles – December 10

Today in Transportation History

1910 **100th anniversary** Donald Kirby Ross, the first person awarded the Medal of Honor in World War II was born in Beverly, Kansas.  Ross distinguished himself by assuming responsibility for getting the USS Nevada underway during the attack on Pearl Harbor.  It was the only battleship to do so during the attack.


The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

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

TCN archives:

Become a TCN fan on Facebook!

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

© 2010 Bernie Wagenblast

Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – December 7, 2010

December 8, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Tuesday, December 7, 2010 – ISSN 1529-1057


1) Philippines Bars Christmas Greetings for Airport Arrivals

Link to AP article:


2) Iowa DOT: Traffic Cameras Could Cut Response Time, Save Lives

Link to story and video on KTIV-TV:


3) Pennsylvania Auditor General Questions Pennsylvania Turnpike’s Decision Not to Print Fares on Tickets

Link to article in The Patriot-News:

4) Delaware DOT-Delaware State University Collaboration Will Help Train Next Wave of Transportation Workers

Link to article in the Milford Beacon:

Link to news release from DSU:


5) Christmas Decorations Banned at Florida Turnpike Toll Booths

Link to article in the Orlando Sentinel:,0,6861848.story


6) Feds: Common Sense, Technology Will Cut Distracted Driving Deaths

Link to article in eWeek:

7) Slow Down Helps You Maintain a Safer Driving Speed by Slowing Your Music

Link to article and video on Lifehacker:

8) National Survey Shows Public Alert and Warning Preferences

Link to blog in Emergency Management:


9) Card Makers Hope to Upset Transit Card Security Status Quo

Link to IDG News article:

Link to news release from the Open Standard for Public Transport Alliance:

10) New York University Unveils Online Bus, Safe Ride Tracking

Link to article in Washington Square News:


11) Opposition Parties Want Probe Into Scots Travel Chaos

Link to BBC News story:

Link to blog from Scottish Transport Minister, Stewart Stevenson:

Link to news release from Scottish Labour:

12) Radio Updates Delayed During New York Thruway Backup?

Link to story and video on WGRZ-TV:

13) Cranberry, Pennsylvania’s ‘Nerve Center’ to Detangle Traffic Snarls

Link to article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

14) Broadcaster Traffic Consortium Expands Marketing with Web Site

Link to article in Radio World:

Link to site:

News Releases

1) Coyote Systems Introduces Real-Time Traffic Information Powered by Inrix in the UK

2) Federation of Indian Airlines Take the Lead: All Domestic Fares Online in New, Friendly Format

Upcoming Events

Webcast: Automotive 2.0 | New Models for Human Mobility – December 9

Today in Transportation History

1960 **50th anniversary** The DASH QH-50A, a drone anti-submarine helicopter, had its first unmanned landing aboard a US Navy ship, the USS Hazelwood.


The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

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

TCN archives:

Become a TCN fan on Facebook!

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

© 2010 Bernie Wagenblast

Padding The Belt for Added Protection – Lexus LFA to feature new ‘Airbelt,’ a seat belt airbag

December 6, 2010 at 8:57 pm

(Source: cnet)

Looks like Toyota is at it again, upping the ante for other players in the automobile market to match the stellar reputation it has built over the years as an advanced engineering shop that leaves no stone unturned to enhance the safety of the riders in the Lexus vehicles.  This above featured new, inflatable Takata “Airbelt,” or SRS Seat Belt Airbag, is built into the webbing of the seat belt of the Lexus LFA, the latest out of Toyota’s Lexus stable, expected to hit the market soon. It’s designed to protect drivers and front-seat passengers in front- or side-impact collisions. So, how does it work? Well, it works as shown nicely in the above graphic and here is some additional text from to aid in your understanding:

“The belt expands directly to spread the shock-load over a wider area of the occupant’s chest during front impact. And in a side impact, the belt inflates between the shoulder and head to reduce lateral head movement and provide protection from impact with the side window or colliding object, the company said in a press release.”

Click here to read more.

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Popular Mechanics explains WTF went wrong with the Qantas Airbus A380 Rolls Royce Engine

December 6, 2010 at 7:39 pm

(Source: Popular Mechanics)

Image Courtesy: Popular Mechanics

Image Courtesy: Popular Mechanics

As well as being the largest jet in commercial service, the Airbus A380 represents a bid by Europe’s EADS to take from America’s Boeing the title of world’s most advanced commercial aircraft manufacturer. Critical to that endeavor is the aircraft’s ability to not crash, come apart in midair, or generally imperil the lives of the public. Unhappily for Airbus, Qantas A380 was taking off from Singapore on November 4, 2010, when its number two engine exploded with a loud bang. Flying shrapnel punched a hole in the wing and injured two people on the ground, but the plane was able to land safely. Was the engine’s failure a one-in-a-million coincidence, or a result of a fundamental engineering flaw? The fate of billions of dollars worth of aircraft orders may ride on the answer.

Popular Mechanics looked into the investigation preliminary report into the accident and offers an easy to understand explanations in plain English for us not-so informed average citizens. In short, the report notes that the accident happened due to a fatigued metal element inside the engine, which resulted in oil seepage there by leading to a fire and eventually exploding the internal parts of the engine.  Great explanations along with the reference to the preliminary report makes for an interesting read (at least that’s what my techy brain says). Click here to read the full analysis.

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“Piss Off” – London Tube worker tells 7/7 inquest how he was refused first aid supplies when responding to the transit bombings

December 6, 2010 at 6:56 pm

(Source: The Guardian, UK)

Tube worker says station manager at King’s Cross refused to let him take bandages from control room to treat victims

London Underground worker who was among the first to arrive at one of the bombed tube carriages on July 7 was told to “piss off” by his superior when he rushed back to collect more first aid equipment to treat the injured and dying, he said today.

Imran Chaudhury fought back tears as he said one of the duty station managers at Kings Cross, Ken Leach, tried to obstruct him from collecting bandages from the station’s control room, despite the fact that his clothing was covered in blood and injured passengers could clearly be seen on CCTV emerging from the ruined train.

Leach’s superior, group station manager Peter Sanders, had also been in the room but had said nothing, said Chaudhury, which still “haunts” him, he told the inquest into the deaths of the victims of the bomb attacks. Fifty-two people died in the attacks, 26 were killed in the Kings Cross blast.

Click here to read the entire story

Note: It scares me to think how ill-prepared many of our U.S. transit systems across the country are even after such a coordinated mass-casualty event occurred in one of the busiest and well-policed systems around the world.  In Washington, DC I see so many security lapses day in and day out when I ride the system but given the complexities of the system and its vast network, it is definitely difficult to have a 100% fool-proof security.  While it is not possible to put a policeman in every station every hour of the day, I can see a lot of vigilant riders who help keep a watch on the system.  The system riders are sensitized to such dangers and have been repeatedly requested over the PA system, over the years, to inform station managers or authorities if they spot an unattended bag or any object that looks suspicious. As I write this, I can feel that stern lady voice over the DC Metro’s PA system: “Hi, Is That Your Bag?”, a part of the “See it Say It” public safety campaign, suggesting people to report any suspicious object they spot while riding the trains or on the Metro facilities such as stations and parking lots.   At times, I can’t help but feel over a period of time after listening to the announcements a gazillion times,  I feel like I have a part to play in keeping the system safe and secure.  The sense of alertness goes up when I read about a bomb threat or a situation regarding transportation security (the downside of being in transportation business). At times I feel that any failure on my part,  as a rider and user heavily-dependent on the system, to be vigilant may result in a possible strike keeps me alert (I admit sometimes it’s hard to stay awake after a long day at work).   I assume this social policing (rather social conditioning/sensitizing) initiative involving our public definitely has helped the transit police.  It will be great  to know if the if the Metro has ever compiled an evaluation report of sorts explaining how many calls were received and how many threats (minor and major) were averted/prevented/addressed since this campaign went into effect.

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