Best Transit Ride Ever! Improv Toronto Brings Aviation Style Hospitality To The Toronto Subway

February 27, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Here is something new.. Attendants on a subway train serving snacks and beverages? Yeah.. That’s what happened in Toronto’s subway.. This past Sunday, Improv Toronto decided to put a fun twist in an otherwise mundane ride on the city’s subway ride to make it memorable for the riders.  As they said on the website, “Our mission was simple, transform the old every day nature of riding the subway into a luxury flight experience, making it more a comfortable, enjoyable, and eventful ride.” So, off they went, equipped with snacks, drinks and blankets, our sharp looking flight subway attendants and captain tended to the riders on a Eastbound train on the Bloor Line.

Looking at the warm welcoming smiles on the riders’ faces, I wouldn’t be surprised if this stunt gets emulated globally much like the No Pants Subway Ride , another popular Improv stunt.  BTW, worn out Washington, DC Metro riders like me can sure get used to some TLC like this..

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Hammered – Washington Post Documents Wasteful Spending on Small Airports Across the Country

February 26, 2013 at 7:10 pm

It should be maddening for any tax payer in the country to see how the public dollars are spent wastefully on projects that are not really benefiting the community. Today’s Washington Post story on one such wasteful spending measure shows how badly the lawmakers manage the money, despite the pressure to not do so from the administrations (incl. current and the previous administration ). It explores an obscure federal program established by Congress in 2000 allows tiny airports to draw $150,000 in federal funds every year.  The article uses Oklahoma’s Lake Murray State Park Airport as a case study. This issue of wasteful spending takes added importance as the public are nervously watching what’s going to happen with the looming sequestration (scheduled to kick in on March 1) as the country is embroiled in a tough political battle to avoid further slide. Brilliant reporting.

And a few interesting nuggets from this Washington Post story:

  • 88 shown airports, as reported, have no paying customers and no planes are based there. (check the interactive map that shows the airports and the number of flights each one received)
  • The airports receive $150,000/year, as the result of a grant program established 13 years ago ~2000, which the post appropriately calls Congress’s golden age of pork)
  • The looming sequester crisis would not touch the airport program. FAA allotted Lake Murray about $1,500 for each of its takeoffs and landings.
  • In this particular case Lake Murray State Park Airport there is no control tower, no runway lights and also staff to monitor it. So what makes people visit?  Mostly for using the rest room facilities and occasionally for golf.
  • According to local TV affiliate KOKH Fox 25, the Oklahoma Department of Tourism has tried to shut down Lake Murray State Park Airport for years, but Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC) officials say closing the airport would cost Oklahoma taxpayers $184,000.  Under FAA guidelines, the airport must stay open for 20 years after the OAC spends money on an improvement project.
  • Despite pressures from all corners, the program has remained strikingly difficult for anyone.  If it is any surprise, even

    Pres. Bush opposed continuing the program but the Tea Party dominated congress decided to continue with it.

Click here to read more.

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Flippin’ Mad: Irate Chinese Official Loses His Cool Over Missed Flights; Airline Equipment Bear The Brunt

February 26, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Oh man..  Angry customers reacting to terrible service from a transportation provider is nothing new, esp. with airline companies, but what you are  going to see below takes it to a new level.  Interestingly, this customer who lost his cool is reported as a Chinese government official, which only means the airlines staff have no way of handling this as usual.. His poor spouse (lady standing adjacent to him) seems clueless about how to bring this raging bull of a man under control..


Internship Alert: Transportation Design Intern – Toole Design Group, LLC @ Washington, DC

February 26, 2013 at 11:20 am

Toole Design Group LogoToole Design Group, LLC is hiring a Transportation Design Intern for our office in the Washington, DC area. The ideal candidate will be a person with a strong commitment to sustainable transportation, looking to work with a skilled team of co-workers on projects throughout North America.

Toole Design Group strives to provide outstanding services to every client we serve, whether the project is big or small. Our mission is to build communities where people of all ages and abilities can walk, bicycle, and use transit safely and efficiently. Our office is a dynamic environment that challenges each person to learn and grow professionally.

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Job Alert: Regional Sales Director, Latin America – Iteris, Inc. @ Mexico, South or Central America)

February 25, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Image representing Iteris as depicted in Crunc...Iteris, Inc. has a dynamic opportunity available for a Regional Sales Director, Latin America (RSDLA) based in Mexico, South or Central America. This position will be responsible for all Roadway Sensor sales and marketing activities within the region. The qualified professional will leverage existing contacts within the highway transportation/traffic management market to generate new business opportunities for Iteris. We are seeking an individual with previous

experience in achieving sales targets who is presently leading a regional business development program ideally for a company in Intelligent Transportation Systems. The RSDLA will have excellent technical presentation and negotiation skills as well as an enthusiastic approach to new business with multilingual communication skills. Visit our website: Contact Anne Bologna, Senior Recruiter: All correspondence will be kept strictly confidential. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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The Paperman: Celebrating the Oscars..With a Story of Love and Trains!

February 25, 2013 at 12:08 am

As many of us predicted and wanted, Disney’s animation “The Paperman” won the Oscars tonight in the animated shortfilm category…


Honk your parking woes away – App Saves You From Tickets, Remembers Parking Spots

February 21, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Say hello to Honk, a neat little app (now available on iOS platform for $0.99) that solves two of the biggest headaches (especially in urban environments that you are unfamiliar) – remembering where you parked and also remembering if your meter time is up.  Here are some  of the features as mentioned in the app store:

  • Simplest interface to set the parking meter alarm. A single swipe for most situations!
  • Updates your remaining time on its App Icon. A quick glance at your home screen, your mind at peace.
  • Smooth handwritten memo/photo/voice memo to mark the parking spot.
  • Honk uses the highest level accuracy available for the phone and marks your location when you set the meter alarm automatically. Manually move the parking pin on the map when the GPS accuracy falls short. Shows how far the car is from your current location.
  • Innovative bread-crumb trails to help quick orienting yourself as well as built-in compass.
  • Different types of meter with long (up to 24 hours) and short time limits.
  •  Soft, regular as well as the Library- and the Shopping Mall- alarm level options.
  • Uses the background processing and local notifications for reliable, accurate alarms. Supports Retina display.

Pretty cool, right? Check out the little video from Mashable that explains all this:

Infograph: Driverless Cars and Eliminating Human Error

February 21, 2013 at 4:10 pm


Here is a neat infographic that shows the benefits of moving towards autonomous vehicles.. Though some of the statistics seen in the graphic are old and needs revision (esp. fatality numbers, which continues to see a steady decline every year), it still reminds you of the sheer size and scope of the problems we encounter in the current scenario of human-piloted vehicles.  Oh, Google Cars is not the only game in town when it comes to autonomous vehicles.  Not anymore.  Most auto OEMs are ramping up their research to make sure they remain relevant when Google’s project materializes. That said, the transportation systems that are currently developed for the coming decade looks quite promising!

Driverless Cars and Eliminating Human Error

Born Mobile? Qualcomm’s innovative ad campaign brings a few surprises to an otherwise boring bus stop

February 21, 2013 at 9:44 am

Moral of the story, don’t hesitate to use your darn mobile phone when you are standing at that unassumingly boring plain vanilla bus stop.  In this campaign, mobile electronics firm Qualcomm put up a poster featuring a URL and waited for people to visit the mobile site. When the visitors got to the website, the fun began. Watch to see what happens at probably what I call the best bus stop ever. Sigh! I wish my bus stop would offer something like this to spice up my sleepy mornings.


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Job Alert: Associate Project Manager/Senior Associate – Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates @ Washington, DC

February 20, 2013 at 7:08 pm

(Source: via

Nelson Nygaard LogoAssociate Project Manager/Senior Associate

NelsonNygaard Consulting Associates (NN) seeks a highly organized, independent, forward-thinking professional for its newly formed Washington, DC office. The selected individual will play a key role in the firm’s growing multi-modal practice. This is an outstanding opportunity for the right person to become involved in the continued growth and service of one of the nation’s most innovative transportation planning firms.

NelsonNygaard has a long history of sustainable planning for livable, and successful, communities. NN’s work emphasizes quality, creative transit/transportation planning that addresses wider community goals such as economic growth, social equity, strong communities, environmental and energy conservation, and quality places. NelsonNygaard was established with an emphasis on transit service planning and system design, but has since become a national leader in multi-modal transportation planning and engineering.


The successful candidate will work as part of a small professional team focusing on transit and multimodal transportation planning, policy development and/or design. The position requires quality work and individual initiative. Candidates must bring demonstrated technical experience in the transportation, design, or policy fields as well as excellent visual, written and oral communication skills. The individual will have the opportunity to assume key roles in project management, marketing and business development.

Specific expectations of the position include the ability to:

• Function as a project manager for small projects and lead planner for complex components of large projects.

• Organize, conduct and supervise data collection activities in the office and in the field

• Analyze public transit, parking, and multi-modal travel data including models, surveys, and operational plans

• Prepare quality technical reports and recommendations

• Frame and conduct independent research

• Track and work within budgets and assist senior managers with project delivery

• Formulate strategies for and assist with community outreach activities

Though most of the work will come from projects on the East Coast, there will be numerous opportunities for the candidate to contribute to NN projects across the United States and internationally. Candidates must be willing to travel (on average 2-4 overnight stays per month plus numerous day trips) and must have a valid Driver’s License.


The ideal candidate should have at least five years of increasingly responsible experience in a broad cross-section of transportation, urban planning, or engineering. Private sector consulting experience is highly desired but is not a requirement. Minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. A Master’s Degree in planning or engineering is preferred, however candidates holding a Bachelor’s degree with at least two additional years of direct work experience may be considered.

Potential candidates must have demonstrated problem solving skills and be able to perform detailed technical analysis and feasibility studies with proven expertise in at least two of the following areas:

• Transportation master planning

• Transit/shuttle planning and operations

• Transit facility planning

• Bike/pedestrian planning

• Site planning in urban environments

Transit Oriented Development

Transportation Demand Management

• Parking Management

• Multi-modal circulation studies

• Corridor planning and design

• Policy research and development

• State or regional planning

• Transportation performance management (including return on investment) and evaluation

Salary and Benefits

All employees are paid an hourly rate. The annual salary range equivalent for this position is $70,000 to $85,000, depending on qualifications. Benefits include fully paid health and dental insurance, a 401K/profit-sharing program and Paid Time Off (PTO).

Please send cover letter and resume to by March 18, 2013, with the subject line DC Associate Project Manager/Senior Associate.

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