Bus Photo of the Month: February 2017

New Flyer D40LF 208

New Flyer D40LF 208

Location: University Avenue at East Avenue, Ithaca, NY
Operator of Vehicle: Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit
Date of Photo: February 14, 2007

 

The rail photo of the month for this month came to us from sunny San Diego.  For the bus photo, we head to quite a different climate, snowy Ithaca, NY.  Ten years ago this month, Ithaca saw a snowstorm that brought about two feet of snow to the Finger Lakes region.  It was enough snow to see Cornell University cancel classes for the day and for TCAT, which operates through winter weather that most other agencies would probably balk at trying to provide service in, to suspend operations.  However, before that suspension kicked in, the buses were running despite the fast falling snow.  Taking photos of anything in these conditions can be challenging due to the temperature, potential condensation on the camera lens, and difficulty in getting the frame in focus if the camera focuses on the snow instead of my intended target.  Variances in light, such as those caused by an LED destination sign or vehicle headlights, pose additional challenges,  However, the photos came out, the buses kept running (at least for awhile), and the result is that one can see how TCAT keeps rolling no matter the weather.

Although the winter weather in Ithaca remains cold and snowy, some things do change in Ithaca.  The New Flyer bus seen in this photo is now one of the oldest in the fleet, and Route 81 is no longer the main service on the Cornell campus following a restructuring of campus routes in recent years.  

For more photos of TCAT’s New Flyer D40LF buses, please click here.

 

Oren’s Reading List: Six Myths About Traveling Cross Country by Amtrak

Airplane might be the fastest way to get from one coast of the United States to the other, but it hasn’t always been my mode of choice.  In 2007, I took Amtrak from Washington, DC to Seattle.  In 2014, I rode trains from Chicago to Los Angeles and from Denver to San Francisco.  Taking Amtrak’s long distance routes is a very unique way to see the country and one I enjoy when I have the time to do so.  It is certainly more pleasant than flying in a number of ways!  

At some point, I hope to write more about why I enjoy this experience so much, but in the meantime, here are six myths about traveling on a long-distance Amtrak train, courtesy of the Gothamist.  

Oren’s Reading List is an occasional feature on The Travelogue in which I share articles that I’ve read that might also be of interest to the readers of this website.

Oren’s Reading List: How the London Tube Lines Got Their Names

If you’ve been to Washington or Chicago, you know that subway lines are named for colors.  If you’ve been to New York City or Paris, you know that trains are referred to by a number of letter.  Around the entire world, identifying subway lines by color, number, or letter is common.  But in London, all the Tube lines have names.  Did you ever wonder where those names come from?  This article from Londonist reveals all.  While some names are portmanteaus of the destinations they serve (i.e. Bakerloo), others have more complex histories.  

Oren’s Reading List is an occasional feature on The Travelogue in which I share articles that I’ve read that might also be of interest to the readers of this website.

Oren’s Reading List: Perusing the New York City Transit Authority’s Lost & Found

Every transit agency has one, yet you probably never want to have an occasion to contact it.  What am I talking about?  The lost and found office.  That said, if you lose something on the subway in New York City, you have a pretty decent chance of getting it back; 60 percent of items that are turned in to the lost and found make it back to their owners.  And the MTA has very detailed categories for inventorying the items as they come in.  What are some of the things that are in the lost and found office waiting to be reunited with someone?  Although this infographic was published in 2014, I imagine it is still pretty similar today.  What is the strangest thing you see on that list?

Oren’s Reading List is an occasional feature on The Travelogue in which I share articles that I’ve read that might also be of interest to the readers of this website.

Oren’s Reading List: Transportation Gifts

The holiday shopping season is well underway.  If you’re reading this, odds are you wouldn’t mind receiving or are looking for ideas for transportation related gifts.  The Chicago Tribune recently compiled a list of CTA and METRA themed holiday gifts and links to where you can find those items for purchase.  Many other transit agencies, including New York City Transit and WMATA, also have online gift stores that you can peruse.  While a friend of mine has received three copies of Transit Maps (and doesn’t seem bothered by the fact based on my conversation about it with him), I hope some of these links are useful if you’re looking to make sure the person you are giving  Happy shopping!

Oren’s Reading List is an occasional feature on The Travelogue in which I share articles that I’ve read that might also be of interest to the readers of this website.

Oren’s Reading List: Riding Public Transit in Cairo After the Revolution

A few weeks ago, I posted an article about an attempt by Transport for Cairo (TfC) to map out all of Cairo’s transit services from its established Metro system to its informal microbus network.  I alluded to this a bit in that post, but riding the Metro in Cairo when I was there in 2009 was one of the easiest parts of my Egyptian tourist experience and probably was the most “western” activity I partook in while I was there.  There was no need to bargain about the fare or to pay baksheesh for “extras” while traveling.  Service was frequent and navigating the system was easy (though it only had two lines when I was there, so it isn’t that hard to find your train or keep track of how many stations until you reach your destination).  Apparently, that has changed a bit since the Egyptian Revolution, as the Metro was a way for the masses to get around during the overthrow of the government and the current government is looking to maintain its grip on power.  And while the Egyptian government continues to propose all sorts of new ideas for how to improve Cairo’s chaotic transportation network, simple steps could be taken that would deliver immediate improvements to a city with a population of 20 million where only about 11 percent of households have a car.  Interested in finding out more?  Read the article from CityLab here.

Oren’s Reading List is an occasional feature on The Travelogue in which I share articles that I’ve read that might also be of interest to the readers of this website.

Oren’s Reading List: Developing a Transit Map for Cairo

Prior to my 2009 trip to Cairo, someone mentioned to me that the city’s Metro was the most orderly institution in the entire city.  In a country where schedules, tourist information, prices, and just about anything else you might want to know while traveling there is unpredictable at best, the Cairo Metro operates a frequent, reliable service that connects to a number of major tourist attractions.  It is also among the cheapest Metro systems in the world, charging a flat, one way fare of 1 Egyptian Pound (equal to 0.11 USD at the time of this writing).  However, reliable and easy to use as it may be, navigating Cairo’s transportation network is not nearly that simple.

Enter Transport for Cairo (TfC).  This organization consisting of young Egyptians are looking to revolutionize the city’s chaotic transit system.  While a basic Metro map does exist, no tourist in their right mind would try getting anywhere using the city’s bus network or its informal network of microbuses.  After all, Cairenes are forced to navigate the system without any sort of maps or other official guidance from the agencies operating the system.  TfC is working to develop maps and other data sources for the city’s commuters to use to figure out how to get around the sprawling metropolis.  You can read about their work in this article from CityLab.

Oren’s Reading List is an occasional feature on The Travelogue in which I share articles that I’ve read that might also be of interest to the readers of this website.

 

Oren’s Reading List: London Publishes Geographically Accurate Tube Map

Have you ever thought to yourself while riding a train that even though the subway map seems to suggest the stations are evenly spaced, they aren’t actually so in reality?  You’re right to notice this.  Subway maps have been drawn without using a scale for a long time.  The first example of such a map is Harry Beck’s London Underground Map form 1931.  Many of the principles that Beck used in designing this map are still not only used in London but in many other cities around the world.  However, people sometimes draw scale versions of various maps to show the differences between the official map and what a scaled map would look like.

Officially, Transport for London (TfL) has not put out a geographically accurate map since Harry Beck’s diagram became the official one in 1933.  However, following a freedom of information request in 2014. TfL released such a map for the first time in many years.  Read about the FOI process and see the map for yourself in this story from The Independent.

In upcoming posts, I plan to share some old maps that I recently inherited and added to my collection, the first of which will feature maps of the Underground.  Stay tuned…

Oren’s Reading List is an occasional feature on The Travelogue in which I share articles that I’ve read that might also be of interest to the readers of this website.

Oren’s Reading List: NYC Subway Record

34th Street-Hudson Yards Station, December 27, 2015

I enjoy riding trains, perhaps more than most.  That said, I don’t think Matthew Ahn needs to worry about my breaking his record for fastest trip through the entire New York City Subway.  He had the Guinness World Record for the feat, but then the new 34th Street-Hudson Yards station opened on the 7 last year.  Not only did Ahn set out to make sure he would still have the record for the expanded system, he beat his original record by about 21 minutes!  Read about his 21 hour 28 minute 14 second odyssey through all 469 New York City subway stations in this article from the New York Daily News.

While I don’t have any aspirations to challenge this record, I have been to every station on the subways in Washington, DC, Toronto, Rome, Haifa, as well as the entire Jerusalem Light Rail, in a single day (and some of those were on a single fare, too).  What about you?

Oren’s Reading List is an occasional feature on The Travelogue in which I share articles that I’ve read that might also be of interest to the readers of this website.

Oren’s Reading List: Subway Train or Temperature Converter?

It’s been hot and sticky in the northeast US in the past few days.  Need to convert the temperature in Fahrenheit to Celsius?  (After all, those smaller numbers on the Celsius scale ought to be cooler, or is that just wishful thinking?)  Just take a look at the NYC Subway map!

I’m not kidding either!  A friend recently shared this article with me on Facebook, explaining how the 6 train stops on the East Side of Manhattan can also serve as a nifty Farenheit to Celsius conversion table.  Don’t believe me?  Check it out below!

Subway map or temperature conversion table? Take your pick! Image from https://twitter.com/gabor.

Oren’s Reading List is an occasional feature on The Travelogue in which I share articles that I’ve read that might also be of interest to the readers of this website.