These columns run in some publications under the title "Getting There." Am I going to have to change that name to “NOT Getting There”? That’s what Governor Lamont says. Post-COVID he predicts the end of daily commuting as we know it. Lamont told Bloomberg that his New York business buddies tell him they’re saving so much money by having people work from their homes they may … [Read more...] about Talking Transportation: Is Commuting Dead?
The road ahead for commuters may be less crowded ... or maybe more. One theory has it that, as people gradually return to work, they will shun mass transit out of safety concerns and commute, instead, by car. That could create problems on our roads if people try to drive five days a week. The other speculation is that the “new normal” will mean less commuting overall as … [Read more...] about Talking Transportation: The Road Ahead … for Rail Commuters: Will They Ever Go Back To Metro-North?
Have you ever taken a cruise? According to that industry, something like 28 million people worldwide took to the high seas last year. But that still leave 80 percent of Americans who have never cruised, enjoying the midnight buffets, spas and casinos at sea. Obviously, cruising has lost its allure since the megaships became epicenters of COVID-19 outbreaks, trapping … [Read more...] about Talking Transportation: Cruise Ships Hit COVID Storm, What Happens Next?
In the post-COVID-19 world (whenever that may be) commuters will be asking themselves one question: Is this trip really necessary? Sure, when the quarantining is lifted and the life-threatening virus seems to have passed (at least until it returns next fall), we may look forward to getting back on the train and on the crowded highways. But the weeks of not commuting have … [Read more...] about Talking Transportation: Flattening the Commuting Curve
I’ve always been fascinated by the airline business. Even though I’m not a great flyer, the whole idea of moving hundreds of people from point A to point B in a metal tube has astounded me. I even remember the good old days of “Youth Standby” flights in the 1960’s when we could get a 50 percent fare discount just by helping fill empty seats. But until recently the planes … [Read more...] about Talking Transportation: Airlines Hit COVID Turbulence
I can’t watch TV news anymore. I used to be a news junkie, a control freak who thought that by knowing everything that was going on everywhere in the world I could somehow control it. Hah! Was that ever a naïve view. Having worked in local and network newsrooms, what was coming over the AP and UPI newswires was like heroin for my news habit. I used to read two or three … [Read more...] about Op-Ed: TV News? Turn it Off
“Buckle up folks. There’s some bumpy air ahead”, said the pilot on a recent flight. No need to remind me; my seatbelt is always fastened as “bumpy air”… a euphemism for air turbulence … is my worst fear in flying. It’s the whole “fear of death” thing. Intellectually I know that modern aircraft can survive all manner of stress from changing or violent winds, but can I? I’ve … [Read more...] about Talking Transportation: Avoiding Air Turbulence
Editor's Note: This is the second of two articles written by Jim Cameron reporting on his conversation with CDOT Commissioner Joseph Giulietti. Read the first article at this link. Connecticut's Department of Transportation (CDOT) Commissioner Joseph Giulietti is about to finish his first year on the job and his plate is more than full. It’s overflowing with controversy. In … [Read more...] about Talking Transportation: A Conversation With CT DOT Commissioner Giulietti, Part 2
Joseph Giulietti is finishing his first year as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation -- CDOT. He’s been busy and less visible in recent months, so imagine my surprise when he offered me a one-on-one, no-holds-barred interview. “You’ve always been fair, Jim. You’ve hit me hard but you’ve always been fair,” said the Commissioner. That’s music to my … [Read more...] about Talking Transportation: A Conversation With CT DOT Commissioner Giulietti, Part 1
Did you know that Bridgeport was once the home of “the car of the future”? It was the Tesla of its era, but only three were ever built. This mystery vehicle? The Dymaxion Car. The designer? Buckminster Fuller. Best known for his pioneering 1940s architectural design of the geodesic dome, a decade earlier Fuller was already inventing other things. It was the 1930s and the … [Read more...] about Talking Transportation: Pre-Cursor of the Tesla, the Dymaxion Car has Connecticut Roots
I love reading timetables. Not the new ones on smartphone apps, but the old printed ones. Reading about a train or plane’s journey on paper is almost like taking the ride itself. Growing up in Canada, I was fascinated with the two major passenger railroads, the quasi-government owned “crown corporation” Canadian National Railroad (CNR) and the private Canadian Pacific … [Read more...] about Talking Transportation: Reading Old Timetables
Have you ever flown in a helicopter? They seem such a glamorous (if expensive) way to travel, by-passing the traffic en route to the airport or sightseeing over rugged terrain. But do you know that the helicopter had its first flight ever right here in Connecticut, the creation of Russian immigrant and inventor Igor Sikorsky, 80 years ago. Sure, Leonardo da Vinci made … [Read more...] about Talking Transportation: Connecticut’s Own … Igor Sikorsky
It was the railroad trip from hell: the hottest day of the year, stuck for five hours on a sold-out Amtrak train where only half the cars had air conditioning. The ride to Washington days earlier had been uneventful, almost on time and pleasantly cool, even though I’d made the mistake of taking a Northeast Corridor train, not Acela. Its older Amfleet cars, though recently … [Read more...] about Talking Transportation: The Train Ride From Hell
Rail fans call them “fallen flags”… railroads that are no more, like the original New Haven and New York Central Railroads. But before I start getting all misty-eyed, let’s also pay homage to airlines that have flown away into history. Like PEOPLExpress, the domestic discount airline ,which flew out of Newark’s grungy old North Terminal starting in 1981. Fares were dirt … [Read more...] about Talking Transportation: Airlines That Are No More
Going on vacation this summer? If so, the question is … how to travel: drive, take the train or fly? (I’m eliminating the bus option because, well, life is too short to endure that kind of misery. I have no problems with commuting by bus, but a 10-hour ride is not going to happen!) In most cases, the choice depends on how far you’re traveling and what your budget allows. For … [Read more...] about Talking Transportation: Summer Vacation … Fly or Drive?