A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘subway

[NEWS] Five pop culture links: Pioneer Village, Japan, Chippewas of the Thames, I Tonya, porn

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  • blogTO notes the reluctance of the TTC to turn on the interactive LightSpell art at Pioneer Village station, even though it is now revealed to have cost $C 2 million (not $C 500 thousand).
  • Connor Cislo notes at Bloomberg the growing importance of intellectual property as a source of income for the Japanese economy, especially in a time of an emergent trade deficit and an aging workforce.
  • Liny Lamberink at Global News notes how the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation is using an innovative eco-home to attract tourists to their reserve.
  • VICE interviews Craig Gillespie, director of the intriguing new film I, Tonya about 1900s figure skater Tonya Harding, talking about the film and the thought that went into it. I must see this one, I think.
  • VICE reports PornHub data from Hawaii during last week’s ballistic missile scare. It turns out porn watching collapsed by 77% during the crisis but then spiked by half after 9 o’clock.
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[PHOTO] The MetroCard of New York City versus the Metropass of Toronto

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MetroCard vs Metropass #toronto #newyorkcity #mta #ttc #metrocard #metropass

Last year, on my return from my birthday weekend in Montréal, I a compared the cards offered by the Sociéte de transport de Montréal with those offered by the TTC. The RFID-equipped smart card L’occasionelle, valid for a fixed period of time, really impressed me.

This year, my trip to New York City brought me in contact with the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s MetroCard, specifically the seven-day MetroCard on sale for $US 32 at any of the automatic card dispensers. I am glad I bought it, even though, with single fares being $US 2.75 and my travel patterns being what they were, I did not quite travel enough to directly justify the cost. I could have taken the subway more, and more importantly, the psychological ease of knowing that I would have access to unlimited travel if I needed matters.

The MetroCard, introduced in 1993, makes use of magnetically encoded data on its black stripe. The promise, as Adam Clark Estes noted over at Gizmodo, was never quite fulfilled, the technology being somewhat fragile, card-holders sometime needing to make multiple swipes. (This happened to me once.) That said, the amount of data that the MetroCard collects is something that my Metropass just cannot do, and lots of data is surely something that any major transit operation needs if it is to have any idea as to how its services are supposed to evolve.

The MTA is apparently opting to move to a more modern smartcard option by 2023, ending the MetroCard’s tenure. May this new incarnation work more reliably than the first, while keeping the first’s goals intact.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 19, 2018 at 10:00 am

[URBAN NOTE] Six cities: Saint John, New York City. Brooklyn, Cape Town, Kingston, Istanbul, Dubai

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  • The metropolitan area of Saint John, in New Brunswick, is investigating the possibility of a general municipal amalgamation. Myself, I suspect cost savings would be limited. Global News reports.
  • Having been in Brooklyn–having, in fact, been in Williamsburg–I can only imagine the catastrophe that the extended shutdown of the L subway line will have on local nightlife. I hope they can adapt. VICE reports.
  • A Cape Town that faces a possible water shortage–perhaps a probable water shortage, given weather patterns–is going to feel a lot of pain. MacLean’s reports.
  • If Kingston is moving away from honouring Canada’s first prime minister and hometown son, John A. MacDonald, on account of his governments’ policies towards indigenous peoples, this indicates a sea change. Global News reports.
  • Ezgi Tuncer examines how Syrians displaced to Istanbul have integrated into their new home through, among other things, selling their traditional foods to Syrians and Turks alike, over at Open Democracy.
  • Is Dubai truly a good example of a modernized Middle Eastern economy? I wonder. Bloomberg makes the argument.

[URBAN NOTE] Seven Toronto links: crime, politics, mass transit, Old City Hall, renters

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  • Florin from G+ was the first person to share the news that someone has been arrested for first-degree murder in the case of the disappearances of two queer men. This is shocking news; I am so sorry for the people affected by these losses. CBC reports.
  • Doug Ford is continuing to campaign for the mayoralty, despite an official warning that he should not start campaigning before the campaign legally starts. Ford Nation lives yet. The Toronto Star has the news.
  • Global News reports on a new tactic by pro-transit groups to try to get people behind the Downtown Relief Line. Good; we need it.
  • Controversy over a bike lane on Yonge Street in North York continues. The Toronto Star reports.
  • blogTO reports on the appealing suggestion that Old City Hall might be turned into a library and a museum. I would quite like this, actually.
  • Tess Kalinowski reports on how rising rents in Toronto are pushing more people to the 905 region, to Toronto suburbs like Mississauga and Vaughan, over at the Toronto Star.
  • John Lorinc at Spacing is harshly critical of an Ontario affordable housing policy that actually does little to ensure affordable rent, giving developers and municipalities effective vetoes over development.

[URBAN NOTE] Seven New York City links

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This extended feature from The New York Times makes the case that New York City’s subway system desperately needs the massive funding it needs, else the city itself start to fall apart. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/03/magazine/subway-new-york-city-public-transportation-wealth-inequality.html

A New York City plan to divest from companies that could be assigned responsibility for climate change and sea level rise is certainly a provocative idea. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/10/new-york-city-plans-to-divest-5bn-from-fossil-fuels-and-sue-oil-companies

The NYR Daily celebrates the life of Fred Bass, the man who built The Strand bookstore in downtown Manhattan. I visited Monday; his life’s work remains a success. http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/01/04/fred-bass-maestro-of-the-strand/

Kim Stanley Robinson’s thoughts on New York City are worth sharing. (The passage in _2312_ where his protagonist went up the Hudson by a flooded Manhattan _was_ one of the best parts of that book, to provide an example other than this novel he wrote.) https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/43d39m/sci-fi-author-kim-stanley-robinson-talks-about-new-york-2140

I have to admit to quite liking the Met’s ideal of potentially free admission for all, though I suppose that if this gorgeous museum needs the funding … https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/04/arts/design/the-met-should-be-open-to-all-the-new-pay-policy-is-a-mistake.html

Former TTC chief Andy Byford is now in New York City, overseeing the MTA. I wish him luck. https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2018/01/16/torontos-ex-transit-boss-andy-byford-rides-subway-on-first-day-of-new-new-york-city-job.html

The traffic safety program of the city of Toronto remains vastly underfunded compared to that of New York City. http://www.metronews.ca/news/toronto/2018/01/16/while-new-york-city-s-vision-zero-results-are-lauded-toronto-s-have-been-lacklustre.html

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Montréal, Washington D.C., Detroit, Bangalore, Nazareth

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  • rue Sainte-Catherine Street in Montréal is set to have three years of heavy construction. The Toronto Star reports.
  • Painting the brutalist structures of the Washington D.C. metro, as described and depicted by CityLab, sounds absurdly unaesthetic to me.
  • The critical take of Vice on regressive taxation policies in Detroit that deprive people of homes is worth reading.
  • Scroll.in suggests that bad planning has done terrible things to the Indian metropolis of Bangalore.
  • Trump has had a decidedly negative effect on the Christians of the Palestinian city of Nazareth. Al-Monitor reports.

[URBAN NOTE] Four Toronto links: CLRV streetcar, TTC public art, vintage photos, Andy Byford

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  • This CBC celebration of the CLRV streetcar, forty years old and still going, was fun to read.
  • Toronto Life profiles some of the public art created for the new Line 1 subway stations.
  • Steve Munro shared some of his vintage photos of Toronto and Toronto mass transit scenes going back to the 1960s.
  • Coming from Toronto to New York City, Andy Byford will find plenty of challenges in that metropolis’ subway system. The Globe and Mail reports.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 3, 2018 at 12:45 pm