Jim Cameron’s Transportation Column

Recent Articles

Make Flying More Tolerable — and Do It Cheaper: Cameron on Transportation

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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I’ll admit it. I hate to fly. It’s not just the airports, the TSA, the mobs of people and the delays. It’s the seats, the crowding and the feel of being on a cattle car. I’m not claustrophobic, just uncomfortable. Continue Reading →

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Customer Service at the Stamford Station — an ‘Ambassador’ But Not Proper Signage: Cameron on Transportation

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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Anthony Scasino is an ambassador, not for a foreign country, but for Metro-North. He doesn’t have a consulate or embassy, just the Stamford train station as his headquarters. (more…) Continue Reading →

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The Hardships of Pioneers — as 1929 Airline Passengers: Cameron on Transportation

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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How does this sound: Fly coast-to-coast in just 48 hours for only $5,200? That was the pitch for the first commercial, transcon air service in 1929 operated by TAT, Transcontinental Air Transport, much later to become TWA. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Hell Without the Brimstone on an Amtrak Train Without Air Conditioning: Cameron on Transportation

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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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. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Some of Connecticut’s Lousy Air Quality Comes from Transportation: Cameron on Transportation

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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Do you know how bad Connecticut’s air quality is? According to the American Lung Association, all of our state’s counties receive a grade of “F” when it comes to the ozone. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Fairfield County’s Transportation Gem — The Merritt Parkway: Cameron on Transportation

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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Former Gov. Dannel Malloy used to joke that southwest Connecticut has two highways: “One’s a parking lot and the other’s a museum.”

He was obviously referring to Interstate 95 and the Merritt Parkway. I agree with his first characterization, but he’s wrong about the second. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Scranton’s Steamtown Museum, for Kids and Train Enthusiasts: Cameron on Transportation

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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Not all national historic sites are cited on mountains or historic battlefields. In nearby Scranton, Pennsylvania, there is a unique national park that celebrates a machine and its effect on this country’s history: Steamtown is all about steam-powered locomotives. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Tolling’s Dead. Now How Will We Maintain Our Bridges, Highways, Trains? — Cameron on Transportation

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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It seems pretty clear that Gov. Ned Lamont’s tolling idea is dead. The Republicans say “no way, never” and his own Democrats can’t muster the guts to take an up or down vote because they’re so afraid of public reaction. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Remembrance of Airlines Past: Cameron on Transportation

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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Rail fans call them “fallen flags.”

They are railroads that no longer exist, 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. (more…) Continue Reading →

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‘No Way That Toll Money Won’t Be Misused’ — Nobody Trusts Hartford: Cameron on Transportation

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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Nobody trusts Hartford. If cynicism is a disease, we’re in the midst of an epidemic. Since last fall, I’ve been touring the state speaking to groups large and small about Connecticut’s transportation crisis, about the $5 billion we need to just get Metro-North back in a state of good repair, about the hundreds of deficient bridges and potholed highways, and and about the futility of depending mostly on the gasoline tax to fund long-needed repairs. (more…) Continue Reading →

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What It’s Like to Be an Engineer Operating Metro-North Trains — Cameron on Transportation

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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Bobby has every kid’s dream job: he’s an engineer for Metro-North. But Bobby isn’t his real name because he’s asked for anonymity so he can speak candidly about his work. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Buses Remove Traffic, Get People, Often of Modest Means, to Work — What’s Not to Like?

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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Why is there so much scorn for those who ride the bus? Forty-one million trips are taken on 12,000 public buses each year in Connecticut in communities across the state (not counting school buses). Yet, those riders are regarded as losers, not by the transit operators, but by those who drive by car. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Is It Worth Building a Monorail Along the Merritt? — Cameron on Transportation

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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What is this fascination people have with monorails? I can’t tell you how often people suggest them as “the answer” to our state’s clogged roads and rails. “Why don’t we build a monorail down the middle of The Merritt Parkway?” asked an architect at a recent meeting. To my astonishment, such an idea was once studied. (more…) Continue Reading →

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ConnDOT’s New Commish Should’ve Been Talking to More Commuters by Now: Cameron on Transportation

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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A good boss cares about his customers.  He wants to keep them happy and actively seeks out their feedback.  Such is not the case at the Connecticut Department of Transportation. (more…) Continue Reading →

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