Jim Cameron’s Transportation Column

Recent Articles

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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One of the Few Profitable Transit Companies in the U.S. — the Bridgeport Ferry: Cameron on Transportation

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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Public transportation is a money-losing proposition.  But Connecticut is home to one of the few profitable transit companies in the U.S.  It’s not CT Transit or Metro-North, both of which are heavily subsidized.  No, the operation that’s squarely in the black is the Bridgeport–Port Jefferson Steamboat Company, a.k.a. “the ferry.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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Metro-North Timetable Showing It’s Age: You’d Be Slower Too If You Dated Back to the Woodrow Wilson Presidency

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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Metro-North rail commuters received a recent spring surprise: a new timetable with slower running times. Rush-hour trains now leave earlier and arrive later, adding anywhere from 1 to 10 minutes to published running times, depending on the length of the trip. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Finding Parking for Your Train Commute — Now There’s an App for That: Cameron on Transportation

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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How can you get people to commute by train if they can’t get to the train station? Those two-wheeled, buff millennials would have us believe we should all bike our way from home to the train. But not all of us are that athletic or inclined to take our lives in our hands wheeling through traffic and bad weather. (more…) Continue Reading →

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My Lead Foot, My Hybrid Car — and Your Gas Saving: Cameron on Transportation

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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I like to go fast. Really fast. Nothing makes me happier than hurtling along to Boston on Acela at 145 mph, even if those sprints are brief, or catching the jet-stream on a flight and hitting 600 mph. And nothing frustrates me more, like you, than being in slow-moving, bumper-to-bumper traffic on Interstate 95, that highway’s normative state. (more…) Continue Reading →

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10 Years After Panel’s Report on ConnDOT — Improvements, Missed Opportunities: Cameron on Transportation

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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In the “land of steady habits,” we don’t fix problems — we study them, over and over again. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Jets With Faster, Longer Flights Seem the Way of the Future: Cameron on Transportation

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16
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I hate to fly, but I have to, sometimes. Sure, I can tolerate a trans-con to California in business or first class. My wife and I once flew to Japan on a surprisingly tolerable 10-hour flight that just felt like a really long day. (more…) Continue Reading →

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