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New Money for ITS Programs in RI August 9, 2008

Posted by truthspew in transportation, Uncategorized.
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Apparently Senator Jack Reed was in RI announcing the $1.34 Million dollar grant to the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA).

The enhancements according to RIPTA are:

“Thanks to Senator Reed, RIPTA will be able to add Intelligent Transportation System technology to all 240 of its fixed-route buses, bringing the RIPTA bus fleet into the 21st century. This new technology, which will also include real-time information for customers at our transit centers, will result in greatly improved service for our customers. We are very grateful to the Senator for securing the funding to make all this possible,” said RIPTA’s General Manager. Mr. Moscola also thanked Senator Reed for obtaining ITS funding for RIPTA in the past.

The enhancements will include vehicle location, automatic A/V announcements of stops on buses, and computer aided dispatch. I guess they’ve been putting GPS transceivers in all the buses lately.

This is good and I’d like to see this technology spread to major stops (E.g. those with shelters). It’d be easy to throw solar on the roof of the shelter to power a networked device. I’m pretty sure they could even work a deal with the City of Providence to tie them into the MESH network the city has deployed all over the place. You can spot them easily, they’re little whip antennas on top of street lights.

And down the street from me is a PowerWave Repeater for the network. It’s just hanging on a pole with a bigger whip on top of the pole. I’ll have to see how many of these I can spot in the neighborhood.

I’ve also emailed both my Senators and my Representative telling them that if MA could get $20 Billion to bury I-93, we should sure as hell be able to get a similar amount to put in tracked public transit in RI, especially in the urban core.

We don’t even have to bury the pathways for the light rail either. Just lay it into the road. You could even run power underground – put a third rail recessed a few feet into the ground. No need for overhead catenary. And those light rail trains are low enough to the ground that you wouldn’t worry about pedestrian hazards with it.

It’s time for us to re-think RI’s transportation strategy.


What Once Was, and what is now September 17, 2007

Posted by truthspew in Cosimo, objectionable material, RIPTA, transportation.
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I finished reading Edwin Black’s “Internal Combustion”. Very interesting book in that even back in the early part of the 20th century they had urban electric vehicles with ranges of 100 or so miles.

But he spends an awful lot of time slamming GM, Standard Oil, Firestone, etc. Standard Oil is no more, it’s nearest equivalent is Exxon-Mobil.

In any case, up until about 1948-1950 Rhode Island had electric trackless trolleys. They went everywhere and were clean, efficient, and well liked. They got their power from an overhead catenary. No third rail for Rhode Island.
Electric Trackless Trolleys

But in that period of 1948-1950 a consortium called National City Lines convinced Rhode Islanders that stinking diesel buses were better. So we ended up with these:
Orion V bus

Oh sure they run low sulfur diesel fuel now but they still spew particulates and other nasties into the air particularly certain forms of carbon monoxide and dioxide.

Then of course they’ve got the Chance Coach trolleys that run on CNG but while CNG is billed as a clean fuel it still generates carbon monoxide among other things.

They keep toying with light rail in Rhode Island and it’d more likely than not be electric light rail but it never gets anywhere. Same as they keep talking about commuter rail stations in Warwick, RI, Wickford, RI, and Westerly, RI but that doesn’t seem to be moving very fast. I think the Warwick station (Which is 1,500 feet from T.F. Green Airport) is progressing but get this, the only one that has agreed to stop there is the MBTA. Amtrak won’t stop there.

The big issue in Rhode Island is that we don’t have anymore room to build highways and roadways. So we have to start looking at alternatives and mass transit is one those alternatives, in fact the only alternative.

We need to do something and quickly. But I’m thinking of leaving here anyhow, the job and housing picture sucks.

Now playing: Parliament – P. Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up)
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Late Summer Reading September 7, 2007

Posted by truthspew in Edwin Black, Eric B, Error 10048, Internal Combustion, objectionable material, politics, transportation, warfare.
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I’m reading Edwin Black’s book “Internal Combustion: How Corporations and Governments addicted the world to oil and rerailed the alternatives”

Very interesting book. I’m currently reading the chapter about “The GM Conspiracy”. I can see the damage done to my own city by the front company National City Lines which was owned by GM whose Chevy Volt is a joke, and the E85 initiative just gives ADM more money since ethanol comes from corn. , Standard Oil the progenitor of Exxon-Mobil, Firestone, et al.

We had both tracked and trackless trolleys here in Rhode Island. All vestiges of that are gone now with the exception of the archives of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority. They have photos of the old trolleys, the trackless trolleys etc. The common feature of both were that they were powered by electricity. Matter of fact big oil as well as big railroads and car manufacturers really did all they could to kill electric powered vehicles. And now RIPTA management screams bloody murder because costs are out of control due mostly to fuel, second to personnel.

The problem is that electro-motive is much more powerful than gasoline, diesel or coal. That’s right. They did tests between the first diesel-electrics and pure electric trains back then and the electrics outperformed the fossil fueled vehicles.

So today I was thinking about this and thought to myself, how about we bring back electric powered public transit. Oh you could still use the big 40 foot buses but why not use inductive power, bury the magnets in the roadway and go from there. Magnetic induction powers things like mag-lev trains, etc. In the cases of wheeled street vehicles the levitation component wouldn’t be necessary, just the power transfer. I’d love to see that used here as a pilot since RI is so small it’d be feasible. No tracks, no overhead catenary, just a roadway with buses humming silently down them. And of course with the DARPA Grand Challenge Urban scenario we’ll sooner than later see vehicles being driven by computer. That would pretty much solve most of RIPTA’s heavier expenses.

Granted, the outlays for this would be fairly high. But they’d pay dividends for years to come. The problem is that we don’t have any politicians who are truly visionary in Rhode Island.

And there are certainly people would argue that power generation pollutes but the scale on which it pollutes would be much smaller than having hundreds of diesel powered buses traveling the roadways.

Europe got the best deal since much of their public transit is light rail and that light rail is powered by electricity. Corporations don’t have such a stranglehold over Europe since there’s no notion of them having the same rights as a person. Corporations in the United States seem to hold that they have such rights.

So we need to do two things, first disabuse corporations from their thinking regarding rights by modifying the Constitution to exclude them from any rights granted within.

The second thing we need to do is lean on our politicians, or maybe this should be the first thing since that is how we get the Constitutional change going.

Now playing: Joss Stone – What Were We Thinking
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It's Happening Again! August 12, 2007

Posted by truthspew in people, transportation.

So Friday night one of Keyron’s ‘friend’ Rosie shows up at the door. She tells him that she needs to stay the night, will be out by Saturday, etc.

Here’s the thing, I’m a phenomenal judge of people. It’s a skill I’ve honed over the years but I can detect bullshit from miles away, as I mentioned in my posts about the other incident involving Charles. But I constantly downplay it because I would like to give people the benefit of the doubt. As of right now, that all ends.

When Rosie came here Friday night, she had boxes, all her clothes, pots and pans, etc. She had been staying in an extended-stay suite but I guess the money ran out. Supposedly she has money but is a victim of identity theft and the bank has frozen all her assets. I call bullshit here because I know banks will advance provisional funds while they make changes to protect the assets. I’ve had it happen to me, that’s how I know.

I also know a police report would have to be filed and my little birdie at the local PD tells me no such report exists. Coupled with what I mentioned about bank procedures this tells me our house guest is a target of an investigation or action of some sort either by police or taxing authorities.

Anyhow her promise to be out by Saturday never materialized, instead she was out partying all day and night. She told Keyron that she’d be leaving sometime after noon today. I love open ended bullshit like that.

In essence, she’s a pathological liar. She makes such grand pronouncements such as “I have a Doctorate in Theology” yet she can’t explain Christian or other dogma. Then of course there’s the money thing, it assumes that the money actually exists. After all she walked away from a number of jobs that made her a nice sum.

Keyron has to go to an all day event so I’m here with Rosie. Luckily one half of the place seals off from the other half so I don’t have to even see the woman at all. But I did tell Keyron to mark my words, that she’d be sleeping here tonight.

Why us? I think moving into a three bedroom apartment set us up for it. The mentally unbalanced figure that we’ve got the extra room and won’t mind.

They obviously don’t know me. I get very territorial when my space gets invaded. But when I walk into my bathroom and there are mildewed bath matts on the floor, her shit all over the vanity, and bathwater still in the tub that pretty much does it for me.

And the thing that irks me more is she knows I can see through the bullshit. She thinks she’s better and smarter than everyone else. She’s only black when she wants to be, otherwise she’s Cape Verdean. Honey, you’re black. Get over it.

Before Keyron left this morning he talked to her and she says she’ll be out today. He just called me and I told him that I’ll give it today but if she isn’t out today, tomorrow things get unmistakably hostile up to and including her shit on the sidewalk and the doors locked.

UPDATE: She’s been moving her stuff out. Hallelujah!

Re-UPDATE: I had said that by 6PM if she didn’t have her stuff moved out then I’d be locking the doors and putting her stuff out. It is now 7:45PM and the door is locked. I’m just to lazy to drag her shit outside. Of course she’s been out galavanting all day, playing at the Puerto Rican festival. If she can’t prioritize her life I’m going to do it for her.

So at 8:25PM I locked the front door, slipped the ear buds in and shuffled my playlist. Apparently she stopped by and rang the doorbell at approximately 8:45PM. Then she suddenly finds the phone number and calls says she’ll be by in 15 minutes. She showed. Imagine that.

Now playing: Maze (feat. Frankie Beverly) – silky soul singer
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