Ridership on the New York City Subway has grown drastically in the last four decades, from 966 million in 1975 to 1.7 billion in 2015; at the Times Square subway station alone, rides increased by 29 million. This explosive growth in usage demonstrates the system’s importance to both the city and region. New York City’s 24-hour subway promotes a dynamic economy, livability, and connectivity giving residents access to economic opportunities and a quality of life that is unparalleled in most world cities.
Growth in subway ridership reflects the changes in New York City. This report addresses key moments in the City’s history affecting subway ridership, including the high homicide rate in the 1980s, introduction of the MetroCard, attacks of September 11, 2001, Financial Crisis of 2008, and peak tourism numbers in 2010-2015.
The health and continued growth of the subway system is critical to New York City’s future, and must be maintained and upgraded to reflect New Yorkers’ increasing reliance. Recommended system upgrades are included in this report.
Supersonic travel in pods through frictionless tubes may sound like the basis for the next George Lucas creation, but it may be a reality in the near future. Planning for high-speed travel via a Hyperloop system is underway and could drastically reduce travel times between major cities.
What is Hyperloop?
The Hyperloop is a proposal for high-speed inter-city travel through steel tubes, in pod-like vehicles, for both passengers and cargo. This technology is estimated to reduce travel time from Los Angeles to San Francisco to a mere 35 minutes, a trip that takes even the fastest of drivers 5 hours to complete.
How does it work?
Hyperloop infrastructure consists of steel tubes, either underground in tunnels or elevated, which serve as a mechanism to transport pods. The tubes create a near-vacuum environment and utilize air and friction resistance technologies to transport pods at speeds faster than airplane travel. The technology is energy efficient: it requires relatively low power, and some companies suggest that the entire system can be powered via solar panels (however, some experts are skeptical).
What’s in a travel pod?
Several versions of passenger travel pods will exist, including a standard coach pod resembling economy airplane seating, a meeting pod with tables and angled chairs and a sleek and comfortable lounge cabin.
How will a Hyperloop ride feel?
The idea of riding in a small and windowless capsule may raise concern for some passengers; engineers are working to consider comfort factors. They are also considering how to minimize pod vibration, as even the slightest tectonic movement could cause a jolt that would be felt while traveling at near-sonic speeds.
Where will Hyperloop be built?
Several companies are currently working to perfect the technology and have developed route proposals around the world. Many of these proposals are in development stage and have completion forecasted for 10-20 years from now:
Hyperloop One, the company spearheading the California project, is privately funded. Their estimates show that the project will cost $5.4 billion and gross $300 million in annual revenue.
How much will it cost to ride?
With route and pod design still underway there have been few estimates to how much a single ticket to ride the Hyperloop will cost. Some design teams claim that it will cost the price of a bus ticket, but few actual figures are currently available.
What challenges exist?
Cost: Concerns are widespread about Hyperloop’s feasibility and success, particularly considering construction and testing costs. Much of this work relies on unproven technology; it is not yet known how much it will cost to bring it to reality.
Safety: Hyperloop travel is arguably safer than other transportation options: the system is enclosed, protected from the elements and controlled by pressure and internal dynamics, making it immune to human error. However, experts are concerned about the availability of oxygen in the chamber should an unexpected event result in a loss of pressure. Additionally, emergency braking and power outage scenarios are currently being tested.
Policy: Hyperloop infrastructure, whether above or below ground, will pass through towns, other cities and will disrupt public and private resources. A feasibility study of land use issues and potential human impact is needed to move forward.
Connectivity: One of the biggest concerns with the Hyperloop system is its’ potential connection to other modes of transportation. A 35-minute trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco could be doubled if the destination is downtown, but the docking stations are 30 minutes outside.
Demand: As driverless cars become more of a reality, they will make highway driving safer and more pleasant. Driverless cars may become more appealing to travelers, as they will provide door-to-door transport, rather than the less convenient and Hyperloop.
In the op-ed “A frontal attack on Midtown gridlock,“NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg lays out the agency’s battle plan to combat Manhattan street congestion “to keep people and goods moving as our city grows, sustaining the energy and dynamism that makes New York such a brilliant, uniquely attractive place to live and work.”
Join us for the study release of the 2017 Outlook for Intercity Bus Travel in the United States, a new study by the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University. This program is hosted in partnership with The Chaddick Institute and with support from the New York chapter of the Transportation Research Forum.
Learn how the country’s travel landscape is likely to change in 2017 due to intercity bus expansion and hear about notable highlights of the past calendar year. In addition to commentary by DePaul professor Joe Schwieterman and Brian Antolin, this event will feature other prominent experts on bus travel and offer perspectives on the debate over the Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) in New York. The technical tour will begin at the PABT one hour after the program ends.
Rudin Center for Transportation at New York University | 295 Lafayette Street
12:00-1:30pm: Join the study team and event hosts for a buffet lunch (for purchase) followed by the official study release event. Speakers include Mitchell L. Moss, Director of the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation, and Joe Schwieterman, Director of the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development.
This event is free, with lunch available for purchase.
Port Authority Bus Terminal | 625 8th Ave
2:30-4:00pm: Following the Study Release event, an immersive tour led by Brian Antolin (industry expert and CEO of CoTo Travel), Joe Schwieterman (DePaul University), and Nicholas Klein (Columbia University) will highlight innovations and exciting advancements in bus travel. The tour will begin at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and will focus on key features of the PABT, the Megabus pickup locations near the Javits Convention Center (34th St. b/t 11th & 12th Avenues), and notable specialty lines operating out of Midtown Manhattan. Space is limited.
New Yorkers’ unparallelled ingenuity is perfectly captured in the elaborate costumes and displays they assembled for Halloween. Because we at the NYU Rudin Center love both Halloween and transportation, we rounded up our favorite transportation-themed costumes:
And no round-up of Transpo-related Halloween costumes would be complete without including these three videos:
Video #1: Subway Lines on Parade (@NY1 on Twitter)
Street life makes the city – just take a look at these Photoshopped images from artist Marc Yankus, currently on display at ClampArt gallery, 247 W 29th St. The artist shows NYC streets without people or cars “in an uncanny moment of stillness.” Click below to see more.
CityLab reviewed the Port Authority’s recently published Trans-Hudson Commuting Capacity Study. The map here shows how commuters in the New York Metro Region get around. One dot represents one commuter.
File under: only in L.A. Hopscotch, the opera, took place in 24 coordinated vehicles on the move through the city.
“You’re invited into a car not knowing the destination. The car starts moving and suddenly you’re drawn into the story with singers and musicians that are in the car with you. And as they drive through the city, activity will be happening all around you.”