January/February 1998, p.9

Metropolitan

New York City
Straphangers Score Stupendous Success

In December, the Straphangers Campaign scored a huge victory for all New Yorkers when Governor Pataki announced the creation of weekly and monthly bus and subway passes. "Straps" stalwart advocates, Gene Russianoff and Joe Rappaport sniffed out a big budget surplus at the Transit Authority which they leaked news of to Daily News columnist Jim Dwyer. The News stoked public interest and kept the issue in play until politicians began weighing in with their proposals. At that point the Governor chose to act boldly to keep from being left behind by his rivals. Without the swift and astute action by the Straphanger's Campaign the surplus money would have been swallowed up the Transit Authority, dumped into the general budget, or used as an excuse by the Governor or Mayor to further cut their transit aid. The Governor predicted the move would add 100 million more rides a year to the transit system and help get travellers out of cars. The move has led to a new feeling of optimism over the future of the transit system, which has been recently buoyed by the end of two-fare zones after being beset by severe cuts in City and State funding. Our hats are off to our friends at the Straphangers Campaign.

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Westchester
Green Transport Coalition Kills Cross-Westchester Highway Expansion

In November, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign (including T.A.) and its allies at the Federated Conservationists of Westchester won a huge victory when Governor Pataki announced the cancellation of the State Department of Transportation's I-287 Cross-Westchester High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane highway expansion project. In his cancellation statement the Governor said the HOV expansion was "not environmentally or economically sound."

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New Jersey
Tri-State Campaign Wins Bus To Train Shuttle On Morris and Essex Line

New Jersey Transit has promised grants and buses to five towns on the Morris and Essex line to operate free shuttle bus service to the train from surrounding neighborhoods. The offer was made after prodding from the Rutgers Environmental Law Clinic. Transportation reformers have long sought such shuttle service and cycling and walking improvements as ways of reducing very polluting short car trips to the train and saving on the expense of building new parking.

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Connecticut
State Law Mandates 5% Reduction in Motor Vehicle Use On Highway

Frustrated with growing traffic congestion, Connecticut has legally mandated a 5% reduction in motor vehicle use on I-95 south of Branford, rather than widening the highway. The goal is to achieve the 5% reduction over the next five years instead of allowing a 5% increase. Alternatives to driving include improving transit and charging more for parking.

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