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5 posts categorized "Transportation"

May 31, 2012

CCTA Bus Schedule Data Now Available on Google Maps

Google-bus.pngIt's now a little bit easier to take a trip on the bus.

CCTA bus schedule info is now available on Google Transit. That means when you're looking for directions on Google Maps between places serviced by these bus systems, Google shows you a public transit option alongside the drive, walk and bike options.

Try it out! Enter your current address and where you want to go — Google will tell you where and when to pick up the bus, which route (or routes, in the case of transfers) to take, and what time you're expected to arrive at your location. It's important to note that this isn't realtime tracking data, so Google won't tell you where exactly your bus is along its route or if it will be late. But it does make it much easier to figure out how to take the bus efficiently, especially if you're just a casual bus rider. And it works on smartphone versions of Google Maps, too.

It's not just useful in Burlington, either. Live in, say, Waterbury? Google will give you driving or walking directions to the nearest park-and-ride and tell you when to expect a LINK bus there. And if you're traveling from Burlington to Middlebury, Google's directions transition from the CCTA to Addison County's ACTR buses, which are also on Google Transit. Easy-peasy!

Getting the CCTA on Google has been a long process dating back a few years, according to Ross Nizlek,  IT and scheduling specialist for the CCTA. To integrate with Google Maps, Google needs the schedule data in a very specific format, Nizlek explains. The process includes gathering GPS coordinates for every last stop and updating how the agency stores its route data.

Continue reading "CCTA Bus Schedule Data Now Available on Google Maps" »

April 27, 2012

Champlain Parkway Wins Act 250 Approval — But Not a Permit

AllanHuntBurlington's long-stalled Champlain Parkway project took a big step toward reality today.

In a 63-page ruling issued this morning, the District #4 Environmental Commission of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources has found that the South End highway project "will not cause or result in a detriment to public health, safety or general welfare" under Act 250.

Download the ruling here.

However, the commission stopped short of issuing an Act 250 permit because it is waiting for state-issued stormwater permits.

Still, the decsion is a major milestone for a project conceived 45 years ago as a four-lane, limited access highway called the "Southern Connector." At one time, the highway was slated to run alongside Lake Champlain and connect with the northern Beltline highway.

As approved (or nearly approved), the revamped Champlain Parkway is instead a two-lane, pedestrian-friendly urban boulevard that will have new trees, sidewalks, new turning lanes and crosswalks. It will finally connect the abandoned highway off I-189 with Pine Street through Burlington's South End.

A small but dedicated group of property owners have fought the project, viewing it as outdated, expensive and unnecessary. While the parkway would accomplish its goal of diverting truck traffic off residential side streets, congested intersections in a low-income neighborhood — particularly along Pine Street at Maple and King streets — would barely improve under the plan.

Continue reading "Champlain Parkway Wins Act 250 Approval — But Not a Permit" »

October 14, 2011

Keeping Track of Gov. Peter Shumlin's Travels

24satelliteSince taking office in January, Gov. Peter Shumlin has taken regular respites — mostly long weekends at his chateau on Cape Breton, Nova Scotia — while at least one high-profile vacay took him to the sandy Caribbean isle of Dominica.

Shumlin was away this past Columbus Day weekend, just six weeks after the state was ravaged by Tropical Storm Irene.

Vermont’s Republican Party took the governor to task for his holiday weekend getaway, believing the gov should have stayed at home and used his bully pulpit to tout the state’s foliage to out-of-state travelers. The gov's staff called the charge "shameful."

Perhaps. If nothing else the vacation was ill-timed as many communities are spending their weekends orchestrating cleanup and repair efforts as evidenced by the calls for help from VTResponse.com.

Continue reading "Keeping Track of Gov. Peter Shumlin's Travels" »

September 02, 2011

Construction Workers Stranded by New Flash Floods, Rescued by Helicopter

Chopper NYSP From the Vermont State Police press office comes this pulse-pounding tale about a road crew rescued from a new round of flash floods yesterday.

According to the state police, construction workers Kenneth Clark, 43, and Robert Butler, 25, both from Danby, were repairing a section of storm-damaged Route 7 in Clarendon on Thursday afternoon when new rain — and new flash floods — left them stranded on a dirt island with no way out.

From the VSP press release (apologies for all CAPS):

AT APPROXIMATELY 1721 HRS, VERMONT STATE POLICE DISPATCH RECEIVED A CALL FOR ASSISTANCE CONCERNING (2) CONSTRUCTION WORKERS WHO BECAME STRANDED AND ISOLATED ON A SECTION OF THE COLD RIVER AT THE RT7 OVERPASS IN CLARENDON, VT.
THE MEN WERE WORKING ON A SECTION OF RT7 WHICH COLLAPSED DURING THE STORM SUNDAY AFTERNOON. EARLIER THIS AFTERNOON OTHER PORTIONS OF RUTLAND COUNTY ENCOUNTERED A HEAVY RAINSTORM AND FLASH FLOODING CAUSING BOTH MEN TO BECOME STRANDED ON A PORTION OF EARTH LOCATED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RIVER.
CLARENDON FIRE DEPARTMENT AND RESCUE PERSONNEL WERE CALLED AND RESPONDED TO THE SCENE.  RUTLAND TOWN FIRE DEPARTMENT, VERMONT STATE POLICE, RUTLAND COUNTY SHERIFF'S AND RUTLAND CITY TECHNICAL RESCUE ALSO ASSISTED WITH THEIR RESPONSE.
DUE TO THE DANGEROUS RIVER CONDITIONS AND THE INABILITY FOR RESCUE PERSONNEL TO REACH THE TWO MEN, A REQUEST FOR AIR SUPPORT WAS REQUESTED FOR NEW YORK STATE POLICE (NYSP)AND THE VERMONT NATIONAL GUARD.
A NYSP HELICOPTER AND CREW ARRIVED ON SCENE APPROXIMATELY 45 MINUTES AFTER THE INITIAL REQUEST AND REACHED BOTH MEN, HOISTING THEM TO SAFETY WITHOUT INCIDENT. BOTH MEN DID NOT SUSTAIN INJURIES DURING THE INCIDENT.
THE VERMONT STATE POLICE WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE NYSP, VERMONT NATIONAL GUARD AND ALL EMERGENCY RESPONSE AGENCIES WHO ASSISTED IN THIS EVENINGS INCIDENT.
Photo Courtesy of Vermont State Police

August 23, 2011

In Memoriam: Paul Robar, Owner of Benways Transportation (1955-2011)

Paul Robar A giant of the Burlington taxi community has passed away.

Paul L. Robar of Colchester, who built Benways Transportation into the largest taxi company in Chittenden County, died last Thursday, August 18. He was 55 years old.

Robar purchased Benways Transportation in 1973; he was also the owner of Morf Transit and Apollo Limousine. He was hospitalized in critical condition on July 27 after crashing his car on North Avenue in Burlington; he apparently suffered a brain aneurysm while driving. Police said Robar was traveling south on North Avenue when his car left the roadway and brushed a telephone pole and a tree, causing the airbags to deploy.

Recently, he had been a vocal opponent of the city of Burlington's new taxi regulations and threatened to pull his business out of the city if they were enacted, pledging to take "every legal action known to mankind to fight them." Passed by the city council on July 11, the regulations require all cabs to install taximeters by next year and impose a host of other restrictions on cabbies. Robar had predicted taximeters would cost riders more than the current zone pricing system.

Continue reading "In Memoriam: Paul Robar, Owner of Benways Transportation (1955-2011)" »

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