NY Mayor unveils Brooklyn-Queens streetcar plan

From Metro:

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was joined by several local and transit officials to detail his plans for a new streetcar service: the Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX).

The new transit line  -  the first New York City streetcar in more than 50 years  -  would stretch 16 miles from Astoria in Queens to Sunset Park in Brooklyn, linking together neighborhoods long underserved by public transit with some of the fastest-growing job hubs.

When fully built-out, it could serve almost 50,000 passengers per day, making it one of the biggest urban streetcar systems in the nation.

“People in neighborhoods like Red Hook haven’t had the quality transit they need and deserve. This new service means opportunity for those families, and it’s also going to strengthen communities up and down the waterfront. Anyone can see the enormous growth happening here – it’s time we brought new transit to these neighborhoods for all those people and jobs,” said Mayor de Blasio.


The Brooklyn-Queens waterfront is one of the fastest-growing parts of the city, with more than 405,000 residents and 296,000 workers. But transit capacity hasn’t kept pace with population and employment growth. The BQX would link together long-isolated neighborhoods and bring 21st century public transit to meet the needs of a growing city. Following extensive community outreach and planning, the Administration foresees breaking ground on the project in 2019-2020.

“The BQX will provide the modern, efficient, state-of-the-art transit link that the growing Brooklyn and Queens waterfront, which is underserved by the current subway system, urgently needs,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “The BQX will provide a cost-effective transportation option for neighborhoods all along the East River that will also spur economic development and more vibrant communities for all New Yorkers.”



  Common carriers have their day in court

Arizona rejects strictest standard of care for common carriers: Is this a trend?

By Bill Poorten,

In 2011, I argued the case, Nunez v. PTMTI, to the Arizona Supreme Court which considered whether the law should hold common carriers to a heightened standard of care; something more than reasonable under the circumstances. As common carriers include transit buses, shuttle buses, paratransit vans, streetcars, light rail, trolleys, taxis and even elevators the issue had broad implications.

A heightened standard of care for common carriers is and remains prevalent throughout the United States and is expressed in various language including “highest duty of care,” “highest practical duty of care,” and “strictest duty.”

In a unanimous decision, the Arizona Supreme Court rejected the heightened duty of care standard and held that the general rule of reasonable care under the circumstances applies to common carriers just as it applies to most everyone else. The court reasoned that in 1987, Arizona had adopted statutes that created a pure comparative fault scheme. Serving as the fact-finder, a jury or judge considers the alleged fault of all parties and non-parties and is able to allocate percentages of fault to each party or non-party found to have caused or contributed in some way to the incident, claimant’s injuries and damages based upon the evidence. This pure comparative fault scheme requires the fact-finder to compare the alleged relative fault of each party and non-party.

Such a comparison is inherently unfair to a common carrier if it measures its conduct using a heightened standard of care as compared to others’ actions considered against a less demanding reasonable care standard.

It appears that the court was persuaded to think the heightened standard of care might mislead a jury into believing a common carrier is something akin to an insurer of the safety of its passengers and the public......   READ MORE >


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