On Our Line #5: Ben Kabak’s New York



London Reconnections heads to New York and brings you the first part of a mini-series on transport matters from across the Atlantic. To kick off the series we talk to Ben Kabak who gives us an overview of the transport politics, policy and projects in New York.

Ben Kabak is the Editor of the 2nd Avenue Sagas a website covering all matter transport in New York. What started as a blog in 2006 to trace the progress and politics of the 2nd Avenue Subway has since morphed into a site the spectrum on transport stories: from politics to long range planning, capital investment, funding challenges and new technology adoption.

Ben gives us an introduction to transport in New York’s metropolitan area by outlining the fragmented governance structure with its many institutions in charge. This plays itself out in transport policy and infrastructure pipelines for the region. It does not appear to be leading to coordinated and integrated transport planning for the metropolitan area. Are politician’s ambitions distorting transport investment? How is funding choking transport investment and maintenance of good repair?

Tune in to hear about the challenges of the institutional arrangements, political horse trading and funding for providing transport in New York and some suggestions on how they might be overcome.

Check out Ben’s transport blog where you can find more detail about a lot of the issues touched upon in this podcast, such as the large infrastructure projects such as the Second Avenue Subway, the TriboroRX line, and 7 line extension. For an overview of the instutional arrangments for transport provision in New York, I would recommend the report Getting to the Route of It – The Role of Governance in Regional Transit by the Eno Center for Transportation and Transit Center offers an overview of the institutional arrangements for transport in different US city regions and includes a chapter dedicated to New York.

Look out more episodes of the mini-series coming soon.

How to listen

You can find our main podcast stream at http://podcast.londonreconnections.com, and you can subscribe on iTunes here:

On Our Line: The Rail and Transport Podcast

If you do so, please remember to rate the podcast. This will help others, who are unfamiliar with London Reconnections, find it.

Please also spread the word over email or social media to those you feel would enjoy the podcast.

You can also listen directly through the internet via the embedded player below.

Written by John Bull
John Bull is the Editor of London Reconnections. A transport journalist and historian, his writing often focuses on the political or strategic challenges facing London's transport network and beyond.