Tag: TransportationView All Tags
Paris Travel / Transportation / Taxis / Free Stuff / Cars / → All Tags
There’s plenty of cheap—and electric—cars roaming the streets in and around Paris these days, but now there’s a new type of public transportation arriving in the City of Lights. Tuk-Tuk taxis are most common over in Southeast Asia, but a fleet of free-to-use vehicles are now available to tourists and locals alike.
An optimistic entrepreneur has brought 20 or so of the vehicles into town, and there’s like 150 different places to jump aboard around the city. The operation is newly up and running, and the taxis are scheduled to do their thing each and every day of the week.
Airport News / IAD / Airports / Transportation / → All Tags
We’re kind of looking forward to our next layover at Washington-Dulles. It’s a little strange to say that, but we want to check out their shiny new underground trains. The AeroTrain has been a work in progress for almost 15 years, but a couple weeks ago construction finished and passengers hopped aboard.
In the past, the airport has been using those mobile lounges things—which we like solely because of their history. However, in practice the old buses didn’t really do too well or offer too much convenience. We’re thinking that most travelers won’t be shedding any tears over their departure, and will be looking forward to gliding to the next concourse at about 40mph.
For a self-admitted transportation nerd, Hong Kong is dream come true. We just can't decide on a favorite way of conveyance, and thankfully with HK's bounty of trams, ferries, taxis and even a famous chain of escalators, we didn't have to--we rode them all! So for all of you daydreaming of 80-degree days spent hopping between ferries and funiculars on a single "Octopus" transit card, here's our short and saucy guide to the awesome transportation options of Hong Kong:
· Double-Decker Trams and Buses: The former British influence is still felt here, although they've long exchanged afternoon tea for a Starbucks latte. In Central on Hong Kong Island, the slice-thin double-decker trams pile up on commuters for short trips not worth the subway. Tapping your Octopus card also works on these, although during rush hour there's barely enough room to do even that. The buses, which match London Routemasters in size, are a better option for venturing into residential neighborhoods, and routes are clearly presented at each bus stop pole.
· Victoria Peak Funicular: Along with the Star Ferry, this ranks as a seriously touristy thing to do. Still, it's the most unique and direct way to mount Victoria Peak and take advantage of the jawdroppingly steep ascent. Heading up is often crowded, but the descent leaves plenty of room for picture taking and gawking at the skyscrapers below you.
Exotic Morocco is one of those countries we always want to know more about. Romantic and spicy, remote yet not that difficult to get to and holiday mecca for plenty of European travelers--we want to go.
And now we know the best way to get there: by ferry from Spain. The UK Times tells us you can get there in as fast as half an hour, but to savor the experience more, they recommend taking an older ferry to travel from Algeciras, Spain to Tangier, Morocco. It takes about two and a half hours.
Our tip is to buy a Moroccan beer on board, sit back and relax while Morocco slides into view. You'll skip all the hassles of lost baggage and flight delays that the average budget flight can bring and even if you don't find meaning in Morocco, you'll have a romantic start to your exploration of northern Africa.
Buy a big drill, and everyone starts thinking you're going to dig a tunnel between two continents. That's what happened to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich after he handed over $160 million for the biggest drill in the world.
We've been drooling over the idea of a US to Russia road trip ever since rumors began about the Bering Strait tunnel project a year ago. When Abramovich bought a massive drill last week, well, the rumors really started heating up.
But don't go booking your rental cars just yet. Apparently the real story is something closer to doing some infrastructure works around Sochi on the Black Sea, which will host the 2014 Winter Olympics. Nice, but nowhere near as exciting as a tunnel joining Russia and the United States. Perhaps we'll have to dig it ourselves.
· Rumors Billionaire Will Tunnel to America [news.com.au]
· Billionaire Denies Dream of Transcontinental Tunnel [Russia Today]
· Bering Strait Tunnel Project: OMG! Ultimate Road Trip! [Jaunted]
Buses / Transportation / Megabus / → All Tags
For the first time in decades, inter-city bus travel is gaining in popularity. The number one reason? No surprise here: It's dirt cheap.
Megabus is one of the outfits driving the boom, with its college-student-friendly route map and cleaner-than-average coaches. It also doesn't hurt that the company offers promo fares for $1.
One passenger says Megabus is far better than Greyhound:
It's half the price, and it gets there quicker, with less stops.
Fast, cheap and hassle-free? No wonder bus travel's booming.
The Hawaii Superferry is back, and along with it protests about environmental damage. After a court ordered the big ship to stop its inter-island journeys this summer, a new decision--and some action by Governor Linda Lingle--has the ship cruising again, at least until an environmental assessment is complete.
While protesters greeted the ferry when it pulled into Maui's harbor late last week, the tone has been quite civil. Maybe that's because the Coast Guard and lots of law enforcement have been watching demonstrators while toting automatic weapons?
· Book Your Own Controversial Tickets [Official Superferry Site]
· "I think this is great for Hawaii," Passenger Says [KHNL]
· Delays were "very damaging to the company," CEO says [KHNL]
· Hawaii Superferry's Arrival Stays Calm [Honolulu Advertiser]
· Environmental Group Preparing More Legal Action [Honolulu Advertiser]
[Photo: eye of einstein]
BOS / Airports / Transportation / → All Tags
Thanks to Massport, the Boston Logan Airport taxi situation has gone from mildly annoying to hellishly intolerable, but don't blame the taxi drivers.
Massport, in their infinite wisdom, at some point, decided it would be best for the hordes of taxi drivers anxiously awaiting an airport fare to sit in a holding area away from the terminals and wait to be "called" to the terminal when a taxi was needed. So the system, as we understand it is akin to waiting for meat at a local supermarket deli. Taxi drivers enter the holding area, get a number, and wait for the Massport traffic controller with a walkie talkie to call their number and direct then to their terminal.
However, what ends up happening is there are never enough taxis outside the terminal and the clueless Massport controller never knows how many taxis to call in from the holding area. To further complicate the mess, taxi drivers in the holding area regularly bail if their number hasn't been called after a long period of time, thinking there are no passengers needing a taxi at the airport.
You expect this sort of Disneyworld-like line when you land in Vegas, where taxi supply struggles to keep up with demand, but at BOS, at 1:15 AM? When one flight lands and every passenger who needs a taxi ends up waiting twenty five minutes, you know there is a big issue.
The solution to this clusterfuck seems simple enough -- allow a limited number of taxis to wait at the terminal, once Massport guy sees the post flight taxi rush he can make himself useful by calling in the next group of taxis. Kind of like how Southwest use to board their flights. This make way more sense than calling in taxis one by one -- oh and isn't it how almost every other airport in the country works? We certainly never have an issue at JFK or LAX or other busier airports.
Hitchsters.com, the online ride-sharing site for NYC-area airports, is expanding into Brooklyn next week. The service, which hooks you up with stingy strangers looking to split cab fare, will now partner with a Brooklyn-based car service, making trips to LGA and JFK easier for the heaps of travelers who aren't headed to Manhattan.
As we've mentioned before, taking a cab is usually something we do to avoid people: If we want to meet strangers, we'll take the subway. But for Brooklynites--who don't have cabs whizzing past at all hours--splitting a ride could make a lot of sense. And if things go nicely in NYC, Hitchsters plans to expand its reach beyond the city. Might we suggest Las Vegas--and its massive cab queue--next?
A seaplane that lands in a city center? Sure it sounds odd, but Glasgow is excited to be getting the first city-center seaplane service in Europe. The Scottish city will be serviced by Loch Lomond Seaplanes who will land their 9-seater Cessnas on the River Clyde starting next week.
From Glasgow, the seaplanes will fly into the Scotch-happy Highlands which traditionally take ages to reach. The first destination will be Oban in the Western Isles, but the islands of Mull and Skye are expected to be on board soon. So if you're a transportation freak and want to try something new, book your Scottish seaplane flight soon. A rocks glass will be waiting for you on the other side.
[Photo: N and L]
Late last night our JetBlue flight landed on time at Boston's Logan airport. However, little did we know the real waiting was about to begin, not not for our baggage, that arrived just fine -- it was the taxi stand line that was unbearable.
Now we expect the taxi line outside McCarran Airport, in Vegas, which is twenty stalls deep, with the queue organization of a popular Disney ride, to be a bit of a wait, but what is Logan's excuse? The taxi line was well over fifty people deep and it took a good ten minutes for the first fleet of cabs to even arrive on the scene. Want more? When you get the cab you are immediately charged a $6.50 airport fee -- guessing it helps subsidize those folks that keep the taxi line moving at a snails pace. Seriously, if anyone knows why BOS has such a taxi line issue, please let us know.
In the meantime:
· Water Taxi May Be A Viable Option Here [City Water Taxi]
· The Official BOS Taxi Rules [Massport]
· Bill Simmons Should Try His Home Town Airport Taxi Line -- Add Humidity [ESPN]
· Shun The Taxi, Embrace The T [Typecon]
· No Wonder BOS Is On The Most Miserable Airports List [U.S. News]
Options for grabbing a ferry between Britain and Ireland have got bigger and better this year with the introduction of the Stena ferry service between Fishguard, United Kingdom, and Rosslare, Ireland.
With a fast crossing time of just 2 hours, they're obviously hoping to hold onto a market that could be tempted to flock to budget airlines. Stena's also got summer specials of £80 for a single ticket (car included) plus extra adults for just 17 quid a piece if you sail mid-week.
150 cars can squeeze onto a Stena ferry. And 650 people telling Irish jokes. For the record, Stena also sails to Holland and Scandinavia, but the jokes there cost extra.
· Stena Line [Official Site]
· Superferry Roils Hawaiian Waters [Jaunted]
· Hong Kong's Ferry Smoggy [Jaunted]