Blogs

Resurrecting the New York Subway

The subway is crucial to mobility in the city of New York. Over the last 10 years, ridership increases on the subway have been more than that of all other transit services in the United States combined. It was not always this way.  read more »

Portland Columnist Calls for Abandonment of the WES Commuter Rail Line

Portland Tribune columnist (see "My View: WES is a Mess: Time to Pull the Plug") Bill MacKenzie took the occasion of a Tri-Met (transit agency for the Oregon side of the Portland, OR-WA metropolitan area) approval to purchase two used Budd Rail Diesel Cars (RDC) for the Wilsonville to Beaverton commuter rail line to call for its abandonment.Fconcl In addition to the $1.5 million purchase cost, $550,000 will be required for refurbishment.  read more »

Expo Line Expansion Fails to Stem L.A. Transit Loss

The long awaited and highly touted Santa Monica extension brought an approximately 50 percent increase in ridership of the Los Angeles Expo light rail line between June 2016 and June 2015. The extension opened in mid May 2016. In its first full month of operation, June 2016, the line carried approximately 45,900 weekday boardings (Note), up from 30,600 in June 2015, according to Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) ridership statistics.  read more »

How Demographics Explain the World

Demographics may not be destiny, but they do play a huge role in driving the fortunes of society and the economy. Sami Karam of Populyst joined me for a podcast on demographic trends around the world. The conversation ranged from the rise of China to the fall of Japan – and even why Occupy Wall Street failed to achieve lift-off.

Topics include:  read more »

Compactness and Canadians

The May, 2016 New Geography feature, Are Compact Cities More Affordable? questioned whether the Vancouver region supplies evidence that Housing-Plus-Transportation (H+T) creates affordable living climates. Todd Litman responded with a critique; here's a partial response to Todd Litman’s comments, which are rich in assertions and advice but poor on science.  read more »

Which Countries Would Fit Inside of Texas?

Everyone knows that Texas is big. In the self-storage world, Texas would be a 10x30 storage unit, the biggest of the bunch. But many people (namely, Yankees and Europeans) may not realize just how massive the Lone Star State really is. How that at 261,231 square miles of land, Texas would be the 39th-largest country by land area in the world, coming in just behind Zambia and ahead of Myanmar. Since there are, give-or-take, roughly 200 countries in the world, that means that most of them are in fact smaller than Texas.  read more »

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A Working-Class Brexit

I woke up Friday morning to the news that my country decided that it no longer wants to be part of the European Union. With a large turnout of 72% of the eligible electorate, the vote went 51.9% in favour of leaving against 48.1% for remaining – 17.4 million against 16.1 million, in case you wondered. As a result, the clock has begun to tick down on 43 years of British EU membership, creating huge levels of uncertainty.  read more »

Breaking News: End of the World Avoided (Brexit)

June 24, 2016 14:30 CDT

Thanks to modern technology, I have had the pleasure of spending nearly all of the last 18 hours with the United Kingdom's cable news network, Sky News, watching the election returns and aftermath [of the successful British European Union referendum (Brexit). Four weeks, the "Remain" campaign has been explaining that leaving the EU would result in huge economic and market disruption.  read more »

Six Nova Scotia Municipalities Reject Amalgamation

For years, some provincial governments in Canada have been either forcing municipal amalgamations or offering incentives for municipalities to merge. This has included municipalities from the largest (Toronto), which was forced into a merger over voter disapproval in 1998 in an advisory election to rural municipalities with fewer than 1,000 in Manitoba, forced to merge by the recently defeated provincial government.  read more »

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Problems in the Orange County Grand Jury Light Rail Report

Earlier this month (May 9, 2016) the Orange County (California) Grand Jury issued a report entitled: “Light Rail: Is Orange County on the Right Track,” which is on the Grand Jury website here. The report largely concludes that it is not and that there is a need for a light rail system in Orange County.  read more »