China Freeways: Continuing Expansion

Beijing's xinhuanet.com reported on December 30 that 11,000 kilometers (7,000 miles) of new freeways (motorways) were built in 2012. This is equivalent to more than 150 percent of the freeway mileage in California.  read more »

Could a Las Vegas Train Produce Losses 10 Times More Than Solyndra? (Report Announcement)

The Reason Foundation has released our "Xpress West" (formerly "DesertXpress") analysis. This high speed rail train would run from Victorville (90 miles from downtown Los Angeles) to Las Vegas. Promoters predict high ridership and profits. They are seeking a subsidized federal loan of more than $5.5 billion, which is within the discretionary authority of the US Department of Transportation to fund.

Our analysis concludes the following:  read more »

Transportation for Tomorrow: Driverless Cars

Economist Clifford Winston of the Brookings Institution outlines the surface transportation system of the future in a Wall Street Journal commentary, "Paving the Way for Diverless Cars." Winston notes "a much better technological solution is on the horizon" than high speed rail "as an effective way to reduce highway congestion" as the Obama administration in Washington and the Brown administration in Sacramento contend.  read more »

China's Expanding Motorways

In some ways, it has been an "annus horribilis" for transport in China (Note). There was the tragic high-speed rail accident in Wenzhou (Zhejiang), the fastest trains were slowed, construction was slowed or, in some cases stopped, and a top railway official was removed for misappropriation of at least a billion Yuan (more than $150 million).  read more »

What Lies Ahead for Transportation in 2012?

As befits this time of year, our thoughts turn to the events that await us in the days ahead. Putting aside the major imponderable — the outcome of the presidential and congressional elections that inevitably will impact the federal transportation program —what can the transportation community expect in 2012? Will Congress muster the will to enact a multi-year surface transportation reauthorization? Or will the legislation fall victim to election year paralysis? What other significant transportation-related developments lie ahead in the new year?  read more »

The Precarious State of the Highway Trust Fund

On November 18, President Obama signed into law a bundle of appropriation bills for FY 2012  including appropriations  for the U.S. Department of Transportation. The measure had been passed earlier in the House by a vote of 298-121 and in  the Senate by a vote of 70-30.   read more »

The Transportation Politics of Envy: The United States & Europe

The Department for Transport of the United Kingdom may be surprised to learn that the average round-trip commute in the nation is up to a quarter hour less than reflected in its reports. This revelation comes from an article in The Economist, ("Life in the Slow Lane") citing a survey indicating that the average commuter in the United Kingdom spends less than 40 minutes daily traveling to and from work in 2000.  read more »

China Expressway System to Exceed US Interstates

This should be the year that China's intercity expressway system exceeds the length of the US interstate highway system. China's expressways are fully grade separated, freeway standard roadways, but unlike most interstate highways, have tolls.  read more »