transit

Federal Survey: Fewer Transit Commuters

Results from the US Department of Transportation's 2009 National Household Travel Survey indicate that transit's work trip market share in the United States was only 3.7 percent in 2009. This is a full one quarter less than the 5.0 percent reported by the Bureau of the Census American Community Survey for 2009. Further, the NHTS data does not include people who work at home. If the work at home share of employment from the American Community Survey is assumed, the transit work trip  market share would be 3.5 percent.  read more »

This is Not the Way to Fix Toronto's Transit

Results and not ideology should guide transportation policy.

Large city officials have been lobbying for a major program of federal transit subsidies for years. The push will likely intensify after the federal election.

A principal resource in this campaign will likely be the Toronto Board of Trade’s third annual Scorecard on Prosperity, which finds Toronto’s transportation system to be among the worst in the world, ranking 19th out of 23 metropolitan areas. Other metropolitan areas also ranked poorly, such as Montreal at 12th, Calgary at 13th and Vancouver at 21st.  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 »

Bus Versus Train: A Dying Debate

The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s cutbacks on its bus line, eliminating about 12% bus service, illuminate the problems of mass transit in LA, specifically the relative inefficiency of trains in the city. This 12% is a further reduction after the 4% cutbacks six months ago, sparking anger from the Bus Riders Union.  read more »

Chicago, Portland: Employment Dispersion from Downtown Continues

New data shows that the downtown areas of both Chicago and Portland (Oregon) are modestly dispersing and losing market share in relation to metropolitan area employment.  read more »

Maglev-Jitney Could Revolutionize Mass Transit

Using EDS suspension developed in Germany with Halbach array magnets, mini-maglev jitneys are a new technology that could transform congested corridors of Orlando. The train car itself is small – only 8’ wide x 30’ long – and holds approximately 12 sitting people and 8 or 9 standing people. But the ability of the train to zip along the centerline of crowded arteries like 17-92 and 50, and future tracks along secondary strips within the region, could give people a new way to travel.  read more »

Giving the "New Houston Metro" Credit Where it's Due

Tuesday, the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) held a blogger luncheon with senior Metro people (Chairman, CEO, board members, managers) at the Rail Operations Center south of Reliant.  It was an informative event with a lot of good two-way Q&A.  And it included an impressive tour of the facility, which, btw, is not air conditioned in the main maintenance bay.  Let's just say it was the right time of year for a tour and I'm really glad I don't work there in the summer.  read more »

Brookings Economist Decries Transit Subsidies, Calls For Privatization

In his new book, Last Exit: Privatization and Deregulation of the U.S. Transportation System, Brookings Institution economist Clifford Winston contends that transit subsidies are largely the result of labor productivity losses, inefficient operations and counterproductive federal regulations.  read more »

Honolulu Rail Costs Balloon, Ridership Projections Called High

Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle has released an independent analysis of the proposed Honolulu rail program to the public and to elected officials. The report was commissioned by the state Department of Transportation.  read more »

Rasputin's Tunnel?

First, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie cancelled the proposed intercity and suburban rail tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan because of the financial obligations its out-of-control costs could impose on the state's taxpayers. Then he delayed the final decision, under pressure from Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and other supporters of the tunnel.  read more »