transportation

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 »

Honolulu Rail: It Just Keeps Getting Worse

There seems to be no end to the difficulties facing Honolulu’s urban rail project. In an editorial, Honolulu’s Civil Beat noted that federal officials fear the project cost may reach $8.1 billion, which is more than 50 percent above the “original estimate” of $5.2 billion. The cost blowout of nearly $3 billion would be far more than state consultants suggested in a 2010 report.  read more »

Feds Forced to Set Priorities for Washington Subway

The Washington Metro passenger safety fiasco (see: America’s Subway: America’s Embarrassment?) has only gotten worse. On May 10 the Washington Post  reported the federal government has twice threatened to close the system if the Washington Area Metropolitan Transportation Authority (WMATA) failed to “take actions to keep passengers safe.” U.S. Secretary Anthony Foxx.  read more »

More Californian’s Continue to Drive Despite Policies to Discourage

“California Commuters Continue to Choose Single Occupant Vehicles,” according to a report by the California Center for Jobs and the Economy. The Center indicated:  read more »

"Rising Rail Chaos" in Honolulu

That's what the Honolulu Star Advertiser calls it in an April 8 editorial entitled "Rising Rail Chaos Bodes Ill for Us All." Honolulu’s urban rail project has experienced a host of problems, which were described by University of Hawaii professor Panos Prevedoros in January, who called the project “the nation’s largest infrastructure fiasco by far” on a per capita basis.  read more »

Governments’ Oil Windfall

We are reading a lot about the windfall coming to consumers due to falling gas prices now that oil is under $50/barrel. But cheap energy also represents a windfall for governments, including governments who are hard pressed for cash.  read more »

Sources for Our "Southern California Stuck in Drive" Story

Joel Kotkin and I wrote in the Orange County Register that transit work trip market shares in the Los Angeles area had changed little, from 5.9 percent in 1980 to 5.8 percent in 2013. In a response, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACTMTA) noted that we did not cite sources. Fair enough. Our source was the 1980 US Census and the 2013 American Community Survey, a product of the United States Census Bureau.  read more »

Taiwan High Speed Rail Near Bankruptcy

Efforts are underway by the Taiwan government for a government led restructuring to avoid bankruptcy (Plan to stop Taiwan's high-speed rail going bust set for review). Since opening in 2007, this privately financed and operated system has been plagued with ridership well below projections.  read more »

New Climate Report Misses Point on US Cities

The doubtful claim that low density US cities impose a cost to the economy of $400 billion is countered by their being the most affluent in the world. Nine of the top 10 cities in GDP per capita are in the US and more than 70% of the top 50.  read more »

More Criticism of the Mythical Shift to Transit

There has been additional attention to the exaggeration of transit ridership trends claimed by the American Public Transit Association. Writing in The Washington Post, David King of Columbia University.  read more »