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 »

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 »

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 »