OECD Cites Shorter US Work Trip Travel Times

Catherine Rampell of The New York Times describes a new Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report concluding that Americans have among the shortest work trip travel times in the developed world (Link to chart in The New York Times).  read more »

The Economist: The Great High Speed Train Robbery

The Economist magazine has called on the British government to cancel plans for the HS-2 high-speed rail line that would run from London to Birmingham and Manchester. The Economist said:  read more »

Iowa Getting Off Bus Speed Rail?

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has refused to pay $15,000 in annual dues to the Midwest High-Speed Rail Association. This comes after the state legislature declined to fund intercity rail programs in the 2012 budget.  read more »

Report: China to Suspend High Speed Rail Development

Railway Age reports that Premier Wen of China "has told the state media that the government will suspend approvals of new rail while it conducts safety checks to address concerns rising from the high speed train collision last month that killed 40 people."  read more »

Los Angeles Metro Bus System Compares Favorably With its Peer Group

As the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) prepared for its most recent round of major bus operations reductions, Metro CEO Art Leahy has been quoted:

"(T)oo many bus lines with excessive service has led to regular budget deficits1."  read more »

Cities Have Outgrown Their Role as Mere Creatures of the Provinces

The Martin Prosperity Institute recently released the map below, which compares the GDP of several US metropolitan areas to the size of national economies. For instance, the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy metropolitan statistical area (MSA) has a GDP of $311.3 billion dollars. If it were a country, it would be the 40th biggest national economy on earth, ahead of countries such as Denmark ($310.1) and Greece ($303.4).  read more »

Learning the right lessons from LA’s “Carmageddon”

Carmageddon has come and gone, and the world didn’t end. The catalyst for the predicted disaster was the closure of Interstate 405 in Los Angeles for construction for the weekend of the 16th and 17th of July. Freeway closures aren’t all that unusual, but the 405 is not a regular freeway. It is both the busiest, and most congested road in America. The 405 carries an estimated half million vehicles per weekday. Had traffic been even close to normal volumes—even weekend volumes—the event would have earned the nickname. However, less people drove. Way less people.  read more »

Another Congressional Cut for High Speed Rail

July 15: Today there was another indication that the newly constituted House of Representatives understands the “litmus test” imperative of zeroing out high speed rail appropriations, in light of potentially required cuts in essential programs like Medicare, Social Security and others. $1 billion was switched to Midwest flood relief in an approval today of the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for the 2012 budget.  read more »

Which Modes are “Multi-Modal” & Enhance Mobility?

One thing that makes Smart Growth appealing is its language.  Terms like “livability” and “transit-oriented development” sound engaging, and “smart” growth is, frankly, self-flattering for its acolytes.  On transportation matters, advocates rarely declare their intent to reduce roadway capacity and divert money to transit projects (along with other auto unfriendly policies).  Instead, they say they are pursuing a “multi-modal” strategy to promote “transportation choice.”  read more »

Adjusting to Fiscal and Political Realities in Transportation Funding

As this is written, we do not know the exact level of funding the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will propose in its draft legislation, to be unveiled in the first week of July and marked up the following week. Nor do we know what level of funding the Senate Finance Committee will come up with. But we do know that both Houses will be obliged to propose far less funding than is contained in the current (FY 2010) surface transportation budget of $52 billion ($41 billion for highways, $11 billion for transit).  read more »