Exaggerating in Orlando: Sunrail

For decades taxpayers have paid billions to finance major transportation project cost overruns far exceeding the routinely low-ball forecasts available at approval time.  read more »

High Speed Rail Subsidies in Iowa: Nothing for Something

The Federal government is again offering money it does not have to entice a state (Iowa) to spend money that it does not have on something it does not need. The state of Iowa is being asked to provide funds to match federal funding for a so-called "high speed rail" line from Chicago to Iowa City. The new rail line would simply duplicate service that is already available.  read more »

Biking in Minneapolis

The sustainable biking craze seems to keep rolling as more and more cities encourage commuters and wanderers to bike across town instead of drive. New programs, such as Nice Ride in Minneapolis, offer an innovative service where one can rent out a bike for a small fee and ride it across town to other stations, or continue to hold onto the bike and continue making payments.  read more »

Fwd: California's Bullet Train --- On the Road to Bankruptcy

For California’s high-speed rail boosters including their chief cheerleader, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the month of May must have felt like a month from hell. First came a scathing report by California legislature’s fiscal watchdog, the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), questioning the rail authority’s unrealistic cost estimates and its decision to build the first $5.5 billion segment in the sparsely populated Central Valley between Borden and Corcoran.  read more »

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 »

Devastated St. Louis Airport: Up to the Challenge

St. Louis: April 23, 2011 (9 a.m.) The St. Louis (Missouri-Illinois) metropolitan area is just beginning to dig out of the devastating tornadoes that struck on the evening of Good Friday. Miraculously, there appear to have been few, if any life-threatening injuries.  read more »

A Tough Week for High Speed Rail

The week ended April 16 was particularly difficult for high speed rail, as the following events illustrate.  read more »

China Slowing World's Fastest High Speed Rail

The Wall Street Journal reports that China will slow down its world's fastest high speed rail trains. According to the Journal, Sheng Guangzu, head of China's Ministry of Railways, told the People's Daily that the decision will make tickets more affordable and improve energy efficiency on the country's high-speed railways.  read more »