United States: Less Congestion than Europe per INRIX

A new international report indicates that traffic congestion in the United States is far better than in Europe. The report was released by INRIX, an international provider of traffic information in 208 metropolitan areas in the United States and six European nations.  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 »

The 30th Anniversary of the C-Train in Calgary

I’ve spent a good chunk of the last few months working on a study of Calgary’s light rail transit (C-Train) system, which was released today by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.  I’ve had a long standing interest in LRT systems, and spent the summer of 2009 working for the Cascade Policy Institute in Oregon, where we compiled massive amounts of data on their world renowned LRT system as part of an ongoing project.  read more »

USDOT Rail Grants to Obligate Taxpayers

The US Department of Transportation has announced a competitive grant program to reallocate funding that was refused by Florida for a proposed high speed rail line from Tampa to Orlando. The line was cancelled by Governor Rick Scott because of the prospect for billions of dollars of unplanned obligations that could have become the responsibility of the state's taxpayers.  read more »

High-Speed Rail vs. Modal Neutrality

Isn't it curious that an Administration devoted to the principle of multi-modalism is so obsessively determined to promote a single mode of its own preference -- that of high-speed rail? All three governors who rejected the federal HSR grants --- Govs. Walker, Kasich and Scott --- told Sec. LaHood that their states could badly use that money for more urgent needs of fixing roads, bridges and transit systems and, in the case of Gov. Scott, rebuilding Florida's ports in anticipation of the Panama Canal expansion.  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 »

Tampa to Orlando High Speed Rail: The Risk to Local Taxpayers

No sooner had Florida Gov. Rick Scott rejected federal funding for the Tampa to Orlando high-speed rail line, than proponents both in Washington and Tallahassee set about to find ways to circumvent his decision. While an approach has not been finalized, a frequently suggested alternative is to grant the federal money to a local government, such as a city or county or even to a transit agency.  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 »

"Patchwork" High Speed Rail System Unraveling?

The widely dispersed opposition to proposals for high speed rail (genuine and faux) led Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to say that the Administration would press forward in a patchwork fashion if necessary.  read more »

Petrol a Green Fuel? The Volkswagen 261 Mile per Gallon Car

There have been reports for some years about the Volkswagen 1-litre car, so called because it would travel 100 kilometers on one litre of fuel. That is the equivalent of 235 miles per gallon. Earlier reports were that the car would be marketed by now.  read more »