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