Transportation

Will Donald Trump Expose America’s Great Mass Transit Hoax?

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Whatever you think of President Trump, his claims about the lousy condition of America’s basic infrastructure are widely accepted—even by resisting Democrats grinding their teeth on a L.A. freeway or waiting for a New York or D.C. train to arrive. His call for a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan may be his last best bet for finding bipartisan support.  read more »

First Mile-Last Mile, Intermodialism, and Making Public Transit More Attractive

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In the ever-trendy world of transportation planning people seem to be infatuated with discussions of first mile-last mile public transportation connections and intermodalism. Given all the attention, one would think that the traveling public is anxiously awaiting their next opportunity to transfer vehicles to complete their trip. Nothing can be further from the truth. People don't aspire to transfer; they don’t aspire to experience an intermodal terminal. They almost always want to get door to door in the fastest, simplest, and most reliable fashion.  read more »

A Reporter Rode Denver’s Airport Light Rail–And You Won’t Believe What Happened Next

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Here’s a heartwarming story of a man who rode Denver’s airport light rail once, and it worked for him, so now he wants everyone in his Virginia city to pay higher taxes to build light rail to the local airport in case he might want to ride it again someday. How thoughtful and touching.  read more »

Increase in Long Commutes Indicates More Residential Dispersion

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A recent New York Times story chronicled the experiences of “extreme commuters,” those who travel two hours or more each way to work. The article focuses on people who commute to New York and notes that there is little or no data on extreme commutes. The Census Bureau, through the American Community Survey (ACS) does not survey two hour commutes. Its maximum classification is 90 minutes or more, though The Times focuses on the 60 minutes and over data, 2013 ACS.  read more »

The Great Train Robbery: Urban Transportation in the 21st Century

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Below is an excerpt from a new report published by the Chapman University Center for Demographics and Policy titled, “The Great Train Robbery: Urban Transportation in the 21st Century." Read the full report (pdf) here.

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Transit’s Precipitous Decline

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Transit ridership in the first quarter of 2017 was 3.1 percent less than the same quarter in 2016, according the American Public Transportation Association’s latest ridership report. The association released the report without a press release, instead issuing a release complaining about the House Appropriations bill reducing funding for transit.  read more »

Should Transit Fares Cover Operating Costs?

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Maryland has long had a state law requiring transit systems to collect enough fares to cover at least 35 percent of their operating costs. While it is admirable to set a target, this particular target is disheartening for two reasons.  read more »

New Infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa

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This post will be continuously updated as we learn about new projects.

On the three main vectors of wealth creation, African countries have lagged other developing nations for several decades. Sub-Saharan Africa is the poorest region of the world and suffers from poor infrastructure, uneven literacy, endemic corruption, political instability and war. While this is problematic for the present, improving conditions are pointing to a more promising future.  read more »

Want to be Green? Forget Mass Transit. Work at Home.

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Expanding mass-transit systems is a pillar of green and “new urbanist” thinking, but with few exceptions, the idea of ever-larger numbers of people commuting into an urban core ignores a major shift in the labor economy: More people are working from home.  read more »

California’s Global Warming High-Speed Train

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The California High-Speed Rail Authority promises to “achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in construction” and is committed to operate the system on “100% renewable energy” by contracting for “400 to 600 megawatts of renewable power”. These promises may please environmentalists, but they cannot be kept.  read more »