Transportation

Average Chinese Car Travels as Much as American Car

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China is now the largest automobile market in the world. In 2018, 23.7 million new light vehicles were sold in China, compared to the 17.3 million sold in the United States. During the Great Recession, China displaced the US, which had been the world’s leading car market since the invention of the automobile.  read more »

Transport Costs & Subsidies by Mode

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Supporters of increased subsidies to urban transit and intercity passenger trains often argue that all transportation is subsidized, so it’s only fair that transit and Amtrak should also be subsidized. While it’s true that most transportation is subsidized, it is worth looking at the extent of those subsidies to judge whether subsidies to some forms of transport should be increased or reduced.  read more »

The Aging Car and Better Served Consumers

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Americans are keeping their cars a lot longer than before --- an awful lot longer. The first Nationwide Transportation Survey, in 1977, indicated that the average age of household vehicles was 6.4 years, while the average pickup truck or van was 5.6 years (Figure 1).  read more »

Transit Planners Want to Make Your Life Worse

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In our system of government, the public sector is, well, supposed to serve the public. But increasingly the bureaucracies at the state and local level increasingly seek to tell the public how to live, even if the result is to make life worse.

This became glaringly obvious recently, when the CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Phil Washington, reeling from data showing a steady drop of transit riders, decided that the only solution was to make driving worse.  read more »

If You Improve It, They Will Come

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My latest piece is now online at City Journal. It’s a recap of the Indianapolis BRT and Columbus free downtown transit success, as well as a look at Kansas City’s contemplation of free transit citywide. Thanks to a commenter here who originally alerted me to KC’s plans. Here’s an excerpt:  read more »

Screwy Transit Logic

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Bus ridership in Los Angeles is plummeting, says the Wall Street Journal, but LA Metro CEO Phil Washington thinks he has the solution.

“It’s too easy to drive in this city,” says Washington. To get people back on the buses, the city needs to “actually making driving harder.”  read more »

Cars, Not Trains or Planes Dominate Northeast Corridor Travel

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Northbound on the Northeast Corridor between Trenton and Newark

For years, Amtrak has been publicizing its large market share compared with planes in the Northeast Corridor, which covers the major metropolitan air markets of Washington to Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Providence and Boston. Amtrak’s Acela fast train provides quick service on the route, and its somewhat slower Northeast Regional trains make stops at locations less convenient to airline travel. Yet its overall share is much lower once all the transportation forms are included.  read more »

Indy’s Cost Effective Transit Improvement Plan Is a Model for Low Density Cities

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My latest piece is online at CityLab. It’s a look at the transit improvement plans in Indianapolis as the city’s first Bus Rapid Transit line on September 1st. Indy’s system is a model for how lower density cities with auto-centric cultures can start making major improvements in their transit offerings in a capital efficient way.  read more »

Ridership Falls Another 2.9 Percent in June

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June 2019 transit ridership was 2.9 percent lower than in June 2018, according to the Federal Transit Administration’s most recent data release. Ridership dropped in all major modes, including bus, commuter rail, heavy rail, and light rail. Ridership also dropped in 41 of the nation’s 50 largest urban areas, declining even in Seattle, which had previously appeared immune to the decline that is afflicting most of the nation’s transit industry.  read more »

Green Technology’s Dark Side

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The hype these days is to stop using those dirty fossil fuel driven cars and trucks and convert everyone to those clean electric vehicles. But wait!

Before you jump onto the EV train, those EV’s have a very dark side of environmental atrocities and a non-existing transparency of human rights abuses associated with mining for the exotic minerals that power the EV’s.  read more »