Transportation

Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Is A Rare, And Potentially Bipartisan, Feel Good Moment

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President Trump’s proposed trillion dollar plus infrastructure program represents a rare, and potentially united feel good moment. Yet before we jump into a massive re-do of our transportation, water and electrical systems, it’s critical to make sure we get some decent bang for the federal buck.  read more »

Transportation Energy Costs

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The average car on the road consumed 4,700 British thermal units (BTUs) per vehicle mile in 2015, which is almost a 50 percent reduction from 1973, when Americans drove some of the gas-guzzliest cars in history. The average light truck (meaning pick ups, full-sized vans, and SUVs) used about 6,250 BTUs per vehicle mile in 2015, which is also about half what it was in the early 1970s.  read more »

Uber, the “Metropocalypse,” and Economic Inequality in D.C.

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Public transit infrastructure in Washington, D.C. is crumbling. Metro and bus services have been cut. Fares have gone up. And, safety remains a problem. After 40 years of deferred maintenance, poor management, and the lack of decent, long-term funding, the Metro system needs $1.4 billion worth of repairs, and it must close a $290 million budget gap just to continue basic operations. Some call this the “metropocalypse.”  read more »

Ground Transportation Gaps

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A theme de rigour at transportation conferences these days is Americans’ reduced affinity for driving. It is a pervasive premise: that young people and urbanites only want “to get from point A to point B.”

Such claims ring true in numerous dense urban settings where transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Lyft and Uber, as well as bikesharing and carsharing are all flourishing. Car-free living is on the rise.  read more »

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U.S. Infrastructure: Not About To Collapse

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A recent report from the RAND Corporation looks at America’s infrastructure and concludes that “not everything is broken.” In fact, what is broken, more than the infrastructure itself, is “our approach to funding and financing public works.” This is largely because governments by-pass market signals and rely on “often complicated and multilayered governance arrangements and competing public goals and preferences” to make decisions about w  read more »

Would You Move to Wisconsin to Save Ten Minutes?

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Next City pointed me at a new ad campaign the state of Wisconsin is running aimed at luring Chicago Millennials to move north.

The focus of the campaign is on Wisconsin’s lower cost of living and shorter commute times vs. Chicago.  read more »

Case Studies in Autonomous Vehicles, Part 3: Will Autonomous Vehicles Be Able to Handle All Driving Conditions?

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Parts 1 and 2 of this series explored the practical challenges of adopting shared use autonomous vehicles from a human behavior standpoint. In this final piece, I explore the issues AVs might face in the most challenging of driving conditions.  read more »

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Cronyism on an Industrial Scale to Blame for Inflated New York Subway Costs

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Just before year end, the New York Times dropped a bombshell report on what they term “the most expensive mile of subway on earth.”

An extensive investigation by the Times finally starts to get at the heart of why construction costs on the New York subway are vastly higher than anywhere else in the world.  read more »

Portland’s Congestion Plans Are Working

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Portland’s transportation policies are working. At least, they’re working if you think their goal is to increase congestion in order to encourage people to find alternatives to driving. At least, the increased-congestion part is working, but not many are finding alternatives to driving.  read more »

Cars: Principal Mobility for Workers in Poverty

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Out of the approximately 150 million employees identified in the American community survey for 2016, nearly 10% are below the poverty level. Popular lore might provide a misleading impression that most of these employees reach work by transit. Other than in the New York metropolitan area, nothing could be further from the truth.  read more »