Transportation

Autonomous Cars Are About To Transform The Suburbs

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Suburbs have largely been dismissed by environmentalists and urban planners as bad for the planet, a form that needed to be eliminated to make way for a bright urban future. Yet, after a few years of demographic stultification amid the Great Recession, Americans are again heading to the suburbs in large numbers, particularly millennials.  read more »

Olympics Transportation: The L. A. Times Needn’t Worry

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The Trump Infrastructure plan has finally been released. The critics are out in force, especially those with particular interest in rapid transit. The plan would reduce funding to the federal “new starts” program, which provides funding for new urban rail and busway systems. The Los Angeles Times editorial board expressed angst at this proposal. According to The Times, the "…public transit building boom in L.A.  read more »

2017: Transit’s Disastrous Year

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Nationwide transit ridership in December 2017 was nearly 5 percent less than December 2016. Ridership for the calendar year was 2.6 percent less than in 2016 and 6.7 percent less than 2014, transit’s recent peak. These numbers are based on the latest National Transit Database spreadsheet posted by the Federal Transit Administration.  read more »

Rising Car Access Sends LA’s Transit Ridership Falling

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Transit ridership is down in a number of markets, but LA’s declines have attracted a lot of attention – and for good reason. LA has invested billions of dollars in rail transit but has failed to grow ridership, which is still below its 1985 levels. And ridership has actually been falling in recent years, even on the existing core rail lines. (New and expanded lines saw some growth).  read more »

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 »

Subjects:

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 »