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 »

US Senior Population Trends by Size of Market

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Around the world, including the United States, senior populations are rising much faster than those of other ages, as fertility rates have plummeted. Since the 2010 Census, the share of US population 65 years of age and older has risen 3.3 percent annually, more than four times the overall average of 0.7 percent and more than ten times the 0.3 percent average growth rate for people under 65 years of age (Figure 1).  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 »

My Reno Epiphany

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I was last in Reno, Nevada twenty years ago and I can’t say I had a strong opinion of the place. It was just another forgettable generic one night stop over on a long drive to somewhere else. But I found myself back there twice in the past month. First, a young friend was leaving California for his home town in Connecticut and he wanted one last western nature adventure. Then a newly retired couple from the Los Angeles area wanted to kick the tires to see if Reno might be a good relocation spot. I enjoyed exploring Reno through these very different eyes.  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 »

Millions More Seniors in Suburbs and Exurbs

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Senior citizen populations continue to increase faster in the suburbs and exurbs of major US metropolitan areas (over 1,000,000 populations). This is the conclusion of a City Sector Model analysis of the small area (zip code) trend from 2010 to the latest American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year data (2012/2016).  read more »

Dan Gilbert’s Post-Mortem of Detroit’s Amazon HQ2 Loss

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Billionaire Dan Gilbert has posted a lengthy post-mortem on Detroit’s first round loss in the Amazon HQ2 sweepstakes.

He pooh-pooh’s the idea that talent was the reason, instead suggesting it was Detroit’s negative reputation.  read more »

The Three Faces Of The Democratic Party Are Coming To A Head

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In the wake of President Trump’s first official State of the Union speech, and the positive momentum in the economy, the putative “party of the people” now faces a much under addressed internal crisis. United against Trump, the factions which dominate the party increasingly operate at cross purposes.  read more »

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