Transportation

Watching the Sausage Get Made

transportation-meeting.jpg

Amtrak ridership is down by 87 percent, so Amtrak needs a $2.9 billion rescue from Congress, the company’s executive vice president, Stephen Gardner, told a congressional subcommittee yesterday. Transit ridership is down 70 to 90 percent, added American Public Transportation Association president Paul Skoutelas, so the transit industry wants a $32 billion bailout from Congress.  read more »

High Density and Sustainability

hilly_suburb_of_Dover_Heights_Sydney_Australia.png

The proponents of currently fashionable planning doctrines favouring density maintain, among other factors, that high-density planning is more environmentally sustainable. Policies based on these doctrines are being applied in Australian capital cities--- Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and to some extent Darwin and Hobart.

The assumption that high-density is environmentally superior seems to be based on intuition as no proof is provided to support this claim. Rather, considerable evidence is emerging that this is not the case.  read more »

The Need to Reboot and Rebuild Public Transit

Empty_subway_in_NYC.jpg

If you didn’t have time to watch my transit presentation from Milwaukee, I distilled a few of the themes into my October column for Governing magazine. Here’s an excerpt:  read more »

The Dark Side of Governor Newsom's Gas-Powered Vehicle Ban

is-governor-newsom-offering-up-the-keys-to-californias-energy-castle.jpg

California Governor Newsom has convinced himself that green EV’s made from “fairy dust” must replace those dirty gas-powered vehicles. Sharing a few realities of the darker side of his fairy dust beliefs may burst his bubble.  read more »

Joe Biden's Tired Old Infrastructure Plan

ohio-river-bridge-mi607_william-alden.jpg

The infrastructure plan recently released by the Biden campaign is a collection of tired ideas that have consistently failed in the past. Too much of the plan is based on last year’s groupthink and not enough of the plan recognizes the new realities that have emerged from the pandemic.  read more »

U.S. Commuting 2019: The Last Normal Year

wacker-drive.jpg

Last year may be the last “normal” year in commuting (work trip travel and access) data. After decades of relative stability in the drive alone and transit market shares, it seems likely autos and transit will show large declines in 2020, both in market shares and actual numbers. During the pandemic, telework (working at home or telecommuting) has grown strongly, as people have significantly reduced their traveling physically to work.  read more »

Ramifications of California Governor Newsom Ban on Gas-Powered Vehicles

havana-vintage-car.jpg

Before sky diving, you need to plan ahead by having a parachute before you jump. California Governor Newsom’s recent suicidal jump onto the EV train has a minimum of eight (8) lack-of-a-plan ramifications from his recent Executive order to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035 that will be devastating to the state’s economy and environment:  read more »

Congress Extends Pork Another Year

congress-captiol-hill.png

In a move that will surprise no one at all, Congress has extended federal funding for highways and public transit until September 30, 2021. Such federal funding was set to end on September 30, 2020, and rather than revise the law to take into account the latest trends and events, Congress simply extended the existing law for another year.  read more »

The Pre-Pandemic Rise of Working from Home (Telework) and Beyond

Ranier-Square-Tower.jpg

The 2019 market share data has just been released by the American Community Survey. Looking at driving alone and transit market shares, there has been virtually no change since 2010, with driving alone accounting for about three-quarters of commuting, while transit remains steady at 5%. The big news before Covid: the increase in people usually working from home (also referred to as telework or telecommuting)  read more »

Newsom Promotes California to Be the Vintage Car Capital

cuba-1638594_1280.jpg

We have all seen the photos from Cuba with all their vintage cars from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Well, those photos from Cuba may be a prelude to what California will look like in the decades ahead.  read more »