Transportation

Passenger Travel in Europe and the US: More Similar than Different

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Probably one of the most enduring myths about the differences between Europe and the United States is that Europeans travel mainly by trains and transit, while Americans cling to their cars and airplanes. This misunderstanding comes in part from what I have called "Louvre Syndrome".  read more »

Stop Bashing the Suburbs as Worst Places for Older People to Live

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Suburbs and automobiles are necessary bedfellows in the United States, but this is why many experts believe that these low density, physically spread-out communities are the worst places for older persons to live. This assessment should be taken seriously. We know that transportation requests are the leading concern of older callers to the Eldercare Locator service funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging.  read more »

Relief for the Weary: New Premium Bus Lines vie for Short-Hop Flyers

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During a summer vacation season marked by long security lines and record-setting air traffic, it is easy to overlook a trend in U.S. ground travel that is winning converts from those who would otherwise fly: the rapid expansion of bus lines offering first- and business-class service on short-hop routes.  read more »

Ranking the Best & Worst Transit Agencies

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The nation’s worst-managed transit systems lose 65 cents for every dollar they spend on operating costs, fill only 42 percent of their seats, carry the average urban resident just 40 round trips per year, use more energy and spew out more greenhouse gases per passenger mile than the average car, carry fewer than 14 percent of low-income workers to work, and lost 4 percent of their customers in the last four years.  read more »

Metropolitan America

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The rural to urban exodus is well known. It has driven the growth of the largest urban areas from one million residents as late as 1800 to nearly 40 million today. The United States has risen from less than 40 percent urban in 1900 to more than 80 percent today. Other, more affluent nations have experienced similar trends. Even more quickly, China has risen from 19 percent urban in 1980 to 56 percent in 2015 today, according to the United Nations. Even the least affluent nations are urbanizing rapidly.  read more »

Is There A Future For Transit-Oriented Development in Orange County, CA?

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California was once a state of great builders, and its legacy of grand construction projects remains plenty visible today. Major infrastructure investments like the California Aqueduct enabled the sprawling metropolises of the Southern California desert to thrive, becoming some of the most prolific economic and cultural centers in the world. The Golden State pioneered highway construction, linking its cities with each other and the rest of the nation. And perhaps the most iconic symbol of California, the Golden Gate Bridge, was a remarkable civil engineering feat of its time.  read more »

When it Comes to Road Diets, Small Businesses are the Biggest Losers

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Twenty-one businesses have closed in less than two years since the city of Los Angeles reconfigured a 0.8 stretch of Venice Boulevard in the west side’s Mar Vista neighborhood. The city replaced one of three traffic lanes in each direction with protected bike lanes, removed some street parking, and installed physical barriers. The project is called a “road diet” and it’s part of the city’s “Vision Zero” and “Complete Streets”  programs.  read more »

Closing the Gap

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China is building a magnetically levitated (maglev) train that will “fill the gap between high-speed rail and air transportation,” says CNN. This new train may have a top speed of 370 miles per hour, which “could narrow the gap between high-speed rail and air travel,” says Republic World.  read more »

How Vital Is Transit to Your Region?

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Transit ridership is plummeting almost everywhere, yet officials in many cities are still devising hugely expensive plans for transit projects. One such city is Austin, whose leaders are talking about spending between $6 billion and $10.5 billion on new transit lines (and the final cost always ends up being more than the projections).  read more »

Peer-to-Peer Carsharing: A Peek Under the Hood

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While the media tends to studiously report – and often sensationalize – the latest developments involving Airbnb, e-scooters, and ride-hailing (especially Lyft and Uber), another booming “sharing economy” sector has recently been gaining attention. Peer-to-peer carsharing enables individuals to make their privately-owned vehicles available to others for short periods of time at a fee of the owner’s choosing.  read more »