Nashville’s bid to build its first high-capacity transit line is dead, the Tennessean is reporting today. It’s a victory for the Koch brothers-funded local chapter of Americans for Prosperity and a defeat for the city’s near-term hopes of transitioning to less congested, more sustainable streets.
The project, known as the Amp, called for a 7-mile busway linking growing East Nashville to downtown and parts of the city’s west end. — streetsblog.org
At the broadest level, it's fair to say that urban mobility didn't have the most encouraging day. In recent years, conservative transportation policy has been much more inclined to favor highways serving rural and outer suburban regions than alternative modes that boost balanced city networks [...] But at the city and county level, where most transit initiatives occur, the midterms yielded a number of big victories, in keeping with the general success of transit ballot measures in recent years. — citylab.com
...there's an awful lot that U.S. cities should learn as soon as possible about the way the French design their transit networks. Whereas American light rail systems have had modest success and modern streetcar lines have questionable transit value, France operates 57 tram lines in 33 cities that together carry some 3 million passengers a day and create a fantastic balance of mobility options for urban and suburban residents alike—all built in the last 30 years. — CityLab
With views of the downtown skyline, the $1.1 billion new Indianapolis airport has been celebrated for its sense of place, and for treating its passengers as "guests," much the way the hotel industry does. It has its own civic plaza, a light-filled central space with 35-foot ceilings that functions as the nexus of activity—every passenger, whether arriving or departing, passes through—where half of all the airport's shops and restaurants reside. [...]
What is Indy doing right? — citylab.com
Tilikum Crossing is the nation's first multi-modal bridge that will be off-limits to private automobiles. It will carry MAX light rail trains (the impetus for construction) as well as Portland's streetcar line and city buses, and of course pedestrian and bike lanes on both sides—but no cars. [...]
"Transit has a huge impact on urban planning. I mean, if you look at our city, it was designed around streetcars. On some level, it has to be part of their DNA." — citylab.com
[Helsinki] has announced plans to transform its existing public transport network into a comprehensive, point-to-point "mobility on demand" system by 2025 ... allowing people to purchase mobility in real time, straight from their smartphones. [...]
Subscribers would specify an origin and a destination, and ... the app would then function as both journey planner and universal payment platform, knitting everything from driverless cars and nimble little buses to shared bikes and ferries — theguardian.com
Where apps and mass transit collide, commuters struggle most with coordination. Now, with so many different forms of transit, both public and privately mediated, commuters (and cities) need navigation tools that compare all options for them. Making this as accessible as possible, as Helsinki is...
[...] tech guru and multimillionaire Tim Draper has put forth a plan which will solve the ills of the state by – wait for it – splitting it into six smaller states! This “Six Californias” plan [...], as you might expect, divides the state into six smaller chunks, maintaining county lines. [...]
But there’s another reason to oppose the plan that few people are talking about: it would do damage to the state’s transportation systems, especially mass transit. — thisbigcity.net
You can’t build your way out of congestion. It’s the roads themselves that cause traffic. The concept is called induced demand, which is economist-speak for when increasing the supply of something (like roads) makes people want that thing even more. [...]
What [economists] Turner and Duranton (and many others who’d like to see more rational transportation policy) actually advocate is known as congestion pricing. This means raising the price of driving on a road when demand is high. — wired.com
Cars offer more than just convenience: they can give lower income Americans an economic leg up. [...]
While tracking households that had participated in two federal housing voucher programs, [a study] found that car owners were twice as likely as transit users to find jobs and four times likelier to retain them. Car-owning households were also able to locate near better neighborhoods and schools. This reaffirmed previous work ... arguing that car ownership plants the seeds for upward mobility. — thedailybeast.com
So it’s official: Americans are choosing public transportation in record numbers. The American Public Transportation Association announced this morning that the U.S. made 10.7 billion mass transit trips in 2013, the highest figure in 57 years.
The story here is not of a sudden resurgence, but rather a slow, steady climb over the last decade, back toward ridership levels not seen since the 1950s. — theatlanticcities.com
Inspired by the engineering, intricate choreography, and impromptu interactions of your daily commute? Wish there was an open mic night for historians and urbanists? A show-and-tell for your creative musings on mass transit? Looking for a public platform to present your ideas to a captive audience?
Us, too. That’s why we are excited to announce PLATFORM, a new series of cross-disciplinary programs created by the public for the public. Have an idea? We’ll give you a platform. — NY Transit Museum
The New York Transit Museum is launching an open exhibition program, accepting proposals for projects devoted to any and all aspects of public transportation. The aptly named Platform program will exhibit the first winning proposal in its subway station home in downtown Brooklyn, on Thursday...
What we do know: the Hyperloop is a fantastic, gee-whiz! prospect that, in an idealized and seamless application, would get between A and B faster than we ever imagined. But whether the Hyperloop actually can (or should) be built is still very much unclear. Ever since Elon Musk (PayPal, Tesla...
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