Friday, February 29, 2008
Sound Transit 2.1
Austin Guadalupe Light Rail
Subway to the Sea
I've also been thinking about the need for a national transit campaign infrastructure. Everyone is really good at keeping up with the local causes but does there need to be some central place for organizing or getting the word out? I'm interested in the model that is used by Daily Kos or MyDD where they have a blog but also have user diaries. Instead of diaries however, because everyone has their own blog, perhaps it would be campaigns. This central blog would have contributors from each metro area discussing what is happening on the battlefield and where things are headed. Many of the blogs do that but this could be a central place to see what is going on nationally kind of like what the City Transit aggregator is trying to do. Perhaps it's a glorified version of the City Transit Aggregator.
Another important thing about this national info hub would be the ability to raise money around campaigns like Act Blue does for Democrats and Slatecard does for Republicans. Basically there are a whole lot of people out there who are interested in national transit policy and could use this as a way to get involved locally where alot of the big decisions are being made and help influence policy at the national level that helps cities get the funding they need for local projects. What do folks think? Is it something that should be fleshed out? Would people be interested in this kind of thing?
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Central Corridor - This line has received lots of press and was just approved by the Met Council.
Southwest Corridor - This is the next light rail line. It will travel to the Southwest through some high employment centers in that part of the region.
Bottineau Boulevard - This line was going to be BRT but might be changed back to LRT.
Robert Street Corridor - South of St. Paul, they're doing the alternatives analysis now.
North Star Corridor - This line is under construction.
Red Rock Corridor - This line will go to the Southeast of St. Paul and will be the high speed rail connection to Chicago. If its electrified this would be a great addition.
Rush Line Corridor - This line will go Northeast of St. Paul.
Cedar Avenue and I-35W
That's a lot of transit. They've also just finished a Minneapolis Streetcar study as well.
Lot's of Space Race movement lately, might have to upgrade the rankings soon.
The Federal Transit Administration is committed to helping the Metropolitan Transit Authority qualify for funding of two light rail lines by the end of the year, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison said Tuesday.
Hutchison's statement came after a closed-door meeting in her Washington office, where FTA Administrator James Simpson and Deputy Administrator Sherry Little talked with Mayor Bill White, Metro President and CEO Frank Wilson, board chairman David Wolff and a bipartisan congressional delegation from the Houston area.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Geez, whine a little more about paying for what you use why don't you. If you drive more, that means you're using the roads more, whats wrong with paying more? It was their choice to live in a place where they had to drive more.
He said higher gas taxes and registration fees for more expensive and larger vehicles could encourage people to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles, "which will save families money."
But Republicans stressed that families who drive long distances in larger vehicles would be hit harder.
As an example, they said a family of four in Bemidji could see its total taxes increase as much as $373 per year, assuming that the family bought a 9-year-old car and a one-year-old SUV and drove more than 35,000 miles a year. The SUV in the example gets 17 miles per gallon, and the car gets 22.
The $6 Billion + dollar bill is also good for transit...
Under another provision, a quarter-cent sales tax increase would occur in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area without a referendum, with all proceeds going to transit projects. The sales tax needs action by the county boards.
The sales tax would raise an estimated $1.1 billion over 10 years. In Hennepin County, the state's most populous, it would generate more than half of that amount, or $606 million. Last year, Hennepin County residents began paying a 0.15 percentage point sales tax, approved without a referendum, to help fund a stadium for the Minnesota Twins.
It would allow 8 planned rail and bus corridors to be built by 2020, entering the Twin Cities officially as a serious contender into the Transit Space Race! Welcome to the club.
Advocates estimated the bill would provide an extra $117 million to $173 million a year for rail and bus service. If federal matching funds could be secured, that would be enough to deliver eight new transitways, for trains or buses, by 2020 -- including the southwest light-rail line eagerly awaited by the western suburbs, the advocates said Wednesday.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Dallas is looking to update its zoning code. This would enable more transit oriented development and better street design. In addition, the development at Las Colinas which will have 3 light rail stops on the new Orange Line, is really taking off.
The state of North Carolina is looking to create a fund for transit projects around the state that would provide a quarter of the capital cost for new high capacity projects. Also included are improvement funds for intercity rail and bus improvements.
Michigan Tech is going to open a new rail engineering school. This includes both freight and passenger rail. It's amazing but we've lost a lot of knowledge about how to engineer these systems over the years. Apparently we've also lost welding prowess. In an article in Der Spiegel engineers at Siemens describe their first foray into building light rail vehicles in the United States. They had to fly in 50 engineers from Munich with the skills needed:
Hauck knows what he's talking about. He runs German engineering giant Siemens' streetcar manufacturing plant in Sacramento. But when the German company showed up in the California capital more than two years ago with its plans to build trams there, it found little evidence of craft or even skill. Hauck couldn't find a single welder with the right skills for the job anywhere in the region.
Making meter-long welds across thin sheet metal without the car "bending like a banana," says Hauck, takes talent and sensitivity. More important, it takes good training. To provide that training, Siemens flew 50 welders from its Munich locomotive plant to California, where they spent six months retraining local welders. Now the Sacramento plant is up and running.
Hopefully this is a sign of growth in the industry.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Both are discussing using exclusive lanes in the street to move much faster than traffic. The applications however are a bit different. Ann Arbor is looking to build lines on four main corridors and feed them with neighborhood shuttle buses. It's more like a city tram system.
The Davis County version is a feeder to commuter rail and would travel in its own lane except in two places. I wish I knew where those two places were but I'm guessing we'll find out eventually.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Like a stitch across a deep wound, the train between Iraq's two biggest cities reminds people of a more peaceful time before sectarian carnage nearly tore their country apart.
The service between Baghdad and Basra resumed with little fanfare in December after a hiatus of 18 months. Few dared use it at first, but word has spread of a safe and cheap journey, and railway officials are scrambling for funds for more carriages.
Passenger after passenger praised the comfort of traveling on the train compared with stopping at checkpoints on the road from Baghdad to Basra, a grueling journey of 550 km (340 miles).
"First of all, it's the cost. And it's comfortable and safe," said Um Khaled, surrounded by her children, explaining why she was happy to be making the journey.
Passengers were also thrilled about the government-subsidized price.
At 4,000 dinars ($3.33) for a seat, the trip is almost a quarter of the price of the lowest fare to Basra by public minivan, the more common form of transport. A sleeper ticket costs 10,000 dinars.
The cost of petrol has rocketed to 450 dinars per liter from about 50 dinars before the fall of Saddam Hussein.
"This is not the true ticket price, which does not cover the service cost at all. It's priced low as a service to the Iraqi people," Baghdad rail chief Mohammed Hashem said. "They're tired of going by car and constantly stopping at checkpoints."
Thursday, February 21, 2008
While everyone thinks that America is a wealthy nation, many people spend a good portion of their money on transportation. But it doesn't have to be this way. Cities that have good transit networks allow people to save money and cut overall emissions.
I want to reiterate that I think cars are an important part of our transportation network, but I think our complete dependence on them in most of the United States will lead many to the poorhouse sooner rather than later. In order to stem the tide, we need good transit. It allows people to pool their resources to pay for transport and allow for the building of wealth.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
but they will ask why there is a "gap" in road funding or fudge it.
Inflation hits everything and everyone the same
but some like to pick their least favorite modes to blame.
...Frank might have an answer.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Two Republican leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives have asked the Transportation Department to move forward with the "critically important" but struggling plan to extend Metrorail to Dulles International Airport.
Minority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Deputy Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) sent Transportation Secretary Mary Peters a letter this week, saying: "It is vitally important that this project move forward. Open dialogue between Virginia and the Department of Transportation will make certain that lawmakers are best able to alleviate the burden of increasing traffic congestion and transportation demands across the entire national capital region."
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Using regression analysis, he showed that in Minneapolis, aside from developing residential densities, transit share can be increased by building up commercial centers. In the regression, he showed that for every 1000 people per square mile that the residential density grew, the increase in transit's share to downtown increased 2.4% versus .6% increase when people went to suburban jobs. The same thing happened for increases in low income users. For every 1% increase in low income population per square mile, increases were noted. The chart that shows the results is below.
He also relates the concentration of regional jobs in major centers directly to how much transit people take. An example from the article is below.
There are a few caveats including the need for quality transit and parking regulations in these centers that encourage transit ridership. But just having a center of commerce isn't good enough. Places that have a lot of jobs like Pleasanton need to be better organized and less suburban office park.
Recently however, many people have been focused really heavily on residential densities, which are important, but I haven't seen many programs that create a regional job placement and growth strategy. This could be part of the key for increasing transit's use for work trips.
I have a feeling as well that pushing for dense commercial centers with mixes of retail and office then connecting them with high capacity transit will go a long way towards increasing transit's ability to cut congestion in the peak hours. It might also be a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts, creating a cycle of more transit and more office development in the cores of a region.
I know that this is kind of a 'duh' post. But having numbers to quantify the effects of connecting residential areas to large employment centers is really important in moving forward with policies that promote transit ridership. Thanks Prof Barnes for this paper and for your conclusion:
Planners and policymakers hoping to manage urban traffic congestion through increased transit use are limited in the short term by the strong influence that existing land use exerts on mode choice. While this point has been widely acknowledged, most research and policy discussion on this topic has focused on increasing residential densities. However, the conclusion of this article is that the development and expansion of very large, high-density job centers is the best tool available for most cities to achieve substantial increases in transit use.
While there are many ways to improve transit use, achieving the substantial increases necessary to impact congestion levels will probably ultimately require greatly improved service frequency or higher costs of driving, such as parking charges. Higher parking charges will be politically infeasible in the absence of adequate transit service as an alternative; however, improved transit service is hard to justify in the absence of a sufficiently large market.
Creating a large market appears to reduce to two options: the well-known solution of increasing residential density and the less-considered option of focusing on the work end of the trip. While both of these tactics appear to be effective in principle as well as practice, it is, for a variety of reasons discussed in this article, very difficult to have impacts on residential density that are large enough to have regional significance.
The constraints that limit the use of residential density increases as a tool are not in force to nearly the same extent for commercial development. A gradual transition of a relatively small amount of office space from isolated or low-density settings into a few large dense centers could lead to sizable increases in regional transit use in a relatively short time.
The Twin Cities area illustrates the possibilities of this approach. There are two downtowns, but Minneapolis is much larger and is geographically in the center of the developed area. Downtown St. Paul is relatively small and close to the edge by comparison, yet still attracts a substantial transit share. This hints at the possibility that even suburban locations, if they are developed to a sufficient size and density, can become major transit attractors.
Increased densities at the work end of the trip, by making improved transit service frequency more viable, could also help to increase nonauto access to retail and other nonwork opportunities. While higher density residential development can also have an impact, the effect is much larger when the increased density occurs in or around high-density commercial areas, both because more trips will be made to these high-transit attractors and because these areas support relatively good transit service going out as well as coming in. Increased commercial densities, especially in the suburbs, may be the only tool available for inducing significant transit use from the vast suburban areas of most cities that are already developed at low densities, and which will probably stay that way forever.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Transbay Blog | Rescue Muni
If you live here in California, call your rep and let them know this won't fly again.
But many of those ideas are already being explored by the transit systems, and won't produce the nearly $200 million a year it would cost to operate the expanded rail network, proponents said Thursday. "This is not a plan to build out the rail system by 2025," said DART board member Mark Enoch, referring to the position paper distributed by Mr. Ritter. "It's a plan for how to avoid raising the sales tax rate." Voters want rail more than they want lower costs for businesses, and that is a fight they may have to take to the Legislature again, Mr. Enoch said.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
It's not about the bike sales. That from Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, who plans in May to open a bike shop, commuting center, training facility and cafe in a 1950s-era building at the northwest corner of Fourth and Nueces streets.
"This city is exploding downtown. Are all these people in high rises going to drive everywhere? We have to promote (bike) commuting," Armstrong said Wednesday, gazing up at the towering 360 condos rising next to the site of his new shop. "This can be a hub for that." Mellow Johnny's, named for the nickname Armstrong earned while wearing the Tour de France leader's "maillot jaune," or yellow jersey, will be housed in a yellow- and red-brick building next to the music venue La Zona Rosa. It is a block north of the Lance Armstrong Bikeway, a path that will cut east-west through downtown Austin.
Armstrong predicted that Mellow Johnny's will be "the coolest bike shop in the world," but said he's not trying to put any other Austin bike shop out of business. "It's not us versus them," he said. "We're all about the cycling culture."
I'm glad that they believe in the bike community of Austin as well and acknowledge there are other bike shops in Austin that are awesome. Here's a plug for my boys Jack & Adam and their shop, a part of that community.
Muni says it would be too popular, so they probably won't do it.
Bill King, the former Mayor of Kemah, a city outside of Houston says perhaps Houston should try. Rad Salee at the Chronicle says, perhaps its a bad idea.
There has also been much talk about the Kheel plan in New York City also, taking money from congestion pricing to pay for free transit.
What's your take?
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I sure hope they don't build a bunch of big box stores at the end of the line. I do like the idea of University or research institutions. But the future will show what comes out of this situation.
Salt Lake City-based Realtor Tom Cook, of Commerce CRG, agrees that the land may have grown more valuable. Depending on the zoning and amount of commercial space, the 673 acres the prison sits on could be worth $4-$5 per square foot, he said. The 2005 study found the land to be worth $2.50 per square foot.
Cook is currently working with a client developing land immediately adjacent to the prison site and said that land, zoned for commercial use, is priced in the double digits per square foot.
However, Draper could have trouble brining in additional commercial developments unless additional housing is built, Cook said. Housing built on prison land would increase the area's population and make big-box retail more feasible, he added....
The Draper and county resolutions contain clauses that suggest the site could be used for state university facilities or research-based centers. The resolutions also mention the possibility of mixed-use development and recommend a commuter rail line be planned to stop in the area. A sentence recommending using 100 acres of the land, perhaps for a state sports complex, was added to the Draper city resolution at the last minute.
A light-rail line to end at the point of the mountain — where the prison sits — is already planned.
Monday, February 11, 2008
One big reason for the energy is the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's $200 million Euclid Corridor project, which is reshaping Euclid Avenue around a bus rapid transit line. Pundits have long derided the project, funded primarily by federal money, as a boondoggle. Media coverage has focused primarily on businesses that failed during construction, along with the hassle of negotiating a sea of orange traffic cones.
The mortgage-foreclosure crisis, which has left as many as 12,000 homes vacant in Cleveland neighborhoods, has also obscured the impending rebirth of Euclid Avenue. But the developers say they see what's coming. With the RTA project due for a ribbon-cutting in October, they're rushing to renovate empty buildings and buy vacant lots.
But in the back of my mind I'm always worried about the folks who are pushing the technology as an alternative to rail on corridors that need a higher capacity mode. A lot of these folks just want to stall the process or just don't like transit at all. They even complain that higher density development will result. Oh the horror! From the Washington Post:
Cuccinelli, Marshall and other state leaders, including Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), acknowledge that they are in the minority. But they have long criticized the rail line to Dulles. Its costly, four-station diversion through Tysons Corner, they say, is more about helping developers reap the profits of high-density development than about moving people to the airport. Its dependence on revenue from the Dulles Toll Road to cover a huge chunk of construction costs would put the burden of any future cost escalations on commuters.But here is where the wheels on the bus come off for me. Officials in Miami Dade County are discussing the possibility of expanding the South Busway to four lanes to allow for carpoolers and HOT lanes. This is the dream of every road warrior that wants to build a busway instead of a rail line. The idea that they can co-opt the line for cars is always in the back of their minds. While this is not the thought of well intentioned Mayors like Jaime Lerner of Curitiba and Enrique Penalosa of Bogota, it is the thought of many in the United States including Florida County Commissioners. From the Miami Herald:
Howell and other critics of the project believe the solution for the Dulles corridor is in a type of service known as bus rapid transit, an express bus service with dedicated lanes and stations, allowing commuters to move as quickly as they would on a rail line without getting stuck in traffic.
This type of bus service was ruled out by local officials and business leaders because of the difficulty of building dedicated lanes through Tysons Corner and because of the increased number of riders that a true rail line would draw. But it is so much cheaper that it should be revisited, boosters say.
Imagine widening the Busway from two lanes to four and giving buses and carpoolers with at least three passengers a free ride. Then sell the excess capacity to solo drivers willing to ''buy'' their way out of congestion with a variably priced toll that would rise when lanes are crowded and drop when they aren't.
Instead of encountering dozens of incredibly looooooong lights at the busy cross streets on today's Busway, imagine flying over all the major intersections as the government guarantees a reliable 50-mph journey from Dadeland to Florida City or the turnpike interchange near Southwest 112th Avenue. It may sound pie-in-the-sky today, but that pie could be baking in the near future.
At the urging of County Commissioner Dennis Moss, the Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority are jointly studying ways to bring ''managed lanes'' to the Busway. ''It's the most exciting thing I've worked on in quite a while,'' MPO planner Larry Foutz said.
BRT is built on roads. Cars go on roads. So therefore...
Sunday, February 10, 2008
What is interesting is that I've been hearing more about the transfer tax and land taxes lately. While the transfer tax is basically a mechanism that taxes the transfer of property, a land tax would be a tax on the land for transit, not the buildings or improvements. It makes a lot of sense for transportation given that accessibility is one of the factors which improves land values. I was also shocked to read something that made a lot of sense from the Heartland Foundation (A conservative think tank home to our favorite Wendell Cox) on using a land tax for transit.
I'm wondering also if a land tax would be enough to pay for improvements on a specific line. So if improvements were made such as a light rail line, would the increase in revenue from a land tax in the area around the improvement be enough to offset the investment over time? It's certainly an idea worth exploring.
Only part of transit's benefit goes to those who pay fares. The whole community benefits from transit. Where do those benefits show up in the economy?
As dozens of studies across the globe have shown, the benefits of transit show up as increased land values. Land served by public transportation is worth more than land not served. The amount varies, of course, depending on the quality of service, type of development, general standard of living, etc., but the effect is large.
A study published in 1997 for RTA, "The Effect of CTA and Metra Stations on Residential Property Values," by Gruen Gruen & Associates, implies that just the existing rail system adds land value in excess of $1.6 billion a year.
Friday, February 8, 2008
House Bill 1278 would allow RTD to acquire property by eminent domain only for "public transit purposes." Under the bill, RTD could not take land for park-n-Rides or retail or residential development near train stations. Rep. Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, a House sponsor of the bill, said legislators introduced it because "of significant concerns about the misuse" of eminent domain by RTD.
An RTD plan to acquire properties at Wadsworth Boulevard and West 14th Avenue in Lakewood has galvanized landowner opposition to the agency's power of eminent domain. If RTD can't acquire land for parking, FasTracks cannot proceed, said RTD general manager Cal Marsella.
Hopefully this gets worked out, but the way things have been going recently I'm cautiously optimistic.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Streetsblog covers the story of a man that got thrown in jail for painting his own crosswalk.
Stephen Rees discusses how privatization of the tube is leading to a £2 B pound loss now that London had to bring it back under public ownership. He states its not a result Wendell Cox will be trumpeting any time soon.
Ryan at Transit Miami busts the Hurricane and overhead wire myth.
Ben at Second Avenue Sagas reports the NYC Subway has its highest ridership since 1951.
Want more awesome blogs like these to read? Visit City Transit Advocates!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Bus Bias: We know that the FTA has been anti-rail recently from the uproar over the Dulles decision, but the new starts report is laden with pro-bus undertones. It's not just that they are for buses, but that they don't think transit is important and are looking for short term cheap solutions that don't address the problems. I suggest a look at the promotion of BRT in the Small Starts category. Take a look and see how many of them have dedicated guideways, very few, most with a small percentage of the running way. To me, just as Aaron said over at Metro Rider LA today, this is a waste of money. And as much as I like streetcars, they need their own lane if they are going to be doing line haul operations.
The FTA has introduced a new metric to judge projects called Making the Case, which is highly subjective and seems to push against the choice of locally preferred alternative (LPA) by local jurisdictions. While the government might want to be watchful over money, I don't understand where they would know better than the locals about what type of transportation is wanted or needed.
A few examples from Sacramento ,Charlotte, and Orlando.
Sacramento - However, the “case” does not explain why an extension of LRT is better than anything else that can be done to meet mobility needs in the corridor. Downtown express buses are dismissed as adding congestion to downtown streets without quantifying their effect, and of not serving intermediate stations in the existing South LRT line without providing evidence of travel demand to such areas. Joint development opportunities presented in the Making the Case document are reflected in the project’s ratings for transit-supportive land use.I'll tell you why Mr. New Starts writer guy, because people don't get excited about riding a bus on a freeway. Developers don't spend money on dense development around freeway bus service. When we think of why cities build rail, which is to attract new riders, new development, and increase operating efficiency, we know now that these things don't matter any more to the folks in the Bush FTA and pushing economical bus improvements gets minimal or no ridership and land use increases. You get what you pay for.
Charlotte - The “case” for the project acknowledges that the Northeast Corridor is low density with auto-oriented development patterns. Given the description of the existing corridor, it is unclear from the “case” for the project why the LRT line is preferred over more economical bus improvements.
Orlando - The CFRCT project would result in a new rail transit line running north-south parallel to I-4 and through downtown Orlando. The “case” for the project provides no discussion of travel patterns within this corridor. While travel time comparisons between rail, bus, and private vehicle were presented for three origin-destination pairs, there was no explanation of why these pairs are highlighted. I-4 is described as congested and getting worse, but the “case” for the project provides no justification that it will effectively serve I-4 travel markets, or why a significant investment in rail operating at 15-minute peak frequencies is necessary in a corridor in which existing bus transit service is described as “limited.”
Operations efficiency importance reduced: The operating efficiency measure that was once measured has been rolled into our favorite overarching measure, cost effectiveness. Again people will say that this is rolled into the cost effectiveness measure but not separating it out from the annualized project costs of the C/E limits visibility of the benefits. It also ignores the fact that generating greater ridership numbers by rail with lower per rider costs can grow ridership for transit agencies at a lower operations cost. Remember that the LACMTA spent over a billion dollars on buses because of the consent decree but ridership stayed flat.
As adopted in the June 2007 Guidance on New Starts and Small Starts Policies and Procedures, FTA will no longer evaluate operating efficiencies as stand-alone criteria. Instead, this document clarifies that the operating efficiencies of proposed New Starts projects are adequately captured under FTA’s measure for cost effectiveness.Ignoring transit's ability to change land use: It seems that there is an attempt to undermine transit lines that do not go through the densest areas. We already know that when you ask them about measuring economic development, they kind of shrug their shoulders and say "we can't do it". In the most recent NPRM the FTA stated, "Although many studies have shown, ex poste, that transit projects have had an impact on economic development, few predictive tools are available in standard practice and development of new tools seems infeasible in the short run." In other words, we don't want to do it.
There is another new measure in the land use category called "Performance and Impacts of Policies". This is supposed to assess how policies to promote transit oriented development are working. Well in the North Corridor in Charlotte, its reported that the market is not there yet. Well duh, the development market follows the line, yet its penalized for not being there yet (gets a medium instead of a high). This is contrary to what we've seen along the South Corridor, which is documented in the North Corridor report.
The Charlotte CBD has seen a considerable amount of residential as well as commercial development in recent years. In the South Corridor, the pace of development has been slow but is accelerating with $300 million in projects completed and over $1.5 million proposed in station areas outside of Uptown.I'm not quite sure how they came up with a medium rating with the information that they give above. How do they decide to rate these things anyway? I've read the land use guidance and it doesn't make it very clear either. Another thing that does not make sense to me is that even if the city has good transit supportive land use policies, the existing land use could kill it, pushing rail's value for building places instead of just transporting people down and marginalizing it. I'm sure that is their hope, and was pointed out quite well in a recent editorial in the Washington Post:
Strong regional growth is forecast(75 percent by 2030) and a market analysis for the Northeast Corridor suggested that just over 5,000 acres (84 percent of station area land) had the potential for redevelopment. Current market conditions in most Northeast Corridor station areas are relatively weak, however, and barriers exist that appear to limit development potential in the near term.
Shaping cities is both a goal and a consequence of investing in transportation infrastructure. Sadly, the Federal Transit Administration seems unaware of this.Reauthorization is coming up soon, hopefully some of these things and misunderstandings of transit's power to change its environment can be changed.
But this is more than just eleventh-hour federal shock therapy over money. The FTA's stance is emblematic of long-standing, misguided national policy concerning all forms of rail transportation. America has been persistently reluctant to think long-term and to make long-term investments in transit serving both regional and national interests.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
In addition, the Bush Administration proposes to use transit dollars to fund the federal highway account in 2009, which would reduce the balance in the federal Mass Transit Account to the point where, absent new funding, the federal transit program could not be funded in 2010, even at the current level, said American Public Transportation Association (APTA) President William Millar in a prepared statement.
“APTA is outraged that the Bush Administration’s budget request would cut $202.1 million for public transportation and proposes to transfer an estimated $3.2 billion dedicated for public transportation to fund highway projects,” he said.