“Just because you’re paranoid,” my father used to joke, “it doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.” WMATA, the metro rail system of Washington, DC, has long been infamous for subpar service, indifferent adherence to schedule, and a truly staggering amount of crime that includes over 100 reported felony assaults in a four-year period.
Starting today, however, WMATA added a new nightmare for commuters who have already been brutalized into submission: the “SafeTrack” program that features maintenance “surges” to replace dangerous and degraded sections of railway. The resulting closures and delays have riders looking for alternatives to WMATA — but isn’t WMATA supposed to be an alternative to owning and operating a private automobile? What’s at the end of this “alternative” rabbit hole?
But if you needed another reason to quit WMATA besides WMATA asking you to quit, there’s a very good “alternative” reason out there as well: roving gangs of rapists.
Some transit authorities offer free service to encourage ridership. Greece is offering free service this week because no one has money.
Faced with a potential budget shortfall in the coming years, Kitsap Co., Wash.-based Kitsap Transit is eyeing liquor adverts to help with the bottom line.
From “Commuting in America 2013” via AASHTO. Lots of growth in private transportation, but public transit, telecommuting and walking to work have stayed fairly flat. Despite prognostications of a newly urbanized populace that’s hungry for public transportation, the statistics seem to tell a different story.
H/T Glenn Mercer
Coming off its study of stationary vehicle wireless charging, Volvo will turn its attention toward on-road charging of its Hyper Bus diesel-electric in a year-long study with partner Swedish Transport Association.
A $302 billion, four-year plan to fund the U.S. Highway Trust Fund — and, in turn, any road and transit projects on the table during the period — was brought before Congress by the Obama administration through the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Image from Twitter @craigsfrost
Positively or negatively, mass transit is often viewed as a social leveler. Rich and poor alike ride the subway in New York, London and Berlin. Atlantans of all economic and social backgrounds make use of MARTA’s facilities, as they do in many other American cities where public transit is the most efficient way of navigating the inner cities. Of course, these are public systems, funded by fares and taxpayer money.
The number of cars in Beijing is expected to double by 2015, the Beijing Transportation Research Center told Global Times. By the end of 2009, Beijing had 4 million cars.
A taxi driver said it more succinctly: “We’re making another Great Wall, it’s just that this one is a wall of cars.” Relief could come from a monstrous contraption called the straddle bus. (Read More…)