Tag: public transportation

Do Governments Underplay Buses, Favor Rail?

In an editorial below from Transportation Reviews  that was published online in March 2016, author David A. Hensher opines on, “Why is Light Rail Starting to Dominate Bus Rapid Transit Yet Again?” Read the full text here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01441647.2016.1155851. Below are some excerpts that are relevant to Georgia governments in making sensible choices among transit modes. This highlight sums up his viewpoint:  “The value for money proposition should deliver the best outcome for society regardless of whether it is rail or bus based, in their light and heavy configuration.” Almost weekly, we see proposals to build light rail in many cities, and Australian cities are no exception. It is also quite marked how absent any serious consideration of… View Article

Transit Tall Tales and Coping With Too Much Money

According to pro-rail transit Metro magazine, American cities face a dilemma: The demand for rail transit continues to grow, yet there is a scarcity of federal dollars to pay for it. In fact, most of the things the article says are wrong or, at least, they indicate that cities have too much money, not a shortage. If it weren’t for this surfeit of funds, cities wouldn’t plan ridiculously expensive rail lines that, in most cases, do nothing for transit riders or transportation users in general. This is shown by all of the examples in the Metro article. Los Angeles’ Westside Subway will be less than four miles long yet is expected to cost well over $2.8 billion, or more… View Article

Transit relic won’t help transportation

This op-ed appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on January 28, 2014. By Benita Dodd Watching the evolving justification for the Atlanta Streetcar project’s benefits is like watching a shell game. It’s anybody’s guess what reason will turn up next: mobility, congestion relief, economic development, environmental benefits or tourism. Only the naïve would place a bet. Back when it applied for a $47 million federal grant for the streetcar, the city predicted that “automobile trips will be diverted to the safer streetcar mode, which will thereby reduce accidents and increase pedestrian safety because more travelers will be using the streetcar instead of traveling by automobile.” (The application also admitted that more than 57 percent of the people within a quarter-mile of… View Article
By Alex Roman Alternative project delivery, including public-private partnerships (PPPs); design-build; and design-build-operate-maintain, are viewed as attractive options for transit agencies, as they transfer risk and accelerate the project process.  However, while these forms of project delivery continue to take hold in Europe, Asia and Africa, there have been a limited amount of projects in the U.S. that have utilized these innovative solutions. METRO Magazine spoke to representatives from several companies to discuss why forms of alternative project delivery have been slow to take off in the U.S., as well as the possible benefits and what transit agencies should look for before selecting a partner.      How does alternative project delivery benefit a public transportation agency? Mel Placilla (Director, professional services, View Article

Technology and Transportation, a Win-Win Move

By Benita M. Dodd Four years ago, Steve Dickerson wrote a commentary for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, “Five Ways Technology Can Transform Transportation.” He pointed out, “The information technology wave is engulfing nearly all productive activities, based on the ever cheaper and capable power of computing and communications. Transportation modes, too, can benefit from the efficiencies of the technologies of cellular communications with global positioning systems (GPS) and Bluetooth.” “Commuters would subscribe to a cellular-based transportation support system much as with their current telephone and energy utilities, running an appropriate transportation application on their phone. What can be accomplished? 1.      Passengers can know with near certainty the arrival time of a shared vehicle. 2.      Passengers can arrange… View Article

Gaming the System for Transit Funds

There’s been a massive decline in senior bus passengers in Luzerne County, Pa., after allegations in July 2012 that bus drivers were counting “ghost riders” to increase state funding. Drivers manually log senior riders, who must produce a senior transit ID card or Medicare card. Each senior rider means about 30 cents in funds for the authority from the state lottery system. Senior ridership was counted at 71,754 in June 2012, dropped to 30,535 in January and was 22,101 in April. The county transportation authority’s executive director said bus drivers were miscounting and double- and triple-counting seniors. The state transportation department is investigating. Meanwhile, future ridership numbers are expected to be accurate because automated counters are being installed on all… View Article

A Not-so-August Vote in St. Augustine, Fla.

By Benita M. Dodd The City Commission of St. Augustine, Fla., voted 4-1 Monday night in favor of proposed commuter rail service between St. Augustine and Jacksonville, Fla. According to a presentation by the Jacksonville Transit Authority, the federal government (i.e., you and I) would most likely be willing to fund half of the project. The Jacksonville-St. Augustine leg is estimated to cost $171.7 million. The state, county and city would have to provide the rest. Casting the lone dissenting vote, Commissioner Donald Crichlow said the cost would be more than he was willing to absorb. “I just don’t think that’s where I want to put my tax dollars,” he said, according to the St. Augustine Record. Is this project… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd My trip downtown never was the mythical five miles barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways. It did, however, once use up a good part of the day. That B.C. (before cars) memory came flooding back recently as I read a couple of reports trumpeting the benefits of public transportation. An Oakland (Calif.) Tribune story headlined, “Trains, boats beat cars in transit race to airport,” reported that a team of transit riders beat a team of drivers in a morning commute competition. And in a Sierra Club report, “Missing the Train: How the Bush Administration’s Transportation Proposal Threatens Jobs, Commutes, and Public Transit Ridership,” the environmental group declared federal funding for public transportation inadequate, noting that… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is the best source of the rarest and most valuable commodity in public policy debate: facts.

State Representative Bob Irvin more quotes