How Does Lakeland Fit into Florida's Strategy for High-Speed Rail?

» Nation’s first true high-speed line, in Central Florida, will serve Lakeland on its way between Tampa and Orlando.

After receiving $1.25 billion from the federal government last month for its planned 84-mile high-speed line, Florida is virtually guaranteed to offer the first true fully high-speed rail service in the United States. The state’s project, which will cost about $2.6 billion to complete, will connect the state’s second and third largest metropolitan areas with frequent service along the I-4 corridor. About three million annual riders are expected by 2030.

Though the focus of the system has been on its Orlando and Tampa terminals, it will also serve Lakeland, which will account for about half of all intercity riders. Florida must focus closely on the specific design of its route and stations to ensure the success of the system. Thus, making the

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Indian Railways Plans $9 billion in Investments for 2010, Advances High-Speed Rail

» Six new passenger lines being considered for service at speeds above 250 km/h.

Revealing her plans for India’s railroads in a speech this week on this year’s budget, Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee committed to the development of high-speed rail corridors throughout the country, even as she reaffirmed her promise to ensure continued investment in India’s conventional train network, which she framed as a social necessity. Her budget includes $9 billion in spending on the maintenance and upgrading of existing rail corridors, up 2.8% from last year’s budget.

With 18 million daily passengers, a staff of 1.4 million employees, and 17,000 trains operating on 64,000 kilometers of track, India maintains one of the world’s largest rail systems, arguably only matched by China’s. Yet it has thus far been unwilling to commit to a major speed-up of any

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Pittsburgh Hopes for Privately Funded Transit Connection to Oakland

» Connection between Pennsylvania’s second and third largest business districts, as well as new people mover in Oakland, would be sponsored by property redevelopment.

Detroit’s use of hundreds of millions of dollars in non-profit funds for the construction of its new Woodward Avenue light rail line is already encouraging cities across the country to think differently about how they raise funds for new transit lines. With limited public money to spend on the expansion of its public transportation system, Pittsburgh hopes to encourage private investors to make an investment in two corridors: one connecting downtown and Oakland, and the other linking Oakland’s primary university and business centers.

Allegheny County Executive Director Dan Onorato, who leads Pittsburgh and much of its suburban area, has worked for the creation of a task force that has asked developers to submit expressions of interest

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Controversial Portland Columbia River Crossing Under Pressure to Move Forward, Despite Flaws

» Bridge connecting Oregon and Washington planned for construction start in 2012, with light rail link included. But its new road capacity isn’t needed.

In most cities, this debate would have ended years ago, and the results would have been far less pretty. The governors of both states involved are highly supportive of the freeway project, and they’ve unearthed enough financing to pay for it. With state departments of transportation pledging their involvement and money, there wouldn’t been much of margin for substantial change.

Yet the Interstate 5 Columbia River Crossing has been plagued by delays primarily because Portland prides itself on being one of the most ecologically aware North American cities, and therefore one of the least inclined support increased freeway capacity. Something had to be done — the existing bridge is structurally unsound and congested at rush hours — but

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Expanding Transit Access to Southeast Queens

» The city’s largest borough currently suffers from a large gap in service, but relatively inexpensive improvements could address those problems well.

Though New Yorkers overall are used to some of the longest commute times in the country, residents of southeast Queens are particularly affected. The inhabitants of this large segment of the borough between JFK Airport and Jamaica, from Brooklyn to the city line, have average travel times to work of more than 50 minutes. That’s each way.

It’s a terrible situation, especially since so many people in the pretty dense neighborhood rely on public transportation to get around — and so many are headed to Midtown and downtown Manhattan, areas with high levels of train and bus service already. Transit planners have a moral obligation to find ways to improve their commutes, even in face of the mounting

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The Site / The Fight

  • by Yonah Freemark
  • Twitter: @yfreemark
  • yfreemark (at) thetransportpolitic (dot) com
  • Le progrès ne vaut que s'il est partagé par tous.

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