» This week’s big news. Open thread in the comments.
Follow my Twitter account (@ttpolitic) to get news in real time.
- Washington, D.C. will abandon its Clear Channel-sponsored Smartbike bike share system (with 10 stations and 100 bikes) in favor of 1,100 Montréal Bixi bikes, which are now becoming the world standard, having been sold to Ottawa, Minneapolis, Boston, London, and Toronto. The system will spread across Washington and Arlington with over 100 stations.
On The Transport Politic:
- Ottawa Closer than Ever to Replacing Bus Rapid Transit with Light Rail
- Terminus or Through-Route for Madison’s Downtown Station?
- U.S. FTA Head Rogoff Paints Grim Picture of Nation’s Transit Priorities
- Sydney Looks at Closing Downtown Streets to Traffic, Considers Light Rail Expansion
- FRA Accepts Applications for State High-Speed Rail Planning
Can we fund new transportation?
- Christopher Leinberger argues in The Atlantic that private developers could play an important role in developing new transit system, just as they did a century ago, but that the federal government has put up roadblocks preventing them from doing so. Jarrett Walker on Human Transit writes that that kind of talk ignores the fact that most of that development was built on greenfields. Alex Block suggests value capture as an effective was to leverage private investment. I argue in Next American City that for the purposes of democracy, planning for new transit should remain in public hands.
- On the California High-Speed Rail Blog, Robert Cruickshank asks President Obama to solidify his support for high-speed rail, expressing a fear that the program could die just a few years after it was announced.
- The Ford Foundation dedicates $200 million to regional planning grants.
Buses in place of rail?
- Human Transit on FTA Chief Rogoff’s arguments in favor of maintenance over capacity increases this week. And, on that matter, a piece from Jarrett Walker positing that Ottawa’s BRT program was never fully completed and that my arguments this week in favor of its transition to light rail would apply just as well to building a new downtown bus tunnel.
- Despite recent successes — Maryland’s MARC commuter rail has produced record ridership — former Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich, now running for that office again, has announced that he would scrap light rail for the proposed Red and Purple Lines if he makes it back into the people’s mansion.
- Denver’s East and Gold Lines, being built using a PPP management and financing structure, may include one-track sections if the two bidders get their way.
- The Source: Congressman Henry Waxman, once a serious opponent of a subway under L.A.’s Westside, is now arguing that the entire line — from Wilshire and Western to UCLA — be submitted to the FTA for consideration in one big step.
- Second Avenue Sagas announces that New York City’s DOT will finally begin a study of a streetcar line between Red Hook and Downtown Brooklyn. Note that Brooklyn has plenty of ideal routes for streetcars, but the Red Hook corridor isn’t really one of them.
- Las Vegas, previously the domain of a fight between conventional rail-based DesertXpress and the California-Nevada Maglev, now gets another competitor for the route: Desert Lightning, which would also include a link to Phoenix.
Image above: Track plan for Denver’s East and Gold Lines, according to Mountain-Air Transit Partners (one of two teams hoping to win PPP contract), from RTD FasTracks