» This week’s big news. Open thread in the comments.
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On The Transport Politic:
- Readying streetcar plans, Cincinnati considers reducing parking requirements
- Philadelphia may accept money to privatize station naming; Pittsburgh considers similar move
- Seattle’s North Link light rail, originally considered for highway-running, may be partially tunneled
- Alberta dedicates $2 billion to transit programs
Making existing transit work better
- Reinforcing the sense that the top priority for transit systems around the country is getting to a state of good repair, Chicago announces that it has a $24 billion backlog to get its elevated, commuter, and bus lines back in order.
- After an evaluation, Charlotte comes to the conclusion that it loses a total of $300 a day to fare beaters on its light rail system, hardly making a dent in its overall budget. In Paris, turnstile-jumpers form an informal insurance society to pay back tickets.
- Berliners, convinced that the stairs into the U-Bahn are just too boring, opt to build a slide down into the subway.
Gearing up for rail
- Kansas City, having tried repeatedly to fund a light rail line, turns increasingly towards commuter rail and hopes to get a federal commitment.
- Paresh Dave writes an intriguing article on the forces at play in the construction of Los Angeles’ Expo light rail line. Meanwhile, California voters will consider a measure this fall that will prevent the state government from removing transit funding.
- Maryland announces that it will prioritize development around transit stations through subsidies and incentives.
Fighting for speed
- The United Kingdom, whose newly conservative government is demanding massive reductions in public sector spending, plans to sell off the rights to High-Speed 1, which terminates into London’s St. Pancras International (pictured above) after a trip northwest from the Channel Tunnel.
- Texas politicians assemble to discuss the potential for implementing a “T-Bone”-shaped high-speed rail line, despite the state government’s manifest unwillingness to put any local money into the project.
- California High-Speed Rail Blog expounds on the inevitability of fast train service to Las Vegas. Meanwhile, some California legislators promote a bill that would require the state’s high-speed rail project to judge potential operators based on their involvement in the Holocaust — a policy that could affect France’s SNCF, Italy’s Trenitalia, Spain’s Renfe, Germany’s Deutsche Bahn…
- When it was completed in 2005, the SAFETEA-LU transportation bill included billions of dollars in Congressionally approved earmarks for transportation projects around the nation. Five years later, some of that money went unused. At the top of the list: North Carolina’s Triangle, which missed out on $20 million for regional rail; Rochester, which was given $10 million for a transit center; and Michigan, which got $5 million to help build a commuter rail line between Ann Arbor and Detroit.
Image above: Eurostar trains at London’s St. Pancras International, the terminus of High-Speed 1, by Flickr user slideshow bob (cc)