Reorienting our discussion of city growth

los angeles

» Over the decades, cities change size, but they gain and lose population in varying ways: Some in-town, some on greenfield land. How does that impact our understanding of population change?

Every few months, the U.S. Census releases new data on population change, chronicling the rise and fall of America’s cities, counties, and regions as they grow and shrink. The data are fascinating, bringing us useful insights about migration flows and economic shifts. They also point to fundamental changes in the places Americans live: Houston over Chicago, Phoenix over Philadelphia, and so on. And they produce breathless news reports that emphasize that the fastest-growing places are 15 cities you’ve never heard of.

Yet as data are released and evaluated, the trends as described by the levels of information presented by the Census often fail to directly represent underlying facts about how cities are changing–or they at least do not do so adequately. Comparing the changes in population size in

Continue reading Reorienting our discussion of city growth »

Openings and Construction Starts Planned for 2016


» More than 240 miles of new fixed-guideway transit is expected to come online in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico this year. Also, check out a new way to visualize existing, planned, and proposed transit lines in North America: Transit Explorer.

Cities across the country are waking up to new bus and rail lines in droves. In 2016, North American transit agencies are expected to open 245 miles of new fixed-guideway transit lines, including 89 miles of bus rapid transit, 93 miles of commuter rail, 7 miles of heavy rail, 39 miles of light rail, and 18 miles of streetcars. This is more than triple the new mileage of such lines opened in 2015.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Use Transit Explorer to visualize the routes of existing, planned, and proposed transit lines, and to learn about their individual characteristics.[/pullquote]

Thanks in part to significant expenditures by national governments—such as

Continue reading Openings and Construction Starts Planned for 2016 »

Opening and Construction Starts Planned for 2012

2012 Transit Openings and Construction Starts

» Many new streetcar lines expected to begin construction last year are scheduled for this year instead; BRT projects advance all over the map.

The uncertainty in Congress over the future of funding for the nation’s transportation programs has not yet hit local transit authorities, which will collectively spend billions of dollars this year on enhancements to their local public transportation networks. At least 33 metropolitan areas in the U.S. — and five in Canada — are planning to invest in new BRT, streetcar, light rail, metro rail, or commuter rail projects in 2012. Virtually every American project listed here is being at least partially funded through federal capital grants.

The Obama Administration’s zeal for the distribution of small grants for bus rapid transit and streetcar projects through the TIGER and Urban Circulator programs will play out this year more than ever. Seven cities will begin construction on new

Continue reading Opening and Construction Starts Planned for 2012 »

Opening and Construction Starts Planned for 2011

2011 Openings and Construction Starts in Transit

» Streetcar lines dominate the nation’s new transit construction landscape, but this year only light and commuter rail lines will open for service.

Lest one think that investment in transit is a coasts-only phenomenon in the United States, the sheer quantity of spending planned for new public transportation projects across the country in 2011 indicates otherwise.

In almost every major city or metropolitan area in both the U.S. and Canada, major new rail or bus links are being readied for service. Over the course of the next year, five new light rail lines or extensions will open for operations, as will two new commuter rail corridors. Perhaps more significantly, there are a dozen projects that will enter the construction process — including many streetcar projects — in addition to the dozens already underway. In sum, these represent a continent-wide public sector commitment to the extension of transit offerings.


Continue reading Opening and Construction Starts Planned for 2011 »

Weekend Links

CAF Light Rail

» This week’s big news. Open thread in the comments.

Follow my Twitter account (@ttpolitic) to get news in real time.

The Transport Politic

New York to study Red Hook streetcars, but what are the city’s goals?
New Heartland Corridor increases freight capacity between East Coast and Chicago
Tampa outlines plan for spending after transit tax referendum
Political will disappearing, New Jersey’s ARC project could be on the way out

Bus Rapid Transit in San Francisco’s East Bay, on Next American City

Look Out? Building a BRT line in California is No Simple Matter
Opposition to a Bus Rapid Transit System is More than Just NIMBYism
Envisioning a Different Kind of Region

California and Its Friends

With the November elections in the U.S. likely to be difficult for generally pro-high-speed rail Democrats, the likelihood of increasing federal funding for the transportation mode over the next few years is depressingly low, putting

Continue reading Weekend Links »

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.

Email newsletter


rss feed
comments feed
twitter feed