» This week’s big news. Open thread in the comments.
Follow my Twitter account (@ttpolitic) to get news in real time.
On The Transport Politic:
- Regional transportation authorities are not necessarily the solution to the urban-suburban divide
- Washington comes closer to bridging the gap with its new streetcar network
- The highway-transit alliance strains the Senate’s energy legislation
- Southeast High-Speed Rail releases detailed proposals for Raleigh-Richmond corridor
- An animated version of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, set to the tune of day in New York City. (via Spacing)
- New York Subway train operator Dennis Boyd answers questions about his job in a series of questions and answers: One, Two, Three.
- The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) reveals its nominees for this year’s American Transportation Awards. Despite claiming to represent “all five transportation modes: air, highways, public transportation, rail, and water,” the organization’s nominees include only one non-road project: the District of Columbia’s Union Station Bike Center. Depressing.
- Richland Hills, Texas — a suburb of Fort Worth — threatens to leave local transit district. But the transit district strikes back, threatening to charge the city for expenditures made there over the years.
Building Better Subways:
- Next American City: When you get the chance to build a new subway station, take full advantage. Paris transit agency RATP opens an exhibit on how to construct more interesting Métro stops in the future.
- The Source: Los Angeles receives authorization from the federal government to move forward with environmental reviews on its entire 9.3-mile Westside Subway project, making the extension of the Purple Line to Westwood possible by 2020. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood also endorses the city’s 30/10 plan, which would finance 30 years worth of projects in just ten years.
- Beijing plans 21 rail and subway lines by 2020. (via @theoverheadwire) This could give it the world’s largest rapid transit system, displacing recently crowned Shanghai.
- New U.K. government, after declaring the “end to the war on the motorist,” is considering much cheaper high-speed rail project that would avoid city centers. Conservative control over the budget there also making future train car purchases more difficult.
- European Union, obsessed with competition in every sector no matter the consequences, tells French government it must remove protections for national rail company SNCF. Standard & Poor’s immediately lowers the company’s debt assessment from AAA to AA+. Meanwhile, starvation plan imposed on Greece by Germany forces that country’s sale of almost half of its national rail operator to private investors.
- Amtrak finally makes free wifi standard on all Acela trains. It will slowly add similar services to California and Northeast Regional services by the end of this year. The company’s plan to charge states for local services by 2013 could cause problems in Virginia.
- Next American City: Summer streets gain prominence nationwide.
- Phoenix has begun construction of 100 foot-tall bridge over an airport taxiway as part of the $1.1 billion Sky Train people mover project. The 4.8-mile project will eventually connect the airport to the city’s light rail system. But extensions of local rapid transit have been delayed until the 2020s because of funding difficulties.
- The City Fix: South Africa boosts city transit in preparation for World Cup.
Image above: Los Angeles’ proposed Westside Subway, from Metro