Transportation headlines, Wednesday, July 28

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the librarys blog.

A step beyond NextBus (4-ID blog)

One firm is looking at signs that tell passengers much more than when the next train is arriving. These electronic signs inform riders where to find the least crowded sections of the train and where it may be best to board with a bicycle. There are good renderings of the signs on the blog.

95% of trains are on time? Riders beg to differ (New York Times)

The NYT crunches the numbers on commuter rail in the New York metro area and finds that the 95% often touted by transit agencies is an average encompassing every train, no matter the time of day. But that figure covers for the fact that the trains during the rush hours — that is the ones with the heaviest loads of people — are late at a much higher rate. Of the three major railroads in the area, Metro North performed better than either New Jersey Transit or the Long Island Rail Road.

Why did the climate bill fail? (Grist)

Dave Roberts lists the reasons and most of them point to one thing — the U.S. Senate, which he labels a “failed institution.” This is a good, short read about an important subject. Attentive readers already know that transportation and utilities are the two leading producers of greenhouse gases in the United States.

Freshly painted sharrows on a Portland, Ore., street. Photo by BikePortland.org, via Flickr. Click above to see the image on Flickr.

Abbot Kinney gets sharrows (LADOT bike blog)

The city of L.A. has installed the symbols on the street that shows cyclists where to ride to avoid car doors and also to remind motorists that cyclists have a right to use the road. How do I feel about sharrows? This is my opinion only and not meant to represent that of any agency. But we have sharrows in Pasadena where I live and I would describe them as mostly useless. I don’t need a sharrow on Lake Avenue reminding me how not to get ‘doored.’ I need a bike lane. And so do most people who want to ride their bikes more but don’t feel like mixing it up in a general traffic lane with 3,000-pound cars being navigated by someone playing with their iToy. Disagree? Email us at sourcemetro@gmail.com.

A video interview with TriMet’s new CEO (Portland Transport)

This local and influential blog in Portland, Ore., features a five-part interview with the new CEO of TriMet, which runs the local buses and trains. I haven’t had the chance to watch the whole thing, but I was struck by how familiar many of the issues facing Portland are to anyone who follows transit here in So Cal. Attracting new bus riders, service cuts and light rail safety are among them. It’s interesting, as Portland is often cited as a great example of an area that has embraced transit, yet it’s apparent neither the blog or CEO Neil McFarlane think TriMet is doing good enough.

Obama nixes gas tax increase, mileage fees (Bond Buyer)

Although transportation advocates often call for both — a tax based on the mileage people drive has long been a darling in academic circles — the Obama Administration doesn’t see it that way and has other ideas how to raise money for the next giant transportation bill, which may be debated next year — after a two-year delay.