Transportation headlines, Friday, Nov. 4

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the library’s blog.

Still on board the bullet train (L.A. Times)

The Times’ Editorial Board takes a long look at the increased price tag of California’s high-speed train plan and decides that the project is still worth supporting. Here’s the key paragraph:

California is expected to add 17 million people by 2040. The state has little choice but to build transportation infrastructure to meet the growing demand; the only question is whether it should invest in freeways and airports, thus increasing our reliance on vehicles powered by fossil fuels and subject to traffic gridlock, or in clean, speedy trains on dedicated tracks that don’t get jammed. Moreover, unlike freeways that require continual government expenditures to maintain, the train would self-sustaining [sic]. Under even the most conservative assumptions considered in the business plan, the line is expected to turn a profit.

The editorial also notes that HSR would be the backbone of public transit for the state, further strengthening urban centers and existing transit system, instead of highways and sprawl.

Cash for Clunkers was a clunker (Miller-McCune)

Remember Cash for Clunkers? The popular federal program gave grants for individuals to scrap their low-millage vehicles for more efficient ones. The problem, however, is that as many as 45% of people who used the program would have bought a new car at the time anyways, according to a new report. Instead of providing a boost to the auto industry, the program just concentrated more buying in a shorter time period.

Escalating tensions has BART considering signs (SF Examiner)

Escalators: The thankless workhorse of public transit systems worldwide. Yet, assuming they’re even working, it seems like someone’s not following the unwritten rule of “walk on the left, stand on the right.” The new head of Bay Area Rapid Transit is considering making that policy official and installing signs to remind commuters of proper escalator etiquette.

4 replies

  1. As a native Washingtonian, where the “stand on the right” code is much more deeply ingrained in the culture there (except for tourists — whom Washingtonians grumble about for blocking the way) than in Los Angeles, I’d love to see signs here, too. There’s almost no culture of this here.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/10/AR2007081002350.html

    And I’d love to see announcements/signs for boarding passengers to let exiting passengers exit first. Here’s what WAMATA does in DC:

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  2. Agree. I think it’s a courtesy to riders, most of who want to be courteous, to let them know how to do so.

    And while we’re at it, how about signs on buses that say “no pushing”? Passengers don’t seem to realize that the bus driver KNOWS that it takes time to clear the back of the bus. It’s rare that a bus driver doesn’t wait for every last person to leave the bus before closing the doors.

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