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.