Good question! This weekly post features news from other transit agencies and planners from around the world. Did we miss a good story? Let us know in the comments.
Boston bikeshare to branch out next spring
Boston’s four-month-old public bike sharing system has blown past expectations, clocking 140,000 trips since its July debut, according to the Boston Globe. City officials are already planning to add 300 bikes at 30 stations across the Charles River in Cambridge and Sommerville, home to lots of able-bodied college students. My favorite part of this story: The bikesharing system is about to close for the winter. I’m just happy to live in a place where you bike year-round.
High-speed rail from Salt Lake to Vegas: long shot or good bet?
As Steve noted in his five transit thoughts yesterday, the Vegas-to-Victorville high-speed rail cleared an important federal hurdle and is now searching for financing. In the meantime, the Salt Lake City Tribune reports that Utah Democratic State Senator Ben McAdams has begun putting together a working group to see how SLC might tie into this line and potentially a broader network connecting the cities of the Mountain West. Salt Lake City to its credit has been working on one of the nation’s more ambitions transit expansion project called FrontLines. Here’s our look at that program from March.
NYC on track to have lowest traffic fatalities in a century
For New York’s recent bike- and pedestrian-oriented street projects, the bottom line has always been about one thing: improving safety. That approach appears to be bearing fruit. A blog post on Transportation Nation notes that the city is now on track to have the fewest traffic-related deaths in a hundred years. The number of casualties — 214 so far in 2011 — is still unacceptably high, says Noah Budnick of the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives. Budnick notes that traffic deaths now exceed the number of people killed by guns in New York.
Lawsuit filed over $200B transportation plan
As part of California’s anti-sprawl bill, SB 375, regions are developing long range plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by linking sustainable land use and transportation. San Diego Association of Governments was the first to release its Regional Transportation Plan, and the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the $200-billion plan is coming under serious scrutiny from environmental groups. A lawsuit by the Cleveland National Forest Foundation and the Center for Biological Diversity alleges that the emphasis on freeways — not public transit — will actually increase pollution. The groups further also that those transit projects in the plan are too few and wouldn’t be constructed for decades.
Expanding Houston light rail will create more transportation choices, more jobs
The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded a major grant — $900 million — to Houston this week to expand the sprawling Texas city’s light rail system by 12 miles. The one line already up and running carries 45,000 trips a day, making it one of the busiest in the country on a per-track-mile basis. I particularly like the chord that USDOT’s FastLane blog strikes regarding the benefits of transit: It’s about improving “access to jobs, education, and other opportunities,” as well as providing an alternative to wasting hours stuck in traffic.