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.
Where do your Chicago transit fares go? The Center for Neighborhood Technology shows you
This infographic from CNT clearly and concisely captures what Chicago transit riders support with their fares; it also shows what is true of virtually every large transit agency in the developed world: Labor is by far the largest single cost of transit operations. Why? Because large transit agencies have to employ thousands of skilled and hardworking bus and train operators — not to mention mechanics and other support staff.
S.F. Market Street car ban urged by city agencies
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that city agencies are supporting the implementation of a plan called Better Market Street, a key component of which is eliminating cars from a two-plus mile stretch of the city’s commercial spine. What makes the idea feasible in this corridor is the abundance of transit: BART and Muni Metro run underground; streetcars and a slew of buses travel at street level. The key benefit of eliminating private autos, according to the executive director of the Central Market Community Benefit District, is that it would significantly improve both pedestrian safety and transit performance. The next step is for the various agencies involved to hold public workshops next month.
Vancouver unveils 30-year transportation plan: heavy on walking, light on cars
The city of Vancouver released an update of its long-range transportation plan. Already known for its emphasis on transit, biking and walking, Vancouver is doubling down on that vision. The plan sets a goal of having residents take two-thirds of all trips in the city by some means other than driving by 2040, up from 40 percent today. Canadian community blog OpenFile notes that the plan prioritizes pedestrian safety and making public spaces more “rain friendly” in the damp northwest town. In light of this focus, what does the future hold for driving? The plan calls for making the road network work more efficiently — i.e. better signal synchronization — and making parking easier to find, so drivers don’t burn fuel and slow traffic circling the block to find a spot. You can view the full plan here (PDF).
Does attendance at the NHL’s New York Islanders games suffer due to lack of transit access?
Unlike many of its counterparts in the NHL — like your L.A. Kings — the Islanders’ arena in Nassau on Long Island doesn’t have direct transit access. The place is surrounded by acres of parking lots, as seen in the screen shot below from Google Maps. Is it a coincidence, then, that the Islanders had the second-worst home attendance out of 30 teams, despite being a pretty good draw (11th) when visiting other team’s arenas? This blog post from Bleacher Report explores that question. Writer Christopher Benini points out that plans to replace the team’s aging arena involve building a new one — you guessed it — next to an existing transit station. How’s that for a clear sign that team officials think fans want to be able to take transit to the game?
New Calgary light rail line to west side also a boon for cyclists
As the city of Calgary expands its light rail network, it’s not letting the opportunity to improve other modes go to waste, reports the Calgary Herald. The city will install a number of on-street bike lanes and other safety and navigation tools for cyclists. The goal? Give travelers another comfortable way to access the new train stations and travel around their neighborhoods. The plan calls for investing about $5 million in bike facilities. It’s an impressive commitment for a city where the average daily high temperature is under 40 degrees Fahrenheit for five months a year. Roll on, hearty Calgary cyclists!