Transportation headlines, Monday, Oct. 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.

Now’s the time to invest in infrastructure, but U.S. plan is too modest (Washington Post)

This opinion piece from the Washington Post uses a big business metaphor to make the argument that the federal government needs to up the ante when it comes to infrastructure funding if we want the business that is the United States to stay afloat. And according to the article, there’s no better time for this kind of investment since the economic downtown has made construction very affordable. What about debt? The article contends that delaying infrastructure investments is no different from debt – both cost future generations.

Real vs. perceived travel time: your trip is shorter than you think it is (SF Gate)

Researchers in the Netherlands have concluded that people grossly overestimate the time their transit trips take – by more than double. People estimated that taking transit took 2.3 times as long as driving a car, unless they took transit regularly. Also, transit riders who were required to transfer always assumed their trips took longer than a single seat ride, even if that wasn’t the case. Factors that influence these perceptions: not knowing when the next bus/train will arrive, weather conditions and unfamiliarity with the surrroundings.

California’s P2P Carsharing Bill Signed Into Law (Shareable)

Good news for Californian’s who care about car-sharing (count me as one of them). A bill was signed into law recently that allows individuals to share their cars in car sharing pools without invalidating their insurance. In other words, if you have a car that you’d to share  with a group of people (for money… think Zipcar), you can without worrying about your personal car insurance. Currently, if you were to share your car in this way insurance companies consider it a commercial use of the vehicle. Starting January 1, 2011 this is no longer the case.

Big Blue Bus’ new maintence facility: An eco-building missing bike racks (Green LA Girl)

[Update: Oops, this headlines is over a year old. H/T to Tom W for catching that] Green LA Girl takes a look at Santa Monica’s shiny new Big Blue Bus maintenance facility (with pix). The $60 million building is fitted with solar panels, built with recycled materials, features electric vehicle charging  stations and drought-free landscaping. The only problem? This green building had no place for Siel to park her pink townie bicycle.