Total time traveling per capita has declined (Transportationist)
New U.S. Department of Labor stats indicate that Americans spent about six minutes fewer per day traveling for an array of activities — from 74 minutes in 2003 to 68 minutes in 2013.
How does this jibe with U.S. Census Bureau’s survey of commuting times?
“Average travel time increased from 21.7 minutes in 1980 to 22.4 minutes in 1990, and to 25.5 minutes in 2000,” reports the Census Bureau. The latest national number from 2013 is also 25.5 minutes.
Of course, it’s hard to say what all this means when averaged nationally. Rural Maine, for example, is a very different place than, say, Westlake in Los Angeles. That said, the numbers perhaps suggest that Americans — most of whom drive to get around — are holding the line when it comes to time spent in their cars. But wait….
Drilling is down, driving is up (High Country News)
Wrap your brain around this: the number of oil rigs is down, the number of energy jobs is down but oil production is up. Gas prices are generally down in many parts of the U.S. and in March Americans drove 26.9 billion more miles than they did in March 2014. That amounts to a three percent increase.
Whoa. Even though gas prices have remained high in California (which requires a special formulation to reduce air pollution), it sure seems like I’m seeing more SUVs rolling around town, perhaps due to the low prices here in early 2015.
As for transit ridership, it has basically been trending upward since 1990, according to the latest stats from APTA — although bus ridership across the U.S. has been flat in recent years. At Metro, we’ve seen a dip in ridership in the past couple of years, according to recent estimates. I think there are likely several factors ranging from the economy to an ongoing crackdown on fare evasion to maintenance projects that have reduced some rail service, particularly on the busy Blue and Red Lines.
Short feature and photo gallery showing some of the station art on the 11.5-mile Gold Line Foothill Extension that is scheduled to open in the first half of 2016 between Pasadena and the Azusa/Glendora border.
The 2015 deadline to install positive train control won’t be met by 70 percent of the commuter railroads in the country, according to APTA. The story looks at the effort through the eyes of the Metra system in Chicago.
The issue, of course, has been in the news lately due to the horrific Amtrak crash in Philadelphia last month in which a train going more than twice the speed limit derailed. On the upside, Metrolink (of which Metro is a major funder) has made more progress than most railroads and has rolled out the system on parts of its system.
The developers say the project would restore the retail site, preserve the existing structure and add three buildings of 30 or more stories. I’m guessing it will be a tough sell with surrounding neighborhoods (par for the course in Hollywood) but the renderings on Curbed are intriguing — and the site is less than a half-mile walk to the Red Line’s Hollywood/Highland Station and would be served by the 2 Local and 2 Rapid Bus on Sunset Boulevard.
It’s a big, busy system that is unique from an architectural point of view — and also came at quite a human cost, as was often the case in Stalin’s Soviet Union. The Moscow Metro is 80 this year, thus the segment on NPR.
You buy abandoned houses, fix them up and sell them (Zocalo Public Square)
The daily Metro rider profile by Zocalo.
•Need something to read on transit that may make your head explode? Try this NYT story on corporations who lay off American workers — but not before requiring those workers to train their foreign replacements.
•Tampa will win the Stanley Cup in seven games over the Blackhawks.
•I’m still waiting for someone to accept my offer of a free book on the chaps who carved Mt. Rushmore. If interested, email me. You must take a sacred oath to read part of the book on transit and to give it to another transit rider when done.
Categories: Transportation Headlines