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Old July 31st, 2008, 07:03 PM   #441
Chicagoago
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How we're traveling these days
1.4 billion
fewer highway miles driven by Americans in April 2008 versus April 2007.
20%
ridership increase in trips of 300 miles or less on Amtrak from Chicago.
5%
increase in Metra ridership in the first quarter of 2008 vs. 2007.
11.8%
increase in weekend Metra ridership in first quarter 2008 vs. 2007.
25.3%
increase in weekend Metra ridership in first quarter 2008 vs. 2006.
4%
increase in CTA riders from January-May 2008 from January-May 2007.
550,000
fewer July 4 holiday travelers in 2008 than in 2007.

13%
increase in airfares over July 4th weekend from 2007 to 2008.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 07:54 AM   #442
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagoago View Post
Because of absolutely no funding (the stupid governor is cutting funds), the CTA is trying to find new ways to ease the massive influx of people on the trains/busses due to gas prices. They're in the process of ripping out seats on some trains to run trains with 6 cars containing seats like usual, and 2 center cars that would be seatless and crammed with standing room only passengers. I see their point, but it's crazy it's come to this and NO FUNDING for transit.



CTA considers standing-room-only L cars

CTA riders on busy rush-hour lines could see some L cars designated as standing-room-only in the next few months.

That’s one measure in the works to deal with soaring L ridership prompted by higher gasoline prices.

The CTA also is considering making some trains “short turn” runs that would cover just the busiest stretches, to accommodate more passengers at rush-hour. For instance, a southbound Blue Line train might start at Jefferson Park, instead of O’Hare.

The transit agency — which reported today it saw a 6.9 percent increase in passengers last month — is also considering taking out seats on busy bus routes.

The CTA says such steps are being weighed because it can’t afford to buy more train cars and buses. Transit officials say they need the Legislature to pass a new capital bill to be able to do that.

The CTA attributes most of the increased ridership to fast-rising fuel prices. But as much as 10 percent of the extra riders are seniors who have enjoyed free fares since March 17.

“While we’re very excited to have as many seniors as we can, it’s becoming a acapacity challenge on the system,” CTA President Ron Huberman told board members today.

Passengers can decide whether or not to get on a standing-room-only train car, which would be clearly marked, Huberman said. Pregnant, elderly or disabled passengers, for instance, could choose cars with seats.

The extra ridership hasn’t translated into a corresponding increase in revenue for the CTA, officials said, due to the increased number of free rides and to the number of CTA riders using monthly passes.
That's ******* pathetic.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 06:24 PM   #443
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Originally Posted by Gag Halfrunt View Post
Today's Guardian in the UK has a short article about the increase in people using public transport in the US, accompanying a long piece about Stockton, California, which has the highest rate of house foreclosures in the US.
That's all petrol costs in the US? WTF? That's less than half of what it costs here in Australia. At the moment the price is about $1.70 - $1.80 AUD. That converts to $1.67 USD per litre, or 84p sterling. Considering all the dramas that's being caused by higher oil prices in the US, I thought the cost would be much higher there. I suppose if I was working for the American minimum wage, I'd be crying too though.

Apparently within 10 years, petrol here will cost $8AUD per litre, that's 3.77 pounds or $7.45USD. It would be stupid to not start throwing massive amounts of money into transport infrastructure.
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 11:57 AM   #444
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The US has barely any tax on its petrol. I think the federal tax is like 17c per GALLON. Sure the states lump a tax on top of that which varies, but in the end it's bugger all. In the UK I recently saw petrol for well over a pound a litre. In Italy it was around EUR1.50
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 03:35 PM   #445
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Although Americans pay a lot less per L (or gallon) of gas compared to many other countries, the problem is most Americans do not have a viable transit alternative, so price fluctuations around a comparatively low cost are more widely felt across the population.
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 09:05 PM   #446
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That is what needs to change is to reform the transit system around people's needs and really focus on where large populations are versus just providing a system. There seems to be no systematic approach to routes and it seems like the providers need to ask themselves questions about where do the most people go and such. Our ways will have to change and with our current infrastructure and method of building roads and expanding them, that will have to change. The only barrier is the good old game of politics and bureaucratic crap.
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Old August 4th, 2008, 12:41 AM   #447
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The problem is that urban development in the USA is generally so rubbish. Take a huge city like Houston that does not even have zoning controls at all? Whilst zoning can actually be part of the problem (as it generally discourages mixed use development) no controls at all is total stupidity.

Clever US cities like Washington DC and San Francisco are focusing development around their transit networks and are reaping the benefits of that.
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Old August 4th, 2008, 03:07 PM   #448
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In US, gas prices mean more riders, fewer buses
4 August 2008

DENVER (AP) - High gas prices almost killed the lifeline to the city for a group of mountain commuters.

Park County bus riders recently had to plead with city officials to keep their route running, arguing that a daily 80-mile car trip would hurt riders financially.

"For many of our mountain commuters, it is the only form of transportation that these people have," said Pam Beckhorn, who leads a group dedicated to preserving the route along Highway 285.

Like their counterparts across the country, cash-strapped Colorado officials face a paradox: People are using public transportation more than ever, but higher fuel costs -- and lower sales tax revenues -- are forcing municipalities to trim routes.

According to a May survey by the American Public Transportation Association, about one in five of the nation's transit agencies have cut service over the past year. They include Cleveland; Corpus Christi, Texas; and San Diego, which has seen one of the largest increases in bus ridership in the country.

The cutbacks come at a time of increasing interest in public buses and trains: The transportation association says people took 2.6 billion trips on public transportation nationwide in the first three months of 2008 -- almost 88 million more than last year.

The highest ridership increases came in light rail and commuter rail. In light rail, Baltimore, Minneapolis, St. Louis and San Francisco all saw double-digit percentage increases over the first quarter of 2007.

Double-digit percentage increases for commuter rail were posted in Oakland, Calif.; Harrisburg, Pa.; and Philadelphia, among others. Seattle's increase was almost 28 percent, APTA said.

Bonnie Arnold, with the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, said the commuter rail system there saw a 46.7 percent more passengers in June than in June 2007.

"It's just been mind-boggling," she said.

Transit authorities are feeling the pinch of higher gas prices on both the expenditure and revenue sides of their budgets. They're paying more to fuel their buses and trains. At the same time, they're taking in fewer sales tax dollars -- an income source for many transit agencies -- because people are spending more at the pump and less on other items.

The Denver-area's transit system, which serves eight counties with a population of about 2.6 million, is on pace to carry 100 million passengers this year, a record in its 35-year history, said spokesman Scott Reed.

But the system will be about $6 million over budget this year on fuel. It budgeted for $2.62 per gallon but is paying $3.20, Reed said.

Fuel costs also make building materials needed to expand infrastructure more expensive, said Clarence W. Marsella, general manager and CEO of the Regional Transportation District.

"Everything that we do is being undermined by the fuel crisis," Marsella said. "It's really diabolical. The tentacles are everywhere."

Anticipating rising fuel costs, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority cut 5 percent of its bus lines in December. The district's fuel spending will surpass $20 million this year, compared to $12 million in 2007, said a spokesman.

One option being considered is adding a fuel surcharge to fares. If approved, any changes would be implemented in early October, the spokesman said.

In Corpus Christi, the Regional Transportation Authority is running fewer buses, said spokeswoman Kristi Pena. In New York City, there is talk of subway and bus fare hikes.

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System has reduced service, raised fares and laid off workers, said spokesman Rob Schupp. High fuel costs account for about $2 million of its $6.5 million deficit.

Denver's system is bracing for $5-a-gallon diesel prices in 2009. So the district has to cut or reduce service on its underperforming routes. That led to lobbying for the endangered route along Highway 285 during a recent meeting of the Regional Transportation District.

"You would put a lot of people out of work if you took their bus away from them," said engineer Martin Wirth, one of about 40 people at the meeting fighting to save the route.

Group members wore and gave board members T-shirts that read, "Go Green. Ride The Drive." They pleaded with the board to give them a chance to increase ridership.

In the end, the board voted to keep Route U, despite its $375,000 yearly cost. Supporters posed on a stairway for a celebratory picture.

"We are the little mouse that roared," Beckhorn said.
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Old August 6th, 2008, 12:55 AM   #449
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
That's ******* pathetic.
It is annoying, but I'm willing to take anything I can get from the agency. Especially since the STUPID government won't give them money, and is actually cutting money at a time of surging ridership.

They finally got a project completed enough on my line in Chicago to begin running trains that are 33% longer. Even with trains that now can hold 1,200 people per train, I still find myself waiting for up to 4 back to back trains to come into my station before I can finally find a space to squeeze on...

Now that seniors ride for free, the gentrification in Chicago has brought tens of thousands of new people to my area who all work downtown, they're doing construction on my train line and gas is so expensive - it's literally madness every day trying to cram onto trains in the morning/evening. It seems like if anyone even just sneezes and a train gets delayed a few minutes the entire system starts to backup and collapse under the huge mob of riders looking to board.
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Old August 6th, 2008, 03:21 AM   #450
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Reliance on busses for mass transit is a poor idea. When gas prices rise, people ride the bus, but service is cut because of high gas prices!!

Electrified rail is the way to go.
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Old August 6th, 2008, 12:24 PM   #451
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With the exception of New York City, the busiest mass transit systems in America are outside the US in places like Mexico City, Sao Paolo, Santiago, and Toronto. US cities may still be very car oriented, but within 20 years, many of the busiest systems in America may be in US cities.
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Old August 7th, 2008, 12:46 AM   #452
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Only if they start investing big time in their systems though. A city like Los Angeles (which actually has a surprisingly high density) should be constructing subway lines en masse, rather than an ugly mixture of light-rail and buses. There's 15 million or more people in the greater area, if ever a good rail system was going to work, it would be in LA.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 06:37 AM   #453
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More riding TheBus with rising gas prices
6 August 2008

HONOLULU (AP) - Ridership on Oahu's bus system usually falls off in the summer months, but this year it's on the rise.

TheBus reports more than a five percent increase in June compared with last year.

More people have been turning to the bus since gas prices began shooting up earlier this year. The average price of regular gas in Honolulu is reported at $4.37 a gallon, nearly $1.20 higher than a year ago.

Oahu Transit Services president Roger Morton says more than 217,000 people a day rode buses in June.

He says with schools back in session, ridership is expected to be even higher this month and some buses on busy routes are being replaced with buses that have more seats and more standing room.
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Old August 14th, 2008, 09:10 AM   #454
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U.S. mayors' group to address infrastructure needs

NEW YORK, Aug 13 (Reuters) - U.S. urban leaders will call on Thursday for increased investment in roads, bridges and other aging infrastructure, as well as upgrades to public transit systems as ridership soars amid high gasoline costs, the head of a mayors' group said.

Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, newly elected president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said in an interview on Wednesday that he and other mayors hope to create a new plan for long-term investment in U.S. infrastructure.

"We need a federal capital infrastructure program and a budget that goes with it," Diaz told Reuters. "For many years we've all read and heard about programs and funding for bridges to nowhere, and that's the way that America has typically invested in its infrastructure."

Diaz, who said public transit and the availability of water are two of the most pressing needs facing his own city, will meet with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and about a dozen other mayors at an infrastructure forum in New York.

With Americans starting to drive less because of high gas prices, investment in things like public rail is essential, Diaz said.

"America is beginning to change its habits, which I think is a good thing, and government investment ought to follow," he said.

The federal government is under growing pressure to increase infrastructure spending. The American Society of Civil Engineers has estimated that $1.6 trillion is needed to repair roads, bridges, power plants and other systems.

The event is one of several by the mayors' group to try to get attention on urban issues ahead of the U.S. presidential election. Last week, the group held a forum in Philadelphia on crime. Other forums are planned on poverty, arts and culture, and the environment.

Recommendations from the forums will be presented to the next president during the first 100 days of the new administration.

Diaz said the mayors on Thursday will review the infrastructure proposals of presidential contenders John McCain and Barack Obama with policy advisers to the candidates.

In conjunction with the meeting, the mayors' group is also set to release a report on Thursday showing the positive economic impact of water and sewer investment.

The report says that every $1 spent on public water and sewer infrastructure investment increases gross domestic product by $6.35, through things such as job creation and the supplies that go into the construction.

The study also cites U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that adding one new job in water and sewer infrastructure creates 3.68 jobs in the national economy to support that job.

"The expert consensus is that public infrastructure investment yields positive returns, and investment in water and sewer infrastructure has greater returns than most other types of public infrastructure," Martin Chavez, mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico, said in a statement accompanying the report.
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Old August 15th, 2008, 03:14 AM   #455
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If America wants better infrastructure, then it had better stop voting for Republicans. McCain wants to cut corporate taxes 10%, increase military spending, AND balance the budget. Guess where all of the cuts are going to occur- domestic porgrams that have already been scrapped significantly by the Bush administration.

Republicans are whores for Big Oil, deny climate change, and favor sprawl over environmental protection. That means no fundamental change in America's transportation policy.
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Old August 15th, 2008, 06:24 AM   #456
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Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
If America wants better infrastructure, then it had better stop voting for Republicans. McCain wants to cut corporate taxes 10%, increase military spending, AND balance the budget. Guess where all of the cuts are going to occur- domestic porgrams that have already been scrapped significantly by the Bush administration.

Republicans are whores for Big Oil, deny climate change, and favor sprawl over environmental protection. That means no fundamental change in America's transportation policy.
Not Republicans, its more of what is called neo-conservatism and many neo-conservatives lie in the Republican Party. A traditional Republican would be Ron Paul. John McCain is a neo-con although most of them reside in Congress since they are the ones sending money for Iraq funding. After all, the President signs the stuff or vetos, but the most power is held in the Legislative Branch.
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Old August 15th, 2008, 11:24 AM   #457
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There really needs to be a huge shift in paradigm in the US. It's lost so much of the respect it used to command from around the world, now it's more of a joke and an easy target for ridicule. It's sad really. It would be terrible if the Government took even more money away from mass transit, surely such an idea would be the 'nail in the coffin' for the US economy considering how high oil prices are.

So what are some of the new transport projects in the United States? All I know is the new Second Avenue subway...
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Old August 15th, 2008, 02:05 PM   #458
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High speed rail project in California, though that still hasn't got secured funding...

I'm pretty sure there are big expansions happening to the LA metro.

East side access project under construction in NYC linking the Long Island Railroad with Grand Central Station.....

I am sure there are more...
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Old August 15th, 2008, 03:37 PM   #459
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I think a lot of projects are happening in the smaller, less [internationally] well known cities like Phoenix, Charlotte and Salt Lake City - I can't be too sure though so if anyone has info and pictures then that would be great.

I always wondered why Miami does adapt its metrorail into a good transport mode. With a few extensions, higher frequencies equipping it to carry more people, it would be a pretty great transit system.
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Old August 21st, 2008, 07:08 AM   #460
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Quote:
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I think a lot of projects are happening in the smaller, less [internationally] well known cities like Phoenix, Charlotte and Salt Lake City - I can't be too sure though so if anyone has info and pictures then that would be great.

I always wondered why Miami does adapt its metrorail into a good transport mode. With a few extensions, higher frequencies equipping it to carry more people, it would be a pretty great transit system.

The first of several planned LRT lines in Charlotte opened in November 2007. The Lynx Blue Line is 9.6 miles/15 stations...ridership has far exceeded projections.
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