People love Uber, and I’ve personally been delighted in the past by the efficiency and “magic” of the service. It is amazing that one can press a button on a phone and have a car show up to take them on their way. As an economist, I’ve loved the fact that one of the worst cesspools of rent-seeking regulation-protected market inefficiencies – the taxicab market – has been disrupted. But if Uber is truly upending this market, why should consumers ever trust a single company to own that market, even if they claim to be doing good? This is a … Continue reading
I’ve been open about liking Uber in the past, and devoted ink to writing about its prospects for ridership in a new market, or how it empowered female drivers. The folks in the transportation industry, myself included, have generally liked the regulatory-bashing, market-inefficiency killing style of Uber. My goodwill ended today with news reports that they fought dirty against an upstart, Gett. Yellow card. Uber’s on Transportation Planner notice. Everyone go download HailO, Gett, and Lyft because they are competition, and competition is good. #Penance Why Uber Was the White Knight Economists hate regulatory capture and market inefficiencies, and taxi regulations with taxi medallions … Continue reading
Last night (1/23/2014), Shyam Kannan, WMATA Director of Planning, spoke to a large gathering of transit enthusiasts and other urbanists about the future of Metro. It was an interesting discussion hosted by Arlington County and Mobility Lab’s RoundAbouts speaker series. There were some interesting points that came up about metro issues in the downtown core, the potential expansion of a new Rosslyn station, and talk about the “loop” service. I was there live tweeting the event, and thanks to a few other folks’ tweets, here’s a recap of the event in its entirety. Pictures of some of the slides and … Continue reading
This is a story of bad pedestrian design of the worst sort. I live in the Tysons / McLean area, and so I frequently use the GW Parkway. When you’re going Northbound on the GWP and get off at the Rt 123/McLean exit, you encounter the worst and most useless crosswalk I’ve ever seen, and it bothers me why its there. It speaks to horrible planning, to bad design, and just a general insult to pedestrian infrastructure. Site Overview So this is the overview of where it is so you know what I’m talking about. (at the end of this … Continue reading
Well, it was a blast. We all enjoyed our time at #TRBAM 2014, and here are the highlights as I see them from Twitter and the social world. This is my experiment using Storify here for the first time and I hope you appreciate the format.
Well, many of you were wondering what the breakdown of attendance by attendee type is. Well, TRB 2014 is still going on, I asked the good folks at TRB and they were kind enough to send me some stats from last year (2013). I put them together for you in this neat little infographic (you know I love those). Enjoy.
Live Blog from Transportation Camp 2014.
Did you know that 73.6% of all commuter rail trips in the U.S. occurs in the Northeast Corridor? Well now you know, because I compiled some numbers for you. Here’s a really cool infographic, and enjoy. And by Northeast Corridor, I mean the the DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, NJ, NYC, Connecticut, and Boston corridor. Let me know what you think. **UPDATE** As a fan of open data, you can find the raw data I compiled here. Historic time series data from APTA is available at the APTA website. U.S. Commuter Rail Facts | Create infographics
By Michael Rodriguez & Heather Romani, June 2013
The US economy continued to show moderate growth in the first quarter of 2013, following the trend of modest growth seen through all of 2012. Some economic indicators are showing positive signals: housing prices are continuing to rise; unemployment has remained under eight percent for eight months; and the private sector continues to add jobs despite continued cut backs in non-military government employment. Of these, the most positive signs are in the housing market because the net worth of families and individuals is often tied to real estate prices, and increased net worth can in turn lead to increased consumer spending down the road. On balance, the trend continues with a similar story to what this column reported in the December 2012 issue of EFR—a modest recovery that sustains some economic growth but has been insufficient to yield a full recovery.
Full article via Parsons Brinckerhoff, Economic Forecast Review
I know so many of us in the transportation industry strive to get people to ride bikes and transit and other modes. However, we are facing one unambiguous fact: new car prices are low – really low! It turns out that it’s not just the dealer telling you that on the radio – they really are low in comparison to historic terms. I did some digging into some inflation numbers, and it turns out that cars as of July 2013 are about 30 percent less expensive than they were in January 1998, when you account for inflation.