Chicagoans Heart CTA Brown Line Improvements – The Data Show It

Countdown to a New Brown
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The Brown Line Capacity Enhancement Project in Chicago was completed in 2009/2010, and Chicagoans seem to love the Brown Line based on the data. The $530 million project was for expanding platforms to allow for 8-car trains, in addition to station improvements and ADA accessibility.  Since 2009, CTA Brown Line ridership growth far exceeds all the other lines combined.  Brown Line ridership exploded by 13.5% in 2009, compared to 1.4% for all other lines. Since then, the Brown Line has consistently outpaced ridership growth in the rest of the CTA rail system. The US Federal Transit Administration contributed $245 million towards … Continue reading

WMATA Rail-to-Bus Transfers Are Expensive Among Major Cities

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Transit systems need to get people from point A to point B, and it is my fixed opinion that transfers shouldn’t cost more, and certainly not much more. If I take rail, then transfer to a bus to get to my final destination, I shouldn’t be penalized. However, WMATA has the least generous policy of the top 10 heavy rail systems in the US for rail to bus transfers.

The Uber Benevolent Dictator Problem

Uber logo as dictator symbol.
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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

Yellow Card! – Uber Played Dirty Against Gett

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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

Recap of the WMATA RoundaAbouts talk on Momentum and the Future of Metro

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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

The Most Useless Crosswalk Ever Is In McLean

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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

TRB 2014 Recap

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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.

TRB Attendance Statistics

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 12.45.02 PM
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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 DC 2014

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Live Blog from Transportation Camp 2014.

U.S. Commuter Rail Facts Infographic 2012

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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