Named a “Transit Pro” by Wired Magazine

From Jason Wright's Brand New Subway game

From Jason Wright’s Brand New Subway game

After trying Jason Wright‘s Brand New Subway game, I sent one of my creations to Aarian Marshall at Wired. She included it in “Transit Pros Rebuild the NYC Subway—in an Online Game,” which I guess implicates me as a “transit pro.”

My redesign gets an A+, and keeps costs fairly low. But Chris Pangilinan’s achieves slightly higher ridership, and has less odorous elevators

International Transit Leaders at Transforming Transportation 2012

Last week, transit leaders from around the world converged on Washington, D.C. for Transforming Transportation 2012. The two-day event, hosted by EMBARQ, The World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Institute for Transportation Development and Policy, Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities, and the Partnership for Sustainable Low Carbon Transport, included a number of speakers suggesting ways to scale-up sustainable transportation systems.

Continue reading ‘International Transit Leaders at Transforming Transportation 2012’

"City is not a problem, City is a solution"

“City is not a problem, City is a solution” – Manish Bapna, the Acting President of the World Resources Institute, and Jaime Lerner discuss scaling up urban transportation innovations
Jaime Lerner, former mayor of Curitiba

Jaime Lerner, the mayor of Curitiba who successfully “metronized the bus,” sitting in front of this graph showing the explosive growth of bus rapid transit systems worldwide
Jaime Lerner, former mayor of Curitiba

Jaime Lerner describes his “urban acupuncture” approach.  A video with highlights from his keynote address is available here.

Juan Carlos Muñoz, Professor at the Catholic University of Chile and the Director of the ALC-BRT Center of Excellence

Juan Carlos Muñoz, Professor at the Catholic University of Chile and the Director of the ALC-BRT Center of Excellence
Lake Sagaris, Head of Communications, Innovation and Development for Ciudad Viva and Advisory Board Member for the ALC-BRT Center of Excellence

Lake Sagaris, Head of Communications, Innovation and Development for Ciudad Viva and a member of the ALC-BRT Advisory Board

Federico von Buchwald, President of the Metrovía Foundation and Vice-President of SIBRT

Federico von Buchwald, President of the Metrovía Foundation and Vice-President of SIBRT, presents on Guayaquil’s BRT system (available below in the full post).

Secretary LaHood's Dour Outlook on Transportation Reauthorization

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (front), expresses his gloomy sentiments about the possibility of a comprehensive transportation bill passing Congress

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (front) and three former Secretaries of Transportation express their sentiments about the likelihood of a comprehensive transportation bill passing Congress this year

Last week at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board, the current and former Secretaries of Transportation were asked whether they were optimistic or pessimistic about a federal transportation reauthorization bill finally passing Congress this year.  Current Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood gave a fairly pessimistic response:

Given the politics, the number of days that remain, the differences between what the Senate and House are looking at — I think its very unlikely we will have a surface transportation bill during this year of Congress.

The last surface transportation act expired in 2009 (see the counter below). Continued political posturing, like Speaker Boehner’s weekend announcement that he will try to force the Keystone Pipeline as a rider to the highway bill, has kept transportation funding up in the air, inhibiting rational transportation planning and employment gains through meaningful infrastructure investment. Similarly, failure to reauthorize the FAA over the last four years has exacerbated the consequences of the nation’s aging air traffic control infrastructure, as detailed in this New York Observer article:

The most frequent complaint heard from carriers to air traffic controllers is that Congress must act. It must implement the NextGen air traffic control system, a GPS-driven system in the works since the 1980s and still not due for full implementation until 2025. In the meantime, most cellphones now come equipped with the technology, and it will probably be implanted into our brains by the time NextGen is realized. This is the same Congress that has refused to fully reauthorize the FAA since 2007, passing 22 short-term extensions instead.

The nation’s infrastructure is failing while Congress continues its myopic maneuvering. The Secretary’s doleful expression seems justified indeed.