A Balanced View of the Debate Surrounding Ridehailing and Urban Congestion
Are Uber and Lyft to blame for growing urban transportation problems? Or, are ride-hailing services symptomatic of underlying deep flaws in transportation?
American cities with rail transit are more likely to attract well-educated young people to live centrally
The London School of Economics and Political Science investigates why US cities with a combination of light and heavy rail transit have greater percentages of college graduates residing in dense urban cores.
The Predictions Were Wrong: Self-Driving Cars Have a Long Way to Go
The Green New Deal's Huge Flaw
How Two Cities Actually Reduced Driving
Even with low gas prices, even with population growth, even with Uber and Lyft circling 24/7, Minneapolis and Seattle have reduced the amount of driving in their cities.
Transit and Emerging Technologies
This Nelson & Nygaard study looks ahead to future trends and their potential impacts on transit, in particular the adoption of autonomous vehicles. The study presents opportunities for cities and transit agencies to leverage these technologies to make transit more competitive in a rapidly changing mobility marketplace. The writers show how transit priority infrastructure, fare technology, mobility as a service (MaaS), and mobility hubs can help make transit more attractive to potential riders, and they break down when and how public-private partnerships can complement—rather than compete against—transit. The report culminates in a list of action phases for engaging with new mobility technology, providing a roadmap for cities and transit agencies to position themselves for success.
Lower obesity rates linked with public transportation use, study shows
Science News – Public transportation systems provide numerous economic benefits for a community. An added public health bonus provided by such systems may be lower obesity rates. A new study compared and analyzed county data from 2001 and 2009. They found that a single percentage-point increase in mass transit ridership is associated with a 0.473 percentage-point lower obesity rate in counties across the United States.
Roads are dangerous when we build them that way
The Post and Courier – The number of pedestrians killed in the United States over the past decade or so — 49,340 between 2008 and 2017 — is about seven times higher than the number of Americans killed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars combined.
Perhaps even more troubling than the number of deaths, however, is the primary reason why our streets are so dangerous: We build them that way.
Congestion pricing is the only way to fix our broken transportation system
Curbed – “What used to sound radical now sounds like common sense—road pricing is urgently needed to address climate change, traffic, and inequity in the transportation system,” said the report’s co-author Stuart Cohen, executive director of TransForm. “We believe road pricing can be a transportation equity solution. It can speed buses and carpools while providing revenue to make mass transit more affordable.”
PRICING ROADS, ADVANCING EQUITY
TransForm – America’s transportation investments and policies have helped to create—and reinforce—racial and social inequities. Meanwhile, in response to worsening road congestion, inadequate transportation funding, and the dire threat of climate change, regions across North America have begun implementing road pricing on highways in the form of tolls and express lanes. A growing number of cities are now considering “congestion pricing” programs for their downtowns.
Equity issues are often analyzed as part of road pricing studies for good reason: road pricing programs can burden low-income drivers with new costs, just when skyrocketing housing costs are forcing some to move out of transit-rich urban centers and rely more on private vehicles. Unfortunately, most equity studies have focused more on minimizing negative and disproportionate impacts than on using pricing to improve the equity of the transportation system. It is time to change that frame. We need to use the potential efficiencies of road pricing to solve several problems at once, and redressing systemic inequities needs to be at the top of the list.
If equity concerns and deep community engagement help shape road pricing and associated investment strategies, they can lead to faster and more frequent public transit, safer pedestrian and bicycle routes, and improved mobility and health outcomes for vulnerable communities. Discounts and exemptions for low-income households can create progressive pricing structures. Road pricing programs can help make transportation systems more equitable than they are today.
The goal of this report and toolkit is to challenge policymakers and equity advocates to act on this key proposition: that structural inequities in our transportation system may be remedied in part by effective, equitable road pricing.
The report looks at examples from cities in North America and around the world that have implemented some form of road pricing. These international examples are especially relevant to North American cities, including New York, Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, all of which are exploring downtown congestion pricing.
The report then examines a wide range of strategies to achieve equity outcomes, focused on affordability, access, and community health. It also looks at methods for achieving the full participation of vulnerable communities in the planning process.
Following the report is a companion toolkit, intended primarily for policy-makers and equity advocates who are actively considering a road pricing strategy. The toolkit may be useful to many audiences though, as it contains interesting and useful case studies and examples. Finally, TransForm has developed a stand-alone worksheet based on the toolkit so equity advocates can keep track of where they are in the process, and stay focused on planning and engaging.
We hope these documents offer a roadmap to ensure that vulnerable populations can derive real, tangible benefit from road pricing projects.
The goal of this report and toolkit is to challenge policymakers and equity advocates to act on this key proposition: that structural inequity in our transportation system may be remedied in part by effective, equitable road pricing.
PO Box 470474Fort Worth, TX 76147