Blind Spots: New research on dangerous, unhealthy corridors
Smart Growth America – Designing the commercial corridors where we live, work, and shop to prioritize moving cars as quickly as possible is certainly dangerous—as chronicled in Dangerous by Design—but it also has severe consequences for health, economic viability, and equity. We collaborated with the Urban Land Institute on a new research report that measures the impact of unsafe, unhealthy corridor conditions, examines how common these conditions are across the country, and digs into what can be done to change this trend.
This research shows that unhealthy corridors constitute a loss to communities in terms of human life and safety, economic productivity, and transportation efficiency.
EV Programs Need to Remember Disadvantaged Communities
govtech.com – Making equity a central goal is essential when devising successful and inclusive electric vehicle programs. Too often, programs miss less fortunate communities and the benefits that come with boosting mobility.
Electric vehicle car-shares, charging ports and other pieces of the green mobility future may go unused in many communities if the projects fail to understand the communities that they hope to serve.
Who's On Board 2019
TransitCenter – This report surveyed transit riders to give insight into why transit ridership has been declining across the country over the past two years, and what agencies can do about it.
The report centers on three main findings: Most riders aren't abandoning transit altogether, they're using it less; The privately-owned car is transit's main competitor, as survey respondents overwhelmingly reported replacing transit trips with personal car trips; Major personal life events — moving to a new home, relocating for work and getting a raise, for example — cause riders to shift their transit use more than average.
Only 25% of the ridership decline is due to people completely abandoning transit, indicating the other riders have merely cut back their use and could be enticed to increase their transit trips again.
Daily transit riders have dropped from 41% of respondents in 2016 to 32% now. However, occasional riders have increased from 29% in 2016 to 42% at present.
Ride-hailing service takes away from transit ridership, but not as much as personal cars, the report shows. In 2016, 43% of survey respondents had access to a car but that has grown notably to 54% now.
A major factor that influences ridership is transit service quality. Reliability, frequency, cleanliness and transit stop facilities all are key to rider satisfaction and within transit agencies' power to improve. The report also suggests improving bus service with measures like more dedicated bus lanes, transit signal priority and all-door boarding.
Agencies can win over riders and boost consumer confidence by starting with relatively quick and inexpensive initiatives, including network redesigns and pilot bus lanes.
Reforming transit is proven to grow ridership and cities with strong transit have more frequent riders who are more likely to maintain their levels of ridership
Read the Report
The Case For Transit Funding in Texas
Farm&City - If you’re reading this in a major Texas metro, you are currently experiencing about 1/3 the transit funding than you would experience in the other largest major US metros.
There is less bus frequency, less places you can get to by transit, less high quality rapid transit options, less fiscally productive real estate investment, and more people having to drive a lot more than they would like to.
We presented the following one pager to the Texas House Committee on Appropriations – S/C on Articles VI, VII & VIII Committee, as they had their initial discussion of the Texas Department of Transportation budget. You can see the testimony at 4:05:45 in this video.
THE CASE FOR DEDICATED STATE TRANSIT FUNDING FOR TEXAS METROPOLITAN REGIONS
A majority of 28 million Texans – growing to 50 million soon – want better public transportation and are willing to pay more to fund better transit.
Texas metro regions have 1/3 the transit funding our competitors have
Innovations in Texas transit is being watched, copied across the nation
We massively subsidize driving even though we’ve reached a point of little marginal benefit, with transit ready to help
Texans want more transit funding
We need to fix our transit funding problem
See the original article
The Bus Is Still Best
The Atlantic – This article written by Human Transit author Jarett Walker explores why the bus still makes the most sense when trying to solve transportation issues in a city. Some key takeaways are:
Who Pays For Roads? How the "Users Pay" Myth Gets in the Way of Solving America's Transportation Problem
Frontier Group & U.S. PIRG Education Fund– Many Americans believe that drivers pay the full cost of the roads they use through gas taxes and other user fees. That has never been true, and it is less true now than at any other point in modern times.
Uber and Lyft are losing money. At some point, we’ll pay for it.
Washington Post – How can Uber and Lyft, both of which are planning initial public offerings this year, be price-competitive with car ownership outside of places such as Manhattan? Heavy subsidies, from both the companies and the drivers themselves.
The ride-sharing market offers a real-life illustration of the old economist’s joke: “We’re losing money on every unit, but we’ll make it up in volume!” Unfortunately for us riders, there’s only so much cheap investment money, and only so many inexperienced drivers, out there. Once Uber and Lyft have burned through those, they’re going to have to charge us what the rides are actually worth. Customers will be in for a rude shock.
Jarrett Walker's 2018 RailVolution Keynote
For those who could not make the 2018 RailVolution conference to see Human Transit author Jarrett Walker's keynote address, you are in luck! You can watch his full presentation via the link below -
Watch the Video
Political Winds Shift in San Diego
Smart Growth America – While San Diego has a few light rail lines, an extensive bus network, and a commuter rail line that connects to Oceanside, CA (about 35 miles north), much of the city is still very car-dependent. But there are hints of change as city leaders have begun to remake land use and development policy over the past few years—especially in the last 12 months—and political winds have start to shift.
This month on Building Better Communities with Transit—our podcast about transit-oriented development (TOD)—we chat with Colin Parent, Executive Director of Circulate San Diego, an advocacy organization that promotes public and active transportation in tandem with sustainable growth. As Colin notes, much of the renewed interest and support for transit and TOD is being driven by one thing: the housing crisis.
A fair amount of what Colin covers on the podcast is happening in real time. City leaders like Republican Mayor Kevin Falconer have become more vocal and assertive around new housing and are relaxing height limits and parking requirements across the city, including along the mid-coast transit corridor currently under construction. In fact, last Monday (March 4) the city voted to eliminate parking minimums and require parking costs to be unbundled from housing costs in "transit priority areas." And the city's transit agency has amended policies to allow for more TOD within the last year. Early discussions are also taking place about the possibility of a future ballot measure to raise new transit funding, as Colin discusses.
Listen to the Podcast
Why do the best transit projects face the strongest opposition?
Mobility Lab – Relentless opposition to needed projects makes transit planning much more difficult than it should be, but riders should never be pawns in the battle against transit opponents
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