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Interesting Articles Worth the Read

  • 22 Feb 2019 3:42 PM
    Reply # 7179662 on 7156638
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    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.

    • Primary arterials are dangerous. These high-capacity, high-speed roads that connect highways and interstate arterials to lower-capacity roads represent 157,033 miles of the nation’s 4.2 million miles of roadways—just 4 percent of the total—but have accounted for almost 30 percent of traffic fatalities in recent years.
    • Unhealthy corridors are ubiquitous. 67 percent of commercial corridors are at least moderately unhealthy, and 4 percent are severely unhealthy. Only 3 percent can be considered healthy.
    • Pedestrians are especially vulnerable. People walking make up a disproportionate share of traffic deaths on arterial commercial corridors. Nationwide, 15 percent of people killed in traffic crashes were walking, but on the commercial corridors analyzed in this report, people on foot account for 32 percent of traffic deaths.


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  • 25 Feb 2019 10:29 AM
    Reply # 7186051 on 7156638
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    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.

    Read More

  • 25 Feb 2019 10:38 AM
    Reply # 7186077 on 7156638
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    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


  • 4 Mar 2019 8:28 PM
    Reply # 7199690 on 7156638
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    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

    • Average local + state spending on public transportation across all states was $114 per capita in 2016, but only $64 per Texan.
    • Compared to the 8 other states with one or more of the 10 largest metro regions in the nation, Texans experience only 1/3 as much local + state transit funding per capita.
    • Average state funding of public transportation in America is $44 per capita – in Texas: $1.08
    • Only 17% of Americans live in the 15 states that fund public transit less than Texas.

    Innovations in Texas transit is being watched, copied across the nation

    • Houston METRO’s bus system reimagining overhaul has been copied across the nation, including last year in Austin, with ridership up in Austin and other metros following Houston’s lead on efficient, frequent service.

    We massively subsidize driving even though we’ve reached a point of little marginal benefit, with transit ready to help

    • TXDOT has asked for $41 million a year in funding for transit for rural areas, home to 6 million Texans – to meet basic needs.
    • Equal transit funding per capita for the 22 million other Texans: $160 million a year.
    • $330 million a year would raise us to Indiana standards for state transit funding per capita.

    Texans want more transit funding

    • According to the 2016 TTI survey, “the most frequently cited change that Texans would like to see in order to improve the transportation system for them was to improve public transportation.”
    • Kinder Houston Area Survey: 92% of the 7.5 million Texans living in Houston region think “much-improved mass transit” is important.

    We need to fix our transit funding problem

    • $201 million a year dedicated to public transit for rural and metropolitan areas, with $41 million for rural and small metros.
    • Let Texans vote on local options funding


    See the original article



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  • 4 Mar 2019 9:04 PM
    Reply # 7199762 on 7156638
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    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:

    • Micro-Transit is a new name for an old idea (dial-a-ride or demand-responsive transit) except with a smartphone. But these services are still as inefficient.
    • Vans will become cheaper to run than buses only after they become fully automated. At the moment, passenger transport is at least 70% labor costs (this is why transit agencies run the largest bus they could need).
    • The "to your door" convenience offered by micro transit is so expensive per rider that it cannot scale to the volumes of people traveling in a city. It can only be a special service for a small number of people.
    • Micro-Transit IS a way to provide coverage services & is a useful way to provide disabled persons with specialized services.
    • Transit Boards must find the balance between ridership goals (service where lots of people will ride) and coverage goals (a little service to everyone).
    • The problem of urban transportation is a problem of sharing space. Even with autonomous vehicles, the congestion problem stays the same if you are driving or taking micro-transit alone.
    • A city's bus service is as good as its leaders and voters want it to be.


  • 12 Mar 2019 8:43 AM
    Reply # 7214783 on 7156638
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    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.

    • Roads don't pay for themselves
    • All of us bear the cost of roads
    • Governments spend more non-user tax dollars on highways than on transit, bicycling, walking and passenger rail travel, combined.
    • People who walk and bicycle pay their fair share for use of the transportation system.
    • Americans lead increasingly multimodal lives. Most are not “drivers” or “non-drivers” but people who use a variety of modes and pay for transportation in a variety of ways.
    • Solving the transportation funding crisis may or may not require higher gas taxes. It certainly requires policymakers to use fresh thinking. They can begin by taking three steps:
    1. Recognize the reality that all Americans now bear the cost of roads
    2. Treat revenue sources and investment decisions as separate. 
    3. Move toward a sensible pricing system for transportation.


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  • 12 Mar 2019 8:44 AM
    Reply # 7214784 on 7156638
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    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.


  • 12 Mar 2019 9:06 AM
    Reply # 7214853 on 7156638
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    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 - 


  • 12 Mar 2019 9:16 AM
    Reply # 7214891 on 7156638
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    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.


  • 18 Mar 2019 5:00 PM
    Reply # 7230507 on 7156638
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    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

    • Transit opponents come in three basic categories: Corporate, Fiscal, and Self-Interested.
      • Corporate opponents: These opponents are concerned that better transit could reduce their businesses’ profits. They are concentrated in the auto and oil industries that transit systems compete against for customers. - 
      • Fiscal opponents: These opponents feel that large-scale government expenditures, such as major transit improvements, needlessly disrupt the free market, comprising a form of unnatural “social engineering.”
      • Self-interested opponents: These opponents, better known as NIMBYs, worry that any substantial changes to their surroundings, such as a new transit route, will ruin the quality of their day-to-day lives. 
    • To alleviate the three forms of opposition described above, transit planners often decide to make compromises. But the resulting harm catalyzes far-reaching problems that can hinder our mobility for decades.
    • By sticking to our values through persistence, analysis, and accountability, we can ensure that, even if it takes a little more time and effort, we get the job done in the end.


CONTACT US

(682) 231-2036

PO Box 470474
Fort Worth, TX 76147

rachel@TarrantTransitAlliance.org

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