Monthly Archives: January 2012

Why Long Island Should Get An HSR Spur

Having looked into why high-speed rail from New York to Boston should go through Providence, I want to explain why it should go through New Haven, rather than through any of the fanciful Long Island routings proposed most prominently by … Continue reading

Posted in High-Speed Rail, New York, Transportation | 35 Comments

Formal Announcement

Those of you following my Twitter feed already know this: I’m moving to Vancouver sometime in this summer for a two-year position at UBC. Expect a dramatic reduction in the number of posts expressing exasperation with local transit planning beginning … Continue reading

Posted in Personal/Admin | 17 Comments

High-Speed Rail Should Serve Providence

The most straightforward part of constructing greenfield tracks for high-speed rail on the Northeast Corridor is east of New Haven. There are good legacy lines to hook into, and good Interstate corridors to follow when the legacy lines are too … Continue reading

Posted in High-Speed Rail, Providence, Transportation | 30 Comments

MBTA Mode Shares

As a followup to my claim in my first post about improving the MBTA about the low mode share of commuter rail for trips into Boston, here are some figures about commuter rail use, by sector. All numbers exclude commuters … Continue reading

Posted in Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 3 Comments

The Limits of Clockface Scheduling

This is morally the last post in my series on improving the MBTA: see here, here, and here for the three previous posts. However, it’s a more general principle concerning interlined regional rail services. Good practice for running transit service … Continue reading

Posted in Good Transit, Regional Rail, Transportation | 17 Comments

Improving the MBTA: Electronics and Concrete

Where improvements in New York and other very large cities can easily include multiple new subway lines, the same is not true of Boston. The concrete pouring would be wasted, since Boston’s existing subway lines are not at capacity. The … Continue reading

Posted in Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 18 Comments

Improving the MBTA: Regional vs. Intercity Service

The MBTA commuter rail lines are laid in such a way that there’s an inherent tension between providing local service and providing longer-distance intercity service. It’s less apparent on the Providence Line because the intercity component, i.e. Boston-Providence, follows immediately … Continue reading

Posted in Good Transit, Providence, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 59 Comments

Improving the MBTA

The MBTA has a problem. And I say this coming from New York, whose standards for good regional transit aren’t all that high, but now Metro-North looks like something to look up to from the MBTA. Ridership on the system … Continue reading

Posted in Good Transit, Providence, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 110 Comments

Update on the Grapevine (Hoisted from Comments)

Put a fork in the idea of saving a few billions of dollars on California High-Speed Rail by switching from the Palmdale alignment to the I-5 alignment through the Grapevine. The HSR Authority conducted a new study and found that, … Continue reading

Posted in High-Speed Rail, Incompetence, Transportation | 18 Comments

Little Things That Matter: Railroad Junctions

One underrated difference between countries is how multi-tracked railroad junctions look. In France, double-tracked regional lines have grade-separated junctions that ensure no crossing oncoming traffic. For a plethora of examples, consult the RER track map and look at any bifurcation. … Continue reading

Posted in Good Transit, New York, Providence, Regional Rail, Transportation | 46 Comments