Author Archives: Alon Levy

New York Finds Massive Savings in Transit Construction

MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast announced that an internal review of MTA Capital Construction reveals that there are large wastes in the capital budget that could be eliminated with relatively simple step. City comptroller Scott Stringer noted that Second Avenue Subway’s … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, New York, Transportation, Urban Transit | 15 Comments

Transit Observations from Philadelphia

I was in Philadelphia last summer for about five days. I have few observations as a pedestrian: I stayed in West Philadelphia, in the gentrifying zone radiating out of University City, and traveled to Center City, and both neighborhoods seemed … Continue reading

Posted in Pedestrian Observations, Politics and Society, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit, Urbanism | 59 Comments

Empire High-Speed Rail

At the beginning of the month, New York State released its draft environmental impact statement for high-speed rail from New York to the Upstate cities. The costs of HSR as proposed by the state are excessive, and as a result … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, High-Speed Rail, Incompetence, New York, Shoddy Studies, Studies, Transportation | 89 Comments

Metro-North-Everything Compatibility

The Regional Plan Association has a new study warning that Metro-North’s infrastructure is falling apart, and demands $3.6 billion in immediate spending on state of good repair. In general, my line on deferred maintenance is “you mean the agency deferred … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Good/Interesting Studies, High-Speed Rail, Incompetence, New York, Regional Rail, Shoddy Studies, Studies, Transportation | 40 Comments

The Metro-North Accident and Train Control

Early in the morning on Sunday, a Metro-North train derailed on the Hudson Line, immediately south of the junction with Amtrak’s Empire Connection: maps of the derailment area can be found on the BBC, while The LIRR Today has a … Continue reading

Posted in Good Transit, Incompetence, New York, Regional Rail, Transportation | 41 Comments

Sometimes, Half a Line is as Good as No Line

The perfect is not the enemy of the good when it comes to rail projects. The half-done job is. In a trivial sense it’s obvious that half a tunnel across a mountain is useless. But even partial lines that have … Continue reading

Posted in High-Speed Rail, Incompetence, Transportation | 34 Comments

The Difference Between Bus and Subway Alignments

Reading design guidelines for bus routes reminds me of how different surface transit is from rapid transit. Buses need to follow straight, wide, two-way roads. Subway trains do not: those roads make construction easier, but it’s normal for train lines … Continue reading

Posted in Israel, Transportation, Urban Transit | 15 Comments

Who Regional Rail is For

A few rail proposals have happened in the last few months that begin with the concept of improving transit access in the suburbs, and end in a bad direction. These center on airport-oriented rail extension, which in the case of … Continue reading

Posted in Incompetence, New York, Regional Rail, Transportation | 48 Comments

More on Vancouver’s Obsession With Filling Buses (Hoisted from Comments)

Via Human Transit, I learn that Translink has a bus service performance summary with an infographic on PDF-page 16 contrasting high- and low-performing routes. As usual, Translink claims that the high-performing routes have strong anchors at their ends as one … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Transportation, Urban Transit, Urbanism, Vancouver | 20 Comments

Monorail Construction Costs

Supporters of monorail and other sleek structures argue that because the structures are thinner than conventional rail viaducts, they’re cheaper and more aesthetic. They even argue that viaducts, which are more expensive than at-grade construction, are actually better. Transrapid does … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Transportation | 56 Comments