Category Archives: Incompetence

California HSR Should Not Have Been Funded This Way

Last month, California made a budget deal for the formula that would be used to distribute its cap-and-trade revenues. The state’s cap-and-trade bill does not deed the money to the general budget but to a separate account, to be distributed … Continue reading

Posted in Environmental Issues, High-Speed Rail, Incompetence, Politics and Society, Transportation | 35 Comments

What Elites Do Instead of Providing Services

I realized last year that even when they face a problem that is evidently about city services, city governments prefer to go for monuments that glorify their leadership. The most blatant example then was Cornell NYC Tech, the city-backed university … Continue reading

Posted in Incompetence, New York, Politics and Society, Transportation | 35 Comments

Underrated Transit Projects

In between the airport connectors and mixed-traffic streetcars are some public transit proposals that would be potentially high-performing. This is a list of potential lines in the US that don’t get nearly the exposure that they deserve. The basic rule … Continue reading

Posted in Good Transit, Incompetence, Transportation, Urban Transit | 160 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 | 90 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 | 35 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 | 50 Comments

Loopy Ideas Are Fine, If You’re an Entrepreneur

There is a belief within American media that a successful person can succeed at anything. He (and it’s invariably he) is omnicompetent, and people who question him and laugh at his outlandish ideas will invariably fail and end up working … Continue reading

Posted in High-Speed Rail, Incompetence, Politics and Society, Transportation | 563 Comments

Quick Note: Why Quinn is Unfit to be Mayor

The Triboro RX plan calls for using preexisting freight rail rights-of-way with minimal freight traffic to build a circumferential subway line through the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. It was mentioned as a possible project by then-MTA head Lee Sander and … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Incompetence, New York, Politics and Society, Transportation, Urban Transit | 9 Comments