Category Archives: Urban Transit

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

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

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

Tel Aviv Needs a Subway, Done Right

After decades of false starts, Tel Aviv is finally building a subway-surface line. The political opinions of activists and urban planners in Israel are divided between supporters, who believe the line is long overdue, and opponents, who instead believe buses … Continue reading

Posted in Israel, Politics and Society, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 29 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

Quick Note: More on Urban Absolutism

In previous posts, I brought up the theory that American cities are run in a feudal fashion, despite the nominally democratic system, and that the failings of feudalism are leading proponents of livable streets and public transit to demand elected … Continue reading

Posted in New York, Politics and Society, Transportation, Urban Transit | 36 Comments

Are Express Trains Worth It?

So, you have your urban rail line. It’s mostly above ground, so constructing new express overtakes is feasible. It has decent frequency, and carries trains to destinations at a variety of distances from city center. But it’s not an overcrowded … Continue reading

Posted in New York, Providence, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 93 Comments

Comparative Subway Construction Costs, Revised

Here is a list of subway projects in the last 15-20 years, in both developed and developing countries. It’s in addition to my initial lists for developed and developing countries, but includes projects mentioned in past blog posts not on … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 42 Comments

The Problem with Anchoring

A major idea due to Jarrett Walker, adopted with gusto by Vancouver’s Translink, is that transit should be anchored at both ends. That is, transit lines should have busy destinations at both ends, and should strive to reorient development such … Continue reading

Posted in Development, New York, Transportation, Urban Design, Urban Transit, Urbanism, Vancouver | 36 Comments