Category Archives: Urban Transit

Putting Rail Lines in Highway Medians

North Americans are in love with trains that go in highway medians. A large fraction of urban rail construction since World War Two, both light rail and full metro, has used highway medians as cheap at-grade rights-of-way to extend train … Continue reading

Posted in High-Speed Rail, Incompetence, Transportation, Urban Transit | 16 Comments

Difficult Transit

Many people have heard that certain regions are well-suited for these projects, for example the Northeast Corridor is unusually good for HSR because it links four major cities and several medium-size ones on a single line. By implication, there has … Continue reading

Posted in High-Speed Rail, New York, Providence, Regional Rail, Sweden, Transportation, Urban Transit, Vancouver | 68 Comments

Airport Connectors

The most interesting transit planner in the world: This principle is true primarily for large international airports. As I will explain, this is less true of smaller airports. But before going on, I would like to clarify a distinction between … Continue reading

Posted in Good Transit, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 148 Comments

Suburban Geography and Transit Modes

A post on Let’s Go LA from last year, about different suburban development patterns in different regions of the US, praises Los Angeles’s suburbs for having an arterial grid that allows some density and permits frequent bus service. The Northeast, … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit, Urbanism | 98 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

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 | 64 Comments