Category Archives: Incompetence

Redundancy is Overrated

The night before last, a Northeast Corridor Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia, killing seven people. For some overviews of what happened, see Vox and Huffington Post. I am not going to talk directly about the accident here; it appears to … Continue reading

Posted in Incompetence, Transportation | 39 Comments

Ferries

Last week, Bill de Blasio proposed a citywide ferry system in his otherwise perfectly boilerplate State of the City speech. Ferries, as Ben Kabak notes, are a tried and failed solution in New York, with a $30 per passenger subsidy … Continue reading

Posted in Incompetence, New York, Politics and Society, Transportation, Urban Transit, Vancouver | 18 Comments

The Wrong Kind of Branching

Transit lines branch. Core routes have more demand than outlying ones, so naturally trains and buses run on trunk lines in the core and then branch farther out, to match frequency to demand. I gave an overview of this years … Continue reading

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

Authoritarian Leaders and Agenda Setting

On Tuesday, Andrew Cuomo proposed a new signature initiative: a $450 million AirTrain to LaGuardia, connecting to the Mets’ stadium on both the 7 train and the LIRR. The proposal has practically no merit even as an airport connector: Ben … Continue reading

Posted in Incompetence, New York, Politics and Society, Transportation, Urban Transit | 37 Comments

Who Rides Commuter Rail?

I’ve had an argument in comments with the author of Purple City about who commuter rail should serve. He’s argued before that cities should make sure outer suburbanites can get to the center via express commuter rail, and I will … Continue reading

Posted in Incompetence, Politics and Society, Regional Rail, Transportation, Vancouver | 82 Comments

Mixing Circumferential and Radial Transit

Nearly all rapid transit lines belong to one of two categories: radial lines (a large majority), which connect city center with outlying neighborhoods or suburbs; and circumferential lines (a minority), which go around city center and often serve secondary centers … Continue reading

Posted in Incompetence, New York, Transportation, Urban Transit | 66 Comments

What is the MTA Reinventing, Anyway?

In the last few years New York’s MTA has gone through multiple cycles in which a new head talks of far-reaching reform, while only small incremental steps are taken. The latest is the MTA Transportation Reinvention Commission, which has just … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Good Transit, Good/Interesting Studies, Incompetence, New York, Regional Rail, Shoddy Studies, Studies, Transportation, Urban Transit | 16 Comments