Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Can #transit be revived? Signs of life in Washington

Guest blogger Deputy Secretary John Porcari: Creating jobs, opportunity through transit investments - Welcome to the FastLane: The Official Blog of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation: "Transit literally connects people with opportunities. It connects them to jobs, to school, to the grocery store. It connects customers to businesses. For many Americans and American businesses, it’s an absolute lifeline.

But in many places, that lifeline is crumbling. If we're going to be honest with ourselves, we have to acknowledge that our major transit systems were built and paid for by our parents and grandparents. The American Jobs Act would provide $9 billion for thousands of jobs repairing bus and rail transit systems. Once Congress passes the Act, that money will go out quickly and easily into the economy, creating jobs and helping get our transit systems up to speed."

'via Blog this'

Friday, September 23, 2011

10 ways colleges encourage students to ditch their cars - Campus Overload - The Washington Post

10 ways colleges encourage students to ditch their cars - Campus Overload - The Washington Post: "4) Eliminate bus fares. Remove any hurdle standing between students and public transportation. This year, Old Dominion University in Virginia paid a flat fee to the region’s mass transit system so that students, faculty and staff with a university ID can ride for free on buses, the new light rail and even a ferry that runs between Norfolk and Portsmouth."

'via Blog this'

Friday, September 9, 2011

Federal "capital-only" rule cripples transit funding

Reauthorize and Revitalize: The Transportation Bill Needs More Than Just an Extension | Public Advocates: "Let me explain. There are two types of transportation expenses: capital costs and operations costs. Historically, transit agencies could spend federal dollars on either of these expenses, depending on their local transit needs. But in the 1990s, Congress imposed restrictions that limited the use of federal dollars to capital projects only, forbidding transit agencies from using such funds to operate their fleets. This change in law has led to a structural imbalance in funding. Communities can no longer afford to operate the expanded transit infrastructure they’ve built over the years."

'via Blog this'

Friday, September 2, 2011

The formation of the tea-party a sign of weakness

For a hundred years the oil industry has run rough-shod over the US economy. The wasteful autosprawl system was deceitfully forced upon an unsuspecting public. The successful streetcar system was methodically dismantled.

As businesses, workers, and consumers began to choke on the congestion, pollution, and massive subsidy, the oil industry needed ways to maintain political power. They cobbled together a coalition based on an eclectic collection of social issues, racism, and general corporate power.

This is all falling apart. The tea-party was a desperate attempt to renew it.

Now, mayors and city councils recognize that the autosprawl system is killing their communities economically. Businesses want to locate where employees are not drained by auto expenses, where people can get to work easily, and where goods can be shipped efficiently.