Mass Transit

December 10, 2008, 12pm PST
In this Mercury News Op-Ed, San Jose State University Professor Larry Gerston proposes this bold tax for mass transit and alternative energy programs. It yields $175 billion annually and creates green jobs, enabling us to determine our destiny.
Mercury News
November 13, 2008, 8am PST
Last week, a majority of transportation initiatives were approved by voters. This is good news for transit advocates, but risks still loom.
The Wall Street Journal
August 19, 2008, 1pm PDT
'Quiet' cars on trains -- where cell phones and loud headphones are banned -- are widely popular. So why aren't more transit agencies making designated quiet cars?
The New York Sun
August 13, 2008, 5am PDT
In the wake of a recent scandal with MIT students hacking the subway comes a story of a Long Island couple who stumbled into a glitch in a ticket machine and exploited it for $800,000 in free tickets.
Newsday
August 12, 2008, 8am PDT
The cost of commuting is beginning to trump federal policies favoring exurban development, and transit ridership is at a fifty year high.
The Washington Post
August 11, 2008, 12pm PDT
Former Congressman Ernest Istook discusses why the automobile is the ultimate manifestation of freedom, mobility, and personal choice, and argues for a re-allocation of public spending away from mass transit and other alternatives.
WorldNetDaily
August 8, 2008, 12pm PDT
The Houston Chronicle looks at the holes in Houston's transit grid, which force some riders into ridiculously long commutes.
The Houston Chronicle
July 9, 2008, 2pm PDT
<p>Lacking good public transit connections, residents of Red Hook, New York are taking advantage of the free bus and water taxi service recently launched by the Swedish retail giant to bring customers to its new store in the neighborhood.</p>
New York Daily News
July 5, 2008, 1pm PDT
<p>The Onion reports on a study showing that a vast majority of Americans want further investments in public transit so everyone else can get off the road and make their drive faster.</p>
The Onion
July 3, 2008, 10am PDT
<p>Employers in the Seattle area are outpacing City Hall in providing incentives to employees not to drive to work in single occupancy cars. A state law even requires companies with 100 or more commuters to provide alternative commuting plans.</p>
The Seattle Times
June 26, 2008, 5am PDT
<p>Transit agencies around the U.S. offered free rides on a single day, and large crowds follow. But observers aren't sure they'll stick around when they have to pay again.</p>
San Jose Mercury News
April 29, 2008, 6am PDT
<p>Boltbus, a joint venture between Peter Pan and Greyhound, is betting high gas prices and clogged airline terminals, will make way for yet another low-cost carrier between Boston and New York City.</p>
The Boston Globe
March 27, 2008, 6am PDT
<p>Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced the launch of New York City's first Bus Rapid Transit project, called "Select Bus Service," which will connect Northern Manhattan with the Bronx. Program expansion hinges on the adoption of congestion pricing.</p>
Streetsblog
Blog post
December 14, 2007, 10am PST

Toy trainMetrolink is Southern California's regional rail system linking several counties. The 15-year old system with 7 lines, 54 stations, and 388 route miles serves over 40,000 passengers in the Southland. Metrolink says its mission is "to provide the people of Southern California safe, reliable and environmentally friendly commute option." Sure, but can it also serve as an interesting venue to host a 4-year old's birthday party?

One birthday boy in particular loves trains and is a fan of a popular TV series featuring trains. His mother told me that their family trips were often planned around using rail transit to get to destinations in Central and Southern California. So what better way to celebrate his birthday than to invite his friends -- accompanied by parents of course -- for a trip on a commuter train? Children that age are probably more used to birthday parties where they are entertained by clowns or magicians. Would these children, growing up in Southern California's car-centric culture be entertained at a party where the view through a train window was the main attraction?

Abhijeet Chavan
Blog post
June 19, 2007, 7am PDT
I recently got taken to the proverbial wood shed on Planetizen Interchange for arguing that mass transit is unsustainable. So, I decided that it might be useful to look at the mass transit system that seems to be the most successful in nation: New York City. New York has the density and economic activity to sustain transit—perhaps a best-case scenario in the U.S.
Samuel Staley
Blog post
June 7, 2007, 7am PDT

The solution to so-called "automobile dependence" within the contemporary planning community is almost alway more mass transit: more trains and buses. But is this realistic, particualarly given current strategies and approaches to providing mass transit? Most investments in mass transit are patently unsustainable, requiring huge investments in capital and dramatic reductions in mobility (measured by travel time) to achieve ridership goals.

Proof of mass transit's unsustainability is obvious to anyone willing to look at it objectively:

Samuel Staley
Blog post
March 16, 2007, 2pm PDT
First, let me begin by introducing myself. I am Parris Glendening, and I serve as the president of the Smart Growth Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C., which is part of Smart Growth America. From 1995-2003, I was Governor of Maryland, and for more than 20 years before that I served at various levels of local and county government. I am excited about being part of the network of contributors here at Planetizen and participating in the discussion.
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In 1956 Pres. Dwight Eisenhower shepherded the Interstate Highway into existence, fulfilling a decades-long aspiration to link the nation with highways that could move both people and materiel as efficiently as those he had seen in Germany. Later, he would warn us against the military-industrial complex, but with a bit more foresight he might have warned against the asphalt-industrial complex, as well.
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