"London’s commuters have learned to withstand vast and unpredictable challenges: track closures; signal failures; engineering works. And they have developed a thick skin. But on that particular Friday, the 11,000 of them who got off at Holborn station between 8.30 and 9.30am faced an unusually severe provocation. As they turned into the concourse at the bottom of the station’s main route out and looked up, they saw something frankly outrageous: on the escalators just ahead of them, dozens of people were standing on the left."
"In the 1960s and 1970s London Transport had a flourishing international consultancy arm which made money by advising other cities on on how to go about setting up and running a metro service with a particular emphasis on advising far eastern countries how to plan their fledging metros. Rumour has it their first bit of advice was always: Never, ever run your trains in a circle!" -- So why did it take almost a century and a half for the London Underground to get rid of the Circle Line? Let Pedantic of Purley at London Reconnections explain the history of the Circle Line and why having a circle route is bad news as well as how the Circle Line was uncircled and recreated as a teacup.
Endbahnhof, a collection of photographs of every U-Bahn station in Berlin, organised by line and showing the variety of architectural styles in the system. There is an interview with the photographer, Kate Seabrook, here.
Some British bus shelters are, implausibly, powered by the light of the sun, and some can see what you’re up to & tell you to stop doing it. Others smell like baked potatoes, or dispense free pieces of cake. Others still can get you high if you set them on fire. More often though, these are dreary, malodorous locales where one is increasingly less likely to see a bus, let alone three coming along at once. Photographer Steve Ellaway has embarked on a project to photograph the bus shelters of South Wales: an unpromising subject on the surface of it, but one that has yielded surprisingly rich and varied results.
Infographics that give a little insight into the history of public transport(ation) in the UK.
An animated map of Auckland’s public transport network. Chris MacDowall has used Auckland Transport's Google Transit Feed data to produce this awesome animation of Auckland's bus, train and ferry services.
People who sit in the disability seats when I'm standing on my crutches. People who abuse accessible parking spots. CaughtYa! exposes people who park illegally in disabled spots. [this site is inaccessible - link is to the archive]
Re-imagining Los Angeles public transit: The ambitious vision of these transit advocates and amateur cartographers for an East-Coast style rail network in Los Angeles may seem too idealistic, but the map is still fun to look at. More on the history of LA public transport from the Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library.
The Day Britain Stopped tells the story of what might happen if the 'integrated' transport system in the UK fails. On BBC Two last night, it made for shocking viewing and would doubtless have caused some people to question the idea of leaving the house, let alone getting on a plane to go anywhere. You can watch the full ninety minute programme online by following the link above if you've got the time and the Real One player.
The superconducting Magnetically-levitated Linear Motor Car is a most promising high speed transportation system in the 21st century. Mechanics and future benefits of Maglev trains.(video) [more]
Subway Passengers: Underground Portraits From Ten Cities António Jorge Gonçalves rides the subway and sketches whoever happens to sit in front of him, from New York to Lisbon to Tokyo. I find his drawings interesting because there's nothing studied or selective about them. You feel you've already seen these people. Mathowie recently linked to another Portuguese artist's drawings - Jorge Colombo, who designed O Independente with me, the newspaper I founded and edited in 1987. It's a small consolation for a small country like mine that urban sketches by fellow citizens are, as of now, practically a staple here on MetaFilter...[Flash required; download may be slow for dial-ups at busy times and, whatever you do, don't hit your browser's Back button - use only the one provided.]
I don't take public transportaion but this is one compilation I am going to be playing in the car on my way to work. I hope this original idea gets off the ground. I am actually willing to shell out a few pounds/dollars/yen/pesos/patacons/rubles etc. for the CD.