In the U.S., motorists do not pay their way.
The US government spends more on highways and other auto-related expenses than it receives from auto-related taxes, unlike almost every country in Europe. In a recent report [pdf], Mark Delucchi
calculates automobile-related costs and revenues in three different ways and concludes the subsidy is around 20-70 cents per gallon or $24-105 billion in 2002. But what are automobile-related costs, you ask? [more inside]
posted by salvia
on Oct 2, 2007 -
is, by a wide margin, my favorite animated short ever produced. Set in the art deco Europe of the 1920's and (and released in 1997) it tells the story of a journey throughout several major vacation destinations of a wealthy tycoon, his young wife with wandering eyes, and a murderous turn of events. The story is told in reverse, from the final stage of the "vacation" back through each prior stop, and the artwork for each segment is painted in the style of the luggage travel sticker for that stop.
posted by jonson
on Sep 2, 2007 -
Hitler's Carmaker: While GM was mobilizing the Third Reich, the company was also leading a criminal conspiracy to monopolistically undermine mass transit in dozens of American cities that would help addict the United States to oil.
--Edwin Black, author of IBM and the Holocaust
explains why the U.S. dependency on oil is no accident. Not everyone agrees
, of course.
posted by craniac
on Dec 27, 2006 -
Almost exactly 40 years ago, on New Year's Day 1966, 35,000 transit workers walked off the job in New York City
, defying the 1947 Condon-Wadlin Act which forbade strikes by government employees. Mike Quill, the TWU's militant founder and president, 'Called an "irresponsible demagogue" and "lawless hooligan" by the press,' 'would not be daunted by politicians' pronouncements and editorial page attacks.' When served with a court order, "Mike Quill tore up the injunction in front of the television cameras."
The strike led to the creation
of the Taylor Law,
which is now being used in attempt to crush the TWU Local 100 strike of today.
posted by Edible Energy
on Dec 20, 2005 -
Transit in Detroit
details an urban planner's initiative to cut the costs of the city's traffic congestion-relieving highway expansion by proposing a transit system combining light rail and bus-rapid-transit. [More Inside]
posted by gregb1007
on Nov 25, 2005 -
Alternative Rapid Transit
Looking for a funky way to get around town? Try Detroit's People Mover
(warning, embedded earworm). For 50 cents you can travel 2.9 miles through 13 stops in 15 minutes, and see some fantastic art
along the way. People movers
and modified Personal Rapid Transit
systems were built in various cities in the 1970s, such as Miami
, and at West Virginia University
. The dream
of true Personal Rapid Transit has not yet been achieved, and its viability
and economic benefits
are still up for debate, but the People Mover, at least, is still hanging on
posted by livii
on Apr 2, 2005 -
Creative, cheap, participatory, the most innovative city in the world......Curitiba !!
There may be no single, organic and living font of solutions
to many of the world's most pressing problems than Curitiba
(previous link from Wikipedia, and a bit more of a wonkish summary here
), a Brazilian city of 1.5 million that urban planners from around the globe make pilgrimages to, to learn.
On a budget a tiny fraction of those which American cities
have at their disposal, how did Curitiba become the world's leading model for urban sustainability and quality of life ? - with possibly the world's most efficient and effective public transit system
, a network of parks and greenery far beyond Olmsted's
visionary parks, 70% trash recycling, innovative social welfare systems, trees everywhere, and "Lighthouses of Knowledge" with small libraries and free internet access as well, a low cost open university system.....and flowers!
Curitiba's pedestrian-only (no cars) city center is filled with gardens.
posted by troutfishing
on Apr 13, 2004 -
Intelligent Grouping Design is
... a new idea in public transportation. With many vans out and about town, a passenger can be quickly picked up wherever he happens to be and just as quickly conveyed to his desired destination. Via the cell-phone, people call into the central computer with their current location as well as their destination. The computer finds the nearest van whose route is also the most closest to the passenger's destination. The computer then modifies the route slightly to accommodate the new passenger's pickup and dropoff locations. The drivers don't have to exert themselves mentally on figuring out each route change as the vans equipped with satellite guidance technology.
posted by gregb1007
on Dec 11, 2003 -
R.I.P. Bay Area Transit Information Page,
1994-2003. The site, started by two Berkeley
students, provided quick access to transit information in the San Francisco Bay Area, who later received funding for their efforts in 1996. Instead, it gets replaced by this abomination
of web design. On the other hand, it is very unusual
for a web site to keep the same user interface
over the span of almost a decade. Already, there have been user interface rants
, complaints about not finding information
, sarcastic commentary
, and a brief eulogy
delivered from one of the original creators, and it hasn't even been the first day. Is content over style dead or are information sites like this (flash)
the wave of the future?
posted by calwatch
on Nov 4, 2003 -
in a free market. Southern California
is being gripped by crippling strikes by transit workers
and grocery clerks
-- both over health care -- that has stranded thousands of mostly poor commuters across Los Angeles and is expected to sap millions from the local economy.
As a person who can't drive due to a visual disability, I am personally effected by the MTA transit strike (that is rumored may last several months). State employees are not allowed to strike. Shouldn't that also be the case for essential services, such as public transit?
posted by lola
on Oct 14, 2003 -
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
posted by feelinglistless
on May 14, 2003 -
A Disgusting Practice Vanishes With the Token
"Officially, the crime is classified as theft of Transit Authority property. But among transit police officers it is more accurately and less delicately known as token sucking
. Unfortunately for everyone involved, it is exactly what it sounds like." (Originally from NYT. More here
posted by Artifice_Eternity
on Apr 28, 2003 -
Prepare for the worst
... says Mayor Mike, as NYC faces down a crippling transit strike. For starters, cars carrying fewer than four people could not enter or leave Manhattan over any bridge or through any tunnel on weekdays, 24 hours a day.
Commuters wishing to get into the city by car would need to pick up strangers -- and the city will facilitate this with staging areas. Unflappable New Yorkers are at least a little flapped. But the practice of strangers hitching rides with lone drivers isn't new to NoVa: There, they are called slugs and body snatchers
. [more inside]
posted by dhartung
on Dec 10, 2002 -
NYC Subways and then some.
This has been one of my favorite sites for a long time. It's amazingly comprehensive, and not just being content with New York, it covers nearly every other subway in the world as well. If you're not into the technical details, just enjoy the thousands of pretty pictures.
posted by The Michael The
on Sep 26, 2002 -
Davis signs $9.95 billion bond bill to boost high-speed rail
"Gov. Gray Davis signed a $9.95 billion bond measure Thursday that would clear the way for a high-speed rail system linking California's major cities."
this may be the first step in getting a decent rail-system going in the states. what do folks think about high-speed rail in general, do you think acela's
are indicative of what we have to look forward to?
do those of you who have direct experience with existing high-speed rail systems have insights about the kind of obstacles this project might run into? will it revolutionize travel in the united states, or turn into a massive boondoggle?
posted by dolface
on Sep 19, 2002 -
California Governor Announced
that there is a credible threat against the bridges of the state of California. Including the Golden Gate Bridge. The attacks are likely to take place between the second and ninth of November, during rush hour.
posted by yevge
on Nov 1, 2001 -
has been around for years, but doesn't seem to have been posted here yet. It lists schedule and fare information for several dozen public transportation agencies in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. It's not too flashy, but it's one of the most quietly useful websites I've found. For those of you who don't
live in and around San Francisco: are there websites like this for other regions?
posted by moss
on Sep 9, 2001 -
How do they do it?
The Guardian sent their reporters to the four corners of the world to review...underground railways
. The findings prove predictably that anything is better than The London Underground. In Prague for example: "Not long ago, a man paid for adverts to be put up in all 940 trains, pleading with his girlfriend to take him back. Czechs understand the romantic potential of the metro and it has found its way into a fair amount of the nation's modern literature. "
posted by feelinglistless
on Aug 22, 2001 -
I guess we'll walk.
Much of eastern Canada is currently in the grip of one of the worst summers for smog on record, and a recent poll showed that 58 per cent of Canadians support the idea of limiting car use on smoggy days. However, just 37 per cent said they were willing to pay more taxes in order to improve public transportation.
posted by tranquileye
on Jul 30, 2001 -
AMTRAK still off-track
(NY Times link) Even before living in France I loved trains. So it pains to read that AMTRAK is still
heading towards its last run. Do you progressive, SUV-hating Mefi people have any thoughts on how AMTRAK might get its act together (or whether it's all SUV-futile)?
posted by ParisParamus
on Jul 25, 2001 -
In the late 1940s, a builder named William Levitt started a revolution in a Long Island potato field. Levitt built 2,000 simple, identical houses for returning GIs in the midst of a nationwide housing crisis. Levittown, as the development became known, was the first emblem of a new American lifestyle -- suburbanism
"I think the reality of the situation is that the suburbs are going to become the slums of tomorrow ... Some of them will be the ruins of tomorrow."
link via thewebtoday
posted by lagado
on Dec 7, 2000 -
Would you like to live in a city where everything you need is within a five-minute walk? Where you can get from one side of a city of a million people to the other in less than thirty minutes? Where the air is clean, people are healthy, children and the elderly aren't dependent on others to get where they want to go, and life is beautiful? You can have it all--just ban cars.
posted by daveadams
on May 29, 2000 -