Transit Indicators – BNSF, School Buses

When I look at the state of US transit, especially public transport, the two biggest indicators of the failure of US transit are BNSF and School buses. Why BNSF? The Burlington North Santa Fe Railway Corp. was the dominant rail company when I lived in Texas, and here in Colorado. Without a detail look into their tracks, trains, and business model, my summary is, they run massive trains, often over thousands of miles of single track lines. The tracks often run right through the middle of cities, the track commands significant space either side of the track. This isn’t their … Continue reading Transit Indicators – BNSF, School Buses

Austin doesn’t have a traffic problem

Tomorrow is voting day for Texas and Austin, there is some excitement over the new 10 district system in Austin among the political classes, but not much among the voters. One of the big issues, at least for me and the general media has been the traffic, and more specifically congestion. Up for vote is Prop-1. a mixed rail and roads bond with a cost of $1.4 billion. It has become a total political football, although either way it is a win/win for the urbanists¬†who either get rail and can pursue density; or don’t get rail and can use that … Continue reading Austin doesn’t have a traffic problem

There are no $1.4 Billion do-overs

There is a better choice and it’s worth the wait, Austin’s strongest and densest corridor: Guadalupe-North Lamar.. Communities want light rail on that route and have written it into the neighborhood plans. The FTA has said it would consider funding a MetroRapid bus-to-light rail conversion in that corridor. Continue reading There are no $1.4 Billion do-overs

Prop-1 The Wrong Rail for Austin

From where I see it, this was never about rail, it was always about developing an under-developed corridor of central Austin. A previously undesirable corridor because of it’s proximity to I35 and the noise and congestion associate, along with specific properties, which, without rail wouldn’t be nearly as viable or valuable. Continue reading Prop-1 The Wrong Rail for Austin

Rail isn’t about Congestion

Prop.1 on the Austin November ballot is an attempt to fund the largest single bond in Austin history, almost half the $1 billion going to the light rail proposal. Finally people seem to be getting the fact that the light rail, if funded, won’t help with the existing traffic. KUT had a good review of this yesterday, the comments also some useful links. You can listen to the segment here:¬†Is a Light Rail Line Going to Solve Austin’s Traffic Problems? Jace Deloney, makes some good points, what no one is saying though, and what I believe is the real reason … Continue reading Rail isn’t about Congestion

Transport in Austin, last chance saloon

As an exercise for the reader, how often do you find yourself needing to head to places on Guadalupe and Lamar? How often for Red River? If you’re like most of the Austinites that are forced to waste their time stuck in traffic on the Drag each day, it’s clear that there are tons of people who want to go places along the Guadalupe/Lamar corridor. We should put rail there. – Niran Babalola As noted on in a comment to my earlier post on last weeks transport vote, the city have effectively taken the *white flag or the **white envelope … Continue reading Transport in Austin, last chance saloon

Light Rail and Transport in Austin

Attached is the text of an email I sent to council member Tovo today. I’ve removed a sentence with some personal information, corrected a spelling, but otherwise it’s as I wrote it earlier on my phone. I’ve also added a picture of the Sheffield Super Tram which is of course something like what we should be getting rather than the proposed light rail route and the rapid buses which actually seem to represent a “slight of hand” since they are decreasing the frequency of other buses in one assumes an effort to drive up the ridership of the rapid buses. … Continue reading Light Rail and Transport in Austin