Transportation

Because being there is what's most important, WPC's Center for Transportation researches and analyzes the best practices for relieving traffic congestion by recapturing a vision of a system based on freedom of movement.

What's New

WSDOT official: replace domestic airline travel with publicly subsidized rail

May 13, 2010 in Blog

I recently taped a segment for TVW on some of the problems with High Speed Rail (HSR). My main argument is that it competes with the airline industry:

Using
public taxes to artificially shift demand from an efficient sector of
the economy to one that loses money is a waste of resources and places hometown businesses at a competitive disadvantage.

Andrew Wood, Deputy Director of the State Rail and Marine Division of the Washington State Department of Transportation, disagrees. Director Wood seems to argue that HSR should replace domestic airline travel:

I'm not familiar with the Spain example cited by Director Wood but I've highlighted a case in China in a previous post. As reported by Reuters, several Chinese airlines shut down some flights because passengers are instead using a new HSR line.

This is not a big deal when the government owns both the airline and
the train company....chalk it up to efficiency. But in the United
States, spending billions in public money to prop up a passenger rail
system that loses an average of $37 per rider will harm competing companies that do make money.

I wonder if officials from Boeing and Alaska Airlines know that a cabinet level state agency is advocating and working toward replacing all domestic airline service with publicly subsidized rail?

Should high-speed rail, which is subsidized, eat into air travel, which is private?

May 13, 2010 in In the News
Bellingham Herald
Source: 
Bellingham Herald
Date: 
Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hey Seattle, what about traffic congestion?

May 11, 2010 in Blog

In anticipation of today's announcement from Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn on pedestrian, bike, and transit funding, I'd just like to point out Seattle's bigger transportation problem: traffic congestion.

Traffic on downtown streets ranks Seattle as the most congested city in America.

Seattle has the 13th worst commute in U.S.

Highways around Seattle are !
the ninth most congested in the country
.

McGinn touts push to get people out of cars

May 11, 2010 in In the News
SeattlePI.com
Source: 
SeattlePI.com
Date: 
Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How Public Officials Spend Our Transportation Taxes

April 20, 2010 in In the News
National Center for Policy Analysis
Source: 
National Center for Policy Analysis
Date: 
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Want a Transportation System That Works? Vanpools.

April 17, 2010 in Publications

Crosscut published this op-ed on April 20, 2010.

Across the Puget Sound region, traffic congestion is predicted to double, reaching the levels of present day Los Angeles by 2030. Yet, so-called regional transportation solutions will do very little to help and will actually make traffic worse. A more cost-effective solution is staring us right in the face: vanpools.

NHTS: more people walk to work than use public transit

April 15, 2010 in Blog

The Federal Highway Administration has released its 2009 National Household Travel Survey. There is a lot of data here and the format is challenging to navigate.

I spent some time looking at person trips by mode and purpose. Specifically, mode share to work. 

Mode share

88.3% of all commute trips take place with a car or truck, while only 3.7% use transit. In fact, there are more people who walk to work than take transit. The Puget Sound region has about the same mode split, which is madness when you consider:

It is no wonder Seattle is the most congested city in America.  

Federal survey: Vast majority of trips done by driving, not transit

April 15, 2010 in In the News
Bellingham Herald
Source: 
Bellingham Herald
Date: 
Thursday, April 15, 2010