By Sun Lichao and Pan Che : caixinglobal – excerpt
The cancellation of Baotou’s subway system has given a signal to city governments around the country that the ‘wind has changed’ on such projects, an unnamed provincial economic planning official told Caixin…
Construction of the subway system in Baotou, the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, had been taking place for only two months when the central government called off the project due to the drain it placed on city coffers…
Many third- and fourth-tier cities have scrambled to launch rail projects in the past two years. Cities such as Yinchuan, the Ningxia Hui autonomous region; Xining, Qinghai province; and Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, have filed plans for underground travel systems that are awaiting approval from the country’s top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Several other cities, including the steel hub of Tangshan in Hebei province, are researching and drafting subway plans as well…
City-level governments see the spiking of Baotou’s subway project as a sign that “the wind has changed its direction” on such programs, said an official with a central province’s Development and Reform Commission…(more)
Look Ma, No rails! or Medians!
The Hunan city of Zhuzhou is currently testing out an unmanned train that doesn’t run on rails. You know, like a bus.
The Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) is being dubbed by Chinese state media the “world’s first smart rapid rail bus,” whatever that means. The train/bus (trus?) was first shown off in June this year. It uses sensors to determine the dimensions of the road and make a virtual track for itself to ride along…(more)
This kind of technology may be the best argument for putting a halt on new projects while we finish the ones underway now. Eliminating the rails, medians and other “traditional” infrastructure elements costing billions of dollars now, could be the cheap public transportation answer in the very near future. Give the public a break while the technology catches up.
By Sandy Mazza : masstransitmag – excerpt
Public transit agencies in Los Angeles and Orange counties announced Monday that they’re seeking private-sector partners to operate new door-to-door ride-sharing programs.
The proposed “micro-transit” programs would begin operating in selected areas this summer, offering cheaper door-to-door rides than Uber and Lyft — as low as $5 per trip with free transfers to buses and rail lines.
The service would be designed to boost ridership and to keep up with private-sector technology innovations, said Joshua Schank, chief innovation officer at Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or LA Metro…(more)
Holding Company behind Motivate is Bikeshare Holdings LLC. By most counts this is not a neighborhood friendly organization…(more)
by Mike Maciag : Governing – excerpt
The technology could signal the beginning of the end of parking tickets and other revenue sources. Some cities’ budgets could take a big hit.
Like a growing number of cities, Austin, Texas, is getting ready for the arrival of autonomous vehicles. On any given afternoon, self-driving test models can be seen darting along a Formula One race track. More than 500 electric vehicle charging stations are already spread throughout the city. (Autonomous cars are expected to utilize electric drivetrains.) In March, the city council adopted a resolution prioritizing plans for self-driving vehicles.
Austin’s transportation director, Robert Spillar, is working to prepare the city. But earlier this year, a realization hit him about what driverless cars might mean for his budget. “It struck me,” he says. “Half my revenue for transportation capacity and operations improvements is based on a parking model that may be obsolete in a dozen years.”
In the not-too-distant future, fleets of fully autonomous vehicles could be transporting riders all across Austin’s urban landscape, largely eliminating not only the need for private vehicles but also the revenue they currently bring in. Parking fees are a critical funding source for the Austin Transportation Department, accounting for nearly a quarter of its total budget. Driverless vehicles would also cut into parking tickets and traffic citations, two other significant revenue streams for Austin and many other cities. “Municipalities generate a whole lot of revenue as a byproduct of parking management and traffic enforcement,” Spillar says. “If all that suddenly disappears, we’ve got a huge financial issue to deal with.”… (more)
By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt
Muni’s Central Subway project may be delayed by almost a year.
If the construction contractor, Tutor Perini, and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency do not catch up with ongoing construction delays, the project is forecasted to open 10 months late, according to the project’s required monthly monitoring report released in late May, the most recent report available.
That report, known as a Project Management Oversight Committee report, wrote that the SFMTA and Tutor Perini need to reach an agreement over scheduling conflicts, or those forecasted delays may increase.
“If we don’t change anything of what we’ve done so far, we will be 10 months late in revenue service,” Central Subway Program Director John Funghi confirmed to the San Francisco Examiner… (more)
Please comment at the source. This appears to be more evidence that SFMTA has too many projects going at one time. What does it take to convince City Hall to STOP approving more street projects until the SFMTA has completed the ones they have now. Fill the holes you have now!
By Stanford M. Horn :sfexaminer – excerpt
It needn’t take a $2.5 billion tunnel construction project dragging out more than seven years to get Caltrain extended to the new Transbay Terminal. That goal could be achieved in 99 percent less time, at 99 percent less budget. In fact, the project is so simple that it shouldn’t take more than a few weeks or months to build, involving no new structures taller than a cantaloupe or excavations deeper than a watermelon. In short, there need never be an embarrassing white elephant along downtown Mission Street because trains would be running on the terminal’s first day under the interim solution proposed here. When the permanent tunnel is completed, in 2025 or so, service would be switched there… (more)
By Derek Moore : pressdomocrat – excerpt (includes revised schedule)
The dream of making excursions to San Francisco from the North Bay aboard a train, or venturing north from the city to Wine Country, is closer to reality with the looming start of passenger rail service, but current timetables for the train, ferry and a connecting shuttle indicate riders will have to be adaptable.
While the focus since Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit released its schedule last week has been on commuters — the rail agency’s bread and butter ridership — another key component of service is linking people to San Francisco via the Larkspur ferry.
North Bay residents and others across the Golden Gate, have been looking at SMART’s new timetable to see if it will work for them…