New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority was hit hard by a 79% ridership reduction during the pandemic. It needs an extra $8 billion through 2024 to avoid service cuts and layoffs.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Transit agencies could use the money to buy new subway cars, buses and maintain rails. The funding is designed to build on last year’s emergency aid, which kept transit operating through the pandemic.
In many cities contemplating new light rail systems, bus rapid transit offers a cheaper, faster and more flexible solution.
Yibin is the latest Chinese city to get the Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) system, or trackless trams.
Installing light rail is costly, as Sydney has found, but it’s the gold standard for public transport along road corridors. What trackless trams can do is rapidly expand such services at low cost.
CRRC’s version of the optically guided bus, now operating in Zhuzhou, is more like light rail than its predecessors.
The autonomous rail rapid transit (ART) system developed in China might make buses sexy, but the technology alone won’t resolve the issues of road space and right of way in Australia.
CRRC Zhuzhou Institute developed the rubber-tyred autonomous rail transit (ART) system, or trackless tram, which has already been trialled in Zhuzhou, China.
For 40 years the author has argued that trains and trams are better than buses. New ‘trackless trams’, which take innovations from high speed rail and put them in a bus, have changed his mind.
Remnants of the tram system can be found across Kyoto. Japan’s oldest tram is in the gardens of Heian Shrine in central Kyoto.
In the 1970s, both Kyoto and Melbourne made fateful decisions about their transport networks. Melbourne today enjoys the benefits of trams, while Kyoto lives with the consequences of losing them.
Southport station, Nerang Street, soon after the light rail began running in 2014.
The light rail project pushed up property values within 800 metres of the stations by over 30% from 1996 to 2016. Gains on this scale offer a potential source of finance for public transport.
The two NSW motorway projects were unable to consider the issue of access to a mix of transport options, which is a key factor in public health impacts.
Transport infrastructure projects are conceived, planned and assessed in a way that makes it difficult to properly consider their major public health impacts.
The Gold Coast light rail project provides an opportunity to study the scale of property value gains arising from new transport infrastructure.
Land value gains following the opening of stage one of the Gold Coast light rail project were worth around 25% of its cost.
Opponents of projects are often scorned as NIMBYs, but active citizenship and local consultation are key elements in creating a city that works well for as many people as possible.
Cities are home to many different people who will not always agree. We need to learn to embrace public debate as an ongoing, constructive process for working through diverse views and values.
A special tax paid for the Gold Coast light rail. But there is another way.
Much of the infrastructure Australia needs will be funded by “value capture” – raising tax revenue by boosting land values. Some have decried it as a tax hike in all but name, but it isn’t really.
Residents protest against the felling of century-old trees to make way for light rail along Anzac Parade in Sydney.
If planning decisions properly considered the value of trees in a city, we could have a modern transport system and tree-lined views to enhance the journey.
The Gold Coast has already had a slice of light rail funding – and many cities want to follow suit.
AAP Image/Dave Hunt
The Turnbull government seems to have lifted Abbott’s moratorium on rail funding, but giving light rail to every city that wants it will take some clever strategies to woo private investors.
The way forward? Light rail helps urban development far more than roads do - the challenge is how to pay for it.
AAP Image/Dave Hunt
Light rail is good for cities, but it’s also expensive, which is why many Australian cities have opted for buses instead. But there is a way to get top-drawer public transport using private dollars.
Plaid Cymru want to expand the Welsh government’s Bwcabus service.
credit: John Bristow
Regulators, rebates and retaining bus services - Plaid’s transport policy offers a lot, but little explanation on how to fund it.
Does this look like a conservative city to you?
Mesa, Arizona: a place with wide streets and narrow minds. Or so goes a once popular saying about this traditionally laid-back, conservative community that came into official existence in 1883 as a Mormon…
Light rail enthusiasts aboard Edinburgh’s new tram.
Finally the Edinburgh tram has opened – more than three years late and significantly over budget. Disputes with contractors caused long construction delays. The disruptive construction work was unpopular…