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Thread: Transportation for America

  1. #61

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    ^
    Yes, but Japan also not a particularly large country (by land mass), but is very crowded. Those are the exact conditions where rail works well.

    China is look at cars as an engin of economic grow as much as a form of transportation.

  2. #62
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    They find it the cheapest, easiest, and least infrastructure intensive means to spur quick mobility.

    Rail requires more planning, and more $$ per mile to get everything working. Like most things Chinese, they are looking for the cheapest solution to get them from A to B.

  3. #63

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    "China's high-speed rail system project is ambitious and when the major rail lines are completed by 2020, it will become the largest, fastest, and most technologically advanced high-speed railway system in the world."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_rail_in_China

    -------

    China Is Eager to Bring High-Speed Rail Expertise to the U.S.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/08/bu...al/08rail.html

  4. #64
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Hmmmm.

    You don't say!

  5. #65

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    I must admit, I'm surprised.

    It's Official: Western Europeans Have More Cars Per Person Than Americans

    Aug 14 2012, 12:00 PM ET

    Discard your stereotypes: people in the U.S. own fewer passenger vehicles on average than in almost all other developed nations.

    Americans love cars. We pioneered their mass production, designed iconic autos from the Model T to the Deville to the Corvette, and are a major exporter as well as importer. It's practically a part of the American national identity. But it turns out, according to a new paper from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on worldwide car usage, that American per capita car ownership rates are actually among the lowest in the developed world.



    The U.S. is ranked 25th in world by number of passenger cars per person, just above Ireland and just below Bahrain. There are 439 cars here for every thousand Americans, meaning a little more than two people for every car. That number is higher in nearly all of Western Europe -- the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, etc. -- as well as in Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. It's higher in crisis-wracked Iceland and Greece. Italians and New Zealanders have nearly 50 percent more cars per capita than does the U.S. The highest rate in the world is casino-riddled Mediterranean city-state Monaco, with 771 cars per thousand citizens.

    America actually starts to look unusually auto-poor when cars per capita is charted against household consumption per capita, which the Carnegie paper explains are two typically correlated variables. That is, countries where household spend more money on average tend to also own more cars.



    The countries on the right side of the line are where people own fewer cars than you might expect. The developed countries on that side of the graph include the super-dense Asian city states (Macao, Singapore, Hong Kong) where car ownership is tightly regulated to keep traffic down, and the United States. The countries far to the left of the line own more cars than expected: car-crazy Italy, for example, and sparsely populated Iceland.

    I found this really surprising -- I'd always associated the U.S. closely with car culture, an impression anecdotally enforced by my interactions with non-Americans. So what explains the American outlier?

    The Carnegie paper explains that car ownership rates are closely tied to the size of the middle class. In fact, the paper actually measures car ownership rates for the specific purpose of using that number to predict middle class size. Comparing the middle class across countries can be extraordinarily difficult; someone who counts as middle class in one country could be poor or rich in another. Americans are buying fewer cars -- is it possible that this is another sign of a declining American middle class? Even if Americans are on average richer than Europeans, after all, U.S. income inequality is also much higher. According to the Carnegie paper, about 9.6 of Americans' cars are luxury cars, an unusually high number; but it unhelpfully defines "luxury" as "Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus" (no Cadillacs?), which may help to explain why Germany's "luxury car" rate is 26.6 percent.

    Still, it's also possible that the answer has less to do with Americans adhering to Carnegie's thesis about car ownership predicting middle class size and more to do with other, particularly American factors. Young Americans are spending less of their money on cars, as Jordan Weissmann explained, as they get driver's licences at lower rates and spend more of their money on, say, high-tech smart phones.

    Amazingly, Americans still manage to suck up far, far more energy per person than do the people in those Western European nations with so many more cars per capita. Our oil usage per capita is about twice what it is in Western Europe, and here's our overall energy usage:



    Whatever the reason for America's comparatively low car ownership rate, it may be time to update our stereotypes. The most car-obsessed place in the world isn't the nation of Detroit and Ford and Cadillac. It's Western Europe, the land of Peugeot and Smart Cars and Ferrari, where cars are most common.

    Update: Some confusion in the comments about what kinds of vehicles are counted in the rankings. I respond below, but the gist is that this data includes all "passenger vehicles," which means cars, pickup trucks, SUVs, and minibuses. It does not include commercial freight trucks or buses with over nine seats, both of which the U.S. has a lot of, but which tend to be owned by businesses rather than individuals.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/internati...ricans/261108/

    Copyright © 2012 by The Atlantic Monthly Group

  6. #66
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    So much for the 'trickle down/job creator' theories -

  7. #67

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    Use of Public Transit in U.S. Reaches Highest Level Since 1956, Advocates Report

    By JON HURDLEMARCH 10, 2014

    PHILADELPHIA — More Americans used buses, trains and subways in 2013 than in any year since 1956 as service improved, local economies grew and travelers increasingly sought alternatives to the automobile for trips within metropolitan areas, the American Public Transportation Association said in a report released on Monday.


    The trade group said in its annual report that 10.65 billion passenger trips were taken on transit systems during the year, surpassing the post-1950s peak of 10.59 million in 2008, when gas prices rose to $4 to $5 a gallon.

    The ridership in 2013, when gas prices were lower than in 2008, undermines the conventional wisdom that transit use rises when those prices exceed a certain threshold, and suggests that other forces are bolstering enthusiasm for public transportation, said Michael Melaniphy, the president of the association.

    “Now gas is averaging well under $4 a gallon, the economy is coming back and people are riding transit in record numbers,” Mr. Melaniphy said in an interview. “We’re seeing a fundamental shift in how people are moving about their communities.”


    From 1995 to 2013, transit ridership rose 37 percent, well ahead of a 20 percent growth in population and a 23 percent increase in vehicle miles traveled, according to the association’s data.

    Stronger economic growth is playing an important role in the increased use of public transit, as more people are using the systems to get to an increasing number of jobs, the association reported, and transit agencies are nurturing growth by expanding their systems or improving services.


    “We’re seeing that where cities have invested in transit, their unemployment rates have dropped, and employment is going up because people can get there,” Mr. Melaniphy said.

    Overall public transit ridership increased by 1.1 percent from 2012, with the biggest gains in rail service and in bus service for smaller cities.

    In New York, where use of all modes of transit in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority increased 3.6 percent last year, according to the data, ridership has been bolstered by falling unemployment and improved service, said Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman for the authority.


    The system is also being increasingly used during off-peak times, especially by younger people, who are encouraged by promotions like free transfers between subways and buses and by a decline in crime in the city, Mr. Ortiz said.


    In Denver, the Regional Transit District topped 101 million passenger trips last year, its most ever, helped by an improving economy and an increasing acceptance that public transit is an attractive alternative to the automobile, said Scott Reed, a spokesman for the district.


    One of the challenges is simply getting people to try public transportation, Mr. Reed said, but when they do, “they find it is so much easier than they had feared.”


    The 14-mile light-rail W Line connecting Denver, Lakewood and Golden, Colo., opened in April, and by the end of the year, it was carrying about 15,000 passengers a day, as planned. The line is part of a FasTracks expansion program, which will consist of 122 additional miles of light and commuter rail, 18 miles of a bus rapid transit system and a doubling of park-and-ride facilities, all scheduled for completion in 2016.


    The estimated $7 billion cost is being paid for in part with a 0.4 percent sales tax, which voters approved in 2004. Nationally, taxpayers are increasingly willing to finance public transportation improvements, Mr. Melaniphy said.

    In the last two years, more than 70 percent of transit tax initiatives have succeeded, he said.


    Todd Litman, an analyst at the Victoria Transport Policy Institute in Victoria, British Columbia, said the new data were the latest indication of changing consumer preferences as a result of increasing urbanization, an aging population, and environmental and health concerns.


    “A lot of people would prefer to drive less and rely more on walking, cycling and public transit, provided that those are high-quality options,” Mr. Litman said.

    © 2014 The New York Times Company

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