Redirect public funding from roads to mass transit
Posted: July 30, 2008
Our position: Public is ahead of elected leaders in changing their views on transportation.
Jolted by high gas prices, Hoosiers have done what would have been unthinkable a year ago: They're now among the nation's leaders in leaving their automobiles in the garage....
Clearly the public mind-set has shifted....
Yet, state and local political leaders don't seem to be on the same track....
Functional bus systems? Light rail? High-speed connectors to other cities and states? The state's top leaders have shown little interest. - indystar.com
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
What urbanites like about the cities where they live - Worldwide, respondents cited the following when asked what they like most about the city where they live: Public transportation systems (36 percent), sports and cultural activities (35 percent), economic and cultural dynamism (30 and 29 percent, respectively), entertainment possibilities (26 percent), and diversity (23 percent).
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
But now they are in danger of losing the environmentalists. Bill McKibben came out in favor of free transit and the Kheel plan. The PIRG's started pushing transit. Now, the New England Conservation Law Foundation is putting public transportation at the top of their solutions list!
End the era of highway expansion and shift to a new paradigm in which the region invests at least 75 percent of transportation funds on public transportation and compact, transit-oriented development. Invest $1 billion in new energy efficiency resources, drawing on multiple sources of revenue, including emerging carbon auctions and new markets and incentives for energy efficiency. Build 2,000 megawatts of new wind power, including at least two major offshore wind projects and multiple inland wind farms in New England. Shut down at least two regional coal-fired power plants or convert them to cleaner fuels. Pass legislation in every New England state to mandate meaningful emissions reductions and require consideration of climate impacts in all state permitting and infrastructure decisions.
Monday, July 28, 2008
With active wildfires in 10 states this weekend burning a total of nearly 687,000 acres — an area larger than the state of Rhode Island — the escalating cost of fighting fires is a rising concern....
All told, 2008 has seen nearly 3.5 million acres burned, or an area the size of Connecticut....
The cost to federal taxpayers has gone up dramatically,...
.... scientists tell us that global warming is producing conditions that make the West more susceptible to fire: Less mountain snow produces less runoff; higher temperatures increase evaporation; and more frequent and intense storms produce more lightning that sparks new flames. - the daily green
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Saturday, everyone will be encouraged to ride public transportation to see many attractions in the area and enjoy a Wilmington Sharks baseball game.
In addition to waiving fares for the day, Wave Transit has joined with the Wilmington Sharks Baseball Club and Independence Mall to assist in sponsoring Alternative Transportation Night. WECT6
Monday, July 21, 2008
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Zipcar, the world's largest provider of cars on demand by the hour or day, launched the first-ever national Low-Car Diet. Beginning today, more than 300 participants will hand over the keys to their personal cars and commit to living one month without the use of their vehicle. Instead, they will utilize public transportation, increase walking and biking, and be given a Zipcar membership to access the vehicles when necessary. prnewswire
Sunday, July 20, 2008
In Kheel’s report, the city would raise taxi fares by 25 percent, with all extra money going to support public transit. With less congested streets, the analysis calculates, the average cabbie would make 37 runs a shift instead of 31. Transaction-free bus rides could result in a 20 percent reduction of route time, leading to an effective 25 percent growth of each fleet because drivers could make more runs per shift. The city would also triple the price of streetside parking in Manhattan south of 96th Street, making it about the same as the private parking garages. “There are parts of the city where a quarter or more of drivers are simply looking for a parking spot,” says Komanoff. [from Bill's article in Plenty magazine.]
Saturday, July 19, 2008
According to a new report by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), not a single road in Texas “pays for itself” with the current taxation system. “For example,” says the report, “in Houston, the 15 miles of SH 99 from I-10 to US 290 will cost $1 billion to build and maintain over its lifetime, while only generating $162 million in state and federal gas taxes. That gives a tax gap ratio of .16, which means that the real gas tax rate people would need to pay on this segment of road to completely pay for it would be $2.22 per gallon.” gulfcoastinstitute.org
Friday, July 18, 2008
“I hold the opinion that we should investigate the benefits of making buses free for everyone. The change in attitude involved in increasing the number of passengers on buses and thereby decreasing the number of cars on the streets of the city is invaluable,” Magnússon told 24 Stundir.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
“I call the idea to save money on the expense of public transport to be the most idiotic thing someone could come up with in the middle of a fuel crisis,” said the chairman of the trade union, Peep Peterson according to postimees.ee.
He added that elsewhere public transport is strongly supported in order to limit the use of fuel and by that make the price shock a bit more bearable.
“Estonian government, however, seems to want to tie all national funds together with a pink ribbon and offer them as a sacrifice to the oil kings in Siberia....
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
People are turning to public transportation in the face of high fuel prices. The U.S. carbon-auto industry is fearful and desperate. They can no longer control the price of crude. International competition is heating up and military solutions are not working well.
The U.S. treasury is tapped out. People are tired of oil wars. People are tired of traffic delays, parking problems. People are worried about global climate disruption.
The U.S. carbon-auto industry is turning loose its trolls and wannabe trolls with orders to propagandize that public transit is "subsidized" [it is not], that service must be cut, taxes raised, or fares raised.
We need to be bold and take this campaign head on. Public transit is a public investment. Fares are restraint of trade tariffs that hurt other business and consumers in favor of the carbon-auto industry. An industry that has enjoyed trillions in subsidies as taxpayers have paid for their externalities and still have a climate mess left to be addressed.
Join your local transit advocacy group today. We need massive political involvement.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
CALGARY, July 8 /CNW/
The Alberta government is surging ahead on itsclimate change action plan ... to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions equal to taking more than a million cars off the road each year... a second $2-billion fund will propel energy-saving public transit in Alberta.
....What types of projects would qualify for funding? The program will focus on initiatives aimed at reducing carbon emissions and the number of vehicles on Alberta roads. Some examples of eligible projects include:
- purchase of transit vehicles (hybrids, diesel, natural gas, fuel cells, etc.);
- transit systems that provide service to regional communities and reduce commuter traffic;
- Light Rail Transit (LRT) and inter-city commuter rail systems;
- new public transit projects such as LRT extensions;
- planning for and acquisition of transit or commuter rail corridors;
- park and ride facilities to enhance public transit;
- planning and design of transit-oriented developments in new residential areas;
- construction of regional transit terminals and facilities.
Is this funding a part of the federal Public Transit Trust Fund? This new funding is separate and in addition to the Public Transit Trust Fund established earlier this year by the federal government....
Friday, July 4, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
HALF of the world's population enjoys fuel subsidies. This estimate, from Morgan Stanley, implies that almost a quarter of the world's petrol is sold at less than the market price. The cheapest petrol is in Venezuela, at 5 cents per litre.
...In theory, rising crude-oil prices should reduce global demand. But if domestic prices are capped, then emerging economies will continue to guzzle oil, pushing world prices still higher. Emerging economies accounted for more than the whole increase in world oil consumption last year—because demand in the rich economies fell. But recent price increases will make little difference to global consumption unless China and India follow suit.
....An IMF study of five emerging economies found that the richest 20% of households received, on average, 42% of total fuel subsidies; the bottom 20% received less than 10%....
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has hinted at a new frontier for tackling climate change: a national overhaul of public transport.
The introduction of emissions trading is dominating the climate change debate, with a major report to be handed down by government adviser Ross Garnaut on Friday.
But Mr Rudd said he also had other fish to fry on global warming policy.
He said it was "time to act" on public transport, and signalled the federal government would get involved."
Ask yourself this question, how much do people waste each week sitting in unnecessary traffic queues?" he said."
And how much ... do they put into the environment in terms of greenhouse gas emissions because we have yet to evolve a large, long-term investment into urban public transport systems, with the national government playing its role as well?
"I think it is time to act."
[see also the new blog: Fare-Free Australia]