Monday, May 23, 2011

Tomorrow's transport?

Today's WSJ has a whole section ("Tomorrow's Transport") devoted to transportation.  Some of it is OK and some not. 

The lead piece by Robert Puentes leaves the impression that existing public sector transportation programs leave much to be desired, but they can be fixed.  That begs the important question of which and how many epiphanies there will be among our elected officials.  The companion piece by Richard Geddes ("Where the Money Is [Hint: It Isn't Government"]) boosts public-private partnerships.  These can be a source of cash, but crony capitalism may not be a source of wisdom and practicality.

"Highway Robbery" features some of the Texas Transportation Institute's cost estimates of U.S. urban road congestion.  The dollar value of delay costs and fuel costs for the U.S. add up to $115 billion a year.

On the positive side, the section alludes to some of the transportation projects that had been highlighted in past years as collected at Paleofuture.  But nearby, there is "Has the Monorail's Future Finally Arrived?"  Unintended irony?  The accompanying graphic shows Monorail performance where such systems run.  (Disneyland's excluded.)  The biggest (not counting projections) is Chongqing's (which I recently rode) which gets 380,000 daily riders which is more than double Disneyland's, but not much for a metro area of about 14-million residents.

There are more pieces, most of them pretty good converstation starters.