Cellular Mass Transit (CMT) is a major step in Transit Efficiency and Cost-Effectiveness, locally developed over more than 15 years and based on several of the most successful transit approaches implemented throughout the world.
Cellular Mass Transit (CMT) utilizes the existing bus system better, in a customer demand driven approach rather than a scheduled route system, combining buses with vans and taxis to serve 100% of the community, 10 minute maximum wait times, twice as fast trip times, and can dramatically increase ridership, causing the taxpayer subsidy to be much less. It can be implemented for a fraction of the capital and operating costs that taxpayers will pay for Austin’s Urban Rail/Light Rail and Cap Metro’s current system approach. CMT deserves serious consideration as a replacement for major portions of Austin’s/Cap Metro’s public transit system.
Austin Contrarian blog by Christopher Bradford features regular articles and comments regarding trasportation, growth, affordability, parking and other topics primarily about Austin. Mr. Bradford’s views are pricipally founded on sound analytical facts and his conclusions are most often in close alignment with those of COST.
Professor Edward Glaeser of the Harvard University Department of Economics writes on a vaeiety of Urban Growth, Housing Costs, Transportation, Regulation and other related subjects. His papers can be found on the Harvard site.
Of the many papers which may be of interest to this site’s readers is: “Sprawl and Urban Growth”, April 2003 by Edward L. Glaeser and Matthew E. Kahn. Its Abstract and Introduction follow:
Cities can be thought of as the absence of physical space between people and firms. As such, they exist to eliminate transportation costs for goods, people and ideas and transportation technologies dictate urban form. In the 21st century, the dominant form of city living is based on the automobile and this form is sometimes called sprawl. In this essay, we document that sprawl is ubiquitous and that it is continuing to expand. Using a variety of evidence, we argue that sprawl is not the result of explicit government policies or bad urban planning, but rather the inexorable product of car-based living. Sprawl has been associated with significant improvements in quality of living, and the environmental impacts of sprawl have been offset by technological change. Finally, we suggest that the primary social problem associated with sprawl is the fact that some people are left behind because they do not earn enough to afford the cars that this form of living requires.
In the early part of the 20th century, cities grew upward. Tenements and luxury apartment
buildings replaced brownstones. Skyscrapers came to adorn urban landscapes. But at the
end of the 20th century, urban growth has pushed cities further and further out. The
compact urban areas of 1900 have increasingly been replaced by unending miles of malls,
office parks and houses on larger and larger lots. At first, people continued to work in
cities but lived in sprawling suburbs. But the jobs followed the people and now
metropolitan areas are characterized by decentralized homes and decentralized jobs. In
2003 America, urban growth and sprawl are almost synonymous and edge cities have
become the dominant urban form.
In this essay, we review the economic literature on sprawl and urban growth, and make
four points. First, despite the pronouncements of academic theorists, dense living is not
on the rebound. Sprawl is ubiquitous and expanding. Second, while many factors may
have helped the growth of sprawl, it ultimately has only one root cause: the automobile.
Suburbia, edge cities and sprawl are all the natural, inexorable, result of the technological
dominance of the automobile. Third, sprawl’s negative quality of life impacts have been
overstated. Effective vehicle pollution regulation has curbed emissions increases
associated with increased driving. The growth of edge cities is associated with increases
in most measures of quality of life. Fourth, the problem of sprawl lies not in the people
who have moved to the suburbs but rather the people who have been left behind. The
exodus of jobs and people from the inner cities have created an abandoned underclass
whose earnings cannot support a multi-car based lifestyle.
The Public Interest Transportation Forum (PITF) is an Independent E-zine on Public Transportation and Mobility Issues in the Seattle Puget Sound Region. PITF has been on-line since 1996!
This site covers numerous subjects including Seattle’s Sound Transit Board’s recent placing of a 15-year mass transit construction plan and associated 1/2 cent sales tax increase on the November 4, 2008 general election ballot. This plan would raise an estimated $17.8 Billion of which more than 70% would be used for rail transit to serve a very small percentage of the passenger miles traveled while already congested roadways, used by the vast majority of all transit and private vehicle travelers will become more congested.
As the record shows, Seattle Transit is well behind in its previous 10 year plan and costs are much higher. Their first 20 mile light rail is in construction and is the most expensive light rail ever built in the US at som $180 million per mile. Total transit ridership is a fraction of that committed in their 10 year plan. Yet, the Sound Transit Board has ignored pleas to finish the current light rail and operate it for a while before committing to another rail election.
Congestion is the Problem was formed by a Seattle eastside group to educate the region regarding transportation and congestion issues.
The Eastside Transportation Association launched a radio advertising schedule designed to start a dialogue on transportation spending priorities in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties (Seattle region). The association is a private-sector group of professionals dedicated to relieving traffic congestion in the three-county area.
“We believe there are clear transportation choices that will allow us to go where we want to go, how we want to go, and when we want to go,” said Jim Horn, association board chairman and former state Senate Transportation Committee chairman. “We also believe there’s enough tax money proposed to do the job if we simply spend it on the right projects.”
According to Horn, the group’s goal is to bring objectivity to the decision-making process that selects, funds and implements transportation projects.
“We do not believe we should be spending transportation mega-dollars in an attempt to change human behavior,” Horn said. “We want to spend funds on those parts of a transportation system that support increased efficiency, productivity and our quality of life.”
This groups views and broad approach to transportation and congestion solutions in the Seattle region are consistent with the COST group’s views and proposed solutions in Austin.
Cascade Policy Institute was founded in 1991. Cascade is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research and educational organization that focuses on state and local issues in Oregon. Cascade’s mission is to develop and promote public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility and economic opportunity. Cascade promotes property rights, incentives, markets and decentralized decision-making. Cascade advances these values by sharing its research with the public, the media, and state and local lawmakers through publications, educational programs, community forums and special events. Cascade publishes policy reports, quarterly newsletters, commentaries and weekly news briefs on a variety of topics, including education, fiscal policy, the environment, growth management, transportation, rural issues, health care, social services and more.
The Goldwater Institute (see transportation section) was founded in 1988 by a small group of entrepreneurial Arizonans with the blessing of Sen. Barry Goldwater. Like our namesake, the Goldwater Institute board and staff share a belief in the innate dignity of individual human beings, that America is a nation that grew great through the initiative and ambition of regular men and women, and, that while the legitimate functions of government are conducive to freedom, unrestrained government has proved to be a chief instrument in history for thwarting individual liberty. Through research and education, the Goldwater Institute works to broaden the parameters of policy discussions to allow consideration of policies consistent with the founding principles of free societies.
Since 1974, the Antiplanner has critiqued hundreds of plans written by a wide variety of federal, state, and local government agencies.
The Reason.org transportation website contains numerous studies about current local and national transportation issues.
AmericanDreamCoalition.org – The American Dream Coalition’s mission is to support citizens and organizations that promote the American Dream of freedom, mobility, and affordable homeownership. The site has publications, data, and news services supporting this mission.