Mexico City tackles congestion head-on

As recently as 2011, Mexico City ranked among the world’s worst for traffic congestion. But now, Mexico City’s improvements to their transportation system can serve as a model for other municipalities to learn from. The city shines as an international example of a rapidly growing city successfully lowering carbon emissions, reducing the severity of traffic jams, increasing public space, and improving overall quality of life.

App crash leaves Washington Metro riders in the lurch

Like most large transit system, the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority makes its real-time data available to third-party developers, with the expectation that they will provide and update smartphone bus-arrival apps. In December, however, one of the most popular apps, NextBus DC, suddenly died. This failure highlights the emerging relationships between public agencies, private data service providers, and app developers. The public is often not aware who is responsible for the services they use.

New York City’s subway train operators taking unilateral action to prevent fatalities at stations

Following two widely publicized incidents of waiting passengers being pushed into the path of oncoming subway trains, the Transit Workers Union has directed its subway train operators to slow trains to 10 mph when entering station areas to enable them to stop if riders are on the tracks. This and other solutions to accidental and intentional falls onto tracks are being examined in New York and cities around the world.

Silicon Valley shuttles change the face of public transit in San Francisco

Although the shuttles provided by Silicon Valley companies help alleviate congestion and air quality problems in the Bay Area, they have also created some tension in residential neighborhoods where they pick up employees. Only recently have the routes of these “ghost buses” been mapped. San Francisco transit planners and politicians are working to create rules for the popular shuttles.

Midsize Cities on the Move: A Look at the Next Generation of Rapid Bus, Bus Rapid Transit, and Streetcar Projects in the United States (Reconnecting America, 2012)

This study of next generation transit options in midsize cities – those between 50,000 and 250,000 – focuses in on the place that bus rapid transit and streetcars can play in improving the operations of transit systems that are usually based around buses. In a look at 14 cities, they look at best practices, funding strategies, and actual or projected outcomes.

Different results for New York and New Jersey transit highlight storm preparations

A new study of the preparations for and recovery from Superstorm Sandy outlines why New York City’s transit system was able to resume operations so quickly. The report from the Rudin Center for Transportation at NYU also points out the benefits of the city’s many transportation alternatives, which allowed residents other ways to get to work and other daily destinations following the storm.

Cities feel left out of transportation discussion

At the first national conference of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), city transportation and elected officials expressed dismay that cities may be on their own in moving forward with innovative plans and policies. Attendees were frsutrated that neither cities nor transportation overall got much attention during the recent campaign season.

Are We There Yet? Creating Complete Communities for 21st Century America (Reconnecting America, 2012)

This report that tracks progress in America’s regions toward a vision of complete communities. The report highlights the benefits that complete communities offer all Americans, tells stories about the work being done across the country to create complete communities, and measures progress in every region with a population above 55,000. Transportation plays a key role in this report, including gauging access for low-income and disadvantages communities, whether cities have invested in fixed guideways, and the development implications of in transit, bicycling and walking infrastructure.