Cities testing out autonomous buses, but is it worth the risk?

Six weeks ago, Arlington, TX, approved a 6-month lease (with an option to renew for another 6 months) of two EZ10 driverless shuttles to fill a gap for more precise transportation needs for residents of and visitors to the city. These vehicles will cost the city about $270,000 over the course of two years, should the city decide to extend this pilot project that long. The Eno Center for Transportation’s Greg Rogers and Paul Lewis did a “back of the envelope” cost analysis comparing the EZ10 with the capital and operating expenses of a traditional passenger van.

Transformative transit: Houston’s reconfigured transit system

The City of Houston Metro Transit Agency, embarked on an ambitious multi-year effort to redesign its system to better serve the community’s transportation needs with an ambitious goal of achieving a 20 percent increase in transit ridership within 2 years of the system reconfiguration while simultaneously working within the existing budget. Rather than taking an incremental approach, Houston’s transit agency made a complete change overnight.

With trend towards road tolling, demand forecasting critical

As VMT decreases, forecasting demand and toll revenues for new projects is becoming increasingly difficult. DOTs should consider three new factors in traffic forecasting: first, how flat-to-declining VMT will affect revenues collected; second, how the presence of untolled parallel roadways will also impact toll revenue; and third, how driver value-of-time plays into roadway choice, also affecting toll collection.

Will drivers pay the price to use fastest road in the Americas?

A new stretch of toll road through central Texas linking Austin to San Antonio, State Highway 130, may soon have the highest posted speed limit in the hemisphere. The exact toll structure has not yet been defined, but the base rate for passenger vehicles could be as high as 12.5 cents per mile, a total of $5 for the 41-mile stretch. While many drivers in the state are enthusiastic about the prospect of shortened driving times over the congested I-35, auto insurance companies and highway safety advocates are less excited.