Shivering in Sydney:
- Paul Barter at Reinventing Urban Transport has a series of posts on Park-and-Ride in the Asian urban context. He comes down hard against subsidized (i.e. free) parking at stations in the dense inner parts of cities. All his points are equally valid in New World cities.
- London Mayor Boris Johnson has released a new Mayor's Transport Strategy.
- The New York Times has a fine feel-good story about the Delhi Metro, which is growing rapidly, with interesting notes about how they're creating new behavioral expectations. I rode it in 2008, and it was indeed odd to step out of the chaos of urban India into a clean, air conditioned train that could be any modern elevated system in the developed world. The current building boom is timed to be done for the Commonwealth Games later this year.
- Some of my Canadian colleagues are involved in a huge plan to bring modern public transport to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, a small city with huge needs during the annual Muslim piligrmage or Hajj.
- Christopher Leinberger in the Atlantic wonders if we can go back to the early 20th century practice of letting developers build rail transit lines, and reap the resulting increase in property values. I somehow doubt that this will pencil out at today's construction prices (Remember, in the golden age of developer funded subways and streetcars, there were few environmental laws and labor was treated like dirt.) You would also need to insist on integrated fares that eliminate transfer penalities and allow the system to function as a single network, which was generally not the case in the early 20th Century. Sydney has one privately built segment in its rail network -- the four-station Airport Line -- and its fares are so high that it's cheaper for me to take a taxi. The two non-Airport stations on the line have missed out on a lot of redevelopment opportunity because the fares are just too high for the system to be useful. So count me an open-minded skeptic.