Capitol Corridor Monthly Report (April, 2013) May 18th, 2013
And statistics for the other California Corridors
By David B. Kutrosky, Managing Director, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority
The Many Places Where You Can’t Go by Passenger Trains May 17th, 2013
By Noel T. Braymer
There are several major cities in this Country without intercity rail passenger service. There are many more major cities that are not connected to each other by rail passenger service. The largest city without rail service is Phoenix with a regional population of 4.3 million. That is close to the population of the Seattle area. Las Vegas with a regional population of 2.5 million, is one of the most visited city in America and has no rail service currently. Boise is the State Capitol of Idaho with a metro population of 638,000 but has no rail passenger service. Albuquerque is in danger of losing its rail passenger service and has a regional population of 1.6 million, almost the same as Albany New York.
eNewsletter for May 13, 2013 May 17th, 2013
Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner Adopts Wildly Anti-Bicycle Policy Streetsblog Los Angeles (blog)-May 7, 2013 Starting on June 1, the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner service connecting San Luis Obispo to San Diego by way of Los Angeles is adopting a new policy that will make life harder for anyone planning on biking to or from the train. The policy is so onerous for bicycle commuters, one has to assume it’s intentional. This policy of requiring reservations and charging for bikes on the Surfliners could prove a public relations nightmare for LOSSAN and Amtrak. NB
eNewsletter for May 6, 2013 May 9th, 2013
Draft alternatives released for Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan
The Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan team is releasing its draft alternatives today for improving the venerable station as a transit center. Among some of the proposals are replacing the parking lots in front of the station with open space, building a new bus terminal to handle most of the considerable bus traffic at the station and possibly replacing the current transit plaza at the rear of the station with other structures and/or green space.
Story and Photos by Noel T. Braymer
A recent international survey of air travelers by Skytrax rated the airports of the world. No American airport rated higher than 25th. LAX rated 109th out of 395 airports world wide. According to a story in the May 5, 2013 Los Angeles Times “What’s Wrong with Los Angeles International Airport? “ this article reports “Seating at the airport is limited, security staff are rude, signage is poor, bathrooms are in poor condition and travel between terminals is difficult and confusing”, according to Donna McSherry, who operates The Budget Travelers’ Guide to Sleeping in Airports website, which rates LAX among the world’s 10 worst.” This Times article also reports “LAX could climb the ranking, she said, by improving its signage, cleanliness, ambience and connections to mass transit. “International travelers really value having that direct connection with rail or bus service,” said Cheryl Marcell, a spokeswoman for ACI World, the trade group for the world’s airports.”
RailPAC Rail Photos of the Month (April, 2013) May 3rd, 2013
Here are 5 photos by RailPAC photographers. Click on each photo to see it full size! Contributions to this page are welcome. Send your jpg rail photos to RailPAC Photo Editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org. THIS MONTH: Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona
A simple way to increase Rail Passenger Miles May 3rd, 2013
By Noel T. Braymer
The Department of Transportation keeps records on many elements of this country’s transportation system. This is done by the DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration Bureau of Transportation Statistics. To measure how people travel the DOT counts the Passenger Miles traveled by different modes. For example a person riding a bike 2 miles produces 2 passenger miles. A family of 4 on a 100 mile car trip to Grandma’s produces 400 passenger miles. The DOT’s most recent data on passenger miles by travel modes has recently been published for 2010. Here are some numbers from this most recent report
Can California High Speed Rail Succeed? May 3rd, 2013
By Noel T. Braymer
The answer to that question will depend on the final evolution of this project.The California High Speed Rail Project has evolved in many ways just in the last 5 years. We can expect more changes to the California High Speed Rail Project before it is running. The California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has been around since 1996. For years it was a small organization with much of its budget going to consultants. Most of its early work centered around Promotion, Public Relations and Lobbying. The Authority before 2008 did little planning on how this project would effect local communities or how this project would fit in with existing rail passenger services in the State.
eNewsletter for April 29, 2013 May 3rd, 2013
I have 34 years of experience as a rail passenger service advocate in California which has been the leader for rail passenger service expansion now for almost 40 years. I have seen and in many cases been involved in what works and have seen what doesn’t work to get more and better rail passenger service. A good example of what works is the San Diego Trolley, which was the first new Light Rail service in this country since World War II. This spawned the introduction of Light Rail to many places in the US including Denver. Why did the San Diego Trolley succeed? By starting small and cheap. Like many major cities San Diego had studied several expensive transit projects all to be killed due to opposition over cost. NB
Should we take the Long Distance Trains off of Amtrak’s Back? April 26th, 2013
Analysis by Noel T. Braymer
Amtrak says that they lose over $500 million dollars a year running the Long Distance Passenger Trains. But Amtrak endures this hardship because of the transportation necessity provided by the Long Distance Trains in much of rural America. Amtrak has been hinting that they would like the States to help pay for the costs of the Long Distance Trains to keep them running. This would be much like how States pay for their Short Distance Trains.