A new report released this week by the Worldwatch Institute and Apollo Alliance stated that greater investment in the rail industry could essentially catapult the U.S. back to the top of the industry worldwide.
The report, "Global Competitiveness in the Rail and Transit Industry," provides data where rail manufacturing has been a boon, including Germany, Spain, Japan and China.
It notes that in those countries there are common threads to their success, including sustained long-term national investment in freight rail and transit far exceeding the $8.3 billion awarded by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and a national vision where rail provides extensive geographic coverage; uses an integrated, uniform system of operations; and serves as an aspect of a larger intermodal solution.
So far, it seems like the U.S. at least has a vision. Whether that idea can be successful, however, is unclear since there are so many hurdles, including funding, bipartisan politics and the upcoming elections.
The biggest shame of this whole equation is that politicians are choosing to use transportation as a way to polarize voters and it seems to be working, which puts the hope of a new authorization bill or more money for transportation projects in jeopardy.
What this polarization of voters is really doing, though, is diluting the positive effects that transportation projects are having around the nation and what the further impact could be with continued federal investment. While it's not a new position, it is vital that this country finds something to get it back on its feet before it falls further behind and sinks beneath the weight of other countries' successes.
If it's not going to be rail or transportation infrastructure, I'm wondering what you think it should be?
It drives me nuts when people litter. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people throw trash out of their car windows while they’re driving. I’m always tempted to honk my horn when I see drivers slyly ditching cigarette butts through their open window. Listen up, people. We see you!
Agencies that use Twitter to respond to users’ complaints or answer questions get more positive Twitter reaction and more civil discourse online, according to Lisa Schweitzer the author of a recent study analyzing tweets of public transit agencies. “It’s about the marketing potential of social media — a lot of public transit agencies are simply tweeting their problems to the world by blasting out late service announcements. That’s not a good use of Twitter,” she says. “Transit agencies can influence the tone of the discussion by interacting with patrons online,” Schweitzer explains. “It gives people something to respond to, and it reminds people that somebody is listening.”
Usually by early January, I will hopefully have taken down the last of our holiday decorations and eaten or given away the remaining sweets that have become a part of my regular diet during the month of December. Then, of course like most people, I’ll think about ways I want to improve myself for the coming year. Whether it be exercising more (walking from the parking lot to my office doesn’t count), eating less ice cream or managing my email better. The latter practice alone would help improve my efficiency at work immensely. I’m sure you probably feel the same way.
A new National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) study solidifies what the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Transit Savings Report has been telling us for years now: riding public transportation can save users money.
June 20 will mark the 8th annual National Dump the Pump Day sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, in partnership with the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council.