Star Ford

Essays on lots of things since 1989.

Transit 2.0

on 2008 March 20

Attached paper written for consideration by ATRA as a way to state the mission of the organization.

Summary: A complex set of current conditions including traffic congestion, global warming, national security, and the highway fatality rate have prompted several national strategy papers and technology roadmaps from inside and outside of government. Frequently cited points include a new wave of construction of the interstate highway system, re-inventing high speed rail, accelerated construction of urban rail, alternate fuels, and intelligent traffic management systems. … But no one offers a compelling vision of the future; all sides seem resigned to the assumption that the main options for surface passenger transport are privately owned cars and mass transit (buses and trains). That amounts to having only two blunt tools in the toolbox.

There is a third option, called lean transit or innovative transit – a collection of improved technologies that can be put together to form a high-performance, largely automated, and super-efficient ground transportation network. The thrust of the next-generation transit network – or “transit 2.0” – is to attract a large share of car trips by achieving much higher speeds, convenience, connectivity, and efficiency than can be achieved with conventional transit. Because of the efficiency potential, the cost of lean transit on a large scale should be less than the cost of transportation today.

Transit 2.0 (PDF)

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