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Sep 07, 2010
Bus, Light Rail & Streetcars

Duck Season!!! Rabbit Season!!!

The 1950’s Looney Toons animated short Rabbit Fire is perhaps one of the best-known of all Bugs Bunny cartoons. It’s an influential piece of work that’s invited all kinds of scholarly conversation. In it, the confused and generally helpless Elmer Fudd is hunting for rabbits. Self-servingly, Bugs Bunny convinces him that it’s not actually rabbit-hunting...

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Aug 18, 2010
Light Rail & Streetcars, Statistics and Specifications

Speed Is Not Dependent Upon Technology

The Toronto Star reports today that the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and a waterfront development agency are at loggerheads over a planned new streetcar corridor. The essence of the conflict is this: The Toronto Transit Commission wants to experiment with track design on a new streetcar route to speed up Toronto’s failingly low streetcar speeds...

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Jul 26, 2010
Blogs & Other Sites, Bus, Light Rail & Streetcars, Urban Planning & Design

Forecasting as Voodoo

There’s nothing more common and consistently wrong in the transit planner’s toolbox as ridership forecasting and projections. It’s like voodoo: 90% of the time it doesn’t work, and the 10% of the time it does no one knows why (hint: it’s not because of the voodoo). So here comes Tom Rubin, a veteran transit consultant...

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Jul 17, 2010
Bus, Light Rail & Streetcars

Taken For A Ride

Taken For A Ride is a documentary first broadcast on PBS in 1996. It tells the story of how a consortium led by General Motors, Firestone Tires and Standard Oil systematically worked to uproot the American streetcar network and replace it with roads, buses and private automobiles. The short hand for this incident is the...

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Jul 01, 2010
Funitel, Light Rail & Streetcars, Squaw Valley Funitel

Squaw Valley Funitel Stats

Kelly writes, I am also interested in cable propelled transit and am a big fan of The Gondola Project. Anyway, I just worked out some numbers on the Funitel at the resort where I work (Squaw Valley) and I thought I would share them with you. Squaw Valley Stats 28 legal limit (This would be...

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Jun 28, 2010
Light Rail & Streetcars, Research Issues, Urban Planning & Design

Never Mind The Real World

If I gave you the choice between a transit technology that could carry 20,000 people and a technology that could carry 6,000 which would you choose? Clearly, youd choose 20,000. Or what if I gave you the choice between a transit technology that operated at 100 km/hr or one that operated at 35 km/hr? Obviously...

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Apr 14, 2010
History, Just For Fun, Light Rail & Streetcars, Oddities, San Francisco Streetcars, Uncategorized, Urban Planning & Design

Zombie Streetcars & Transit Bling

I am decidedly against the City of Toronto’s decision to purchase almost 2 billion one-and-a-quarter billion dollars worth of new streetcars/light rail. And my problem with the decision has absolutely nothing to do with my position on CPT. I recognize that CPT is not a technology for all environs and I recognize that streetcar technology has...

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Apr 07, 2010
Case Studies, Gondola, Light Rail & Streetcars, Ogden Utah, Urban Planning & Design

Urban Gondolas in Ogden, Utah

My hunch is that many people stumble onto the topic of Cable Propelled Transit (and this website) by googling the words urban and gondola or urban gondola. If not, go ahead and try it and see what you come up with. I’ll wait . . . So what did you find? Likely you came upon several...

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Mar 28, 2010
Bus, Light Rail & Streetcars, Subway, Thoughts, Urban Planning & Design


How you define a problem determines how you solve it. Most transit agencies, planners and governments tend to define an urban public transit problem as a decision between Roads and Rails: Should we use buses, light rail/streetcars or subways? It’s no surprise then when buses, light rail/streetcars or subways are the end result. That’s what...

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Dec 23, 2009
Light Rail & Streetcars, Thoughts, Urban Planning & Design

The Cost of Light Rail

I tend to pick on Light Rail for a reason. It’s a technology akin to the average beauty contestant. It looks good on the outside, but is kind of useless on the inside. Subways (HRT) can move hordes of people quickly and buses can move a moderate number of people cheaply, but Light Rail seems...

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