Feb 02, 2012
Statistics and Specifications, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Can Transit Learn From Wade Boggs?

Professional sports and public transit are two very different things, I admit that. But contemplate, for a second, the amount of statistical scrutiny we give to the athletic diversions in our lives and how much we attention we pay to the statistics of public transportation. Now contemplate the robustness of the statistics gathered (and are...

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May 30, 2010
Analysis, Blogs & Other Sites

Cost Is Relative With Urban Infrastructure

The good folks over at US Infrastructure have invited me to blog for them on occasion. So, of course, the first blog has to do with the Caracas Metrocable and how various people (including The Economist) choose to portray the costs of civil works projects. Please check out Cost Is Relative With Urban Infrastructure.

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Dec 31, 2009
Analysis, Research Issues, Thoughts, Urban Planning & Design

Dinner at The Mandarin

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is not enamoured by my proposal for cable transit in Toronto, likely because their plan is a multi-billion dollar network of light rail lines throughout Toronto called Transit City. Fair enough. But let’s actually break down the TTC’s argument and see why they’re not into the idea. Brad Ross, TTC...

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Nov 23, 2009
Analysis, Light Rail & Streetcars, Toronto

The Speed of CPT (and Chickadees)

The other day I wrote about how Toronto’s streetcars were like shooting chickadees with cannonballs.  In terms of speed, the streetcars were designed to operate at speeds far in excess of what was possible in an urban environment. So how does CPT stack up on our Cannonball Index (that doesn’t exist, by the way, but...

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Nov 19, 2009
Analysis, Light Rail & Streetcars, Research Issues, Thoughts, Toronto, Urban Planning & Design


(For those of you not statistically or mathematically inclined, you’ll probably want to skip this post) PPHPD is an acronym for persons per hour per direction and is a great tool for calculating offered capacity of a transit line. Unfortunately, it’s not a term that has any sort of mainstream usage or understanding and that...

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Nov 18, 2009
Light Rail & Streetcars, Thoughts, Toronto

Shooting a Chickadee with a Cannonball

The Swiss have an expression to describe solving a problem with far more than is necessary. To do so, they say, is to “shoot a chickadee with a cannonball,” and is a perfect description of what light rail is to the transit planning problem. As an example: Toronto’s current fleet of streetcars were designed to...

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