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  • With mass-transit fares about to go up — yet again, most New Yorkers would add wearily — this is a good time to pry a statistic out of the recesses of wonkdom where it usually huddles. It is called the farebox operating ratio, an unlovely phrase for calculating what riders pay out of their own pockets to keep a transit system going. If that ratio is high, then government support for rail and bus systems is relatively low. With the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, you may not be surprised to hear, the figure is appreciably higher than that for other big American cities.

    New York Times
  • ExxonMobil, the biggest investor-owned energy company in the world, released its annual outlook Tuesday in which it shared its outlook for energy supply and demand through 2040....The company predicts demand for transportation fuel will stay flat in Europe and decline in North America, but it will grow dramatically in the rest of the world....Hybrids will command more than half the world’s passenger car market by 2040 and conventional gasoline vehicles will make up about one-third of the market. Electric vehicle sales will grow quickly between 2025 and 2040, but still represent a small slice of the overall market. Drivers won’t adopt natural gas vehicles in a major way.

    Washington Post
  • State officials overseeing construction of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge agreed this year to pay a public relations company nearly $10 million for services the Brown administration says it knew nothing about, including hundreds of thousands of dollars to conduct tours and to produce a video and commemorative book. The administration said Wednesday that it has ordered the contract's cancellation, after theCalifornia Department of Transportationprovided records of the contract to The Bee at the newspaper's request.

    Sacramento Bee
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    General Electric is turning to crowdsourcing--and offering prize money--in an effort to help improve the chance your next flight will be on time. Managing all the airline flights every day around the country and the world is a massively complex system... There are thousands of independent decisions being made by several networks scattered across the globe, including the different airports, airlines, pilots and air traffic controllers. Even a catering truck driver can make a choice that will ripple its way through the system.

    Wired
  • Following The Bay Citizen's story on the dangers for pedestrians crossing El Camino Real, and the fact that Caltrans has done little to improve safety, I received several emails from neighbors who wanted to share their concerns and suggestions. 

    Bay Citizen
  • A study of San Jose drivers shows signs that apps for sharing real-time traffic data can ease the stress of commuting. UC Berkeley Professor Alex Bayen says those drivers felt better about the commute than those not using the app.

    KQED
  • ...The unprecedented study was conducted in the city of San Jose, California, in partnership with Ericsson, the City of San Jose's Department of Transportation and the University of California's Mobile Millennium team from the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS)..."One of the novel aspects of the work is the use of crowd-sourced content, which goes beyond GPS traces and which, in the future, will constitute a significant source of mobility information in urban environments," said CITRIS researcher Alexandre Bayen, a professor at UC Berkeley's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences.

    Phys.org
  • OCtollroads.jpeg

    With ridership and revenue on Orange County's toll roads falling short of projections, the state of California has launched a formal inquiry into their economic viability...The roads offer smooth sailing for gridlock-weary commuters willing to pay the price. But far fewer people are using the turnpikes than officials predicted, which means the highways generate far less revenue than expected to retire their debts.

    LA Times
  • Back in June, Brookings Institution demographer William Frey dug into a new set of Census figures and determined that in America's 51 largest metro areas, on average, the core cities had suddenly started growing slightly faster than their suburbs. Frey's analysis focused on larger metros, but as it turns out, much the same story had been happening in smaller metros such as Clarksville, Tennessee, or Lexington, Kentucky. A new study released Monday by Smart Growth America, the national community-development advocacy organization, expanded on Frey's work to examine the population growth rates in the center cities of small U.S. metros (those with under one million people) between 2010 to 2011.

    Atlantic Cities
  • n their new book, John Pucher and Ralph Buehler come right out and state their belief in plain English: "Cycling should be made feasible, convenient, and safe for everyone." The editors of City Cycling, just published by MIT Press, aim to further that cause by gathering together as much data as they could find to support their case that "it is hard to beat cycling when it comes to environmental, economic, and social sustainability."

    Atlantic Cities