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Just read a write up of a mass transit idea some one in Boston came up with. It's an elevated train, but the track is much less physically imposing than typical (Chicago "L") style. The supports almost look like the decorative arches in Uptown. The guy's goal would be to replace all trains AND buses with this - basically any major road would have one of these lines over it. It could be partially funded by selling bus depots, transit centers, etc. He's quite vague on pricing though, and it is just a rough concept. Wired article: http://www.wired.com/2016/01/far-fetched-plan-for-mass-transit-is-intriguing-at-least/#slide-1 Design firm's website: http://jacob-innovations.com/cTrain.html
HAIF transit enthusiasts, I bring to you this morning the most awesome thing ever! I give you the TRAVIC - Transit Visualization Client! http://tracker.geops.ch/ You can pretty much go to most cities and countries and just watch the movement of transit in a very slick visualization format. If it sees very slow thats because its actually working on realtime. The best way to really visualize it though is to speed it up x15 or x30. What is jarring is when you compare a city like New York, London, Paris, etc.... with transit in Houston and just how different and quite frankly dead it is. Whats even cooler is that its not just a fancy visual. You can click on any of the moving dots and it will show you the stops on the line itself and where it is heading.
Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) is a long bandied about, but oft dismissed form of transportation. Many potential systems are out there, but only a few sad, disappointing examples are in operation across the globe. The promise of mass-transit service with car-like privacy is grand. Why has PRT been so slow to gain traction? Will the driverless car usher in the age of PRT? After all, why would any average citizen need to own a car any longer (and pay for gas, insurance, maintenance, etc.) if a fleet of autonomous taxis is driving every street in America? Will PRT become the future or will it always remain a vision?
I know this is a Houston forum, but I didn't see any topic about the ongoing saga of Austin getting light rail (although they're calling it urban rail b/c it'll share the road w/ cars while in downtown). http://impactnews.com/austin-metro/central-austin/austins-urban-rail-plan-could-cost-1.4-billion/ Here's some more literature that I've found: http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2013-12-13/urban-rail-which-way-to-connect/ http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2014-04-18/project-connect-central-corridor-options/ Ben Wear does a good as the transportation writer for the Statesman and I'm sure he has lots of articles about this. However, ever since the pay-wall went up for that paper's site, I haven't been able to read any of his stuff. Here's another resource: http://projectconnect.com/