By: KC | April 27, 2016

This editorial also appeared in the April 27, 2016 edition of ENR


After decades of research and development, a sustainable transit revolution is underway—in Asia.


The International Railway Journal reported on April 4th that a new automated 18.6-kilometer-long urban maglev system has gone into operation in Changsha, China to connect this city of 5 million to its airport. This follows a February 3rd IRJ article that announced Incheon International Airport outside Seoul, South Korea has begun passenger operations of a 6.1-km-long automated maglev line. Both systems’ technologies are homegrown and follow two other maglev systems deployed over a decade earlier in Japan and China, which still are going strong.


To launch the 2005 World Expo in Nago...

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By: KC | April 06, 2016


Kevin C. Coates

April 6, 2016


As an advanced transportation consultant, I found the recent New York Times headline, “Washington Metro, 40 and Creaking, Stares at a Midlife Crisis,” amusing, but not in the way the editors intended. What I find amusing is that so many people instinctively expect Metro to run smoothly and reliably forever. It doesn’t and there are good reasons why that is the case.


The stark reality is that everything has a useful life – especially machines and infrastructure. Transportation technology and its infrastructure also have what is known as an End Of Life (EOL), something ribbon-cutting politicians have a tendency to forget or ignore. For the 40-year-old lines in the Metro system, it is more precise to speak in t...

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By: KC | March 24, 2016

Kevin C. Coates

 

March 24, 2016

 

Like many U.S. counties lying just outside major metropolitan centers, Maryland’s Montgomery County is now heavily urbanized, and has the traffic to prove it. For the last thirty or forty years the county’s traffic congestion has steadily grown worse, in spite of several feeble attempts to improve things with some road widening and intersection refurbishing projects.

 

Now the county is proposing to “build” a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system to entice people out of their cars and into new “speedy” buses. Of course this will not be “real BRT,” but more of a glorified express bus service with an abysmally low average speed. An inconvenient fact for BRT boosters since high average speeds are essential for att...

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