Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vehicle-Miles-Traveled Fee in Oregon, USA

Check out the recent article on "Ten Questions (and Answers) About Oregon’s New VMT Charge" on DC.STREETBLOG.ORG.
"Will a VMT charge better match the needs of the system than the gas tax? Mostly, yes. Fuel consumption used to be a reasonably good proxy for road use, but it isn’t anymore. Charging people directly for their use of the roads makes more sense. If revenues go down, it will be because people are driving less, and therefore creating less wear and tear on the roads, as well as less demand for system expansion. It’s not perfect, though: Lightly used roads will still get beaten up by severe weather, and plants will still show up in the cracks."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Streetcar and Economic Development

A recent article on streetcars and economic development in The Atlantic Cities, have highlighted the need for more empirical study to better understand how streetcars affect urban development. Melbourne Tram system is a perfect case for such study.
"A 2010 survey of 13 U.S. streetcar systems, sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration, concluded that the economic impact of streetcars remains largely unknown. System representatives "believed" that streetcars enhance development but didn't actually "seek information" about this economic impact — perhaps because there's not much to seek"

Monday, September 2, 2013

"Decline in driving is about more than an economic aftershock."

"After sixty years of almost constant increases in the annual number of miles Americans drive, since 2004 Americans have decreased their driving per-capita for eight years in a row. Driving miles per person are down especially sharply among Millennials, America’s largest generation that will increasingly dominate national transportation trends.
But some skeptics have suggested that the apparent end of the Driving Boom might be just a temporary hiccup in the trend toward more driving for Americans. By the time Americans took notice of the decline in driving, the economy was in deep recession. Would economic growth bring back rapid increases in driving?
Doubts about whether the Driving Boom has ended make it easier to postpone choices about transforming our transportation system or enacting reforms that disrupt well-established interest groups."  
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