What if public agencies don't change transportation policies or regulations as autonomous vehicles (AVs) enter the market and expand their presence on American roadways? This is one of many questions we investigate in assessing the potential risks that AVs present to the desired future outcomes that cities, regions and states have established through their land use and transportation plans. We use the term "risks" purposefully. This is because our research and modeling reveal the potential for substantial increases in vehicle travel and decreases in transit ridership if AVs operate under current policy and regulatory frameworks. So, what can policymakers and local agencies do?
Smart Internet of Things (IoT) in transit service has public transits connected to the networks accessible via internet. The networks connect to each other also the external environment to share data picked up by sensors on the transits themselves, offering many benefits to improve public transportation. Supported by the smart IoT connectivity integrated with Artificial Intelligence (AI), various on-board systems for transit vehicles have emerged, making the transit system more reliable, convenient and efficient for passengers. Multiple plane, train, metro, and bus companies have started using smart IoT in their services to enhance the customer experience and to help operations and maintenance. One good example is the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), which has provided a smart connected public busing service across a 1,600-square mile service region serving 80 percent of Utah's entire population.
To the editor: In The Times' article on its sponsored conference on fossil fuels at the Broad Theatre in Santa Monica, there was no mention of anyone taking mass transit to the event (the article noted there were cyclists and electric car drivers). Consistent use of mass transit is the most immediate and lasting way to reduce the use of fossil fuels and to reduce gridlock. Even electric vehicles cause gridlock. The Broad, at Santa Monica College's Performing Arts campus, is served by city and Metro buses. With the opening of Phase II of the Expo Line, I now walk from the 17th Street station to the Broad Campus, which is not quite one mile.
This story was originally published by CityLab and appears here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. When a new rail or bus line gets built in the United States, its mere opening is often cause for celebration among transit advocates. That's understandable, given the funding gaps and political opposition that often stymie projects. But not all trains are bound for glory, and it's often not hard to see why. In the new book, Trains, Buses, People: An Opinionated Atlas of US Transit (Island Press, coving $40), Christof Spieler, a Houston-based transit planner, advocate, and former METRO board member, takes stock of the state of American transit with a tough-love approach.
In the New York City of February 2020, a missed subway train was mostly a nuisance. Chances were, another one was coming a few minutes later. In February 2022, the sight of a subway train receding into the distance just as you reach the platform may feel more existential. Fifteen or 20 minutes away, enough lost time to make shift workers late to clock in and desk jockeys tardy enough to catch the eye of the dude in the corner office. New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority is the agency that runs the city's subway system, plus the region's buses and commuter rail.