California on track to more emissions reduction with high-speed rail

In the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s 2018 Business Plan, released Jun. 1st, pointed out is that California, now home to 39.4 million people1, had a transportation system that, at one time, was “the envy of the world.”2 Another of the state’s hallmarks is its standing as a leader among world economies – it has been … Read more

Book Review: ‘Three Revolutions: Steering Automated, Shared, and Electric Vehicles to a Better Future’

Three Revolutions: Steering Automated, Shared, and Electric Vehicles to a Better Future is a collection of chapters, vignettes if you will, composed by both the conductor (lead author) – Daniel Sperling – and a cohort of contributors. Three Revolutions is chockfull of information, much backed up by supporting documentation (what’s contained in the “Notes” section). … Read more

With Fresno bus rapid transit having hit the ground running, is light rail transit to be completely ruled out?

Can bus rapid transit in Fresno in California’s mid-section deliver quality?, Will it be quicker?, are two key questions to ask of the city’s latest transit offering. Even before the “Q” (how the new BRT is branded) was a sure thing, being contemplated was what the enhanced transit bus service would be able to bring. … Read more

Electrified modes yield bigger air-quality benefit bang for buck

It would seem that the most efficient transport systems are the most expensive to build. So, there is an obvious trade-off. Operationally, the most efficient are also the most cost-effective or cost-efficient. That said, at the end of the day, from an operational standpoint, monetarily, the worth of the most cost-effective or efficient should be … Read more

Passive magnetic levitation: The future of land-based transport?

Oh how far we’ve come! So, what’s passive magnetic levitation or passive maglev, for short? First, some are referring to passive maglev as the fifth (or next) generation of land- or ground-based travel and transport. What makes this the fifth generation is the principle element of levitation. Be this as it may, more tweaking, refining … Read more

Rail woefully underfunded in Fresno County’s half-cent transportation sales tax measure

In November two-thousand-six, when it came time to vote a second time on extending Fresno County, California’s Measure C – the half-cent sales tax referendum to improve county transportation (the first attempt failed to garner enough support), I voted “No.” I knew that the extension, post-2006 all the way out to 2027 (the time the … Read more

Making an impact: The effect on air from electric cars – NONE!

Year after year on the world-transport-activity stage, on-road travel accounts for the largest share.1 In the USA alone, meanwhile, there are over 250 million registered automobiles and trucks and buses total, yet only a small fraction derive their propulsion means from 100 percent electric power – about 160,000 light-duty vehicles in 2016. Across the globe … Read more

Conventional roadwork can’t hold a candle to constructing Cal. high-speed rail

With reference to California high-speed-rail- versus typical road-work, there really is no comparison. The difference, to put it succinctly, is like night and day. So, what makes the former so different? What makes California-high-speed-rail-construction stand alone is the cleanliness or should I say “air-friendliness” of related operations. The building of the California high-speed rail system … Read more

Lowering emissions from transportation now more important than ever

For almost 40 years U.S. transportation held the No. 2 spot. In 2016, this sector moved to the top in emissions output, outstripping energy for the first time since 1978. There are two reasons and two reasons only for the reversal: 1) transportation emissions increased; and 2) energy emissions fell. It’s that simple. The good … Read more

If not high-speed rail, what then?!

On Dec. 16, 2017, less than a month away, California high-speed rail construction work will have reached the two-and-a-half-year mark. This is the first major “from-scratch” intercity, heavy-rail, railroad-building effort begun in the Golden State since Southern Pacific’s Colton Cutoff (to Palmdale) line was completed in 1967 and the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system … Read more