Transit construction costs, MARTA Guide, and transit with poor self-esteem

22 Dec
  • No matter how well-thought out or how badly needed transit projects are, cost is always an issue. For some people it’s a cause for concern that needs to be carefully monitored, for others it’s an all-purpose reason not to undertake a project – any project – at all. (Would anyone else be really happy to never hear the word “boondoggle” again?) Construction and operation costs for the newly-funded downtown streetcar project are a prime, local, recent example.

There’s a really cool discussion of why transit costs are so much higher in the U.S. than the rest of the world going on at Human Transit. It’s really cool in that ideas are flying and the list of possibilities keeps growing, but no one claims to know The Reason.

  • Am I the only person who didn’t know about MARTA Guide? In case you were in the dark with me, MARTA Guide gives quick, clear bus and rail directions to shopping, arts venues and festivals, universities, tourist attractions and a lot of other places. You can search by destination type or by transit station. It’s so through that I might rarely need to tangle with MARTA’s trip planner (which functions as if someone got halfway through building it and said “Pffft. That’s good enough.”) again.
  • Also via Human Transit, take a look at Green Idea Factory’s set of “self-harming” ads found in, on or near transit stations, vehicles or bus stops.

    Flickr photo by Green Idea Factory

    Those “Quick, easy financing!” car lot ads on MARTA’s trains always seemed awfully incongruous, but it turns out that even transit-savvy cities like Prague have the same strange practice going on. Does any other entity accept money to allow a direct competitor to advertise to its clientele?

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