5 Ways DC Metro Beats NYC Subway

New York City’s Subway system, run by the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), is the largest rapid transit system in the United States. With service 24 hours per day and an extensive network of 421 stations, virtually all of Manhattan and most of the outer boroughs are within a quick walk of the system – …

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Gamification, Technology, and Improving Transit Rider Satisfaction

What’s the current state of the rider experience? Are transportation systems meeting the demands and expectations of the general public? These questions were posed to a panel of speakers at a plenary session of the Mobility Lab-sponsored Innovation in Public Policy Summit. Technology – in particular the power of information – was shown to be a …

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Arlington County TOD Linked to Health, Sprawl Study Says

We have been taught to hate sprawl in America, yet, in the past 10 years, our country has become, on average, slightly more sprawling than in the decade prior. That was one finding of Smart Growth America’s Measuring Sprawl 2014 report, released earlier this month. The study, conducted by University of Utah city planning professor Reid Ewing …

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Redefining Uber: Why the Term Rideshare Doesn’t Fit

Uber and its ilk are cool and disruptive technologies, and our position at Mobility Lab is that additional transportation choices are always a good thing for consumers. But Uber’s habit of calling itself a “rideshare company” is getting out of hand. Neither Uber, Sidecar, nor Lyft fit any of the criteria of a rideshare, yet …

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Capital Bikeshare is the Netflix of Transportation

When my Capital Bikeshare membership came up for renewal a month ago, it was a foregone conclusion that I would fork over my credit card for another year of what has become, for me, an indispensable service. First, a disclaimer: I don’t wear spandex bike shorts, or carry around a bike helmet in my briefcase. …

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High-Speed Rail is a Key to U.S. Economic Competitiveness

High-speed rail (HSR) is gaining momentum in the United States, with many projects in various stages of planning. California’s controversial and groundbreaking high-speed rail line, which will link San Francisco and Los Angeles, is expected to begin construction this summer. The ambitious California HSR line has prompted development of similar plans for the Midwest, New …

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Activity Centers Aim to Increase D.C. Region’s Future Growth, Avoid Infrastructure Chaos

I have written about Activity Centers before, to less than stellar Internet traffic. My concerns regarding how to market the regional planning initiative have been shared by my Mobility Lab colleague Paul Mackie, and we have struggled to come up with a hook or angle for these neighborhoods that will capture the imagination of the D.C. public. …

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The Case for Activity Centers in the D.C. Region

Atlanta has Livable Centers. San Francisco has Priority Development Areas. And here in D.C., we have Activity Centers. Different terms, similar concepts: places or hubs in large metropolitan areas where future growth is designated, encouraged, and concentrated. Activity Centers have big implications regarding efficiencies in transportation, sustainability, and livability, particularly in a post-recession environment of …

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Transportation Options Create a Potential Windfall for Washington D.C. Property

Washington D.C.’s Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center was arguably in need of a facelift, if nothing else. The 27-year-old office building, located at the corner of 14th and U Streets NW, has been showing its age amidst the increasingly high-end residential and retail construction projects peppering 14th street. The announcement of the D.C. government’s plan, …

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Overheard on Transit: 30 Days of Eavesdropping

Riding the bus, train, or metro isn’t exactly a communal experience but, unlike driving, isn’t a solitary one either. Even if you’re commuting alone, you’re never really alone. Overheard conversations by one’s fellow passengers can be one of the mildly voyeuristic satisfactions of public transit. A snippet of conversation is a brief glimpse into another …

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