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News In Motion

The movement of People, Goods and Ideas

NIM is TranSystems' e-newsletter distributed to more than 10,000 subscribers nationwide. The electronic publication features top news and expert commentary on target market segments in the transportation industry.
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Large structural installations or assets – a stadium, a concert hall, a mall, an entertainment district – tend to increase the value of the land around it, and transportation assets are certainly large structural installations. This corresponding rise in value is no certain thing, but it is high on the probability list. READ ARTICLE
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News in Motion - January 11 2017

The technology cited, the one that is become ever less expensive, is Lidar. In the broad sense it is the mapping technology that will make the autonomous vehicle possible. You may have seen an earlier version of the device sitting atop one of the Google cars, an ultra-modern contraption of uncertain purpose to the common citizen. The cost of new technology often drops dramatically as its future use becomes more certain and as research and development dollars are poured into quick advances that can be commercialized; such seems to be the case here. READ ARTICLE
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The expectations over driverless cars are stratospherically high. For one, there’s the fascination with the technology and the presumption of an easier commute: The self-driving car will take us to work while we surf the Internet, read files and review emails. Once it drops us off, it returns home where others in our household can use it -- until it’s time to call it to pick us up and take us home again. READ ARTICLE
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Numbers are beginning to be generated around the topic of self-driving cars, well in advance of there being any significant fleet of self-driving cars on the road. Morgan Stanley and Barclay, two highly-regarded consulting firms, are the latest to take a run at the revenue pluses and minuses, one of them putting the net positive effect (to cities) at half a trillion dollars. READ COMMENTARY
By many measures, bus rapid transit (BRT) is one of the most useful transportation inventions the world has come up with yet…and the fastest growing. Originating, or at least first taking off in, the large metropolitan areas of South America, specifically Curitiba, Brazil (the first) and Bogota, Colombia (the biggest), the systems have been adopted all over the word...120 cities, 7,000 stations, 30,000 buses, and 27 million passengers a day. READ ARTICLE
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The San Francisco Port Commission will vote Tuesday on whether to approve a five-year lease extension on a 10-acre plot of land rented by the San Francisco Bay Railroad (SFBR). The land is being used for the storage of vehicles and materials, and is also home to 14 beehives that produce honey, as well as a herd of goats that work to keep the rail track area clear. READ ARTICLE
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Cities and states are often pleased to work closely with the short line rails falling within their span of control, understanding what a big role they play in local and regional economies. Short line railroads account for nearly 30% of the nation's total rail mileage. With more than 550 short line rail companies operating in 49 states, the network of these smaller rail providers pick up or deliver 25% of the nation's total rail cars. READ COMMENTARY
A subspecialty has emerged in the bridge business, whereby the existing spans are raised a matter of inches, often up to a foot in additional height, just as you might raise the roof of a structure. The intent has nothing to do with the bridges proper but with the traffic flow underneath. READ ARTICLE
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Large structural installations or assets – a stadium, a concert hall, a mall, an entertainment district – tend to increase the value of the land around it, and transportation assets are certainly large structural installations. This corresponding rise in value is no certain thing, but it is high on the probability list. READ ARTICLE
A Step Further...
For as long as airlines have been crossing the oceans, airline passengers have had to go to big city airports to catch their overseas flights. READ ARTICLE
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There is new life for the medium- or small-sized airport. In a time of increased air travel that is only projected to increase they are more and more serving as destinations of their own, with advantages of their own. READ COMMENTARY
The quick replacement of a bridge seems like a contradiction in terms, these fine structures most often call for months of shut down lanes, detours, end-arounds, and construction dust. But of late bridges are being replaced over the weekend, and sometimes overnight. READ ARTICLE
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Any network of any size that moves people or goods is composed of both the mode – highways and bridges for instance, or freight rail – and the nodes. The latter is a gathering place that brings people or goods into a central location, concentrates them, sorts them, and then distributes them back out into the system. That is a description that is a little rough around the edges, but it gets the point across. And the word ‘hub’ is a little warmer than 'node,' so we’ll go with the former. READ ARTICLE
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There is benefit in tracking a single product through the supply chain and seeing what lessons can be learned. The attention of many fine people will turn in a few weeks to the topic of flowers for Valentine’s Day. Now where exactly do they come from?
READ ARTICLE
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Uber is opening up in an area where it might make sense competitively for it to stay more closed off: The ride-hailing company’s new Movement website will offer up access to its data around traffic flow in scores where it operates, intended for use by city planners and researchers looking into ways to improve urban mobility. READ ARTICLE
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Data acquisition is the bedrock of transportation planning. Perfectly successful firms built a business over the past decades doing little else but transportation studies, and they seldom were lacking for work. READ COMMENTARY
The U.S. Department of Transportation and Seattle's Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority – known as Sound Transit – signed a $1.99 billion master credit agreement to cover four light rail projects, and the USDOT closed an initial long-term TIFIA loan of $615.3 million under the accord. READ ARTICLE
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The fine writer is communicating to transportation professionals, and there is an appropriate presumption that the reader knows what TIFIA is...which might not be the case for the reader outside the sector. We shall take a run through it. READ COMMENTARY
Unaware that they are stars of the reality TV variety these large mammals have adopted these underground passages and thereby extended their range...or more importantly, have simply survived the passage from one side of the highway to the next, and without doing damage to passing humans. READ ARTICLE
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News in Motion is an e-newsletter keeping you current on news and trends in the transportation industry.