Archive | March, 2007

Smart Cards Introduced for Transit in Montreal

A newspaper review of the introduction of technology similar to the Hong Kong “Octopus” cards.

Could we do it here? Where would we put the readers on MAX and Streetcar?

The good news is we have a relatively small number of transit providers to integrate. Portland has already rolled out smart cards for the parking pay stations, so we have the beginning of a technology base.

4th CRC Options Survives Task Force Review

The subcommittee’s proposal for using the existing bridges for Northbound traffic while putting transit and southbound traffic on a new bridge was approved by the full Columbia River Crossing task force last night (Oregonian coverage).

So this will be studied in the EIS along with the big bridge and no build options.

Does this provide enough fodder to force looking a real options?

New State Transportation Funding Strategy?

An interesting piece in the Daily Journal of Commerce yesterday (“State leaders draw roadmap for transportation reform”) contains musings from Rex Burkholder and Senate Transportation Chair Rick Metsger among others.

Statewide, “we spend a lot of money on transportation each year, and we don’t really evaluate it in any way more than how many cars go through an intersection,” Rex Burkholder, a councilor with the regional government Metro, said.

With limited dollars available to manage the system, many question the state’s current plan to invest billions in projects that offer just one payback – a few minutes saved on the morning commute.

Instead, a new system of incremental targeted investments would, for the most part, replace massive road projects. Over the next 20 years or more, Metro expects the existing statewide system to expand no more than 5 percent.

There is also talk of local road fees as a potential funding mechanism.