Clear all

338 results found

reorder grid_view

Closing the Climate Investment Gap: California Must Prioritize Climate-Smart Transportation Projects

October 4, 2023

The danger of climate change to Californians is more obvious than ever, with extreme weather and climate-related disasters making it clear that the status quo cannot continue. The California Air Resources Board recently adopted a plan to achieve carbon neutrality and cut human-caused greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 85 percent below 1990 levels by 2045. Because transportation is the largest source of GHG emissions in California, reaching these goals will require both rapid vehicle electrification and reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by investing in low-carbon mobility like public transit, bike paths, and pedestrian safety improvements across the state.NRDC analyzed state transportation investment decisions across 10 key funding programs that span 2019 to 2027—representing $22.4 billion invested in 4,824 projects—to see to what extent California's transportation spending matches the urgency of its climate goals. Unfortunately, our analysis finds a disconnect between the projects and programs that California funds and the urgency to decarbonize the transportation system in order to meet the state's climate goals: Less than one-fifth of the total budget is going to VMT-reducing projects.In a time of climate crisis, we can no longer afford to spend more than 80 percent of our state transportation investments expanding and maintaining the very sector that is contributing more than any other to climate pollution.

Divided by Design

July 31, 2023

Low-income communities and communities of color have been and continue to be disproportionately harmed by our approach to transportation in the United States. This damage has come in many forms, but most egregiously through the manner in which the U.S. constructed of the Interstate Highway System. A growing understanding of this reality helped lead to the creation of new provisions and programs aimed at undoing some of this damage in the November 2021 infrastructure bill. But these steps were modest and policy interventions continue to focus largely on past harms or small, insufficient reforms, ultimately failing to grapple with the reality that the fundamental approach of our current transportation program creates and exacerbates inequities.Past decisions, including routing the Interstate Highway System through communities of color, dividing and often demolishing them in the process, still shape our built environment. And most importantly, the foundation of the modern transportation program was built on models, measures and standards that have their roots in this era. Without a fundamental change to the overall approach to transportation, today's leaders and transportation professionals, no matter their intent, will perpetuate and exacerbate the damage.

Building for proximity: The role of activity centers in reducing total miles traveled

June 29, 2023

American households live amid a transportation conundrum. From a technological perspective, no developed country makes greater use of private vehicles and their incredible ability to cover long distances in relatively little time. The problem is that all those vehicles come at a real cost to society: growing environmental damage, unsafe roads, higher household transportation spending, and rising costs to maintain all the infrastructure. Even as electric vehicles promise to reduce the climate impacts of driving, this latest innovation still fails to address car dependency's other persistent costs to society.Building for proximity could offer a more holistic solution. Helping people live closer to the centers of economic activity—from downtown hubs to local Main Streets—should reduce the distances people need to travel for many of their essential trips. Shorter trip distances, in turn, make walking, bicycling, and transit more attractive and can improve quality of life. And as more people travel by foot instead of a private vehicle, officials can feel empowered to build complete streets that include lower speed limits, protected bike lanes, and other amenities.

Biaya Logistik Beras dan Kedelai: Isu, Tantangan, dan Dampak Kebijakan

May 1, 2023

Makalah ini berfokus pada tantangan-tantangan yang ada di Indonesia terkait logistik beras dan kedelai. Distribusi beras bersifat sangat kompleks karena produksinya terkonsentrasi di Pulau Jawa, sementara konsumsinya tinggi di seluruh wilayah Indonesia. Sementara itu, sebagian besar kedelai merupakan hasil impor dan harus berhadapan dengan tantangan-tantangan logistik impor maupunlogistik domestik. Di tingkat nasional, biaya logistik mencapai kurang lebih 21–23% dari produk domestik bruto (PDB) Indonesia–jauh lebih tinggi dibandingkan negara-negara berkembang lainnya. Biaya transportasi dan persediaan (inventory) merupakan dua komponen terbesar dalam biaya logistik di Indonesia, sedangkan biaya administrasi seperti tarif dan pungutan di pelabuhan hanya membentuk kurang dari 6%. Biaya logistik yang tinggi pada akhirnya membebani konsumen karena meningkatkan harga barang, termasuk bahan-bahan pangan pokok.This paper focuses on the challenges that exist in Indonesia regarding rice and soybean logistics. Rice distribution is very complex because production is concentrated on the island of Java, while consumption is high throughout Indonesia. Meanwhile, the majority of soybeans are imported and have to deal with the challenges of imported and domestic logistics. At the national level, logistics costs reach approximately 21–23% of Indonesia's gross domestic product (GDP) – much higher than other developing countries. Transportation and inventory costs are the two largest components of logistics costs in Indonesia, while administrative costs such as tariffs and port levies only make up less than 6%. High logistics costs ultimately burden consumers because they increase the price of goods, including basic food ingredients.

Poll: More than three-quarters of Massachusetts residents support boosting funding for regional bus service

April 18, 2023

Results of a survey of 1401 Massachusetts residents, including 967 living in communities served by the state's 15 Regional Transit Authorities. The survey found majority support for increased funding for the RTAs. It also asked riders and non-riders about barriers to bus ridership and what factors would make the biggest differences in getting them to ride. The survey was conducted in collaboration with the Regional Transit Authority Advocates Coalition and was sponsored by the Barr Foundation.

All Aboard: Financing a Fare-Free WRTA

March 10, 2023

The Worcester Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board has suspended fares at the agency since March 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent emergency. It has been extended several times, and the latest extension is set to end at the end of June 2023 unless the Advisory Board adopts a budget that will extend fare-free for a longer period of time. The Worcester Regional Research Bureau previously released two reports: In May 2019, The Implications of a Fare-Free WRTA and in November 2020, Bureau Brief—Addendum to "The Implications of a Fare-Free WRTA." Both reports analyses found a strong argument in favor of a fare-free program at the WRTA. This report on finances serves as an update to those reports after three years of fare-free service.The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is consistently the largest source of revenues used for operating expenses, followed by, in FY22, the Federal Government, and then WRTA member community assessments.According to a 2018 survey of riders, 65% of riders had an income of less than $24,999.Collecting fares, whether fixed or variable, will entail costs of its own that may mitigate the revenues collected by restarting fares.A thought experiment of what different fare collection revenues could look like, including the possibility of discounting fares by income.The Massachusetts' Legislature and the new gubernatorial administration have expressed interest in increasing transportation funding across the state. Moreover, the Regional Transit Authority Caucus in the legislature has begun to put forward bills to raise statewide RTA funding to $150 million a year, nearly $55 million more than funding for FY23. Governor Healey's initial FY24 budget includes $96.8 million for RTAs, in addition to $6 million for operating expenses from a new $25 million grant.The Federal Government will be increasing its transportation funding until 2026.The WRTA experienced a rapid ridership recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and FY23 ridership is expected to increase. While this report reviews WRTA finances relative to sustaining a fare-free policy, please look forward to a forthcoming report on WRTA ridership from The Research Bureau. It is evident that a fare-free policy at the WRTA has had significant impact, particularly on ridership.

Poll: Mass. voters say an even split of millionaire’s tax would be a fair share

February 10, 2023

Analysis of a poll question When Massachusetts voters approved a new surtax on income over $1 million last year, it was clear what that money was supposed to go to: transportation and education. But how much should go to each? A new poll from The MassINC Polling Group (topline, crosstabs) finds that just under half of voters (47 percent) favor an even split between the two areas of spending. Among the rest there was a slight preference for education: 21 percent favored more money for education and some transportation, compared to 10 percent who wanted more for transportation.

Do you need a car to attend community college in Michigan?

February 1, 2023

In Michigan, 44% of community and technical colleges have a public transit stop within walking distance.An additional 13% — or 11 campuses — are less than five miles from an existing transit line, but not yet connected.SHSF assessed the 87 campuses belonging to Michigan's community and technical colleges to determine their proximity to public transit stops. Learn more about the methodology here.Accessibility requires not only transit stops, but also schedules and routes that meet the needs of today's college students. SHSF's map does not include frequency or route information.

Measuring Quick and Creative Street Projects: An evaluation toolkit for practitioners and partners

February 1, 2023

Cities and towns across Massachusetts are implementing innovations on their streets. Quick and creative projects that prioritize people are having big impacts.These changes are mostly simple: making space for chairs and tables for neighbors to sit and chat, slowing down traffic via cones so kids can play and bike to school, and painting bus lanes for people to travel faster.This toolkit provides practitioners and partners with guidance on carrying forward the important work of measuring projects using low-cost and repeatable evaluation methods. The report includes links to sample templates and surveys to support these efforts.

How better payment systems can improve public transportation

January 9, 2023

America's payment system is transforming as methods of transacting digitally grow. Digital transactions offer the opportunity to move money faster, cheaper, and more conveniently for customers and businesses. Digital transactions can also unlock new methods for businesses to operate; the online economy is only possible because of online payments.Our current payment system has solved one set of challenges to unlock the new economy, but the system causes significant problems for others. The current system has a cost structure that is expensive for digital micro-payments, which are small dollar payments. Furthermore, digital payments require accessing digital currency which is easy for the wealthy but can be expensive for those with less income. Finally, digital payment acceptance is fragmented, cumbersome, and slow, creating delays.These problems form a perfect storm when it comes to transit agencies. Public transit has a large share of low-dollar, high-volume payments. Transit agencies face unique challenges in adapting their fare payment systems to best meet the needs of riders while simultaneously solving concerns regarding user ease, speed, interoperability, and costs. Public transit is generally funded by a combination of user fees and subsidies by multiple levels of government. Federal, state, and local governments have all embraced public transit to serve multiple goals of providing basic mobility, supporting equity, catalyzing economic growth, and creating a more sustainable transportation system. The federal government's recent infrastructure legislation is a historic investment in transit that provides transit agencies a unique opportunity to improve payment collection systems. To achieve this, payment systems have to become more efficient and effective for low-dollar, high-volume transactions, a key characteristic of transit fare payments.

Impacts of COVID-19 and work from home on regional transit ridership and individuals' travel behaviors

December 22, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered personal mobility choices. During the pandemic, there has been a major shift towards work from home (WFH) arrangements, and travel behaviors and patterns have also undergone profound changes. Effective vaccines, new anti-viral medications and general population fatigue associated with the pandemic have combined to gradually shift larger numbers of people toward more regular daily routines. It is now particularly useful to understand to what degree the behavioral shifts that occurred during the COVID-19 period will continue as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, and society gradually returns to pre-pandemic activity patterns, or adopts new patterns. We take two approaches to understand people's travel behavior changes due to the pandemic disruption: (1) we quantify the impact of remote work on public transit ridership at the national level; and (2) we examine the change of Massachusetts residents' travel attitudes and behaviors in the fall of 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic situation.

Civic Mapping Index

December 1, 2022

In 2021, our team at the Seldin/Haring-Smith Foundation (SHSF) found that only 57% of community college primary campuses have transit stops within walking distance. Critically, we found that an additional 25% could be made accessible through very low-cost investments in extending existing bus lines.We are now producing interactive maps of each state, which show an expanded set of locations; these include all branch and satellite campuses for US community and technical colleges. In late 2022, the Seldin/Haring-Smith Foundation (SHSF) formalized this effort as the Civic Mapping Initiative.