Greater City Providence

News & Notes

Cost of driving has risen 3.4%, study finds [USA Today]

Rising gas prices. Costlier tires. Lousy deals on vehicle resales. If it seems that it’s costing more to operate a motor vehicle these days, that’s because it is – 3.4% more than a year ago, according to auto club AAA.

The average annual cost to own and operate a sedan in the USA, based on 15,000 miles of driving, rose 1.9 cents per mile to 58.5 cents per mile, or $8,776, says AAA’s 2011 “Your Driving Costs” study.

The Megabus effect [Providence Business News]

In 2010, Megabus launched its third and fourth hubs, in Philadelphia and Washington. It currently does $100 million in business annually, operating 135 buses each day to 50 U.S. cities. While other companies downsized over the past two years, Megabus hired 270 additional workers and invested $36 million in the business. Each month this year it will add five to six new double-deckers to its fleet.

Greening the Skyline [Time]

One of the most ambitious efforts to transform city skylines around the globe is nearly invisible. That’s because the changes, aimed at drastically reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions in tall buildings, are happening in places most people never venture–in subterranean boiler rooms, behind radiators, under desks and inside the massive walls of office towers built decades ago.

Comments of the week: ideal stop spacing is 400m? [Human Transit]

I think the balance is off, and I think it’s largely a legacy of the streetcar era, when transit only needed to be faster than walking to draw a huge mode share. In that situation, minimizing walking distance made sense. Then the competition changed when cars came along and average trip distances increased. The streetcars were removed, but nobody ever bothered to change the stop spacing. Now transit isn’t time-competitive, and in most cities it serves only the transit-dependent and niche markets like express routes to the CBD.

Is very close stop spacing on North American bus systems really so old that it predates the car, and therefore reflects the competitive situation between transit and its alternatives as it was around 1910? That would be some sort of record for failure to adapt: a habit that has survived for an entire century after its obsolescence.

Chafee: Projo budget coverage ‘hurting Rhode Island’ [WPRI | Ted Nesi]

“There’s so much negativity that outsiders reading this must think, ‘What a bleak picture is this’ – inaccurate – ‘portrayal of the Chafee tax plan; it’s going to just turn out the lights and drive a stake in the heart of Rhode Island’s economy,'” the governor said.

Ted will have a series of posts on his blog this week related to his interview with the Governor yesterday.

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