Seeking clarity on WMATA transit governance – operations vs regional funding and coordination

WMATA logo on a 7000-series seat. Creative Commons image from Kurt Raschke.

It’s not easy to do two things at once. Particularly when you have two very different tasks, one might get more attention than the other – or the goals for each might blur together in your mind.

Keeping these tasks distinct is

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Transit fare media, technology, and fare policy – lessons from Europe

As WMATA moves forward on their next generation fare payment system (selecting Accenture to manage a pilot program), there are a few lessons to learn from transit operators around the world. During my most recent trip to Europe, I had the chance to use a number of technologies, showing the direction that operators like WMATA

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Integrating retail uses into transit stations: opportunities to increase revenue, improve urban design and passenger experience

Integrating retail uses into transit stations presents several opportunities for transit agencies like WMATA looking to increase ridership and revenue. Such retail uses also have the potential to help development projects around stations, providing a key link between the transit station and the surrounding TOD.

Combining retail and transit isn’t exactly a new idea; train

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Urban tramways and surface transit priority – Paris

The biggest drawback to any surface transit line is the inherent conflict at the surface with other modes: cars, bikes, pedestrians, etc. This is an inherent element of competing for the same real estate as other priorities. When space on the surface is simply overtaxed or too contested, urban transport networks can add layers –

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Tall buildings in European cities

While visiting Europe, I missed most of the local debate on potential changes to DC’s federally imposed height limit (see – and contrast – the final recommendations from the NCPC and DC Office of Planning, as well as background materials and visual modelling, here). But I sure didn’t actually miss any tall buildings; I saw

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The future of Metro’s rolling stock – ideas for the 8000 series

At some point in 2014, WMATA’s newest rail cars, the 7000 series, will enter service. These cars will depart from the same basic design of all of Metro’s current rolling stock in a couple of ways. However, despite the accolades of the new designs from Metro, the 7000 series design misses some key opportunities to

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Just returned from visiting Europe…

Paris, 7th Arrondissement. Photo by the author.

Over the past two weeks, my fiancee I had the opportunity to visit friends and family in Europe – my first trip in far too long. Our itinerary included London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Utrecht. I hope to include photos and observations on the cities and their transportation

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A visual survey of selected elevated rail viaducts: part 2 – best practices of integrating viaducts into urban designs

Continued from the prologue and part 1… A look at legacy examples of older elevated construction precedents. Some examples drawn from this post and this thread on the archBoston forums.

Berlin: As a part of his writing about elevated rail, Jarrett Walker takes note of Berlin’s elevated rail, and the use of space beneath them:

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Streetcar lessons from France

Paris T3 – image from wikipedia – note the seven-segment vehicle, dedicated right of way, and grass tracks.

Last month, Yonah Freemark’s post on the rapid expansion of tramways in France caught my eye. These systems offer several key lessons for the streetcar projects popping up across the US, as well as here in

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