39. Utah State University

I first met Randy Simmons when we were both graduate students at the University of Oregon. He was seeking a Ph.D. in political science, but like me when I was in urban planning, he decided to get a different view of things by taking a…

Transit Capital vs. Operating Costs

Contrary to claims by many advocates of rail transit, the high capital cost of rail lines is rarely made up for by rail’s lower operating costs relative to buses. This can be seen from data in the National Transit Database’s…

The Berkeley Fellowship

Between the end of fall semester at Yale and the beginning of spring semester at UC Berkeley, we had time to drive across the United States, spend a few days at our Oak Grove home that was still for sale, find housing in the Bay Area, take…

27 Quintillion Transit Charts

Last June, I posted a spreadsheet capable of producing more than a thousand charts about urban transit. This year, I’ve slightly outdone that with a spreadsheet capable of producing literally quintillions of different charts. This…

36. An Invitation from Yale

In the spring of 1998 I received a phone call from someone at the Yale School of Forestry. The school was offering fellowships to people who had worked in the conservation movement. The fellowships–lasting one semester per year…

No Policy Brief This Week

I promised to analyze the National Transit Database’s 2018 time series this week, but the holiday and other work prevented that. I should have this done for next Tuesday. Until then, have a Happy New Year and travel safely!

35. A Trip to Africa

In 1998, my friend Karl Hess invited several people to take a tour of southern Africa to see how wildlife was managed in other parts of the world. Among the people who joined the tour were National Wildlife Federation attorney Tom France…

Urban Transit Is an Energy Hog

Transit is often touted as a way to save energy. But since 2009 transit has used more energy, per passenger mile, than the average car. Since 2016, transit has used more than the average of cars and light trucks together. Click image to…

34. The Forest Options Group

In the mid-1990s, that portion of the timber industry that depended on federal timber sales was on the ropes. National forest timber sales had declined from 11 billion board feet in 1989 to less than 3 billion in 1995. Mills that had bought…

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