Added July 9, 2011:
An investigation of the feasibility of expanding Austin commuter rail service into Round Rock, Pflugerville, and Georgetown was reported in a City of Round Rock web page a number of months ago. Interest in this has faded but proposals are still being made for expanding rail service within Austin.
The experience reported about rail in Dallas is not encouraging. See, for example, “Most DART rail stations serve fewer people now than when they opened” by Michael A. Lindenberger, Dallas Morning News, June 25, 2011. Commentary about this is entitled “Dallas Dart Light Rail: Major Failure for Transit and Taxpayers. Austin’s results will be more devastating” by Jim Skaggs, Coalition on Sustainable Transportation website, July 2011. The complete Lindenberger article follows the Skaggs commentary.
May 22, 2011:
Two of the local sources for information and commentary about transportation (particularly for moving people) in and around Austin are the Ben Wear column in the Austin American-Statesman and the website maintained by the Coalition on Sustainable Transportation (COST).
The latest Monday column by Ben Wear was “Skipping out on inspection sticker costs you, Texas.”
The latest entry on the Jim Skaggs’ Transportation Comments page in the COST website was “Austin planning ignores vast majority of citizens,” May 21, 2011.
Last year COST sponsored a luncheon at which Randal O’Toole was the guest speaker. The PowerPoint presentation that accompanied his talk is available here. This download can be very slow.
Copies of his Cato Institute Policy Analysis entitled “Defining Success: The Case against Rail Transit” were made available for those in attendance. This Policy Analysis (No. 663) is now available online at this location
An old article in The Onion that might still be relevant is ”Report: 98 percent of U.S. Commuters Favor Public Transportation for Others,” November 29, 2000. ☺
Added May 23, 2011, More about Urban Rail.
“Urban rail backer makes case to ease downtown jams” by Ben Wear, Austin
American-Statesman, May 23, 2011.