2014 saw the highest rate of transit ridership in the USA for 58 years, with a total of 10.8 billion trips taken across the year. These figures, from a report released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) also illustrated that light rail has seen an increased ridership of 3.6 per cent, heavy rail usage rose by 3.3 per cent and nationally commuter rail ridership gained growth of 2.9 per cent. This ridership growth occurred even against the continued low price of gas with evidence that passengers are riding public transit for factors in addition to saving money – easier access, use of Wi-Fi for work or entertainment and for environmental reasons. However, these figures mask some major concerns threatening the future of rail development, particularly in the passenger service.
At the time of writing a Transportation Bill necessary for urgent infrastructure updates is still being batted around the corridors of power in Washington. PTC implementation is being similarly debated, with the deadline of December 2015 not going to be hit by most railroads the question is now of where to set the new deadline. And what sanction, if any, should be placed on those who have not succeeded in installing the technology. In addition the population continues to grow, the United States is projected to reach the 400 million milestone in 2039, according to Census bureau projections. And by 2050, the number is expected to be 439 million. To secure a proper service for this growing population, set against continuing funding challenges, technology, innovation and creativity has to come to the fore.
SmartRail World wanted to find out more. So for this e-book we’ve gained insights into trends, opportunities and challenges, and carried out interviews with those at the heart of major developments in US rail, in particular the familiar figures of Joseph C. Szabo and the Hon. Christopher Hart and a senior leader from California High-Speed Rail, Frank Vacca. We also see how Google are involving themselves with transport safety, how commuters are increasingly glued to electronic devices and what effect this is having on transit and much more.
Download: Perspectives on US Rail: Opportunities and Challenges today if you want to see what is coming next down the tracks!
You may also be interested in…