Thursday, September 29, 2011

U.S. Can't Do Transit

From Josh:
I was just in Europe where I rode the public transit systems in London, Brussels, Berlin, Prague, Paris and Barcelona.

No surprise, but they were all superior to Metro or any other American public transit system in almost every way. That's what happens when you have dedicated sources of funding and regular maintenance over the years.

What most struck me was in Brussels where they have motion sensor escalators. The escalators don't run until someone walks up to it and triggers the sensor. It saves a ton of energy and reduces wear and tear on the escalator because they aren't running the whole time the station is open.

Here is video I took in Brussels:

And here is video riding the escalator at the Swiss Cottage Underground station in London. What struck me about the European escalators is not only that they all work (I didn't see a single escalator out of service) but that they are fast, much faster than Metro.

Video of London Underground escalator:

I also visited Los Angeles this summer, and it might be comforting to know that Metro isn't the only American system with escalator problems. These were escalator repairs at 7th St./Metro Center in downtown L.A.
Been on subways in other cities? Leave a comment here.

Other items:
Board member skips station because of crime (WTOP)
Metro hires $15,000 leadership coach (WTOP)
Impasse over Board seat holds up transit funds (Examiner)
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