The Shanghai maglev train seems to shaping up as yet another rail fiasco: reports are it is attracting only 4,000 passengers a day - a fraction of the passengers forecast. It is carrying about 75 to 100 passengers per train in trains that seat 440. The 31km (19mi) track and its gear cost $1.2b. Traveling at up to 430km/hr (270mph) it whisks passengers along the elevated track between the Pudong Airport and downtown in just 8mins.
Allan Rutter is the new Deputy Exec Director at the North Texas Tollway Authority, heading south after a couple of wasted years as administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, one of scores of pointless minor federal government agencies. Now he has a real job serving real people! Good career move. TOLLROADSnews 2004-05-11
InTranS the Long Island based subsidiary of CS Route of France has won the prime toll systems and customer service contract for CA125 South. It will implement an open road toll system modeled on the one it built for the Pocahontas Parkway in Richmond VA with minimal cash collection. The contract is worth about $18m. TransCore also competed.
It is something of an axiom of American highway politics: you can't put a toll on a free road. In Texas they think you can. In southwest Austin, in what they call the Circle C neighborhood, the authorities are proposing a toll on the MoPac (TX-1) the north-south highway running down the west side of the area and alongside the old Missouri (MO) and Pacific (Pac) railroad lines. Between Slaughter Lane and William Cannon Drive it will become a tollroad. It is now in the midst of being upgraded from signalized arterial to motorway standard with overpasses under construction.
Baltimore Harbor Tunnel was closed for seven hours 23:00 May 5 - 05:45 May 6 after a collection of "bombs" were found on the grounds of the Fairfield Auto Terminal, a dock where cars are unloaded adjacent to the southern portal of the tunnel. No Al Quaeda or other Jihadis to blame. Rather it seems the bombs were from the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea which was broken up at the dock a decade or so ago.
A proposed 8km (5mi) tollroad spur off I-10 to serve Gulfport MS has been stopped in the state House by local politicians. Rep Frances Fredericks (Dem Gulfport) and Rep Jim Simpson (Repub Pass) both fiercely denounced the project in debate May 4.
"Why should we place a toll on the very poor in that district and the very working people going to that port to work?" Fredericks said. "This is wrong. It is completely wrong."
Simpson called for a delay to find tax funds. "Let's take another year and work this out," he said.
EZ TAG ONLY sign indicates no cash toll collection
Map and pics courtesy Ron Jackson TexasFreeway.com