I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things.

I have tried, over the life of this blog, to strip away as much of my own personal political views, to present a non-partisan view of the topics I cover here.  Most of them are technical or mathematical in nature to begin with, and many others are the subjects of broad left-right consensus, so this […]

This, too, is America: Burlington Route edition

I’m on the California Zephyr, on my way home from Denver, and the big stories back home are about the continuing lack of Silverliner Vs, and the announcement by Vice President Joe Biden that the Federal Government will be providing $2.45 billion in loans to Amtrak for the next generation of high speed trains on […]

A brief summary of my remarks to the NEC FUTURE hearing

I wasn’t expecting to speak at Monday night’s hearing on the NEC FUTURE Draft EIS, mostly because I failed to do my homework and realize that they would be accepting spoken testimony.  So I winged it, with some hastily jotted notes.  Here are the highlights of that extemporaneous speech, heavily revised and extended, as best as […]

The argument for Philadelphia from cost control

A lot of local political bigshots came out to the Navy Yard last Monday to announce full funding for another study of the case for extending subway service to the South Philadelphia office park.  It may not be the most pressing transit need in the region, but it does have good potential.  Perhaps more important: if […]

SEPTA Regional Rail strikers ordered to return to work tomorrow

And just like that, it was over. President Obama has created a Presidential Emergency Board to intervene in the strike by engineers and electricians at SEPTA Regional Rail, which forces both sides back to the negotiating table and forces the strike to be called off for the next 240 days. As the order is timestamped […]

STRIKE WARNING: SEPTA Regional Rail

It is the duty of this blog to forecast that the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, Division 71, will commence a strike action against SEPTA’s Regional Rail Division tonight at 12:01 am. What remains unclear is how long the BLET will remain off the job. Under the Railway Labor Act, President Obama may, at […]

Ted Cruz, you asshole

Overview: “NEC FUTURE is a comprehensive planning effort to define, evaluate and prioritize future investments in the Northeast Corridor (NEC), launched by [the FRA] in February 2012. …NEC FUTURE will create a framework for the future investments needed to improve passenger rail capacity and service through 2040…” Public Meetings: “Open House Meetings, October-November 2013 – […]

…and a third group expects a joke about binary numbers

I am extraordinarily well-lubricated tonight, having been to both an author interview with Fortune‘s Leigh Gallagher and the Inquirer‘s Inga Saffron, and then Philly Nerd Nite with presentations by SEPTA and MOTU. I have been up many hours, so I won’t be writing things up tonight, but I did want to leave one thought before […]

You’re out of your element! This Leninist is not the issue.

Good morning, and for those who are observing it, may you have an easy Shutdown. Out-of-town tourists who were really counting on seeing Valley Forge and Independence Hall might want to stop in at attractions that aren’t National Parks, which is most everything that isn’t either on 5th Street or a Revolutionary Battlefield. Since I […]

11th hour Fiscal Deal restores transit tax benefit for suburban riders

As noted already by David Alpert and Ben Kabak, the agreement passed yesterday to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” restores a tax benefit to transit commuters that had expired at the beginning of 2012. Transit riders will be able to pay $240 per month in pre-tax dollars, saving them and their employers money. This is […]