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News In Motion

The movement of People, Goods and Ideas

NIM is TranSystems' e-newsletter distributed to more than 10,000 subscribers nationwide. The electronic publication features top news and expert commentary on target market segments in the transportation industry.
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The first leaves – yellow, tan, red, and brown – are drifting lazily to the ground in many of our cities, giving the viewer the familiar and pleasant sensation of shifting gears into a new season and giving city planners something between heartburn and a migraine. Because if the leaves are falling, then snow can’t be far behind. READ ARTICLE
A Step Further...
We see here an instance of a very large and respected investment company buying up warehouse space in a series of major transactions. What makes these spaces so attractive? Isn’t a warehouse just a warehouse? Not so, a warehouse is a vital link in the supply chain and due to a specific set of conditions we don’t really have enough of them, making those we do have that much more valuable (and dependable as an investment property.) READ ARTICLE
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Forget Metrorail expansion. Miami-Dade is instead moving with all deliberate speed to deploy a different kind of rapid-transit system to connect downtown Miami to the county’s far western reaches, starting as soon as next year, and it will consist of ... buses. READ ARTICLE
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The writer, or at least the headline writer, has come up with an apt description for bus rapid transit (BRT), they do run like trains. It comes in several flavors however, so the topic is worth a run-through touching on its history and integration into local systems. READ COMMENTARY
Can a new apartment building take vehicles off the road? READ ARTICLE
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This is a particularly well-done article on transportation demand management (TDM), one of the more innovative categories of transportation planning. Forward-leaning communities, in this case San Francisco, find themselves faced with increasing congestion and a fixed level of transportation assets, and seek through a number of city-wide tools and practices to reduce the demand upon the transportation system. READ COMMENTARY
If you have a liking for exotic forecasting tools you could do worse than to follow the cruise line industry. It flattened considerably during the recession as you might imagine, but is currently back to full health and then some. Many analysts watch the rise and fall of passenger loadings as a measure of consumer confidence, or a measure simply of how many people have the means to purchase such a sweet ride. READ ARTICLE
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When you read a headline highlighting a bridge that goes up in a couple of days, you can rest assured that the only way this happens is through accelerate bridge construction (ABC). The method has gone from an outlier to near-common use in many of our states. It relies on functional and structural components being constructed off site, on advances in high performance concrete, in component-moving equipment (sometimes of the gargantuan variety), and in very tight coordination between the client and the designer and the contractor. READ ARTICLE
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There are countless things that can make your blood boil when dealing with Atlanta traffic. Slow drivers in the fast lane, people texting while driving, tailgating, people not using their blinker, aggressive drivers. I could literally fill this entire column with reasons why we get enraged behind the wheel. READ ARTICLE
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The zipper merge is getting the media blitz! You couldn’t buy a story about the merge process until this last year, now it is being integrated into highway construction projects in a double handful of (big) states. Such exposure is first of all a measure of how often the technique is now being deployed by state and city Agencies, and second of all an indication that your average citizen is more than capable of taking the zipper merge method in stride…which means that it will be more and more deployed. We shall expect to see more of it. Here’s what our own Slade Engstrom, one of our subject matter experts, wrote about this a month and a half back, it seems worth repeating. READ COMMENTARY
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, which is overseeing the MoPac toll lane project, is considering funding a viability study for a proposed 8-mile gondola line that would run above South First and Guadalupe streets. READ ARTICLE
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Tourist draw or part and parcel of city center redevelopment? That is the nature of the discussion around the topic of gondolas, a topic that more and more is nudging itself onto the pages of the business section in the papers of our fine cities, as we see here in this story regarding Austin. Developers love the novelty of the concept, and one of the draws is the price, cited herein at the $290-600 million level, which is not chickenfeed but which is nowhere near the cost of developing other means of getting around in our busy urban centers. READ COMMENTARY
The express parcel sector has been dealing with a problem that few industries can understand in the post-recession era: hyper-growth. Just consider the fact that FedEx (which runs an off-cycle fiscal year) reported FedEx Ground parcel volume increases of 10% year-over-year in their fiscal quarter ending on August 31st. A 10% growth rate in freight activity in the transportation sector is staggering, most companies would be thrilled with growth rates of 5%. Most quarters, growth of less than 3% is average. When a company has a segment of their business portfolio growing at more than 10% (especially when it is operationally a high-impact industry), it creates some significant pressures. READ ARTICLE
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Auto sales crashed down below ten million units sold domestically in the depth of the recession, but have climbed now back to the 17-17.5 million mark that prevailed prior to the slowdown. When you consider what economic benefits come in the wake of higher auto sales – there is a strong transport component too as you might imagine, impacting the ports, freight rail, and the highway system, and the supply chain supporting the major assembly plants is vast – there is clearly much to cheer about. However, some factors in the intermediate future may drive down sales, and perhaps considerably. READ ARTICLE
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We’ll be writing quite a bit more about this partnership going forward; it represents an intersection of digital technology and the construction phase of the project life cycle, specifically the construction inspection phase. That stage is vital, is the near-final step before the ribbon-cutting, and heretofore has been mostly undertaken in the analog world. READ ARTICLE
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A senior State Department official has serious doubts about the prospects of a 172-mile, inter-oceanic canal across Nicaragua that would compete with the Panama Canal to the south. READ ARTICLE
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That’s an unusual headline and an unusual attitude for the U.S. to take, don’t you think? Generally countries wish each other well on such major projects, or better put, wish each other well in order to gain a role in executing the project, but in this case it’s a bit of a sweet brush-off. What’s up with that? Well, this Nicaraguan Canal has been a puzzler from the get go, as explained below. READ COMMENTARY
There are a triple handful of products and at least twice that many regulations governing their shipment that will be at the forefront of Congressional and legal debates in the coming years; wine is one of them. It is a product whose very distinction arises not only from its quality but from originating someplace likely far away from the consumer, in the various wine-growing regions of the world. It would seem a natural for the supply chain which regularly takes up products from anywhere on the globe and then delivers that product to your very house. The shipment of wine, spirits, beer and other intoxicants are not just any product however, and there are numerous (but not consistent) laws in place across the states. READ ARTICLE
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News in Motion is an e-newsletter keeping you current on news and trends in the transportation industry.