November 26, 2009
Nick Schulz has posted an excellent chart from a J.P. Morgan research report that illustrates the private sector experiences of cabinet officials since 1900.
The chart includes secretaries of State, Commerce, Treasury, Agriculture, Interior, Labor, Transportation, Energy, and Housing & Urban Development, and excludes Postmaster General, Navy, War, Health, Education & Welfare, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security—432 cabinet members in all.
Over 90 percent of the current cabinet’s experience was in the public sector.
October 24, 2009
Do you ever wonder whether you would be better off walking rather than waiting for the next bus? A chart by Visualmotive may be of help. The rule of thumb, according to Visualmotive, is that “if you have N blocks to travel, you should only wait for the bus if it is less than N minutes away.”
October 18, 2009
According to new Census data, nearly three-quarters of American workers drove to their jobs alone in 2008. Economix illustrates this below:
Alabama, Tennessee and Ohio were the least carpool-friendly states with about 83 percent of workers driving alone. Washington, DC and New York, whose residents rely largely on public transportation, were the most carpool-friendly states, at 37.2 percent and 53.7 percent.
September 16, 2009
On Tuesday, The International Air Transport Association predicted that the airline industry would lose $11 billion in 2009. Below is the breakdown:
North America: North American airlines are anticipated to lose $2.6 billion, more than double IATA’s previous forecast of $1 billion.
Europe: European carriers have been hit the hardest: They are expected to lose $3.8 billion, up from IATA’s previous forecast of $1.8 billion.
Asia-Pacific: Asia-Pacific airlines will face an anticipated loss of $3.6 billion. While hit hardest by the recession, they have been the first to recover.
Latin America: Latin American carriers are expected to break even, an improvement from IATA’s previous $900 million loss forecast.
Middle East: Middle Eastern airlines are expected to lose $500 million, an improvement from the estimated loss of $1.5 billion.
Africa: African airlines are anticipated to lose $500 million. They are also expected to lose more money in 2010.
July 26, 2009
In 2008, the (Silicon) Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) conducted a state mandated pilot program to test the feasibility of using zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell buses in its transportation system.
The results of the study indicated that zero-emission buses (ZEBs) cost $51.66 per mile to operate. This is against the $1.61 per mile that it costs to operate a diesel powered bus. In addition, ZEBs break down more often. On average, ZEBs travel 1,100 miles before needing repairs while a typical diesel bus travels 6,000 miles before needing repairs. Moreover, replacement parts are harder to obtain leading to higher overall maintenance costs.
But according to the San Jose Mercury News,
Analifa Bevan with CARB [California Air Resources Board] said her agency “is not considering any changes,” pointing out that the VTA experiment involves early prototypes and that the next generation of buses will be more reliable and “cheaper to operate than diesel.”
How the agency “is not considering any charges” is beyond me–only a government agency would say something like that. I also do not understand how she knows what the next generation will bring. If she somehow had this information, there would be no reason for the study to be undertaken in the first place.
A disregard for costs has become widespread as California has mandated all transportation agencies with 200 or more buses use ZEBs as 15 percent of their buses within the next four years. This seems to me an arbitrary number. If costs don’t matter, why not make all the buses ZEBs?