Commuter Rail and How We Can Make it Better: Episode 8

(or listen on Spotify | YouTube)

Commuter trains nowadays are usually a rush hour service provided to relieve highway congestion—but it wasn't that way pre-WWII! Back then, sprawling rail systems were the preferred way of getting around urbanized regions. Today, we have both legacy commuter rail systems (that survived the post-WWII ridership crash) and "New Start" systems. We discuss history, what these systems look like today, and—most importantly—what we can learn from Europe about building true regional rail, which runs all day and isn't just for commuters.

Streetsblog USA: What American Commuter Rail Can Learn From Paris


References & notes

  1. [1] TimeOut: The MTA will trial platform doors at three subway stations
  2. [2] The National Academies Press: History of Commuter Rail
  3. [3] Wikipedia: Long Island Rail Road
  4. [4] History to Go: The Bamberger Electric Railway
  5. [5] Chart of the Day: US Transit Ridership over Time
  6. [6] EDSITEment: Building Suburbia: Highways and Housing in Postwar America
  7. [7] Wikipedia: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
  8. [9] Wikipedia: Commuter rail in North America
  9. [10] Not Just Bikes: The Trains that Subsidize Suburbia - GO Transit Commuter Rail
  10. [11] Chart of the Day: US Rail Transit Ridership per Mile
  11. [12] Wikipedia: Réseau Express Régional
  12. [13] Paris by Train: Paris RER
  13. [14] Paris by Train: Paris Metro
  14. [15] GO Transit: Our Vision
  15. [16] Streetsblog USA: What American Commuter Rail Can Learn From Paris
  16. [17] Toronto bus & rail map