Citi Bikes at station

Weekend round-up

Some stories you may have missed last week: China wants to build a very long rail line, Citi Bike data shows a gender gap, and SEPTA surveillance cameras save the agency millions.

China may be planning to build a train line that would connect Beijing to the United States.  According to the Beijing Times, Chinese officials are considering a trans-Siberian route that would cross the Bering Strait via a 125-mile long underwater tunnel into Alaska. “Right now we’re already in discussions,” said engineer Wang Mengshu. “Russia has already been thinking about this for many years.”  The line would be about 8,000 miles long but other details are scarce; The Washington Post suggests that a healthy does of skepticism may be in order. Link to full story in The Washington Post.

An analysis of Citi Bike ridership in New York City shows a marked gender divide. According to Sarah Kaufman of the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation, men are riding three times as often as women. Among subscribers, men took 76.3% of all trips in the second half of 2013. Also of note, men were more likely to ride in congested midtown Manhattan while women typically used bike stations in quieter Brooklyn neighborhoods. Kaufman tries to explain the pattern:

Women typically attribute reduced cycling numbers to safety among car traffic, and considering Citi Bike’s distribution across some of the most congested parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, lower female participation makes sense.

As the program expands into quieter residential neighborhoods, Kaufman suggests that the gender distribution will even out.  Link to more details from NYU Rudin Center.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority says that the system’s 17,659 surveillance cameras have contributed to a significant decrease in the amount of money SEPTA spends on injury and damages claims. The authority saved $11 million on payouts between 2012 and 2013, and SEPTA expects to save another 4-5% this year.  “Not only is the payout going down, but somewhat more importantly, the number of claims and the number of lawsuits is also going down,” said acting general counsel Gino Benedetti. “We’re actually able to see what happened and either convince claimants or their lawyers not to bring the suit at all or use that information successfully in the court process,” Benedetti added, referring to the surveillance footage. Link to full story in

Photo credit: Susan Mara Bregman

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