We like the unexpected. We like weirdness. We like problems. We enjoy problems because they present an alternative to our common reality, they become the hallmarks and touchstones of laughter, sadness, brutality, and bliss. Yet it is those unique problems – the hiccups and lacunae that interrupt the pleasant moment or the negotiated halycon – that ultimately fashion our strength and wit. We have only the everpresent possibilities of failure and futility to demarcate the estates of our success; we have only the problems of today as lenses for the achievements of tomorrow. No one has moved forward without having the past at our backs to guide of us into the unknown. The geography of our future – as individuals and communities advocating and acting for a better world – must be grounded in an acceptance of exhaustion and fatigue, not presently, but existentially. No one achieved anything without a smile on their face and some sweat on their arching brow. In light of realizing our very human faults and our occasional incapacity to tolerate truth, knowledge, action, and reaction, Tracking Progress presents an omnibus of the unusual, the brilliant, and the absolutely necessary. What is the modus vivendi of social-cultural-political collaboration if it lacks a sense of humor? Or if it lacks an eye for the common/uncommon reality shared by all? For us to succeed, for us to vindicate even a thread of our potential, we have to be willing to see the whole picture – not just the blurring beauty through the window of our travels. Moving forward together means moving through the whole terrain and having your eyes wide to the entire landscape. Stand up and step outside, it’s time to practice your trainsmile. Have fun out there.
Tis the season!? A Pennsylvanian woman chucks a snowball at a bus driver; If you ever had any doubts about the safety of public transit, check out DC Metro; Or, if you ever had any doubts about the future of public transit, check out what the Federal Transit Administration has proposed for Fiscal Year 2011; Although Saint Louis is absent from that list, the high-speed rail corridor between our city and Chicago has been funded; New York proves that no matter the place you can find bad transit contractors; Someone in Grenoble, France is really enjoying the local tram system; Wanna take a tour of the MetroLink facility? Check out our own transit system for free!; In Minneapolis-St. Paul, some people are a little frustrated with the LRT planning process; Transit innovation isn’t about making money, it’s about helping real people, and here, and here; Back home in Mound City, the data show that transit funding depends on women; Finally, it wouldn’t be Tracking Progress if we didn’t give you the system of the day: The Memphis Area Transit Authority, complete with trolley. Oh yeah, here’s the Grenoble Tram.