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Old March 21st, 2008, 01:54 PM   #361
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Of course its far from optimal, as the current US with so many more inhabitants and far greater mobility should serve for a far greater PT demand as 50 years ago.

But reckognizing the situation in the US, it is a great step forward. Its encouraging.
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Old March 27th, 2008, 03:42 PM   #362
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Americans made a mistake by getting rid of city public transport in the 1st half of 20th century. It created many urban, structural, ecological and consequently social problems. It is nice to read it has been getting changing in last decade, America is still far from European standards though. The Good luck wish is supposed to be send over the ocean .
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Old March 27th, 2008, 08:12 PM   #363
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These number aren't that exciting when you consider that 50 years ago, mass transit was already in decline. Plus the US population in 1960 was 179 million; today it's 300 million. I won't be impressed until we match per capita usage, say during World War II, the last hoorah of mass transit.

This number could be a lot higher; I bet lots of people would love take mass transit. But sadly, there is no service in most places. I think lots of sunbelt cities, which experience some of the higher growth rates among US cities, have mass transit usage as low as 2%. People just have no choice, their cities and suburbs were designed for cars, with little to no mass transit service. Add to this the fact that many jobs are in suburbs. Mass transit in the US is usually about getting people in and out of city centers, it doesn't work as well when you live and work in the suburbs. Look at New Jersey. Some people work in NYC and many take the train, but most people work in the gazillions of office parks in the state and have no choice but to drive. You can try and take buses, but the frequency, schedules, price, service and (mostly likely) time lost isn't worth it, if it's remotely possible in the first place. This is why hybrid cars and alternative fuels are more important to most people. The don't want to give up the American life style of living in comfortable suburbs with big yards and room to store all their junk in 3 garages. Moving to crowded cities into smaller homes or apartments and sharing a bus or train with masses of other people is not really appealing. And it's cheaper for employers to buy a corn field and build an office park in South Carolina then to rent class A office space in Manhattan.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 10:24 AM   #364
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquablue View Post
Emm, i think that is some kind of bus depot or storage area -- those busses don't seem active.
Yes, it is a bus depot in San Francisco. The buses are used however.
The photo isn't from the press release...
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Old March 28th, 2008, 11:20 AM   #365
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Americans drove less in 2007 for first time

Wed Mar 26, 3:31 PM ET

As gasoline prices broke records in 2007, Americans cut back on their driving for the first time in more than 20 years, according to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration.

Total travel fell 0.4 percent to 3.00 trillion miles from 3.01 trillion miles in 2006.

In December, when U.S. retail gasoline averaged $3.02 a gallon, travel fell 3.9 percent to 236.6 billion miles from 246.3 billion miles in 2006.

With gasoline prices still climbing, other data shows Americans are responding by changing their gas-guzzling habits. Not only are they driving less, but they are buying more fuel-efficient vehicles and utilizing more public transportation. Daily ridership on U.S. subways and public buses is at the highest level in more than 50 years.

(Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe, editing by Matthew Lewis)
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080326/..._gasoline_dc_2
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Old March 31st, 2008, 12:40 AM   #366
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nouveau.ukiyo View Post
This number could be a lot higher; I bet lots of people would love take mass transit. But sadly, there is no service in most places. I think lots of sunbelt cities, which experience some of the higher growth rates among US cities, have mass transit usage as low as 2%. People just have no choice, their cities and suburbs were designed for cars, with little to no mass transit service. Add to this the fact that many jobs are in suburbs. Mass transit in the US is usually about getting people in and out of city centers, it doesn't work as well when you live and work in the suburbs. Look at New Jersey. Some people work in NYC and many take the train, but most people work in the gazillions of office parks in the state and have no choice but to drive. You can try and take buses, but the frequency, schedules, price, service and (mostly likely) time lost isn't worth it, if it's remotely possible in the first place. This is why hybrid cars and alternative fuels are more important to most people. The don't want to give up the American life style of living in comfortable suburbs with big yards and room to store all their junk in 3 garages. Moving to crowded cities into smaller homes or apartments and sharing a bus or train with masses of other people is not really appealing. And it's cheaper for employers to buy a corn field and build an office park in South Carolina then to rent class A office space in Manhattan.
Take a look through the forums of all the major cities in the US, and just about all of them are undergoing some kind of downtown renaissance. New office towers are being built, highrise condos and apartments, rowhouses, etc., and just about all of them are sprouting new transit systems (Charlotte, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, etc.). It took us 50 years to settle into our suburban car culture, and it will probably take us another 50 years to grow out of it. In the mean time, this is a pretty positive first step.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 06:54 AM   #367
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While we have seen major investment into reviving city centres, I doubt the suburbs can ever be intensified to the point where they can support transit without significant government subsidies. Are people willing to change their mindset and move back to the cities? Given the large homes and gardens they can get in the suburbs, I doubt such a movement can ever take force (except perhaps in NYC).
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 03:14 AM   #368
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
While we have seen major investment into reviving city centres, I doubt the suburbs can ever be intensified to the point where they can support transit without significant government subsidies. Are people willing to change their mindset and move back to the cities? Given the large homes and gardens they can get in the suburbs, I doubt such a movement can ever take force (except perhaps in NYC).
It mainly depends on fuel prices. If they remain affordable people will stay in the suburban homes. Does it rise, however, above affordability a good portion of suburban population will return to the cities.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 06:45 PM   #369
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A very small step, but definitely a positive one...
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 09:31 AM   #370
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
While we have seen major investment into reviving city centres, I doubt the suburbs can ever be intensified to the point where they can support transit without significant government subsidies. Are people willing to change their mindset and move back to the cities? Given the large homes and gardens they can get in the suburbs, I doubt such a movement can ever take force (except perhaps in NYC).
If global energy supplies continue to tighten, we could see fuel prices rise exponentially until the middle class is priced out of the auto-dependent suburbs, which conceivably could be ghettoized or abandoned back to nature.

It could be a rapid Europeanization of the American city: the centre is where the richest live, and the further you go out the lower are standards of living until the isolated suburbs are left to social outcasts.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 09:49 AM   #371
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
It mainly depends on fuel prices. If they remain affordable people will stay in the suburban homes. Does it rise, however, above affordability a good portion of suburban population will return to the cities.
Well I certainly don't see fuel prices ever going down again. I guess if they keep rising it will have a pretty positive effect on the future form of our cities and will also ensure that governments invest in better public transportation systems.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 01:56 AM   #372
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanfan89 View Post
If global energy supplies continue to tighten, we could see fuel prices rise exponentially until the middle class is priced out of the auto-dependent suburbs, which conceivably could be ghettoized or abandoned back to nature.

It could be a rapid Europeanization of the American city: the centre is where the richest live, and the further you go out the lower are standards of living until the isolated suburbs are left to social outcasts.
I don't think even the doomsday price increases will likely price the middle class out. Even at current fuel prices, the cost of filling up is only a small portion of the middle class disposable income. They may complain, but are certainly not being sent to financial distress to move back into the city. After all, the cost of buying a home in the city is rightfully inflated to compensate for the convenience. The cost will still need to be borne somewhere.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 05:26 PM   #373
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On fuel consumption - British Columbia Canada has higher gas tax than the Northwest States of America:




http://www.sightline.org/maps
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Old April 8th, 2008, 06:44 PM   #374
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High gas prices fuel MBTA ridership
4 April 2008

BOSTON (AP) - High gas prices are turning out to be good news for the MBTA.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority says the number of T trips rose from 27 million in February 2007 to 30 million last month.

That an increase of 11 percent.

T general manager Daniel Grabauskas said the gas prices are fueling the increase. He also says there's been a rebound from a decline in ridership after a January 2007 price increase.

The rise in T ridership may have also had benefits for drivers.

A traffic specialist at SmartRoute Systems says there's been a decrease in the length and number of traffic jams.

Even with its improved numbers, the MBTA isn't immune from the effects of high gas prices.

The agency's board recently had to approve spending an extra $1.9 million dollars on fuel.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 08:03 AM   #375
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**** I wish I could take a bus or train to work in a timely fashion. I gave a guy at work a ride home the other day since his car broke down and he lived relatively close by. He was going to take the bus and he had all these directions printed out and he said he'd have to take the first bus which goes away from his house to wait 30 minutes to catch the one that goes towards his house. After that he has to wait to catch the next bus that will drop him two miles away from home and he'd walk home from there. A 20-25 minute trip in my car would take him 3 hours to get home. Ridiculous.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 08:07 AM   #376
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanfan89 View Post
It could be a rapid Europeanization of the American city: the centre is where the richest live, and the further you go out the lower are standards of living until the isolated suburbs are left to social outcasts.
That's already beginning to happen in the more desirable cities of the US.

Although it's the inner suburbs, not the exurbs, that are declining.
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Old June 8th, 2008, 06:45 PM   #377
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Facing $4 gasoline, more Americans take the train

NEW YORK, June 2 (Reuters) - More Americans are leaving their cars at home and jumping on buses, trains, and trolleys as retail gasoline prices approach $4 per gallon, according to a report released Monday by the American Public Transportation Association.

American mass transit use increased 3.3 percent during the first quarter of 2008 while Americans drove 2.3 percent less during the same period, the report said.

The trend builds on last year's record increases when U.S. mass transit use reached a 50-year high as consumers tried to temper the impact of soaring gasoline prices.

"More and more people have decided that taking public transportation is the quickest way to beat the high gas prices," APTA president William W. Millar said in a press release.

"There's no doubt that the high gas prices are motivating people to change their travel behavior," he added.

Average retail gasoline prices have topped $4 per gallon in 13 states and are running about 25 percent higher than last year, according to travel auto group AAA.

Travel on light rails, which includes streetcars and trolleys, showed the highest increase with a 10.3 percent bump in ridership, according to APTA.

Commuter rails came in second with a 5.7 percent increase in usage during the first quarter in large metropolitan areas. Seattle's commuter rail system had the highest jump with nearly 28 percent more riders in the first quarter.

Buses had the least increase in ridership at 2 percent, although cities with populations under 100,000 saw a large increase -- 7.8 percent -- in bus ridership.
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Old June 9th, 2008, 12:03 AM   #378
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Good news, itīs necessary a change in the design of the new american cities and a development of the public transport.
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Old June 9th, 2008, 06:20 AM   #379
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I don't think public transport improvements can actually make it a viable option at least for the American suburbanites, thus once the fuel prices come back down, the gains will be easily reversed.
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Old June 13th, 2008, 12:57 PM   #380
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U.S. cities promote bicycling as gas prices soar

PHILADELPHIA, June 12 (Reuters) - U.S. cities that have long promoted bicycle use by commuters are now seeing a steady rise in the popularity of pedal power as gasoline prices soar.

Campaigns originally designed to cut down on traffic and pollution are now paying off for people looking for an option to driving with national gas prices averaging a record $4 per gallon ($1.06 per litre).

People in cities such as Chicago, Washington and Portland, Oregon, can take advantage of bicycle lanes, bike-friendly transit systems and bike-parking locations built in recent years.

"Twelve years ago, I would bike down to City Hall and often it was a lonely ride," said Ben Gomberg, Chicago's bicycle program coordinator. "Today, there are often 17 or 18 riders stopped at the intersections."

Unlike Europeans, Americans use bikes for transport sparingly, even though 40 percent of personal trips in the United States are two miles (3.2 km) or less, according to bicycle advocates.

In a country famous for its love of cars and driving, less than 1 percent of personal trips are by bike compared with up to 30 percent in some parts of Europe, campaigners say.

But rates of bike use in some U.S. cities are significantly higher thanks to recognition by urban planners of the environmental, economic and health benefits.

In Portland, widely regarded as America's most bike-friendly city, 5.4 percent of people said in a 2006 survey that the bicycle was their primary means of getting to work.

"In the last three years, we reached another acceleration point," said Scott Bricker, executive director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, an advocacy group. "Ridership is increasing exponentially."

GETTING INTO GEAR

The relative popularity of bicycling in Portland may be linked to bike lanes, locking facilities and programs that encourage public bicycling and safety education for children.

The city has 171 miles (275 km) of bike lanes along its 2,568 miles (4,132 km) of roadways and plans to increase that to 434 miles (700 km). Portland has 71 miles (115 km) of bike trails and a third of its arterial roads have bike lanes or paved shoulders.

Portland's network includes 114 miles (184 km) of "bicycle boulevards" -- quiet streets where bikes have priority over cars and where traffic speed is restricted.

Those boulevards may be a better way of encouraging riding than traditional bike lanes where riders are still close to speeding cars, Bricker said.

In Chicago, pro-bike policies have resulted in 115 miles (185 km) of bike lanes, more than 11,000 bike racks and 50 miles (81 km) of dedicated bike paths along Lake Michigan, Gomberg said.

Around 1.5 percent of personal trips in Chicago are made by bike and the city aims to boost that to 5 percent by 2015.

In Washington, the proportion of people biking to work rose from 1.2 percent in 2000 to an estimated 2 percent in 2006, said Jim Sebastian, who heads the U.S. capital's bicycle and pedestrian program.

Bike lanes in Washington now stretch to 33 miles (53 km) -- 11 times longer than in 2001 -- and more than half of the city's subway stops now have bike racks.

Later this summer, Washington plans to launch the first U.S. bike-sharing program in which users will pay $40 a year for a swipe card enabling them to pick up a bike from racks around the city and then return them to any other rack.
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