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Old November 25th, 2008, 02:22 AM   #521
jarbury
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Thanks for that article. Makes interesting reading.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 09:35 AM   #522
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It might take a few months for the ridership changes to flow through after the fuel price declines.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 09:46 AM   #523
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LosAngelesMetroBoy View Post
people keep forgetting that as of right now the government does not own the auto industry.... dear leader plans to change that though
Cars are too damn expensive these days. I'm not sure what should happen with the bailout but I'm leaning on the side of let the U.S. auto industry fail.

I wish I could take mass transit to work but from where I live there is no option for that.

Gas prices are lower but I only really want to use my car for things like long distance road trips, dates with girls and going to visit friends. For work I would love to take the train or bus that's efficient.

Last edited by FM 2258; November 25th, 2008 at 09:51 AM.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 03:17 PM   #524
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I went in August to US and the NY metro was better than I thought, I have heard very bad things about it, and the Washington Metro is fantastic, very european with a lot of quality.
I totally agree with the Metro comments (but more frequency on the weekends would be good too).. but not New York.. I was actually really put off by the shape that the subway system is in. I found the subway there to very gritty and worn-out looking. Definitely waay down from the systems in other great cities (Paris Metro, London Tube).

I know it will cost an arm & a leg, but I think that NYC needs to start considering some pretty dramatic aesthetic improvemnts updates to the subway stations.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 05:20 AM   #525
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More Americans are getting on the bus

NEW YORK, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Many Americans have abandoned their love of getting behind the wheel during the last year, and opted to hop on buses instead, according to a study released this week.

Inter-city bus service jumped 9.8 percent between the fourth quarters of 2007 and 2008, the highest growth rate in more than 40 years.

"The growth in intercity bus traffic is being driven by a number of factors, chiefly the spiking price of fuel over the past year," said Joseph Schwieterman, professor of public service and director of the Chaddick Institute, who directed the study, released on Monday.

"The basic economic efficiencies of bus travel are proving to be extremely attractive in this difficult economic climate," he said.

The revival of downtown districts and a growing acceptance of bus travel among younger travelers are also partly responsible for the U.S. bus renaissance, the study found.

The study, released by the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University in Chicago, includes all arrivals and departures of all conventional intercity bus companies, such as Greyhound Lines and Continental Trailways, as well as curbside bus operators, but not commuter-bus operators.

Much of the growth was driven by two companies, Megabus and Boltbus, a joint venture of the Greyhound and Peter Pan bus companies, which started curbside pick-up service in northeastern states in spring 2007.

The two companies offer high-frequency service between major U.S. cities and wireless Internet service on board.

Growth in passengers choosing to take the bus has also had an environmental impact. Over the past year, bus route growth has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 36,000 tons and 3.48 million gallons of fuel, according to the study.

Air travel dipped 8 percent during the study period.

The number of Americans who traveled by car dipped 3.3 percent in the first eight months of 2008.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 08:07 AM   #526
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Wow that's so extremely close! A lot of people think the BART extension is a bit of a waste of money and the gap should be covered by other public transport means. Does anyone local have an opinion?
Long-term, extending BART to San Jose would complete the connections between all three of the Bay Areas cities. That would be a strategic regional connection.

IMO it makes more sense than some of the light rail extension being pursued by some of the (too many) seperate local transit agencies.

However, Let's not try to gold-plate the San Jose BART extension, with too much in the way of VERY costly subways, it can run mostly on the surface.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 11:41 AM   #527
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Did it end up passing?
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Old November 27th, 2008, 10:22 PM   #528
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Apparently it did. Even though a lot of people 'in the know' have said it was a waste of money. I guess it shows how desperate Californians are for any improvement in public transportation.
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Old November 29th, 2008, 04:24 PM   #529
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Apparently it did. Even though a lot of people 'in the know' have said it was a waste of money. I guess it shows how desperate Californians are for any improvement in public transportation.
Many people are quick to label mass transit a waste of money but LESS likely to say the same thing about a new highway that's clogged and therefore not terribly useful.
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Old November 29th, 2008, 06:06 PM   #530
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Many people are quick to label mass transit a waste of money but LESS likely to say the same thing about a new highway that's clogged and therefore not terribly useful.
Hear hear
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Old November 30th, 2008, 12:04 PM   #531
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I was more thinking about the senitments of the writer of the Transbay Blog:

http://transbayblog.com/2008/11/24/s...ust/#more-2076


Quote:
San Jose Diridon: Grand Central or Bust
Well, it’s official. Santa Clara County Measure B — assessing a 1/8 percent sales tax, the proceeds from which will be applied to operation and maintenance of the BART to San Jose extension — finally passed, with 66.78% of the vote; not enough uncounted ballots remain to turn back the vote. Shortly after the election, when the vote was still under the required 2/3 threshold, SVLG and Measure B supporters had all but conceded, and San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed grudgingly threw his support behind a shortened route (terminating at Milpitas, Berryessa, or Alum Rock, thus postponing the Downtown San Jose subway) while he simultaneously fished for $14 billion of federal bailout money to spend on BART, among other things. But no matter now: the Measure B results are all but certified, though with the tax proceeds not quite in hand; the tax will not be assessed until a federal contribution appears. Will this be the last that we hear of shortened routes and BART taxes? Perhaps not, and a great deal of necessary project funding has yet to materialize. Nonetheless: the Valley Transportation Authority can interpret (in fact, already has interpreted) voter affirmation of the sales tax, however marginally above the 2/3 required for passage, as a clear indication that its plans are moving in the right direction. Never mind, of course, what other more cost-effective expansion projects “moving in the right direction” might jeopardize — to say nothing of existing transit service, whose funds are already tirelessly targeted by the Governor, including very recently for an additional $230 million cut across the State ($83 million in the Bay Area). But since when has BART to San Jose ever been about transit effectiveness? If it wasn’t already clear, the Mercury News made it crystal clear that the primary interest at stake is not transportation, but civic self-esteem. The article rejoices in the fact that San Jose Diridon Station — already served by Caltrain, Amtrak, ACE and VTA, and planned to be served by BART and high-speed rail — is poised to become the Grand Central Station of the West. “We’ll no longer be in the shadow of San Francisco. I’ve waited a long time for it,” proudly proclaimed Ian North in the Merc article. Wait: hasn’t the moniker “Grand Central Station of the West” already been reserved for Transbay — you know, in that other city in the Bay Area? San Jose wants to stretch its wings and fly, by creating a dense, active downtown adjacent to a grand terminal at Diridon. We should not begrudge it that; after all, this website exists, if for no other purpose, than to celebrate exactly that sort of vision. But at what cost to the greater region?

We should at least pause to enjoy a substantial victory — a movement, really — of which Measure B was part. On November 4, voters passed several major and expensive transportation measures — not just Measure B, but also Measure Q in Sonoma and Marin for SMART, Measure R in Los Angeles, and of course Proposition 1A for high-speed rail — and this all in the midst of both a state budget crisis and depressed economic climate. Fuel prices have declined considerably since their summertime high, prompting at least some Angelenos to revert to driving; but the memory of gas prices past encouraged Californians, both in the north and the south, to vote in favor of expanding rail networks throughout the state. And yet, BART to San Jose serves as a special reminder that not all transit projects are created equal, and that those projects that suffer from imperfect planning may even be ill-advised. It was a distinctly local nuance, not easy to communicate to voters — and further lost in the shuffle of both a monumentally important national election, and the positive pro-transit prescience that swept through California. But as we encourage officials to pursue better and brighter projects, it is a nuance of which we should be continually aware. Yes, even with an Obama Administration that understands and values the potentially profound change that widespread investment in high-quality transit would trigger.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 05:01 AM   #532
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Well, the line of thinking must change in order for people to embrace transit. Then they have to make the cities more transit-friendly (ie. increase density) so it becomes competitive vs. the car. I'd think the second point can drive the first.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 08:48 AM   #533
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The US seems to be going through something of a renaissance, it's incredible considering what the nation was like during the past 8 years. A new black president, people voting in favour of public transport, high speed rail in California - it's crazy!
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Old December 1st, 2008, 11:12 AM   #534
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But with gas prices going down once again, will this pro-transit fever last?
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Old December 1st, 2008, 11:23 AM   #535
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I hope so. It doesn't seem to be making too much of a difference here in Australia, even with petrol under $1/L - Aust & the US have similar levels of car dependency too.

Hopefully 'Joe Plumber' (or however you want to refer to middle class America) realises that cheap prices aren't going to last for ever and that serious long term investment in mass transit is essential to the success of cities and economies. As car mad as America is, the population isn't stupid enough to think that everything's going to be A-OK after just having been burnt by soaring fuel prices.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 12:37 PM   #536
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Quote:
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I hope so. It doesn't seem to be making too much of a difference here in Australia, even with petrol under $1/L - Aust & the US have similar levels of car dependency too.

Hopefully 'Joe Plumber' (or however you want to refer to middle class America) realises that cheap prices aren't going to last for ever and that serious long term investment in mass transit is essential to the success of cities and economies. As car mad as America is, the population isn't stupid enough to think that everything's going to be A-OK after just having been burnt by soaring fuel prices.
It has in NZ, traffic in Auckland has shot up since petrol became cheap again.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 12:51 PM   #537
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I don't know anyone who thinks the current prices will last forever. This is like a warm day in winter- you enjoy it but you know some snow's on the way before spring hits. Opec is supposed to meet in two weeks to decide to reduce production.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 02:53 PM   #538
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Well, the line of thinking must change in order for people to embrace transit. Then they have to make the cities more transit-friendly (ie. increase density) so it becomes competitive vs. the car. I'd think the second point can drive the first.
Change is occurring in America. The "anti sprawl" SB-375 bill was approved last September by governor Schwarzenegger in California, which is a first in the nation. The bill promotes mass transit and encourages density, but I admit there is a LOT to be done in America, they are about twenty years behind the rest of the developed word.

Still, it can be done. Have a look at this smart growth simulator :
http://www.sierraclub.org/sprawl/com...ions/index.asp

Before :


After :



Before:

After:
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Old December 1st, 2008, 04:05 PM   #539
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These events will take a good 10-20 years to actually result in newly-designed cities that will prompt people to think of a transit alternative.

You can't pass a bill and turn sprawl into sustainable developments overnight.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 04:36 PM   #540
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Indeed, and most of their sprawl cannot be fixed anyway. This misuse of resources is so serious, and the situation so unsustainable that I guess it will have to be torn down at some point in the future.

How does this look like a city ? And how could anyone fix this ?









The bill will help the more urban areas to become more sustainable. In this picture for instance, there is a lot to do to make the city more human, but at least it's possible :


More pics at http://www.city-data.com/forum/gener...owntown-9.html
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