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Old November 22nd, 2016, 08:45 PM   #21
Slartibartfas
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If the system has very poor ridership then yes, shut it down except for disabled services.
So your solution to improve bad public transportation (bad quality of PT is the main reason for bad ridership numbers) is to simply dismantle it altogether. Sounds very much like what they taught in city planning classes in the 1960s. I guess if a main road has lots of holes in the pavement, making it almost impossible to use, you are not reparing it but instead closing down the road altogther, right?

If you look at it without prejudice you will see that urbanity (the opposite thing of suburbanity) is in high demand again in the US, yet, it has become fairly rare in many parts of the country. In Texas for example you have cities of more than 100 000 inhabitants with absolutely dead cores. Real ghosttowns in the centre. Comparable cities in Europe have strong and vibrating urban cores, instead of run down, falling apart sporadic buildings in a sea of neglected bitumen desert. And this is why there is a revival of PT in the US. Smaller cities have realized they are going to loose out on a big, and important, demographic group if they can't reestablish some functioning urban fabric in their core area. And such walkable cities with high quality public spaces need PT like a tree needs water. Because PT supports and also needs such cities, while car oriented cities do not and are actually at odds with them. And that is why even US cities are nowadays aiming at reestablishing a proper PT network, at least in its central areas and along major corridors.

Taxis, collective taxis etc. can't replace that function of PT. What they can do is being a useful addition and complementation of a PT network in the urban or suburban periphery.

PS: No one in the US has voted on that. If you grow up in suburbia you don't have any choice to begin with. Only when you move and can afford it, could you possibly "vote" on it. But as the supply of urban space is so extremely limited in the US, especially in certain states, the prices are so high, that many who'd like to be less reliant on the car, simply can't afford such a life style. Not because it would not be possible, but because the supply is insufficiant and that lifestyle is therefore becoming a luxury product. How sad. Isn't the US supposed to be one of the richest countries on earth? Yet many of its citizens could not afford a live without total dependence on their cars.

PPS: A radical relaunch of a failing bus network can be a good thing. The question is if it is really aimed towards getting a better system with more useful connections and frequencies or if it is only about cutting down service and saving money.
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 09:07 AM   #22
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As I stated earlier thou, nearly every system in the US except the really big ones say a significant decline in ridership and this has been going on for the last 5 years. Isn't it time for many of these cities to accept the fact that transit is no longer serving the needs of the citizens and try an alternative. When you get large cities with less than 11,000 rides a day {assuming they will have a return trip and those trips include transfers} you are talking about 4,000 passengers a day.

Would you keep a whole hospital running even if only 10 people walked in the door everyday? Would you keep a school running that's at 10% capacity? These too are essential services but that doesn't mean they should be money-pits.

On some systems where maybe 30,000 people ride a day ie Nashville, Indie, they can always go the 50-50 route. Get rid of 75% of the routes and greatly increase service on the busier routes. Their bus ticket could be used as a transfer onto a collective taxi service for the first 3 miles of the taxi-trip getting rid of that dreaded last mile. Of course it would work both ways. The people would get vastly superior service from both the much more frequent main route buses and the collective taxis to get them closer to home.

There are all kinds of alternatives and they should be explored fully as the tried and true standard transit bus clearly isn't working and for many systems it is more a make-work project than a true urban transportation system.
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Old November 25th, 2016, 06:17 PM   #23
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Your hospital analogies are nonsense. If you close down one hospital you can still have an efficient health system in a city. The success of a PT network however is defined by its coverage, frequency etc. That means with every "adaptation" to low demand you drastically reduce the attractivity of the system, hence creating the cause for the next cut back of service. This vicious cycle destroyed fairly good PT networks to begin with, often without any urgent need to do so. Judging a system based on ridership numbers from a few years during low petrol prices is purely polemic and not useful in any way.

Building a PT network without a proper urban plan for major redevelopment is of course making only limited sense. But it is a myth that US cities can not transform into something that can sustain alternatives to the car. Denver is the existing evidence for that. But you need substantial stamina for that. The US seems to be struggling to realize such long term strategical projects where you need a strong public hand over a long time.

Being 100% reliant on car and on vast ultra low density sprawl is a major strategical risk. The US is spending half a trillion USD on war and destruction, each year. But the major strategical risk of unsustainable city layouts, in case of permanently rising energy costs (and that is a very likely thing within the next decades), can't be addressed because it is impossible to find a few billion USD to diversify city layouts, especially in those major urban areas, where there are no functioning alternatives. This could easily break your neck in the mid-term as other countries are much better prepared for this scenario.



That said, redesign of PT networks can be a very good thing. The question is if it is merely about amputating the system or actually about making it more useful for users. For urban neighbourhoods, bus, tram, metro etc are the way to go. However, integrating peripheral and suburban neighbourhoods can indeed be done with alternative strategies. Your suggestion with vastly improved (faster more frequent) core lines, extending far into suburbia, combined with an integrated collective tax system (preferably making full use of internet based apps and optimized routing based on real demand) sounds good. An important aspect is however that the system has to be fully integrated and as easy to use as possible.
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Old November 26th, 2016, 01:20 PM   #24
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when thinking about that: bus lines here are always being tweaked looking at the demand. We know some trunk lines will always be used so bus lanes can be installed, other lines are depending on demand. So we add a line to a new suburban neighbourhood that connects quickly to the rail network, and remove low-used bus stops to replace them, though keeping in mind that people do not like to walk too far.

It is always good to anticipate well on developments before constructing rail-based transport. It also has to be fast and reliable enough. When the demand declines measures have to be taken, but dismantling is close to never the right solution. Almost all agglomerations are growing. Changing the line to increase speeds and serve more outer suburbs, and otherwise urban planning should be taken a look at. Effectively using TOD and prohibiting unbridled suburban development is a possibility. That we already do for decades in the Netherlands.

So the result: much more agricultural land and stations see apartment buildings in their vincinity. Even village stations in a car-oriented village are used by more than 1000 passengers per day. Frequency? Twice an hour, compact trains, electric. And other stations on the line (e.g one with a university with >5000 passengers) keep the trains filled. Profitability: 70% is covered by tickets. But because of our IC network, the Dutch Railways can make profit.

An IC network is not always feasible, but in some conurbations in the US you could do that: extensive systems with either standard speed when density is high enough or high speed, creating bigger areas being within 60 minutes from people's homes. For many agglomerations zone trains would be a great solution in the US, to speed up the travel to downtowns and suburban centers from outer suburbs. And not to underestimate: the airport (you got it Denver!).
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Old November 27th, 2016, 05:15 AM   #25
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Low ridership is especially a problem in North American suburbia because the ways our communities are built are in such a way that you pretty much need a car to get around, and busses end up being the least feasible option. Low density sprawl has made it hard to make connections that work, combine that with the fact that many people who live in the suburbs can afford cars and have attitudes towards public transit in such a way that they're "too good for it" and that's how you get transit agencies with low ridership across the continent

Now, none of that is to say that they need to be wiped out. They should instead adapt to the reality of suburban sprawl. Here in Oakville the majority of our transit's fleet consists of 40 foot busses and I think it's so wasteful because it doesn't seem like even in peak hours that they reach their capacity. And then on off peak hours I never see more than two people using the bus. Replacing the majority of the fleet with 30 foot busses would already be a big step.
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Old November 27th, 2016, 11:37 AM   #26
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Cars used to be much more of a status symbol in Europe as well. Nontheless among younger urban people it has lost the status almost entirely. A lot of people living within big cities don't even own cars nowdays even though they could easily afford one.

Culture and city structures can change, given sufficient time. They changed dramatically already before. Even cities like LA started as PT oriented places. In order to rediversify urban mobility option in utterly suburbanized cities, one has to start with the core neighbourhoods and downtown. If there is still at least any life left in them, it can be revived. Connecting a major university campus with Downtown and thereby major art centers and employment locations is a popular way to start. Connecting Downtown to the Airport is an interesting option, if Downtown is still a major employment location. One has to be aware that those innitial things will cover only a fraction of the entire urban/suburban area. For the rest, one needs to reform the feeder system and also, if possible suburbn cross connections. This can involve, downscaled busses but possibly increasingly on demand collective taxis with fixed stops, for a fixed low price. Modern internet based technoligies should make it possible to reduce waiting times and improve speeds that way, while making things more cost efficient.
Once there is an urban core that deserves that name, one can start to extend the core system to suburban sub-centres, often shopping malls or edge cities.

All of this has to go along with support from the municipal authorities and TOD friendly legislation of course. The examples of the greater DC area, LA and Denver all give clues how it can be done. And I am not talking of course about abolishing the car at all, merely about reestablishing urban cores which offer an alternative to the car and which are also accessible from the periphery.
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Old November 28th, 2016, 01:54 AM   #27
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I would bring up the fact that many of these modern streetcars and some of these rapid bus or circulator services are not being funded or governed in the same way as the conventional transit network. Instead they may be directly owned by the city(rather than a regional transit agency), and they may be funded not from transit funds but from special taxes like a tax increment reinvestment zone in the neighborhoods they operate in. The support for these systems comes from business and real estate interests who see them as improving the desirability of the areas where they have investments, and it is not intended they have strong ridership.

As for low ridership non-urban local transit, IIRC, the federal government provides(or provided) a minimal level of funding to nearly every metropolitan and micropolitan statistical area for rural and small urban transit districts as a SKELETON SERVICE. These provide subsidized on-demand paratransit and highly limited fixed route services to communities. This form of transit is not meant to have high ridership, it is not meant to generate revenue. It is meant to help needy people get around as a social service.

Since there are some moderately large cities with metropolitan populations of nearly a million people or more which never developed a modern transit of their own, you see this kind of service in those environments too. These transit agencies are basically just operating the bare bones service required by the feds in exchange for their support, and that's it.

I can see a near future where something happens in Washington or at the state level that deprives this group of agencies of their external funding. Without any local support for transit, it is likely those systems would fold. With the development of self driving cars I can imagine that robot taxi vans would do the job of low ridership mobility focused rural and small town transit much better than cutaway minibuses with drivers can.

Finally, it was always intended that large metropolitan areas that want real, serious urban transit(buses, subways, etc) use their own taxes to build and operate them. That is what New York, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, etc, do. These systems, which have high ridership and are an important part of their cities, probably aren't in danger. Some, like DC, are suffering from short to medium term declines because they are suffering from degraded infrastructure which is being repaired and dragging down service availability. The exception that rule might be situations like Cleveland where hardly anyone uses the trains anymore and the city keeps shrinking in population.
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Old November 28th, 2016, 03:01 AM   #28
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I'm drawn to this topic because this, apparently, is my forte.

So, to answer the question, should low ridership transit systems shut down?, it is important to tackle this question based on multiple factors. I will condense my reasoning to make it easy for starters.

YES
Of course, many transit systems, especially in smaller communities, may be struggling to keep up with their public transportation networks, possibly due to lower revenues from their funding sources, poor ridership figures, poor management (a major culprit), or some other factor indirectly contributing to this decline (e.g. graying population, criminal activity, etc.). However, the main question we have to address in this case is: at what cost do we cut some or all transit services in our community? It is important to understand that public transportation, at a basic level, provides public service to the communities it serves that, if we are to eliminate it, we need to find viable alternatives to bring back some semblance of connections between neighborhoods and cities. And also, we still struggle finding ways to reduce pollution in our beloved atmosphere thanks to fumes emitted by factories, vehicles, and power plants.

NO
You might say you made a wise choice here, but the bigger question we need to ask in this case is, what do we have to sacrifice to keep our public transportation network afloat? Considering the fact that maintaining so many transit lines, vehicles, and amenities can be very expensive for city and state governments, we have to decide what priorities we have to make to ensure the riding public still has adequate transit options at their disposal. We could either go to the route of contracting lower-ridership services to private operators like MV or Transdev, shifting maintenance costs to keep a fragile service running, prolonging the use of older vehicles until enough funding is tapped to replace them, or start streamlining or rationalizing the network to make it more efficient for more riders at the expense of losing service to some neighborhoods that may be heavily reliant on transit.

Those are some of the difficult choices we have to make, but I am happy to contribute even more to this discussion.
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Old November 28th, 2016, 08:17 AM   #29
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The budget problem has been alluded to, but it's bigger than that. Many systems if not the large majority have had major budget cutbacks since the economic crash. Of course that'll reduce ridership.
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Old November 28th, 2016, 08:23 AM   #30
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The budget problem has been alluded to, but it's bigger than that. Many systems if not the large majority have had major budget cutbacks since the economic crash. Of course that'll reduce ridership.
That's so true. However, there may come a time that the budget cutbacks could go way too far that people will really feel the effects of having a bare-bones transit network where everything runs so infrequently, some transit riders would switch to driving since they have little to no incentive left to use public transportation. Something definitely needs to give way in order to kick start such efforts of improving mass transit in struggling communities... perhaps privately-run transit networks to start in order for governments to bring their budgets back to order.

This reminds me: when a Democratic leader does a budget, he usually ends up with a surplus or balancing the budget. And when a Republican leader does a budget, it ends up with massive shortfalls and budget cuts. Something is seriously wrong with one of those groups...
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Old November 28th, 2016, 08:34 PM   #31
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Zaphod made some important points there. But I think this is also one of the key problems. Beyond those few cities where they have a serious PT network, many if not most see PT either as (in reality useless) real estate gimmick or as social service (only used by those who really have no other choice). The latter I finde commendable, the former absolutely pointless and very short sighted but both will never lead to a functional PT network.

But in the end it boils down to the question if those cities believe they can afford in the mid- or long-term to lack a truly urban core. Because you can't have a pedestrian friendly, multifunctional dense urban core without PT. Those two things are self reinforcing, while the car is at odds with such an urban design. This also goes hand in hand with attractive urban spaces which are much harder to sustain in car oriented suburban city layouts (just look at the off the mill horrible car oriented shopping mall designs).

Maybe there are US cities which think they don't need that kind of stuff but from what I have heard many are quite worried to loose the creative class and also increasingly academics as such to cities which can offer those urban environments.

To boil it down: PT, yes or no, depends on the question what kind of urbanity you want, or better if you are fine with replacing urbanity with suburbanity, even in the centre, or not.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 04:40 AM   #32
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The new APTA 2nd quarter stats have been released and small wonder they delayed the release till after the election and the transit funding plebiscites.

The year-over-year decline is only 1% which is hardly traumatizing but when you look deeper into individual systems some of the stats are frightening. The only major systems to see overall ridership increases were Greater NY/NJ, SF, Houston, Seattle, Boston, and Detroit. Washington took a pounding and while Chicago & Philly sort of held their own. Most smaller systems took a huge hit except for Detroit which, although the numbers grew, the ridership level for such a large city is incredibly low.

Some systems held their own but most of the smaller systems took a pounding and have been on the decline for several years. Even systems that have opened new rail lines have still seen declines in overall ridership because all they did was bleed riders from the bus they replaced. In other words American transit riders are reverting back to the more "legacy" systems and the smaller ones especially in the South and West have more than lost all the ground they have made in the last 15 years.

Some of the ridership levels for even cities between 100k to 1.5k {ie Indianapolis, Memphis, Nashville, Birmingham etc} are so low it makes you wonder if it's not better just to close them down and revert more of the funding to a passenger-demand system or a set fare for taxis, for example, the cost of a bus-ticket for the first 3 miles.

"Build it and they will come" has proven itself in so many cities to be an outright failure and this idea that building a streetcar will all of a sudden entice riders to a system has proven itself to be a losing proposition built more for the politicians who die for the chance of a ribbon-cutting ceremony and not providing proper transit.

For more than half the systems in the US is it time to face the reality that no matter what is built, the vast majority of even urban Americans will never step foot on a transit vehicle and start closing the systems down and looking at non-conventional alternatives for the transit dependent?
Sorry, more than 5 U.S. cities matter. Detroit isn't an oddity - it's an example of building transit ridership in an existing context with negligible current transit. The People Mover has rebounded ridership with downtown's rebirth, which has boosted DTA's ridership numbers. Streetcar is going to be really big for them, too.

The U.S. has seen increased interest and usage for transit by investing in transit for cities that don't currently have transit. For instance, there is a lot more upside in LA than SF. Similarly, a lot more upside in Houston than Atlanta, and more upside in Kansas City than Boston.

What "proof" are you looking at for streetcars and light rail? The successes overwhelmingly outweigh failures like DC, which is also one of your 5 cities that matter. The best success stories are Minneapolis, Denver, and Portland. Next up are Charlotte, Kansas City, and Oklahoma City. Don't just build it, but fund it and operate it, and they will come.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 04:44 AM   #33
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People in the vast majority of the US have voted..........they want to drive their cars so why not simply accept that and offer them a car-like service?

Huston is a great example. It realized that commuting patterns have changed and they changed most of the bus route overnight to reflect that and surprise..........Houston is one of the very few large systems that say bus and overall system ridership levels increase. With small systems with next to no ridership or larger places with pathetic transit patronage, they should follow Houston's example and start fresh and if that means an entire gutting of the bus service for a more efficient alternative then so much the better.
This is so condescending. You act surprised that every city in the world is not exactly like Vancouver. We may not be as sophisticated, but I think we're half-witted enough to get on a train.

I also can't clearly discern your point. We should just do AV pilots or uber vouchers? No scratch that we need streamlined bus systems and not cars?

All you're doing is incoherently throwing every other novel idea on Jarrett Walker's blog into some sequence that's supposed to convince us small cities don't deserve high-quality transit.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 08:24 AM   #34
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This is NOT about ditching a needed public service. No where have I stated that the shutting down of the PT system should not be replaced with something else.

My point is when you have cities between 100k to 1,000,000 and your ridership numbers are pathetic then isn't it time to try something new? If people really believe that public transit is an essential service then they should be worried about the effectiveness of the service and clearly these transit systems are doing an incredibly lousy job.

Where is the rule that PT has to rely on just buses? The system that should be used is the one that provides the highest service quality at an affordable price and not just because it's a make-work project for the bus unions and associated employees. When you are serving so few passengers and the 99% of the population has decided they don't like the service you provide as opposed to their alternatives then why not try a new idea? These systems are providing horrid service to people who need effective transportation the most........low income, seniors, disabled. If the city really cared about the needs of these most vulnerable people then they would try something new because the system and service they currently provide is an affront to their needs as active participants of the community.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 09:15 AM   #35
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Here's my take on ridership and maintaining service:

It doesn't matter if your ridership stands at 10,000 or 10,000,000. If a transit company provides quality service for its riders at reasonable costs, then there is little to no reason as to why we need to reduce or eliminate service. Of course service adjustments are a necessity, but funding plays a major role in keeping those services afloat.

The development of sound transit policies comes from the very top of the governmental hierarchy. If Congress fails once again to fund public transportation and gives those highways priority funding, then we will have to live through the consequences of never ending congestion, air and noise pollution, higher maintenance costs, and drivers demanding wider and more paved roads. All that comes at the expense of those who simply cannot afford to buy an automobile or choose to use an alternate form of transport because the car culture molded by the petroleum industry keeps many Americans addicted to fossil fuels, which is a finite resource. Although buses and trains can carry a lot more people than private automobiles, their resulting carbon emissions per passenger is way lower than each one of them driving solo. Not to mention, more seniors are retiring that they may not rely on driving alone anymore and use public transportation to get around.

The point here is, transportation development starts with great policymaking. It may start at the Federal level, but, in some supportive communities, local sources can be tapped and used to finance key projects as senior shuttles, improved facilities, vehicle procurement, and others.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 05:32 PM   #36
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This is NOT about ditching a needed public service. No where have I stated that the shutting down of the PT system should not be replaced with something else.
What's that "something else" precisely? This question is intricately linked to your question and it makes no sense to discuss the one without answering the other in detail.

PT is essential for a city that supports and sustains hubs of public life with pedestrian activity. Car traffic (and it really doesn't matter that much if those cars are driven by humans or autonomously driving vehicles) is at odds with this concept and therefore cities built all around that, like those with abysmal PT numbers you are mentioning here, have huge troubles with that aspect.

Of course, some think that a city does not need hubs and it should be just low density suburban neighbourhoods sprinkled with edge "cities". That's fine, than you do not really need PT indeed.

In a proper urban environment (and I mean "urban" in a narrow sense here, those places you refer to would most likely not qualify) there is no alternative to traditional PT. However every proper urban environment is surrounded by suburban neighbourhoods and while their centres might be good candidates for PT as well, their more peripheral parts are often too low density. There, and mainly there, new strategies should be developed. In my opinion the best option would be an internet based service, which is real time, flexible, fully integrated with the PT network and its fare system and offered during the same hours where the rest of the network operates. If the size of the vehicles is taxis, mini-buses or proper buses could be flexible, according to need. This system could be less based on lines but rather a fine network of stops. People who'd like to use it would tell the integrated PT App of their home region their door to door trip, choose an option and then the next vehicle in the queue would add the needed stops to the itinerary with the route being calculated and optimized in real time.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 07:32 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by ssiguy2 View Post
This is NOT about ditching a needed public service. No where have I stated that the shutting down of the PT system should not be replaced with something else.

My point is when you have cities between 100k to 1,000,000 and your ridership numbers are pathetic then isn't it time to try something new? If people really believe that public transit is an essential service then they should be worried about the effectiveness of the service and clearly these transit systems are doing an incredibly lousy job.

Where is the rule that PT has to rely on just buses? The system that should be used is the one that provides the highest service quality at an affordable price and not just because it's a make-work project for the bus unions and associated employees. When you are serving so few passengers and the 99% of the population has decided they don't like the service you provide as opposed to their alternatives then why not try a new idea? These systems are providing horrid service to people who need effective transportation the most........low income, seniors, disabled. If the city really cared about the needs of these most vulnerable people then they would try something new because the system and service they currently provide is an affront to their needs as active participants of the community.
I think the common ground for us is that transit should always be contextual. Everything should be viewed as TOD, and the transit should also fit the character of the development anticipated.

I'm for looking at AV, but I also think that one of the biggest problems in American cities is the lack of public realm. It's hard to create public realm if you don't concentrate people in the way that mass transit does. I think this challenge of transforming small cities is worthwhile because people-oriented public spaces have always generated economic activity and location premiums that help the rest of the market evolve.

BRT has worked surprisingly well in Grand Rapids, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh. I think even San Bernadino has a really cool BRT project. So clearly there is room for other technologies besides rail, many of which may be the better option for a particular context.

All that said, I absolutely balk at anything that makes it harder for smaller cities to get rail going. Even Little Rock, Arkansas vastly exceeded projected ridership with a well-planned streetcar route that is now under attack from a highway project. They absolutely deserve rail, can make it work, and they have a hard enough time as it is. Rails-in-the-ground fixed transit corridors are fueling America's urbanization trend more than anything else right now, so let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
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Last edited by SRG; December 24th, 2016 at 07:40 PM.
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Old December 27th, 2016, 09:12 AM   #38
ssiguy2
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There are alternatives to PT in small cities or even larger ones where the current system is falling both the city and the riders.

A system that is quite popular in some Latin American cities is the "collective taxi system" where people can get a ride at set taxi stops, not door-to-door. There is also the idea of having taxis fares set at the same price as transit fares, for example the first 3 miles, and the taxi only picks up and drops off at set points along the roadway. Any taxi could participate in the program for a flat fee per year. The city would gain the money from the flat fee to subsidize the fares to the basic transit fares. The city could then get rid of the horrid expense of buying and maintaining buses and high wage operational costs.

This would result in huge savings to the city but greatly improve transportation options as you can just get on the next taxi that goes by. Also due to a flat transit fare for the first 3 miles, the taxi would take you to where you want to go getting rid of the time consuming and inconvenient transfers which is a very big deal in city's with infrequent service.
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Old December 27th, 2016, 04:51 PM   #39
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Such a shared taxi system (as full replacement for PT) works only when you have the following things: Working poor taxi drivers, traffic madness, low priority towards pedestrians and enough economic pressure forcing people staying together in dense urban neighbourhoods even though the mode of mobility is actually at odds with it.

Most of those should not be found in a developed country and especially the last point usually isn't. Due to the way you cite wage dumping as one of the benefits, I have the impression you see it not as a bug but a feature, however.
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Last edited by Slartibartfas; December 27th, 2016 at 05:00 PM.
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Old March 24th, 2017, 10:42 AM   #40
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In Miami, the bus system (Metrobus) has been hemorrhaging riders since 2014, and is now down to the worst ridership since online records began in 1998!

Uber, old buses, and increasing surface traffic (which makes B grade public transport (bus) worse as well), are all blamed, along with other poor service complaints.

In 2015, along with diving gas prices, the single line heavy metro (Metrorail) started to decline, and by late 2016, even the urban people mover (Metromover) in the
thriving downtown area is showing a little stagnation and even decline.
Given the atmosphere of Miami, I'm surprised Metrorail made it through the early years of poor ridership, to the tune of only 20 to 40,000, since in a couple spots it
passes through very quiet and fairly affluent low density neighborhoods such as the downtown-adjacent "The Roads". Since 2012 with a new station opening (and tech-
nically a one station second "line"), ridership has been building pretty steady and became well over a whopping 70k, but now is back to scraping the bottom of the 70
thousands, and numbers are still holding poor despite great population growth and economy numbers out of all of Florida. The Miami proper is small but it as well as
some nearby suburbs are well over 10k per sq mile density at this point. There is a recent groundswell to greatly improve the transit network, billions are spent on the
highways and roads ever decade, money does exist, but all area transit with the exception of the downtown people mover (Metromover) has very low ridership per mile
and per population.
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