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Old 03-11-2014, 07:53 PM
 
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Higher gas prices, traffic jams make driving more stressful, young people don't enjoy driving as much, sure. But how about the increasing availability of rail? 30 years ago nobody thought Albuquerque, Charlotte, Dallas, Minneapolis, or Salt Lake would get any type of rail transit, and wondered if it would even catch on in LA. Buses remain the most widely available mode, but rail attracts many who would never consider a bus.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:57 PM
 
1,112 posts, read 910,217 times
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The only beef I have with this article is the lack of data. It claims that there was a large increase in ridership in Houston, New York, Seattle, Miami, and San Diego, but no numbers were provided to show what is meant by "large increase." Is it 50%? 10%? 5%? It's great that more people are taking mass transit, and even better that mass transit is being made available to more people (the expanded lines in LA). But to claim that "transit ridership is booming" is disingenuous.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:12 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,663,662 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Jesus christ, hyperbole much.

Record 10.5 Billion Trips Taken On U.S. Public Transportation In 2012

A less than 1% increase in transit trips and it's booming. Highest levels since 1956. And in 2012?
" Record 10.5 Billion Trips Taken On U.S. Public Transportation In 2012"

Vehicle miles have increased by more than 1% since the trough after the recession. That doesn't mean they're booming, they're basically stagnant. Funny how the same group of people call the same increase a "boom" or "peak oil" depending on what they're talking about. That's why I like facts rather than badly written articles intended to mislead. Nobody in their right mind considers a less than 1% increase to be a boom.
Quote:
Originally Posted by choo_choo_train_lol View Post
I keep seeing this headline but not with statistical corrections for population growth as well as correcting for changes in the urban vs rural population %.
Quote:
Originally Posted by orlando-calrissian View Post
The only beef I have with this article is the lack of data. It claims that there was a large increase in ridership in Houston, New York, Seattle, Miami, and San Diego, but no numbers were provided to show what is meant by "large increase." Is it 50%? 10%? 5%? It's great that more people are taking mass transit, and even better that mass transit is being made available to more people (the expanded lines in LA). But to claim that "transit ridership is booming" is disingenuous.
That's the problem with these urbanist rags. No statistical data, often the authors don't even know how to interpret statistics properly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikBEggs View Post
It will never happen as long as lobbying for big oil exists. Anything that could affect their bottom line gets lobbied against. The best the government could do is find some sort of agreement with them to split the profit or something.

Personally, I'd make gas $5 / gallon. Get them guzzlers off the road, repair and expand those highways, install carpool and bikelines everywhere. *Sigh* in another world...
And this is different from any other industry or interest group how?
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:23 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,676,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
And this is different from any other industry or interest group how?
The oil industry actually has the money and political power to influence these decisions relevant to mass transit in their favor. As opposed to, say, the streetcar construction industry. I'm not going to go out and say that the oil industry is directing one big anti-transit conspiracy under our noses, but you can't say they don't have influence in this stuff. I doubt they keep their hands off. After all, the auto industry couldn't.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:25 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,663,662 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
The oil industry actually has the money and political power to influence these decisions relevant to mass transit in their favor. As opposed to, say, the streetcar construction industry. I'm not going to go out and say that the oil industry is directing one big anti-transit conspiracy under our noses, but you can't say they don't have influence in this stuff. I doubt they keep their hands off. After all, the auto industry couldn't.
I'm no fan of lobbying, but every industry and interest group lobbies. I also don't believe in conspiracy theories, which seem to be rife on this forum. Who would have thought in Urban Planning?
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:46 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,676,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I'm no fan of lobbying, but every industry and interest group lobbies. I also don't believe in conspiracy theories, which seem to be rife on this forum. Who would have thought in Urban Planning?
It's true, but some groups lobby in order to produce laws in favor of a community or conglomeration (like a coalition of small businesses lobbying for a bill to benefit all of them), while others might lobby to improve their own being at the expense of others (say, if a meat-packing company lobbied for reduced labeling regulations).

And like I said, I don't believe the oil industry is part of some big conspiracy. But I am saying that it seems likely (not certain, but likely) that they don't like mass transit use threatening gasoline sales and would probably try to fight that. I have a hunch that this is the case, but I have no evidence, so I can't say that its truth. Just conjecture.

As for the streetcar conspiracy, notice that the word "theory" is absent from the page I linked to. That's because it actually happened. It was not a theory, it was real. I hate conspiracy theories like every rational human being, but the Great American Streetcar Scandal wasn't some crazy irrational idea made up on a whim.
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,337,702 times
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Here's another article with some numbers I hadn't seen before:

Quote:
Since 1995, transit ridership in the United States is up 37.2 percent, outpacing growth in population, which is up 20.3 percent, and vehicle-miles traveled, which is up 22.7 percent.
Mass transit ridership in 2013 highest in 57 years - Philly.com

Not a boom IMO, but it's certainly a continuous trend where transit growth is outpacing growth in vehicle miles traveled by ~14%.
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,072 posts, read 16,102,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
Here's another article with some numbers I hadn't seen before:


Mass transit ridership in 2013 highest in 57 years - Philly.com

Not a boom IMO, but it's certainly a continuous trend where transit growth is outpacing growth in vehicle miles traveled by ~14%.
I guess the interesting point for me is how much of an increase in transit spending, adjusted for inflation, was spent to result in that 14% increase in population-adjusted ridership figure. I can't find that data. Currently, states spending on average 20% of their STIP (that's federal transportation dollars) on mass transit projects. Less than 2% (2009) of trips in the United States are via mass transit, more than 80% were made with a personal automobile. Now, you could say that there's catching up to do which is why transit needs to get 40 times as much funding per trip taken as cars do. Cars have had a lot of infrastructure over the past few years, and now it's transit's turn. I think that's overstating it. It also ignores the higher ongoing costs of transit to the government.

Which states spend most on transit? - SmartPlanet
http://nhts.ornl.gov/2009/pub/stt.pdf

Basically, the government is broke. The FHWA trust account goes dry in 2015, which means STIP money gets roughly cut in half. The state of infrastructure is already pretty shameful. That's really what my interest is in. If you can shift someone from doing a 50-mile one-way commute in a car to a four-mile bus trip, that's probably overall good. But you still need to find a way to raise revenue because a four-mile bus trip most places costs more than the road costs do for that 50-mile one-way commute.

Just to plug in some example numbers, the average cost per boarding in Seattle (King County Metro) is right around $4. average person takes 3.9 trips per day (per National Highways link above). If a person used to make all trips by car, and now makes all by transit that's $5,600 a year. A bus pass (one-zone) is $1080 a year. You're left with $4,500 in unfunded cost. Now, roads are subsidized too, but not by that much. As long as people are willing to pay more in taxes to off-set the greater expense to the taxpayer of a four-mile trip on a bus than a 50-mile trip in a car, that's fine. But that's not always practical for everyone. I work in a nine-county area. I'm not really interested in increasing my tax burden so people can ride a bus. It also means living in a city doesn't really make a lot of sense to me. Regardless of where I live, I'm going to have high transportation costs. The typical trade-off of housing for transportation expense and time doesn't apply to me.

Rather than having a central planner make the decisions, I am, as all capitalists are, a proponent of the free market. Less subsidies means people can make their own decisions that work best for their particular situation. We have regular (non commuter, non paratransit) bus routes here that cost about $1 per boarding and ones that cost as much as $60 per boarding. They pay the same fare. That's vastly inefficient. Similarly, if we raised the gas taxes by the 50 cents - $1 that is needed, per our MTC, to fully fund road costs, maybe fewer people buy houses out in the exurbs. Probably not a lot, since you're only talking a few dollars in extra costs, but a few would.
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:24 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,698,541 times
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Looks like Californians are jumping on this bandwagon. New data from Caltrans reports way more walking/biking/transit use.

Caltrans News Release :: COMPREHENSIVE TRAVEL SURVEY SHOWS MORE CALIFORNIANS ARE WALKING, BIKING, AND RIDING TRANSIT

Quote:
“Based on this research, we can make good decisions about transportation that will improve mobility, air quality, and travel choices for all Californians and make our state a better place to live and work,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty.

Nearly 23 percent of household trips were taken by walking, biking, and public transportation. In 2000, that share was only 11 percent. This increase includes a dramatic increase in walking trips, which nearly doubled from 8.4 percent to 16.6 percent of trips.

“This increasing interest in many transportation choices is another reason why we are on the path to more sustainability in California,” said California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly. “Caltrans will continue improving the state’s transportation system to help ensure Californians have many viable choices for how to travel.”
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Old 03-22-2014, 01:44 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,991 posts, read 42,018,377 times
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Just for 2012-2013, a long time scale would be more helpful:

Use of public transit isn’t surging - The Washington Post

A close look at the report shows that while U.S. transit trips increased by 115 million from 2012 to 2013, trips on New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority rose by 123 million. In other words, transit use outside New York declined in absolute terms last year.

I skimmed through the numbers to make sure they check out, they do. Of course, there were other agencies that reported gains, and others that reported declines.

http://www.apta.com/resources/statis...rship-APTA.pdf
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