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Old 04-04-2014, 08:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I don't know. Most poor people have jobs, people need to go to the grocery store and the drugstore. The thing is, more affluent people are much less likely to choose transit trips outside of the work commute.
Not really. There's a correlation between relative affluence and suburban transit riders who have a car at home and don't go into the city on the weekends. Muni expansion is of little interest to them on any day of the week.

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70% of transit users earn less than $50k, 35% are under $50k, 70% of transit users are employed. 30% ride transit 6 or 7 days a week.
Yup, seen it but it's not really helpful. Who are they? How many of them are students - high school or college?" How many are seniors? Just saying that "earning less than" can mean "not earning much because I'm not working full time or at all" I was a transit user earning less than $50k for about 30 years. Even now I'm not that baller. You don't go into planning to get rich.

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The poor people have places to go, people with under $15k income makeup 20% of the riders.
Of course they have places to go. They just do it less often than people with household incomes 40-80% of the median (for example).

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For example, the bus route I take most often, at least in my section, travels from downtown and the rest of the route gradually gets more and more affluent as it reaches the end. Above downtown, household income is about 50K, where I live it is $80k, at route's end it is $120k+.
I'm not sure what the point is here - I'm not trying to argue that rich people ride the bus. I know they don't I also know that rich people in the suburbs, if they ride the train, only ride at peak periods. So is the point to pit the bottom 30% against the middle 40% then? Because that's what it comes down to . . . who rides more and who should get more service.

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Transit agencies can increase revenue by operating higher fare routes that get more "choice riders." But those people don't ride often. (For my agency, the profitable routes are the transbay ones that only run during the commute, with a fare 2x the local fare, and few people transfer. The average income on those routes is much higher than regular routes, due to the types of jobs in downtown SF, and the rider profile, and a more even distribution at all ends of the route.)
And that's how it should be - higher fares during peak periods (especially for express type services) and discounts off-peak.

If a poor neighborhood has strong transit demand then it should get the service necessary to meet the demand. Always. On the other hand you need to be careful about what kind of service that is. As was already said in this thread, the more infrastructure/public investment you cram into a neighborhood the more valuable it is. People follow amenities and great bus service or a rail extension to a poorer neighborhood can transform that place pretty quickly.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Let's talk about San Jose. They are finally breaking ground on a BRT project, in the most transit dependent part of San Jose. No one uses transit over in Silicon Valley, yet San Jose spent zillions of dollars on light rail no one uses. If I recall correctly, transit commute percentage is about 3%, worse than LA and the rest of the Bay Area.

FYI: the eastside is where the Latinos live (and some black people too). When I was a kid, kids from the eastside got bused to my part of town to "diversify the schools," or whatever reason it was back then. I lived in a white area. Now it is predominately Vietnamese. And it is the one part of town transit is actually heavily used.

Anyway, here is more on the BRT project.
Bus Rapid Transit breaks ground in San Jose | TransForm
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,170 posts, read 29,796,901 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
Not really. There's a correlation between relative affluence and suburban transit riders who have a car at home and don't go into the city on the weekends. Muni expansion is of little interest to them on any day of the week.
Not exactly. In places where transit usage is higher, they are finding an increase in off-peak ridership as well.
Far Beyond Rush Hour: The Incredible Rise of Off-Peak Public Transportation - Eric Jaffe - The Atlantic Cities

Let's use the commuter example. Let's say your commuter bus ends at 6 every day. And you know that some days during the week (or many) you don't wrap up till 6 or 6:15. And it happens to be unpredictable. If the last bus comes at 6, you don't want to be worried about missing it. So you decide, screw it I am going to drive so I don't have to worry about going to happy hour after work or whatever.

Now let's say, you know there are plenty of options after 6, when the commuter bus is done. And it is easy for you to get home until let's say 9pm. It is much easier for you to choose transit, because you aren't particularly worried about missing the last commuter bus. You have options.

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Yup, seen it but it's not really helpful. Who are they? How many of them are students - high school or college?" How many are seniors? Just saying that "earning less than" can mean "not earning much because I'm not working full time or at all" I was a transit user earning less than $50k for about 30 years. Even now I'm not that baller. You don't go into planning to get rich.
The students were like 5-7% of the riders and seniors were a tiny bit more. I could have the ratios reversed, and I don't have the link handy. But they weren't the primary audience. Most people were working adults.

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Of course they have places to go. They just do it less often than people with household incomes 40-80% of the median (for example).
I disagree, people at the lower end of the income scales spend all of the money they have (no matter how much it is). Basically every dollar in is a dollar out. This pattern doesn't change till quite a bit higher on the income scale. Likely 120% of the median or so. Those people start saving more, since they have more wiggle room. And they have different things to spend on. Poor people spend a higher percentage of income on necessities and food. Money spent on movie theaters is less, but money spent on things like groceries and sundries is high and pretty equivalent to others. Eating out budget is much smaller.

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I'm not sure what the point is here - I'm not trying to argue that rich people ride the bus. I know they don't I also know that rich people in the suburbs, if they ride the train, only ride at peak periods. So is the point to pit the bottom 30% against the middle 40% then? Because that's what it comes down to . . . who rides more and who should get more service.
Transit users are typically the "bottom 50%" of Americans. Why do we keep trying to make transit for the top 20% who doesn't really care.

Quote:
If a poor neighborhood has strong transit demand then it should get the service necessary to meet the demand. Always. On the other hand you need to be careful about what kind of service that is. As was already said in this thread, the more infrastructure/public investment you cram into a neighborhood the more valuable it is. People follow amenities and great bus service or a rail extension to a poorer neighborhood can transform that place pretty quickly.
That's true, we need smarter policies to prevent displacement. Moving someone who is transit dependent and in a transit rich neighborhood to a place that has zero transit, makes their financial situation much more precarious. My city is working on BRT in a poorer part of town, and it is one of the key goals to make sure this project benefits the existing residents and minimizes displacement of residents and businesses. Many who are new immigrants and other people with both limited income and political power/influence.
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Quote:
People follow amenities and great bus service or a rail extension to a poorer neighborhood can transform that place pretty quickly.
True, that's why it's so important for most of the newest TOD to be developed with all income ranges. I think it would benefit everyone, as communities that have different cultures tend to thrive.
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccdscott View Post
True, that's why it's so important for most of the newest TOD to be developed with all income ranges. I think it would benefit everyone, as communities that have different cultures tend to thrive.
Yup, when incomes (classes) are really segregated, it actually ends up causing tons of problems across all spectrums of life.
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
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Speaking from experience as a Dallas resident, IMO, buses are best used for "local, local, local" transportation - namely either

(1) Within 3 or 4 miles of a rail line, as a local-area connector to a light rail or
(2) As express buses connecting people between rail lines when the hub/junction is far away

Of course, you can't apply my words to New York, Washington, and other cities with a high density light rail network. So YMMV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408
Yup, when incomes (classes) are really segregated, it actually ends up causing tons of problems across all spectrums of life.
Even here, this applies to different socio-economic groups within the same race, ethnicity, and religion (e.g. WASP doctors, lawyers, and middle managers and WASP blue collar workers). It gets worse when incomes, educations, and occupations tend to fall heavily along racial/ethnic/language/religious lines. So my take is that it's not just racism - it's "race-by-class"ism.

I hate to bring up ugly stereotypes but it does help get the point across. I'm sure even white upper middle class professionals who -for this day and age- are fairly racist would still rather their daughter marry someone who looks and behaves like a 20-something versions of Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Morgan Freeman, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, etc. than marry a worst stereotype of "white trailer park trash". So class (not just in a strictly $ sense) can trump race in many cases and contexts.

Last edited by Phil75230; 04-04-2014 at 07:41 PM..
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:51 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,993 posts, read 42,190,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil75230 View Post
Speaking from experience as a Dallas resident, IMO, buses are best used for "local, local, local" transportation - namely either

(1) Within 3 or 4 miles of a rail line, as a local-area connector to a light rail or
(2) As express buses connecting people between rail lines when the hub/junction is far away

Of course, you can't apply my words to New York, Washington, and other cities with a high density light rail network. So YMMV.
Same applies in a city like NYC. Going 4+ miles on a non-express bus is often rather slow. Coverage and frequency may be much better than a sunbelt city, but average speeds are slow, partly from congestion and partly from lots of stops. But especially outside of Manhattan, there are just many trips the trains don't go, only buses cover other directions.
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:53 PM
 
905 posts, read 801,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
Anyone who thinks that a city the size of LA can survive on bus service alone either can't do math or just doesn't want people to use transit. An express bus from your neighborhood to any neighborhood in the city is called a taxi. They're expensive for a reason. You can't run a bus system like that and expect to have a base fare under $6.

The only way to move large amounts of people around quickly with any sort of efficiency is to have a trunk and feeder system. People may not like losing taxi-style bus service if they were lucky enough to have it but you either pay a lot more or you might have to transfer . . . to a train.
Transfers aren't that horrible, especially where we don't have really serious winter weather. What's more, to use the trains at all you might have to go miles out of your way geographically speaking, but doing so may result in a faster trip regardless. I've noticed that trip planning algorithms often recommend the route involving a single bus even if it's slower; I don't think this does much to sell people on using transit.

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People don't rain transit in LA because the system is barely 20 years old and it's only been in the last 10 that's it really been useful. Rail ridership has tripled since 2000. People can't ride a system you don't have.

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DTLA's population is up to around 52,000 or thereabouts, but very few people work in DTLA compared to SF let alone Manhattan, and the percentage of folks who ride public transit of any kind into DTLA is in the mid single digits as opposed to folks who work in NYC, Boston, Chicago, DC or SF.
As ridership picks up on the Expo Line (especially when the Crenshaw Line starts feeding into it) the current setup won't work for much longer. Not having a direct connection between the gold, blue and expo lines is also constraining ridership. You can't grow ridership or the convenience of a system if you don't invest in it. It didn't need to be so expensive but places like LA have some 80 years of transit disinvestment to make up for.
This brings up an important aspect of urban planning, particularly in L.A.: The need for or viability of transit projects doesn't rest solely on how many people work downtown, or how the population is distributed inside the city limits, in terms of where they sleep at night. Those are important considerations, to be sure, but (in my completely non-professional opinion) the load on the existing road and transit system is at least as important. Your job might not be in DTLA, and you might live in a low density neighborhood of SFHs on large lots, but if you use the freeways or main thoroughfares for any significant part of your commute, you're contributing to the load.
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:00 PM
 
905 posts, read 801,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv101 View Post
The Crenshaw line is for some incomprehensible reason not going to have a stop in Leimert Park, the center of African-American culture in LA, but given the long history of assorted missteps by those in charge, I can't say that I'm surprised by this.
Last I heard there will be a station in Leimert Park, and underground yet.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:00 PM
 
905 posts, read 801,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I think we, as Americans, have an obsession with the shiny new items. And since buses are rarely given an opportunity to get shiny new and radical design or process upgrades, people forget about them and move on to the next.

Additional, the typical planner or city leader doesn't actually use transit, so they are more likely to create something that might possibly entice them out of their car other than building something for the existing masses and their peers.
The difficulty with that argument is that it's often the more urbanized districts where you need rapid transit, regardless of whether city residents in other neighborhoods perceive it as fair or not. You can't solve urban mobility problems by throwing more buses on the street, however much you want to tweak the traffic lights.

I don't know whether I can defend the BART extension to San Jose, however willing I am to approve and applaud transit projects in general, but there's no question that it's a vital part of the local transit system in Oakland and the relatively small segment of SF proper through which it passes (the Muni obviously being much more important in the City).

Here in L.A., no Metrorail line came anywhere near me until recently, but I think the agency acted properly in beginning the system downtown; after all what other likely starting point would they have used? And, in fairness, the Blue Line between Long Beach and DTLA goes through some of the poorest and roughest areas in greater L.A. (less so now than in 1990), and it was inaugurated at almost its entire length years before the Red Line opened.
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