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Old 04-07-2014, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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I came across a great article and facts that show how many people use transit everyday and figured it would be good for those on this site to say why they use transit and what could be done to improve transit quality and the use of transit in general and specifically where you may be located.

As Gas Prices Fluctuate, Support for Mass Transit Rises - Eric Jaffe - The Atlantic Cities

Public Transportation Benefits
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:42 AM
 
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If you are going to a large downtown core its usually easier, less hassle and cheaper to take public transit than take your car.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:51 AM
 
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Two reasons: Avoid parking costs and hassles and to avoid DUIs. Don't need it for work commute.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:53 AM
 
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One obvious answer to "why people use transit" is set forth in the article you cited:

"At the end of the day, though, improving trains and buses alone can only attract so many riders. The bigger changes in travel mode won't occur until local governments pair such transit incentives with automobile disincentives. The latter involves removing the social discounts that encourage driving —" [your Atlantic Cities cite]

In other words, consumer-driven demand represents a very small population. Transit "succeeds" not through consumer demand but rather through government mandates that force people to have to take transit.
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
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I use public transit because I'm visually impaired, and can't get a driver's license. But, if I were able to get a license tomorrow, I'd probably continue to use public transit most of the time, as the benefits outweigh the negatives, for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
One obvious answer to "why people use transit" is set forth in the article you cited:

"At the end of the day, though, improving trains and buses alone can only attract so many riders. The bigger changes in travel mode won't occur until local governments pair such transit incentives with automobile disincentives. The latter involves removing the social discounts that encourage driving " [your Atlantic Cities cite]

In other words, consumer-driven demand represents a very small population. Transit "succeeds" not through consumer demand but rather through government mandates that force people to have to take transit.
Yes, if all modes of transportation were treated equally, more people would choose to use transit.
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,550,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
One obvious answer to "why people use transit" is set forth in the article you cited:

"At the end of the day, though, improving trains and buses alone can only attract so many riders. The bigger changes in travel mode won't occur until local governments pair such transit incentives with automobile disincentives. The latter involves removing the social discounts that encourage driving " [your Atlantic Cities cite]

In other words, consumer-driven demand represents a very small population. Transit "succeeds" not through consumer demand but rather through government mandates that force people to have to take transit.
I have always used transit because I wanted to, though I have lived in cities that lacked transit forcing me to have to drive everywhere. But clearly people do ride transit.
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:48 AM
 
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No form of transportation succeeds through consumer demand. With very few exceptions, everywhere in the country the transportation infrastructure is decided by the government, not the market.

If I live in NYC where transit tends to be more convenient than driving, I am no more "forced" to use transit than I am "forced" to use a car if I live in Houston where driving is more convenient than transit.

In both places the government, not consumer demand, shaped those decisions, whether it is a public subway system in NYC or government-built roads and minimum parking regulations in Houston.

So saying government mandates are why people use transit answers nothing because government mandates are why nearly 100% of people use any form of transportation.

What would the free market choose if allowed to work without government mandates? It might not choose NYC-style development but it is far from clear it would choose Houston-style development either.

I can think of one privately planned community with privately built roads, Reston, Va., and it is not urban, but at the same time, it is more walkable and denser than most suburbs in my opinion.
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Here.
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The only times I've used transit is when I didn't have a car.
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:56 AM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,354,562 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
I use public transit because I'm visually impaired, and can't get a driver's license. But, if I were able to get a license tomorrow, I'd probably continue to use public transit most of the time, as the benefits outweigh the negatives, for me.

Yes, if all modes of transportation were treated equally, more people would choose to use transit.
That's not what the article suggests. Instead it suggest that transit relies upon government mandates and deliberate discrimination against other modes of transportation in order to "succeed"
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:00 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,863,448 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
No form of transportation succeeds through consumer demand. With very few exceptions, everywhere in the country the transportation infrastructure is decided by the government, not the market.

If I live in NYC where transit tends to be more convenient than driving, I am no more "forced" to use transit than I am "forced" to use a car if I live in Houston where driving is more convenient than transit.

In both places the government, not consumer demand, shaped those decisions, whether it is a public subway system in NYC or government-built roads and minimum parking regulations in Houston.

So saying government mandates are why people use transit answers nothing because government mandates are why nearly 100% of people use any form of transportation.

What would the free market choose if allowed to work without government mandates? It might not choose NYC-style development but it is far from clear it would choose Houston-style development either.

I can think of one privately planned community with privately built roads, Reston, Va., and it is not urban, but at the same time, it is more walkable and denser than most suburbs in my opinion.
Also once a city is built and the roads and buildings are in place it is hard for it to change. New York and Boston were around before the street car. Chicago was built around the street car, and Houston has grown much more post street car than before, that is going to have huge effects on which modes of transit are favored.
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