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Old 04-17-2014, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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I loved the welcome video! I am pretty clueless about Columbia, but a few years ago I was watching house hunters international, and they went to Medellin. It looked pretty cool in that house hunters episode, and they have done a lots of smart planning, especially around the idea of "development without displacement."

Interesting article on how they changed, at the height of the drug wars.
Latin America’s New Superstar – Next City
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
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I've always liked Latin American cities. They're scrappy, which I find more interesting than just gaudy displays of wealth. There's a huge emphasis on public spaces. Even in tiny cities (more villages, really) that are dirt poor with no tourist appeal whatsoever, you find public squares.

Also kudos to the article for not being the typical urban blowhard. As it points out, the urban planners really had absolutely nothing to do with the increase in quality of life. Pretty buildings don't lower crime. It's a cultural thing, in this case the cartels deciding that war is costly. That's a fragile truce.

Also funny how it lambests Curitiba who posts five times the ridership on its BRT system as Medellin does with its Metro. Nothing against Medellin's Metro, but Curitiba just went a different route. They went BRT since rail was 450 times more costly per km and cost was a major consideration. Result is a larger system with much more ridership than Medellin has, which is really the same reasons that Medellin also has a BRT system.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Also funny how it lambests Curitiba who posts five times the ridership on its BRT system as Medellin does with its Metro. Nothing against Medellin's Metro, but Curitiba just went a different route. They went BRT since rail was 450 times more costly per km and cost was a major consideration. Result is a larger system with much more ridership than Medellin has, which is really the same reasons that Medellin also has a BRT system.
I think it was minor ribbing. It seems like Curitiba went to sleep after installing BRT for 20-30 years, and then they woke up and realized they were way over capacity, so they need to do something else. In the meanwhile, because the BRT was so packed, perceived performance declined, people started getting cars. It is really a tale of "divestment" in a way. You can't rest on your laurels when you have a good thing going. It also has to evolve too. I think that is where Curitiba missed the boat.
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I think it was minor ribbing. It seems like Curitiba went to sleep after installing BRT for 20-30 years, and then they woke up and realized they were way over capacity, so they need to do something else. In the meanwhile, because the BRT was so packed, perceived performance declined, people started getting cars. It is really a tale of "divestment" in a way. You can't rest on your laurels when you have a good thing going. It also has to evolve too. I think that is where Curitiba missed the boat.
No, people started getting cars because Brazil saw phenomenal growth. They couldn't afford cars and now they can. Sao Paulo has the most-used metro system in South America and yet you see the same explosive growth in private automobile ownership there because it has nothing to do with a lack of a metro system in Curitiba or in Sao Paulo. It has to do with the fact that GDP per capita in constant dollars is more than 300% higher than it was in 2000, most of that growth coming out of the cities.

It's the same thing you see in China or any developing country. Yes, the perceived quality of BRT (or metro) are lower than the perceived quality of driving. Nothing new there. Even NYC more people perceive the automobile as being of higher quality than transit.

http://ltaacademy.gov.sg/doc/J11Nov-...ModeSHares.pdf

Last edited by Malloric; 04-17-2014 at 12:45 PM..
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
No, people started getting cars because Brazil saw phenomenal growth. They couldn't afford cars and now they can. Sao Paulo has the most-used metro system in South America and yet you see the same explosive growth in private automobile ownership there because it has nothing to do with a lack of a metro system in Curitiba or in Sao Paulo. It has to do with the fact that GDP per capita in constant dollars is more than 300% higher than it was in 2000, most of that growth coming out of the cities.

It's the same thing you see in China or any developing country. Yes, the perceived quality of BRT (or metro) are lower than the perceived quality of driving. Nothing new there. Even NYC more people perceive the automobile as being of higher quality than transit.

http://ltaacademy.gov.sg/doc/J11Nov-...ModeSHares.pdf
You and I have a different perspective here. I think there is of course a new car as a symbol of status and growth factor. But I also think that can be indirectly to the perceived quality of service as well. In Curtibia for a while, the BRT was a class-neutral transit system. But then as things got more crowded, less pleasant then people with choice did get a car (and use it more.)

There are two types of car owners:
1. People who drive all the time
2. People who drive sometimes

As BRT declined, more of the #2s became #1s. Driving became less annoying. (At the beginning traffic around Curitiba was awful, so taking the bus was way better.)

I don't think cities need to "get rid of cars" in order to for people to use transit. There will always be some types of trips out there where a car is the best choice. But people, and cities of all sizes, can encourage people to use cars less.
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
You and I have a different perspective here. I think there is of course a new car as a symbol of status and growth factor. But I also think that can be indirectly to the perceived quality of service as well. In Curtibia for a while, the BRT was a class-neutral transit system. But then as things got more crowded, less pleasant then people with choice did get a car (and use it more.)

There are two types of car owners:
1. People who drive all the time
2. People who drive sometimes

As BRT declined, more of the #2s became #1s. Driving became less annoying. (At the beginning traffic around Curitiba was awful, so taking the bus was way better.)

I don't think cities need to "get rid of cars" in order to for people to use transit. There will always be some types of trips out there where a car is the best choice. But people, and cities of all sizes, can encourage people to use cars less.
Agreed - and it's also important to note that Curitiba was/is a small city by Brazilian standards and was/is also one of the wealthiest and best educated in Brazil but most of the recent growth there has been from people who are poorer than the Curitiba median.

Also, just to add to your last point, a noticeable decline in traffic volume often begins around 5%. You probably see this on bank holidays when most other people are still working or when kids are out of school and one parent stays home.

You cant just keep adding population and trips to a static network . . . and you can't just widen freeways again and again without also widening the arterials and you can't widen the arterials without also widening the collectors. So you can add capacity to your network by spending a lot and getting a little or you can add capacity by diverting trips to transit, ped, bike, etc . . . and the number of trips that need to be diverted is somewhere in the 5-10% range in order to notice an obvious reduction in congestion. That's equivalent of taking the train to work one day a week (if you already drive every day) not some hyperbolic "getting rid of cars."
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
You and I have a different perspective here. I think there is of course a new car as a symbol of status and growth factor. But I also think that can be indirectly to the perceived quality of service as well. In Curtibia for a while, the BRT was a class-neutral transit system. But then as things got more crowded, less pleasant then people with choice did get a car (and use it more.)
The facts contradict what you think.
Car Ownership May Be Down in the U.S., But It’s Soaring Globally | Streetsblog USA

Of course, perceived quality is only what you perceive it to be. For example, many on this forum view public transportation primarily as a status symbol and only a distant second as a means of transportation.

Just to return to Curitiba, it has no where near the traffic problems that Rio or Sao Paulo do (generally ranked as #1 and #2 for worst traffic in the Americas). For motorized transport, Sao Paulo the car is dominant; in Curitiba transit is dominant with the car secondary.

What does that say about perceived quality? Nothing, at least not directly. It just says that public transit is more used in Curitiba than it is in Sao Paulo, the car is less used in Curitiba than it is in Sao Paulo. Car ownership rates in both have increased dramatically. The private automobile surpassed transit as the primary means of getting places in Sao Paulo in the late '90s whereas public transit remains the primary means of getting places in Curitiba.

You could infer that the perceived quality of Curitiba's BRT-based approach has is of higher quality. I would not argue with your assumption that it is of higher quality. Based on the fact that Curitiba is a much more middle-class city than Sao Paulo or Rio, it's a very fair assumption that the car is more affordable to more people. The fact that Curitiba has higher transit utilization thus likely does come down to it simply having better transportation considering that cars are affordable to more people there and the traffic is not nearly as bad. Of course, there's also cultural reasons which are hugely influential. It could simply be that taking transit is just much more culturally accepted in Curitiba and that's why transit utilization is higher. The fact that celebrity spotting on Rio buses is comment worthy would certainly lend credence to that argument.
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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I think Curitiba, unlike the US, with its BRT, made transit feel like a feasible option for people of all classes. That makes a big difference and doesn't make people feel like they have to rush to get a car.
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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So do I. But that doesn't change the fact that people in Curitiba are rushing to buy cars, and I don't think that has anything to do with vanishing transit availability. If anything, the BRIC countries investing in that at incredible rates.
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:02 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Sao Paulo has a weekday subway ridership of 3 million (64k per mile, double NYC though maybe similar if it were compared to the 47 busisest miles of the NYC subway system) and another 3 million on commuter rail. Perhaps Sao Paulo residents culturally prefer cars, but considering how slow traffic is, I'd think subway extension would encourage many to switch to transit. It's expanding their subways, so we can see it will create a switch back to transit. The city has a car to resident ratio that's rather high: 4.2:11 within the city limits. Excluding children, that might be nearly 1:2 or 1:2.5. NYC and London probably have lower car ownership rates. Sao Paolo must have a large population of poor people, so this implies everyone who can afford a car gets one.
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