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Old 09-13-2014, 02:16 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area (recent MN transplant...go gophers)
148 posts, read 122,246 times
Reputation: 368

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
I see them here. Difference is in the private sector, the vehicle usually gets 25 mpg or so (on an average.) In the public sector, they pay someone a hefty salary to drive around in a vehicle that gets about 4-5 mpg even if no one wants else wants to ride in it. I'm not sure how "smart" it is, but they certainly do it.
Which is why public transit groups survey how many people ride on a bus at specific times and places, and plan their routes and route times accordingly. Not even the most gung-ho transit cities are going to be doing rush hour levels at 3 in the morning.

I've taken a lot of public transit in my time in the Twin Cities, which is a place with steadily increasing ridership (Metro Transit 2013 Ridership Increases to 81.4 Million - Metro Transit) and, along with pretty much every other city in the country, responds to this increase intelligently. From midnight to 5 in the morning, their busiest lines run every half-hour or so and their suburb lines sometimes don't run at all. They've created light rail trains that dispel that whole "4-5 mpg" thing you're talking about.* Granted, this gets a bit annoying when you're waiting outside in January for 20 minutes, but if we're going with practicality they (and other cities) have this down to a science.

Public transit is absolutely important for any major city. Hell, most minor ones too. It is subsidized less than private motorists, it is less consuming of resources, and it keeps the freeways from turning into a parking lot. And as someone who has been on both sides of the public transit/private motorist coin, I know they're a necessity that benefits everyone.

Also, guy who started this thread, I assume you're screwing around with us, but for the sake of argument and because I'm bored, have you actually taken a private taxi before? "Oh, everyone can pay $30 to get from the airport to downtown, right? Let me explain the woes of public transit while sitting on my pile of money and eating ice cream flavored with the blood of endangered elephants."

*And even then, c'mon, basic math. If you're hitting 4-5 mpg with even just 10 people, it's about two times better than a 25 mpg car with one guy. Easily.
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Old 09-13-2014, 02:41 PM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,182,008 times
Reputation: 7739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Yes, of course it is.

That's not to say I'm opposed to PT.
really no more than public roads

just different transit options

am ok with calling it welfare as long as everyone can also call roads welfare

Yes I drive more often than take PT but you cant call one welfare without calling the other as well
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Old 09-13-2014, 03:34 PM
 
421 posts, read 660,584 times
Reputation: 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attrill View Post
Just for laughs I'm going to pretend you're not a troll
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Dempsey's Left Foot View Post
Also, guy who started this thread, I assume you're screwing around with us
No. The original post is a legitimate question I am wondering. I wanted to know more about city planners' and public administrators' view/philosophy of public transit.
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Old 09-13-2014, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,072 posts, read 16,098,416 times
Reputation: 12647
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Dempsey's Left Foot View Post
*And even then, c'mon, basic math. If you're hitting 4-5 mpg with even just 10 people, it's about two times better than a 25 mpg car with one guy. Easily.
Unfortunately basic math, or just basic common sense, aren't that common. I'm not arguing that if you take a bus with above average passengers that gets above average mpg it's not better than single-occupant vehicle. That's not what I said. I said that on average, buses get worse passenger miles per gallon than personal vehicles do. Not many buses are getting 5 mpg, that's even high for the new diesel hybrids, and the average bus does not have "just 10 people." It would be great if they did, that would put them closer to the efficiency of a typical efficient small car (like a Civic) instead of what they really are which is worse than the average personal car.
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Old 09-13-2014, 04:37 PM
 
12,303 posts, read 15,209,125 times
Reputation: 8114
First of all, it is usually not cities but regional transit agencies that provide it. A form of welfare? No, welfare is normally for the poor, but on commuter trains you will find many with family income over $100K who may have a BMW or two in the garage. The answer is to facilitate travel and keep the city and region strong. It is common in cities with weak public transportation to have nothing downtown but government offices and the media.
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Old 09-13-2014, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Chicago - Logan Square
3,396 posts, read 6,186,112 times
Reputation: 3717
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Apples to apples. The hypothetical carrying capacity of three vehicles is somewhere between 15 and 24, assuming you're talking normal vehicles and not 12-passenger vans. While the hypothetical bus still holds more, what matters is reality which varies greatly. The 38 buses (Geary) in SF are pretty much always packed and they're articulated buses running every 2-3 minutes. Average occupancy, however, is about 8-9 passengers, not 40. Average doesn't really tell you a lot. Buses are very useful on Geary in reducing congestion. It'd be hard to imagine what traffic would be like without them. On the other hand, out here they just run around with usually a few (or no) passengers and cause traffic congestion since they stop in the middle of the road. Fortunately they don't do that often as there are basically no passengers to get on or off.
Hypothetically we could all be taking heli-cars to work too, but that ain't happening. The average car will have 1 person in it, and with a cab the driver doesn't count, since they're driving around just to drive others - not reach a destination themselves. I agree that averages don't matter at all - what matters is capacity at peak hours, since that is what restricts employment and growth of an area. If a transit system is running buses at rush hour with only 8-9 passengers they need to rethink their routes and schedules, which is what most do.
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Old 09-13-2014, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,072 posts, read 16,098,416 times
Reputation: 12647
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attrill View Post
Hypothetically we could all be taking heli-cars to work too, but that ain't happening. The average car will have 1 person in it, and with a cab the driver doesn't count, since they're driving around just to drive others - not reach a destination themselves. I agree that averages don't matter at all - what matters is capacity at peak hours, since that is what restricts employment and growth of an area. If a transit system is running buses at rush hour with only 8-9 passengers they need to rethink their routes and schedules, which is what most do.
The average car most certainly does not have one person in it. It's actually about 1.55, but just basic common sense would tell you it's more than one.
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Old 09-13-2014, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,072 posts, read 16,098,416 times
Reputation: 12647
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
First of all, it is usually not cities but regional transit agencies that provide it. A form of welfare? No, welfare is normally for the poor, but on commuter trains you will find many with family income over $100K who may have a BMW or two in the garage. The answer is to facilitate travel and keep the city and region strong. It is common in cities with weak public transportation to have nothing downtown but government offices and the media.
Biggest welfare programs in this country are social security and medicare, neither of which are means tested. I wouldn't really call transit welfare anyway. It's just subsidized. Corn is also subsidized, but I wouldn't point at someone buying a bag of corn chips and say he's on welfare.
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Old 09-13-2014, 05:06 PM
 
Location: southern california
55,668 posts, read 74,655,684 times
Reputation: 48187
it is intended to reduce crowding. unfortunately the elephant in the living room is that the streets have become dangerous---something nobody wants to talk about. so then public transport is also dangerous. its hard to mug someone going 70 mph in a steel box called a ford.
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Old 09-13-2014, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,692,971 times
Reputation: 26671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
The average car most certainly does not have one person in it. It's actually about 1.55, but just basic common sense would tell you it's more than one.
Well over 80% of bay area commuters drive alone to work. Where is this 1.55 number coming from? Most people drive alone most of the time.

Silicon Valley commuters are more car addicted than L.A. drivers - Silicon Valley Business Journal
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