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Old 09-12-2014, 11:48 PM
 
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What incentive is there for cities to provide public transit (bus routes, etc)? Seems like local government officials could just tell the people without vehicles to take a private taxi instead. Is public transit a form of welfare?
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Old 09-13-2014, 12:14 AM
 
Location: Chicago - Logan Square
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Just for laughs I'm going to pretend you're not a troll, and assume you're a 5 year old who really doesn't understand this.

In some areas efficient use of roads is not important, because there just aren't many people living in those areas. But some areas (AKA "cities") are so desirable that many people choose to live there, and so the population density is very high. In those areas having efficient transportation is essential.

Think about the size of a bus, it takes up about the same amount of space as 2 or 3 cars (or taxis). Those cars or taxis would hold 2 to 6 people. A bus will hold 40 to 60 (or more) in the same amount of space. This is a much more efficient use of road space, and it reduces traffic tremendously. That allows everyone, no matter what form of transportation they're using, to get to where they're going more quickly. In the really populated (AKA desirable) areas they even have trains that can hold 500-1000 people and run on dedicated rails, they will get you where you want to go much more quickly, since there's no traffic to deal with.

There are a lot of other reasons for public transportation, but based on the remedial level of you're question I'll stop at that and hope you can understand it.
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Old 09-13-2014, 12:16 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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To provide transportation to the public...not everyone is able to drive yet still need to get from place to place.
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Old 09-13-2014, 07:47 AM
 
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About 1/3 of Americans do not drive; too old, too young, too poor, disabled or not interested.
Smart cities also realize that fossil fuel single occupancy vehicles are not in our future (or past) and are planning ahead.
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Old 09-13-2014, 07:56 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,014 posts, read 102,634,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MerriMAC View Post
Is public transit a form of welfare?
Yes, of course it is.

That's not to say I'm opposed to PT.
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Old 09-13-2014, 12:16 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Some corridors are also too congested if everyone drove or don't have enough parking. Public transit makes sense in dense areas.

As mentioned before on this forum many times, all transportation is at least somewhat subsidized.
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Old 09-13-2014, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
About 1/3 of Americans do not drive; too old, too young, too poor, disabled or not interested.
Smart cities also realize that fossil fuel single occupancy vehicles are not in our future (or past) and are planning ahead.
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.
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Old 09-13-2014, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attrill View Post
Think about the size of a bus, it takes up about the same amount of space as 2 or 3 cars (or taxis). Those cars or taxis would hold 2 to 6 people. A bus will hold 40 to 60 (or more) in the same amount of space. This is a much more efficient use of road space, and it reduces traffic tremendously. That allows everyone, no matter what form of transportation they're using, to get to where they're going more quickly. In the really populated (AKA desirable) areas they even have trains that can hold 500-1000 people and run on dedicated rails, they will get you where you want to go much more quickly, since there's no traffic to deal with.
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.
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Old 09-13-2014, 01:25 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Public transit started out as private enterprise. Cities took it over as the private companies couldn't manage any longer.
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Old 09-13-2014, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,513,144 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Public transit started out as private enterprise. Cities took it over as the private companies couldn't manage any longer.
Not quite: since cities tend to be places where people with modest incomes and a limited understanding of economics congregate, the local political hacks orchestrated a de facto confiscation of the property (which can't be moved) by holding fares down and other forms of regulatory harassment. The developers learned their lesson, and no one is going to devote private capital to something that can't be protected from legalized looting via the usual tactic of an ignorant multitude led around by an unscrupulous, and power-hungry few.
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