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Old 05-27-2009, 03:39 PM
 
5,768 posts, read 11,232,154 times
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The main reason to do this would be cost.

Basically, it's a lot cheaper to put in infrastructure and rights of way when a city is smaller, as opposed to going in later and ripping things up and acquiring property - that can get EXTREMELY expensive. It is much more cost-effective to jump ahead of the curve, BEFORE a city grows out to a much-larger size.

Imagine if, say, Phoenix had put up a light rail grid in the 1980's as opposed to now... probably would have been much less pricey, to say the least. The system would probably be a lot larger, too, since it could have been built up and funded incrementally over the years, instead of requiring a sudden capital expenditure.

The drawbacks are numerous, though.

Spending on these projects would probably be seen as displacing expenditures in larger cities that desperately need to upgrade their own networks.

Also, transit demand in many smaller cities simply isn't that large yet. The systems may be slow in the first few years, until population growth builds up around them, and thus be seen as "failures" from the outset.

So... what ought to be done?
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:46 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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Not a bad idea but I would not start off with rail but with Bus Rapid Transit instead for high usage corridors then upgrade to light rail when there is enough demand to warrant it.
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Western Hoosierland
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I agree with the above poster ^^
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:03 PM
 
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Acquiring the rights-of-way is something smaller cities should probably do in any case. Those can be horribly expensive to acquire after everything is already built up.
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:33 PM
 
161 posts, read 616,587 times
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Yes, smaller cities do need to start improving public transit. I cannot drive due to a medical condition, and am finding out just how much this is needed all over the country, especially the West.

Like the above posters said, they need to just start with bus service. Cities are growing, and bus service is not. It is very hard to find a city under 200,000 people with bus service past 6pm or on Sundays, except maybe in some college towns We no longer live in a M-F 9-5 work world. Even some larger cities like Wichita, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Boise do not have very good service.

It is to the point where you either have to pay a lot to live in a big city to have good service or find a city small and cheap enough to walk when service is not available.

There is a stigma in smaller cities that only poor, old, or disabled people use public transit. Maybe if people could actually count on it for work and daily use, it would be more practical for everyone!
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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No. "we" shouldn't focus on building up public transit in smaller cities. Those places should decide if "they" want to spend their money to have it.
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Old 05-29-2009, 06:16 PM
 
Location: In the heights
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Well, sometimes "we" are the "they." And it's okay for "us" to encourage "them." I get your point about not trying to force our own ideas on others, but that should be common courtesy. Encouraging what might be a good idea should be fine though.

Buying up right-of-ways and using bus rapid transit or the like is a good idea for cities that are projected to expand. I'm also in favor of simply trying new transit and zoning options. I'm of the opinion that greater involvement of citizens in municipal government and a greater diversity of people in cities all over the states can probably lead to more interesting and useful options. Not every city has to be built the same or take on the characteristics of others.
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Old 05-29-2009, 06:46 PM
 
5,768 posts, read 11,232,154 times
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Quote:
Those places should decide if "they" want to spend their money to have it.
Hmm. I don't think it's quite that simple, though. It's not like we went city-by-city and asked them if they wanted to be part of the interstate system... at a certain point, it became a national security issue and a national economic issue.

Transit policy in metro areas often has to be coordinated across city/county and even state lines anyhow.
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:23 PM
 
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Here in NY, smaller cities like Ithaca, Binghamton, Watertown, Elmira, Oneonta and some others have Bus systems and have for a while. Some smaller cities share it with some bigger cities too. For instance, the Syracuse area Bus system, CENTRO, also has bus systems in other Central NY cities like Oswego, Auburn, Utica, Rome and Fulton. CENTRO is one of the best mid major area Bus systems in the country too.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:01 PM
 
103 posts, read 291,202 times
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Default Connect with more rural areas

I think that it shouldn't be the smaller cities but more of the rural areas because the cost of living is a lot cheaper and it brings the those areas more business and money if the people can get back and forth to the big cities or towns
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