Record 10.7 Billion Trips Taken On U.S. Public Transportation In 2013.
Much good news here, but I think APTA buries the lede. “Most since 1957” sounds good until you adjust for population growth – many more rides per capita than now. And no, I was not riding transit that year.
To me, the bigger deal is that since 1995 transit ridership is up 37.2% while population is only up 20.3%. That means the number of trips per capita is rising and that’s a good thing. Transit is even outpacing VMT which grew at 22.7% over the same period.
One thing thing that bugs me is the emphasis on mode. Except for the fact that commuter trains generally serve suburbs and heavy rail usually serves large cities, mode doesn’t tell you a lot.
(Also remember that these are “unlinked trips” – if a passenger’s journey to work requires her to take a bus to the subway, that’s two trips.)
Continuing on the theme of early influences …
The main “east-west” arterial (actually more SW-NE) in the area I was raised was built, mostly, as a 6-lane, undivided boulevard, thankfully with sidewalks (eventually), and with a high school, retail, and multi-family housing (way more now than back in the day). A good mile or more of it actually went through what we called “the swamp” but would now be recognized as a wetland!
Not very attractive, not especially safe, and, interestingly, mostly under-capacity. So about a decade or so after it was completed, it was put on a road diet at first with the use of paint. A two-way (unprotected) bike lane was put along the north edge, taking up the space of about one lane. Then the city painted a median in the middle of the remaining five lanes. This allowed left turn bays at intersections as well as some separation between traffic flowing in opposite directions.
That’s a representative view of the road long after (long after) it was put on a diet. The brick building is a fire station. The large parking lot to the right of the firehouse was once the parking lot for a hockey arena that has been gone for over 20 years (but that hosted a concert featuring Procol Harum and The Eagles <mumble> years before that!). I don’t know what the AADT is for this road, but I’m certain it’s much more than it was when it was put on a diet.
Oh, and there are 5 transit routes along here, too. A local route (30-minute headway 0500-0100 plus extra runs at peak hours) and 3 express routes providing about the same number of buses but that end after the evening peak and that all end at either a commuter train or subway station. There is a night route that fills in the other hours, so basically 24-hour service. And this is far out in the ‘burbs. We had good transit when I still lived there <mumble> years ago –around the time of the diet, actually — but not nearly this good.
I’m not sure I do. To me, it’s like saying “I love electricity!” Well, yeah, doesn’t everyone?
This guy, former chief planner for Vancouver, BC, and now a consultant, has some important points here, most of which should be familiar to folks who follow Jarrett Walker’s Human Transit.
Many years ago, before many of you were born, I lived in the Boston metropolitan statistical area. I still have something of a fondness for the area and am, as you probably imagine, intrigued by their transit system.
I’ll post something about that later, but today’s NARP Hotline had a blurb about proposed state transit funding that included the MBTA’s Silver Line, an interesting if weird transit line in Boston.
What caught my eye is that they are planning to extend it past its current northern terminal at Logan Airport into Chelsea, part of an area I worked in for a while and where I still have some friends. Anyway, here are some links, including a map.
Silver Line Gateway Project
Map of Silver Line Chelsea extension