Tag Archives: jitney

Huh?: “The Many Flavors of Transit”

Article: The Many Flavors of Transit | Transportationist.

So the comments are off on the article and clicking the reblog button did … something (though I know not what) …  The Press This button at the bottom of the article failed too, but the one on my browser did not.

I get the point of the article – transit-oriented doesn’t just mean they have a good subway or a good bus system.  But the list I don’t get.  There are not 33 individual categories on the list!  Click above to the read the article and see the original list.

In fact, you could argue that there are only two categories of transit on the list here:  Scheduled and on-demand.  The first list below shows scheduled services and the second on-demand.  The third list is … I don’t know.  My guess is that some are scheduled and some are on-demand.

Without getting into the mode silos or trivia, there is little difference between PATH subways and MTA subways other than destination.  Likewise for the 3.5 commuter rail lines listed (and Amtrak) or the bus services.  Or the jitneys or the car services …

Two categories.  Not 33.


  • MTA subways
  • PATH subways
  • MTA buses
  • New Jersey Transit buses
  • Metro-North Rail Road
  • Long Island Rail Road
  • New Jersey Transit trains
  • Staten Island Ferry
  • Staten Island Rail Road
  • Commuter ferries (Five licensed operators)
  • Chinatown buses (intercity)
  • Low cost intercity buses (Bolt Bus, Mega Bus)
  • Conventional intercity buses (Greyhound, Peter Pan)
  • Company/corporate shuttles
  • University shuttles (Columbia University, New York University)
  • Roosevelt Island Tram (Gondola)
  • Roosevelt Island Red Bus (Publicly owned development corporation)
  • Amtrak


  • Water taxis
  • Access-a-Ride (MTA and other transit provider contracts)
  • Yellow taxicabs (Medallion cabs)
  • Green taxicabs (Boro cabs)
  • Liveries for Hire (Uber, Lyft, Carmel, etc.)
  • Executive Limousines
  • Liveries (informal)
  • CitiBike bike share (public access for a fee)
  • University bike share programs (free access for a designated group)

Could be either – no idea

  • Apartment shuttles (CoSo, etc.)
  • Commuter vans (licensed and pre-arranged fares; e.g. Mario’s Transportation)
  • Dollar vans and local jitneys (informal immigrant services)
  • New Jersey commuter jitneys
  • Long Island commuter jitneys
  • Executive helicopters

“What I Learned Riding One of Those New Private City Buses – CityLab”

MBTA crosstown busBridj bus

Article: What I Learned Riding One of Those New Private City Buses – CityLab.

We’ve been through this before; they’re called jitneys.  The street railway companies fought tooth and nail against them 100 years ago because they were a direct threat to their business.  The jitneys went away, even where they weren’t illegal, but the street railways died anyway, since their real competition was the private automobile, which took away the passengers and clogged the streets.

OK, so jitneys didn’t have WiFi (because, for the most part, radio didn’t exist), and they didn’t have algorithms to predict where routes should go (because there were no good coders back then) , but they are still cream-skimmers in that they’ll be taking customers away from the MBTA.

Does that mean they should be banned?  Of course not!  If they can do the job better than the T then so be it, but the T is going to serve routes and populations that a profit-motivated service never will because the T’s motivator is (or should be!) moving people and not  profit.

The article mentions traveling from Brookline to Kendall Square in Cambridge and how, if you took the T, you’d have to take a trolley in to Park St and the Red Line out to Kendall/MIT whereas the private bus takes you there directly.

Amusingly, the Route 1 Mass Ave bus featured in the article (and reproduced above) almost makes that trip as it runs from Harvard Square along Mass Ave, and then thorough the South End crossing a number of rail lines.  But if you look at the T’s map, you’ll find a CT2 bus — CT for Crosstown — that makes almost the same route as described for Bridj passing through both Brookline and Kendall Square (well, a few steps away) without going downtown.

So if the service already exists what does that say?  It says to me that Bridj is more along the lines of a service that wants to serve passengers who don’t want to share a vehicle with those people.

Yeah, I said it.