Transportation headlines, Wednesday, August 12

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ART OF TRANSIT: The Eastside Gold Line headed to downtown L.A. last week. For the photographically curious, I processed the pic with Silver Efex Pro's pinhole present and shot it with my Nikon DSLR in color in RAW and converted to B&W. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

ART OF TRANSIT: The Eastside Gold Line headed to downtown L.A. last week. For the photographically curious, I processed the pic with Silver Efex Pro’s pinhole present and shot it with my Nikon DSLR in color in RAW and converted to B&W. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Charging for connections is insane (Human Transit) 

Transportation planner Jarrett Walker praises Metro for changing its fare system to allow free transfers after several years of making riders pay for each segment of their ride. Excerpt:

Once more with feeling;  Charging passengers extra for the inconvenience of connections is insane.  It discourages exactly the customer behavior that efficient and liberating networks depend on.  It undermines the whole notion of a transit network.   It also gives customers a reason to object to network redesigns that deliver both greater efficiency and greater liberty, because by imposing a connection on their trip it has also raised their fare.

For that reason, actual businesses don’t do it.  When supposedly business minded bureaucrats tell us we should charge for connections, they are revealing that they have never stopped to think about the geometry of the transit product, but are just assuming it’s like soap or restaurants.  Tell them to think about airlines:   Airfares that require a connection are frequently cheaper than nonstops.   That’s because the connection is something you endure for the sake of an efficient airline network, not an added service that you should pay extra for.

I couldn’t agree more and I think the new Metro fare system will benefit a lot of people who already ride the system and those who were deterred by having to pay twice to get from Point A to Point B.

12 reasons why L.A.’s public transit system is actually awesome (Thrillist) 

Alissa Walker has a very nice and funny post detailing why she likes Metro. Yes, there are the often discussed benefits such as saving money, but there are also a few others — such as the ability to hit the bars without worrying (too much) about the consequences afterward. We don’t publicize that very much and perhaps should do so more often.

#StreetsR4Families — Back to school advice for walking biking (Streetsblog L.A.)

Nice piece by editor Damien Newton and taking his kids to their first day of school, along with some advice on getting your child there and back safely whether on foot, bike or transit.

Making the case for high-speed rail (New York Times) 

The NYT recently wrote about the very slow progress of President Obama’s high-speed rail initiative newspaper’s. But the paper’s editorial board makes the case that high-speed rail is a worthy goal and a lot of the hurdles thus far involve a reluctant Congress to invest in it.

2 replies

  1. The problem with HSR, just like the Purple Line extension, is that everyone wants it, but just not in their backyard. And they will fight tooth and nail against it if the plan calls for going through their exclusive neighborhoods.

    The amount of time it’s taking CA to build HSR is longer than the amount of time it took to build the transcontinental railroad back in the 1860s. And this is despite that back in the 1860s, they used Irish and Chinese slave labor while we have all these mechanical equipment that does the job faster and more efficient. Pretty much sums up what extra hoops and bounds of bureaucracy and legal issues we have to go through today get things done.

  2. Just don’t get stinking drunk and fall in front of the train. Sure, you can be tipsy and safe on the train, but you can’t be falling-down-drunk.