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.
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.