Some thoughts on Metro’s modest new parking policy proposal (Streetsblog LA)
Streetsblog’s Joe Linton takes a look at the details of Metro’s new parking policy proposal that will be going to the Metro Board at its meeting on Thursday. The policy gives Metro the legal authority to impose particular rules for its lots, formalizes the fee structure already in place and creates new policy for possibly adjusting the fees in the future.
Joe’s critiques of the policy include the sheer amount of free parking still available at Metro stations — especially on the Expo Line — and the lost revenue potential from it, as well as the policy’s relative inflexibility to quickly adjust parking costs to supply and demand.
The Shoupistas among us will argue that free parking doesn’t make sense economically and should be eliminated wherever possible, but the concern (mirroring that of many a small business owner) is that eliminating free parking would discourage transit patronage.
Staff tells me that Metro is planning to develop a parking program master plan in the near future, which would allow the Board to adopt future parking management alternatives.
Uber’s own numbers show it’s making traffic worse (Streetsblog NYC)
Rideshare behemoth Uber has released about two months of trip data from its operations in Manhattan. Those numbers were analyzed by a transportation analyst to determine how much Uber contributed to Manhattan’s congestion. The results are hardly surprising: all those Uber vehicles on the road reduce average traffic speeds and contribute to congestion.
Between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., there were an average of 1,904 Uber cars on the road below 59th Street. That seems like a small number at first glance, and Uber highlights that fact by proclaiming it “is not the source of Manhattan congestion.” But the question isn’t whether Uber is the root cause of all congestion — it’s whether Uber is making the current traffic situation worse.
The one thing that Uber has going for it is that it increases traffic less than the ubiquitous NYC yellow cabs. This, according to the assumptions in the analysis, is because Uber vehicles cruise (drive while waiting for fares) less than cabs.
With luck, 7 trains hits 11th Ave. in September (N.Y. Daily News)
So what doesn’t contribute to traffic congestion in New York? The subway. In September, the subway will be a little more accessible for those going to and from the Hell’s Kitchen / Chelsea neighborhoods when the one-mile, one-station extension to the NYMTA’s 7 subway line is slated to open. New Yorkers might not be holding their breath, as the opening date has been delayed multiple times since the $2.4-billion project began in 2007.
The Times’ “Frugal Traveler” describes his two night trip from New York City to Washington D.C. to Knoxville, Tennessee, on Megabus (mostly). His conclusion based on the experience:
Megabus is a cheap way of getting from Point A to Point B is great, if you are doing a short route or are strapped for cash. Megabus road trips as leisure travel? That’s an off-label use prescribed for a specific type of person: the truly flexible, comfort-be-damned, all-out budget traveler. Who has room in his bag for a blanket and pillow. And a stomach capable of digesting a 3 a.m. blueberry-pancake Tornado.
No surprises there. From my experience, MegaBus and BoltBus, both with stops at Union Station, are good frugal options for traveling to places like Las Vegas or San Francisco with very little hassle. I mean, if you’re going to sit in traffic anyway, why not do it with free WiFi?
What do you want from Southern California’s mass-transit system? (L.A. Daily News)
Source readers: now is your chance to voice your opinions to an audience wider than our comments section! The Daily News question of the week asks what you want for the future of public transit (scooters?!), how you think we should pay for it (privatization?!) and your thoughts on boosting ridership (distance-based fares?).
Joe is on Twitter posting transit and non-transit musings on the daily @joseph_lem.
Categories: Transportation Headlines