Art of Transit:
Art of Transit 2:
Above is a page in the survey about growing ridership — which has been a challenge for Metro and other large transit agencies in recent times. The survey emphasizes that by far frequency and travel time are the two most important things for riders. Nonetheless, Wired says agencies keep pursuing other amenities because….
“We’re really not trying to criticize agencies for providing Wi-Fi,” says Steven Higashide, TransitCenter’s senior program analyst. “But it won’t improve service.” Unfortunately, he says, transit officials sometimes make weird decisions because they’re not the ones taking the bus and subway.
Not terribly surprising remark, but ouchies nonetheless. Here’s another page from the study — my eyeballs gravitated to point number two:
I think the station proximity issue is an interesting one. Over the years, I’ve heard from some riders who say they live too far from a station for transit to be practical. And I’ve also heard from riders who say that stations on some lines are far too close and are slowing trains down. The most common target of these complaints: the Expo Line which has two pairs of stations that are barely more than a quarter-mile apart: Expo Park/USC and Vermont and, further west, Farmdale and La Brea.
My question for Source readers who ride infrequently: what would it take to get you to ride more? Comment please.
Here’s the entire study:
That being said, having been a committed bicyclist in both Chicago and New York, I continue to be shocked by the low percentage of bike riders in Los Angeles. I commute from Silver Lake to Downtown through a combination of low-density residential streets, conventional bike lanes, and sharrows (shared-lane marking). I wake up every morning with overwhelmingly reliable bicycling weather. I do not participate in gridlock traffic. My commute is a predictable half hour journey. So why in my half hour commute do I only see two or three other bikers? What other major city in the U.S. has a climate so perfect for commuting via bike?
My three cents: I think we’re getting there but many people find that some of our region’s bike lanes put them closer to traffic than they would like. And you know how I feel about sharrows: they’re a good way to make it look like you’re doing something when you’re doing nothing.
People keep talking about a regional transportation tax for 2018 (BikePortland.org)
Transpo taxes or bond measures are likely going to voters this Nov. 8 in L.A. County and the greater San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle areas. In Portland — which generally speaking has been pretty forward-thinking rail- and bike-wise — it appears that they’re aiming for 2018.
Interestingness from the post: “This news may not come as a surprise to people reading between the lines of news bits like the time, back in February, when regional government Metro helped pay to bring Denny Zaneup for a local talk. He was the political organizer behind Los Angeles County’s big transportation ballot issue.”
To learn more about Metro’s sales tax ballot measure, please click here.
Is the car culture dying? (Washington Post)
We’ve written many times that younger folk — those aged 18 to 35 — are getting driver’s licenses at a much lower rate than previous generations. And are also buying fewer cars. Is it a rejection of car culture or something else, asks Robert Samuelson in this blog post.
His answer: not sure, but there’s a new study that suggests the primary consideration is economic. Younger would-be motorists don’t drive because they don’t have the money to buy cars. I like his kicker:
Perhaps today’s millennials will break new ground, even if it is the consequence of their predicament — debts elevated, incomes squeezed — rather than a cause. More of them may decide that city living or clustered suburban communities are more appealing than traditional suburbs. Gentrification may defeat commuting.
Or perhaps not. We simply don’t know. What we do know is that we are, to a large extent, prisoners of the past. The car created today’s residential geography, and it cannot be repealed simply or swiftly.
Fairly entertaining stuff involving allegations that project employees used the project as a way to get generous contracts for unqualified friends and family members. Hyperloop One responds that the allegations are frivolous and that the project remains on track to one day transport people and goods quickly through giant above-ground tubes.
I was highly skeptical when this thing was first discussed a few years ago. I’ve since reduced my doubts by 26 percent — maybe these folks can work faster than the public sector. Still, I’ll believe it when I see it.
Speaking of Elon Musk….in this op-ed, tech writer Lee Gomes takes Musk to task for making statement that self-driving cars are ready for mass consumption (previous to the fatal crash in May involving a Tesla with self-driving features). Gomes argues that they’re not but that carmakers are caught up in the hype and saying otherwise.
The big problems: most self-driving cars will still rely on humans taking control when adversity hits. But what, Gomes ask, if the person is asleep or too distracted to quickly take action? Furthermore, Gomes argues that self-driving cars are nowhere near ready when it comes to successfully navigating complex city environments day in and day out. Even Google, he says, admits it may not have a self-driving car for 30 years.
Categories: Transportation Headlines