Things to read whilst transiting: Overlooked, a New York Times project to add obituaries for remarkable women who the paper overlooked when they died.
Things to read 2: NYT tech columnist Farhad Manjoo got all his news from print newspapers for two months and turned off news alerts. How’d it go? He felt better informed, less anxious and gained time to read more books, take up pottery and give more attention to his wife and kids.
Art of Transit:
Riding the bus: the good, the bad and the ugly (UrbDeZine Los Angeles)
It has been two months since Clement Lau began riding the bus from the DTLA area to his job in Alhambra.
The positives: time to relax and catch up on emails/texts, being able to thank the bus operator, seeing familiar faces, witnessing random acts of kindness and hearing Cantonese spoken.
The not-quite-as positive: buses are too late too often, riders taking up two seats, bus bunching and the fact that buses are not as fast as driving.
The really not-quite-as-positive: homelessness along the route and on the bus (“we simply cannot neglect the shelter, health, and other basic needs of our fellow Angelenos,” Lau writes) and the inability of the Go Metro app to always correctly predict bus arrival times.
…the bus is never a dull experience. Each bus ride is literally a journey that is filled with things that are good, bad, and/or ugly. There have already been times when I want to quit riding the bus because of its inconsistencies and instead seriously consider the possibility of getting a second vehicle for my family. But for the time being, I can still appreciate the benefits of taking the bus, and I am just stubborn, patient, and committed enough to maintain my status as a proud TAP card-holding public transit user.
Give it a read, folks. What do you think? How would you improve the bus system?
Two things related to this worth noting:
•The Metro Board just approved an equity platform to reaffirm that equity is front and center of the agency’s mission. One thing that means: buses are as important as other transit service.
•Metro is presently working on its NextGen study to restructure and reimagine Metro’s vast bus network, which still carries about 70 percent of the agency’s riders on any given day. The goal is to adopt a service concept this summer, roll out line-by-line proposals next winter and spring and then begin implementing changes in fall 2019.
In Seattle, dogs are allowed although the bus operator can say “no” if they believe the dog will cause problems. Lap dogs ride for free, larger dogs are expected to pay the base fare.
Metro is a larger and busier system than King County Metro and, thus, the rules on dogs are more restrictive:
The entire Code of Conduct is here, btw.
A transpo expert says a proposed $2 to $5 surcharge on Uber/Lift/etc isn’t enough to help unclog Gotham traffic. Instead, he said a surcharge from $20 to $50 per hour would result in 11 percent fewer Uber/Lyft rides.
Meaning: If the expert is correct, then Uber/Lyft/etc is like other popular products in which customers will tolerate some pretty hefty price hikes.
Fun fact: just 11 of 317 bus lines in New York have the technology to turn red lights green or keep a green light from turning red. With $836 million going into an emergency plan to improve the subway, transit advocates are calling for more attention paid to improving Metropolis’ bus lines.
And the issue of equity surfaces again:
Advocates say failing bus service is not just an issue of commuting, but also of equity — bus riders earn about 30 percent less than their subway counterparts, according to the city comptroller’s office, and tend to be primarily immigrants and minorities. Buses are also fully accessible to the disabled, unlike the subway, where less than a fourth of the stations are accessible.
I’m including this article because I think it highlights the way that tech money flowing from the Bay Area — and increasingly our region — is changing parts of the western U.S.
We hear a lot about the housing crisis in our neck of the woods, but housing prices are going up pretty everywhere — including remote places like Bend that have seen tremendous growth in recent years. For the folks in tech, this is pretty great. For the folks not in tech, it’s a total drag.
I’ll also say this: one reason tech folks know so much about Bend is that the town has cleverly marketed itself as an outdoorsy place. Internet-fueled tourism is doing much the same to other places that were once cheap and are now crazy popular and not-so-cheap. See: Mammoth Lakes, California.
Washington Bl – let’s really grade separate this mess pic.twitter.com/5KT9v4pSBl
— Scott Frazier (@safrazie) March 8, 2018
Metro has been studying major upgrades to the Blue Line along Flower Street and Washington Boulevard. Finding funding for something like undergrounding tracks or separating the Washington-Flower junction is another matter. But as Scott recently reported, the city is looking at tax increment financing district as a possible way to pay for it.
You don't need bus lanes everywhere to transform your transit system, but where you do need them, you really need them. //t.co/Fm3siuArF9
— Jarrett Walker (@humantransit) March 8, 2018
I’m coming home from Century City with no car. Do I a) take Lyft Line for $17 and arrive home in approx 1 hr or do I b) open the @transitapp and find a bus taking me to @metrolosangeles Expo line and get home for $2.75 in 45 mins? Transit wins today. 🎉 pic.twitter.com/SPhKx0F7ka
— Julia Salinas (@PlangineerJulia) March 8, 2018
Julia works for Metro but point well taken.
TriMET in Portland adopts non-punitive measures to address unaffordable transit costs for disproportionately… //t.co/Wo3ulv5HDr
— Naomi Doerner (@Bici_Urbana) March 7, 2018
Categories: Transportation Headlines