Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

N8CCRG t1_jb1umdu wrote

FYI this paper only includes data up to 2017, so no post-pandemic changes measured yet. It does include some discussion about ride-hailing services (e.g. Uber and Lyft).


Nessie t1_jb36psn wrote

As a cyclist, it was paradise riding in my city of 2 million during the pandemic, when everyone was telecommuting and tourists were mostly barred from entry.


ssnover95x t1_jb3yxre wrote

A lot of studies showed that reduced congestion actually increased vehicle speeds sufficiently that casualties from drivers hitting other road users and pedestrians didn't go down.


uberfission t1_jb4y9zh wrote

From my observations, it was really only the worst drivers that were still driving into work.


Beer_Is_So_Awesome t1_jb4xcaf wrote

People did begin driving insanely in my city. Bad habits have continued til today, and I see far more people running red lights, rolling through crosswalks, illegal turns on red, etc.

Also, as an aside, legal turns in red shouldn’t even be a thing, for a several really obvious reasons if.


Yolo_420_69 t1_jb4ogs1 wrote

I was in nyc. Dude the things I did on my motorcycle through times Square. It was awesome


LawHelmet t1_jb4sr5u wrote

Dude. I was in DC. Samesies but Penn Ave solo from straight down the middle of the Mall and along the Reflecting Pool and places bicycles can go but motorcycles normally cannot.


ShrimpCrackers t1_jb3mk9s wrote

Yeah but I have to say in countries where they have universal flat fee for unlimited travel on public transportation, there's a certain freedom there. What we need in America is something like that.


subtracterall t1_jb3x7j9 wrote

Just make public transit free or a nominal fee. We all need to get places to do our jobs and buy things and live.


bluGill t1_jb4ctu3 wrote

Free transit has been tried. It doesn't get very many more riders, and it means more money is meeded from someplace.

Service us what you need to attract riders. Build great service and they will come. Your car is always near and ready to leave when you want to go, most transit means adjusting from when you feel like going to the schedule: or you can buy a car. Many.times transit has convoluted routes to down town, so not only is the car a lot downtown, if your destination isn't downtown you can turn a 10 minute drive into over an hour: so a car is worth it for them savings.

The above is well known in transit circles, but not outside.


qoning t1_jb4emda wrote

It also attracts unwanted... individuals, as much as it sucks to say, often the fact they can be removed for not paying is the only quick way to make it safe and acceptable for other riders. Living inside public transport is not a solution to homeless crisis.

But yeah as you say, layout of American cities is not suitable for good public transport. People often point out that it can be good in Europe, and it can, but you know where? In high density cities like Amsterdam or Prague or Paris or London. It still absolutely sucks for smaller cities and rural areas (which tbh would often still be counted as suburbs in the US because the distances are so much smaller).


bluGill t1_jb4vbva wrote

> layout of American cities is not suitable for good public transport. People often point out that it can be good in Europe, and it can, but you know where? In high density cities like Amsterdam or Prague or Paris or London

This is a half truth that is incorrectly used as an excuse to do nothing. All cities in the US have forms where there would be good support for transit if there was good transit, but since there isn't good transit people drive. There are apartments with high enough density but not transit all over, we need to serve them. There are through roads every mile or two, and thus within biking distance of most houses (if we figure out how to handle bikes on transit) It doesn't solve everything, but using bad form in some places as an excuse to not have transit anywhere is not good. And if you have good transit (and zoning allows) you can then build denser than current cities do.


guy_guyerson t1_jb4u15x wrote

> and it means more money is meeded from someplace.

Not always, often it just breaks even because the cost of transacting, securing payments, payment equipment, enforcing anti-turnstyle jumping, etc end up eating most of the payments received.

This is probably less the case now that public transit is less cash-based, but it's still a consideration.


bluGill t1_jb4zxt5 wrote

Not in most places with transit. You can look up the budgets of US transit organizations, small town transit you are correct, but for anything bigger fares are significant sources of money (10% being significant).


NotSoSecretMissives t1_jb6g6kl wrote

I mean take for example, Massachusetts, there are ~5 million tax payers and the MBTA, public transit system that collects the most fares in the state, collects ~675 million in fares. Even if you spread that equally to every tax payer that is only $135 per person for the entire year. There is zero reason to include collection systems except to punish transit users.


bluGill t1_jb6k5dm wrote

Where is that 675 million going to come from? Whatever you answer, why not give them that, plus keep the 675million from fares and expand service. I guarantee most riders would prefer better service to zero cost fares.


NotSoSecretMissives t1_jb6pf49 wrote

I agree that's what a lot of riders would say, but it's a complete waste of human resources. If something like transit is such a public good (users and non-users), there's no reason to put an additional burden on those that choose to use the service when it's such a low cost when distributed across the population. Taxes are the most efficient way to fund public services. All that said, public transit should receive way more funding.


No_Maines_Land t1_jb4wvdm wrote

I've a theory about increasing ridership from drivers.

I have to pay a public transit free on my license renewal, it's variable based on engine volume and home address (aka big truck in city, high cost; small car in suburb, lower cost; anything rural, no cost). I generally like the idea of this fee.

HOWEVER, I think it should also come with a discount on public transit that's the same as the public transit fee. IE. if the fee is $240 a year, then $20 off a monthly pass.

This way, the incentive to the individual is that they are losing an advantage/money by not getting the transit pass. Once a driver has a monthly pass, I think they are more likely to at least consider public transit for each trip.

I also think the psychology would support that since the pass is paid for, and not free, even by an indirect means; it would have a positive perception effect.


bluGill t1_jb51i0a wrote

Service needs to be there first. If you cannot reasonably get where you want to go, when you want to be there, then cost isn't a consideration at all. If you have good transit (good means both frequent and coverage) we can talk about other considerations. There are very few places where making transit cheaper will attract more riders than investing in more/better service.


No_Maines_Land t1_jb5d0qg wrote

Absolutely valid.

In my case the service is there, hence why it is legitimate to change a public transit fee on the yearly plating fee. Buddy with a plate registered in the sticks has no public transit charge. Other fellow in suburbia of Montréal pays lass plating fees than me in the city since there is less public transit.


bobtheplanet t1_jba7j6o wrote

I rode the train into downtown Chicago for work for over 35 years. Why? It was convenient. My stations were within walking distance of a few city blocks to both home and work. I would say I was very lucky - moreso than the majority of people in the Chicago area. Yet, we still needed cars for every other trip. There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to transportation. Population pressure expands outwards where possible. We are a nation of loners.


bluGill t1_jbap336 wrote

You hit the problem: if transit isn't useful you won't use it.

There are places where people use transit for more than to work trips: places where transit is useful for other trips.


hguess_printing t1_jb4u7jb wrote

Busses would get to stops faster if we also didn’t have to wait for everyone to pay their fare upon boarding


rlbond86 t1_jb4q07o wrote

The main barriers to ridership are service level and coverage. Better to have more money to use on ops than just offering free rides with low service.


ShrimpCrackers t1_jb4135k wrote

Well it needs to pay for itself. A public tax on that for all tax paying citizens and tourist visitors based on length of stay is good too.

Edit: I don't know why I went around and saying it needs to pay for itself, what it needs is some revenue but definitely not to pay for itself because it pays for itself in spades just in a roundabout manner.


boarder981 t1_jb42hhj wrote

Roads don’t pay for themselves, yet private citizens use them everyday for their personal vehicles. In suburbs they often park on them for free!


gobblox38 t1_jb466yt wrote

The benefits would come from more efficient travel. If mass transit is free, then fewer people will be driving on the highways. Fewer people driving on the highways results in reduced maintenance costs.


ShrimpCrackers t1_jb47ylc wrote

Yup I agree. It's why a transit system doesn't have to profit directly.


rlbond86 t1_jb4pwyh wrote

Nobody ever insists that roads pay for themselves...


notesundevil t1_jb8d6p5 wrote

It’s a service, it does not need to pay for itself. Just like the postal service.


SandyBouattick t1_jb51apn wrote

The major problem is still access. I live in one of the many large areas of my state where most people commute to the big city, but the only practical way to get there is to drive. There is no subway service and the nearest commuter trains are about a half hour away. Most people would rather drive an hour and a half each way than drive a half hour and then hope there is still any parking left to pay for at the closest train station, wait for a train, and then take that in, and do the reverse home. Trains can be late and sometimes they're overfull and you have to wait a long time for the next one. You don't really save any time taking the train, and it is often longer. The only advantage is being able to sit and read instead of driving, but that assumes the seats aren't already full. Having a slightly shorter commute and knowing you can leave when you want to instead of having to hope the train schedule works out for you is also a big advantage of driving. To make mass transit a more realistic option for more people, we need a much bigger investment in rail service. More lines extending to more parts of the state with more regular and reliable service. Without that, people are still going to drive.


ShrimpCrackers t1_jbbv5l4 wrote

You're absolutely right though, the public transportation infrastructure in the United States in general is absolutely horrible versus most developed countries and developing countries. It's notable that Thailand is absolutely futuristic versus any subway system in America and people in Thailand only make about $7,000 per capital. Personally for me off the top of my head I can't even remember or point out a single developed democracy that has worse public transportation than the USA.


GuiltyandCharged t1_jb31kr1 wrote

Anecdotally I'm from a well off area of New England and less than fifty percent of my friends in their mid 20s own cars.


funnyfarm299 t1_jb39zkh wrote

Is there a serviceable train line within a mile of your house?


marxr87 t1_jb4g8xr wrote

The wealthier you are, the more likely you are to be driven rather than drive. Driving sucks must of the time


Krazyguy75 t1_jb4hqcl wrote

Yeah I think ride-sharing plays a part, but also another VERY important spinoff of them: Delivery services. It used to be that almost every single person would have to do a round trip drive every time they wanted groceries. Now, instacart/doordash/etc cuts out half of the drive.