May 10, 2018

Buses in decline

Planetizen - Public transit in general is on the decline in the United States, and buses in particular have seen sharp drop-offs in travel speed, investment, and ridership. "Nearly 90 percent of commuters in this country drive private cars, and in many urban areas traffic congestion—i.e., wasted time, gas, and money—is getting worse," Laura Bliss writes for CityLab.

In most American cities, traffic congestion is slowing down buses as well, but there are good reasons to keep investing in buses. Not only are they cheaper and more versatile than rail and point-to-point transit, but also "buses can carry large numbers of people in a compact amount of road space. They don’t require special rights-of-way (though that’s sometimes ideal)," Bliss writes.


greg gerritt said...

Ride Apps like Uber are alsocontributing to the decline in use of mass transit

Anonymous said...

Buses aren't very cost-effective for local mass-transit. If you run them seldom enough that they're nearly always full, then you'll only capture the ridership that has no other choice. That's the case in Southern Mass: it can consume the entire day merely to shop for groceries, as I discovered the hard way while my broken shoulder kept me from driving.

Imagine, instead, small, light, self-driving "taxis" that can be called on demand, seat the number of people in the group, and travel at bicycle speed along embedded wireways that act as routers. Stick your fare card into the callbox, enter your destination and the number of people in the group, and in 5 minutes or so, one or more such "taxis" show up to take you on board and carry you off.