20 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2019
    1. There’s an intuitive, consequentialist argument that making public transit free would get drivers off the road and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. In the U.S., where government subsidies cover between 57 and 89 percent of operating costs for buses and 29 to 89 percent of those for rail, many public-transit systems are quite affordable, costing in most cases less than $2, on average. If it might make transit more accessible to the masses and in the process reduce traffic and greenhouse-gas emissions, why not go all the way and make transportation free?

      background

    2. Another report followed up 10 years later, revisiting the idea of a fare-free world. The report reviewed the roughly 40 American cities and towns with free transit systems. Most of the three dozen communities had been greatly successful in increasing ridership—the number of riders shot up 20 to 60 percent “in a matter of months.”

      background

  2. Nov 2019
    1. Many of these metro areas are characterized by low densities and a separation of residential and business construction that forces homes out into the suburbs where transit is either spotty or non-existent. That makes cars necessary for even the most mundane trips.

      cause of problem

    2. The reason is a mix of topography and public policy.

      possible cause of transit problem

    3. Today, U.S. public transportation resembles an elevator that can take you to dozens of floors, but not the one with your desk. The vast majority of Americans live within 3/4 miles of a public transit stop, but 60 percent of metro jobs and low-income housing are in poorly connected suburbs. We've reached a paradox in public transportation, Puentes says: Good transit coverage but poor job access. Across income levels, the paradox is even starker: 89& of low income communities live within 3/4 miles of a transit stop but only 26% of low skill jobs are accessible by public transportation.

      background/main point/problem

    4. Every day, Americans make nearly 30 million trips using public transit, and most of these trips are made between home and the office.

      possible background?

    1. Its ridership (and particularly bus ridership!) is up. Oh, and traffic is down.

      agrees nor disagrees with both sources

    2. Meeting regions’ climate goals demands cities get better about transit.

      source agrees

    3. And while Uber and Lyft have grabbed headlines for convincing people to abandon transit in big cities like New York and Chicago, the TransitCenter says that the effects of those services are limited to just a few dense, urban places.

      source disagrees

    4. according to a new report from transportation research and advocacy organization TransitCenter, riders are even less enthused about public transit than they were two years ago.

      background/problem/agrees with source

    5. Today, many regions have cheap gas, easy-come auto loans, Uber, Lyft, and now a new breed of bike- and scooter-share. So transit users aren’t riding like they used to.

      what caused this problem/source neither agrees nor disagrees, hence the "Don't Blame Uber" in the title

    6. transit riders sat down to talk about what sucks about the bus. “What is it about the bus?” the interviewer said, and they were off.

      this source agrees with what these transit riders have to say about transit

    7. And while Uber and Lyft have grabbed headlines for convincing people to abandon transit in big cities like New York and Chicago, the TransitCenter says that the effects of those services are limited to just a few dense, urban places. “The broader issue is clearing space for your transit to get through congestion, and most of that congestion is from private cars, not [ride-hail],” says Ben Fried, the group’s communications head. “Cities need to make transit fast, affordable, convenient." Truly attractive transit has to do that better than private cars.

      main point

    8. In Philadelphia, a small group of transit riders sat down to talk about what sucks about the bus. “What is it about the bus?” the interviewer said, and they were off.“They got to stop at every corner,” one rider said. “That’s going to be an inconvenience if you are trying to get someplace fast.”“They don’t come,” said another. “Like, you will just wait at the corner and they don’t come. And sometimes the bus will come but it will just go right by you, so you have to wait for the next one. It happens way too much for me.”If you’ve ever depended on the bus to get to work or school or really anywhere, those complaints might sound familiar. But according to a new report from transportation research and advocacy organization TransitCenter, riders are even less enthused about public transit than they were two years ago. The group’s biennial census of transit riders convened six focus groups (including the Philadelphia one) and solicited survey results from more than 1,700 riders in the New York, Chicago, Denver, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Seattle metro areas.

      introduction

    9. In Philadelphia, a small group of transit riders sat down to talk about what sucks about the bus. “What is it about the bus?” the interviewer said, and they were off.“They got to stop at every corner,” one rider said. “That’s going to be an inconvenience if you are trying to get someplace fast.”“They don’t come,” said another. “Like, you will just wait at the corner and they don’t come. And sometimes the bus will come but it will just go right by you, so you have to wait for the next one. It happens way too much for me.”

      in person experiences with bad transit

    10. The survey found that nearly a quarter of riders have decreased their transit use, 15 percent of those going from using transit “all the time” to being “occasional” riders. Nine percent have abandoned transit all together. Those results appear to comport with other local and national research on transit ridership, which has found that American bus ridership alone fell by 5 percent between 2016 and 2017. The country’s seven largest transit systems—Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, DC—all lost riders in that period.

      background

    11. Americans are getting even more into cars. More survey respondents said they had full-time car access today than did two years ago, 54 percent compared with 43 percent. Similarly, the number of respondents who said they didn’t have access to a car decreased, from 27 percent to 21 percent.

      background/what caused this problem

    12. “The broader issue is clearing space for your transit to get through congestion, and most of that congestion is from private cars, not [ride-hail],” says Ben Fried, the group’s communications head. “Cities need to make transit fast, affordable, convenient." Truly attractive transit has to do that better than private cars.

      problem with transit/possible solution to the problem

    13. Transportation advocates argue that the creeping shift from transit to private vehicles isn’t good for cities. It’s not space-efficient: Per passenger, a bus carrying 40 people takes up far less room on the road than a person driving themself to work, as 76 percent of Americans do. Nor is it equitable: Private cars are expensive, and lifting off the pedal of transit investment in favor of car infrastructure leaves lower-income people to suffer with crowded commutes and infrequent service. Then there’s a climate argument: Buses and trains are more emission-friendly than single-occupancy cars. Meeting regions’ climate goals demands cities get better about transit.

      background/helps back up my carbon emission problem

    14. Still, there’s plenty of hope for transit, because only 9 percent of surveyed riders abandoned transit all together. “While people are taking transit less often, they’re not completely cutting transit out of their lives,” says Mary Buchanan, a TransitCenter researcher. “They’re hanging onto transit for every now and then.”That might mean there is an opportunity to convince those riders to get back on the bus or train or light-rail car. Survey respondents who reduced their transit use said their number one transit wish is more frequent service, followed by safer, and then more predictable, trips.Making that happen is no small order, but some places have pulled it off. Seattle, for example, plans to invest $53 billion in light rail, and in 2014 the city passed a 0.1 percent sales tax to support its bus system. Its ridership (and particularly bus ridership!) is up. Oh, and traffic is down. And the TransitCenter survey respondents in Seattle cited improvements as a reason they took transit more often.It’s elementary, really: Cities just need to build systems where riding the bus is more relaxing and convenient than hopping in your car.

      counterargument/conclusion