The Jaxson

Community => Transportation, Mass Transit & Infrastructure => Topic started by: Charles Hunter on November 12, 2020, 04:47:17 PM

Title: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: Charles Hunter on November 12, 2020, 04:47:17 PM
An aggretor is use (Pocket) gave me this from CityLab, an interesting and very informative article about why there is so little "good" transit in the USA.
https://getpocket.com/explore/item/why-did-america-give-up-on-mass-transit-don-t-blame-cars
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: BridgeTroll on November 12, 2020, 05:13:21 PM
Absolute Heresy here... It was big auto/oil sabotaging mass transit.  This article is being reviewed for deletion...  ;) ;D
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: marcuscnelson on November 12, 2020, 08:02:48 PM
Interesting article, but I feel like it doesn't really say enough about the sheer influence by racism, classism & white flight, or the business interests behind road building and lobbying in opposition to transit, or even just developers who were (and still are) opposed to transit.

To this day, people are still actively opposing transit projects based on the idea that poor people of color will bring crime to certain neighborhoods. I just made a thread on this site a few days ago about it. Meanwhile projects here in Florida like SR-9B and the First Coast Expressway and M-CORES are heavily lobbied for by development companies and road-builders. Robert Moses existed, and all the roads he designed in New York with low overpasses and no serious transit alternatives still exist.

The article says

Quote
Across the U.S., there are still projects to widen urban highways and bury existing ones. But the time of plowing new expressways through city neighborhoods is by and large over.

But this doesn't mean building new expressways has stopped. Just that instead of plowing through existing cities, they're being used as tools for massive new autocentric suburban sprawl.

The article also doesn't really say as much as it could about the discrepancy in the way we treat private infrastructure vs transit infrastructure. It mentions federal funding and the creation of the Interstate system, but it doesn't make the point as seriously as it could of just how stacked the deck is in favor of private cars. Enormous amounts of taxpayer money go to highways that have never and will never pay for themselves, and yet the first question for something that isn't a highway is "why isn't this self-sustaining?"

It is about more than just GM or oil companies (although it does bring up the Koch brothers & other lobbyists), but that doesn't mean that all of this was transit's fault for not manifesting money out of thin air to upgrade service to compete. Saying state & local governments can fund transit doesn't mean they want to. It doesn't mean that cities and states are not also being lobbied.
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: Adam White on November 13, 2020, 01:48:10 PM
Whether or not this is apropos of anything, I do find it interesting that mass transit - and some particular forms of mass transit (like buses) - have a bit of a stigma attached to them, particularly in smaller cities. Basically, you only ride the bus if you're too poor to afford a car. I think car ownership is something Americans really value and something that is part of the American ideal and self-image.

I used to ride the bus in Jax quite a bit - because my car got repossessed!
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: bl8jaxnative on November 20, 2020, 10:57:53 AM

America no more "gave up" on Mass Transit than it "gave up" typewriters, pocket watches, faxes, the Walkman, newspapers, floppy disks, pagers, 8-tracks, Laser Discs, AOL, horse-n-buggy, Polaroid, the telegraph, pay phones, Kodak,  car lighters, the Yellowpages, Cathode Ray Tubes ( CRTs ), et al.
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: Adam White on November 20, 2020, 11:18:29 AM

America no more "gave up" on Mass Transit than it "gave up" typewriters, pocket watches, faxes, the Walkman, newspapers, floppy disks, pagers, 8-tracks, Laser Discs, AOL, horse-n-buggy, Polaroid, the telegraph, pay phones, Kodak,  car lighters, the Yellowpages, Cathode Ray Tubes ( CRTs ), et al.

Are you *honestly* contending that mass transit is obsolete?

(https://media.giphy.com/media/ka5dowIgX0DmnZO2T1/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: jaxlongtimer on November 20, 2020, 08:07:42 PM

America no more "gave up" on Mass Transit than it "gave up" typewriters, pocket watches, faxes, the Walkman, newspapers, floppy disks, pagers, 8-tracks, Laser Discs, AOL, horse-n-buggy, Polaroid, the telegraph, pay phones, Kodak,  car lighters, the Yellowpages, Cathode Ray Tubes ( CRTs ), et al.

Having seen billions in TOD developments and mass transit so used (pre-COVID) it can't keep up in other cities, I am not sure how you reach this conclusion.  I would suggest that Jacksonville leaders are part of those "gave up" days - not mass transit.  The solution is to get "updated" leadership.
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: bl8jaxnative on November 30, 2020, 11:51:17 AM
98% of people living in those TODs do not use transit.   They're built cuz they're a rare place in a city where a developer looking to drop in a 300 unit podium can relatively easily.


Regardless of that, that does nothing to speak to the differences in the technologies.     

The diference between using mass transit and using a car is the difference between using a bathroom in your house and using a public bath.
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: Adam White on November 30, 2020, 12:21:05 PM
The diference between using mass transit and using a car is the difference between using a bathroom in your house and using a public bath.

But all the home bathrooms in the world won't make a difference if you have to take a shit at the mall.

No one is going to claim public restrooms are obsolete just because you prefer dropping a deuce in the privacy of your own home.
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: Steve on November 30, 2020, 12:22:56 PM
98% of people living in those TODs do not use transit.   They're built cuz they're a rare place in a city where a developer looking to drop in a 300 unit podium can relatively easily.


Regardless of that, that does nothing to speak to the differences in the technologies.     

The diference between using mass transit and using a car is the difference between using a bathroom in your house and using a public bath.

What city are you referring to?

For example, if you build a giant apartment complex next to a LIRR (Long Island) or Metro-North (Westchester and Western Connecticut), probably 75% of the residents would use it on a daily basis to go to work in NYC. Now, getting groceries? They will likely get of the train at the end of the work day, get in their cars and drive to the grocery store.

Point - throwing out a stat without context/region isn't useful.
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: Steve on November 30, 2020, 12:23:55 PM
No one is going to claim public restrooms are obsolete just because you prefer dropping a deuce in the privacy of your own home.

#SentencesINeverThoughtIdRead
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: Adam White on November 30, 2020, 01:07:02 PM
No one is going to claim public restrooms are obsolete just because you prefer dropping a deuce in the privacy of your own home.

#SentencesINeverThoughtIdRead

(https://media.giphy.com/media/ui1hpJSyBDWlG/source.gif)
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: BridgeTroll on November 30, 2020, 07:57:32 PM
98% of people living in those TODs do not use transit.

Interesting statistic...  I  assume you can back this up with a graph, or actual statistical analysis... or something...
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: itsfantastic1 on November 30, 2020, 10:16:40 PM
98% of people living in those TODs do not use transit.

Interesting statistic...  I  assume you can back this up with a graph, or actual statistical analysis... or something...

https://youtu.be/cQXZ91HD1hA (https://youtu.be/cQXZ91HD1hA)
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: bl8jaxnative on December 02, 2020, 11:11:46 AM
98% of people living in those TODs do not use transit.

Interesting statistic...  I  assume you can back this up with a graph, or actual statistical analysis... or something...

In the 10 years previous to their 2018 Lynx expansion,  Charlotte added ~15K people + a few million square feet of retail/commercial in TODS on it's Lynx LRT line.

In those 10 years LYNX's annual ridership went from 5 million too....... 5 million.  OI!


When you've added on that corridor at the TODS ~20K to ~25K ( residential + commercial ) people and there is  __ZERO__ increase in ridership it means  ----> THEY AIN'T USING THE CHOO-CHOO train.

Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: bl8jaxnative on December 02, 2020, 11:39:22 AM
Please forgive me for being a spaz.  The industry runs away from admitting this to keep the $$$$$$$$$$ flowing.


So Charlotte goes from 5 million trips a year to 5 million.

Let's walk through what we should be seeing.

For example, let's be conservative on job / FTE estimates in those millions and millions of sq ft added for commercial.  And let's just assume that no housing unit added has more than 1 person living in it.  So maybe we're looking at 15,000 more people on the corridor.

If 1,000 of them - 1/15th - used transit twice a day, one round-trip, 200 days a year, that would be 400,000 _additional_ trips per year.  In fact, anyone working full-time making that daily round trip would lead to traveling 235 - 265 days a year ( vacation, 4 10 hr days, etc ). 

So a mere 1/15th of the people ADDED to places right up by the light rail stations making a roundtrip 250 times a year means that LYNX would have seen it's ridership go from 5 million / year to 5 1/2 million a year.

Remember the core claim is that all this construction is happening because people will pay top dollar to use the train + bus.

If 20% of them did this, that would be an additional million and a half trips a year.   

Yet LYNX went from 5 million a year to 5 million trips a year --- FLAT -- for that decade.

And they're not eschewing the tram for the bus.  Total ridership for CATs went from ~26M in 2009 to ~25M in 2017.

What's that you say?  2017 ridership was down because of a fluke.  Well, 2016 was ~26M and 2010 was ~26M .... so ya, there's some year to fluctuation.  But total ridership for Charlotte Area Transit ( CAT ) is flat too.



All those new residents + all those new office + retails jobs being added 1/4, 1/2 mile by all fo the LRT stops may be filling up with people, but those people ain't taking transit any more or any less than they were before the LYNX tram was built and those ~10K housing units + ~2Msqft commercial were built.
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: BridgeTroll on December 02, 2020, 12:40:29 PM
Soooo.... we are just supposed to take your word on This?  Show some proof of these things please
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: tufsu1 on December 02, 2020, 09:37:40 PM
Please forgive me for being a spaz.  The industry runs away from admitting this to keep the $$$$$$$$$$ flowing.

So Charlotte goes from 5 million trips a year to 5 million.

curious - have you rode the Lynx LRT? If so, did you see people getting on or off the train at stops adjacent to all of the new development?
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: Adam White on December 03, 2020, 09:30:13 AM
I don't know anything about Charlotte, but I have a question - What are the numbers for overall mass transit usage in the USA over, say, the past 10 years. Are the numbers going up, down or remaining flat?

Surely we should look at many cases before assuming that what is (allegedly) occurring in one city is indicative of the overall trend.

Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: BridgeTroll on December 03, 2020, 05:17:21 PM
bl8jaxnative seems to have all the mass transit stats... he just doesn't want to actually post them.... ::)
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: bl8jaxnative on December 04, 2020, 11:23:02 AM
Please forgive me for being a spaz.  The industry runs away from admitting this to keep the $$$$$$$$$$ flowing.

So Charlotte goes from 5 million trips a year to 5 million.

curious - have you rode the Lynx LRT? If so, did you see people getting on or off the train at stops adjacent to all of the new development?


Correct.  People get off and on and stops.

If over a 10 year period you go from 5 million annual trips to 5 million annual trips, you have a big fat goose egg.  You have ZERO net gain in riders.   
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: Steve on December 04, 2020, 11:48:41 AM
Please forgive me for being a spaz.  The industry runs away from admitting this to keep the $$$$$$$$$$ flowing.

So Charlotte goes from 5 million trips a year to 5 million.

curious - have you rode the Lynx LRT? If so, did you see people getting on or off the train at stops adjacent to all of the new development?


Correct.  People get off and on and stops.

If over a 10 year period you go from 5 million annual trips to 5 million annual trips, you have a big fat goose egg.  You have ZERO net gain in riders.   

So....I have to ask. What is your source on numbers? According to this:

https://www.apta.com/wp-content/uploads/2019-Q4-Ridership-APTA.pdf

In the 2019Q4 report, Charlotte's Light rail ridership was up over 20% year to date over the previous year. Now they opened an extension of the line which likely helped the numbers, but that is a lot lager than ZERO net gain.

Here's another article:

https://www.charlotteagenda.com/162599/with-58-million-riders-and-3-5-billion-in-development-the-blue-line-is-one-of-charlottes-biggest-success-stories/

In it, they do bring up how the extension didn't (at the time) hit ridership numbers, but it's important to point out the extension was to UNC Charlotte, and they opened in March, missing much of the school year.

There's also the little tidbit that the original line cost $463M, and has spured $2.7B in development. That number includes completed and in work, so not all of that will be done. But let's say less than half is complete ($1B). I have to say I'd take an investment of $463M to result in $1B of private development. It darn sure beats Lot J.
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: tufsu1 on December 04, 2020, 12:22:40 PM
Please forgive me for being a spaz.  The industry runs away from admitting this to keep the $$$$$$$$$$ flowing.

So Charlotte goes from 5 million trips a year to 5 million.

curious - have you rode the Lynx LRT? If so, did you see people getting on or off the train at stops adjacent to all of the new development?


Correct.  People get off and on and stops.

If over a 10 year period you go from 5 million annual trips to 5 million annual trips, you have a big fat goose egg.  You have ZERO net gain in riders.   

that doesn't mean that none of the riders come from the new TOD projects along the corridor....which is of course your assertion
Title: Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
Post by: bl8jaxnative on January 04, 2021, 01:39:44 PM
Please forgive me for being a spaz.  The industry runs away from admitting this to keep the $$$$$$$$$$ flowing.

So Charlotte goes from 5 million trips a year to 5 million.

curious - have you rode the Lynx LRT? If so, did you see people getting on or off the train at stops adjacent to all of the new development?


Correct.  People get off and on and stops.

If over a 10 year period you go from 5 million annual trips to 5 million annual trips, you have a big fat goose egg.  You have ZERO net gain in riders.   

that doesn't mean that none of the riders come from the new TOD projects along the corridor....which is of course your assertion

You're taking the statement literally because you don't have the decency to face up to your precious projects only exist because taxpayers re pissing away hundreds of millions of dollars on them.



It means:
1)  any of the riders from those new TOD projects were already taking LRT.   
2) any new riders gained from building apartments next to stations are offset by other LRT riders leaving

Station O/D data indicates it is mostly if not near exclusively #1

At best., no riders are being gained over the course of a decade.

Those aparatments are being built not because 99% of people are using Chartlotte's LRT.  They're being built because it's  rare place in the city a developer can build 300 partment units all at once to take advantage of efficiencies from scale. 

92% of Charlotte is zoned for SFH.  Developers have very, very, very, very few places they could potentially build this stuff.