Episode 35: The Efficiency of Transit & Listener Questions on Transit Operations

In this episode I debunk the myth endorsed by Freakonomics in their episode on Mass Transit Hysteria and peddled by many others that cars are more efficient than transit. Each transit route is part of a network which may serve many functions that we believe contribute positively to our society. Transit is a public benefit. Most of the episode is devoted to listener questions on transit service design and operations:

  • How to design a late night transit network,
  • The value of pulse point hubs and transit centers (and why transfers are good),
  • How to keep buses on time and minimize bunching,
  • Whether a series of coordinated green signals lights actually helps buses (not unless you have built-in transit signal priority) or is just a ploy by traffic engineers to pretend to support transit.
  • The fine hosts of the Progressive Podcast share their thoughts on using sustainable transport in places where being car-free is not so common. Listen to their show for informed commentary on political, social and cultural issues as well as sustainable transportation.

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Episode 15: Scheduling, construction, privatization, service quality, how to not get hit by trains

News items fill up this week's show. More cities trying to speed up construction projects by shutting down line segments. Bus rapid transit lines often promote themselves based on the inclusion of things that should be standard on all buses. Privatization is usually bad policy. I discuss the impacts of scheduling on operator health and system safety. Finally, I explain how to help someone who falls on the train tracks (hint to NY Post: put down your camera and go get help.) Chicago: CTA Red Line South Renewal Project

Long Island, NY: Privatized NICE bus ridership decline & LI Bus Riders Union

Palm Beach, FL: Lack of bathroom breaks for drivers

San Antonio, TX: Via Metropolitan Transit launches Via Primo BRT route (article)

Vancouver, BC: TransLink launches Compass Card for contactless fare payment

Washington, DC: WMATA studying operator fatigue

New York City: Jerk takes photo of man being hit by train instead of trying to help

Sacramento, CA: General Manager rides the bus (a novel concept!)