Friday, May 26, 2017

Who’d a-thunk it? Like most central planning, public transit systems are very costly and often don’t serve the public very well?

From Mark Perry.
"Some recent news reports on the declines in the use of mass transit systems across America:

Example 1: L.A. bus ridership continues to fall; officials now looking to overhaul the system
Example 2: CARTA’s (Chattanooga, TN) Main Route Suffers Another Blow As Overall Ridership Continues To Drop
Example 3: Miami-Dade shrinking Metrorail hours as ridership dips
Example 4: Subway Ridership Declines in New York. Is Uber to Blame?
Example 5: City Colleges (Chicago) has paid $3 million for a bus shuttle with few riders
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A few related items here……

Related 1: “Does America Need More Urban Rail Transit?” is the title of a recent Manhattan Institute report, and I think the answer is “No.” Here’s an excerpt from the abstract:
Low-density U.S. cities with new rail-transit systems have experienced limited ridership and single-digit transportation market share. Federal funds should be directed to rebuilding aging rail transit in cities where it already exists and where it serves a critical transportation function. In most cases, state and local governments should focus on providing transit service via traditional buses, not building new rail lines.
Related 2: Transit Crime Is on the Rise, here’s an excerpt:
Is there an upsurge in crime on and around transit, and if so, why? A few days ago, a Portland woman was stabbed at a light-rail stop, supposedly by a complete stranger. The very next day, a remarkably similar report came out of Tempe, Arizona, except in this case police said the victim and alleged perpetrator were acquaintances.
A month ago, a gang of at least 40 teenagers boarded a BART train and, while some held the doors to prevent the train from leaving the station, robbed seven passengers and beat up two or more who refused to cooperate. A few days before that, someone shot and killed a passenger and wounded three more on board a MARTA train in Atlanta. After arresting a suspect, police called it an “isolated incident,” but it doesn’t sound so isolated anymore. New York City is enjoying a drop in crime–except on board transit vehicles, where crime is up 26 percent.
… The numerous reports of transit crimes in the last few weeks are only going to depress ridership even further.
Related 3: From the new report “A Canadian town wanted a transit system. It hired Uber,”:
Uber, the global car-hailing service, has fought its way into resistant cities around the world, despite being hit by raw eggs and rush-hour roadblocks in Montreal and Toronto, fires in Paris and smashed windshields in Mexico City. But in Innisfil, a small yet sprawling Canadian town north of Toronto, the company has met a somewhat different reception. Town leaders have embraced the service as an alternative to costly public transportation, causing local taxi companies to worry about the effect on their business.
Innisfil is a rural quadrilateral-shaped town of about 104 square miles, on the southwestern shore of Ontario’s Lake Simcoe. It has no public transportation other than stops on a regional bus line. This week, the town inaugurated a pilot program for what Uber says is its first full ridesharing-transit partnership, providing subsidized transportation for the town’s 36,000 people.
Update…..
Related 4: “10 Reasons to Stop Subsidizing Urban Transit” by Cato’s Randall O’Toole."

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