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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 12-10-10, 11:45 PM   #1
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Another Well Intentioned, But Unrealistic Car Alternative Sorry Attempt

MTA approves bus-only lane for Wilshire Blvd.
http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/video?id=7837618
And
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-wilshire-buses-20101210,0,7722931.story

Here is another example of why public transportation fails so much here in the car-centric capitol anywhere-Los Angeles. Earlier alternatives to the car was demonstrated quite nicely with last October's Ciclavia. Now look at what taxpayer's money will be channeled to-cramming more bodies in another form of oversize motor vehicle that does not allow any other alternative forms of lower powered, smaller vehicles around-no bike lanes here-onto another overly clogged road. That main thoroughfare was too crowded even in my parent's time-with cars of course.

Did anyone suggest how about simply getting rid of cars? Not in the way that would matter and already proven to work. The Ciclavia route crossed Wilshire Bl. at one point. We, the participants, waited at the intersection to cross just like anyone else as we did not have the right-of-way like other parts of the route. No problems here as we used a parallel running street 1 block away from Wilshire Bl. to continue to East/West sides. It proved far more nicer. In comparison, place the same amount of Ciclavia participants in cars, the results would have clogged up everything just like everyday occurrence on Wilshire Bl. and the surrounding streets.

So how about simplifying things and move people out of cars and onto something other than even bigger buses? Then have the same amount of people in the same limited space or street and avoid gridlock all of the time, not just rush hour. That makes more sense and logic in spending taxpayer's declining money the right way.
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Old 12-11-10, 08:25 AM   #2
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They should do what they do in Mexico City- each person has certain days when they're legally not allowed to drive. And Mexico City is WAY larger than LA, so nobody can say it wouldn't work because of anything but attitude.
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Old 12-11-10, 11:50 AM   #3
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^ That's just unamerican! You know, we got this thing over here called freedom. If you like mexico so much then maybe you should just move there!
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Old 12-11-10, 03:42 PM   #4
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^ That's just unamerican! You know, we got this thing over here called freedom. If you like mexico so much then maybe you should just move there!
Yeah! because not being able to travel anywhere safely is freedom aint it!

Free to not be able to walk to the neighborhood on the next hill because there's a f$#@ing freeway between here and there.

Free to have 80,000 square miles of our arable land paved, an area the size of Ohio and Indiana combined. Free to have our streets clogged with carcinogen-spewing metal tanks driven by people on cell phones.

Want to subsidize oil companies and wall street, you're FREE to do it! In fact, it's already done through your taxes! freedom man!

OH and 40,000 people are free to die every year, by automobile.

We're free to let our children deal with global warming, and yes, FREE to let other Americans die fighting wars to secure oil fields so we can KEEP BEING FREE.

Yes you're free!

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Old 12-11-10, 06:16 PM   #5
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I like the bus plan. Its good for cyclists even though they are not mentioned. By taking up two lanes the auto traffic on the remaining lanes will have to move more slowly which makes it safer for bicycles to share the road with them. Also, all of the buses on that section have bicycles racks and will now have improved service times.

The car drivers may complain but what will eventually happen is that people will find a faster road somewhere else. Every driver has a certain limit to the amount of time they are willing to wait in traffic and the ones that cant deal with that road anymore wills switch to another one. This has been proven over and over again where a road is narrowed by a lane or two the overall speed of traffic remains the same after a few months of adjusting.
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Old 12-11-10, 09:34 PM   #6
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Did anyone suggest how about simply getting rid of cars? Not
Maybe in a perfect world, but you have to be realistic, cars will never be outlawed, especially in America (and I'm not even American...)

We have dedicated bus lines on a large number of busy streets here in my city (Christchurch, New Zealand) and from a cyclists standpoint they work well. They are only in use by buses for a few hrs a day during peak time, and the rest of the time they are a nice wide cycle-way without any danger from traffic. Bus lanes are better than nothing from a cyclists POV. I dunno about LA bus drivers, but here most of the bus drivers are courteous, and it's a case of give & take, you give way to the buses and they in turn give way to you, it's synergy in action
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Old 12-11-10, 10:04 PM   #7
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Wow, that must be nice.
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Old 12-13-10, 12:16 AM   #8
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Back on topic a bit things are not moving in the right direction for Mass Transit in LA either.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lano...on-a-year.html

They cut back on bus routes starting today just like they said they would.
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Old 12-13-10, 01:00 PM   #9
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Back on topic a bit things are not moving in the right direction for Mass Transit in LA either.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lano...on-a-year.html

They cut back on bus routes starting today just like they said they would.
The United States is in decline and as usual California is leading the nation.
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Old 12-13-10, 01:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by newenglandbike View Post
Yeah! because not being able to travel anywhere safely is freedom aint it!

Free to not be able to walk to the neighborhood on the next hill because there's a f$#@ing freeway between here and there.

Free to have 80,000 square miles of our arable land paved, an area the size of Ohio and Indiana combined. Free to have our streets clogged with carcinogen-spewing metal tanks driven by people on cell phones.

Want to subsidize oil companies and wall street, you're FREE to do it! In fact, it's already done through your taxes! freedom man!

OH and 40,000 people are free to die every year, by automobile.

We're free to let our children deal with global warming, and yes, FREE to let other Americans die fighting wars to secure oil fields so we can KEEP BEING FREE.

Yes you're free!

Great rant!

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Old 12-13-10, 03:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
Back on topic a bit things are not moving in the right direction for Mass Transit in LA either.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lano...on-a-year.html

They cut back on bus routes starting today just like they said they would.
Are you in favor of those cutbacks?
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Old 12-13-10, 04:04 PM   #12
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They should do what they do in Mexico City- each person has certain days when they're legally not allowed to drive. And Mexico City is WAY larger than LA, so nobody can say it wouldn't work because of anything but attitude.
Have you ever driven in Mexico City? I have and traffic was terrible.
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Old 12-13-10, 07:11 PM   #13
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Back on topic a bit things are not moving in the right direction for Mass Transit in LA either.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lano...on-a-year.html

They cut back on bus routes starting today just like they said they would.
How sad.

California balanced the budget on the back of the transit rider. I suspect this will add more to the unemployment rolls as those who lost bus service will no longer have jobs. Furthermore, they also cut weekend and evening service too.

I look at the current rapid bus lane under development and it's possibly the last attempt at motorized movement. There are no more techniques or strategies that can be used to speed traffic. All attempts to speed the motorized lifestyle are finally coming to an end.

Since California does not want to build an underground metro, the situation is hopeless.
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Old 12-13-10, 08:17 PM   #14
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Are you in favor of those cutbacks?

No I am not. Of course my biggest disappointment is the cutting back on Metro Rail. But I like light rail more than busses but that just may be me.
After being in these forums for whatever number of months I have I have been researching mass transit around cities with large suburban populations. You know how I feel about big cities. Melbourne seems to have done what so many have assured me can’t be done. They have provided mass transit to and from their suburbs into the city. I like the idea that Melbourne has implemented and when I see LA and Orange County cutting bus runs I realize we are moving in the wrong direction. I do believe this might be a perfect opportunity for a private bus service or van service to step in and compete with metro bus services.
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Old 12-14-10, 01:41 AM   #15
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MTA approves bus-only lane for Wilshire Blvd.
http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/video?id=7837618
And
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-wilshire-buses-20101210,0,7722931.story

Here is another example of why public transportation fails so much here in the car-centric capitol anywhere-Los Angeles. Earlier alternatives to the car was demonstrated quite nicely with last October's Ciclavia. Now look at what taxpayer's money will be channeled to-cramming more bodies in another form of oversize motor vehicle that does not allow any other alternative forms of lower powered, smaller vehicles around-no bike lanes here-onto another overly clogged road. That main thoroughfare was too crowded even in my parent's time-with cars of course.

Did anyone suggest how about simply getting rid of cars? Not in the way that would matter and already proven to work. The Ciclavia route crossed Wilshire Bl. at one point. We, the participants, waited at the intersection to cross just like anyone else as we did not have the right-of-way like other parts of the route. No problems here as we used a parallel running street 1 block away from Wilshire Bl. to continue to East/West sides. It proved far more nicer. In comparison, place the same amount of Ciclavia participants in cars, the results would have clogged up everything just like everyday occurrence on Wilshire Bl. and the surrounding streets.

So how about simplifying things and move people out of cars and onto something other than even bigger buses? Then have the same amount of people in the same limited space or street and avoid gridlock all of the time, not just rush hour. That makes more sense and logic in spending taxpayer's declining money the right way.
RANT. i ride my bike and take a bus. buses with bike racks can work well with bikes to make some trips more feasible. if i'm going to LA in fact, i'd rather take a bus. it feels safer, at least in the more congested areas. i think public transportation is a viable option for people who want to drive less. you need to realize not everyone loves riding bikes like we do. we've only managed to do it because we enjoy the activity and we've rearranged our lives to minimize inconvenience. we can't "move people out of cars." they have to want a change. i just don't see why you're so upset. you seem sort of self-righteous TBH.

Last edited by SurlyLaika; 12-14-10 at 01:46 AM. Reason: add something
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Old 12-14-10, 02:14 AM   #16
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Have you ever driven in Mexico City? I have and traffic was terrible.
So... you're saying it would be better without the restriction?
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Old 12-14-10, 05:12 AM   #17
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RANT. i ride my bike and take a bus. buses with bike racks can work well with bikes to make some trips more feasible. if i'm going to LA in fact, i'd rather take a bus. it feels safer, at least in the more congested areas. i think public transportation is a viable option for people who want to drive less. you need to realize not everyone loves riding bikes like we do. we've only managed to do it because we enjoy the activity and we've rearranged our lives to minimize inconvenience. we can't "move people out of cars." they have to want a change. i just don't see why you're so upset. you seem sort of self-righteous TBH.
I agree with you, Albert. We mustn't fall into an "either...or" mentality. Bikes are great, but I also use the train and occasionally ride the bus. The more options for car-free living, the better.

Seville has bus/taxi lanes running right next to our bike paths. Here's an example of one on a bridge going over the Guadalquiver River. Motorcars must cross using another bridge, which is jammed during rush hours.

Last edited by Ekdog; 12-14-10 at 03:15 PM. Reason: misspelling
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Old 12-14-10, 08:02 AM   #18
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we can't "move people out of cars." they have to want a change.
It's true, people have to want a change. But what is going to make them want a change? The only thing I know of that makes anyone want to change is new knowledge/understanding. The automobile industry represents hundreds of billions of dollars, if not trillions. The oil industry represents many trillions at least. Needless to say these industries are not interested in seeing people's attitudes shift away from automobile reliance. On the contrary, they want automobile reliance to GROW. They invest huge amounts of money into advertising, greenwashing, and carefully shaping peoples perception of the automobile as not just desirable, but fundamental necessity.

Refusing to drive is the most important thing you can do, bicycle or not. Of course, riding a bike is an extremely efficient alternative transportation, even compared to walking. But unfortunately, you can't quietly ride your bike to work, or ride the bus, or walk, and expect to have the same effect on people's perceptions as the goliath beast of an industry that is consumer transportation.
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Old 12-14-10, 09:42 AM   #19
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Melbourne seems to have done what so many have assured me can’t be done. They have provided mass transit to and from their suburbs into the city. I like the idea that Melbourne has implemented and when I see LA and Orange County cutting bus runs I realize we are moving in the wrong direction. I do believe this might be a perfect opportunity for a private bus service or van service to step in and compete with metro bus services.
Actually, that's not quite correct. Melbourne's major period of sprawl was done with rail in the first place! Their sprawling subdivisions were all created with no automobiles available, just land speculation and trains. There was no implementation of expanding the rails into the auto driven suburbs, as the rail was there first.

Furthermore, it was off synch with the rail expansion of the rest of the world; there was a craze in much of the world to tear out rail lines in favor of cars. It just happened that when this craze was in effect, that Melbourne had only recently installed much of its rail, and so it would be absurd to tear it out. When it came time to tear the old rail out, the fashion had shifted, and the rail lies were considered such a high point by the rest of the world that they convinced the auto-centric government to leave the rail in.

Melbourne's transit system is a mess in other ways; there are vast numbers of transit vehicles off doing their own thing running empty because they will not coordinate, and would rather extort subsidies from the government for running empty on dysfunctional schedules. Travelling across the city by transit was a joke; my favorite incident was in riding a train into a station, seeing a bus pass as we pulled in, leaving the station via dirt trail, walking around a cyclone fence to a six lane highway which we were forced to jaywalk across as there was no pedestrian crossing anywhere in sight, then walking several blocks, passing the person who had gotten off the bus and who had wanted to get on the train we had disembarked from, to reach a vandalized bus shelter and wait a half hour for the next bus which was scheduled the same way.

Much of these problems stem from the privatized nature of the transit systems in Melbourne, which costs the residents a substantial amount of taxpayer money which is used to subsidize poorly designed private routes which aggressively avoid working together. They are underutilized in part because they all run with different bus stop signs and appearances which make the system confusing and invisible. They compete to take people from where they all gather to the other central hubs, but none of them want to touch bringing people to and from those central locations to begin with. They leave a maze of different systems on different schedules designed expressly to make it hard to transfer between them. Transit systems need free market forces like a person with a nut allergy needs peanut butter based cleaning supplies and a lifetime supply of walnuts.
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Old 12-14-10, 09:53 AM   #20
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I do believe this might be a perfect opportunity for a private bus service or van service to step in and compete with metro bus services.
Robert:

Private bus or van service sounds like a good idea but they are almost always subsidized. In cases where there is no subsidization, (ex Jitney Vans) the vans are usually dirty, small and driven by people who may not have a license! Having a private company often creates a third world type bus service often with no set schedules or handicap abilities.
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Old 12-14-10, 04:21 PM   #21
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Robert:

Private bus or van service sounds like a good idea but they are almost always subsidized. In cases where there is no subsidization, (ex Jitney Vans) the vans are usually dirty, small and driven by people who may not have a license! Having a private company often creates a third world type bus service often with no set schedules or handicap abilities.
I lived in a mountain community and the only service worth anything was a semi private arm of the county transit system. It worked because they didn't have a "set" Schedule so if a few people called looking for a ride up the hill or down the hill the small buss would drive to within a block or two of your location and pick you up. Normally on a major cross street. It was a private company contracted to the county bus service.
Many of our school districts are using the same idea, they are contracting out their bus services to private companies and it saves money.

As far as being dirty goes that would be hard to believe knowing what LA buses are like by late afternoon.

But more to the point once they start cutting bus service many of the people that do not drive in LA simply have no way to get around because the city is designed with cars in mind. If indeed Melbourne was designed around expanding rail lines I like the idea even better. I like trains for some reason, I like the dedicated lines they take I guess with no competition with cars for driving space I guess.
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Old 12-16-10, 01:38 PM   #22
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I lived in a mountain community and the only service worth anything was a semi private arm of the county transit system. It worked because they didn't have a "set" Schedule so if a few people called looking for a ride up the hill or down the hill the small buss would drive to within a block or two of your location and pick you up. Normally on a major cross street. It was a private company contracted to the county bus service.
Many of our school districts are using the same idea, they are contracting out their bus services to private companies and it saves money.

As far as being dirty goes that would be hard to believe knowing what LA buses are like by late afternoon.

But more to the point once they start cutting bus service many of the people that do not drive in LA simply have no way to get around because the city is designed with cars in mind. If indeed Melbourne was designed around expanding rail lines I like the idea even better. I like trains for some reason, I like the dedicated lines they take I guess with no competition with cars for driving space I guess.
You make public policy decisions so much easier--we just go by your personal preferences.

You like trains because they don't slow down personal cars, so the public will pay for trains. You don't like buses, so we'll turn bus service over to a "cheaper" private company that will make people stand on a busy highway until enough have gathered to make it worthwhile to send a van for them.

Tsk, all the money we've wasted on democracy, when we could have just asked you what to do.
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Old 12-16-10, 02:13 PM   #23
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You make public policy decisions so much easier--we just go by your personal preferences.

You like trains because they don't slow down personal cars, so the public will pay for trains. You don't like buses, so we'll turn bus service over to a "cheaper" private company that will make people stand on a busy highway until enough have gathered to make it worthwhile to send a van for them.

Tsk, all the money we've wasted on democracy, when we could have just asked you what to do.
Oh bad idea? Because the current system works so well as it is? If the current system worked so many metro systems wouldn't be contracting out would they? It may be different in Motor City but in LA, Orange County and the Inland Empire mass transit is horrid. It will be even more horrid as routes get cut. And there is no expectation of it getting fixed by government in the next few years.

I like light rail because it isn't bumper to bumper with traffic in the city. And yes you are correct democracy works; it is that democracy however that is cutting back on Public funded mass transit and it is my hope that something steps in to fill the gap as busses get cut back. I am not so obtuse as to believe the public should just simply wait till things get better but believe that a private company can and often do a pretty good job of meeting the publicís needs. UPS, FedEx comes to mind. They take up where the USPS falls down in many cases.

Most of these private companies of which I speak will make an extra stop if the customer needs it. They will make an extra run if the customer needs it. And if only one customer needs a ride they will make a run in that direction to pick up the customer on the half hour. But the advantage is they donít have to stop at ď6th and GrandĒ as an example they can deviate a few blocks to accommodate a passenger. Does the public service in your area do that? I believe it is one of the reasons private agencies now dominate airport shuttle services. Because busses can care less if you are on time and a shuttle service has to get you there before your check in time.
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Old 12-16-10, 02:22 PM   #24
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Oh bad idea? Because the current system works so well as it is? If the current system worked so many metro systems wouldn't be contracting out would they? It may be different in Motor City but in LA, Orange County and the Inland Empire mass transit is horrid. It will be even more horrid as routes get cut. And there is no expectation of it getting fixed by government in the next few years.

I like light rail because it isn't bumper to bumper with traffic in the city. And yes you are correct democracy works; it is that democracy however that is cutting back on Public funded mass transit and it is my hope that something steps in to fill the gap as busses get cut back. I am not so obtuse as to believe the public should just simply wait till things get better but believe that a private company can and often do a pretty good job of meeting the public’s needs. UPS, FedEx comes to mind. They take up where the USPS falls down in many cases.

Most of these private companies of which I speak will make an extra stop if the customer needs it. They will make an extra run if the customer needs it. And if only one customer needs a ride they will make a run in that direction to pick up the customer on the half hour. But the advantage is they don’t have to stop at “6th and Grand” as an example they can deviate a few blocks to accommodate a passenger. Does the public service in your area do that? I believe it is one of the reasons private agencies now dominate airport shuttle services. Because busses can care less if you are on time and a shuttle service has to get you there before your check in time.
In Michigan, there are publicly operated on demand services in most small towns and rural areas. In dities, on demand service is for the disabled and elderly only--eveybody else uses fixed route service.
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Old 12-16-10, 09:05 PM   #25
Robert Foster
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
In Michigan, there are publicly operated on demand services in most small towns and rural areas. In dities, on demand service is for the disabled and elderly only--eveybody else uses fixed route service.
Well there is one big difference. Here Dial-A-Ride service is contracted out to the public agencies but Airport service is almost all private. The reason is simple, public transportation doesn't go where you want to go when you want to go there. And if it was bad before it will be worse once they get cut back, or should I say now that they are cut back.

It should be clear that under this current economy public agencies are no longer able to service the public as they once did. Though I haven’t mentioned is right after the election I think it is clear the House isn’t going to help make public transportation viable again and so that more or less only leaves private companies to step in and provide the service. Like I said the current system isn’t working and not just in California.
Dallas: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...1ca53b04d.html
Atlanta: http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/marta-loses-riders-after-778226.html
DC: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/06/AR2010010605017.html
Baton Rouge: http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/111900504.html
And the list goes on. I don’t see city and state and Federal governments stepping in to increase service anytime soon do you? So one logical solution would be private companies with some kind of large van service much like the airport shuttles.
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