Feeds workers into the Day shift . shuts down overnight.
"Think Outside the Cage"
South Florida (Palm Beach County) suburban sprawl. I have bus and rail available, although the second depends on the first. Bus routes in my area are few, and the one "feeder" route that connects my neighborhood with the other routes runs hourly (between 6AM and 6PM), and not at all on weekends or holidays. Main routes run more often, but on an abbreviated weekend schedule, and not at all on holidays. Bus service costs $2 for a single ride, a day-pass costs $5; monthly bus-passes are available, as are reduced fares for seniors (65 and over), the disabled, and "service-connected" veterans.
I ride the bus twice-a-year; both times, going to/from the VA Medical Center (a 25-mile trip, each way); it requires connecting routes, and takes two hours in each direction.
When I lived overseas, bus service -- both inter- and intra-city -- ran from 5AM to 12PM, at 20-minute intervals. But that was "long ago, in a galaxy far, far away."
I live in Oakland, CA in a fairly walkable/transit friendly area. Across the street I have a commuter bus that goes to SF, I used it when I worked in SF. Also there is a bus thar goes to downtown (a 10 minute ride to the BART our subway/commuter rail) and a few other areas. It runs 7 days a week but the frequency sucks. It is every 30 minutes during the week from 7-8 and once an hour on the weekends from 7-7 I think. One block down gives me access to a trunk route that I mostly take to the BART or to transfer from the other trunk route. It runs about 6-midnight every 15-20 minutes daily. But travels east/west a direction I don't go as often. 3 blocks away give me access to 2 more buses that run downtown and to nearby cities (Berkeley and Alameda).
So those buses gave me access to the other neighborhoods I visited most and the train stations, which are about 1-1.25 miles away for me. The train is a quick ride to SF for me, about 20 minutes. I also have used it on my bike to work experiments, I live 30 miles from work.
I used to use transit 1-3 days a week (driving the rest). Now I have swapped most of the bus rides for my bike. And use the train too. I bike to the train vs taking the bus or driving. I am thinking about biking 1-2x a week. Most of my local destinations are within 3 miles.
i do carpool quite a bit. I am sort of the DD in my friend circle. My sister and about 3 other close friends are transit only. Most don't have drivers licenses either. They also do not bike, but one is thinking about getting one. So I get to cart everyone around if we go somewhere transit unfriendly or if I happen to be heading to target.
Last night was magical.
I had to work yesterday and took my Xootr just in case. On Sunday, most public transit systems cut service dramatically so I'll take any bus or tain that's going in the direction I'm heading. If I'm left 2 or 3 miles from my destination, I'll use the Xootr and complete the journey.
Here's what happened. I decided to Xootr to a bus stop and go downtown because there's more service on the boulevard than waiting for the lightrail on a Sunday. I timed it so I wouldn't have to wait more than 10 minutes for the bus thanks to the online schedule. When I arrived at the bus station, another bus arrived seconds later taking me to another station where I can catch yet another bus into Manhattan. I use a monthly bus pass so all bus service in New Jersey is free. I pratically had no wait time because I was using the bus schedule and taking any line to get my final destination.
At night, I figured there was going to be alot of waiting. I Xootr to the bus depot in New York City and arrived in Jersey to take the lightrail. There was very little wait time because I timed that bus perfectly. However, once in Jersey, the lightrail was in an accident so I decided to Xootr over to a resturant and have dinner hoping things would clear up. While everyone was waiting there for the train, I didn't have to stand there for hours with the Xootr giving me options.
After dinner, I noticed a bus heading in my direction, so I Xootr as fast as possible catching up to the bus just as he was about to close the door! I could not believe my luck! I knew he would leave me 2 miles from home but it didn't matter because it was night and service is scarce. I left that bus and started to Xootr home but wasn't too concerned at all because this was going to be enjoyable either way. After two blocks, I spot yet another bus that was going to take me the last two miles home. I raced with the (Xootr) to the bus stop catching it just as he was about to close the door! It was magical.
I almost forgot to mention, the total cost of the 20 mile trip into Manhattan was zero dollars!
I'm on a trip to an area with generally good public transportation, but it let me down today. I was going to hop on the train and then take a short bus ride followed by a three mile walk to my in laws. I plugged in my date of travel into Amtrak's site and was informed that I had a choice of several trains, running about every ninety minutes. Unfortunately, Amtrak's software isn't quite up to the task on a tablet. When I awoke at 0430, I used a computer to check again. No trains or buses are running today.
If we cancel all public transportation options on holidays, then we are forcing people to either cycle with heavy holiday traffic, forego travel or pony up the fixed costs of a car, which is about half the cost on average. This is just a stupid barrier.
For example, my bus service doesn't operate on six holidays every year. That amounts to a savings of less than two percent on their annual budget. (6/365=.016) But that minor cost cutting means thousands of people who work on holidays can't rely on public transit. For some, that one small service cut means the difference between needing a car and being able to be carfree.
In general, a great transit service costs only a little more than a mediocre system. But at least some of the additional costs are recovered by attracting more customers with additional fares paid.
"Think Outside the Cage"
Our buses and trains never stop running, although there is reduced service on some holidays and at weekends. When there are big events, extra buses and trains run to move large numbers of people.
Gimme that car-free living!
A dozen years ago, my son was playing in the Oregon Open chess tournament, the largest chess tournament in the state and a qualifier for the state championship. On day one, he played a nice gentleman who happened to be in his mid-70s. On day two, as I drove my son to the playing site (on the far edge of town along the freeway), we passed this same half-blind gentleman as he was walking to the tournament. Since he was going to be late, we pulled over and gave him a ride. He relies on the bus to get where he needs to be and the bus does not run on Labor Day weekend, which is when this tournament is played. Faced with the choice of walking five miles over hills on 55 mph roads or skipping his favorite tournament, he chose to walk. I admire his pluck, but such a choice is the result of a complete failure on the part of our unelected public transit board, none of whom depend on the bus as their primary means of transportation.
Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen
Very soon, I'll have to get used to a new bus route. I've enjoyed the one I've used over the past 10 months, for the most part. Hopefully the new one will be just as good. The fact that the stop is only a couple hundred metres away is a good start ... and, of course, partly why we picked that particular house.
However, one issue is that the buses on the new route run a little bit less frequently ... so I'll have to make sure not to miss it!
And as an aside ... the model train show today was at the transport museum, so of course we strolled around the museum too. Mostly trains ... and of course, all out of service now ... I wish passenger trains would increase in popularity again.
Last edited by Machka; 08-23-14 at 08:41 AM.
I live in the land of SEPTA. The closest bus stop is over a mile away and not simple to get to, especially in winter. It does not run very early or late (9 pm is the last inbound trip from closest rail station), and on saturday the last trip is around 5 pm, no service sunday or holidays. Pretty useless unless you like waiting or not going at all. All of the rail lines run on about hourly schedules, with some gaps. A few more trains run in the "rush hour" peak times AM and PM. Service on rail lines has definitely gotten worse in the last 3 years, and a bus trip i used to use to get home from train on one specific trip is now cut far back and does notreach the train station, and the next bus after that is the last one of the night. Several trains have been cut back on the doylestown branch (i sometimes use SEPTA to go between newtown and doylestown). So, combining the cut back trains and the cut back bus, a 2 hour trip gets turned into a 4.5 hour trip, and that's if everything is running on time.
There is an unfunded bus route directly between newtown and doylestown that would actually run feet from my house, but i doubt it will ever actually see funding. It would cut that 3 hour one way trip (4.5 back if you miss that train) down to an hour at most. A 6 hour round trip into a 2 hour round trip not funded, yep, that's SEPTA.
I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.