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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 03-10-14, 04:16 AM   #1
Roody
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Transit ridership at highest level since 1956

From USA Today:
Ridership on public transportation last year grew 1.1% to 10.7 billion trips, the highest total since 1956, according to new data from the American Public Transportation Association.

Since 1995, transit ridership is up 37.2%, which outpaced the national population growth of 20.3%, says Michael Melaniphy, APTA president and CEO.

The nation's trains, buses and commuter rail carried more trips last year than in 2008, when gas prices soared to $4-$5 per gallon and many were forced out of their cars by necessity. That year saw the highest ridership totals since 1957.
Even the mode share of public transit has gone up slightly, although that figure is well below what it was in 1956.

At the end of the article, they interview a carfree person who takes buses everywhere in Tampa, FL.
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Old 03-10-14, 12:15 PM   #2
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I like to ride buses, you meet all sorts. The only demographic that i find annoying is the adult that yells at the parent of a crying baby to "shut that kid up" like the parent has control of it. I still miss the fare-less square rides that Portland had downtown, but that's progress.
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Old 03-10-14, 01:29 PM   #3
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I like to ride buses, you meet all sorts. The only demographic that i find annoying is the adult that yells at the parent of a crying baby to "shut that kid up" like the parent has control of it. I still miss the fare-less square rides that Portland had downtown, but that's progress.
What are fareless square rides and why are they gone?
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Old 03-10-14, 02:51 PM   #4
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A long time ago Salem, OR had a section of the downtown area where you could ride the bus for free. It's pretty easy to walk all across Salem's downtown area, but not for everybody. I bet that's what Portland had, too.
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Old 03-10-14, 03:35 PM   #5
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Just think if the U.S. had a modern transport system.

Here's one photo that says everything:




Chinese bullet trains in yard.
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Old 03-10-14, 03:38 PM   #6
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Or if the political -economic forces didn't let it be destroyed in the first place ..
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Old 03-10-14, 03:44 PM   #7
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Portland offered a zone with in the the downtown corridor to ride for free with in it. The zone basically was a square that was between I-405 and the Willamette river as the East/West border. Then it sent from the edge of SW Portland, and extended to the edge of NW Portland. This type of zone was really beneficial for me in two ways. First as person that lived in that area in my twenties allowed me no real transportation cost, which subsidized my income of 5 bucks an hour. This type of subsidy allowed a low wage earner like myself; the ability to be independent as long as I lived to a budget, and no it would never make me a millionaire. The zone also supported the employee's of downtown to travel the width of the bus mall fairly easy, and in a timely manner. Which actually encouraged you to leave the building for a thirty minute lunch break. Add the benefits of visitors to the city, and balance that with the homeless and individuals on a fixed income a way to get around.

Here


The real issue is that as a city it offered an element that served all demographics equally, and increased the quality of life. Yes a service like this will cost money, but with consideration that Portland continues to subsidize narrowed interest projects, rose festival assc. (cough), which does not really serve everyone equally, but is a revenue generator. Go figure!
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Old 03-10-14, 06:00 PM   #8
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There is always talk of zero-fare bus service. One reason, as mentioned by timmythology, is that it opens up access to employment, education and health care for handicapped people and the poor. Another reason is that fare collection is time consuming and seriously slows down bus travel.

Unfortunately, people tend to have less respect for something that's free, so nuisance problems can rise when fares drop to zero.
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Old 03-10-14, 07:37 PM   #9
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Portland offered a zone with in the the downtown corridor to ride for free with in it. The zone basically was a square that was between I-405 and the Willamette river as the East/West border. Then it sent from the edge of SW Portland, and extended to the edge of NW Portland. This type of zone was really beneficial for me in two ways.!
The Staten Island rail line is similar to this. There are no fare boxes unless you're going to the ferry and the stop before. What people would do is get off the stop before the ferry and run to catch the boat which was also free.
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Old 03-10-14, 07:49 PM   #10
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From USA Today:
[INDENT][I]Ridership on public transportation last year grew 1.1% to 10.7 billion trips, the highest total since 1956, according to new data from the American Public Transportation Association.

Since 1995, transit ridership is up 37.2%, which outpaced the national population growth of 20.3%, says Michael Melaniphy, APTA president and CEO.
I heard about this on the radio and I'm not surprised. The price of gas is not creating this need for more transit but the lack of good paying jobs. It's really the young people in their teens and twenties who are not able to afford motor transport like in the past. The cost of living is just going through the roof and no one is talking about this. The auto manfacturers continue to make more expensive cars each year thinking the next generation will have the funds to lease a new vehicle. They could not be more wrong.

Although it may sound like good news, I consider it the pooring of America.

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Old 03-10-14, 08:07 PM   #11
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It's really the young people in their teens and twenties who are not able to afford motor transport like in the past.
I think there may also be a sea-change in attitudes. I suspect that many of the young when forced to choose between texting and driving are choosing texting and opting for public transit because it is less in conflict.
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Old 03-10-14, 08:40 PM   #12
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I'd be interested to see some numbers on the types of transit that have seen the largest increases.

My impression is that there's still stigma attached to taking the city bus; not so much with commuter rail, light rail, and other similar services. There's often a noticeable class difference in ridership, too.
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Old 03-10-14, 09:22 PM   #13
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Fare collection is time consuming and seriously slows down bus travel.
How are fares paid on American buses nowadays? If the driver has to deal with a lot riders paying cash, then I agree that fare collection can be time consuming, but there are more efficient ways of dealing with this.
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Old 03-10-14, 09:52 PM   #14
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The local bus has a drop box for cash. Alternatively you can hand the driver a ticket or show them a monthly pass and ID.

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Old 03-10-14, 10:58 PM   #15
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The local bus has a drop box for cash. Alternatively you can hand the driver a ticket or show them a monthly pass and ID.

M.
It's possible to pay cash here, but hardly anyone does because it's almost twice as expensive that way. Almost everyone has an electronic pass that you add money to at newsstands. Then, when you get on the bus, you just pass it over an electronic reader. This system is much faster as the driver rarely has to deal with collecting money or looking at passes.
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Old 03-10-14, 11:04 PM   #16
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Seattle uses a RFID card based system(or at least offers it. I don't remember a cash box of any sort when I was on their busses)
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Old 03-10-14, 11:05 PM   #17
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I like this system. However, cash payment was how it was in "the old days", and it seemed to work then. Perhaps we're all just super impatient?

Hong Kong does something similar, where it is called an Octopus Card. It is so ubiquitous you can actually buy goods with it.

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Old 03-10-14, 11:25 PM   #18
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How are fares paid on American buses nowadays? If the driver has to deal with a lot riders paying cash, then I agree that fare collection can be time consuming, but there are more efficient ways of dealing with this.
It varies, but I think most bus companies still accept cash. IMO, the problem with eliminating cash is that it becomes inconvenient for infrequent or casual riders to use the bus. I don't ride enough to make a 31 day pass cost effective. I buy 10 packs of tokens, which are more convenient and a 20% discount. A pre-loaded fare card would be ok, but I imagine the start-up costs for the bus company would be high.
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Old 03-10-14, 11:31 PM   #19
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I'd be interested to see some numbers on the types of transit that have seen the largest increases.

My impression is that there's still stigma attached to taking the city bus; not so much with commuter rail, light rail, and other similar services. There's often a noticeable class difference in ridership, too.
http://www.apta.com/resources/statis...90-Present.xls
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Old 03-10-14, 11:56 PM   #20
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Seattle uses a RFID card based system(or at least offers it. I don't remember a cash box of any sort when I was on their busses)
When I was there last year I paid my bus fare with cash. It was interesting since I boarded near the Amtrak station where there is apparently a free area to ride in, so you pay your fare when you exit. On the way back, you pay to get on. I really enjoyed the underground portion of the system. All the cars were gridlocked somewhere above us as we cruised along to our destination.
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Old 03-11-14, 12:29 AM   #21
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From USA Today:
Ridership on public transportation last year grew 1.1% to 10.7 billion trips, the highest total since 1956, according to new data from the American Public Transportation Association.

Since 1995, transit ridership is up 37.2%, which outpaced the national population growth of 20.3%, says Michael Melaniphy, APTA president and CEO.

The nation's trains, buses and commuter rail carried more trips last year than in 2008, when gas prices soared to $4-$5 per gallon and many were forced out of their cars by necessity. That year saw the highest ridership totals since 1957.
Even the mode share of public transit has gone up slightly, although that figure is well below what it was in 1956.

At the end of the article, they interview a carfree person who takes buses everywhere in Tampa, FL.
I read about this in the Seattle Times today, and it was interesting and encouraging. The reader comments, though, were equally interesting, though for other reasons. Apparently, self-deception and poor math skills are both thriving in this country. A large percentage of the commenters called for an end to public subsidies for public transit; those bus-riding scofflaws should finally pay their own way. I continue to be amazed at the huge public subsidies paid for car infrastructure in this country, and how blind drivers are to the fact that they're possibly the most expensive and heavily subsidized travelers in world history.
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Old 03-11-14, 04:18 AM   #22
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How are fares paid on American buses nowadays? If the driver has to deal with a lot riders paying cash, then I agree that fare collection can be time consuming, but there are more efficient ways of dealing with this.
This is how the fare box on Tulsa's buses work- How to use the farebox : Tulsa Transit

I will tell you from experience that both the paper currency and the Fare Card Slot start acting up when it rains- those rubber wheels start slipping. The most reliable method is to use tokens, but I found using a 31 day unlimited ride pass more convenient than keeping track of tokens.

I think it would be cool to go to some RFID or NFC readers, but I don't know how durable those readers are. Even if they did, there should still be a cash option as a back-up or for the infrequent riders.
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Old 03-11-14, 04:32 AM   #23
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[QUOTE=My impression is that there's still stigma attached to taking the city bus; not so much with commuter rail, light rail, and other similar services. There's often a noticeable class difference in ridership, too.[/QUOTE]

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I'd be interested to see some numbers on the types of transit that have seen the largest increases.

My impression is that there's still stigma attached to taking the city bus; not so much with commuter rail, light rail, and other similar services. There's often a noticeable class difference in ridership, too.
Is it to early to say that if stigma is still attached to demographic groups, based on stereotypes, that America has not changed very much. I would like to know from which lbs I can purchase a ring of patience. The ring of patience would allow anything in a 25 ft area around me to be patience, and appreciate the ability to be second.

Trimet will take cash, card, ticket, pass and has a pay app on smart phones. Now days the ticket is automated, once the driver selects the fair.
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Old 03-11-14, 06:25 AM   #24
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Just found this in the local news for Portland, KGW Channel 8 , I have worked nights taking the train home, its not that unsafe, but I am also a very aggressive individual which will affect this situation.
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Old 03-11-14, 08:18 AM   #25
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This is how the fare box on Tulsa's buses work- How to use the farebox : Tulsa Transit

I will tell you from experience that both the paper currency and the Fare Card Slot start acting up when it rains- those rubber wheels start slipping. The most reliable method is to use tokens, but I found using a 31 day unlimited ride pass more convenient than keeping track of tokens.

I think it would be cool to go to some RFID or NFC readers, but I don't know how durable those readers are. Even if they did, there should still be a cash option as a back-up or for the infrequent riders.
Our system is different. Instead of a slot, you pass your card over an electronic eye, which automatically deducts the fare from your card or lets you board for free if you are transferring. I've yet to see it fail, but I usually cycle, walk or use the train, so I'm not on the bus that often.
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