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How can buses get better?

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How can buses get better?

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Old 04-17-19, 05:40 AM
  #1  
tandempower
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How can buses get better?

High-speed rail has been pursued as a way of popularizing medium/long-distance transit to relieve air-traffic. The expense and political problems with it, however, block it from taking off.


Bus transit holds so much potential, since it can utilize existing roads and highways, but its unglamorous image impedes its popularity.


Many innovations and advances in buses have been achieved, such as wifi, better seats, and upper decks with better views on some carriers.


But what else could make bus transit more popular, especially for longer distances.


some ideas:

1) self-driving systems for the highway portion of a trip: making a long-distance run requires drivers to stay overnight and/or return to point-of-origin as a passenger, which wastes time and money. Self-driving buses could go long distances without inconveniencing drivers, who would only need to bring the bus to and from highway exits.

2) bus trains: connecting multiple buses on the highway would save fuel. Autonomous control systems would make it safe to do.

3) refueling without stopping: it would be challenging to design a refueling system that could operate while the bus and fueling vehicles are moving next to each other at highway speed, but autonomous control and other safety systems could make it feasible, imo.


What other potential can you think of for bus transit for intercity travel? More leg room? Beds for sleeping? Private passenger compartments?
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Old 04-17-19, 06:09 AM
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Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
High-speed rail has been pursued as a way of popularizing medium/long-distance transit to relieve air-traffic. The expense and political problems with it, however, block it from taking off.

Bus transit holds so much potential, since it can utilize existing roads and highways, but its unglamorous image impedes its popularity.

Many innovations and advances in buses have been achieved, such as wifi, better seats, and upper decks with better views on some carriers.

But what else could make bus transit more popular, especially for longer distances...

What other potential can you think of for bus transit for intercity travel?...
This is not a reply to suggest improvements, but just year I have found a new appreciation for buses.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
"Emergency Winter Cycling Kit?"

I too ride on urban / suburban routes with similar measures, but early, before 6 AM. I envision going to an indoor ATM machine to fix a flat, so I carry a bank card too...

Since I have excellent Commuter Rail as an alternative commute, even on which to take my bike, I have frankly disdained busses, which are more accesible and frequent on my routes.

Last week I did take a bus with my bike, and was pleased with the service, and carrying capacity, so now that looks like a primary emergency measure...
Furthermore the mass transit (MBTA) website has a detailed schedule, by closely-spaced, individual stops, for my 10 mile segment traversed by bus, between directly in front of my workplace, to a subway stop that delivers me within a mile of home.

So I can conveniently pick up the bus at any point, Bikes are allowed on that subway line during non peak hours, convenient for me as a reverse, non-peak commuter.
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Old 04-17-19, 09:22 AM
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wipekitty
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I used to take a regional commuter bus between Denver and Boulder, and also occasionally to the Denver airport. Interestingly, the demographics of the regional buses were more like that of the trains - professionals, students, people going to work normal jobs, and people visiting one city or the other for recreation and nightlife.

For me, it was pretty simple: the bus was easier than driving (traffic), took about the same amount of time (express routes required fewer stops), substantially cheaper (parking at my job would have cost ~$15/day), and easy (frequent routes, long hours, accommodations for luggage and bicycles).

Public transit in my current town does not have any of those features. There is no traffic, taking the bus takes longer than driving or riding a bike, parking is free everywhere and the bus costs money, and the bus does not run frequently or on weekend evenings.

In short: if taking the bus results in substantial savings of time, money, or stress, people will take it. Where I currently live, the bus lengthens travel time, increases stress (short hours and infrequent scheduling), and costs more than parking a car; so, people do not take it except out of necessity.
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Old 04-17-19, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
In short: if taking the bus results in substantial savings of time, money, or stress, people will take it.
The same criteria are applicable for choosing/"taking" ALL types of transportation modes by almost everybody.

There may be an exception for the relative handful who are obsessed with some sort of ideological compulsion to ignore the obvious criteria for making transportation choices.
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Old 04-17-19, 10:40 AM
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With smaller driverless buses, pooling software can match people to routes that get them point to point - where each point closer to desired start/stop terminals. The start/stop terminals wouldn't be limited to preexisting bus stations, they'll be wherever they're needed.

And of course comfortable computer-work seating, full electrictrical charging services, and room for bikes (and recharging for those damn e-bikes ).
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