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National public transportation numbers at highest levels since 1956 (houston rises 3.4%)


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Americans are boarding public buses, trains and subways in greater numbers than any time since the suburbs began booming.

Nearly 10.7 billion trips in 2013, to be precise — the highest total since 1956, according to ridership data reported by transit systems nationally and released Monday by the American Public Transportation Association.
 

Houston, which has been more notable for its sprawl than its public transportation offerings, had a large ridership gain. So did Seattle, Miami, Denver and San Diego. The New York area's behemoth transit network saw the greatest gain, accounting for one in three trips nationally.

http://www.khou.com/news/local/Houston-among-top-cities-in-public-transportation-ridership-growth-249270451.html

 

 

Food for thought.

 

 

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Houston's numbers broken down by mode

Light rail - (0.22)%

Bus - +3.44%

Demand response - +5.62%

I believe that Demand response refers to Park and Ride, but it isn't directly stated as such.

http://www.apta.com/resources/statistics/Documents/2013-q4-ridership-APTA.pdf

 

Wouldn't Demand Response (DR) be referring to MetroLift?  I don't think APTA measures Park and Rides, at least not in this report. If they did, I'd assume the total volume would be much greater than 6,000 boardings (vehicle entries) per day.  That makes more sense as a MetroLift number to me.  

 

I could be wrong though. 

 

It's especially heartening to see some significant ridership growth in bus boardings.  As a bus rider, I can attest that my routes are becoming busier by the day.  People are starting to seek out transit alternatives, and that is a good thing. 

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Wouldn't Demand Response (DR) be referring to MetroLift?  I don't think APTA measures Park and Rides, at least not in this report. If they did, I'd assume the total volume would be much greater than 6,000 boardings (vehicle entries) per day.  That makes more sense as a MetroLift number to me.  

 

I could be wrong though.

 

I think you're right, the APTA defines demand response as "Non-fixed-route service utilizing vans or buses with passengers boarding and alighting at pre-arranged times at any location within the system's service area.

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As I noted on my blog, a few interesting things to note... 

 

1) Houston was the only major city in Texas to have an increase in ridership in 2013. Dallas, San Antonio and Austin all saw declines, while El Paso was basically flat.  

 

2) Houston's growth in bus ridership was second fastest in the nation.  Only Washington DC's bus usage grew at a faster rate.  

 

http://texasleftist.blogspot.com/2014/03/transit-ridership-is-houston.html 

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Has the effort to reshift metros focus from rail to the bus network again started yet? If so, looks like we're seeing positive results. If not, that's pretty cool that ridership increased that much without assistance.

No, the first new routes are going to start sometime this spring.

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This is irrelevant without knowing comparative numbers.

 

I mean, if ridership of metro rose 4% last year, but trips via cars increased by 10% that would kind of make the rise for metro a bit shallower.

 

 

Per the APTA press release, vehicle miles traveled increased by 0.3 percent, while public transit increased by 1.1 percent. 

 

http://www.apta.com/mediacenter/pressreleases/2014/Pages/140310_Ridership.aspx 

 

 

 

Edited by totheskies
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(For the Chicago Transit Authority, an average of 918,709 people ride the bus each day, while 759,087 take the city’s elevated trains and subways. For New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority, 5.5 million ride the subway on the average weekday, while 2.2 million ride the bus.Nationwide, there were 5.3 billion trips taken on buses in 2013 compared with 4.8 billion trips on rail, according to the American Public Transportation Association.)

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So you agree with congestion pricing, charging for parking, and raising car insurance premiums?

I posted an article that I thought was interesting. That does not mean that I agree with everything in the article. I think that congestion pricing is interesting, but don't have a firm opinion on it yet, because I really haven't studied the impacts. There's plenty of charging for parking that occurs and I'm not really a proponent of mandatory parking requirements, but I recognize that government has the right to impose those kind of regulations because of potential consequence. Car insurance premiums are already handled just fine by the market, there's no reason for interference.

To summarize, I have no problem with costs being fairly distributed, but I do have a problem with artificially setting prices to drive a desired behavior change. And no - the "costs of sprawl" should not be covered in the cost of cars.

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I posted an article that I thought was interesting. That does not mean that I agree with everything in the article. I think that congestion pricing is interesting, but don't have a firm opinion on it yet, because I really haven't studied the impacts. There's plenty of charging for parking that occurs and I'm not really a proponent of mandatory parking requirements, but I recognize that government has the right to impose those kind of regulations because of potential consequence. Car insurance premiums are already handled just fine by the market, there's no reason for interference.

To summarize, I have no problem with costs being fairly distributed, but I do have a problem with artificially setting prices to drive a desired behavior change. And no - the "costs of sprawl" should not be covered in the cost of cars.

If the behavior change clears congestion on the roads it's worthwhile. And yes the costs of sprawl should be covered in the cost of cars and everything associated with them.

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If the behavior change clears congestion on the roads it's worthwhile. And yes the costs of sprawl should be covered in the cost of cars and everything associated with them.

 

Cars don't drive sprawl. A desire to live in an affordable house in a nice neighborhood drives development outward. You may like living in a fifth floor cold water walkup, but the rest of us prefer single family homes with a yard and a garage for our stuff. Besides, other than the primary wage earner, I bet the vast majority of residents in the new areas seldom leave the 5 mile radius around their home, so they aren't really contributing to congestion.

 

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If the behavior change clears congestion on the roads it's worthwhile. And yes the costs of sprawl should be covered in the cost of cars and everything associated with them.

Actually, density drives congestion far worse than sprawl does. If you look at the list of cities with the worst congestion, it's the most dense ones that are suffering the worst.

Not saying that there aren't downsides to sprawl, but congestion is a result of having too many people, not sprawl.

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