Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Transit developments post-pandemic

Transit has been devastated by the pandemic, first because people didn't want to be in contained spaces -- although it turns out that transit riding hasn't been associated with catching the virus, and second because closure of offices and schools dropped demand for riding precipitously.

If more people telework, transit demand is going to experience a sustained dropped, which hurts not just financially, but also in terms of the promotion of compact development. 

1.  Reduced fares.  WMATA, operator of Metrorail and Metrobus in the DC metropolitan area, has some of the highest transit fares in the United States.  The Board is considering price reductions as one initiative in getting ridership back ("A $2 Flat Metro Fare? It Could Happen (Temporarily)," Washingtonian Magazine).

2.  Free transit.  DASH, the intra-Alexandria bus service in Northern Virginia, has announced that effective in September, they will shift to free transit ("Alexandria mayor proposes free DASH bus service for all," WTOP radio).  This follows a reorganization of their bus transit network a couple years ago as part of the update of their transit plan, called the Transit Development Vision, which is being rolled out year by year.

Discussion on free transit:

-- "Revisiting free transit in the wake of the decision in Kansas City ... and Lawrence, Massachusetts," 2019

Luxembourg introduced free transit, including cross-border transit, in 2020, as a transportation demand management measure ("Luxembourg makes all public transport free," CNN).  It happens Luxembourg City has great design for their buses ("Exemplary bus livery design: Multiplicity, Luxembourg").

3.  Overnight tertiary transit service: Philadelphia.  SEPTA, the transit authority in Greater Philadelphia, is creating an access to jobs free transit service in Lower Bucks County, for residents of the City of Philadelphia specifically ("SEPTA launching app for free on-demand rides," Metro).  

What makes the service especially interesting us that it runs overnight, from 10:30pm to 6am, when regular bus services stop operating, and take people to transit stops for routes that run 24 hours.

This service is an example of what I call services within the tertiary transit subnetwork.  There are many such examples.  Basically they are intra-district transit services, and often on the edges of transit systems.

-- "Intra-neighborhood (tertiary) transit revisited because of new San Diego service," 2016
-- "A thought about an intra-district transit network for Tysons," 2020
-- "Why microtransit isn't likely to be a source of great profits for private firms: labor," 2019 

4.  Tertiary transit service in Rochester in association with a focus on frequent routes: Rochester, NY.  And RTS, the transit agency in Rochester, New York, is introducing a more frequent service on the most heavily used routes, using resources (buses and drivers) freed up by dropping service on least used routes.  

They are replacing fixed route bus service with an on demand service ("Big changes coming to RTS bus system, including 'on-demand' services," WHAM-TV).  From the article:

More buses will be reassigned to cover the most frequently-used routes, mostly within city limits. 

 “Ten of them are going to run every fifteen minutes from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.," said Carpenter. "The others will run every 30 minutes.” 

 In order to do that, lesser-used routes in places like Webster, Greece and Henrietta have been cut. That's where the new "on-demand" shuttle will come in handy. By using an app or calling a hotline number, commuters can request the shuttle to pick them up. It will then either bring them to their destination or to a bus route.

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At 11:04 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Sacramento Bee: Transit services are getting easier to use in the Sacramento region. Here’s why.

At 9:32 AM, Blogger bes unn said...

Nice post. I used to be checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely useful info particularly the ultimate section 🙂 I take care of such information a lot. I was seeking this certain information for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.
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At 7:12 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

BART cutting fares in half as a promotion.

The Mercury News: BART’s latest move to bring back riders: Half-price fares.

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

After showing its worth during pandemic, momentum builds for free or reduced-fare transit - Washington Post


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