DailyDirt: Can Public Transportation Ever Make Everyone Happy?
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Public transportation is a tough problem — collecting taxes to build out expensive infrastructure is always going to be a touchy political battle. Inevitably, there will be some people who won’t see the benefits and others who will, disproportionately. Creating some hybrid of public and private transportation seems like the future (as well as the lesser-known past). Here are just a few links on getting around without your own personal vehicle.
- New York City has an unofficial system of private buses/vans/shuttles that fill the gaps in the Big Apple’s bus and subway system. The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission supposedly regulates this type of commerce, but the number of illegal shuttles operating in the city far outnumbers the officially-issued licenses. [url]
- Florida East Coast Industries (FECI) is developing a private railroad for passengers. The All Aboard Florida project is starting construction now, proudly stating that it is doing so with zero dollars of taxpayer funding. [url]
- Elon Musk wasn’t a fan of the high speed rail project in California, so he proposed his own Hyperloop concept. If you haven’t heard about this whitepaper, you must have been in a coma…. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
Filed Under: buses, elon musk, feci, high speed rail, hyperloop, railroads, taxi, transportation
Comments on “DailyDirt: Can Public Transportation Ever Make Everyone Happy?”
A lot of the ones from the lesser-known past, you don’t want back.
For urban environments speed isn’t necessarily the main issue concerning public transportation but rather network reach and congestion which are resolved with proper planning. The problem is that it’s more expensive and harder to expand the network on fully settled urban spaces nowadays.
As for long distance transportation speed and integration with local networks become important factors.
At least in my country the problem is a mix of bad planning and lack of resources (or “lack” of resources in some places). I’d guess it’s not that different around the world so most places that actually have a good network were lucky enough older generations got the job done.
Re: There will always be niche customers.
Regardless of how good your mass transit system is, someone is always going to be in more of a hurry than you and they may even have plenty of money to spend on the “problem”.
I find public transportation useful, but never pleasant. You sacrifice a lot of intangibles when you use it. You give up any shred of privacy. You are completely at the mercy of an oft-inscrutable schedule (at least in the USA). You are exposed to all sorts of unpleasantness (dirty stations, drunk passengers, pickpockets and thieves, etc.) What you get in return may be worth it, but it’s still not without cost.
If you could find a way to give people a bit of privacy and a lot more cleanliness, I think you’d find a lot more people willing to ride.
Where I live
We have a public transit system that is often cited as one of the best in the nation. And it totally sucks. It’s expensive, you’re under constant surveillance, and it’s inconvenient. That’s why I don’t use it.
We have good public transportation in Holland. It just requires some money. Of course it is better in areas with a denser population, but you can still reach most remote locations in the country in a few hours by bus. Like healthcare, education, etc., it is considered a minimum requirement for the state to give to those who need it. Additionally, it is better for the environment if you get people to take the train rather than go by car. And it makes the cities less ugly if there are fewer parked cars everywhere.