Study Shows Better Data & Apps Improve Public Transit Usage... So Why Do So Many Transit Authorites Block Useful Apps?

from the questions-worth-asking dept

We've noted before the odd fact that various transit authorities around the globe have been trying to stop people from making useful transit apps, with things like schedules and whatnot. The argument from those transit authorities is incredibly short-sighted. It usually has something to do with claims about how the scheduling data is "proprietary" and the authority's "intellectual property." The key point, of course, is that they're hoping to make money licensing the data. But that's really short-sighted. As some new studies are showing, better apps and technology make it much easier and enjoyable for people to use public transit. In other words, by allowing people to use the data to make better apps, they could get a lot more long-term riders. You would think that would be the goal...

Filed Under: data, openness, transit data

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Apr 2011 @ 9:37am


    Not only that, but taxi cab abolition would increase safety. Workers who specialize in driving will do a better job, and they will drive more safely (since they get more driving experience), than individuals that only generalize in driving as a part of their life. Taxi cab companies have incentive to avoid hiring and to get rid of reckless drivers that speed or drive recklessly (ie: ones that get tickets for doing such). Individuals are more likely to do these things. Taxi cab drivers don't want to get fired (and they don't want a police giving them a ticket, which could also cost them their license or a temporary suspension of it and hence their jobs), they want to stay employable (don't want traffic tickets going on your record, looks bad when trying to get hired), and so they will make more of an effort to drive safely. If an individual who's not in the transportation business gets a ticket, it's not that big of a deal, because he doesn't have to answer to his boss about it since his boss probably doesn't care. If an individual loses his license or gets it temporarily suspended, he can find public or other transportation (pay a friend to give him a ride). If a taxi cab driver does so, that's his job. He wants to drive safely.

    Drunk driving would also be less of a problem. More people who plan to get drunk will take a taxi to the places where they plan to drink and back home (since taxi cabs will be far more ubiquitous and cheaper, as they are in other countries without such monopolies) and so a sober person will be driving. This makes things safer not only for the drunks, but for the sober people on the road who would otherwise be endangered by the drunks. Don't let politicians grandstand about "I want to reduce drunk driving fatalities". It's a lie that gives them an excuse to grandstand for political points. If they really wanted to reduce these things, they would abolish the taxi cab monopolies that they create. The only thing they truly care about is the plutocracy that they create, not about the safety and welfare of their citizens or the environment.

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