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Andrew
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Henry Porter: "In the history of America, there has never been an instance where a transit rider has subsidized a driver." Pardon? I live in New York City. Like most of my fellow New York City residents, I don't own a car. Virtually all of my travel around the city outside of walking distance is by transit - usually subway, occasionally bus. Yet the streets that a minority of my neighbors drive on are maintained by the taxes that I pay. The space taken up by those streets - some of the most valuable space in the world - is given away for free to those who opt to drive. If I don't have enough space for all of my personal property in my apartment, I have to pay to rent a storage locker - but twenty drivers are currently storing their personal property on my block, simply because that personal property happens to be a car. I am a transit rider. I subsidize a heck of a lot of drivers. And I am not unique.
Toggle Commented May 21, 2013 on the driving boom is over at Human Transit
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Alan: Here's how the NYPD feels about bus lanes: http://www.streetsblog.org/2008/09/26/eyes-on-the-street-words-fail/ http://www.streetsblog.org/2008/11/10/eyes-on-the-street-nypd-continues-to-mistake-bus-lane-for-parking/ http://www.streetsblog.org/2009/07/09/eyes-on-the-street-nypd-shows-bus-lane-scofflaws-how-its-done/
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But transit in New York already has very high mode share. The goal of the SBS project is to improve service on bus lines that are already very busy, primarily benefiting existing riders and attracting riders from other transit lines. SBS uses some but not all elements typical of BRT. An all-or-nothing approach would have yielded nothing - the space constraints and political constraints in New York are very real. SBS is far from perfect, but it's so vastly superior to what preceded it that I'll gladly take it. Also, bear in mind that the project on 1st and 2nd Avenues isn't finished yet: construction of the permanent bus lane configuration only started recently, and I don't think signal priority is in effect yet. Off-board fare payment, which by itself helps a lot, began in 2010, and along with it came the SBS name so that riders would know how to pay the fare. But it's not a finished product yet.
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Bravo!
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Jul 23, 2012