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While this map is leagues better than what we used to have, it's more than a bit amusing to see RapidRide be given such prominence. On the map, it stands out even more than the light rail. However, the light rail runs every 10 minutes all day, is fully grade-separated, and generally offers a very high quality of service. There are a number of buses which offer similar frequency, including the 3/4 (to Harborview), 7, and 36, but *not* including RapidRide. But from looking at the map, you wouldn't know it. Oran Viriyincy has been working on creating Seattle frequent transit maps for quite a while, as a hobby project and/or part of his graduate study. Here's his latest work: I think this map is quite a bit better than the ones Metro puts out. Most notably, it's clear from the map that Link is the highest-quality service on offer. But also, I think that it's much easier to see the frequent corridors on Oran's map -- whereas in the official ones, the frequent routes are barely more visible than the infrequent ones.
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I’m not implying that the others are unimportant, only that the first of these – improving access by improving mobility – is transit’s primary job, just as firefighting is the fire company’s primary job. I think that this is the most important sentence in your post. The analogy is crystal-clear. It's obvious to anyone that the best fire departments are the ones that can most quickly put out fires. But it's equally obvious that, given the choice, you'd always rather have fewer fires. Of course, the analogy isn't perfect. Some people would prefer to have a 10-minute commute to a 0-minute commute, and some people ride trains (or drive cars, for that matter) just for fun. But as a first approximation, I think it's fair to say that, holding everything else constant, less travel time is better.
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@TransitPlannerMunich: If this was a map of 10-minute service, there would only be seven lines on the map. Anything less than 10, and the map would be blank. (Seattle does have more frequent service at rush-hour, but no midday service has a shorter headway than 10 minutes.)
Toggle Commented Jan 20, 2011 on seattle: a new frequent network map at Human Transit
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@CroMagnon: The problem is not that roads are subsidized. Like you said, they're a public good that we all benefit from. The problem is that many people refuse to accept that these subsidies exist, and so money is often spent on roads even when it would be better spent on transit.
Toggle Commented Jan 6, 2011 on do roads pay for themselves? at Human Transit
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Jan 1, 2011