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It's interesting that on recent trips to Germany (one of the "homes" of PoP, it being pretty much universal on light rail and metros there) the use of PoP on buses seems to be in decline. Several systems I saw operate buses with PoP only until 8 p.m., then front-door boarding only thereafter. Stuttgart appeared to have recently removed PoP on buses altogether. One major difference with North America is that most transit lines in Germany that have the demand to support rail have rail, unlike in North America where there are some very heavy bus routes that are operationally compromised by front-door fare collection. In Vancouver we have all door boarding on the ~55,000 rider/day 99 B-Line for this very reason. Another benefit of PoP is that entrusts fare enforcement with revenue protection/security staff who are better able to provide effective enforcement than the driver.
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I found Hess's article aggravating for a slightly different reason. She seems to imply that any effort to improve transit for whites (presumably equivalent to better off people) will come at the expense of worse service for non-whites (less well off people). Thus she seemed to be advocating that transit's role is (and should be) social welfare in its narrowest possible definition. This is obviously a very discouraging perspective for anyone who views transit in a more holistic way - as a means of supporting land use and transportation patterns that are environmentally sound, efficient, equitable, and that deliver a higher overall quality of life. What is also sad is that Hess's opinions encourage divisive thoughts within the transit community, figuratively paving the way to victory for a more unified road lobby.
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Like Bellaire above in more than name, Bellevue Transit Center outside Seattle, WA is an urban exchange on a block with "reversed" bus traffic (and no autos.)
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Hurdman station in Ottawa is another
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One need only look at the ubiquity of 10-minute headways in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for support for this being a marker of truly quality services. One good rule of thumb from a retired civil engineering prof (JJ Bakker) was that the headway should be no longer than the journey time. For short trips you may be better off walking, in more ways than one.
Toggle Commented Dec 29, 2011 on how frequent is freedom? at Human Transit
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Dec 29, 2011