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Miles Bader
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I'll note that TypePad's use of Google / Twitter login is pretty scary. It asks for permission to do things like modify your profile, add followers, posts updates, etc. There is no good reason for it to do so, and reputable sites do not (typically all they require is to be able to see your identity). Is this something you can control, or is it a problem with TypePad itself? [I eventually managed to sign in using OpenID, but it took me a long time to figure out how to do this...]
Toggle Commented Nov 13, 2013 on meta: comments now require sign-in at Human Transit
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@Jack Stop spacing on the Boston Red Line is about 1–1½km. I used to ride it a lot, and it always struck me as a pretty good balance of speed / convenience. It's a nice line.
Toggle Commented Feb 4, 2012 on to save time is to lengthen life at Human Transit
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Well if reason.com's attacking you, it's a sure sign you must be doing something right! ~~
Toggle Commented Jan 30, 2012 on today's attack from reason.com at Human Transit
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BTW, another time when "massive redundancy" proves extremely useful is when something goes wrong—an accident that shuts down a line, inclement weather that's harsh enough to cause problems, disaster, etc. Having multiple viable routes to get home is very comforting when a massive snowstorm has shut down half the city...
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@Jarret ~ The problem is that simply because something is hard to measure, does not mean it's valid to simply ignore it. Such "transit scores" are used to affect public policy, and public policy needs to pay attention to all relevant issues, even if they're hard to measure. Because the general preference for rail is a real issue that needs to be considered by those making decisions about transit, if you popularize (in planning circles) some measure that omits it, what you've actually done is to simply assign such preference a value of "zero"—which is not only exactly the same sort of "assumption" you complain about, it's actually worse because it's not only obviously incorrect (clearly this preference is not zero), but it's adopted for reasons that are irrelevant to the actual goal of such measures. So if you object to the use of such estimates because they seem somewhat arbitrary, the proper thing to do is try and come up with a more concrete basis and improve the estimates, not to simply ignore them.
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Hmm, since people usually seem to like rail better, even compared to "equivalent" bus service, it would make sense to prefer it when all else is equal. Details do matter, as do public impressions. Maybe it's crude to lump such things under a single "bus vs. rail" tag, but it's hardly the worst simplifying assumption being made... [As to why they like it better, I dunno... I presume most people aren't thinking about technical advantages like maintenance costs, etc, but rail has the reputation as being smoother, more comfortable, faster, less down-market, more "permanent", more reliable etc. Of course not all rail systems will in fact have all these advantages (though they'll probably have a few of them), but I suspect given very similar bus and rail systems many people will associate the bus with the rather poor reputation of typical city buses, and the train with significantly better heavy rail systems...]
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A little nit; your article says: "At the opposite extreme, a fully loaded rapid transit train may carry over 1000 passengers an hour with a single driver. A highly performing bus line can hit 100 passengers per hour in a very dense market." I presume the bus line figure is "with a single driver" as well—presumably both train and bus can carry far, far, more passengers per hour once you factor in more frequent service allowed by multiple trains/buses. [These figures seem a bit on the low side, even for a single driver... a single crush-loaded train can carry upwards of 3000 passengers, after all...]
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Dec 6, 2011