Flutterby™! : Private alternatives to SF Muni

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Private alternatives to SF Muni

2010-07-16 17:22:57.041837+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Interesting little piece about how the Google, Genentech, UCSF and similar shuttle systems are replacing SF Muni:

“I don’t know,” says the other. “It’s like, you wait for Muni in the cold and then by the time the train comes, you’re like, “I’ve got to pay for this?”

[ related topics: Bay Area Space & Astronomy Machinery Trains Public Transportation ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2010-07-18 21:21:33.555127+00 by: Dan Lyke

The big disconnect onassis transit in the US seems to be that the users aren't the customers. Transit funding funnels down from the federal and state level, often in the guise of "affordable" and "helping the poor", which largely means that its customers are politicians who want to take the "helping the underprivileged" and "saving the environment" cards back to the most vocal "activists" in their voting block.

I think one of the reasons Gplden Gate Transit does somewhat better is that a good portion of their funding is directly tied to "fewer vehicles on Doyle Drive".

Effective transit is going to come from a "make the life of middle class folks better" customer base. Which is why the side effects of services doing that effectively are better than Muni.

Apologiesnfir misspellings and formatting, I seem to be discovering iPhone bugs.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-07-17 11:33:11.441564+00 by: meuon [edit history]

Something I like when travelling is using "mass transit", often a mini-bus. Fare for Nancy and I from one end of Dominica where we were snorkelling, on a "15 passenger van with 10-12 other people back to Ruseau was $2 US each including a tip. If he can make a living, driving a Toyota van, where gas prices are insane and the vehicle has a 100% import duty, then your $4.25 represents a number that can only represent the costs of a governmental entity doing business. ie: That bus-driver makes really good money with really good benefits. That bus had some insane bid specs, and gets really good maintenance. (I hope).

#Comment Re: made: 2010-07-16 22:11:50.573782+00 by: ebradway

Just actually read the article. Reminds me of a couple summers ago when gas popped over $4/gallon. The Denver RTD was overcrowded with customers. But get this - they had so much business that they had to reduce service! WTF!

Evidently, because of the subsidized pricing schema, they were losing money on every rider. Increasing the number of riders meant they were losing too much money. So they had to reduce service. That still doesn't make sense because the buses had to run anyway... But that's what we were told.

The other issue with public transportation is that almost every system treats their customers like they have no other choice. Rather than developing a system that encourages ridership, they just try to meet some kind of minimum usability standards.

We need to gentrify mass transit!

#Comment Re: made: 2010-07-16 22:05:41.430795+00 by: ebradway

As someone who uses public transportation a lot, I've always wondered why they don't just take the logical step of making it completely free? It's already largely subsidized. If it were free, I think many more people would ride. For me, it's basically free since I pay for a pass through my university fees. I don't have to dig out $4.25 (exact change only) for the ride home from Boulder.

I think if it were free, enough people would use public transportation that road maintenance costs would go down significantly. So the net would be a wash. Isn't this why GM bought the trolley systems and ripped up the rails - so people would have to buy their cars?