Thursday, January 16, 2014

Buses, heavy rail, light rail

What is the best way to improve public transit in your town?

Superimposing rail on top of sprawl can be very divisive. Rail is fixed, meaning there are winners and losers. There is a big difference between heavy and light rail. Light rail can be good when the bus lines are already saturated with riders. Heavy rail (subways,commuters) can only be justified in extreme density. Subways send people underground to make room for cars above, and commuter rail prolongs the life of sprawl.

Why start at the top with capital-intensive projects? First make the buses fare-free. Then as the riding patterns develop, you will see where you need light rail, and, in extreme cases, heavy rail. When the buses are busy, rail will not be controversial.

Why is this obvious pattern not followed? That's right, because government is filled with people who are subservient to oil, auto, and sprawl profiteering. They want public transit to suck.

Solution? Start or join a free-transit campaign in your town.

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