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Thread: Issues facing public transit agencies

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Issues facing public transit agencies

    What are the biggest challenges facing mass transit agencies in the near future. I would like to write my graduate project on explores some of these problems and the solutions that have been offered to solve them.
    One issue that I think is critical is dealing with employee pensions. What are some others.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Flying Monkeys's avatar
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    Persuading people to use the transit facilities (still number one problem).
    What’s in a name? – Your reputation….:)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Getting enough funding to maintain their carriers in good condition, instead of 'loser cruiser' condition.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian safege's avatar
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    Automated transit
    Better swipe card readers
    Slow speed
    Traffic in general
    Small vans used for small routes that seem to have no suspension (ouch!)
    Psychotics are consistently inconsistent. The essence of sanity is to be inconsistently inconsistent.
    -Larry Wall

  5. #5
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Overcoming the spatial mismatch between where the poor reside and where the jobs are.

    Serving the older population.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  6. #6
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Cost of employee benefits - pensions, insurance, etc

    Exploding capital costs for worthwhile rail projects

    Exploding capital costs for wasteful rail projects (which takes money from the worthwhile)

    Convincing people that a 50 person transit vehicle deserves priority over a one person vehicle

    Land use laws - the biggest challenge - if we're not allowing/encouraging/forcing the building of neighborhoods and developments friendly to transit, transit is doomed to continue languishing.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    In our area, the age of the bus fleet is soon to become a major issue.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    METRO is facing a $100 million shortfall even with an increase in riders. That and the 4 wrongful death lawsuits pnding against the system.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  9. #9
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    Like others have mentioned, making mass transit cool , even if you aren't elderly, disabled or unable to afford a car. And the way the need to transport the elderly is going to become a major issue, with the aging baby boomers. I think balancing those two issues is an issue in and of itself.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    In Denver?
    handling the balloning of construction materials costs (concrete and copper)
    maintaining public support for expansion.
    the independance institute (libertatian think tank & advocates)
    - nothing like longterm active poltical opposition to make things harder.

  11. #11
    Member
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    Monobeam

    The OP might want to check out this fairly informative blog over at blogspot - trick-transit-glorious.blogspot.net

    This fellow is a retired NASA engineer who been working on this variant of the monorail. It consists of a single beam which allows for two-way traffic, as well are full switching capabilities (something difficult and expensive to employ on a standard monorail loop).

    Furthermore, this fellow claims that this thing can have an exceptionally small footprint as well doing full turns at intersections, allow installation easily along city streets. If these claims are accurate, this type of system likely would go very far towards alleviating traffic-load, as many more passengers could be handled more efficiently than standard subways or elevated monorails.

    I'm no transit engineer though, so I figured the master's student would be better suited to judge the system.

    He also mentions in one of his essays that China and India will add over 1 BILLION cars over the next 40 years. Is this actually true?

    -CaptainOogy

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by CaptainOogy View post
    He also mentions in one of his essays that China and India will add over 1 BILLION cars over the next 40 years. Is this actually true?

    -CaptainOogy
    I don't recall the exact numbers, but that figure looks about right, and possibly a bit conservative.

  13. #13
    Member
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    Quote Originally posted by JusticeZero View post
    I don't recall the exact numbers, but that figure looks about right, and possibly a bit conservative.
    Yeah, I looked around, and it seems to be the moderate estimate. It's one of those facts that sounds almost ludicrous, but when you look at the numbers actually comes across as probably too small.

    -CaptainOogy

  14. #14
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    In Maryland, the transit agency is owned and operated by the State. The problems begin when there is a change in State administration who could give a rat's a$$ about public transportation in Baltimore City.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    Issue #1) Politics, particularly changes in administrations (such as when voters approve a new governor, or someone else). They can wind up canceling projects, producing new projects, requiring more studies for projects, or providing varying levels of funding (anywhere from inadequate to a glut of money, depending on the location, the time period, election results, desires of politicians and bureaucrats, etc.)
    Issue #2) Funding, which is related to #1 and is always a challenge. Transit is typically public because transit had become unable to make money in the private sector without providing inadequate service, so, of course, governments had to take them over.
    Issue #3) (In most metropolitan areas in the USA) grubbing for ridership; (in NYC and vicinity) grubbing for ridership AND accommodating ridership increases (NYC's metro area is the most transit-friendly in the USA, and growing pains in some parts have led to the need for new tunnels across the Hudson River and East River for new rail traffic). Los Angeles has built a new transit system but it is clearly inadequate for serving the Los Angeles metro area (it needs to be be more Nagoya-esque or at least New York-esque in order to attract people from cars).
    Issue #4) NIMBYism (which was a problem with highways, and is now a problem with railways) and costs of eminent domain (NIMBYism sometimes causes trouble when agencies attempt to take people's houses; also, NIMBYs protest about noise and other issues).
    Issue #5) Poor land-use and zoning regulations, related to ridership shortfalls.

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