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Thread: Rapid transit around the world

  1. #1
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    Rapid transit around the world

    My favorite aspect of a city is it's infrastructure and it's rapid transit system (subway & bus). It would be wonderful for all US cities to utilize there transport systems or implement them the way the city of NY has. I know that NY and other global metropolises like it are rare; high densities, large populations etc, but how can we shift American "car culture" into a more well balanced mix of rapid transit usage and minimal car driving?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Take a look at what’s happening in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area:

    Regional Transportation Plan: http://www.metrolinx.com/thebigmove/en/default.aspx

    Master plan for one of the lines: http://hurontario-main.ca/masterplan.html

    The key is to have a regional-level transportation authority with the power to oversee and pay for a regional transit network. Nothing of this scale would be possible if it was left up to the local municipalities.

  3. #3
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    You are absolutely rite, I completely agree with you. Its a shame most transit agencies are not profitable, the majority of them break even but there is normally no money for further advancement. Some how and some day, America will be a more transit oriented country. At least in major metropolitan areas.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Much of the funding we use for mass transportation comes from automobile related taxes. These are set-up to be user fees to support transportation as a whole. To shift from the car to mass transit is darned near impossible under these conditions as you would be starving the funding used to develop and maintain mass transit with each car you take off the road.

    An examination is needed in how we fund transportation in this country and steps must be taken to rectify this. THis is especially true today as with higher gas prices people are buying less gas, and switching to more fuel efficient vehicles. The introduction of new technologies certainly does not help this cause as CNG, and electric cars pay nothing for the privelidge for using the infastructure.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Adding transit is possible in a city or city-region that is growing. Funds that would otherwise be spent on increasing the road capacity (more lanes, more highways) can be diverted to transit, which means you can move more people more efficiently. On a micro-level there will always be a competition between cars and transit, and the “winner” will be whichever network can get a person from their current location to their destination faster (or more correctly, cheaper if time is given a value). On a macro scale this will almost always result in highway congestion. Once the highways get so congested that it takes people longer to get to their destination by car than by transit - only then will people switch to transit. A growing city can either: build more and more roads (which requires sprawl); build transit (which requires walkable higher-density neighbourhoods); or, stop growing.

    Adding transit to a stable or shrinking city is a lot more difficult because the road network is already there, so adding transit will take cars off the road which makes driving by car more attractive (e.g. quicker) which means there is less incentive to take transit. The only way to make add transit to a stable or shrinking city would be to close down roads and purposefully create congestion, which isn’t going to happen.

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