Seattle Ranked #1 for Transit

Discussion in 'Commuter Rail and Rail Transit Discussion' started by Maglev, Sep 10, 2019 at 6:55 PM.

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  1. Sep 10, 2019 at 6:55 PM #1

    Maglev

    Maglev

    Maglev

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  2. Sep 10, 2019 at 9:04 PM #2

    bratkinson

    bratkinson

    bratkinson

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    "In overall categories, Seattle ranked 7th in Accessibility and Convenience, 6th in Safety and Reliability and 3rd in Public Transit Resources. But combine all the scores and Seattle was No. 1."

    When they can selectively pick and choose what measurements to use and report on, the results are automatically skewed.

    Consider a few factors NOT included:
    1. Number of transit routes
    2. Number of transit route miles
    3. Some kind of 'availability' calculation relating to weekday inbound seats vs population area served (ie, 1 inbound seat per 10 adult county residents)
    4. Percentage of standees of total passengers
    5. Commuter park-and-ride spaces per adult county resident (ease of finding a parking space)
    6. Percentage of rolling stock cars less than 5/10/15/20/more years old (pleasant to ride)
    7. And of course, average weekday passenger miles vs population served (1 passenger mile per 10/25/100 residents...ie what population percentage USES transit)

    Those are just a few that pop into my head.

    The supposed ranking reminds me of when I did a computer conversion project for the City of Detroit Police Department in 1974. One of the groups of programs was 'crime statistics reporting'. I laughed loudly when Mayor Coleman Young announced on TV that in the past 90 days, attempted rape had decreased by a big percentage, as had attempted murder. What he DIDN'T say was that -successful- rape and murder had gone UP in the same period! His report made it look like Detroit was on its way to becoming a 'nice place to live'.

    The ranking reminds me, too, of a belief of Hitlers' head propaganda person (as best as I can remember what I read years ago) "If you repeat a big enough lie long enough and emphatically enough, it becomes a truth". Todays' version is called 'fake news'.
     
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  3. Sep 10, 2019 at 10:13 PM #3

    Willbridge

    Willbridge

    Willbridge

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    These sorts of comparisons drive transit planners crazy. It's hard to get rid of "apples vs. oranges" statistics.

    Edmonton Transit changed its numbering system so that branching routes were numbered separately (more common in Europe). A newspaper columnist then "exposed" the percentage increase in number of routes to prove that the bus service was irresponsibly expanding and leading to bigger deficits. Actually it was expanding because the city was expanding.

    On another memorable day in the office, a lengthy diatribe arrived from a man who had recently moved to Edmonton from Winnipeg and he wanted us to know how sparse our service was in comparison to the Manitoba metropolis. From the info he provided, we figured out that he had lived on the bundle of services that formed a trunk route to the University of Manitoba and now he lived in a nice residential area of Edmonton with a basic service.

    That night, at a public meeting where some neighbours were very critical of a proposed change, one of them stood up and said that though he disagreed with our proposal he wanted us to know that he had recently moved from Winnipeg to Edmonton and that Edmonton Transit was by far superior to the Winnipeg system!
     
  4. Sep 11, 2019 at 12:59 AM #4

    MARC Rider

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    A metric I once saw on an urban planning/transit blog was that a suitable transit system should have complete coverage of the metro area and service with at 15 minute headways or less from 5 AM to, say 9 or 10 PM.
     
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  5. Sep 15, 2019 at 4:24 PM #5

    Pere Flyer

    Pere Flyer

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    Sounds about right. Most transit systems in the U.S. fall far short of providing their public with functional mobility freedom. Unfortunately, lack of funding and inefficient urban planning (winding, circuitous residential roads versus straight arterials) often tie the hands of local transit planners.
    As an example, I live near what the local transit agency calls a “frequent bus route.” On weekdays, that means 20 min headways 5 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m., and 40 min headways the rest of the operating hours. If you have to plan around the timetable to get where you’re going, that’s not frequent service.
     

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