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transit and the single rider

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  • Steve Geller
    ... This is another of the popular reasons why people avoid riding transit if they have any choice. We just don t like to sit close to strangers. It s not
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 12, 2004
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      >Oddly enough I've just come across this site :- ADVANCED TRANSPORT
      >GROUP Transport for the Future NEW! Advanced Transport Systems'
      >Website. They happen to be based in my city, Bristol. see
      >http://www.aer.bris.ac.uk/atg/ultra.html
      >Seems to be basically a monorail or urban light rail concept but
      >with car-sized cabins rather than multi-person compartments. A big
      >selling point they claim is that 'No-one is required to travel with
      >another passenger.... '.

      This is another of the popular reasons why people avoid riding transit
      if they have any choice. We just don't like to sit close to strangers.
      It's not "pandering" to accomodate this; city people don't live
      in large vilage-like groups.

      There's a vehicle similar to the ULTRA being developed in
      the San Francisco area. It's called the Cybertran, with about 20
      people per car. It too will operate like a self-service elevator/lift.
      One pushes a button for the destination and software
      decides where the intermediate stop will happen.
      It's a very good idea.

      Some of the transit vehicles in San Francisco have single seats
      in a few places. The commuter train going south has single seats
      in the upper level.

      I wonder if transit would get a whole lot more popular if most of the
      seats were singles?
    • T. J. Binkley
      ... I m always baffled when I hear comments like this. Those who don t like to sit next to strangers would do themselves a tremendous service to get out of
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 12, 2004
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        >This is another of the popular reasons why people avoid riding transit
        >if they have any choice. We just don't like to sit close to strangers.
        >It's not "pandering" to accomodate this; city people don't live
        >in large vilage-like groups.
        >
        >...I wonder if transit would get a whole lot more popular if most of the
        >seats were singles?

        I'm always baffled when I hear comments like this. Those who "don't like
        to sit next to strangers" would do themselves a tremendous service to get
        out of their comfort zones and rub shoulders with the "other" once in a
        while. After experiencing this sort of thing for a while, many people
        choose it.

        Reading a book on an empty train car is a delightful experience, but a car
        full of people is usually much more interesting. Those who like to "people
        watch" from a distance are shortchanging themselves.

        -TJB
      • Steve Geller
        ... I ride buses a lot, but I can t say I choose being close to strangers. I just put up with it as part of bus riding. The aversion to strangers is very
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 13, 2004
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          > >...I wonder if transit would get a whole lot more popular if most of the
          > >seats were singles?
          >
          >I'm always baffled when I hear comments like this. Those who "don't like
          >to sit next to strangers" would do themselves a tremendous service to get
          >out of their comfort zones and rub shoulders with the "other" once in a
          >while. After experiencing this sort of thing for a while, many people
          >choose it.

          I ride buses a lot, but I can't say I "choose" being close to strangers.
          I just put up with it as part of bus riding.

          The aversion to strangers is very real. You must have seen people who
          will sit in the outer of a pair of seats, making it difficult for
          someone to get into the other seat.

          I do enjoy "people watching". It's one of the big upsides
          of transit riding.
        • Doug Salzmann
          ... Amen. Ditto, etc. I think the stranger avoidance tendency is a behavior based upon learned attitudes and expectations ( people you don t know are
          Message 4 of 14 , Jul 13, 2004
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            On Mon, 12 Jul 2004, T. J. Binkley wrote:

            >
            > >This is another of the popular reasons why people avoid riding transit
            > >if they have any choice. We just don't like to sit close to strangers.
            > >It's not "pandering" to accomodate this; city people don't live
            > >in large vilage-like groups.
            > >
            > >...I wonder if transit would get a whole lot more popular if most of the
            > >seats were singles?
            >
            > I'm always baffled when I hear comments like this. Those who "don't like
            > to sit next to strangers" would do themselves a tremendous service to get
            > out of their comfort zones and rub shoulders with the "other" once in a
            > while. After experiencing this sort of thing for a while, many people
            > choose it.

            Amen. Ditto, etc.

            I think the "stranger avoidance" tendency is a behavior based upon
            learned attitudes and expectations ("people you don't know are
            dangerous"). It had better be -- six-headed-for-ten billion humans
            are not gonna be able to live in private bubbles.


            -Doug



            ---
            Doug Salzmann
            Kalliergo
            Post Office Box 307
            Corte Madera, CA 94976 USA

            <doug@...>
          • gregb88@comcast.net
            ... But aren t we always forced to encounter strangers anyhow? In supermarkets there s people behind you and in front you lined up for the cash register. In
            Message 5 of 14 , Jul 13, 2004
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              Doug Salzmann wrote:

              >On Mon, 12 Jul 2004, T. J. Binkley wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              >>>This is another of the popular reasons why people avoid riding transit
              >>>if they have any choice. We just don't like to sit close to strangers.
              >>>It's not "pandering" to accomodate this; city people don't live
              >>>in large vilage-like groups.
              >>>
              >>>...I wonder if transit would get a whole lot more popular if most of the
              >>>seats were singles?
              >>>
              >>>
              >>I'm always baffled when I hear comments like this. Those who "don't like
              >>to sit next to strangers" would do themselves a tremendous service to get
              >>out of their comfort zones and rub shoulders with the "other" once in a
              >>while. After experiencing this sort of thing for a while, many people
              >>choose it.
              >>
              But aren't we always forced to encounter strangers anyhow? In
              supermarkets there's people
              behind you and in front you lined up for the cash register. In classes
              at school and college, meetings at work, large social functions, it's
              likely you'll have to sit next to a stranger... Not to mention
              restaurants and bars....

              >>
              >>
              >
              >Amen. Ditto, etc.
              >
              >I think the "stranger avoidance" tendency is a behavior based upon
              >learned attitudes and expectations ("people you don't know are
              >dangerous"). It had better be -- six-headed-for-ten billion humans
              >are not gonna be able to live in private bubbles.
              >
              >
              > -Doug
              >
              >
              >
              >---
              > Doug Salzmann
              > Kalliergo
              > Post Office Box 307
              > Corte Madera, CA 94976 USA
              >
              > <doug@...>
              >
              >
              >
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              >
              >
            • Erik Rauch
              That cars are the most inefficient form of transport is hardly disputed, but what is seldom appreciated is how little driving it takes to bring the downsides
              Message 6 of 14 , Jul 13, 2004
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                That cars are the most inefficient form of transport is hardly disputed,
                but what is seldom appreciated is how little driving it takes to bring the
                downsides of car transport. The statistics on gasoline consumption per
                capita in different countries
                (http://swiss.csail.mit.edu/~rauch/misc/gas_gdp.html) are revealing in
                this regard.

                Hong Kong has the lowest per capita gas consumption among rich countries
                -- a factor of 25 lower than the U.S. Yet Hong Kong is anything but a
                carfree paradise. Residents of have to put up with much of the noise and
                physical degradation that cars cause in urban areas, even though hardly
                any of the residents get around by car -- and Hong Kong has chronic
                traffic congestion.

                http://www.bennenk.com/Maleisie/images/Thumbnails/19960822-28_Hong_Kong_Victoria_small.jpg
                http://desires.com/2.0b3/Travel/Hong_Kong/Images/traffic.gif
                http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/mag/2003/02/16/images/2003021600680801.jpg

                Even cities in Bangladesh, which has the lowest level of driving of 122
                countries, have to put up with a significant amount of annoyance from
                cars, even though driving is a factor of 900 (!) lower than the U.S. In
                the capital, Dhaka, only 5.9% of trips are by motorized transport of any
                kind including buses. An aerial photograph of its downtown is revealing
                (http://www.cs.ndsu.nodak.edu/~farooq/dhaka.jpg). It has wide streets
                filled with what look like cars, but on inspection most of the
                "vehicles" turn out to be bicycle rickshaws and pedestrians:

                http://www.pat.hi-ho.ne.jp/paku/tabi/castella/pic/bangladesh/dhaka.jpg

                But still, the bicyclists and pedestrians have to put up with the noise,
                wide streets and lower quality urban design caused by designing for
                universal automobile access.

                And yes, Dhaka has congestion, too:
                http://www.hellobondoo.com/pic/contents/bigjam.htm

                The lesson, of course, is that it is foolhardy to permit cars in dense
                urban areas. You get much of the downside of car transport with almost
                none of the benefit.


                (data on Dhaka from http://www.eng-consult.com/pub/dstar.htm)

                On Thu, 8 Jul 2004, Karen Sandness wrote:

                > Very true. Take Tokyo as an example. At times, the arterial streets and
                > freeways of Tokyo can resemble parking lots, so car fanatics point to
                > the congestion and say, "See, transit does NOT reduce congestion!"
              • hcfdave
                Another aspect of this is that autoholics enter a completely altered state of conciousness when ... behind the wheel ... They can forget about everything
                Message 7 of 14 , Jul 15, 2004
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                  Another aspect of this is that autoholics enter a completely
                  altered state of conciousness when ...'behind the wheel'...
                  They can forget about everything except their immediate
                  vdeo-game mentakity, which the various fad technologies in
                  newer cars accentuates. Often you hear autoholics say. "Yeah,
                  my commute is therapeutic!"
                  No matter that this ...'therapy'... all too often ends in murder and
                  suicide, spews incredible amounts of deadly poisons into the
                  air, and makes thae city virtually unlivable for everyone else! (as
                  well as causing global warming and sucking the earth dry of
                  ever-scarcer resources.
                  Cars indeed ...ssssSUCK!! (the lifeblood of the earth, as well
                  as ssSPEW!! poisons into it!...)
                  DaveS (nocarsdave@...)

                  (written in reply to the following and others...:
                  > >>>This is another of the popular reasons why people avoid
                  riding transit
                  > >>>if they have any choice. We just don't like to sit close to
                  strangers.
                  > >>>It's not "pandering" to accomodate this; city people don't
                  live
                  > >>>in large vilage-like groups.
                  > >>>
                  > >>>...I wonder if transit would get a whole lot more popular if
                  most of the
                  > >>>seats were singles?
                  > >>>
                  > >>>
                  > >>I'm always baffled when I hear comments like this. Those
                  who "don't like
                  > >>to sit next to strangers" would do themselves a tremendous
                  service to get
                  > >>out of their comfort zones and rub shoulders with the "other"
                  once in a
                  > >>while. After experiencing this sort of thing for a while, many
                  people
                  > >>choose it.
                  > >>
                  > But aren't we always forced to encounter strangers anyhow? In
                  > supermarkets there's people
                  > behind you and in front you lined up for the cash register. In
                  classes
                  > at school and college, meetings at work, large social functions,
                  it's
                  > likely you'll have to sit next to a stranger... Not to mention
                  > restaurants and bars....
                  > >
                  > >Amen. Ditto, etc.
                  > >
                  > >I think the "stranger avoidance" tendency is a behavior based
                  upon
                  > >learned attitudes and expectations ("people you don't know
                  are
                  > >dangerous"). It had better be -- six-headed-for-ten billion
                  humans
                  > >are not gonna be able to live in private bubbles.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > -Doug
                  > >---
                  > > Doug Salzmann
                  > > Kalliergo
                  > > Post Office Box 307
                  > > Corte Madera, CA 94976 USA
                • T. J. Binkley
                  ... Real, yes. Misguided, sad and ultimately pathological too.
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jul 15, 2004
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                    >The aversion to strangers is very real.

                    Real, yes. Misguided, sad and ultimately pathological too.
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