Re: [carfree_cities] "Nobody with a choice ever took a bus anywhere."
>J.H. Crawford tells us that "Nobody with a choice ever took a bus anywhere."First of all, this is a bit of hyperbole. Seccond, it's only a bit of hyperbole.
>I have a bit of a problem with that one. Now, while that's what they say in
>Memphis and Phoenix, I can I am sure put together a list of more than 500
>cities in Europe in which there are a lot of people who a lot of the time
>will argue differently.
Let me explain why.
>Let me tackle that in a somewhat more aggressive way, if only to keep thingsEmphasis in on "high quality." In social work, we always said, "Services
>warmed up here. The goal of a sustainable transportation system is to piece
>together a wide spectrum of technologies and services that offer high
>quality options to single driver car travel in cities.
for the poor are poor services." Now, as usually delivered, bus service
is the poorest of poor services, and the expectation is that only the
poor will use it.
>Now as it happens, aFine.
>very significant part of the strategy is to render such travel (i.e., cars
>thus used) just that much more difficult and less possible each year: a
>gradual shift which gives people time to adjust to a new, better and more
>sustainable transportation configuration.
>Buses, minibuses, vans, articulated buses and other wheeled vehiclesI basically do not think that you can offer high-quality service with
>carrying groups of people who are pleased to be there is a significant part
>of the big picture. So why knock them? I am puzzled. Is there something
>here that I have not understood?
buses. Here's what I have to say about it in _Carfree Cities_:
Buses and the Common Man: No Thanks!
Everybody hates buses. They�re slow, they stink, they�re noisy, they take forever to board, they lurch, and the small, hard seats pinch your butt. When the Road Gang set out to kill public transport, their weapon was the bus. Trains, on the other hand, once were glamorous. The food was delicious, the service elegant, the ride comfortable, and the view excellent. For a century, trains were the fleetest, finest transport. No bus ever offered such amenities. No bus was ever glamorous. Nobody with a choice ever took a bus anywhere.
Mayor Jaime Lerner Fixes Buses
That having been said, it must be admitted that Jaime Lerner fixed his local bus system. A long-time mayor of Curitiba, Brazil, Lerner is an architect and planner with vision. Working with meager resources, he and his staff set out to make city buses work, and they succeeded beyond any reasonable expectation. Lerner and his team:
Laid out a sensible route network
Gave buses priority over cars
Built level-loading platforms with fare prepayment
Achieved excellent speeds and high capacities
Lured 30% of automobile commuters onto buses
Spent a tiny fraction of the cost of a new metro
Notwithstanding Lerner�s successes, the system is still not as good as a metro. It occupies considerable amounts of land, the buses are noisy and smelly, and performance is not quite up to metro standards. It is, however, an excellent interim step. A later upgrade to a rail system becomes feasible once the traffic and routes have been developed by the bus system. Indeed, Curitiba is now considering the replacement of some bus routes with tram lines.
One other critical point that I did not make in the book:
When you lay rails, you're making a long-term commitment
to public transport--it's not a here-today-gone-tommorrow
kind of thing. When people see that kind of commitment,
they start to base location decisions on it, as was the
case in Toronto. They built a metro in the 50s, and today
you can see where the stops are from an aerial photograph--
they're where all the high-density construction can be seen.
Rail is in everyway superior to buses, from the perspective of
both the user and those who live and work near a transit corridor.
Most people, given a reasonable choice between taking the bus on
the one hand and taking the metro, tram, ferry, or driving a car,
will almost invariably choose not to take the bus.
J.H. Crawford _Carfree Cities_