Welcome, Ian Bruk!
- Joe, I'd like to welcome Ian Bruk. He's an Investigatorius at our
lab, leading and funding our work at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thinkingconcretely/ He is working on
Living Research Reports for analyzing a company from an investor's
point of view, as at http://www.materialchange.com I realized that
the software we're developing for him might monitoring the wisdom of
an investment might be helpful for analyzing a transit system. He's
interested to join us here, and I've signed him up. Ian, welcome!
Your letters are fantastic. THANK YOU!!!
The lists will be incredibly helpful. It's amazing the kind of deep
currents that your instincts tap into. I mean, how do we design a
metric for measuring the Anti-Establishment quotient of a company? It
might be, for example, how far on the technology fringe you are to be
blogging about it. I suppose this means that you sell when the
quotient drops! So this is very practical as we're thinking concretely.
I'm writing this proposal for BetterTransit.org and I'll be posting
stuff at our working group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thinkingconcretely/ So I'm researching
stuff on the web regarding "transit performance measurements" and
found a good paper that suggests a holistic approach. The idea is
that we can better appreciate the performance of a solution if we
consider it within the entire system. A light rail line may seem
profitable, but it may force the routing of new unproductive bus
feeder lines. A dedicated bus lane may seem unprofitable, but if it
is used by car pools and van pools, may actually be a great use of
funds for decreasing congestion. So this kind of whole-system
decision making may fit very well with your Living Research Reports
that we are developing, based on the top-ten-list of effects, etc.
(imagine reasons like increasing mobility, reducing congestion,
reducing pollution, etc.)
So I will be including you as one the Investigators in the pool that
we draw from. If you could send me a CV that would be great, please
A Whole-System Approach to Evaluating Urban Transit Investments by
Johnathan E. D. Richmond, 1999. The author looks at new light-rail
systems for metropolitan areas in the USA, considers ridership,
development benefits, capital costs and operating financial
performance. He concludes that capital funds spent have generated few
benefits, equal or better results could be gotten from adjusting fare
levels and low cost improvements in existing bus services. Light rail
forces the need for unproductive new feeder bus lines - costs that are
not factored in. Buses cost less when costs of capital are factored
in, but this is ignored after the capital is expended. Ottawa,
Pittsburgh, Miami and Houston are cited as positive examples of
bus-centered transit systems. A noteworthy exception is San Diego,
where rallying around the new light rail has improved all transit
services and increased ridership. Ottawa and Houston increased riders
by simply adding more buses, keeping fares down. Houston introduced
special rights-of-way lanes for buses, but also for use by carpools
and vanpools, which allowed them to combine the cost benefit analysis
for both. Innovation is needed in optimizing bus networks.
You're welcome Andrius.
I'd like to join the transit group as I find it very interesting. And
topical. As I said, or think I said, I'm now living on an island that I
guess would qualify as a village. 4,000 inhabitants year round and
8,000 during summer high season. And transit is an issue here.
There is no bus. There is only, I believe, one licence for a taxi
which is completely cost prohibitive. They are hitch hiker friendly
but I don't think that's the solution. I think some form of ride board,
Drupal powered of course, is needed. They did play around with
an "arm band" system to screen hitch hikers but that didn't work.
It's funny you mention the anti-establishment quotient because
that's what I think is holding back the transit system on this island.
It's the perfect place for Thailand inspired "Baht Buses" which are
basically pickup trucks with two benches and a canopy that would
just cruise the island and pick up people who flag it down. But
again the establishment of the island as well as the provincial
insurance establishment don't allow this.
So though this island prides itself on "being green minded" it really
should be scolded for its transit because it is very wasteful. I think
any study of transit will have to deal with these problems. That is
the solution may highlight changes in laws that need to be made.
P.S. I'll work on getting you a C.V.
- Thanks for the invitation. Though I am interested in all Minciu Sodas
laboratory initiatives I find transit especially relevant to me at
I am attempting, with Material Change, and
email@example.com, to find one possible way for the
laboratory to finance itself and to continually focus on the bottom
line. As Ayn Rand wrote: "Every dollar you spend is a vote".
I find that Andrius' premise of thinking openly and caring about
thinking continue to resonate with me when I get question the whole
Though I am working on getting Andrius a CV most importantly I think
is that I am pretty committed to being a "web logger" and am now
struggling with the collaboration and knowledge management facets of
this movement. I currently am philosophically drawn to open source
solutions in this space and am keen to find people interested in
I just wanted to give a short introduction. And re web logs I found a
link that could be interesting to this group. The first article "Power
to the People" speaks about web logs (hmmm they leave out open source
alternatives) and urban planning but I notice there are some
interesting articles about transporation also.