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Attn: DUers in cities with good public transit systems: Are gas prices resulting in fuller trains?

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:31 AM
Original message
Attn: DUers in cities with good public transit systems: Are gas prices resulting in fuller trains?
I'm curious as to whether the current high gas prices are causing more people to use public transit. Here in the Motor City, where a carpool is public transit :), I can't measure it. But what about in Boston, New York, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco et all?
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
1. The buses here in Austin are most definately more crowded.
for the past year I usually never have a problem getting a window seat in the morning. Plenty of room, but in the past 3 weeks, more than likely I have had to stand for my trip and from work.

People are driving less.

about time.
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T Wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
2. In Philly - or rather, from the burbs into the city by train.
Cannot really say the trains are fuller. And I have not seen anything in the media about increased ridership.

All I do know is that Septa needs a dedicated funding stream and the pukes in the state legislature do not want to provide it because it would be used by the wrong kind of people.

As with everything, the repug-dominated legislature has been blocking the Dem. Gov in anything he has tried to do to help the city. PA really is a mirror for the US - a city on each side and bum-fuck wilderness in between. But the bum-fuckers control everything.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. "bum-fuck wilderness in between"
LOL. I once heard a CSPAN caller lamenting the fact that he lived in the "Alabama" part of Pennsylvania.
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Clark2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #3
13. I'm in Tennessee and we've ALWAYS called Pennsylvania,
"Pennslytucky," for that reason.

There's Pittsburgh and Philly and Kentucky in between.
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harlinchi Donating Member (954 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. City transit division provides bulk of revenue, riders and reasons for existence.
Suburban transit division and regional rail lines get subsidized by city transit division. Philadelphia has, I think, 2 out of thirteen or fifteen board members though while the Suburbs get the rest.

Suburbs seek 'regionalization' on transit 'cause it benefits them. Suburbs detest 'regionalization' on everything else 'cause it would benefit the city.

James Carvell (when he was on the side of the people, I think) said of Pennsylvania, "In PA, there's Philly and there's Pittsburgh. In between there's nothing but Alabama." While the state is slowly changing (it may not be Alabama in between but Virginia!), we've got miles to go before we sleep!
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Lobster Martini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. Hard to tell in Philly--
Since they've reduced service, it's hard to tell whether there are more riders or the same number on fewer subways and trolleys.

And yeah, I used to hear Pennsylvania described as Philly and Pittsburgh with West Virginia in-between. Historically, the state legislature has hated Philly.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
4. I don't know, gas prices in Brazil have been the same for a long time.
Oh, those evil state-run oil companies! :evilgrin:

Die of envy, beeyotches.
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sabbat hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. probably heaviily subsidized
when you have a state run industry it can be subsidized by the state. but eventually that will catch up to you. that money that is subsidizing gas/oil prices in brazil is coming from somewhere.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. Thanks for your concern, but Petrobras doesn't even have a monopoly.
And the others companies seem to be doing rather well too, thank you.
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
5. the DC Metro has been at capacity for several years
in essence. I ride the bus inside the city, so I don't compete with drivers (not many people are driving a mile, inside the city, to work, although some do. It was last spring's gas prices that really shocked the sysem, June 06 had, I think, 8 of the top ten ridership days ever, despite nothing special going on (usually the top days are special events, number one is Reagan's funeral, number two is Clinton's first inagural) Metro is basically at capacity for the commuting crowd, not many more people can actually ride the orange or red lines into town.
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enid602 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
6. LA
Ridership on LA's Orange LIne (inaugurated 6 mos ago in the SF Valley) have already exceeded 20 year projections.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Given the commuting situation in LA, I'm not surprised....
I took me an 1 1/2 hours to drive to Amoeba Records (about 14 miles from where I was) ON A SUNDAY MORNING! :crazy:
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enid602 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. LA
The automobile's future is starting to dim in Los Angeles; just too damn crowded. If you take the entire land area of the LA metro area and compare it with New York's, the LA area is actually more densely populated. Over half of all housing units built in LA in 2006 had no garages/accomodation for cars. TOD's (transit-oriented developments) going up everywhere; now over 700 miles of heavy rail in the 5 county area.
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electprogdems Donating Member (271 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
11. Suburb train to Seattle - History in a nutshell....
It took forever to get this train running, I mean years. The pro-highway, libertarian republican types said build more roads, the people will not get out of their cars!! Eventually reality prevailed and the train started running.

In the past couple of years ridership has TRIPLED from the original estimates. Parking at the stations of origin is scarce, under built originally, since "people won't get out of their cars". Very frustrating in the morning when you can't find a place to park. Personally, having a train has allowed me to commute to the city for a much better paying job, otherwise, as I live in a rural area, I would be stuck with a walmart type macjob.

And to answer your original question, ridership has increased even more lately. The train has added more cars to the most popular runs, but are limited by the length of the station.

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tcfrogs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
14. Chicago trains are always full during rush hours
I don't know about METRA, though. I can't use the L or METRA, I just don't live near enough the stops to get to work unless I take a 1/2 hour bus ride.
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
16. Hard to tell on BART (SF Bay commuter trains, not general mass transit)
There was that little freeway meltdown a few weeks ago (see here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/0... )
and ridership has increased because of it. I don't think it's that different on the other systems I ride in the East Bay or on SF Muni.
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ovidsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
17. Not much change in Atlanta
MARTA trains are crowded, but not jammed during the rush. Likewise the buses. But the highway traffic is as bad as ever.

A week ago my wife and I had the "pleasure" of driving from our home in the city to a shopping center 10 miles away in the 'burbs (which has a MARTA stop) because it had a specific item we wanted. It took us over an hour. Each way. To get there by public transit would have involved taking a bus to a MARTA stop, backtracking to change trains, and I bet we would have taken about as long as the car ride did. Hindsight is 20/20

I'm a newcomer to Atlanta (4 months) but my wife was born and raised here. She jokes that fellow natives consider parking a constitutional right. She doesn't see a change from the "one or two people in a car stuck in a traffic jam is normal" mindset until gas hits $5/gallon. I don't think we'll have long to wait to find out if she's right.
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