July 16, 2009
What If Public Transit Disappeared?Return to Blog
(Click here if you are unable to see the embedded video.)
It’s Toronto, Canada, not St. Louis, so the numbers wouldn’t be the same. I’m definitely aware of that. But the realities are similar. Losing public transit would be disastrous for any metropolitan region, including ours.
3 thoughts on “What If Public Transit Disappeared?”
When the operators at RTD went on strike a few years back, rush hour traffic actually improved in Denver. Obviously, some riders were left high and dry, but it seemed like the majority of non-riders liked it better when the transit buses weren’t obstructing traffic every few blocks . . . any research on how Metro’s recent route reductions in the County have impacted traffic congestion out there?!
Even if there is concrete data out there regarding the impact of traffic congestion since the reduction (I’d have to scour MoDOT data), it would be confounded with the number of layoffs in the area and the unusual traffic patterns due to the I-64 closures. Obviously, metropolitan areas would have different reactions to a loss of public transit…some would have a great impact on traffic congestion, some would have a greater affect on jobs, some would mostly affect disabled and elderly riders. But overall, especially in the long-term, the effects would be negative and long-lasting. Public transit doesn’t exist in a void, but as part of the overall transportation and land use infrastructure.
I’m a huge fan of public transit and use it daily. But I hate, hate, HATE when pro-transit sites and videos such as this one use the “eight lane” argument when discussing the capacity of light rail. It’s so ridiculous and easily disputed that it just provides fodder for transit opponents. Metro and other organizations need to use rational study and arguments, not hyperbolic, narrowly-focused and misleading figures such as that one