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Old Posted May 27, 2012, 2:50 AM
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Density and Transit: Some Numbers

Density and Transit: Some Numbers

May 26, 2012

Read More: http://oldurbanist.blogspot.com/2012...e-numbers.html


In all or virtually all cities, the presence of public transit is a matter of political will – in low-density Arlington, TX, the largest American city without public transportation, only political opposition has stood in the way of the establishment of a bus network. Whether the system would be profitable is presumably only one of several factors in the debate.

- Below some point of total population or density, we might be confident in saying the economics would forbid any political consideration of public transportation, but that line is not a bright one. Private mass transit is more directly tied to profitability, but this in turn is affected by political choices, both toward the private operators themselves and to competing forms of transit.

- While there are a few transit overachievers, notably Portland, Seattle, Boston and Washington D.C., the correlation is overall very strong. No city with an overall density of less than 4,000 per square mile, and there are many, has broken a 10 percent commuting modal share.


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