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Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 5:23 PM
CastleScott CastleScott is offline
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New APTA ridership totals of rail

Rail News: Passenger Rail
APTA: Transit ridership fell, commuter-rail ridership rose in Q3
Here's the link: https://www.apta.com/resources/stati...rship-APTA.pdf


In August 2018, Denton County Transportation Authority in Lewisville, Texas, launched its A-train free fare zones and has seen ridership increases in those locations.
Photo – Denton County Transportation Authority's Facebook page
Americans took 2.5 billion trips on public transportation systems in third-quarter 2018, down 1.75 percent compared with ridership in third-quarter 2017, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

Year over year, rail ridership was down on heavy- and light-rail systems, but up — 0.7 percent — on commuter-rail systems. More than half of commuter railroads posted ridership increases in the third quarter, APTA officials said in a press release.

"In order to increase mobility options, public transit systems are increasing frequency, improving routing, experimenting with fare changes, and engaging in partnerships to offer the best service possible to meet customers’ needs," said APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Skoutelas.

Nationally, commuter railroads logged a combined ridership of 126.6 million trips during the third quarter, with 18 of 31 them reporting increases. Commuter-rail systems that logged double-digit ridership increases in the quarter included Orlando, Florida, (70 percent); San Rafael, California, (65.8 percent); and Stockton, California, (10.5 percent).

Ridership on heavy-rail systems (subways and elevated trains) fell 2.4 percent to about 916.3 million trips in the quarter compared with a year ago. Increases were registered in Philadelphia (7.8 percent); San Juan, Puerto Rico (6.4 percent); Miami (5.9 percent); Atlanta, (1.4 percent); and Lindenwold, New Jersey (0.1 percent).

On light-rail systems (modern streetcars, trolleys and heritage trolleys), ridership in the quarter dipped 3.6 percent to 133.2 million trips compared with the year-ago period. However, ridership grew in only eight out of 27 systems. Agencies that reported double-digit light-rail ridership gains were Charlotte, North Carolina, (55.3 percent); Seattle-King County Metro (21.6 percent); Hampton, Virginia, (11.5 percent); and Houston (10.8 percent).

Last edited by CastleScott; Jan 15, 2019 at 3:12 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 7:53 PM
mrnyc mrnyc is offline
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i was looking for possible reasons for the dip in city rail ridership. it doesn't appear to be related to gas prices at all, which were a little higher in 2018 than 2017 (although prices dipped at the end of 2018). hmm.

https://ycharts.com/indicators/gas_price

its nice to see that commuter rail ridership increased though.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 8:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mrnyc View Post
i was looking for possible reasons for the dip in city rail ridership.
most observers seem to think that uber/lyft are cutting into city transit system numbers nationwide.

and i'm guilty of it myself. if i'm heading out somewhere and the CTA app says the next train or bus is 8 minutes away, i'll uber it up and get a car to pick me up, usually in 3 minutes or less.

and if there's a transfer along the way, that's like an automatic uber. waiting for a train or bus once is one thing, but TWO waits? who can be bothered with that?

sure, it costs a little more, but it beats waiting for the train or bus.
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Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 10:34 PM
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I think Uber/Lyft is the main culprit, and yeah, I contribute to the problem. It costs basically the same for a family, and it's much quicker, easier, quieter, door-to-door service (great in inclement weather) and more pleasant.
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Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 10:36 PM
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LosAngelesSportsFan LosAngelesSportsFan is offline
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Its absolutely Uber / Lyft. I no longer take the train for any commute less than 10 miles, as its just easier and faster with uber. Pretty much the only time i take the train now is if im going to Hollywood or Koreatown from Downtown LA
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Old Posted Jan 11, 2019, 11:52 PM
lrt's friend lrt's friend is offline
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And congestion inevitably just keeps getting worse.
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Old Posted Jan 12, 2019, 12:58 AM
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The trend continues.

Agree with all the Uber/Lyft theories.

I very rarely take public transit anymore because it's full of homeless [this is California] and mental people that ruin it for the rest of us normal people. It takes f.o.r.e.v.e.r. to go anywhere. I'd rather pay a few extra bucks for comfort, safety and savings in time.

Not too long ago, I actually had a transit app and would use it regularly to find the best possible route to place X. That entire idea is long gone and never even occurs to me.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2019, 3:13 AM
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Originally Posted by LosAngelesSportsFan View Post
Its absolutely Uber / Lyft. I no longer take the train for any commute less than 10 miles, as its just easier and faster with uber. Pretty much the only time i take the train now is if im going to Hollywood or Koreatown from Downtown LA
Same. It's so easy to ride share. Even if I do take rail then it's usually one of the ride shares on the way back cause we want to get home faster. Now for commuting purposes I'll take the train both ways more often, but a night out really just depends.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2019, 5:43 PM
CastleScott CastleScott is offline
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I very rarely take public transit anymore because it's full of homeless [this is California] and mental people that ruin it for the rest of us normal people. It takes f.o.r.e.v.e.r. to go anywhere. I'd rather pay a few extra bucks for comfort, safety and savings in time.
Yes this is true of the trains in and around Sacramento-locals sometimes refer the RT trains as rolling toilets, same for metro Denver when I lived there...
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Old Posted Jan 12, 2019, 8:21 PM
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I often took Uber/Lyft to a rail station, skipping the bus. Transit advocates should embrace ride sharing because it makes living car free much easier than just by using walking or taking transit alone.

It's also an incentive for transit companies to step up their game as they're no longer the only affordable deal in town. I feel like they were using to having a monopoly and didn't give a **** about the customer experience.

Best part of all is there are a lot more developments being built nowadays with little or zero parking. Developers, bankers, city planners, and some city leaders are starting to get it. More people living car free in a given neighborhood will in the long run lead to better transit and a more attractive pedestrian public realms geared to people, and not cars. The lack of parking has been a NIMBY rallying cry for decades, and it's hilarious when they flip out when a new building is constructed where parking minimums were waived. They just don't get it nor do they understand that it is possible and desirable for some residents to ditch the car note and expensive maintenance to live car-free in select cities where this is possible.
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Old Posted Jan 12, 2019, 9:07 PM
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Uber/Lyft are hardly affordable. A CTA 30-day pass is $105 and pre-tax and takes me anywhere in the city. That's like 8 rides on Uber/Lyft if you're lucky.
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Old Posted Jan 12, 2019, 9:21 PM
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Uber/Lyft are hardly affordable. A CTA 30-day pass is $105 and pre-tax and takes me anywhere in the city. That's like 8 rides on Uber/Lyft if you're lucky.
It's way more affordable than car ownership. I can tell you that.
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Old Posted Jan 12, 2019, 9:25 PM
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Kevin O'Leary: Don't buy a car, do this instead
Sarah Berger | @sarahelizberger 10:03 AM ET Thu, 27 Sept 2018
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/27/shar...s-instead.html

Quote:
Thinking about purchasing a new set of wheels? Pump the brakes, advises personal finance expert and star of ABC's "Shark Tank" Kevin O'Leary. It could take a major toll on your finances.

"You're thinking about buying a car. Let me give you a new idea: Don't," O'Leary tells CNBC Make It.

"Cars cost a fortune in maintenance and insurance and just the amortization, which means as they go down in value, you're losing money," O'Leary explains. "Let's say I pay $25,000 for it. Two years later, it might be worth only 12 [thousand dollars]."

Don't lease one either, says O'Leary.

Take public transportation if you can or do what O'Leary did.

"When my lease came up just a year ago on a Mercedes Diesel, a beautiful SUV that was 2 years old and I'd hardly ever driven because I used so many shared ride services, the dealer called me up and said, 'Kevin, your lease is coming up. I've got a brand new car you're going to love,'" O'Leary recalls. "And I said 'I'm going to pass; I'm going to drive this puppy back to you, and wave goodbye to it.' And now, I don't own it anymore.

"I use my phone to call Uber or Lyft and they take me around the city. I save a fortune. I feel good about it," O'Leary says. "I hate cars."
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Old Posted Jan 12, 2019, 9:35 PM
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Originally Posted by SIGSEGV View Post
Uber/Lyft are hardly affordable. A CTA 30-day pass is $105 and pre-tax and takes me anywhere in the city. That's like 8 rides on Uber/Lyft if you're lucky.
I use uber maybe 2 - 4 times a month.

I ride my bike to work every work day.

The vast majority of our errands are accomplished on foot in our neighborhood.

I have no need for a monthly CTA pass, but I used to ride the CTA more often in the past before uber/lyft became so freaking easy and affordable to use. I wouldn't uber everyday for something like commuting, but for occasional usage for one-off trips, it's really hard to beat.
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Jan 12, 2019 at 9:51 PM.
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Old Posted Jan 12, 2019, 11:26 PM
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They just don't get it nor do they understand that it is possible and desirable for some residents to ditch the car note and expensive maintenance to live car-free in select cities where this is possible.
Most American cities which aren't on the coasts don't have sufficient job density to make total car free living realistic, but they do have areas of moderate residential density where conflict over parking is an issue. This issue will remain until autonomous cars completely take over. If a city like Phoenix eliminated parking minimums, it probably wouldn't result in market driven density increases and greater transit usage. Instead developers would still add parking to new construction.

The exception to the rule would be downtowns, though. Most sunbelt downtowns still have paid parking, and there's and expectation that you have to pay for parking. They have the highest concentration of transit. Few residents, its mostly people in huge corporate office towers that have parking garages. So I would agree that if we wanted to eliminate parking minimums, that downtowns are the place to start. You'd see fewer podium towers as developers could build or buy a garage a few blocks away instead.

Last edited by llamaorama; Jan 12, 2019 at 11:38 PM.
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Old Posted Jan 12, 2019, 11:44 PM
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Most American cities which aren't on the coasts don't have sufficient job density to make total car free living realistic, but they do have areas of moderate residential density where conflict over parking is an issue. This issue will remain until autonomous cars completely take over.
This is why I choose my words carefully: "to live car-free in select cities where this is possible." The only other town that comes to mind would be Chicago, but I suppose there are others not along the coasts where it's possible.

Quote:
If a city like Phoenix eliminated parking minimums, it probably wouldn't result in market driven density increases and greater transit usage. Instead developers would still add parking to new construction.
Agreed on the parking. I've heard a city planner make the argument that reducing or eliminating parking minimums for retail properties wouldn't mean less parking would be built as the lenders would still require parking as part of their financial models to ensure the project is feasible. In Jersey City, right outside of Manhattan, there was a requirement long ago that there be 0.8 parking spaces for every residential unit. However, a city planning study found that the garages we're only 40 percent utilized. The point was there should be less emphasis on regulating parking as the market would find an appropriate balance.

I suspect very few would buy a new home or condo in Phoenix if it didn't come with at least one parking spot, so that's what the market will do regardless of the zoning.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2019, 4:30 PM
jamesinclair jamesinclair is offline
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Originally Posted by mrnyc View Post
i was looking for possible reasons for the dip in city rail ridership. it doesn't appear to be related to gas prices at all, which were a little higher in 2018 than 2017 (although prices dipped at the end of 2018). hmm.

https://ycharts.com/indicators/gas_price

its nice to see that commuter rail ridership increased though.
Id note that if gas prices were higher, than Lyft/Uber would be more expensive, so theyre certainly intertwined.

One aspect that keep getting ignored is pricing. Gas prices have fallen over the past decade, but most transit agencies hike their fares every 2 years. Some cities are charging $3 for a bus ride. Thats insane to me.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2019, 4:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesinclair View Post
Id note that if gas prices were higher, than Lyft/Uber would be more expensive, so theyre certainly intertwined.

One aspect that keep getting ignored is pricing. Gas prices have fallen over the past decade, but most transit agencies hike their fares every 2 years. Some cities are charging $3 for a bus ride. Thats insane to me.
Uber and Lyft also operate at a loss. Right now your rides are artificially cheap because they are still trying to drive their competition out of the market. Once they have to pivot towards a model that is sustainable long term the price advantage goes away. The question is whether or not this will happen before driverless cars become commonplace?
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2019, 5:01 PM
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Uber landed in Philadelphia during the fall of 2014. My peak Uber usage was approximately a year later. Since then it has declined and stabilized at about 2 rides a month. One factor is definitely that I have a monthly pass for my commute to work so any time that I can take SEPTA I will since it's effectively free. Another factor is that Uber has gotten more expensive here, Uber Pool is now that the price point that Uber X used to occupy and many times the route is so convoluted that it's not even faster than the bus. Uber is now about the same as a cab so it all comes down to what's available.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2019, 5:49 PM
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I recently learned my high-rise building has a cab light. I watched someone ask the concierge to turn on the cab light and immediately a cab swooped into the pullout by the lobby. I guess it helps to live on a major thoroughfare, but that's convenience...
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