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  #1  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2014, 8:30 PM
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Per capita transit ridership in Interior West cities

FiveThirtyEight.com (ie the best general-audience statisticians on the internet) has a great post up today about transit ridership in US cities. Click the link for the full (and very informative) post, but for your convenience here's the per capita transit ridership data pulled out for interior west urbanized areas. Note that urbanized areas are agglomerations that include multiple cities, meaning for example that Boulder is clustered as part of Denver.

Interesting that Denver & SLC are exactly neck and neck. Skip all the way down to 22 nationwide, and then you hit them both. Also, ouch, Boise.

Code:
US 	IW	URBAN		TRIPS
RANK	RANK	AREA		PER CAPITA

22	1	Salt Lake City	42.2
23	2	Denver		41.1
50	3	Flagstaff, AZ	26.6
57	4	Tucson, AZ	24.2
66	5	Logan, UT	20.8
68	6 	Phoenix		20.0
73	7 	Albuquerque	19.0
97	8 	Missoula, MT	15.6
118	9	Santa Fe, NM	12.8
153	10	Ft Collins, CO 	 9.8
179	11	Gr Junction, CO	 7.7
184	12	Pueblo, CO	 7.5
193	13	Great Falls, MT	 7.3
232	14	CO Springs, CO	 5.2
248	15	Greeley, CO	 4.3
251	16	Boise		 4.1
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  #2  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2014, 8:40 PM
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Way a go Salt Lake City.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2014, 8:47 PM
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Wow, all of those numbers are quite tragic. I did a quick calculation for Regina which had 6.2 million rides in 2013 and a population of roughly 210,000 which works out to about 29 trips per person per year. Regina's ridership is terrible in my opinion. Of course, the transit system isn't that good either. But 29 is way better than 4.

I take about eight trips a week on transit. Subtracting a few weeks for miscellaneous, I probably did about 350 trips last year.

Of personal note. The buses seem way more crowded this year so I think Regina's transit ridership will be a fair bit higher than last year, but then our population is also higher. I am super curious to see the numbers over a longer time period.
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  #4  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2014, 8:47 PM
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Yeah, it's no secret to us Boiseans that our bus/transit system sucks. Not enough viable routes and time options, although there is hope the bus system here will improve after our new transit center downtown is finished in a few years.

On the flip side, per the US Census Bureau, Boise has the 4th highest percentage in the nation for people who bike to work.

http://www.census.gov/newsroom/relea...s/cb14-86.html

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  #5  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2014, 8:57 PM
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Originally Posted by HomeInMyShoes View Post
Wow, all of those numbers are quite tragic. I did a quick calculation for Regina which works out to about 29 trips per person per year.
Canadian cities typically beat US cities. The last time I saw per capita numbers like these (it was a few years ago), Toronto & Montreal were almost New York like. Calgary was comparable to Philadelphia and surely would've beat any I.W. US city. I don't remember what Vancouver was, but it was probably between Montreal & Calgary.
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  #6  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2014, 9:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeInMyShoes View Post
Wow, all of those numbers are quite tragic. I did a quick calculation for Regina which had 6.2 million rides in 2013 and a population of roughly 210,000 which works out to about 29 trips per person per year. Regina's ridership is terrible in my opinion. Of course, the transit system isn't that good either. But 29 is way better than 4.

I take about eight trips a week on transit. Subtracting a few weeks for miscellaneous, I probably did about 350 trips last year.

Of personal note. The buses seem way more crowded this year so I think Regina's transit ridership will be a fair bit higher than last year, but then our population is also higher. I am super curious to see the numbers over a longer time period.
Frankly, 41 trips is way more than I would have expected per capita per year. I certainly don't come close to that. Transit just doesn't serve where I need to go in the amount of time I have to get there. I wish it did, when I take transit it's for fun; a knowing sacrifice just to get to take transit. And that's not normal.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2014, 9:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bunt_q View Post
Frankly, 41 trips is way more than I would have expected per capita per year. I certainly don't come close to that.
I suspect most people in a place like Denver either have over 500 trips per year (ie they commute via transit daily), or fewer than 10 (a couple of Avs or Broncos games per year, if anything at all), and 41 is just the averaging out of both groups. I doubt there are many people who make 41 trips per year.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2014, 9:17 PM
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True. So for interior west cities, is what we're really looking at more a measure of transit dependency (poverty) vs overall population. With the only separator between the highs and the lows being cities that have viable commuter transit/downtowns?
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  #9  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2014, 9:48 PM
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Calgary is an anomoly in having huge costs for parking downtown, a central core of workers rivaled by few, and an LRT system (albeit way underdesigned for capacities) that services a lot of areas. I'd be surprised if Calgary's transit ridership wasn't double Edmonton's. Ottawa also has a reasonable transit system.

Regina to Boise should be a good comparison, but then cycling in the US should be more given a slightly longer non-winter climate. Even in places like Boise.
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Old Posted Jul 31, 2014, 9:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bunt_q View Post
True. So for interior west cities, is what we're really looking at more a measure of transit dependency (poverty) vs overall population. With the only separator between the highs and the lows being cities that have viable commuter transit/downtowns?
Good analysis. I tend to think you're right, except that we need to add in the effects of large universities, which matter a lot too. Flagstaff, Logan, Missoula: All college towns. That probably accounts for Tucson too, and it may even account for how SLC (by all measures a smaller office downtown) tops Denver.

Have you clicked on the main link? Check out Athens, GA (University of Georgia).
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  #11  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2014, 10:03 PM
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LOL, not at all surprised.

Idaho voters (except in resort towns) don't have the ability to invest in or subsidize a transit network with a local option sales tax, so our bus network and schedules are laughably terrible. Add that to the number of bicycle commuters, the overbuilt road network and lack of bad traffic to push the issue and it's a perfect storm for low ridership.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2014, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by BoiseAirport View Post
LOL, not at all surprised.

Idaho voters (except in resort towns) don't have the ability to invest in or subsidize a transit network with a local option sales tax, so our bus network and schedules are laughably terrible. Add that to the number of bicycle commuters, the overbuilt road network and lack of bad traffic to push the issue and it's a perfect storm for low ridership.
This is so true. The Wood River Valley; Sun Valley/Ketchum has a great bus system and its free. Mountainrides.org
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  #13  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2014, 1:37 AM
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As a Utah resident, I'll treasure this moment. The moment Denver's airport connection opens, there is no way SLC will ever be 1st again.
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  #14  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2014, 3:52 AM
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As a Utah resident, I'll treasure this moment. The moment Denver's airport connection opens, there is no way SLC will ever be 1st again.
But we have a secret weapon. Our more conservative state still has an appetite to raise taxes and we're out of a recession. Round two of streetcar, and light rail downtown and lots of new BRTs around the metro is drawing near. We are also getting close to raising the gas tax.
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Old Posted Aug 1, 2014, 3:56 AM
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Everybody is out of the recession. That's so 2011.

Are you doing real BRT around the metro? Do you have a link? That sounds interesting.
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Old Posted Aug 1, 2014, 4:30 AM
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Originally Posted by s.p.hansen View Post
But we have a secret weapon. Our more conservative state still has an appetite to raise taxes and we're out of a recession. Round two of streetcar, and light rail downtown and lots of new BRTs around the metro is drawing near. We are also getting close to raising the gas tax.
You guys were smart enough not to put the business of raising, but not lowering, taxes in the hands of the people. Direct democracy has been an absolute failure here in terms of proper governance.

Is this real BRT that's being implemented with dedicated transit lanes? Or is it going to be enhanced bus service?
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Old Posted Aug 1, 2014, 5:21 AM
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Originally Posted by bunt_q View Post
Everybody is out of the recession. That's so 2011.

Are you doing real BRT around the metro? Do you have a link? That sounds interesting.
Well to keep my explanation simple. A recession is two quarters of negative growth. Our unemployment is back to where it was before the recession started. We have 3.5% unemployment.

The BRTs planned for the metro are pretty cool. Two that I really like will run between two commuter rail stops and create a nice speedy high capacity high frequency transit option through the high traffic areas. One will connect two colleges BYU and UVU together which is bridged by a giant strip mall, like giant. The other BRT will connect the commuter rail station downtown to the commuter rail station just north. It runs through a gentrifying part of Salt Lake City with lots of mixed use and it will run into high traffic part of the Northern suburbs.

Both BRTs will be natural gas and have 51% dedicated lanes.

Provo council votes unanimously on BRT


Quote:
June 3, 2014. PROVO -- It may have taken a handful of revisions in the final hours and minutes leading up to Tuesday's meeting of the Provo Municipal Council, but come voting time all seven members voted unanimously on a joint mayor and council resolution supporting the preferred route of Option 4 and Bus Rapid Transit.
http://www.heraldextra.com/news/loca...880b5f5fa.html

"Construction should start this time next year and will be done in winter of 2016"
http://www.heraldextra.com/news/loca...ce00fe2a5.html


There doesn't seem to be a definitive map yet of the entire finalized line in regards to what segments will have fully dedicated bus lanes. If everything is the same on this map but route 4, then just change the area around BYU to non dedicated lanes and the stops and it should be accurate.



http://www.brt4provo.com/2014/02/26/...ise-for-provo/


The other BRT planned that will connect Salt Lake City near its commuter rail station to its northern suburbs in South Davis County to the next commuter rail station.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/8...1%26page%3D293

Last edited by s.p.hansen; Aug 1, 2014 at 5:44 AM.
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  #18  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2014, 5:38 AM
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Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
You guys were smart enough not to put the business of raising, but not lowering, taxes in the hands of the people. Direct democracy has been an absolute failure here in terms of proper governance.

Is this real BRT that's being implemented with dedicated transit lanes? Or is it going to be enhanced bus service?

It's slightly more than half real. UTA is doing 51% dedicated lanes or more for each of these BRTs. And they're gonna be natural gas powered

Last edited by s.p.hansen; Aug 1, 2014 at 5:48 AM.
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  #19  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2014, 9:18 PM
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Originally Posted by bunt_q View Post
Frankly, 41 trips is way more than I would have expected per capita per year. I certainly don't come close to that. Transit just doesn't serve where I need to go in the amount of time I have to get there. I wish it did, when I take transit it's for fun; a knowing sacrifice just to get to take transit. And that's not normal.
You really should consider getting your own chauffeur as soon as practical. Just don't forget to get one of these:

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Old Posted Aug 1, 2014, 9:40 PM
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SLC is 0.1 higher than Denver which means that SLC is awesome and Denver is total crap!

In all seriousness, I'm surprised and impressed that nobody started a fight with that type of non-sense. Way to stay classy everyone.

P.S. - if my joking starts a city vs. city debate that ends up in suspensions I apologize
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