Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘mass transit’

A concept called Rapid Bus Transit is getting increased attention, I hear, even though so far in the United States, having a designated lane doesn’t seem to make much difference. When I take Boston’s Silver Line to go to the SoWa art galleries, it acts like an ordinary bus — stuck in traffic and arriving in clumps. (In NY City, in the old days, we used to say, Why are buses like bananas? Answer: Because they are green and yellow and come in bunches.)

I do like taking the Silver Line to the airport, though.

Will Doig at Salon.com writes: “When it comes to improving mass transit, there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit on the humble city bus. The vital connective tissue of multi-modal transit systems, the bus could be an efficient — nay, elegant — solution to cities’ mobility woes if only we made it so. …

“Making people like the bus when not liking the bus is practically an American pastime essentially means making the bus act and feel more like a train. Trains show up roughly when they’re supposed to. Buses take forever, then arrive two at a time. Trains boast better design, speed, shelters, schedules and easier-to-follow routes. When people say they don’t like the bus but they do like the train, what they really mean is they like those perks the train offers. But there’s no reason bus systems can’t simply incorporate most of them. That’s the goal of bus rapid transit.” Doig has more at Salon.

Photograph: Duncan Allen at world.nycsubway.org

Read Full Post »

Those of us who go to work on the commuter rail or on the subway (the T) have a love-hate relationship with our public transportation system. Probably more love than hate since we forgive everything, always reminding ourselves how much more we would hate sitting in road traffic listening to the same news headlines repeated multiple times. We just make sure to carry a book and snacks in case of train breakdowns.

Take tonight. When I got down to the platform, the numbers of commuters seemed ominous. Even more ominous was the recorded message that kept telling us our train was “arriving” even though we know it never says “arriving” more than once for any train.

My boss said, “Don’t you have the option of taking the commuter rail from North Station?” Good point. I set off on foot, caught a number 4 bus, and landed at North Station in reasonable time, but for a later train.

The country badly needs good mass transit, and I think focusing on cars, gas, and roads is misguided. We riders get mad at the T and often complain about how it spends its money, but man, it sure is old and beat up! It’s held together with string — and the efforts of people who work all night on repairs to try to get the system functioning by 5:30 a.m. every day.

Now the T has made a 45-minute documentary on its night-time moles. If you don’t have time for the whole documentary, here’s a taste.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: