Thursday, October 23, 2008

Support for Transit by the Brick Yard

71% of people in Indianapolis would pay to fund transit. Seems like a movement is growing. However, I personally don't like the idea of starting with suburban commuter rail. Given that urbanites will pay for most of the line to the suburbs, its just another example of exporting tax base.

9 comments:

YSF said...

Check out a discussion of the necessity of funding existing transit networks as the first priority of the next administration at the transport politic.

Anonymous said...

Please don't make this strap hanger like thing of suburban trains vs. subways.

They have to start some where.

There's almost a 100 years worth of back log for rail transport projects in North America.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

You're right Anon. It shouldn't be a versus thing. Just like all transit should be put to best use where its needed. I'm just stating my preference as to how I feel transit money should be spent, on the people who pay for it the most. This is the same feeling I have about development. The suburbs should not be given a free ride at the expense of the city. That's all I was trying to say.

Jon said...

^
Both very valid points.

BART started me out on transit when I was young which opened my eyes to all forms of mass transit including the local bus. Now transit is really the only way I travel. BART really has appeal to those used to autos and suburbia and leads them to see that all transit can be a good way to get around at least for trips into downtown. I think its clear whenever a region adopts a rail transit line this very thing occurs at least to a portion of the population. I guess you could almost say its like a gateway drug.

Anonymous said...

http://www.davesrailpix.com/cnsm/htm/cnsm383.htm

http://www.davesrailpix.com/cnsm/htm/cnsm416.htm

http://www.davesrailpix.com/cnsm/htm/cnsm312.htm

Now after looking at all 3 of these photos, can some one say this is a commuter rail, heavy rail or light rail?

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Commuter rail. It takes people from the suburbs to the city.

arcady said...

Even if only the suburbanites take the commuter rail, it's not like there's no benefit to the city, the biggest benefit being that they no longer have to bring their cars. Suddenly, the city can redevelop parking lots without having to worry about scaring off the suburban shoppers and workers who wouldn't have anywhere to park their cars, and this increases the tax base. And of course, if it's done right, commuter rail can also provide valuable access to suburban jobs for inner city residents.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

You're right Arcady. There are benefits to the city. However there are even greater benefits I believe if you start with a good starter system that gets a lot of riders then expand. A starter commuter rail line like the Music City Star in Nashville that gets 500-1000 riders a day isn't really helping them push forward. Lines in Charlotte and Minneapolis are helping to push forward.

Alon Levy said...

You're right about that part, Arcady. However, there's also an environmental ramification, which is that it makes it easier for people to live in lower-density suburbs. This increases residential building emissions even as it reduces transportation emissions. (A good way to test for this effect would be to compare NY and DC metro emissions - if I'm right, DC's should be much higher per capita.)