Sunday, November 30, 2008

Colleges Are Good Destinations

If you want ridership and transit trips increased, connect to colleges and Universities. Because of their centrality and concentration of students and jobs, it's a win win for both the city in which the University resides and the University itself. Urban campuses can save money by building space for students instead of the car and bringing students to a central place by transit can very seriously reduce all day trips that increase congestion. College campuses have people coming and going at all times of the day and are not a simple commute pattern, making congestion in the area worse.

6 comments:

Matthew said...

And yet, there's stupid things that happen like the college along the Norfolk line that asked not to be connected!

rhywun said...

Of course, if your college deliberately locates its new campus in a suburb populated by aggressively anti-urban NIMBYs, you'll be facing an uphill battle, and probably fail as Buffalo did decades ago to build a complete line.

Matthew said...

I still think the stupidest college campus not to be connected to rail transit is UT's 40 Acres in Austin.

Especially where the school leadership wants it on the far side of the school, along San Jac, while they're making Speedway into a nice pedestrian mall that would serve as a perfectly nice route for the new LRT line proposed by the City.

I cannot think of many other colleges that would be that big of a traffic generator. 50,000+ students! Most of the other universities of that size are nowhere near a good sized urban area!

M1EK said...

UT is particularly schizophrenic and stupid on this one. At times, they've declared that they'll just build their own rail line (even, at one point, a subway!) connecting Pickle and main campus, as if it were just that simple (and as if the state would even let them spend that much money without oversight).

At other times, they seem overtly hostile to rail - San Jacinto is sometimes played up as the 'new center of campus', but others let slip that it's really the back door, and that's where they want the rail, if at all. (As if Guadalupe, the front door, is somehow attractive as it is today).

Bob Davis said...

We have a similar (to Texas)situation here in Southern Calif. Some of the faculty members at USC are major players in the "rail transit is wasteful and useless" club.

Becks said...

It's absurd when rail doesn't connect directly to campuses. I was just in College Park, MD, and it's such a pain to get from the Metro stop to UMD. It's an incredibly long walk and bus service is spotty on the weekend. It never made sense to me why they didn't put the stop closer to campus. I hope other universities will learn from their mistake, though it sounds like there's still resistance at campuses throughout the country.