Conservative Reappraisal

Hat tip to Roland who posted this report over at

I’ve just finished reading the report (“Does Transit Work? A Conservative Reappraisal”). The main idea is to assess the success of transit in not in terms of total trips, but rather in terms of those categories of trips for which it is competitive (the classic example being getting people into and out of the central business district).

Read the report, it will get you thinking. Here are a few top line items that piqued my curiosity:

  • Transit, even in the golden years of the ’20s, has not been very competitive for shopping trips.
  • Transit is very competitive for entertainment trips, including things like sporting events.
  • The authors suggest boosting ridership by instituting tiered service (e.g., first class, second class) so the people who are uncomfortable with some of their fellow travelers have an option they are more likely to be OK with.

The last point may clash with my egalatarian leanings, but it has me thinking. Certainly we have discussed the issue as a barrier before.

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