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SpongeG Oct 18, 2019 8:20 AM

Video Link

SFBruin Oct 18, 2019 8:40 AM

^ I came here looking for this.

M II A II R II K Oct 18, 2019 4:35 PM

Giving drivers free transit passes can convince them to ditch their cars



- If you live in Gothenburg, Sweden, a city in the southwest of the country with a population of about 570,000, and drive to work or school, the regional transit agency wants to give you a two-week free pass to use on buses, ferries, and trams. It’s a program that the agency uses to tempt drivers out of cars and it says that it’s working. — Since 2010, the agency, called Västtrafik, has launched nearly 30 of the “test ride” campaigns in western Sweden. Whenever someone moves to the area, they’re offered one of the temporary passes. Once or twice a year, the agency also runs large outreach campaigns, mailing letters to households in neighborhoods where car ownership is high, launching social media campaigns, and putting up ads on billboards and the backs of buses, inviting commuters to participate. Nearly half a million people have tried the passes, and that led to 100,000 new customers.

- The free transit passes are only one part of the reason that people are willing to switch, says Joakim Gustafsson, a project manager at Västtrafik. “The number one decisive reason for the increase in travel is a conscious investment in more vehicles, more lines, and increased frequency,” he wrote in an email. In a country where the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg helped spark the concept of “flight shame” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, people are also increasingly willing to act for the environment. But the free passes can help commuters who might have already been considering a change take the next step. — “It’s always a challenge to make people break patterns,” says Gustafsson, noting that for people in certain parts of the region or with unusual hours, public transit may still not be convenient enough.


SpongeG Oct 18, 2019 10:45 PM

Video Link

10023 Oct 19, 2019 9:26 PM

Seeing this article...

... I had one thought.

It is absolutely the wrong approach for any city to use added fees for taxi services (in whatever form) to reduce congestion if they do not have a congestion charge for private vehicles.

Taxis and yes, Ubers/Lyfts are an absolutely essential mode of transportation for city residents, especially those without their own cars. It’s almost absurd that you impose fees on these people before you impose them on suburbanites stupid enough to drive downtown.

Every dense city with decent public transportation should have a central congestion charge. There is an alternative and people need a nudge to use it. But there are lots of reasons why quick trips in the city can and should be done by Uber (especially in Chicago where all of the heavy rail lines are hub and spoke with basically one hub).

SFBruin Oct 20, 2019 12:37 AM


M II A II R II K Oct 22, 2019 2:00 PM

BART may offer TSA priority line access to boost SFO ridership



- Nearly 13,000 passengers ride BART to San Francisco International on an average weekday. A proposal is in the works to boost that number, not just to increase revenue, but also to address congestion issues from private vehicles. The incentive is to give Clipper Card users access to TSA's priority security lines. A handheld scanner would verify that they used BART to get to the airport. --- BART has developed trip verification software, which will confirm that the passengers passed through a BART SFO station fare gate. It will also collect and store the Clipper Card's serial number. However, the information collected will not be shared, unless legally required. Data may be saved by BART for up to four and a half years. The reason for that was not provided in documents provided by BART.


SFBruin Oct 22, 2019 2:49 PM

^ This idea seems kind of arbitrary. But I guess it could work.

They should do it for all local agencies, so that anyone who takes transit benefits.

SFBruin Oct 22, 2019 3:11 PM

MBTA Commuter Rail in Boston has estimated the cost of electrifying its commuter system at 29 billion USD.

I know that this sounds expensive, but I am all for it. This would be a region-defining project for Boston.

Skintreesnail Oct 22, 2019 3:42 PM

^^^ looks like that includes the north/south rail link tunnel and running trains every 15 minutes.

Nouvellecosse Oct 22, 2019 3:54 PM

Well I should certainly hope so. $29bn would otherwise be obscene.

SFBruin Oct 22, 2019 4:37 PM


Originally Posted by Skintreesnail (Post 8725460)
^^^ looks like that includes the north/south rail link tunnel and running trains every 15 minutes.

I think you're right. I think that this might be a little excessive, but I don't live in Boston so I don't know.

SFBruin Oct 22, 2019 4:46 PM

I think that electrifying (and administering related upgrades to) the commuter rail system in Boston would make sense IF it would allow 1 - 1.5 million more people to settle in the general region, either in the suburbs or in the central city.

To me, that is the bar for spending $29 billion.

electricron Oct 23, 2019 7:27 AM


Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse (Post 8725476)
Well I should certainly hope so. $29bn would otherwise be obscene.

Of course it does. Now if the projected cost of $29 billion includes a 100% cost overruns it will certainly have - oops - it does not. Why am I not optimistic about the projected costs? Look at the history of the Big Dig costs.
Per wiki
"The project was originally scheduled to be completed in 1998 at an estimated cost of $2.8 billion (in 1982 dollars, US$6.0 billion adjusted for inflation as of 2006). However, the project was completed in December 2007 at a cost of over $8.08 billion (in 1982 dollars, $14.6 billion adjusted for inflation, meaning a cost overrun of about 190%) as of 2006. The Boston Globe estimated that the project will ultimately cost $22 billion, including interest, and that it would not be paid off until 2038."

Skintreesnail Oct 23, 2019 3:40 PM

wasn't the rail link supposed to be done as part of the big dig but got axed because they wanted more lanes of traffic running through the tunnel?

ssiguy Oct 23, 2019 7:09 PM

That amount is obscene. How does it cost US$29 billion to electrify the system when Toronto is {potentially} electrifying it's 200km RER system for CDN$2 billion?

I say "potential" as Toronto is thinking {like many European cities are now doing} of scarpping the entire catenary plans all together and running the new battery trains saving huge sums and endless construction and the disruption and delays that come with it. Toronto {like Boston} can also get major snow/ice storms and the battery trains are immune from the damage and hence service disruptions caused by them due to catenary wire breakdowns.

craigs Oct 24, 2019 1:39 AM

Boston's commuter trains run on a rail network built to serve the Industrial Revolution, so trains often pull right into the centers of old New England towns and cities which can, with better transit, handle redevelopment and new construction. Trains also run through underutilized areas that can be redeveloped and upzoned. This isn't generally the freeway median-running shit you see in many younger regions.

The potential is tremendous--with frequent all-day trains to all stations, people might just take an apartment or buy a house farther out into the suburbs than they would now. The cost is also tremendous, but how else can greater Boston continue to grow?

craigs Oct 24, 2019 2:04 AM

If you look closely, there are two big branches of commuter rail in the Boston region--north and south--and they do not connect at any station. If you want to travel from one branch to the other, you have to get off commuter rail and onto a metro train, then get off the metro train and board a different commuter train in order to continue your journey. And the three-seat journey includes dumping you out into the busiest metro stations, the literal hub of the entire regional transport system, so it's a pain in the ass. Most people don't bother, and for good reason.

The two branches should clearly be connected to maximize the network, at least via a tunnel between North and South stations, and perhaps out between Brandeis and Auburndale stations as well (if that's possible).

SFBruin Oct 25, 2019 12:35 PM


Originally Posted by craigs (Post 8727566)
The two branches should clearly be connected to maximize the network, at least via a tunnel between North and South stations, and perhaps out between Brandeis and Auburndale stations as well (if that's possible).

I am clearly outnumbered on this forum.

I have vehemently argued against the North-South Rail Link in Boston.

I do think that there are infrastructure and demand challenges with running reverse commute trips (how many destinations are there in the suburbs outside of downtown?), but if the mob has spoken, the mob has spoken. :shrug:

Delthayre Oct 25, 2019 4:32 PM

A loathsome mode of behavior that needs to be beaten down brutally and cruelly

Originally Posted by SFBruin (Post 8728922)
...but if the mob has spoken, the mob has spoken. :shrug:

All that might have happened is that several people have held opinions that are contrary to yours while you have failed in improving your arguments to the end of persuading them to agree.

I cannot imagine a good, dignified or useful purpose for such a disingenuous statement.

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