Out of Control Policy Blog

Sound familiar?

Nonstop bus routes that used to take commuters to downtown Denver have been nixed in favor of shuttles to light-rail stations. The result: longer commutes.

The local transit agency has taken note, but who knows if the proposed "tweaking" will help:

    RTD also plans to tweak bus and train schedules to try to fix the long commutes some riders have faced since their bus service was replaced by light rail.

    "If we're going to cause our loyal riders to spend another 20 to 40 minutes a day commuting, that's a policy decision that's just not right," said RTD board member O'Neill Quinlan.

Article here.

Environmental Defense summarizes how LA politicos favored rail at the expense of bus service:

    MTA discriminated against low-income people of color through vast overspending on its rail projects, which disproportionately benefited white communities, and through its funding for suburban buses and for MTA's own buses which served a primarily white ridership.

    For example, while 94 percent of its ridership are bus riders, MTA customarily spends 70 percent of its budget on the six percent of its ridership that are rail passengers. Despite increasing demand, MTA reduced its peak hour bus fleet from 2200 to 1750 buses in the last decade. 1992 data reveal a $1.17 subsidy per boarding for an MTA bus rider. The subsidy for a Metrolink commuter rail rider was 18 times higher ($21.02); for a suburban Blue Line light rail passenger, more than nine times higher ($11.34); and for a Red Line subway passenger, two-and-a-half times higher ($2.92).

    MTA customarily tolerated overcrowding levels of 140 percent of capacity on its buses. In contrast, there is no overcrowding of riders on Metrolink and MTA-operated rail lines.

    MTA documents show huge disparities in spending for the personal security of its riders. While only three cents was spent for the security of each bus passenger in fiscal year 1993, 43 times as much ($1.29) was spent for the security of each passenger of Metrolink and the MTA Blue Line and 19 times as much (57 cents) for each passenger on the MTA Red Line subway.

More here.

Related: Similar stuff from the Bay Area

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