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by Ben Fried
Did the offending vehicle take its driver with it?
On intercity bus travel.
It fell sharply in the wake of airline deregulation after 1980, as the cost of air transportation fell rapidly. Pre-1980, government regulations had kept prices high, leading to overpaid labor and investors. Now airline investors and workers are underpaid, as older carriers are serial bankrupts and new regional carriers understaff and underpay, raising safety concerns. Add in possible increases in the cost of fuel, and air transportation is going to become really expensive again IMHO.
So I think the inter-city bus industry is going to take short haul business away from airlines.
The quality of an intercity bus ride, most notably the reduction in diesel fumes, is much better than decades ago. Some years ago I took a bus back from Bellayre Mountain upstate, where my family was staying an extra day with the car. I was surprised at how nice it was.
Just to complete my thought, inter-city bus transportation, like bicycle commuting, has a “people like us” image problem that prevents people from trying it. Bus transportation is associated with the poor, bicycles with eccentrics.
In each case, if people tried it they might find that it is objectively pretty good.
Apropos of what Larry said about economic segregation by mode, this morning I biked to Grand Central to catch a train to a meeting in Mamaroneck. I drew almost as many stares suited up on the Bee Line bus in Westchester as I did riding my bike to Grand Central. Had to take a cab the 3 mile trip back to the Mamaroneck train staion, cost $19 instead of the $2.25 on the Bee Line. Bus was far preferable, on-time, door to door; cab driver tried to take me to the wrong train station, sped at 65 on Mamaroneck Ave., wouldn’t drop me where I asked upon arrival.
Your three mile ride from the station at Mamaroneck is a clear case where a bike share would beat either the bus or the cab. Suburban buses are infrequent because ridership is low, and cabs are expensive.
I don’t feel sorry for these taxi drivers that cry over enforcement. In my opinion the NYPD isn’t doing enough enforcement. If you live in the East Village you know what I mean by not enough enforcement. Cabbies speed, encroach on crosswalk and honk uncontrollably. What we New Yorkers need to do is demand greater enforcement by the cops.
RE bike share out in the ‘burbs…
We just moved out to Mamaroneck a few months back. I take my folder in on the train with me nearly every day. Quite a few people ride their bikes to the train station. It would be interesting to see if there were any examples of small time bike shares.
I suppose I could lock up my old beater that I used to ride around the city, but it wouldn’t be of much use w/out the keys.
I doubt you’ll find any bike shares in communities with less than 100,000 people. Not enough economy of scale there to make it worthwhile.
I commute a few days a week by bike from the Bronx up to Ossining via Metro North and folding bike. Lately, I’ve been seeing another guy with a folder getting off at Tarrytown. Bike + train is definitely the way to go when reverse commuting to any location within a couple miles of a commuter rail station. The folder extends your trip range by a factor of 4 or 5 versus walking and solve the “last mile” problem, at least from March-November when there’s adequate light and weather.
the so called Guerrilla Bike Lane Enforcement folks should be wittier in their verbiage. The words they chose sound like a 13 year old not an adult. Kind of dumb and a bit of anger issue there?
Larry, suburban buses can be reasonably frequent, and even timed with the connecting trains. That American suburbs don’t bother to run buses well doesn’t mean that it can’t be feasible.
“This would have the biggest improvement to the quality of the public realm and to transportation funding of anything that could be done. We need a bold, visionary elected official who is willing to step up to the plate to push for this.”
In response to "Public Support for NYC Toll Reform Highest in the Suburbs"