More bus stuff
I've already weighed in with my thoughts on the bus here and here
I've been having a discussion with Michael about what is a reasonable level of service froma municipal transit system, as far as bus stops with shelters goes.
It's proving to be a hard topic to research online.
Here's an article that ran in the San Antonio Business Journal last year, for example:
A survey of San Antonio public transit riders shows that 84 percent of respondents said they have ridden the bus more since VIA Metropolitan Transit had bus shelters installed at local stops.
That's at least according to Cemusa, the company VIA selected to manufacture and install outdoor transit furniture at its local bus stops. The ridership figure is up 10 percentage points since Cemusa first installed the local bus shelters in 2003, the company reports.
Cemusa commissioned the customer satisfaction survey to determine whether local bus patrons are happy with the bus shelters.
Not only do the shelters provide cover from the sweltering San Antonio heat during the summer months, but they also provide a place to sit while waiting for the bus. Companies like Cemusa pay for the installation of the shelters, while the companies make money off the sale of outdoor advertising space.
The article doesn't say what percentage of bus stops have shelters, however.
An audit of the South Yorkshire bus system in England mentions:
The South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority is responsible for:
* five public transport interchanges situated at Meadowhall, Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham;
* 7,700 bus stops and 3,100 bus shelters; and
* four park and ride sites.
But we don't know, for example, if bus stops include bus shelters (ie, is the total number of facilities 7,700, or 10,800?), and the level of service that a bus shelter provides that a bus stop doesn't. But at minimum about 30%, and maybe as much as 40% of the bus stops are provided with shelters.
In Seattle, about 15 - 20% of the city's 9400 bus stops have shelters, and 75% of the ridership is served, or so they claim. Durham only has about 1500 bus stops total, and only about 10% of those have shelters or benches. Tripling the number of bus stops with shelters to 400 - 500, would probably put 80% or more of DATA's ridership under a roof while waiting for the bus, which in turn might very well lead to an increase in the number of people like me willing to ride the bus.
Good for Kevin for taking on this project. If the state of public transportation in Durham becomes an issue in this fall's election, we'll know who to thank.
Labels: transportation issues