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Beta Magellan

The CTA’s looking into in an interesting plan (http://www.transitchicago.com/assets/1/miscellaneous_documents/Presentation_-_CTA_Crowding_Reduction_Plan_-_August_2012.pdf) right now that aims to add service to the most-used bus and train routes while restructuring or eliminating a number of circulators, overlapping routes, or suburban/outer-city services. They can do this, of course, because they are mainly a Chicago service and the service plan improves enough of the city’s area to make cuts elsewhere possible.

The fact that suburban bus services are organized as another agency, Pace, helps insulate the City of Chicago from such pressures, and the fact that pace serves some of Chicago’s more outlying neighborhoods also gives the CTA more leeway in redistributing operating dollars from periphery to core.

Matt L (aka Angry Transit Nerd)

The CTA/Pace split is something I wish we had here in Seattle. That, and not having any substantial service change need to be approved by a district-elected county council in which two members represent largely rural districts.

It also helps that Cook County has a higher tax rate to support the higher standard of service in Chicago and inner-ring suburbs, whereas King County is required to have a uniform tax rate from urban Seattle to remote Skykomish.

Also, the City of Seattle (and some of its suburbs and local employers) subsidizes some service through Transit Now!

http://www.kingcounty.gov/transportation/kcdot/MetroTransit/TransitNow/Partnerships.aspx

Henry

This happens to a limited extent with the MTA in New York - every time a budget crisis looms, riders in the five boroughs get the short end of the stick. While there is no suburban bus service operated by the MTA anymore, LIRR and Metro-North have never really suffered drastic service cuts while the city's bus and rail services are ravaged.

Frankly, I'd argue for the MTA to spin off the commuter rail operations - they're a large money-suck and the suburbs whine about "bad" services anyways, so the suburbs should be left to deal with them.

Eric

I'm naturally skeptical about any contract where a transit agency promises to provide service to a particular business, because the inevitable result becomes a specialty route that is designed to serve the route's sponsor and nothing else.

For example, you end with bus routes that leave the main street to go into the parking lot of the business that sponsored the route, even if only a small percentage of transit patrons going down that street are actually going there. Or you end up with routes that offer super-frequent peak service, but virtually no off-peak service, because the route's sponsor cares only about a service that gets its employees to work.

By contrast, when routes and schedules are designed and revised by transit agencies, themselves, they are done so with everyone's interest in mind, and the result is more of them high frequency, all-day routes that operate in a straight line on major arterials with regularly spaced stops.

Nicholas Barnard

The City of Seattle already pays for additional runs of existing Bus routes with King Count Metro.

http://inmff.net/ku4 links to a Google search that will link you to the routes that Seattle pays for additional runs. It also very specifically says the number of additional runs that Seattle has paid for, and other info..

Jonathan

Hi,

It's worth noting, however, that suburban or rural communities require more expenditure to maintain their roads, sewer and water connections, electricity connections and so on. Typically flat rates are charged, with the effect that urban consumers subsidise the connection of suburban or rural consumers. Daily fixed-rate postal delivery is a reasonably transparent example of this. Conversely, in the the case of high-speed broadband, no such monopoly-grant-with-service-requirements exists, and it is virtually impossible to get broadband connections in some rural areas because of it.

The point being that it's appropriate for regional governments to take a wholistic view of costs incurred and taxes paid by sub- and urban areas, rather than putting transit in a box.

JMH

FRJ - Vancouver

The Toronto Transit Commission has operated transit service specifically requested by organisations, even if the service doesn't meet the TTC's financial or ridership standards. The proviso is that the requesting organisation must cover the costs of the service. Many years ago, a local church requested some early morning Sunday runs for its congregation. The church was willing to pay and the TTC operated the trips as part of its regular service (not charters). On a grander scale are the contracted services that the TTC operates for York Region Transit.

Agile Developers

In this role, Jarrett revised the proposed public transit concept for the suburb and proposed revisions to the structure plan that would bring more Molonglo residents and jobs close to high-quality transit. He has continued to be consulted ever since his first engagement in 2008.

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