In 2003, one of the first things I did when I decided to become a planner of some sort was attend RailVolution, on m own dome.  I believe the admission was $300, a tidy sum on my tech support salary.  At least I didn’t have to travel far.  ‘Both it and my job were in the same complex of skyways attached to Peachtree Center.  It was more for less in the same location as Dragon Con.

I spent a lot of time as a dyed in the wool rail fan. I’m still fascinated by the power and convenience of rial.  I gee u[ in Atlanta, just two blocks form the freight rial line that was moved there after the Civil War, and under  smile from one of the first ruin stations ever.The buzz at RailVolution was all about the rising threat o f Bus Rapid Transit, which was seen as a trojan horse for further degradation of transit services.

My book, coming out in 2016, is going to focus on the development and transportation potential of rail transit stations.  This  partly because I could only find GIS data for the rail modes, but also because I have seen the numbers.  Rail transit still outperforms bus on all things but network extent and capital cost.  But I am less sure that that performance advantage is inherent.

I can tell you right now that a bus ride is much bumpier, with more stops than a bevy rail ride, If I was riding this during rush hour, I”m sure I’;d be engaged an delayed by the continuous line of cars.

The main reason I’m ridging a bus instead of a train is price.  The public transit agency has figured out that its riders will pay a premium to ride rail transit during rush hour.  Specifically, the two-way price is  $10.50 on rail or $3.50 for the bus.  With transfers on rial, the time is practically the same as my end-end bus trip.  For this bus ride, I pay $1.75 for whatever distance I need each way.  In my case , I need a trip from one end of the rout to the other.  My bike is on the rack up front.  Fro the time biding, this works out pretty well.

I think its time for buses to ditch their reputation as loser cruisers and optimize them for what they are.  Finer scaled and more affordable transit.  There are over 200 thousand bus route miles in the US today, and only 12 thousand heavy rail transit miles.  These things could provide transit to a lot more people, if we let them.


OK, not this full

I think I’m gpoing to be in a position to naiul down some things about energy and capital costs  soon for y’all.  I sense you have an “energy and capital costs” shaped hole in your lives, like myself.  I’m here for you.