If you read the past few blog entries, you will find that cities like LA and Chicago are complaining that they are loosing ridership on their rapid transit systems. As much as 25% down. Yet they continue to spend billions on expanding the programs.
I realize that this is typical for a government run boondoggle, but I mean, come on.
The rail systems in New York City and Washington DC to name two are falling apart. Maintenance is poor and the systems break down constantly. No wonder people don’t want to ride them.
As I was driving up the street the other day, I saw a Metro Rail train stop, a bunch of kids jump off, and walk 50 feet to a bus that would take them to UCLA. Obviously, there was a coordinated effort to perform a last mile service. The bus had been waiting for them.
Now I’m sure that the MTA has been thinking about this and is working on schedules so people can take a bus to the train, hop on board, and then do the opposite at the other end. Well, kinda sure.
The question is, how much of this coordination is promoted to the general public. With all the technology it would seem that there could be an app that would let people know which bus to take where and when the train will arrive. So I would know that I could leave my house and walk to the corner just before the bus to the train would arrive. Hop on board, pay with the app, jump off five minutes later at the train, just as it pulled into the station, etc etc etc.
I bet if the city invested a billion on that app, they would have it in spades. Then it would make sense for me to take the bus and train to Hollywood, or out to dinner, or whatever.
But when was the last time you saw an ad for an app like that? Or even one that promoted riding on the train rather than driving?
One would think that you could coordinate the trains and buses in such a way that people would WANT to ride them.
Maybe they do. But why don’t I know about it?