Will We Be the Next Reason People Decide to Stay Home?


Will We Be the Next Reason People Decide to Stay Home?

John Sexton writes on the blog Hot Air that ridership on San Francisco’s fabled Bay Area Rapid Transit has fallen. Some blame it on Uber and Lyft. However readers reacting to an article in the San Jose Mercury News take a different tact:

The quality of riding on a BART train has been degrading for years. It is not the service provided by BART; it’s the quality of the rider experience. It feels less safe and less clean. There are more homeless people occupying the cars.

We used to take BART to Giants games, but now we drive or don’t go at all. Going on a non-work-related trip is discretionary, so if the trip feels unsafe or unclean, then that is a factor in deciding if the entire event is worth doing. This is especially true for evening events.

BART is seeing a drop of over 10 million rides a year. For some reason people don’t want to ride in trains that have turned into mobile housing for the homeless. And in some cases, mobile toilets. The parking structures and elevators have fallen into disrepair. The quality of the rider experience is a disaster.

If you have to ride to get to work, you will. But if you are riding for pleasure then folks elect to take Uber/Lyft or drive, or simply not go.

What does this mean to the parking industry. Reread the line above about the “quality of the rider experience.” Are we properly addressing the “Parking Experience,” or just paying lip service?

Are our garages safe, well lit and clean? Can drivers find us on their phones? Is it easy to pay and find available space?  Are the homeless sleeping in your garage? How do you answer these questions?

BART and other rapid transit operations are losing ridership right and left. Will we be the next reason people just decide to stay home?


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John Van Horn

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