Every city can be a transit city, regardless of density - Mobility Lab

July 5, 2018

 

The American cities with the highest percentages of people commuting by transit all have something in common:

 

They’re in the Northeast.

 

This has been true for a while. It’s led to a belief among cities in the middle of the country that transit is not for them, that it is instead the exclusive domain of dense, older cities such as New York or Washington, DC.

 

However, it is a mistake to believe that transit is inaccessible to others. In fact, many of the largest American cities are not as different from their eastern peers as it is often assumed.

 

Mobility Lab’s Andy Furillo has covered how to close the suburban transit gap in a series of excellent articles and while it is true that many Americans live in the suburbs or in rural areas, many live in cities with densities to support quality transit infrastructure and yet they still don’t have it.

 

Transit Center, using the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s AllTransit tool, analyzed 28 of America’s largest cities and found that in every one of the cities, the majority of residents lived within walking distance of a transit stop. The kicker is that most of these transit lines are not high quality, lacking the frequency required to be useful.

 

What is missing is not the culture of public transit or a large population of car-less people. Building robust transit infrastructure will facilitate these changes. Frequency is a major driver of transit ridership, massively increasing the usefulness of a route by allowing riders to rely on transit: they don’t have to wait for a bus or train and can transfer easily between routes.

 

Attitudes about a city not being a “transit city” can lead to underinvestment, but it is clear that the reason for people not taking the bus has little to do with the culture of a city, but rather the quality of the infrastructure.

 

Click here to read the full article: https://mobilitylab.org/2018/07/03/your-city-doesnt-need-to-be-new-york-to-have-great-transit/

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