No “Today’s Headlines” Today

Because I had to get up early to take part in the Gold Line Eastside Safety Ride, there won’t be any activity on Streetsblog until this afternoon.  When I get home I’ll syndicate some stories from the other Streetsblogs then write up the ride report.  Most likely, that will be the only original piece of writing done for LA Streetsblog today.

See you then!

  • Ron Kilcoyne

    I would like to comment on the six strategies for addressing the last mile in the SCAG/LADOT report. Car sharing, bike sharing and foldable bikes on transit certainly are good ideas that can reduce vehicle trips or VMT. However I don’t feel the other three strategies will do much to reduce VMT or vehicle trips. Here is why.

    Casual carpooling: This has been gong on in the East Bay area since at least the 80’s. People driving to San Francisco would drive by AC Transit bus stops and BART stations picking up individuals who would have otherwise ride AC or BART into the city. It was a way for drivers to avoid paying a toll and get a faster trip into the city by using the HOV lane and for transit users to avoid paying a transit fare. It did nothing to reduce traffic. (Disclosure I worked in the planning department of AC Transit from 1980 to 1992 and served as Manager of Planning 1989 to 1992.) I used to get complaints from casual car pool drivers about our buses blocking their cars (the nerve of our buses blocking cars parking up people in a bus stop) and whenever I talked to with a casual carpool driver I asked why they drove and didn’t ride transit themselves. The answer I always got – their employer paid for their parking in Downtown San Francisco! This lead to a follow up question what if your employer didn’t’ subsidize your parking. The answer: I would ride the bus or take BART. Casual carpooling is also common in DC and like in the Bay Area it is transit riders who are using casual carpooling to avoid paying a fare.

    Taxi: Zone fares (which is done in DC) or meter rates – if it’s a single party is going from A to B what difference is it if they are being driven in a cab or driving themselves – it is still a vehicle trip – no reduction of VMT. Also whether metered or zoned, taxis are still an expensive way to travel. Some cites do allow shared rides (I have experienced this in Denver and San Diego years ago don’t know if it still is in place). This could reduce vehicle trips because what would be separate vehicle trips are consolidated. A better idea is described below.

    Car rental: Not sure why this is there, when car sharing is an option.

    Which raises the question if this study is about the last mile why not include subsidized shuttles or shared ride taxis exclusively to and from transit stops. San Mateo County has done an outstanding job dealing with the last mile from BART and CalTrain in this manner. Some cities in Fairfield County of Connecticut also have extensive shuttles in place. I am sure there are plenty of other examples probably right in Southern Cal.

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