Transit == Transportation of People.
This page is about the transportation of people and their
for work and play.
Granting that we can't banish automobiles, can we at least build a transportation system to take us farther and faster than we are used to thinking?
(A better diagram is needed!)
The principle would be the same regardless of the scale.
Conveyances wouldn't necessarily just shuttle between two interchanges; they may well travel through several interchanges of the same or different levels. They may make a loop around the city, a neighborhood, village, etc. The important thing is the topology of the transit web. You would get to your destination by following the attraction to it from one node (interchange) to another.
Transfers occur at interchanges as needed. The dynamics of such a system is a research topic, below.
|(shoes? Wheelchairs)||Walkways allow people to move about freely...|
|Bicycle/Segway||Two or three-wheeled human-powered or power-assisted vehicle.|
|NEV||Neighborhood Electric Vehicle. short range fully electric vehicle.|
|Car||(automobile) Good for rural travel, ..., small cities, towns. Used under restriction in large cities. Hybrid gas-electric.|
|Jitney||A van with driver. No Bike rack, but places for luggage and packages. Operates in neighborhood, not inter-community. [Issues such as collective liability insurance and bonding.] Jitneys would be restricted to specific community route with optional stops via call-a-ride. (?)|
|Taxi||Privately-operated taxis range anywhere they do now.|
|Small shuttle bus||Approx 10-20 passengers with driver.|
|Large shuttle bus||40 passengers with driver, but on a relaxed schedule with 5-10 stops between points.|
|Fast express shuttle||(rail or bus) 40-60 passengers with driver. No intermediate stops between endpoints.|
|Commuter Rail||Can run between urban towns (aka edge cities, suburbs) or from a rural town into an urban town.|
|MagLev||Magnetic Levitation train.|
|et cetera||Other modes of transportation - jet airplanes, safe small aircraft, ferries, slow boats to China, people movers, light rail, internet, ...|
|between cities||air, high speed rail, MagLev, bus, car, bike, ...|
|between towns||=fast= express shuttle, Light Rail, car, bike, ...|
|between communities||Bus Rapid Transit, Light Rail, car, NEV, bike, ...|
|between villages||small shuttle bus, Street Car, bike, walkways, NEV, Segway, ...|
|between neighborhoods||jitney, bicycle, walkways, NEV, Segway|
The above implies that:
Downtown is just one of many towns making up the city. Downtowns consist of communities of villages of neighborhoods just like any other town, so there is need for mobility within downtown itself, such as via street car or circulating buses. See biblio for an example of such a system.
Information of the simplest kind — like the next time each shuttle is projected to arrive (depart) from the node should be displayed. This way, you can relax, go to a shop of interest or need, whatever. Knowing your wait time would make your travel more pleasant.
This is possible via geo-locators on all shuttles, with arrival times being distributed to hubs. The neighborhood level hub could have a cellular device that would have a simple (one line?) LCD display. See Transit Tracker provided by TriMet in Portland, Oregon.
Main lines could originate in a village, go to their community center, then perhaps through another community on the way to a town stop. Some might even continue to downtown before returning to the end of the line. In this way, many riders could stay on board for an entire trip - no transfer needed. However, coverage for the whole area is via transfers.
Conventional wisdom tells us to avoid transfers at all costs. Conventional systems attempt to schedule reasonable transfers where possible. But since there is no overall system philosophy or design, transfers can not be optimized - it's hopeless. That is why transfer times are not consistent throughout the system or the day. Routes do not contribute to the system holistically. In contrast, a system of meaningful transfers could create synergy, waves of transportation energy, pulsating throughout the region.
Back downtown for a last note on interchanges. What could serve as an interchange be for a city? You can't practically bring everyone to a single point or station downtown. For a city the size of Portland, consider a people mover to move people north and south along the existing transit mall to reach transit connections to outlying towns. Large cities are interlaced with subways for this purpose, the subways continuing on the surface connecting to surrounding cities and suburbs. (See the note about downtown in at the end of the Levels and Modes section.)
Trips are taken for a single purpose - go to work and back home; go to school and back home; go shopping and bring stuff home; go out for dinner and come home stuffed. These are common things to do.
Tours, or multi-purpose, multi-stop trips, are taken in the next section.
The trips below could be for any of the above purposes.
|A Trip||Possible Transportation|
|to an adjacent neighborhood||may be walkable, certainly bikeable. Use your car, or catch a short transit ride.|
|to your village||could be made via neighborhood transit to your village, or by walking depending on your proximity to the village.|
|to an neighborhood on the other side of your village||could be made via neighborhood transit to your village, then to the remote neighborhood. The same transit vehicle may connect, or you may have to switch to the other neighborhood's shuttle after a brief wait or errand in the village.|
|to another village in your community||is started by taking transit into your village. From there, you might go directly to a neighboring village, or more likely, you'd go up to the community level and then to the desired village.|
|to another community in your town||is started by taking transit into your community. From there, you might go directly to a neighboring community, or more likely, you'd go up to the town level and then to the desired community.|
|to your town||is in the cosmo direction.|
|to downtown||is no different than any other town. Downtown is not necessarily the center of the city. The airport and other transport would be major attractors, as would be each town with cultural facilities, nightspots, etc.|
|to a neighborhood in another part of the city||can be made by any combination of going up levels, staying on a level, and going down levels. What ever way you want to get there. One can always go up to the highest level that contains the destination, then descend on it. Or one could traverse village and community lines to move about.|
[Transit-Oriented Development, or transit serving established neighborhoods. Live within walking distance of one community center - work within walking distance from some other community in same town. May have a direct community-to-community connection, or may have to ride into nearest town to get to the work community. Same shuttle may serve both communities, passing through the town in its 'orbit'.
[Need a table showing number of transfers as function of (live,work). Time/Distance covered by the modes.]
An example of a most enjoyable tour goes here -- picking up some bakery and deli items for dinner on the way home after a day on the transportation web.
[Transpersonal Web allows you to go where you want to go, pivoting as needed from one place to another to complete a
[Transpersonal Web allows you to go where you want to go, pivoting as needed from one place to another to complete a
[Bike or Segway on bus, max (light rail), amtrak.]
Consider the following examples of how the current system differs from this world transportation model.
These lines should connect town centers expeditiously, with a minimum of stops.
2040 Plan calls for
new service to suburbs and connecting suburb to suburb
But to be effective,
a bus should not stop 36 times when trying to connect regional or town centers!
This is why people prefer automobiles.
How Different: The proposed system would more likely service Lair Hill and Corbett as neighborhoods close to town and just shuttle between them - not go up Taylor's Ferry Road. The up/down hill link would be provided separately, perhaps as a shuttle link crossing the Willamette River connecting Burlingame easily to Sellwood. There would be a major interchange where they all meet (Taylors Ferry, Sellwood Bridge, Corbett, Lake Oswego, etc). It is an entirely different way of thinking about a transit system.
How Different: I would rather take any of a number of generic limited-stop buses out to a point where it could meet other buses that go further out to other places. That would eliminate the need for my further-out bus to come into downtown congestion, causing it to be late. It would also allow the further-out buses to run more frequently on their shorter routes.
This design requires transfers, but I think it would minimize impact of inevitable delays by providing more frequency along main routes. It would also allow for fairly fine-grained tuning, and allow capacity to be added easily. People wouldn't mind if the buses started running every 5 minutes instead of every 7 on a main line, for example. Riders would use a system of buses rather than having to depend on a particular bus arriving at a particular time.
Their on-line system maps zooms to rectangular chunks of square miles without regard for terrain or recognition that Portland is divided severely by the Willamette River the West Hills, and freeways - ie not useful subsets of the area. A map based on a world model would zoom from city to town, from town to community, etc, along their natural and man-made boundaries. (Same for all other cites in the world.)
TriMet experiments with a variety of services, and tweaks their system map a little each year. A comprehensive design approach should make a more efficient system, even if it has to be phased in or built over a decade -- If 'frequent bus' is attempting to emulate light rail service, then let's go ahead and design the system around it, and build up the capacity.
One particular future MAX line is planned for a right-away set aside for it - along I-205, so bus lining is not possible there. However, I suspect this will not be done system wide prior to building the other MAX lines, because it would involve cutting direct bus routes in favor of feeder lines, which would upset the ridership. By waiting till a line is built, TriMet has an ironclad excuse for changing affected bus routes. This is the way it goes under the current planning scheme (in my opinion). Please tell me if I am wrong about this.
Transit Union resistance to such plans? Use retired drivers in the community and village routes, working part time - mornings or evenings only, or split shifts if they need the income.
This system consists completely of various kinds shuttles or cycles operating between and within levels. The lower levels of this system are not synchronized. Above the community level, all system transfers are scheduled, timed, tracked, and synchronized.
Below the community level, the two modes may get in/out of phase with each other. On this scale, it won't seem like lack of synchronization, since travel is from Leaf Nodes at the start or end of a trip, and usually near a market area of some kind.
There seems to be plenty of literature in regional science about hub and spoke network models.
Directional signage for auto drivers could take advantage of the standardized name space in the new world model.
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