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Why should we fight this nationwide trend towards less Public Transport.
We have to satisfy the Market demand - people's preferences.
Government trying to stem this demand is equivalent to the old USSR trying to control its economy.

US Urban Public Transport Market Share
(In passenger KMs) http://www.publicpurpose.com/ut-usptshare45.htm
TWELVE ANTI-TRANSIT "MYTHS":  http://www.apta.com/info/online/weyrich3.pdf page 54. The authors,(one voted for Pat Buchanon), call anti-transits "Troubadours"
 Transit is not important because its market share is so small. - they say
Ridership declined by about two-thirds in the last 50 years, from 23 billion annual trips to between eight and nine billion in recent years. From 50 percent in 1945 to barely 2 percent by 1995."
THE RESPONSE:-"Only about half of American households have transit available, and only about one-quarter have transit available that they consider "satisfactory." People cannot ride what isn't there.  Moreover, transit has never carried a large share of certain types of trips, such as shopping trips -- which today are the single largest category of "total trips."

Read the full response

It is the 2% Market Share that MUST be used to evaluate transit and here is why:
Despite the huge increase in the amount of transit over this period, market share is 2% because  transit cannot cater to the chosen mode of development throughout the country  -SPRAWL. There will never be "A better measure of transit's effectiveness:- transit competitive trips" simply because transit can never compete in the many suburbs and no one will go/carry their shopping on the bus or train.
Even if, lets say, 1/2 of all miles driven is non-commuting and of the remaining 1/4 is the equivalent of commute driving to/from the Transit Station then we could still allocate no more than 5% market share to transit compared to the remaining competitive commute-miles driven.As to the other "myths" we need to look at the Data.
"Myth" 3: Commuting by rail is slower than commuting by car or bus. TWELVE ANTI-TRANSIT MYTHS: fails to prove that a transit commute, with the average interconnection time, is any faster.
"Myth" 4: Transit does not relieve congestion.  Quoting the St Louis Police Chief is hardly a scientific argument. Here are the St Louis FACTSand the Induced Traffic argument rebuttal. Also the data says a Freeway lane has a capacity of 5,000 vehicles per hour not 1,500. Where transit is serving large Metropolitan areas with a market share far greater than 2% then it makes a difference, but nationwide, at 2% overall average, it can make little difference to congestion.
Reference to the "Myths" can also be found here Transit Referenda and Why They Succeed or Fail

US Urban Personal Vehicle & Public Transport Market Share

Year Estimated Urban Personal Vehicle Passenger Miles Public Transport Passenger Miles Personal Vehicle Market Share Personal Vehicle Market Share Change (Annual) Public Transport Market Share Public Transport Market Share Change (Annual)
1945 240.0 130.0 64.86% NA 35.14% NA
1950 403.0 90.0 81.74% 4.73% 18.26% -12.27%
1955 515.0 60.0 89.57% 1.84% 10.43% -10.58%
1960 627.0 48.0 92.89% 0.73% 7.11% -7.38%
1965 786.0 43.0 94.81% 0.41% 5.19% -6.12%
1970 1,089.0 41.0 96.37% 0.33% 3.63% -6.90%
1975 1,247.2 38.0 97.04% 0.14% 2.96% -4.01%
1980 1,373.9 39.9 97.18% 0.03% 2.82% -0.95%
1985 1,594.8 39.6 97.58% 0.08% 2.42% -2.99%
1990 1,966.4 41.1 97.95% 0.08% 2.05% -3.28%
1991 1,981.9 40.9 97.98% 0.01% 2.02% -0.29%
1992 2,083.0 40.3 98.10% 0.02% 1.90% -1.24%
1993 2,142.4 39.4 98.19% 0.02% 1.81% -0.99%
1994 2,220.4 39.6 98.25% 0.01% 1.75% -0.60%
1995 2,203.6 39.8 98.23% -0.00% 1.77% 0.25%
1996 2,239.5 41.3 98.19% -0.01% 1.81% 0.41%
1997 2,313.2 43.3 98.16% -0.01% 1.84% 0.29%
1998 2,397.8 44.1 98.19% 0.01% 1.81% -0.33%
1999 2,438.8 45.8 98.16% -0.01% 1.84% 0.41%
2000 (Prelim.) 2,497.3 47.8 98.12% -0.01% 1.88% 0.37%
             
 


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