Original post made
by Rory Brown
on Jul 15, 2008
If reducing greenhouse gases and dependence on foreign oil is more critical than ever, thinking of new ways to get more people to take public transit is more urgent than ever.
To find out what it's like to ride public transit in our area, I gave up a car for five days and depended on trains and buses for transportation. I tell all about it in this week's cover story, which you can also read online: "Missed connections."
That tells you about some of the problems and obstacles, particularly for people who may be new to using public transit.
So, what do we do about it?
I asked local people who have given this some thought for their ideas. Below is a sample. What are your ideas? Please join the conversation by using the comment box below.
, Menlo Park councilwoman: It should be a priority to get local transit agencies (such as SamTrans and VTA) included in a "one pass" system, such as Translink, as soon as possible. Transit agencies should help cities improve public transit to and from schools to cut traffic.
, Menlo Park transportation commissioner (but not speaking on behalf of the commission): The private sector has a potential role to play in improving transit connections, as more local companies could provide shuttle service to and from public transportation stations to bridge gaps in the existing system. Caltrain should add more bicycle cars to meet the growing demand of bicyclists.
, a former Menlo Park councilman who served on several regional transportation bodies: Local agencies need to do a detailed "time transfer analysis" to figure out how long people are waiting between trips, and how those wait times can be lessened through schedule changes.
, chair of the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce's transportation committee: Menlo Park and other cities along the Caltrain line should greenlight higher-density residential development. "If you beef up the density, you get more people near transit, making the transit more efficient and more frequent."
, Menlo Park councilman: Dedicated bus lanes, or bus rapid transit, is worth exploring. Lanes dedicated to buses can decrease trip times. It's important that transit agencies make improving regional transit networks a higher priority than the California High Speed Rail project.
Please post your comments below.
A related conversation is going on here. Page to the bottom of the story to see the comments.
Posted by Resident,
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2008 at 11:07 am
Some ideas of mine
A one journey pass to include all modes of public transit on one ticket
Signs on bus stops saying how frequent buses are and where they go to. Also signs that say where to catch the bus for the return journey, sometimes that is impossible to find.
Signs and maps at stations telling passengers getting off the way to go.
Off peak family passes for day trips to San Jose or San Francisco. These could start after 10.00 a.m. when the trains are less full and Caltrain would get passengers for the empty seats.
Get better transport to and from stations and better bike lock facilities to keep bikes off trains. Also, some stations should have day bike rental facilities to enable train passengers to rent a bike to get to their destination particularly places like downtown San Francisco, San Jose and especially Stanford (or Berkeley). Paris has great bike rental facilities that enable you to rent a bike on a credit card swipe and you can return them in any number of places. Passengers on the Paris Metro, London Underground and NY Subway systems don't take bikes on trains, so finding ways to discourage this practice so we can put in more seats for passengers makes sense.
Better transit to SFO and SJC airports from the Peninsula would really help.
Maps at Bart stations telling you where you are appearing when you come above ground would be really helpful. Better systems for paying for Bart parking would also help, there is no point in being told you need your parking bay number after you have gone through the turnstile.
Paying for parking on trains would speed things up, people must miss trains while paying to park. A system should be worked out so that the paying can be done on the trains if you know your licence number, parking bay number and station name should be possible on a credit card.
If I come up with more, I will let you know.