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The thought of standing on a crowded subway platform in the heat of the summer makes me cringe! The subway stations are utterly unbearable at this time of year. Even if it was free, I don't think that would be enough to get me down there! I'll keep driving for as long as I can afford it.
As an aside, I'm a new listener who is really enjoying the show! Thanks for helping me get up and going every morning.
i think in miamidade to raise 1/2 penny in sales taxes to get FREE transportation for everyone is a great idea and a brilliant one, we already are the envy in terms of weather in the u.s.a. and now the only city with unlimited free rides for all humans…TREMENDOUSSSSSSSSSS !!!!!!!
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Make parking available and free at transit stations will certainly help ridership from the suburbs where residency restrictions, permits with waiting lists and high fees are very common.
Could improvements in off-peak service boost overall ridership?
It's easy to overlook the basic idea that a round trip via mass transit includes a return trip. A desirable ride includes not only a good ride your destination, but a good ride home too.
As applies to commuters:Folks who work an unusual shift, work late regularly, tend to go out nearwork before going home, etc, may base the car vs train decision on thequality of the trip home, which is likely to be off-peak.
Other:Shopping and other errands that could be done by either car or mass transit if commonly done outside of peak service hours.
2. Could making mass transit more baggage friendly boost ridership?
Having lots of stuff to carry can make car travel appealing as many urbantrains and busses (especially buses) are not set up to accommodate luggage, shopping bags, packages, etc, very gracefully (especially if many passengers all have a lot of stuff at the same time).
3. Could making busses and train cars more baggage friendly do double duty by making them more bicycle friendly too?
As an architect, my biggest concern in New York is the safety of the subway riders. This is magnified in the event of a large catastrophe underground. I have long felt that making the subway free would be a big help in preventing major loss of life in such an instance. While the MTA has made attempts to add emergency exits in the gates in the underground spaces, in my opinion they are still grossly inadequate. If the public were to panic while trying to exit the trains, I fear there would be major loss of life due to the bars and gates that impede movement to the exits. I hope we do not have to wait until the Triangle Loft incident of the NYC Subway to make changes to protect from this possibility. Were the subway to be free, all of the bars and grates could be removed and the MTA could spend this capital on increasing the number and size of exit stairs in all stations.
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