Thursday, July 25, 2013

We don't build transit just to reduce congestion

In my last post, I talked about how expanding highway capacity doesn't reduce congestion. The primary study I cited mentioned, in addition to this, that building transit doesn't reduce congestion either.

This is interesting because congestion reduction is one of the primary reasons given for expending transit when presented at the ballot. But if it doesn't actually reduce congestion, why do we even build transit?

The reason for that is simply because there are other, better reasons for building transit than reducing congestion. That is, in fact, a very car-centric reason for doing it, when by its very nature transit provides an alternative to cars. The mindset around transit needs not to be "this will benefit me because other people will use it" but "this will benefit me because I will use it."

A good transit system provides a way out of congestion, rather than a means of reducing it. The main pitch for transit needs to be this: It increases mobility. And increasing mobility is the best reason for supporting transit.

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