How can we orient Provo more around public transit — which is greener and healthier than automobile transit — when it’s so car-centric? With the arrival of commuter rail, as well as a bus rapid transit system, this is a major question that need serious attention.
This Atlantic Cities article, looks to tackle that very question. Using Atlanta as a case study, it points out that there are two types of public transit riders: dependent riders and choice riders. Getting the most out of public transit involves increasing both types of rider — and therefore, I’d add, increase population density — but the article also identifies some interesting trends. Choice riders, for example, prefer rail travel to bus travel.
In any case, the point I gleen from this article is that the best way to encourage people to use public transit is to construct a robust infrastructure. This quote is illuminative:
“The way to attract both choice and dependent riders, then, is to create a transit network that traverses the center district and still extends deep into low-density employment corridors; that improves access to transit-oriented developments, as well as the developments themselves; and that expedites the transfer process — particularly intermodal transfers.”
We’re definitely moving in the right direction, then, but still are a long way off; though some buses traverse the city, rail does not and will not any time soon, despite the coming single north-south line. Also, the bus infrastructure seems inadequate: could I realistically commute via bus from the Tree Streets to anywhere? How about from the west side of town? Perhaps it is possible, but I’ve never met anyone who does it.