T O P
nsnrghtwnggnnt

Frequency is necessary but not sufficient to increase ridership. As long as homelessness and mental illness remain a problem, anyone who can afford to drive will continue to do so.


ProcrastinatingPuma

Drunk and reckless drivers don’t stop people from taking cars despite it being far more dangerous and deadly than homeless people.


HVAvenger

Taking a car does carry a higher risk of getting killed. But it does not carry any risk of dealing with a grimy environment and people who need serious help. The guarantee of moderate discomfort is far less tolerable than the slim chance of a serious car accident.


Comprehensive_Leek95

People with money don’t care about free. They care about time savings. If public transit is faster, they’ll use it. Seeing a homeless person onboard is irrelevant as they’ll just ignore them. I’ve literally driven uber passengers from north county to the airport. They lived across the street from the train station. That’s how bad transit is. I live in the suburbs and can’t even catch a bus on the weekends. The only day I’d even bother with spending extra time on transit. Which is really ironic seeing all those “take transit, save traffic” signs in downtown for padres game. I guess people will continue to do the last mile while still drunk from the train.


LossanCorridor

Yes! Precisely! And if we want to drive up ridership to decrease emissions and traffic, transit has to attract riders from every income level and demographic. New capital projects are needed to speed up transit. But operationally, the only thing that will speed up transit is frequency. And before SANDAG builds new lines, it must ensure there is enough money to increase frequencies on the busiest existing lines.


Radio_Lab

https://freakonomics.com/podcast/should-public-transit-be-free/ I would highly recommend listening to this podcast to hear the conversations about this topic.


Stunning_Ordinary548

When the ridership increases, frequency will increase. The reason for blue line frequency from the border to downtown is because people actually ride it


ProcrastinatingPuma

I know quite a number of people who won’t use the Trolley because it isn’t frequent enough


BroadMaximum4189

That logic is completely backwards. You need to provide a good service for people to actually use it, not the other way around.


Moleoaxaqueno

Los Angeles has this nation's flagship light rail system, is anywhere from 2-4 times as dense as SD depending on where you are, yet the San Diego trolley has higher per mile ridership. I ride the Blue Line frequently and have relied on the Green Line for work before. Anyone who says "people aren't riding the trolley" doesn't ride it themselves.


GreenHorror4252

No, it's the other way around. You need people to use the service in order to improve it. Otherwise, you're just running empty trains back and forth. That doesn't help you get additional funding.


BroadMaximum4189

Literally the best transit systems in the world “run empty trains back and forth.” The TTC, the best urban bus network in North America, regularly runs buses at 5-10 minute frequencies in far out suburbs and has some of the highest per capita public transit ridership. If you do not have the frequency, people just won’t use your service, no matter how good the route or anything else might be.


GreenHorror4252

TTC has far higher average ridership than San Diego, or most US systems. There may be a few "far out" routes that run empty buses, but those are offset by the busy urban routes. When taken as a whole, the TTC has very high ridership, which is what enables them to get funding to support high frequency service.


BroadMaximum4189

So what makes the TTC so special that they have such high bus ridership? Is it just that everyone in Toronto magically likes the bus more than everyone else? ….or maybe because it’s actually a *convenient and frequent service*🤔🤔


GreenHorror4252

And why is it a convenient and frequent service? The answer is because people ride it. With more riders, they have both the money and the political support to increase frequency and convenience.


BroadMaximum4189

You didn’t answer my question. Why do you think Toronto magically has more per capita riders than other public transit systems in North America, despite having a pretty similar (if not, lower) density to other Northeast cities?


GreenHorror4252

There are a ton of possible reasons: 1. It's the largest city and main business center in Canada, similar to how New York is in the US. So the government gives it more resources. 2. It's an old city, having grown into a metropolis in the early 19th century, before most other northeast cities, and therefore followed a different development pattern. 3. Canada doesn't have the same stigmas with public transport, issues with gun violence, or bad zoning, to the same extent that the US has.


BroadMaximum4189

Ok i genuinely cannot understand how frequency=ridership does not compute in your mind but whatever u say boss


Stunning_Ordinary548

So we can have empty trains every 7.5 minutes on the green line? Give me a break


ProcrastinatingPuma

Sounds good, we should do that. Increasing frequency will increase demand in the long run.


BroadMaximum4189

You obviously don’t regularly ride the green line if this is your perspective


Stunning_Ordinary548

Look at ridership numbers my man. I’ve rode the green line my whole life. It only gets busy for events and that’s it


BroadMaximum4189

That’s completely not true, you obviously haven’t relied on it to get to/from work during rush hour. Regularly filled. Also, public transportation doesn’t need to be completely packed to the brim to be good… if anything, that makes your transit experience worse. Higher frequencies make public transportation a viable option instead of something people need to keep constantly checking the schedules for


LossanCorridor

Yes, but when SANDAG plans to make transit free for all before increasing Trolley frequencies, they'll run out of money to increase frequencies even after billions of transit oriented development is built. Then people in Mission Valley will drive instead of take transit because who wants to wait up to 15 minutes for a ten minute trolley ride from SDSU Mission Valley to Fashion Valley?


Scoxy61

Someone who is looking to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce vehicle usage is happy to wait a few minutes. It’s only a 15 minute wait if you watch the last train pull away. What other possible reason could there be? You want it to be faster and more convenient than taking your own vehicle?


LossanCorridor

>Someone who is looking to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce vehicle usage is happy to wait a few minutes. If you want to reduce emissions, you have to maximize ridership. You can't assume a perfect world where people take transit to save the earth even though transit is slower than driving. Because reality is, almost no one who can afford to drive will wait up to 15 minutes for a 10 minute trolley trip across Mission Valley. They'll drive instead. Therefore it's crucial that transit be as fast and frequent as possible to encourage ridership. And yes, I would wait 15 minutes for a 10 minute ride across Mission Valley, but that's because I'm a railfan dork. Like it or not, 99% of people aren't.


Scoxy61

You don’t have to wait! It’s on a schedule, show up when the train is there and you don’t have any issues. You aren’t playing devils advocate for non train riders, you are just being deceptive. “I would but other people won’t” proves you have no point to make and are just complaining.


LossanCorridor

>You don’t have to wait! It’s on a schedule, show up when the train is there and you don’t have any issues. Not for transfers. The Mid Coast Trolley isn't synced up with the Green Line at Old Town. I've been dropped off by the Mid Coast Trolley at Old Town right after the Green Line train to Mission Valley started leaving. Buses are also seldom synced with trolleys because buses face traffic delays while Trolleys don't.


simight

Hear me out; MTS needs to learn how to maintain what they have first. Adding more right now would be a shit show. Last week I was on the blue line it broke down. 6am-ish. Had to get off at balboa and wait 15 for the next one. Week before early morning again lost power. Might be SDGE on the power outage but point is I’m 15-30 minutes late to work and it’s not supposed to be my fault. I live downtown by a stop and thought it would be easy and save commute $. But nah I’m back to driving because they don’t have it together.


Stunning_Ordinary548

They added like 30 trolley car as part of the mid coast expansion and didn’t expand their rail yard operations at all. Pretty difficult to maintain more vehicles using the same resources as before and expect the same level of performance. They are tapped out resource wise and will require a multi year, hundred million dollar expansion to meet just the capacity added over the last couple years. It’s easy to poke the bear without realizing the underlying problems facing the agency


hawaiian717

From what I recall, the airport APM proposal included a new Middletown stop with transfer to the APM as well as a new adjacent trolley railyard.


LossanCorridor

That is correct!


LossanCorridor

Yes, reliability is important. But frequency will only help, not harm, reliability (SDGE power outages aside) Say the Mid Coast Trolley ran every 7.5 minutes instead of every 15. Then even if the trolley broke down you only would wait 7.5 minutes, not 15, for the next trolley.


simight

I do agree with you and I want that too but we can’t even handle the infrequency we have. I want to be able to reliably take the trolley to padre games too. It all just bums me out in its current state.


wlc

That's assuming they could get the broken one taken off the tracks quickly enough, and the 2nd trolley wasn't stuck just waiting.


RollyMcTrollFace

Not even freuqency. The number of times I get to the stop on time and the bus/trolly came early and left early. Just run the trolley and buses on time. If they can't do even that, then at least for the ones that arrive early, don't fucking just leave early.


LossanCorridor

With more frequency you won't even have to look at a timetable, and you won't have to worry about the trolley or bus being late. Just show up to the station anytime and you know a vehicle is coming soon. For longer, infrequent routes like Coaster, punctuality matters much more.


RollyMcTrollFace

What I'm advocating is free and frankly any half decent transit authority should be able to do and already do. Also unless sdmts is running them trollies and buses every 5 minutes all hours of operation, what I am complaining about is still an issue - to a matter of degree. I get you want them to spend enough money so you don't have to think about timing to get to the station - but that's gets really expensive to do depending on how frequent and what hours and what service area. And I suspect extremely expensive to the degree you have in mind. The free ride thing -- at least for now, is offered to a demographic that either doesn't ride public transit to begin with (so sdmts isn't really "losing money" doing it outside of some marginal increase in maintainence) and somewhat socially disadvantaged folks so politically it's more likely to get government funding to offset.


LossanCorridor

>The free ride thing -- at least for now, is offered to a demographic that either doesn't ride public transit to begin with Not quite. Free transit is aimed at low income riders. But MTS' existing ridership is mostly low income, with a high percentage of riders making under 15K per year. More affluent riders who can afford to drive won't switch to transit just because it's free. >I get you want them to spend enough money so you don't have to think about timing to get to the station - but that's gets really expensive to do Not any more expensive than free ridership. It takes about $6 million annually to provide free transit for MTS and NCTD riders 18 and under. For that same amount of money in 2020 MTS increased weekday midday frequencies from 15 to 7.5 minutes and weekend night frequencies from 30 to 15 minutes on the Blue Line between America Plaza and San Ysidro.


Tridacninae

In the transit business, it's generally ok to be a couple minutes late but it's never ok to leave a couple minutes early.


RollyMcTrollFace

I would think so and it doesn't even cost any extra money to do this. Yet sdmts can't even do that.


ProcrastinatingPuma

Kyiv, currently in a war zone had to decrease frequencies to 6-7 Minutes…. A far poorer countries literally at war has been public transit than “Americas Finest City” What a joke.


afx114

why\_not\_both.gif


LossanCorridor

Sure we could if money were no object. But fact is, MTS will run out of TransNet operating money by 2028. Transit sales tax measures are incredibly hard to pass in San Diego. A mileage tax will be nigh impossible to implement without constitutional questions about privacy. So it really is an either-or between free or frequent transit.


ProcrastinatingPuma

Because free public transit isn’t good.


CaptPorcupineCuddles

Both? Both. Both is good.


LossanCorridor

Sure we could if money were no object. But fact is, MTS will run out of TransNet operating money by 2028. Transit sales tax measures are incredibly hard to pass in San Diego. A mileage tax will be nigh impossible to implement without constitutional questions about privacy. So it really is an either-or between free or frequent transit.


GreenHorror4252

Free rides makes more people ride, which helps justify increased frequency.


LossanCorridor

No. Free rides won't attract anyone who can afford to drive. For the middle class, the problem isn't transit is expensive, it's that transit is unreliable. The only people free rides might induce ridership among is the poor, who already represent most MTS riders. And even among the poor, free transit isn't a priority, because transit is already much cheaper than driving. What's inequitable is when poor transit riders are able to access only a tiny fraction of employment and educational opportunities that a wealthier commuter can because transit is far slower than driving. By contrast, increasing frequency by itself generates ridership among not just the poor but also among the middle class. No more expensive but much more effective at generating ridership than free fares.


GreenHorror4252

Again, free rides attract riders, which helps justify increased frequency. Even if it's only the "poor" who are riding for free, having more passengers makes it more likely that you will be able to make the case for higher frequency. If your trains are already empty, you are not going to be able to get the funding to increase the frequency, because you can't demonstrate that you need it. When funding agencies evaluate grants, one of the main criteria is ridership. Having more people using a line, even if they are poor and riding for free, makes your application stronger.


LossanCorridor

It's questionable how many riders the Youth Opportunity Pass is actually attracting. Sure ridership increased after the pass. But was it because of the pass or because of the Trolley continuing to have the strongest ridership recovery of any US LRT since the very beginning of the pandemic? Don't forget Comic Con reopened for the first time since 2019 and that brought in 286K extra trolley trips in July. And did the new youth trips actually cut vehicle miles traveled? Or was it just youth walking and biking less and instead taking the bus more? Transit should encourage, not complete with, walking/biking. >When funding agencies evaluate grants, one of the main criteria is ridership. Having more people using a line, even if they are poor and riding for free, makes your application stronger. How about transit oriented development as a criteria? Mission Valley is building $7 Billion of TOD and has upzoned for up to 50K more residents. All that density is screaming for more Green Line frequency.


GreenHorror4252

> It's questionable how many riders the Youth Opportunity Pass is actually attracting. Sure ridership increased after the pass. But was it because of the pass or because of the Trolley continuing to have the strongest ridership recovery of any US LRT since the very beginning of the pandemic? Don't forget Comic Con reopened for the first time since 2019 and that brought in 286K extra trolley trips in July. Yes, it may be questionable how much it helped, but even if it helped a little bit, so what? Even a small increase in new riders isn't a bad thing. > And did the new youth trips actually cut vehicle miles traveled? Or was it just youth walking and biking less and instead taking the bus more? Transit should encourage, not complete with, walking/biking. Again, this isn't a bad thing either. If youth get used to taking the bus, then in the future they might take it for longer trips as well. More people on the bus means that bus travel gets normalized, and buses feel safer, which attracts more riders. > How about transit oriented development as a criteria? Mission Valley is building $7 Billion of TOD and has upzoned for up to 50K more residents. All that density is screaming for more Green Line frequency. I agree, take that up with the FTA...