Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bumped Last Night, Spare the Air Day Tomorrow

Last night I had to work later than usual. I never have trouble getting on my usual, earlier, train, but hitting rush hour things didn't go so swimmingly. My intended train was 10 mins late, and was made up of Bombardier cars and had only one bike car, so only a handful of the huge crowd of waiting bikers got on. The next one had more room, but served a different set of stops, not including where I wanted to get off (in this case RWC), so all told, I ended up getting where I wanted to go at least 30 mins later than I intended. Grrr!

These problems seem to be getting worse and worse, it's just that my own commute patterns usually let me avoid it.

Bikers have been giving CalTrain plenty of suggestions (read Sub20OLH's, for example), but they seem to just want to add more bike racks to keep us off the train.

Tomorrow is Spare-the-Air Day, so all BA transit will be free til noon. Expect crowded trains!

Considering that Spare-the-Air transit giveaways have been going on for a few years, at a cost of a couple million dollars per day, I think it's reasonable to ask now if they actually have had any effect in recruiting new, recurring, paying passengers. Is anyone even trying to measure this? Or is this just a "feel good" publicity thing?

A million here and there may not add up to much in the scheme of transit funding, but if StAD isn't actually having any real benefit, I can recommend a few things to spend the money on that would--like even just one single new bike car!

1 comment:

Fritz said...

After last years's Spare the Air free transit days, I found a report on MTA's website recommending they stop doing this because it's not a cost effective way to reduce carbon output. I don't recall the exact numbers, but I seem to remember 1.8% of the increased ridership were commuters -- the rest were day trippers taking advantage of the free ride to the City and other destinations.