Archive for November 28, 2007
I wonder what we’ll do as our public transportation system begins to get overwhelmed by riders. Will we begin to look like those countries where people hang off the sides of trains and pack 50 people on TOP of the bus?
Yesterday I took the bus from one side of Portland to the other. The first leg of the journey was typical:
Most of the people on sit in silence, engaged in their own world, nose deep in a book or game unit, or staring into space. I think many people figure there is no reason to engage with people for such a short amount of time, so as social creatures we choose to wall ourselves in.
There was enough room on the first line, but as I waited at the next stop – it hit me that we are starting to see the strains of our existing infrastructure. As the bus pulled up to the stop, it looked like a college prank where a class tries to fit way more people into a physical space than physics allows.
The driver merely pulled up to the stop, looked me in the eye, and drove right off. He didn’t even open the doors to say “We are too full.”
The sailor mouthed guy next to me certainly had no problem spouting his thoughts out loud, mentioning that this is happening to him more and more. My martial arts instructor then informed me it is also happening to his girlfriend more and more.
Now, logistically, operations managers must have a handle of traffic loads and peak hours for ridership, so what gives? Are we seeing massively increased ridership, or is this just bad route planning?
For anyone interested in Carpooling, Carpool Crew is a great site.