[FoRK] LA Traffic - solution?

Damien Morton dmorton at bitfurnace.com
Thu Aug 30 12:57:41 PDT 2012

Dunno - In St Petersberg, In Moscow, in Bali, in the Dominican
Republic, and other cities also, cant remember them all, they have
minibus networks (sometimes in addition to subway and/or light rail
networks) which work very well. Very quick, leave every 5 minutes,
crossing town and stopping at transport hubs along the way.

Works very well.

On Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 3:48 PM, Stephen Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:
> Any bus-only solution is not competitive with any solution that involves
> options of {car,bike,Segway} for the last block/mile (or several miles
> probably for the bulk of LA sources and destinations).
> In NYC, even though you have super density, the subway is so slow that
> except for more than a few miles, I'd generally rather walk. I would
> certainly rather ride a bike if I had a way to store it.
> In Silicon Valley, VTA's Light Rail seems nice, but takes an hour to go 15
> miles, plus walk time (0 on one end and 1 mile on the other for me).  That
> 15 miles takes about 15 minutes with no traffic, even including a good
> percentage of city streets.  It takes about 25-50 minutes with typical rush
> hour traffic.  Taking a series of buses would be worse.  I suspect the bus
> situation between two random points in LA is likely worse.
> I can take Caltrain which is reasonably fast, but I have 1.1 miles on my end
> and 1 mile on the other.  Fine with a bike, except for the sometimes not
> frequent enough runs.  I'm on the edge of just biking the whole way since I
> have a shower at work, and I otherwise have spotty time to work out.
> Anyway, the diffuse bus solution is not competitive.  You need constant
> directed speed between an endpoint and a major terminal. A meandering bus
> with too many stops and too long to get on/off doesn't cut it.  That should
> be less than 3 miles via car, bike, skate, segway, or walk/run.  Between
> terminals, you need uninterrupted maximum ground speed.  That solution
> provides speeds competitive with driving the route off peak while allowing
> for potentially better volume.
> Certainly, eventually we will want to go down to one or two person
> self-driving local modules.  For bulk transport, the bus / train equivalent
> of a wide-body jet is good if the ingress / egress time is minimized or
> pipelined.  My point was to have a varied fleet so that you don't make
> people wait to look to fill a bus yet you run pretty much 24 hours.
> sdw
> On 8/30/12 12:24 PM, Damien Morton wrote:
>> Or dispense with huge buses, and go for minbus services.
>> Less people per bus, more buses on the road, more varied routes, and
>> less wait times
>> On Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 3:04 PM, Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:
>>> LA should have a subway system.  But the problem with subway systems is
>>> that
>>> you have to have quite a few branches and stops to handle a diffuse area
>>> and
>>> they are very expensive to build.  Especially close to shore where
>>> there's
>>> like water table issues, etc.
>>> LA seems to suffer in a major way from bottlenecks to get from zone to
>>> zone,
>>> neighborhood to neighborhood.  And, because everything is so spread out,
>>> you
>>> often can't easily walk the "last block" on each end.
>>> Yet, we have some modern conveniences not realized in the past: ZipCar
>>> etc.,
>>> Segways, etc. that have been underused.
>>> I suggest that LA have dedicated high speed buses to parking / car
>>> sharing /
>>> micro-rental lots, preferably with very rapid park-and-ride.  Use
>>> efficient
>>> valets if necessary (turn gas guzzling into employment), with mobile apps
>>> for indicating ahead of time that you will be arriving and need your
>>> vehicle
>>> ready.  After proof of concept phase, invest in automated garages, moving
>>> platform entry/exit, etc.
>>> Each bus should supply power, Internet, a tablet-level computer with
>>> local
>>> web cache, bathroom, etc.  Carry any number of bikes and also support
>>> scalable bike storage on each end (some people could just own 2 bikes).
>>> The rapid buses (zoom bus = zus?, bus busy business = busi?, bus commute
>>> verb = busted, plane efficiency for ground travel = low flight, grounded
>>> flight, rapid taxi, taxi-way, surface flight, flit) should get dedicated
>>> lanes or lights or something and should travel at top speed (65 minimum,
>>> use
>>> technology to make 80+ possible) with plane-like take and landing ramps
>>> at
>>> each end, not slow local streets.  Mix mega buses with standard and mini
>>> and
>>> limo-size down to minivan.  Mix and match to handle volume efficiently
>>> with
>>> a very short average wait until takeoff.
>>> Then, at each of a small number of rapid bus endpoints, thoroughly
>>> support
>>> diversified competitive vehicle sharing, swapping, rental, etc.  Do this
>>> with an umbrella of security cameras, electronic tracking, reputation
>>> system, Lo-Jack, GPS, live video, mobile Internet, etc.  Make it
>>> virtually
>>> impossible to get away with theft, violence, etc.  Self-insure a bit from
>>> fees, etc.
>>> Support not only cross shared, rented, and parked vehicles and bicycles,
>>> but
>>> also Segways, inline skates, scooters, etc.  Create very minimal drop-off
>>> points all over, just concrete pads with lockup, security camera, touch
>>> panel, hotspot.
>>> Charge enough to make the system solvent, but be ruthless about
>>> optimization
>>> and charging as little as possible.
>>> Have affinity buses at certain times (being very careful about potential
>>> problems): student vs. college kids vs. professionals, concert traffic,
>>> etc.
>>> Use the lack of subways as an advantage.  Drastically reduce highway
>>> traffic.  Improve range and available time for everyone.
>>> sdw
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