Re: A proposal for expanding the franchise system (long) (52501)

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Posted by ar on Mon Aug 5 16:02:53 2002, in response to Re: A proposal for expanding the franchise system (long),
posted by Thurston on Mon Aug 5 14:41:23 2002.

Trust me, I would love the opportunity to prove that I'm not trying to sell you the Titanic, but this would mean operating a service illegally. I don't want to promote that kind of activity (although in some cases it may be necessary) because it only creates more resistance to you. Not to mention the fact that at $5000 per bus ticketed, I would need an excellent lawyer.

I could certainly run a service 24/7 and make a profit in the following circumstances:
-High daily volume: If I ran the B35, B41, or B46, they would run every half-hour all night. Why? Longer service spans attract more riders. By the way, commuter vans do their BEST business at night.
-Possible point deviation: I may have to keep a fleet of 30 footers on reserve and rotate them into service around 10pm. On a limited stop or express service, we could deviate up to 1/2 mile off of the route to discharge passengers closer to their homes.
-Short running times: The shorter at night, the easier to do it.

I'm not saying this would be EASY...not at all. Thurston is correct when he says the current system works just fine for many because both the workers and companies benefit financially...AND THAT'S THE PROBLEM! There is no stagnation in mass transit...you are either growing or dying.

Thurston is also correct in saying that private companies bring a totally different philosophy to the table. This is true...and is not necessary negative. Private companies like to build up a service because they need to see demand (not a huge profit, just demand) in the early stages before they expand. SEPTA wants to build a "modified light rail" to run every 15-30 minutes to Reading and Wyomissing 62 miles away. Where's the current bus or rail service to build a passenger base for that? People in Philly think they may never get the train because of the high cost of what SEPTA is trying to do out of the gate. SEPTA's idea is not bad...but they made financial assumptions that they shouldn't have.

Private operators operate differently...not necessarily better or worse. And the smart ones take a risk and sometimes get burned (New Haven's Talgo, for example...over customized IMO), but that doesn't say anything about the concept.

I think that many people have never seen a large private and public system exist together. New Jersey is the closest thing to it. Anyone here believes that New Jersey would have the same or a greater network of routes if NJT had to provide ALL services, including the private, unsubsidized ones? A hybrid public/private system will give you the most coverage.

I understand that some people think I'm crazy. And that makes me feel great because the craziest people has done some of the most important things in history. I think it's crazy that the Bronx (pop: 1.2 million) and Brooklyn (2.4 million) don't have direct bus service between them. Greyhound runs buses every 60 minutes to Boston (589,000) FOUR AND A HALF HOURS away. Then we wonder why businesses don't locate in the other boroughs. I think it's crazy that a city settled by transit extensions has FORGOTTEN how important it is to keep up with the times. I think it's crazy that I can't provide my community with a needed service because the powers-that-be decide that they wan to hold a monopoly. I think it's crazy that people say that something can't be done because it requires...can you hold on to my hat I'm talking through...INNOVATION!!!!

I guess I just have to do everything myself, don't I?


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