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Showing posts from December, 2012

Improving public transport with a budget

Large cities benefit from public transport. It is simply more efficient to transport hundreds or thousands of people together (trans, trams, buses) than each of them individually (cars, taxis). However, public transportation systems have to match the passenger demand. If there are relatively too few passengers for the public transport capacity, there will be idling and waste of resources. If there are relatively too many passengers, the system will be saturated and become inefficient. This balance between public transport capacity and demand is very tricky, since many cities change their transportation demands much faster than their public transport infrastructure.
There is also a clear correlation between the cost, building time, and capacity of transportation systems. Trains and metros are high cost, high capacity, making them unsuitable for cities of roughtly less than a million inhabitants. Trams and bus rapid transit (BRT) are intermediate: they have less capacity, but they cost l…