Sunday, March 22, 2009

More on the cost of driving

(Note: This was posted using the Bakersfield Amtrak's free wifi while waiting on San Joaquin #715 to Richmond.)

I'm writing to you from the CA-210 Freeway on board the Amtrak California route 19 bus. Obviously I have no internet, so I'll post this later, but it's currently 10:18 AM on Sunday morning. We've just passed a traffic accident. An SUV and a tractor-trailer got into some sort of conflict- it blocked the freeway down to two lanes, from it's usual six. Took us about twenty minutes to get past. Even the firemen ran the last half mile, traffic was so thick.

Watch your morning traffic report. Most of the time you're just thinking about "How can I get to work?" and a traffic accident is simply an obstacle to you getting there. That's a legitimate complaint- hundreds of people were inconvenienced this morning, just from one collision. The next time you hear about a traffic accident though, think about how it affects the people involved. This time it looked like only minor injuries occured, but both the SUV driver and the trucker are up for major headaches from the DMV and police in the coming weeks. The trucker might even lose his job. Distressingly, injuries and fatalities in traffic accidents are all too common. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for people 18-34, and the #1 cause of accidental death in this country. They take 40,000 lives every year.

That's September 11th every month or so.

Public buses are 10 times safer than driving, per passenger mile. Rail transit is 40 times safer. People ask me why I don't drive. I say, why take the risk?

3 comments:

twodogkd said...

Justin.

Great info on riding transit vs driving in a private vehicle.

Off topic.

I heard about a meeting at the RTA Friday afternoon and arrived just as the meeting was shutting down. it was the meeting of Western Riverside County TRANSPORTATION NOW which currently has chapters in

-- Corona/Norco/District 2,

-- Moreno Valley/Perris,

-- San Gorgorio Pass,

The meeting was to discuss whether to start a chapter in Riverside of TRANSPORATION NOW.

TRANSPORTATION NOW members range from elected officials, transit users, community activists and Riverside Transit Agency and support public transit in the chapter area.

TRANSPORTATION NOW's Mission Statement says

"To advocate for the support of public transportation as an essential component to communities; to support and lobby for funding; to raise awareness of the benefits to business and communities of environmental sound, safe, and energy-efficient transportation alternatives,; and to encourage the use of pubic transportation in Western Riverside County."

I heard about the meeting last minute, so printed out pages of your blog so as to have some information on transit issues to hand in if needed.

Well, when I mentioned the words transportation blogger, they knew you and your name. Small world.

So I did not get to hear what was said, but did say I was there as a private citizen and also representing the Friday Morning Club that meets at Janet Goeske Center. I said I am concerned about the lack of evening RTA transportation, concerned about the need to have Greyhound stay at the same location with the RTA in downtown Riverside, and am also concerned with bicycling issues. Interested really in all forms of public transit in the County.

Interestingly the group wants to find a place in downtown where there is plenty of FREE PARKING for their cars and a meeting room that can accommodate up to 40 persons.

One would think folks advocating for public transit might ensure meetings are accessible to public transit riders (which a downtown meeting location likely would provide). I put myself in that category because I tend to drive due to time constraints, so I need to start using our public transportation more.

twodogkd said...

Should mention that Craigslist has a public transit discussion forum, it is a world wide discussion forum by the way.

It doesn't seem to be getting many posts, but that is a location where discussion of local Riverside transit could be posted.

This is the link to the public transit discussion forum http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/forums/?forumID=129

To see only local posts, click the inl which stands for inland empire at the top of the webpage.

Again there is not much activity there now but as we move forward with Riverside public transit it will be a place where public discussion could take place.

twodogkd said...

Article, "RTA to consider rate increase" Tuesday, March 24, 2009 7:58 pm PDT by Dug Begley of the Press Enterprise http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_S_rta25.2f34c65.html

Excerpt:

"It could cost a quarter more to hop on Riverside Transit Agency buses in late June, as fewer buses will be making the rounds and some routes are eliminated entirely under plans up for approval on Thursday.

The bus system's board of directors will consider staff-sponsored plans to raise fares for everyone riding the bus, including weekly and monthly passes and the increasingly popular Dial-A-Ride service offered to seniors and the disabled.

Two plans to raise fares were distributed in January, as part of a revenue study done by the agency every four years. The plans called for price increases for nearly everyone riding a bus in western Riverside County.

The increases -- which range from 10 cents for seniors on a single bus ride, to $32 for a 30-day universal pass for all buses -- will mean a 13 percent hike in revenue, according to agency estimates. "

A schedule is include that provides Current prices for Single Ride for Adults, Senior, Disabled, Child and Student and what it will cost on June 28

Also cost for Day Passes: 1-Day Adult, 1-Day Senior, 1-Day Disabled, 1-Day Youth, 7-Day, 30-Day Adult, 30-Day Senior, 30-Day Disabled, 30-Day Youth

CommuterLink Adult and Senior

Universal Pass 1-Day Adult, 1-Day Senior, 1-Day Disabled, 30-Day Adult, 30-Day Senior, 30-Day Disabled

Dial-A-Ride: Single Trip, 10-Trip Book, 1-Day Adult

Costs are provided for all the above categories for the current cost and what it will cost June 28.

It talks about the hard time the county is have, not enough tax dollars coming in, routs eliminated including Route 36 the sole route connecting Calimesa and Yucaipa, with layoffs being a last resort, and that if the route reductions are approved 22 drivers and three mechanics will be out of work, and a retirement incentive is being given which 117 of 400 employees will be eligible. Even with all this more layoffs are possible.