A Couple of Pro-Transit Op-Eds From Around the Country

ratpag has long since admitted its shamelessness.  We’re not averse to posting a questioning of some sort of public transit or another but we’re also not that likely to do it.  In continuing with that tradition, here are two favorable pieces regarding the need for more transit.

The first piece comes from the Providence Journal in Rhode Island, though we originally found it here and thought it’d be cool if it was out of Omaha (simply because we feel Omaha would be much less served by transit than a Northeastern city).  In any case, no matter where it’s from, it’s still something we like and that’s all that matters.

The author notes that younger people are willingly traveling by transit, citing the National Household Travel Survey data that “vehicle-miles traveled by those ages 16-34 fell 23 percent from 2001 to 2009” while “these younger people increased passenger-miles on public transportation by 40 percent” during that same period.

All sounds good to us.  She harps a bit much, we think, on her theory that young people prefer transit simply because they can zone out and use every source of computing hardware (and apparently all at once).  That may have something to do with it but we think the routine of gas, brake, honk may be a greater contributor to lack of desire to drive.

We next look at an issue that is close to some of your ratpag-ers homes (or original hometown, to be correct).  The Virginian Pilot talks about the need for decision on light rail extension from Norfolk to Virginia Beach in this op-ed.  Light rail extension was approved by an overwhelming vote some 15 months ago – a nice reversal of a nearly 15 year ago vote to not consider light rail at all.

The authors are concerned that too much hand-wringing, too much indecision and too much waiting will slow momentum and sidetrack a system that should have long-ago been implemented.  The issue appears to be over selecting one of three proposals – two of which extend the existing light rail system while one installs a separate MAGLEV system through the city.  ratpag is familiar with the Old Dominion University MAGLEV, which was supposed to be operational sometime in the first few years of this century, and so has its doubts about such a system being smoothly and effectively implemented in Virginia Beach.  There, we questioned some sort of public transit.

We’re fine with however rail transit gets extended into Virginia Beach – we’d just like to see it done – but we think it’d be optimal to extend the already-existing light rail from Norfolk for smooth, efficient travel between the cities.

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