Mass Transit In Terms of Lanes

Why driving into Manhattan is crazy and mass transit is the ONLY practical option:

At best, it would take 167 inbound lanes, or 84 copies of the Queens Midtown Tunnel, to carry what the NYC Subway carries over 22 inbound tracks through 12 tunnels and 2 (partial) bridges.

Translating that to Babylon by the Bay, let’s consider BART through the Transbay Tube, the only real alternative to driving on the seismically unsound SF-Oakland Bay Bridge:

  • Of BART’s 370K trips per day, roughly 200,000 end in San Francisco
  • So, conservatively, 100,000 of those are probably commuters coming from the East Bay
  • The Bay Bridge handles 270K cars per day, of which, at least 60K are inbound to SF in the morning
  • So, at 1.2 commuters per car, the Bay Bridge would have to handle almost 85K more cars during the morning rush
  • In other words, we would need to increase the number of inbound lanes from 5 to 12 just to handle BART commuters–or…we could just build a second bridge

Mass transit everywhere isn’t just AN alternative.  It’s the ONLY alternative.

7 thoughts on “Mass Transit In Terms of Lanes”

  1. “Mass transit”? Sounds like socialism to me. You can bet, if they held public meetings on this, they would be interrupted by some sign carrying thickhead too dumb to read the provisions.

  2. Seems that the brainwashing that Americans get about the evils of socialism is profound.

    Perhaps when they almost pollute themselves out of existence, they might question some of their silly attitudes!

    I won’t hold my breath!

  3. Lew… We could just rename it “Socialist Transit”! ;-)

    Holte… For me the biggest argument has always been economical. Simple numbers… I save about $8,000 a year by not owning a car, and that doesn’t even take into account a car payment.

  4. DavidG… That would be about half of Americans. The other half isn’t listening, and the ones that are have a deep seeded need to be duped.

    Fred… I love that map! Bring back the railroads…in addition to blimps and canals. ;-) Slow transit…with WIFI and WiMAX not so much of a problem anymore.

  5. Kvatch…consider the number of riders that come in from commuter rail and bus lines into Penn Station, Grand Central Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Indeed, if the mass transit option were lost, you would literally need to dam and fill the rivers and bays surrounding Manhattan to accommodate the traffic in flow.

    But where I live here on Long Island, the real mass transit problem lies in intra-county transit. For one, every rail line is oriented East-West. If you want to go North or South, you must drive. What I would not give to have a light-rail or reliable, round-the-clock bus system to take me where I need to go on LI. But that’s more a perception problem than anything else. Long Islanders are still in love with their cars and regard intra-county traffic as “urbanizing “the suburbs at the expense of the local economy.

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