Green and Accessible Public Transport

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Grumble
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Grumble » Wed Dec 29, 2021 1:03 am

I’ve spent more on servicing and parts for my bike than I paid for it, which was £20. I’ve spent considerably less than I would on a new bike though.
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Dec 30, 2021 5:53 am

nekomatic wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 11:05 pm
I have one of these which claims to be on a par with U locks at half the weight - they also do tougher versions. I have not personally had the toughness put to the test.
Well, their previous model seems to have been pretty feeble: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-On0DGcDlc though par with U locks is a low bar to clear.
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Dec 30, 2021 6:04 am

Cardinal Fang wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 6:43 pm
And the government should be prepared to back the incentives to use public transport with penalties for driving a car
There are already huge penalties for driving a car. The fuel is very heavily taxed, the vehicle requires an annual tax, you must pay for insurance, there are individual toll roads and toll areas (such as parts of London), you must pay for an annual inspection for cars once they're three years old, etc.
Oh and as an aside - disabled bus passes should be usable at all times, not just after 9:30. Technically I'm eligible for one, but don't have one (I live in walking distance of work, and it's not worth applying for for the other journeys I do). But making them only usable after 9:30 means disabled people can't normally use them to travel to work. Disabled people have enough barriers to being in work already without that one as well.
If a person is using public transport to go to work why can't they pay their fare from their salary?
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by nekomatic » Thu Dec 30, 2021 2:49 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Thu Dec 30, 2021 5:53 am
Well, their previous model seems to have been pretty feeble: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-On0DGcDlc though par with U locks is a low bar to clear.
Hm. Mine is actually the Silver model, so even less trouble than that. At least that video was made since I got it, so I don’t feel like a complete idiot for not doing that particular search.

I think ‘on a par with U locks’ probably stands, and my bike is within Ivan’s U lock price range (and by an unfashionable make). If I was parking it in public on a daily basis I’d probably want something beefier.
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Cardinal Fang » Thu Dec 30, 2021 4:38 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Thu Dec 30, 2021 6:04 am
Cardinal Fang wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 6:43 pm
And the government should be prepared to back the incentives to use public transport with penalties for driving a car
There are already huge penalties for driving a car. The fuel is very heavily taxed, the vehicle requires an annual tax, you must pay for insurance, there are individual toll roads and toll areas (such as parts of London), you must pay for an annual inspection for cars once they're three years old, etc.
Obviously not enough of a disincentive to get people out of their cars and on to public transport it would seem

Millennie Al wrote:
Thu Dec 30, 2021 6:04 am
Cardinal Fang wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 6:43 pm
Oh and as an aside - disabled bus passes should be usable at all times, not just after 9:30. Technically I'm eligible for one, but don't have one (I live in walking distance of work, and it's not worth applying for for the other journeys I do). But making them only usable after 9:30 means disabled people can't normally use them to travel to work. Disabled people have enough barriers to being in work already without that one as well.
If a person is using public transport to go to work why can't they pay their fare from their salary?
Because often people with disabilities often face more barriers in their daily lives than able bodied people, including financial ones. Allowing people with disabled bus passes to use them at peak times would help encourage more disabled people back in to work. And it assumes that disabled people are automatically going to only be travelling at off peak times
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by bjn » Thu Dec 30, 2021 4:53 pm

Once you have car the marginal cost of use is typically well below that of using public transport. So unless something else about public transport appeals, (eg avoiding city centre congestion) you’ll generally drive.

On top of that, I thought that the cost of motoring in the UK has never been cheaper as a proportion of income. I’m not sure the same can be said about public transport.

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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Millennie Al » Fri Dec 31, 2021 2:04 am

nekomatic wrote:
Thu Dec 30, 2021 2:49 pm
I think ‘on a par with U locks’ probably stands, and my bike is within Ivan’s U lock price range (and by an unfashionable make). If I was parking it in public on a daily basis I’d probably want something beefier.
The best protection is to park it near more desireable bikes. As in that joke about running away from a bear.
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Millennie Al » Fri Dec 31, 2021 2:15 am

Cardinal Fang wrote:
Thu Dec 30, 2021 4:38 pm
Millennie Al wrote:
Thu Dec 30, 2021 6:04 am
Cardinal Fang wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 6:43 pm
And the government should be prepared to back the incentives to use public transport with penalties for driving a car
There are already huge penalties for driving a car. The fuel is very heavily taxed, the vehicle requires an annual tax, you must pay for insurance, there are individual toll roads and toll areas (such as parts of London), you must pay for an annual inspection for cars once they're three years old, etc.
Obviously not enough of a disincentive to get people out of their cars and on to public transport it would seem
In many cases that's because public transport is not good enough. In places where is is good - such as London - it is very popular.
Millennie Al wrote:
Thu Dec 30, 2021 6:04 am
If a person is using public transport to go to work why can't they pay their fare from their salary?
Because often people with disabilities often face more barriers in their daily lives than able bodied people, including financial ones. Allowing people with disabled bus passes to use them at peak times would help encourage more disabled people back in to work. And it assumes that disabled people are automatically going to only be travelling at off peak times
The barriers are supposed to be handled by the Personal Independence Payment. If you think it's acceptable to force the able-bodied onto public transport to get to work, then why does a disability mean you get the same service free? The time limit is there precisely because it is intended to discourage people using public transport at peak times if they don't need to. So, for example, if it is a trip to the dentist or a leisure activity, you can arrange it to be at an off-peak time.
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Millennie Al » Fri Dec 31, 2021 2:18 am

bjn wrote:
Thu Dec 30, 2021 4:53 pm
I thought that the cost of motoring in the UK has never been cheaper as a proportion of income.
I would certainly hope so, as that's a side effect of people getting richer.
I’m not sure the same can be said about public transport.
That's because public transport is hideously expensive.
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by individualmember » Fri Dec 31, 2021 10:02 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Fri Dec 31, 2021 2:18 am
bjn wrote:
Thu Dec 30, 2021 4:53 pm
I thought that the cost of motoring in the UK has never been cheaper as a proportion of income.
I would certainly hope so, as that's a side effect of people getting richer.
I’m not sure the same can be said about public transport.
That's because public transport is hideously expensive.
Public transport is very much a ‘postcode lottery’. I generally work about 15 miles away from where I live and it costs me £10.60 a day on public transport. Include the price of parking and that’s significantly less than driving would cost. Admittedly there aren’t many parts of the country where that is the case.

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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by IvanV » Fri Dec 31, 2021 3:12 pm

nekomatic wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 11:05 pm
IvanV wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 9:55 pm
Cable lock - can be snipped, except for rare cable locks that are even heavier than U-bar locks.
I have one of these which claims to be on a par with U locks at half the weight - they also do tougher versions. I have not personally had the toughness put to the test.
At that price, it sodding well ought to be unsnippable. I have seen them in the flesh and they look unsnippable.

There doesn't seem to be any security value any more beyond unsnippability, given the increasingly widespread use of cordless angle-grinders, which cut anything. But there may be value in lightness.

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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by IvanV » Fri Dec 31, 2021 3:23 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Fri Dec 31, 2021 2:18 am
bjn wrote:
Thu Dec 30, 2021 4:53 pm
I thought that the cost of motoring in the UK has never been cheaper as a proportion of income.
I would certainly hope so, as that's a side effect of people getting richer.
If the inflation adjusted cost of motoring stayed the same, then what you say is clearly true. I not sure why you would hope it to be true.

But additionally:
Cars have been getting cheaper - for the same quality of car
Fuel has been getting cheaper over the last 10 years, the last few months excepted

The practical reality of cars getting cheaper and income growth is that more people have been buying higher quality cars. Since cars are frequently bought on finance, cheap finance over the last dozen years has assisted people buy even more expensive cars.
So the Average price paid for a new car from 2008 to 2018 increased from £24.6k to £33.6k. Some recent indications suggest that this has continued apace of late.

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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by IvanV » Fri Dec 31, 2021 3:37 pm

IvanV wrote:
Fri Dec 31, 2021 3:23 pm
Some recent indications suggest that this has continued apace of late.
I found something which suggests from 2011-2021 the average new car increased from £27.7k to £38.6k. But looking at this, I think the methodology is not very good, it doesn't use an actual database of car purchases. Whereas the earlier study had access to a sample of actual car purchases provided by car finance companies.

I think it is possible that in the very recent period we have seen some noticeable inflation in the price of new cars for the same item. But over the longer term these are difficult issues as more and more features become uprated or added as standard, and adjusting price to the same quality becomes more difficult.

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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by lpm » Fri Dec 31, 2021 6:13 pm

"same quality of car" is meaningless.

It's like "same quality of computer". It's impossible to buy a PC with the same spec as one ten years ago - faster processor, solid hard drive, more memory and storage.

No new cars are being built with the spec of ten years ago - not least because safety regulations are significantly different. A car that scored 4/5 on safety ten years ago would now score 1/5. And pollution standards are transformed for diesel.

This is why new cars are significantly more expensive. My car is 13 years old. It cost £10,500 new, which is about £15,000 inflation adjusted. The equivalent size is now £22,000 new.

Finance is cheaper because base rates of 0.25% will do that.
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Cardinal Fang » Fri Dec 31, 2021 7:30 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Fri Dec 31, 2021 2:15 am
The barriers are supposed to be handled by the Personal Independence Payment. If you think it's acceptable to force the able-bodied onto public transport to get to work, then why does a disability mean you get the same service free? The time limit is there precisely because it is intended to discourage people using public transport at peak times if they don't need to. So, for example, if it is a trip to the dentist or a leisure activity, you can arrange it to be at an off-peak time.
Not everyone with a disability is eligible for PIP. A person with epilepsy, for example, may have seizures often enough to prevent them from driving, but unless you need help at least 50 per centof the time you wouldn't qualify. Should someone be financially penalised for a medical condition that is beyond their control?

And of those who are potentially eligible, not everyone will get it, thanks to the clusterf*ck that is the Conservative government's disability scheme (with the delays and the screw ups), and some will not apply because of the sheer monumental degrading awfulness of the application and assessment process that gets their decisions wrong the majority of the time (over 60% of loss of PIP or downgrading is reversed on appeal)

And I notice you say "if they don't need it". If people need to get to work at peak time, then they do need to do it. Being able to have a disabled bus pass usable all the time might be the difference between someone being able to afford to be in work and not (and thus claiming benefits which cost more than the bus pass)
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Millennie Al » Sun Jan 02, 2022 12:40 am

Cardinal Fang wrote:
Fri Dec 31, 2021 7:30 pm
And I notice you say "if they don't need it". If people need to get to work at peak time, then they do need to do it. Being able to have a disabled bus pass usable all the time might be the difference between someone being able to afford to be in work and not (and thus claiming benefits which cost more than the bus pass)
If getting free travel makes the difference, then the job is so badly paid it is not really worth having (unless there is some other non-monetary benefit, such as gaining experience). And consider it the other way around, a person might be disabled and yet have a very well paying job, so why should such a person have their travel subsidised?
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by discovolante » Sun Jan 02, 2022 3:07 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Sun Jan 02, 2022 12:40 am
Cardinal Fang wrote:
Fri Dec 31, 2021 7:30 pm
And I notice you say "if they don't need it". If people need to get to work at peak time, then they do need to do it. Being able to have a disabled bus pass usable all the time might be the difference between someone being able to afford to be in work and not (and thus claiming benefits which cost more than the bus pass)
If getting free travel makes the difference, then the job is so badly paid it is not really worth having (unless there is some other non-monetary benefit, such as gaining experience). And consider it the other way around, a person might be disabled and yet have a very well paying job, so why should such a person have their travel subsidised?
Because it's a really tiny tiny cost in the grand scheme of the things government spends money on and the entire concept of conditionality has led to a culture of punishment, paranoia and mistrust rather than respect, and a culture of society and mutual support.
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Cardinal Fang » Mon Jan 03, 2022 6:39 pm

^^^ This ^^^
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Jan 04, 2022 10:24 am

discovolante wrote:
Sun Jan 02, 2022 3:07 am
Because it's a really tiny tiny cost in the grand scheme of the things government spends money on and the entire concept of conditionality has led to a culture of punishment, paranoia and mistrust rather than respect, and a culture of society and mutual support.
Preach!

Very nice to see this argument articulated - it's the fundamental problem with so many of the UK's problems.
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by IvanV » Tue Jan 04, 2022 10:46 am

discovolante wrote:
Sun Jan 02, 2022 3:07 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Sun Jan 02, 2022 12:40 am
Cardinal Fang wrote:
Fri Dec 31, 2021 7:30 pm
And I notice you say "if they don't need it". If people need to get to work at peak time, then they do need to do it. Being able to have a disabled bus pass usable all the time might be the difference between someone being able to afford to be in work and not (and thus claiming benefits which cost more than the bus pass)
If getting free travel makes the difference, then the job is so badly paid it is not really worth having (unless there is some other non-monetary benefit, such as gaining experience). And consider it the other way around, a person might be disabled and yet have a very well paying job, so why should such a person have their travel subsidised?
Because it's a really tiny tiny cost in the grand scheme of the things government spends money on and the entire concept of conditionality has led to a culture of punishment, paranoia and mistrust rather than respect, and a culture of society and mutual support.
For some disabled people, the ability to have any kind of a job is hugely important to their quality of life, and their disability may be such that it is going to be a poorly paid job.

The second point about culture has a lot of truth in it. But I also worry that when things are handed out for free, the producer of that free service might take less care to provide it in a manner of suitable care and respect and quality, in particular respect for the user's time. In cases where there are both paying and non-paying customers, there can also be a risk that the latter are not treated with the care and respect of the former.

For example, I find that the NHS has limited respect for the value of my time, in comparison to providers of services I pay directly for. Not all the time, but sometimes. A proportion of the users of free services can also have disrespect for them on their side. Another example is the disrespect occasionally suffered by people trying to travelling on a train with a bicycle, when this service is provided for free, both by train staff and by other passengers on the train.

My experience of bus companies outside London is that concessionary travel can be quite a material proportion of their traffic. 30% isn't unusual. From 9.30-3.30, it can be the great majority of traffic on some routes. The expense in providing it is indeed small in the grand scheme of things. But it isn't so small for local councils required to reimburse the loss of income and additional costs to bus companies legally required to provide this concessionary travel. Especially given how tightly central government has controlled local authority budgeting. And there are a lot of things that are "cheap in the grand scheme of things", but start to become a material cost if you are generous on too many of them.

It would be interesting to compare what other countries do. I expect the highest income countries like in Scandinavia are as generous as us. But my guess is that countries in our peer group of income level will more often give reduced fares than free fares. Perhaps I'll try to find a comparative study somewhere, sometime.

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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by nekomatic » Tue Jan 04, 2022 2:55 pm

I note that Milennie said
Millennie Al wrote:
Fri Dec 31, 2021 2:18 am
That's because public transport is hideously expensive.
so assuming he doesn’t think there’s some terrible regulatory failure or market distortion underlying this, he believes public transport should be much more generously subsidised for everyone.
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by bagpuss » Tue Jan 04, 2022 3:45 pm

Martin_B wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 4:43 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 12:50 am
bagpuss wrote:
Mon Aug 16, 2021 3:14 pm
For me, and I'm sure for many others, it's the journey time that makes driving so much more appealing than public transport. Even with the moving traffic jam that is the A413 and the barely-moving traffic jam that is Uxbridge, it's still quicker for me to drive than to go by train/tube, even though that's a pretty easy journey too (one train, one tube, less than 20 mins total walking time at the ends). There's just no way that buses can compete with cars, even if you can do the trip on a single bus, because they have to keep stopping, and also rarely go by the most direct route.
Have you considered a motorbike? At 125cc it should have considerably better fuel consumption (e.g. https://www.fuelly.com/motorcycle/suzuki/vanvan_rv125 ) while also making the journey faster as you can get through traffic better.
On the down side: far less safe, less protection from the elements, still not able to read (which was something bagpuss mentioning doing on the train/tube). But if you get a bike bagpuss, get a leather jacket with "Hells Bagpuss" on the back!
Just realised I never responded to these posts. There is absolutely no way I'd consider commuting by motorbike on my current route. It actually wouldn't save a lot of time, at least if ridden sensibly, as for the vast majority of my route to work the road is quite narrow and winding for an A road - no chance of motorbike safely overtaking for most of the route and where it's possible, on the few short stretches of dual carriageway, a car can pass too. If I tell you that a single cyclist can cause significant tailbacks because it is so hard to pass them, I think that will give you an idea. Not sure if it would help once I reached Uxbridge, it might a little, especially when trying to escape its clutches at the end of the day, but I don't think the benefit would be enough to make it worth while. Plus, people frequently drive like idiots, the roads are in a shocking state with nasty potholes distressingly common, and I don't particularly want the bagkitten to lose her mother in a motorbike accident.

At some point, I expect I will have to go back to the office, but I'm very much hoping that I won't have to go in even 2 days a week (as I used to do) in future as they're talking about getting a smaller office space that isn't big enough for everyone and people hotdesking when they are in. Combining that with the fact that the bagkitten no longer needs collecting from either school or childminder and Mr Bagpuss works from home full time in any case so I won't be worried about being a few minute late home, and I reckon I'll be able to commute by train + tube at least some of the time. I don't know whether I will, but HS2 works will make the road route even more unattractive (both aesthetically and in time/stress/traffic terms) for some time to come, so I will probably at least try it.

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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by bagpuss » Tue Jan 04, 2022 4:15 pm

IvanV wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 9:53 am
bagpuss wrote:
Mon Aug 16, 2021 3:14 pm
There's just no way that buses can compete with cars, even if you can do the trip on a single bus, because they have to keep stopping, and also rarely go by the most direct route.
No, they don't have to do that. And in middle-income countries where lots of people use buses, because there aren't many trains or they are very slow, and car ownership is still relatively low, much better bus services are available. Places like Chile, for example, have far better bus services than are available in this country.

Just as trains can have slow, medium and fast services, so can buses. And if you have the demand, then it is worth it. And the fast services can be proper fast services - like the London-Oxford bus you might know, which is a rare example of that working in this country. (And some of the services around Oxford are also unusually good - I have friends in Abingdon, and they benefit from a very good express bus services to Oxford.)

But there isn't the demand on Aylesbury-Oxford, to take an unpleasant experience that may be familiar to you, to have a proper regular express bus that literally runs nonstop from Oxford to Aylesbury with only a handful of well-chosen stops at each end; as well as an intermediate grade one that has some small number of additional stops in Haddenham, Thame and Wheatley, plus a slow one that reproduces what the current "express" does. And in a place like Chile, these things would run every 20 mins because there would be demand for it.
But while express buses are indeed very much a thing, for the majority of people they won't go from righty by where they live to right by their destination. So you have to factor in the time it takes to get to the start of the express bus route and then from the end to your destination.
And distressingly often, you may have to even go in the wrong direction to do so. And all of those things mean that unless you do indeed live right by the start and are going to somewhere right by the end, driving is almost certainly more appealing. Even if the Aylesbury-Oxford bus was an express service, it would still be much quicker for me to drive to Oxford, even factoring in the need to find somewhere to park, because it would take me half an hour to get to Aylesbury on the bus (25 mins plus 5 mins walk to the bus stop) or 8 mins + 12 mins walk to go on the train. I can be a third of the way to Oxford by car in the time it takes to get to central Aylesbury by train.

And let's add on to all of that the fact that buses, even if they ran every 20 minutes, are rarely leaving at exactly the time you want to go - so that's more lost time versus going by car - and it's pretty damn hard for buses to compete with cars for the vast majority of journeys.

Public transport starts to win when you're going long distances, especially if you don't need much luggage, or if the loss of the convenience and flexibility of not having a car is outweighed by other factors, such as being able to do other things if you're not driving, or not having to navigate around an unfamiliar city, or being able to relax and not be tired by driving.


As an aside, we once put public transport vs car to a direct test. For reasons I won't bore you with unless you really want to know, when we went on holiday to Cornwall a few years ago - the bagkitten was 4 - Mr Bagpuss drove and the bagkitten and I went by train. We set off an hour before him and had to start by going in the wrong direction from Bucks into London, before then getting on a nice fast train from Paddington to Par. Then it got fun as we had to get a bus from Par to Fowey, then walk down to the river's edge and get a passenger ferry across to Polruan then walk up a steep hill to our holiday house. Mr Bagpuss set off an hour and a half after us and came to meet us off the ferry. We should have won but we had to wait for nearly an hour at Exeter for a new driver as some other train service had pinched ours. But even if we'd got there first, that would only have been thanks to that 90 minute head start, we'd have had no chance if we'd set off together. Mr Bagpuss was driving a classic Fiat 500 - almost any other car and he'd have been there even sooner. We were able to electronically spy on Mr Bagpuss and we crossed the river into Cornwall at almost exactly the same time - we were looking to see if we could see him when we were both on the bridges, but we think he was actually about 2 minutes ahead of us then. Anyway, he had all the luggage, which made it a fun journey for us, but it would have been hellish with 2 weeks of holiday luggage.

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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by IvanV » Tue Jan 04, 2022 5:20 pm

bagpuss wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 4:15 pm
IvanV wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 9:53 am
bagpuss wrote:
Mon Aug 16, 2021 3:14 pm
There's just no way that buses can compete with cars, even if you can do the trip on a single bus, because they have to keep stopping, and also rarely go by the most direct route.
No, they don't have to do that....
But while express buses are indeed very much a thing, for the majority of people they won't go from righty by where they live to right by their destination. So you have to factor in the time it takes to get to the start of the express bus route and then from the end to your destination.
And distressingly often, you may have to even go in the wrong direction to do so. And all of those things mean that unless you do indeed live right by the start and are going to somewhere right by the end, driving is almost certainly more appealing.
I only meant to say that buses don't have to be as completely sh.t as the journey often is in Britain. Car vs Public transport will always have the issue you cite. Only when there is some special disadvantage to the car, like taking it into the centre of London, does that alter.

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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Millennie Al » Wed Jan 05, 2022 1:44 am

nekomatic wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 2:55 pm
I note that Milennie said
Millennie Al wrote:
Fri Dec 31, 2021 2:18 am
That's because public transport is hideously expensive.
so assuming he doesn’t think there’s some terrible regulatory failure or market distortion underlying this, he believes public transport should be much more generously subsidised for everyone.
Not at all. I find it very difficult to believe that it is inherently so expensive - that somehow there is no economy of scale from taking several bus passengers together or even a train load. Bit if it really is the case that public transport costs more to provide an inferior service, then the logical thing to do is to limit it to those who have no reasonable alternative - no treat it as a money pit to throw more and more into.
Covid-19 - Don't catch it: don't spread it.

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