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[da1 related] New Houston Mayor to Texas DOT: Wider Roads Mean More Traffic

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by Sajan, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    Bigtexxx isn't very good with numbers. His own article points out how LA has 5x the ridership of houston. LA MSA does not have 5x population of Houston MSA. It is roughly 2x.

    If we could get to LAs level that would be great, and LA transit system isn't even that great.
     
  2. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Member

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    LOL check the declining trends.

    We may have reached "peak transit ridership"

    Why ride transit when you can take a cheap uber?

    ...not good for trains...
     
  3. Xerobull

    Xerobull You son of a b!tch! I'm in!
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    I don't see any logic in your argument. Do you use a pen? 1300s technology. Ships, ancient technology, still the main method of bulk global transport. Cars are 1900 technology.

    By your reasoning, we should all be using Segways or those new exploding 'hover boards' for transit since they're newer than cars.
     
  4. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Member

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    Self-driving cars and ride sharing are 21st century technologies

    embrace innovation, not centuries old ideas like trains
     
  5. HR Dept

    HR Dept Member

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    Agreed. Every time I see someone using a wheel I'm shocked by how they can continue to not embrace innovation. I mean honestly... The wheel was invented in 3500 B.C. Get with the times already.
     
  6. texanskan

    texanskan Member

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    Thank goodness we live in what I would describe America's only libertarian city. For years we were able to hold off rail and now we will just have a few lines to rip up similar to the lines that were ripped up when Houston had trolley's.

    When busses become self driving the main expense of the driver will be eliminated and for people with money we have Uber. People in the suburbs have park and rides
     
  7. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Member

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    If people can take a driverless taxi any time, anywhere, and pay less for their transportation than they would in owning a car, then we could see mass abandonment of car ownership and much fewer cars on the road. Buses and trains are great now because they address the congestion and cost problem. But, they ask riders to make sacrifices to their mobility and convenience. A driverless taxi doesn't require any sacrifice, except some marginal cost over bus fare. Even buses could be improved, though, with some ridesharing functionality. Trains, however, are inflexible because they can only go where the rails go.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Member

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    Visionary.

    Repped.
     
  9. heypartner

    heypartner Member

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    I've never heard of anyone calling taxis a mass transit system, except now in the Jetson concept of driver-less cars things seem to be different. I don't get it.

    A driver-less taxi is not mass transit. It might take cars out of the driveway (normal Taxis do this too), but don't see how it necessarily takes them off the street.

    Say 50,000 workers in Houston stop owning cars. They still have to get to work at the same time. How is a driverless taxi system going to get them all to work at the same time, without flooding the streets with driverless taxis?
     
  10. Ricksmith

    Ricksmith Member

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    Zipper Trucks.

    [​IMG]

    You'd have to get rid of the HOV lanes in some spots.
     
  11. Cohete Rojo

    Cohete Rojo Member

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    In the real world, driverless taxis do not exist.
     
  12. heypartner

    heypartner Member

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    A shift of who owns the car that gets me to work does not take a car off the streets. Not saying I wouldn't subscribe to such a service, but we still need mass transit.
     
  13. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Member

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    The problem with your logic is that it does take riders away from mass transit, as a cheap uber or cheap taxi is a superior value proposition to mass transit which in almost always much more inconvenient and takes more time.
     
  14. heypartner

    heypartner Member

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    What logic? You mean my math that switching who owns a car does not reduce traffic?

    Where in your explanation are you saying taxis reduce traffic? All you are saying is people can take taxis versus mass transit. Sure they are alternatives to mass-transit, but so are cars.

    simple question: How do individuals taking taxis reduce traffic?
     
  15. LosPollosHermanos

    LosPollosHermanos Houston only fan
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    I keep getting reminded of that silicon valley episode where Jared gets stuck in one and taken to Peter Gregory's island. [​IMG]
     
  16. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Member

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    I think you're right that there are issues of peak demand, and you need capacity enough to handle peak times. But, it is hardly the first industry that has encountered the problem. There are strategies you can take to flatten peaks, like using a pricing mechanism to make demand during peaks more expensive and encouraging users to shift their behavior to take advantage of cheaper times. Uber does this already.

    I think you can also continue to employ something like a bus -- a mass transit vehicle that can carry many passengers, but uses computers to be selective about which riders to take based on their destinations. Buses do that now in their way, but they can be more integrated and more efficient by using people's smartphones. And, a driverless taxi system breaks down much of the divide between personal car and public bus. People who wouldn't think of riding a bus today would see it as little different from riding in a taxi -- it just has more people in it, but the transaction is basically the same.

    Maybe trains can still play a role in such a landscape, especially regionally. It probably still makes a lot of sense to be able to take a train from Katy to Downtown (if such a thing existed), and then use a taxi service to complete the last mile to your destination. I don't know if the more local service our current light rail provides is so useful in this context though.

    One thing I do like about a driverless taxi solution is that even if there are still some peak demand issues (though things should run faster if you have fewer accidents and fewer moron drivers), there is a ton of parking real estate that gets freed up. The transit companies need places to park fleets of cars to recharge/refuel, but you don't need acres of parking in front of every store and building.
     
  17. heypartner

    heypartner Member

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    JuanValdez,

    A taxi system cannot reduce traffic. I don't understand your continued comment, "A driverless taxi solution" I don't see how you can describe any single-passenger system as a mass transit "solution"? Taxis (driverless or not) have value to consumers, for sure, but it's not about moving masses of people with less cars/traffic. In fact, one could argue that an increase of single-passenger options like driverless, subscription services will increase traffic, because of convenience for on-demand solitude to mass transit.

    The rest of what you say is about improving buses and trains. But the taxi piece of it is all already there.
     
    #57 heypartner, Feb 5, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  18. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Member

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    You're changing the topic. We were discussing trains vs. self-driving cars.
     
  19. heypartner

    heypartner Member

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    Ok then. Trains vs on-demand taxis that drive themselves. Gotcha. Do you mind me tying in your self-driving car side-topic back to the original topic of traffic?

    Do you agree that self-driving cars as an on-demand, individual taxi service cannot alleviate traffic problems like mass transit alternatives (trains, etc), and they might actually make traffic worse?

    Let me quote the OP, too, "Texas DOT should prioritize projects that help increase the share of non solo-drive trips from its present 3 percent up to at least 15 percent. "
     
  20. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Member

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    I see the problem as being more than just a congestion problem. But, even thinking of congestion, I still see it as a mass transit solution. The reason being that the decoupling of people with individual vehicles is only part of the value prop of the driverless car. The other part is the mass coordination of customized transit. You can apply market forces to transit in ways you never could before. Remember when Bill White was trying to work with companies to change work schedules to shave the peak off of traffic? That didn't really go anywhere. But, if you can give riders real-time incentives to change behaviors, you can shave the peak. We're starting down this road in the electricity business. Businesses get charged a capacity charge for how much electricity they use at once. So, now there's software to time when their HVAC, their pumps, and their machines turn on so they won't all come on at the same time. The peak is shaved and the capacity cost goes down. Somewhere a gas-fired peaker never has to be built. We're starting to do this as well with residential customers. Your smart thermostat and your smart water heater can be coordinated to turn on when electricity wholesale prices are cheap and coast whole wholesale prices are high. Customers can choose time-of-use electricity products where the power they use at night or on the weekend is cheaper than what they use during the afternoon. And somewhere a gas-fired peaker never has to be built.

    So maybe more people will work 7-3 or 10-6 so they can catch the cheaper commute. You flatten the peak of congestion, and with a flatter usage profile, you'd need fewer total cars to serve.
     

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