I agree with the readings as well as the videos from this week in regards to what is needed to encourage people to want to take public transportation. I couldn’t agree more with the paragraphs on the Paris metro stations, and during my travels it was always worth the trip in in itself just to see each station and my group would try to get off on as many stops to take in the uniqueness. However, in Paris among other places, they already have an extremely system in place and I believe that is why there are so many commuters taking the metro. At each stop, there are digital text boards notifying people of the time remaining until each subway will arrive. Little things like this is exactly what bus stops in America need, and only recently have they started to catch on. The more entertaining the process, the more likely it will be for people to take the bus and subway, but obviously much more needs to go into it.
Recently in Seattle, the RapidRide was added through Ballard, Queen Anne, Interbay, Downtown and West Seattle. This is the newest system within the King CO Metro, and it brought a “Newer and Faster” way to ride the bus. It began to use the techniques that have been apparent in the Paris system, and so far it has been a success. They have the Digital boards notifying the public of when the next bus is to arrive, and there is also a crystal clear map and route information posted in a variety of places. In most major cities, a common bus/metro map is commonplace at transit stops, but for some reason Seattle didn’t have this until the Light rail opened up, and now the various Rapid Rides. Here you can see the clear routes and planned expansion: http://www.kingcounty.gov/transportation/kcdot/MetroTransit/RapidRide.aspx
Another great addition that is making the metro system in Seattle more efficient is the use of the “Next Stop” boards on the buses In Paris, there are digital boards with the order of stops, which stop you are currently at, and what transfers are available at each stop, posted on every subway. By adding a similar feature to the buses in Seattle, this will encourage drivers to switch to the bus because of its improved convenience.
One last major improvement being made is the development of one Bus away. While RapidRide does have the estimated arrival times posted, they only use that technology for RapidRide buses, despite all other buses also stopping at the same stops. The One Bus Away app notifies you of the time each bus is expected to arrive, the route, and whether that bus is early, late, or on time. However, this app is not posted anywhere on the bus or along the route, so I feel like word hasn’t spread about its great technology.
Obviously, all transportation systems have been improving, even if gradually, for the past decades. However, some cities are way ahead of others. Seattle actually seems to have on of the better set ups out of other cities I’ve lived in (San Diego, Los Angeles, Portland), but once it improves on a few of the issues mentioned it can begin to rival areas such as Paris.