So I think this idea has potential, though its eventual success will depend two things: first, whether the price of the last-mile via's can be kept low enough to make the diversion to the transit stop affordable, and second, whether the via's and the public transit can reasonably compete on timeliness with ridesharing services.
6 miles traveled by motorcycle
10 miles traveled by bicycle
17 miles traveled by foot
230 miles by car
1000 miles by jet plane
So, it really is rather dangerous to get around by bicycle. Not that I recommend against it (I commute by motorcycle, personally).
[edit: source wiki article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micromort#Travel ]
Subway miles are also very safe at ~ 1/20 the risk of driving your car. So, a 2 mile bike ride to a subway + a 20 mile subway trip is about the same risk as a 22 mile commute. Though with very large error bars on that estimate based on personal habits and local conditions.
PS: Don’t become a bike messenger it pays well, but the risks are more significant when people are running red lights etc.
it's nearly impossible to compete on those two things, but you're assuming that that's the problem they're trying to solve.
this program is not for you. it's for people who can't afford to buy & own a car. if you can afford a drive or ridehail everywhere, of course you'd do that, because it's faster and more convenient. this is for less advantaged people who live in the suburbs and have service jobs in the various commercial sectors of the region. and it's for people with disabilities or other impediments.
i solve my last mile problem with a variety of options: walk, bike, scooter, and ridehail, but ridehailing is my last option because it's often a poor tradoff between price and time--either it's way more costly or it takes as long as another option, between waiting and picking up/dropping off other people.
in LA (the city, not all of socal), scooters and dockless bikes make a lot of sense to me. but the scooter startups want to be in the rich areas and metro flubbed it's bike program by using docking pedal bikes (with peddle-assist rolling out now, but still docked). we just need more dedicated bike/scooter lanes, especially grade-separated ones.
I agree with you otherwise: ride-hailing is expensive and inefficient as a last mile solution. Dockless electric scooters are a great idea, and I think if the city can do a managed rollout that doesn't frustrate residents in the area (basically, the opposite of Bird), they could be great success.
hopefully the electric scooter/bike companies figure out that a large business is literally right in front of them. it's low margin, but whoever captures it can turn around and use its scaling effects as a barrier to entry.
As an example, consider cities that predate multi-lane highways. Their highest density development tends to radiate out from the city centre along train lines, not roads, and the train stations have become commercial hubs where you can run a lot of random errands (with supermarkets, bank branches, post offices, etc.)
Same thing happened in Chicago. Before there was the CTA, there were private, for-profit rail roads connecting the city, owned mostly by the Chicago Rapid Transit Company.
So, if Via is unsustainable and unprofitable, and was acquired by local government, that wouldn't really be any different from how the LA Metro got started.
Why would LA Metro pay to acquire Via when it can just run identical bus routes? Also, LA transit planners probably already know which areas would benefit from new bus route, but are constrained by their budget.
Unless advertisers are thinking it's profitable to blast ads to commuters for their 30-45 min commute, affordable transit will continue to need to be subsidised by tax dollars (yes, yes.. transit in Asia, real-estate).
Seniority rules for assignment and training requirements for example may be hard to deal with.
As opposed to public sector workers and their defined benefit plans? https://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-pension-squeeze/
Just not sure what it tells us if the parent company ... isn't solvent longer term and not sure if that is or isn't the case.
I live in LA and am an avid driver, motorcyclist, and bicyclist. I'm also a huge proponent of public transport, and use it whenever I can.
That last bit is often a bummer; it's very rare that I truly can use public transport to get to where I'm going.
The nearest train station is a 15-minute walk from my apartment. That gets me onto a pretty good train system that can take me to Santa Monica and Downtown Los Angeles on one train, but not many other places. Changing trains adds time, and then they also go to a limited number of places.
Buses are a bit all over the place, and victimized by the very traffic I try to avoid by using public transport.
My current office is about 9 miles from my apartment (Mar Vista to West Hollywood). This translates into 35 minutes by car, 20–25 minutes by motorcycle, and 1 hour and 20 minutes by public transit, involving at least two different methods. It would be a great 1-hour bicycle ride if I could shower at work.
I start a new job in a few weeks, and that office will be only 4 miles from my apartment. This should translate into 12 minutes by car, 10 minutes by motorcycle, and 40 minutes by public transit. It might also be a relatively sweat-free (low-sweat?) 25-minute bicycle ride.
Most people aren't as fortunate as I am.
I looked at taking the bus from BUR to her place. There's a great route, right from the airport to San Fernando Road, just down the block from her, maybe a 5 minute walk. Except the bus only stops at the airport HOURLY. Google maps was saying the ride would take over an hour, because the next bus wasn't coming for nearly an hour. If you set the "Leave by" time to when the next bus arrives though? The bus takes maybe 3-4 minutes longer than a lyft to that stop.
Riding a purely-manual bicycle would be awesome because of the exercise, something an eBike wouldn't provide.
I've commuted via bike for 4 years now - 6mi with a big hill each way. Started on an ebike but moved to nonmotorised pretty quickly.
Having done that route in a car and on a motorcycle, I can say that Google is being a bit optimistic about the cooperation of traffic lights and the safety of traffic.
LA is ludicrously sparse for a big city.
> The suburban areas from satellite look like wall-to-wall housing for tens of miles in all directions.
Yes, the suburban areas (pretty much all of LA) are often wall to wall low density (single family or small, 2-3 story apartments) housing for miles in all directions.
> How can my little town in the UK support a bus depot but a small area of LA cannot?
LA has bus depots, and thousands of of stops.
It's a fairly common thing for commuter transit generally in the US, not just commuter rail.
> Using it for busses is a new one though.
No, it's not. There's lots of Park and Ride locations in CA (and.I would assume elsewhere) that are served by bus exclusively or are at multimodal transit centers that include bus along with ferry and/or light rail.
Yep. I've used park-and-ride to get to buses in New York and New Jersey.
Train-like travel times, with bus-like frequency and construction times.
Thanks for the info! I'll definitely check it out.
I live in LA. I would rather sit in my car than take public transit here. The few times I have taken it, it has been such a bad experience I will never take it again. Party due to the amount of time spent waiting for trains/buses (they are infrequent). Partly due to how unsafe it feels.
I've lived in NYC, it's a total 180 experience. Ideally if you can live close to your job in LA the commute is negligible. The roads are ok as well as long as you don't travel during rush hour.
In LA it will take you easily twice as long to get where you're going with public transit.
Moreso, scooters take up way less space than cars and a properly designed scooter city will have much more room for disabled parking.
Not to mention electric wheelchairs can be surprisingly fast.
Feel free to ask questions! We are also hiring like crazy in Frankfurt :)