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Why, and How, to Cut Public Transit Service

There wasn't a playbook for this kind of emergency at the beginning of the year.
April 19, 2020, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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New York Public Transit
Emily Geraghty

Transit agencies are cutting service all over the country in response to plummeting ridership and revenues as transit users stay home or choose other modes of transportation to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Jarrett Walker, who wrote a definitive article recently for CityLab on the essential service provided by transit during the pandemic, as well before the pandemic, has now written another article to provide transit agencies with guidance about why, and how, to cut service in response to the new reality.
Chapters of the article, each not as lengthy as Walker makes it seem at the beginning, read as follows:

  1. Why Cut Service?

  2. Why Not Shut Down?

  3. What Service Should be Cut?

  4. What Agencies are Doing, and May Do

  5. Three Stages of Adaptation and Recovery

Drilling down a bit here on that essential third chapter, Walker categorizes the types of cuts that can be made in two ways: 1) easy options, like tourism serving routes and rush hour service, and 2) difficult options, like cutting frequencies, service areas, and service hours.

Like many people lending their expertise for guidance through a confusing and uncertain time, Walker notes that from crisis comes opportunity. "And because this is a big and enduring crisis, the opportunity is big and enduring too."

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 in Human Transit
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