Op-Ed: Austin Still Needs Traditional Buses

Transportation network companies cannot duplicate transit service in outlying communities, argues Ryan Young.
March 14, 2017, 6am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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i-Ride Capital Metro

Ryan Young sees cause for concern in Austin's Connections 2025, especially in the "…plans to shift buses and resources to provide better service on transit-friendly corridors," he writes in the Daily Texan. By focusing on better serving high-traffic corridors, the focus is taken off sending buses to the harder-to-reach communities. "The trouble is that public transit is a lifeline for the people who live in these communities. If we’re getting rid of their buses, we have to be careful that whatever replaces them won’t leave residents stranded."

Connections 2025 offers alternatives to traditional buses to serve these communities like, "…flexible bus routes, car and bicycle sharing and subsidized ride-sharing," but, in Young's view, these solutions do not improve on bus transit. "It would be especially reckless to replace transit with ride-sharing... Unlike buses, private automobiles do not have spaces for wheelchairs. And ride-sharing services require smartphones and Internet subscriptions, luxuries that many who depend on transit do not have," Young writes.

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Published on Thursday, March 9, 2017 in The Daily Texan
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