From frequent PT contributor Gladys We:

I got off the skytrain at Scott Road this afternoon, and watched a man and his dog (not a therapy or assistance dog, just a plain old dog on a ratty old leash) sidle up close to the back of another guy who tapped his card to get out of the station — and all three of them, the paying customer, the man, and his dog got through the faregate with one tap.

There was a “compass card helper” in a uniform at the faregate.

I asked him what was up with that, and he shrugged and said — and I quote — “Hundreds of people do it.”

So we’ve paid almost $200 million to install faregates to keep disabled people off the skytrain but the system still lets the fare cheaters through. And we’re hiring compass card staff who are getting pretty dispirited and unhelpful.

Hooray for progress?

 

Comments

  1. Same thing in San Francisco which has had a Compass Card equivalent for years (the Clipper Card). Transit employees get fed up with the hassle of getting fares out of the unwilling so the unwilling ride free. On the good side they don’t assault the drivers as much as they once did. For the rest of us the card systems aren’t much more than a convenience to avoid carrying change. If I ruled the world I’d make transit free and pay for it by a combination of more tax and less spending on car infrastructure.

  2. 1. Just because 100% of people are not being captured by this system, does not mean that there isn’t a significant reduction in fare beating with the new gates. Your anecdotal evidence, plus the likely overblown assertion by the helper that “hundreds” of people still evade the fare – at that gate alone – should not be taken as an indication that the gates are not working as intended.

    2. However, that said, the gates themselves are only the result of a silly moral panic foisted upon Translink by the province. What are the costs of installation and perpetual maintenance of the gates vs. whatever fare-dodging that was supposedly going on without them (and to some extent, still are)? This rational, data-based trade-off was not part of the discussion.

    Despite the mantra to the contrary, Translink’s only real problem has only ever been an inability to stand up for itself. It is unfortunately a product of the provincial government and must react to whatever voter nonsense is currently driving the Liberals’ calculations and behaviour. If they suddenly decide tomorrow that mice are a problem at skytrain stations, Translink will be forced to consider whether traps, poison, or cats are the best approach – and then be loudly criticized by those same voters and politicians for not: 1) deciding more quickly, and 2) deciding ‘correctly’ i.e., as they would have done.

    1. Careful Dan. With a mousy system, those could be the Fat Cats referred to ad nauseam during the plebiscite. Any vote on cats, though, and cats would win.

  3. The idea to have fare gates was never Translink’s idea. Whenever they studied it they realized it wasn’t worth it. That fare evasion was so low that it would not pay for itself.
    But it was imposed on them by the Province.

    This seems to have become a pattern.

    1. Station attendants, compass card helpers, etc are not transit police and have no authority to issue tickets or stop people.

      I suppose instead they could station transit police at each station to ticket people who try to skip the gates. But then, you could’ve done that without fare gates.

      We could do what they do in Paris and have ticketing staff stationed at various locations to try to catch people and fine them. Though we did that before fare gates as well.

      1. All those things would work to some degree, and are already used. What adults would do is just write off some small portion of lost fares to these deadbeats. There is no perfect system.

        The double standard for transit and roads knows no bounds. God knows there are enough people who don’t pay speeding and parking tickets – and drive alone in the carpool lane and run red lights. I don’t hear anyone complaining that these motorist deadbeats are “ruining” municipal budgets or threatening infrastructure integrity. But let’s all stone to death the artful dodger who sneaks in behind a blind man and his dog.

        1. Good point about the extreme double standard. Though to me, the relevant comparison is not with those who fail to pay traffic fines, but with those who never get caught in the first place. (Focusing only on revenue points out anther blindspot with driving, which is the extreme loss of life.) That accounts for just about everyone at one time or another. Enforcement catches only a tiny fraction of offenders.

  4. If you carry an umbrella, can you point it backwards so no one will follow, or will that keep the gate open?

  5. The ‘Broken Windows Theory’ should be followed. It is this theory being understood that allows us now to be able to walk unhindered in New York and Central Park.

    The work of Elizabeth Barlow Rogers is revered and should be emulated here.

    It’s not easy to gain public support for more financing of transit while free-loaders abuse the system. The story given by the bus drivers about assaults and non-paying of over 2 million trips a year didn’t encourage any wavering voters to jump to the ‘Yes’ side. Who would want to get on a bus when the drivers are attacked and pleading for cages to protect them from thugs?

    1. One of the knocks against Broken Windows was that a concurrent demographic shift occurred when the theory was being tested. Troublemaker Boomer males started having families and learning responsibility and stopped their immature behaviour.

      The same phenomenon occurred in many other cities without a Broken Windows narrative.

    2. Far too many bus drivers waive through folks with no tickets, too.

      Faregates make total sense, and yes, some folks will always beat the system no matter how well designed, but what irks me is the waste of tax payers money by unionized and extremely well paid bus drivers, transit police or faregate attendant.

      1. You have obviously never been a bus driver, or know one who can relate their first-hand experiences. It’s a tough gig. There have been 22 assaults on drivers to March 31st this year so far. Last year there were 28 in the first quarter. This puts the average at over 100 a year.

        Those are just the physical altercations. You’ve also got the stress of thousands of verbally abusive passengers a year and multi-tasking traffic with managing tight schedules and the work day divided into divorce-causing split shifts. Then there are the suicides (buses are prime targets) and accidents and stupidity on the roads.

        As far as I am concerned unionized bus drivers earn their pay and benefits, and then some just for the stress.

  6. Yup, I had someone sneak through behind me. I now make a point of dawdling through the gate so they can’t come through with me (I walk through and stop so they’d have to literally push me out of the way to get by on my tap). I’m hoping TransLink plans to speed up the gate closure time eventually to make this less of an issue.

    I’ve also seen someone just push the accessible gate open by force and walk through.

    More anecdotal evidence for you.

    1. I’ve been told by someone at translink that they have a breakaway feature built in specifically so they don’t break if someone does force them … plus probably the whole what happens in a fire thing.

  7. More idle anecdotes. I follow people through sometimes if it’s a bus load of people trying to get through 3 gates at once with others wanting to exit. I have a 3 zone pass so once I tap in the first time in a given month, all other taps become irrelevant.

    1. That is so not true…if you are stopped inside the fare paid zone without a “tapped” card, you can still be issued a fare infraction.

  8. I paid for my Canada Line ride once and had a legitimate transfer yet the gates wouldn’t let me leave the station when I was done. I called for help on the phone there but it took so long for someone to show up that in frustration I just followed someone else out.
    If anyone watched me do that they might have assumed that I hadn’t paid.

  9. Translink has a major image problem with the general public. None of my co-workers use it due to unfounded, ridiculous fear.

    It’s like how parents now don’t allow their kids to walk to school by themselves. All because of the extremely rare, minuscule chance of getting abducted. Meanwhile, getting in a car accident is quite probable.

    Just today, we’ve had two more news headlines of Skytrain assaults. These headlines scare the hell out of non-transit riding people, especially females. If you’re someone who’s worried about a child abduction even though it rarely happens, imagine how scared to hell you are when you hear about weekly Translink assaults.

    Remember when the Transit police said they ABSOLUTELY NEEDED guns to keep order on the Skytrain? And, without them, they feared for their own safety? How great of public relations statement was that? Have they ever really needed them?

    1. “[Skytrain’s] a good hunting ground for sexual predators”. – Anne Drennan commenting on the Skytrain today. I’m not taking that out of context. She was trying to explain why there’s so many sexual assaults on the lines. And, the news ran numerous streeter interviews with random women who said they’re always dealing with weirdos.

      1. Would you let your child out on this circus?

        “Brandon John Watterworth, 23, was charged with robbery and breaching bail conditions in connection with the assault of a bus driver at the Surrey City Central bus loop. Watterworth has more than 100 recorded interactions with police. He was on bail in connection with 2012 charges of assaulting a police officer, carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a prohibited weapon without a licence.”

        “Del Louie pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon after attacking bus driver Charles Dixon and shattering his right orbital bone with a sucker punch and then attacking Dixon’s son Aaron with a broom handle. Louie was given an 18-month conditional sentence that included house arrest.”

        Why put up with the hassle when you can get 0% financing for 60 months and a 5 year bumper-to-bumper warranty, all for $40 a week.

        1. Have you ever been attacked on public transit? Know anyone who has?

          Know anyone who has died in a car crash?

          Using isolated incidents to characterize transit isn’t fooling those of us who actually use the service and find it to be safe and convenient. If you are worried about transit safety, then ride the bus and speak up when you see objectionable behaviour. Which will be far less often than your assumptions seem to suggest.

        2. I don’t understand how anyone cannot see what is going on in Vancouver. I believe the bus drivers and their union. As the regular commenter MB posted just above, yesterday:

          ” There have been 22 assaults on drivers to March 31st this year so far. Last year there were 28 in the first quarter. This puts the average at over 100 a year.”

          Perhaps you’ve just been lucky.

        3. Yes, I don’t doubt there have been assaults on 22 drivers. When did they happen? Where? Out of how many trips delivered by drivers? Trying to connect those incidents to a danger to children requires more than juxtaposition. And, I will reiterate. If a safe, convenient public transit system is your desire for the region, then an easy way to make that happen is to ride the system, supporting it with your presence as an ostensibly ‘upstanding’ citizen who will speak up when you see a problem, and your fares. What routes do you ride?

        4. I’m sure assaults to drivers and to passengers are relatively rare but we here are talking about general perceptions. It is generally understood that when drivers are assaulted the punishments are minimal. It is also well known that people get on the bus and don’t pay, or refuse to pay, all the time.There is a substantial number of riders that roam wild. It is also generally understood that transit police are rarely on a bus and far, far more likely around train stations. This is the public perception of the brand.

          You can be a vigilante if you want to, a good upstanding monitor of proper behaviour on your bus rides if you want to. We thank you for filling in where TransLink falls short.

          In many areas the brand falls short. Before the plebiscite there were a few articles that worried about the brand at the management level too.

      2. “You can be a vigilante if you want to, a good upstanding monitor of proper behaviour on your bus rides if you want to.”

        Other than asking some just-off-work construction workers to tone down the f-bombs when I was on the bus with my kid some years ago (they quickly and apologetically complied) I’ve never had to monitor bus behaviour. That’s why I think this reiteration of false impressions isn’t cricket. You wouldn’t repeat an ethnic stereotype to make a point, why perpetuate untruths about the buses by highlighting the exceptions to the rule?

        1. Just responding to your imploring us to, ” … ride the bus and speak up when you see a problem, “.

          If this is what is required to gain civility on the system then many people will, and do, shun buses and find alternatives. The brand is damaged.

        2. No, I didn’t say ‘us’. I said ‘you’. You believe there’s a problem. What are you going to do about it? Personally, I feel little danger from the high school students, workers, and friendly Asian grannies that make up the majority of people on the buses I ride.

          What routes do you ride again?

        3. I’m not going to do anything about it Chris. Except in an extraordinary case where the actions of a Good Samaritan are called for, I’ll leave the policing to the appropriate authorities we engage for that purpose. Even then we are speculating with a hypothetical situation, so even that is just possible conjecture.

          We are glad that your excursions on public transit are generally peaceful and you only feel “little danger”. As we can read from too many anecdotes and factual reports, from both the transit employees and the police, there is a wider sentiment that is not quite as ldyllic.

        4. “there is a wider sentiment that is not quite as ldyllic.”

          Exactly. That’s why responsible commenters don’t perpetuate erroneous sentiments. But you have to actually ride transit to know that it’s like most any other public space in Vancouver — safe, clean, pleasant. Which routes did you say you frequent?

  10. When the bus drivers went on strike it was great. People got around. Traffic flowed. Cycling was way better without buses in the way.

    What if motorists were incentivized with transit cash. Instead of subsidizing a public system that has many drawbacks: not door to door; irregular service; empty buses off peak; forced proximity to people who may be nasty – what if we embraced and helped fund Uber-style car share.

    There is excess capacity. Most commuters go solo. The only way they’re going to share is if you make it worth their while. If three passengers kick in $3.00 each, that’s $18.00 round trip – not to shabby. If that was topped up with cash that would otherwise go to Translink salaries, benefits, vehicles, maintenance, etc., how much would that driver earn per day just for sharing.

    How much do we subsidize bus users – about a buck each per trip? What if that cash went to car share. That brings the $18.00 up to $24.00/day – $120.00/week. That’s more than most car payments plus insurance.

    1. Wouldn’t Car-pooling already be quite successful if motorists wanted to share their commute?

      An extra $24 a day to deal with other people’s schedules, tardiness, ‘can we make just one stop on the way home’ etc would likely be little incentive to most car commuters IMO. Worth asking why car-sharing as you describe it has not taken hold in any major way (that I know of). Can you point to a successful example in modern times?

      ‘Uber-style’ means grinding workers’ wages as low as they can go. Let’s not pretend otherwise.

    2. Bus users are subsidized by about half the fare they pay, or $1.35/trip for a one zone charge. This reflects the ~50% operating cost recovery rate of public transit through the farebox toll.

      Car drivers are subsidized to the tune of almost $5.00/trip beyond what they pay privately (gas, insurance, maintenance, property taxes …). This reflects the utter lack of operating cost recovery related to a vast road infrastructure and the external costs related to emergency services, healthcare, litigation, etc. Those subsidized external costs now average about $3,500 per driver per year in the Metro.

      Public transit is the cheapest and most efficient form of mobility beyond walking and biking. Car dependency is unsustainable from several perspectives.

    1. Thanks for that.

      This article is highly suspect and biased. What else would you expect from a group calling themselves the Public Transit Users Association (formerly Train Users Association)? They have an iron in the fire. It would be instructive to know who in this tiny group gets paid what, not to mention the dubious status of being called President, Secretary, or Treasurer. Their logo is friendly, folksy, and manipulative.

      It’s like the old saw about an accountant who is asked what the numbers mean. He asks: “What do you want them to mean?”

      Is there an equivalent Car Poolers Association? No. If there was, their numbers would be completely different. Can you find an unbiased “study”.

      Über-style, in the scenario I outlined, does not mean paying random vehicle owners grinding wages to be taxi drivers, but piggy-backing on commuters. If you think $500.00/month is insignificant for the convenience of sharing, you are wealthier than most. And, whatever the inconvenience factor, the upside is that you might enjoy the human contact; and it could temper the bully behaviour of single drivers.

      Watch the Über guy on Ted. This is not a study. He is biased too – to make money. This is a proven business. It is profitable all over the world. Implement what he’s talking about – without giving his company a pile of cash.

      1. With all respect, I think it may be up to you to provide the studies and examples of working carpooling examples. I suggest to you that access or money isn’t an issue. (We have a carpooling scheme here in Vancouver) and making an ad hoc one is simple (in my circle there’s a carpool to get kids to their dance class using Google Calendar). It’s public demand to share rides… and it just isn’t here (yet, perhaps) the Lower Mainland.

        http://grist.org/cities/ridesharing-it-isnt-just-for-the-techy-share-y-set/

        1. Your own link shows the efficacy of carpooling – and the drivers are doing it just to use the HOV-3 – proven for 20 years. Amazing. And the passengers are called slugs! Where’s the marketing department? There’s got to be a better word.

          We all act out of self-interest – cash is the most popular, but if access to the HOV works, maybe Hwy 1 should require two passengers to qualify for the extra lane.

          Insofar as public demand is concerned, there’s the carrot, stick, and promotion. How many ads have you seen selling cars? How many ads promoting car share?

          Look at the lowly unloveable bus – the loser cruiser with the long suffering bus drivers. Jazz it up; call it the TransMilenio, and Bogotans are riding proud.

          But I don’t want to compare the efficiencies of taking the bus to car share – it’s apples and oranges. The bus doesn’t come to your door and doesn’t drop you where you’re going. You’re not guaranteed a seat. That sucks. Riding while standing can be challenging. In a car you get a view, not that awkwardness sitting across from strangers. And you get an operable window. The air in buses is not sweet.

          It’s better to just focus on how to get single occupancy to share; and to market this option to passengers. Cash, convenience, and comfort are the operative words. It’s a marketing problem.

  11. “Cash, convenience, and comfort are the operative words.”

    No doubt. The problem is that carpooling only offers the driver one of the three. And it doesn’t seem to offer much of an incentive at this point. Check out the rideshare page on Craigslist for Vancouver. Not much there in terms of daily commute offerings. Why is that?

    People don’t want to share their commutes in Vancouver it seems.

    http://vancouver.craigslist.ca/search/rid

  12. The grist link was relevant; craigslist was not – it was almost all one shot drives across province and country – not commuting.

    Of the three c’s, cash is what motivates most of us – even villainous billionaires. If Joe Slow gets it through his head that he could be driving a high-end car instead of his xbox, esp. cruising the HOV, he’d be willing to sign up.

    To the convenient c’s one might add congeniality and consideration. Drivers might enjoy having regulars to chat with – and consideration for the enviro – not polluting all by themselves.

    Marketing and logistics – the lucky thing is that the target users are easy to reach. Just like the program Translink had on seat hogs, the place to campaign is on their territory. Buy a pass – get a car share brochure. Drivers can also be reached when they buy insurance.

    It’s no small matter to change behaviour. Look what it took to reign in smoking. Car share has to be made cool. Look at the Lyft ads.

    1. “it was almost all one shot drives across province and country – not commuting.”

      I agree and that was why I posted the link. There appears to be zero pent up demand for car pooling. Can that be changed? I don’t know. But there doesn’t appear to be much public demand for the option is all I’m saying — and further, the considerations you tout as benefits (congeniality, companionship, etc) aren’t seen as such by drivers. Countless times I’ve heard people justify their commute as the one bright spot of alone time in their day. I don’t get it personally, but that sentiment is out there.

  13. After rush hour they leave the wheelchair fare gate open, with no one monitoring it. I see people walk through all time time without tapping their card. Once in a while I see Transit Security issuing a fine near the gate, which is good, but not often enough. Get more Transit Security!

  14. If carpooling was so great the HOV lanes of North America would be overflowing and there would be calls to put two of them on every highway. Instead they’re so empty that many cities are now allowing solo drivers to pay a fee to use them.

    For a carpool to work a lot of things must come together perfectly: place of residence, place of work, hours of work, lack of other duties or errands, things to talk about and a mutually beneficial agreement on duties and costs.

    My father carpooled with a friend from work 4 days/week for a few years, but he’s the only person I know who made it work long term. His willingness to drive out of his way every day was a key ingredient in that arrangement.

    I carpooled (in the sense that I hitched a ride every day) briefly while recovering from a broken ankle, but it was very uncomfortable because I had to beg a co-worker with whom I had nothing in common to not only go significantly out of her way to pick me up and drop me off, but also to change her work hours. I don’t think I ever thanked her adequately. I did get to return the favour a couple of times when her car was being repaired, but it would never have worked long term.

    Nobody should be surprised that people continue to get on SkyTrain without paying. Every city with fare gates has its share of freeloaders. Catching even half of them would cost a fortune. In addition to scofflaws, public transit also has to deal with people who simply cannot afford to pay every day. No amount of policing can solve that problem and bus drivers are, in my opinion, right to allow some passengers to board without a fare.

    TransLink and most people here knew the fare gates would cost more to install and maintain than would ever be recovered from additional fare revenue. We also knew that fare gates would probably make the transit system less safe because money that would otherwise be available for staff would be eaten up by machines. Saying “I told you so” falls on deaf ears in Victoria. They’re pursuing their own agenda regardless of whether it makes sense or not.

  15. Chris,

    I’m ashamed to say that I’ve done a lot of commuting – thousands upon thousands of trips – wasted time, cash, and equanimity. Not once did I consider the commute to be “the one bright spot of alone time” in my day. Commuter hell, yes – bright spot – uh uh.

    You say you’ve heard the contrary “countless times”. Maybe you could pad the story a bit. Where is this mythical commute? Who are these people? Where do they work? What do they drive? Do they live in tiny “unauthorized” accomodation, like prairie dogs, so that seeing the sun literally is the bright spot of their day. Do they really equate being in a moving or gridlocked vehicle with hordes of other harried commuters as “alone time”. J.P Donleavy called cars mobile temples of discomfort – not Zen temples of meditation. Flesh it out.

    David,

    Your second paragraph hits the nail on the head – logistics, mutual benefit, equitability. The technology is being used now by companies that use it as a business model. They’re making money. It works.

    1. Arnie:

      This article echoes what I’ve heard from the ‘countless’ people I mentioned, who I would have counted had I known my truthiness in stating so would be at issue. Talk to some harried Mom whose only respite from the kids and husband is 20 minutes in the car to listen to the radio on her way to work. She doesn’t want to pool with anyone, or whatever. You are free to disbelieve whatever you like, but it is so, and failing some vast improvement in public transit, is likely to remain so.

      “The Gandalf survey found that three quarters of respondents would prefer to be alone during their commute. As a result, drivers in the survey were slightly more likely to strongly agree (56 per cent) that their commute is an opportunity to have some quiet time by themselves, compared with 49 per cent of public transit users.”

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/do-gta-drivers-enjoy-their-commute-the-answer-might-surprise-you-1.2850484

    2. You’re right; companies like Uber and Lyft are utilizing technology to do what individuals simply cannot: find someone going the same way at the same time as you. It doesn’t matter that you don’t know anyone in your area, it doesn’t matter if you go in early one day and stay late the next because you aren’t asking someone to go out of their way to get you, or wake up early or miss dinner with their kids. Those are the ordinary, every day reasons why traditional carpooling just doesn’t work. Ride sharing takes all the work out of finding a ride and simply delivers a vehicle to your door.

      It’s one technology that will improve vehicle utilization, but it’s not for everyone. Huge numbers prefer to commute alone in their own private cocoon and will not share or switch to transit unless the solo trip becomes truly unbearable because of high cost or time commitment.

      On the latter point I see Chris has already linked to a study showing drivers generally report liking their commutes in Toronto. A similar study in Vancouver showed the same results. The vast majority of those who answered the poll claimed their commute to be pleasant. Chris is right that after battling with the kids to get them out of bed, dressed, fed and off to school and before having to deal with high workloads, unrealistic expectations, office politics, monotony, under appreciation, etc. at work the commute is a time of solitude during which nothing productive can possibly be accomplished if you drive alone. It’s a break from constant interaction with others and go-go-go, rather appropriately because it’s usually stop-go-stop 🙂

      I have never liked driving to work. I find traffic stressful and really prefer someone else deal with that for me. Because I cannot afford a chauffeur or even a taxi, I take transit. I’ve been blessed to live close to work most of my life so even if the bus fills up I don’t have to spend very long on board. Working in a somewhat flexible industry I’ve spent many years getting a seat to myself all the way every morning. Like the drivers who value the solitude, I enjoy riding to work because I can just sit there and listen to music. I can even close my eyes if I want to. Totally relaxing. Getting home is more of a sardine experience at first, but it isn’t too long before I once again have a seat to myself.

      One spring/summer/fall when I had a supportive employer I rode a bike to work. It did wonders not only for my physical health, but also for my mental health. Sitting on the bus is actually too easy. It’s like white noise that you eventually get so used to that it totally disappears from your consciousness. I was finding that the walks to/from the bus stop were the highlight of my day, a pretty sad statement when you stop to think about it. Cycling gets your blood pumping and your mind fully alert. When I was a commuter cyclist I arrived at work with an energy level I hadn’t had for 20 years. I hope my next job permits me to get back in the saddle again.

  16. For every viewpoint there is a corroborating study/survey. The study you cite is rubbish. The Gandalf Group are not hobbits as one might suspect, but a bunch of PR flacks. And the CBC link you provide relates the findings of, gasp, another bunch of PR flacks hired by the first group. Why would this ad agency, Bensimon Byrne, commission a study (to prove that some people like to commute).

    The same week of this bogus study by flacks with no qualifications to judge, there was another study by the University of Waterloo, by people with credentials in the health field. Check out: Stressed out by your daily commute? It might be making you sick.

    And the “harried Mom” you depict that needs respite from her kids – and her husband no less – sounds like a monster who should not be driving. She’s dangerous. I pity her kids and I pity her husband. No doubt she wants a big vehicle for extra comfort and safety while she listens to crap on the radio and sucks on a coffee. I fear for the survival of pedestrians and cyclists.

  17. There’s quite a bit of research on this, not all of it by hobbits. It seems to bear out the fact that many people like to drive to work by themselves. No one is arguing that it seems weird from the perspective of those who enjoy other modes, or dive deep into the consequences of that choice. People do things because of reasons that may be nebulous or even wrong-headed. I hope you were sitting down when you read that. 🙂

    But that doesn’t negate reality. How many cars are all driving Hwy 1 in generally the same direction twice a day? So many are SOVs. Carpooling appears at this point to have little traction with the public. If you are keen to change that I might suggest a useful first step is not calling women ‘monsters’ because their lifestyle isn’t to your liking. Sister is just trying a navigate a screwed-up world like the rest of us.

  18. Chris …

    “Research” – a word with desirable overtones.

    Research, quite a bit of it, studies, and surveys, countless numbers of them – not to mention double-blind, scientific, fact-finding missions and experiments conducted by top teams engaged by industry, government, and the public at large, have determined definitively that commuting – documented in peer reviewed literature and tabloids, to use the technical term – sucks.

    And if a “harried Mom” (why is mom capitalized?), who mysteriously morphs into a “Sister”, can’t wait to boot the family out of her automotive isolation chamber, so that she has glorious respite, maybe she shouldn’t have had kids at all. The scenario you describe sounds like someone in need of an intervention, not alone time in her mobile meditation chamber. Anyone so strung out should not be driving – she could kill someone. That’s my definition of a monster. Sister is scary.

    Back to cash, glorious cash – according to research (seriously now) owning a vehicle and commuting is going to set you back over $100K over the course of 10 years. There’s an equation somewhere about how much more every extra km will cost. The #1 cause of conflict for couples is lack of cash. Maybe “harried Mom”, “Sister”, would chill if she had more cash. Which brings us back to car share, marketing, and logistics, not fatalism.

    1. Oh, I get it. Commuting by car sucks compared to a lot of the alternatives. I’ve gone to work by most all methods short of unicycle, steam train, and teleporter and feel qualified to offer my opinion of the choices. Nonetheless, as I noted previously, people choose it (the SOV option) in droves, and they aren’t looking to carpool. I’ve provided a number of examples why.

      You’re preaching to the converted addressing me. I just find it hard to imagine a scenario where there’s an entity with deep enough pockets to make carpooling a marketable option. Further, I think it’s a waste of money that could be better spent making public transit more frequent and less crowded.

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