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PostPosted: December 4 19, 1:53 pm 
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Been meaning to start a thread like this



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PostPosted: December 4 19, 2:35 pm 
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Well if not doing the latter means bridges fall down on I-94, I'm going to say the $3 billion project should probably be done.

You'd also have to convince me that if we add a bunch of buses, people will use them.


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PostPosted: December 4 19, 2:42 pm 
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Where I live the Iowa side bus service is garbage, to where you might only have a bus come by every 45 minutes to an hour, even on a main route in rush hour. The Illinois side has buses coming by every 5 to 15 minutes on the main routes in rush hour. The IL side buses are packed shoulder to shoulder during rush hour and the Iowa side buses have like 5 people on them.


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PostPosted: December 4 19, 3:32 pm 
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In St. Louis, I still say that too many people think buses are only for poor people. It doesn't matter how convenient they can be, they still won't take them because they're not poor. Thankfully I have met more people recently who are willing to use public transportation if it works for them. One friend drives from Cherokee in South City to the Shrewsbury train station every day and takes the train to her job at Wash U. because parking is expensive and a pain at the University even though she works there. People who didn't grow up in the St. Louis area also seem to be much more willing to use public transit as well.

As an example of why I feel that people from St. Louis think that buses are only for poor people (other than hearing them say it or ask me why I take it so much since I can afford a car), I have a friend that used to work in the same building as me back in 2012. She complained about gas prices and how much it cost her to drive to and from work every day so I made what I thought was a great suggestion. Take the bus! Even after I laid it out for her, she wouldn't have anything to do with it.

Here was my argument for the bus:

She lives in a condo out west near a major intersection. There is a bus stop about 50 yards from her front door.

There is a bus route that runs every 30 minutes in the mornings to come into downtown and the same in the evenings coming out of downtown so it isn't like she would have to wait an hour if she missed one bus.

That same bus not only drops off right in front of our building even closer than she would have to walk from the parking lot but it EVEN TAKES THE EXACT SAME ROUTE SHE WAS DRIVING!!!! The bus got on the highway exactly how she would, got off at the same exit she did and took the exact same route from the highway to our building before continuing on to the rest of downtown.

It would literally have taken her the same amount of time each way, saved wear and tear on her gas guzzling SUV, saved a bunch on gas, she could have relaxed instead of dealing with traffic and our company was subsidizing the bus pass at the time so it would have cost her about $43/month for an unlimited pass for buses and trains. Nope. Wouldn't do it because buses are for poor people or something.

I'm all for Public transportation and will advocate for it every chance I get. I haven't used it in a month now (longest stretch without using it in years) and might not use it much this winter unless I'm going to a Blues game or something after work but as soon as the weather gets nicer, I'll be back on the bus to get to and from work. I actually miss the bus on days like today where it isn't cold or rainy. The bus is/was my time to just sit back and read during my commute. It is relaxing.


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PostPosted: December 4 19, 3:51 pm 
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tlombard wrote:
In St. Louis, I still say that too many people think buses are only for poor people.


Having grown up in St. Louis, yes, that is the feeling. Only poor people take the bus. That was the message I got loud and clear.

That co-worker of yours is/was an idiot.


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PostPosted: December 4 19, 3:58 pm 
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I don’t think the point above is not to fix the bridges, but just to show that you get less bang for your buck by adding roads and lanes for cars rather than developing transit. People absolutely will use it if you remove or stop adding car infrastructure, and if you fund and maintain the transit system so that buses and trains run on time, keep the clean and give them dedicated infrastructure. Indy’s new dedicated lane buses have been doing pretty well though they just started charging for them so we’ll see what happens.


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PostPosted: December 4 19, 4:59 pm 
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Part of the point too is that if everyone was taking mass transit we'd have less need for bridges. We'd have less need to tear up the expressway every few years for necessary repairs or to add a lane because traffic has again grown to the point that we need another lane.

In like 80 years when 90% of the country lives in a huge city we won't own cars anymore and we'll take trains and electric busses everywhere.


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PostPosted: December 4 19, 7:06 pm 
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Popeye_Card wrote:
Well if not doing the latter means bridges fall down on I-94, I'm going to say the $3 billion project should probably be done.

You'd also have to convince me that if we add a bunch of buses, people will use them.

This is known as the too big to fail defense. Too invested in car culture despite all the negative ramifications.

Public transit needs a critical mass. Here’s a good one. Employees of Missouri’s pathetic public mass transit pay waaaay more in taxes than the state contributes to mass transit.


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PostPosted: December 4 19, 9:14 pm 
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:shock: :shock: :shock: $3B for 6.7 miles is $85K per linear foot. It looks like the project is going to be phased over the next 20ish years or so, includes replacement of 73 bridges, multiple interchange reconfiguration/reconstructions, additional lanes, modification of multiple existing interchanges, modification of streets to add bike or green space or whatever.

But, holy [expletive] [expletive], that's a hefty price tag.


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PostPosted: December 5 19, 3:30 pm 
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AWvsCBsteeeerike3 wrote:
:shock: :shock: :shock: $3B for 6.7 miles is $85K per linear foot. It looks like the project is going to be phased over the next 20ish years or so, includes replacement of 73 bridges, multiple interchange reconfiguration/reconstructions, additional lanes, modification of multiple existing interchanges, modification of streets to add bike or green space or whatever.

But, holy [expletive] [expletive], that's a hefty price tag.


This raises an interesting question. I don't have links handy, but I've seen reports on major infrastructure construction spending in Europe vs. the US, and for some reason construction is a lot less expensive in Europe than the US. And it's not because the US imposes more regulations or compliance issues, or because of higher wages here or anything like that. There are some guesses as to why this happens, but no silver bullet for identifying a primary cause of this disparity.


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