The outbreak of COVID-19, is one more strike against mass transit with public health agencies urging people to avoid public gatherings, and “social distancing. “It’s still early to know exactly how this will unfold, but without proper mitigation efforts from local governments, we could be feeling the effects of coronavirus on public transportation service for years to come.”
Mass transit has pretty much always had a bad reputation in popular culture – bus and subway riders in film are often depicted as poor and derelict at worst, and just short of miserable at best.
Ride share like Uber and Lyft has chipped away at transit ridership, flooding streets with more cars, and undermining struggling transit systems. “The legacy of these companies amounts to a warning to the public and policymakers: If you do not provide people with good transportation options, they will take bad ones.”
One way for people to avoid exposure during the outbreak of COVID-19 is to ride bikes, but in some cities like NYC, with “cyclists are reporting huge increases in biking this week” the conditions for bicyclists are not optimal, and the administration isn’t currently planning to focus on better bike infrastructure, as seen in this film: Streetfilms: Biking is the Way to Beat Coronavirus.
As spring approaches in Asbury Park we can get around within this 1.4 mile sq. city on foot, on bikes, and we can utilize other micro-mobility options as they become available. Supporters of Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition can continue to lobby for more and better infrastructure for walking and biking in the city, now and onward.
Ridership is likely going to plummet, which will make it harder on local transit agencies
By Aaron Gordon Mar 10 2020
Coronavirus is beginning to upend American life. The stock market is crashing, universities are cancelling classes or moving them online
, conferences are being canceled
, and airlines
are struggling. Unsurprisingly, public transportation is also going to be greatly impacted. It’s still early to know exactly how this will unfold, but without proper mitigation efforts from local governments, we could be feeling the effects of coronavirus on public transportation service for years to come.
Women drive cars and use mass transit. Caregivers are mostly women. Women walk and ride bikes, with and without kids. Yet in all scenarios the industry favors and designs without women in mind. Crash test dummies are male. The automotive industry is designing and selling trucks and huge SUVs rather than cars, which appeal to mostly to men. Vehicles are designed for adults only, without childseats (although the tech exists to integrate childseats into design), so they must be purchased and installed, then lugged around between vehicles, and when traveling on planes. Buses don’t accommodate strollers. Cities lack protected bike infrastructure. We live in a car culture, but cities like Asbury Park are addressing this issue. With incremental changes many US cities, and our city are becoming more female, and family friendly – designing a city for women, and everyone, ages “8 to 80”.
Hyper-macho dangerous trucks
Young men cause a hugely disproportionate share of traffic fatalities; the combination of testosterone, youth and big motors can be deadly. Young men are involved in fatal crashes at 2.2 times the rate of young women — even though both are at elevated risk compared to older drivers. Young men do pay much higher insurance premiums to reflect this. On the other hand, in our culture, we’ve done little to rein in some of the more dangerous aspects of macho road culture. Instead, it is mostly celebrated in the media in games, songs and, of course, movie franchises like Fast and Furious.
Lifted pickup trucks with bull bars are a good example. These dangerous modifications in many states go completely unregulated. Meanwhile, Europe has banned bull bars, citing compelling evidence they kill people, especially children. The notion that other people’s safety can be subordinated to the mostly male obsession with big cars reflects, in part, the privileged position men hold socially and politically.
Housing, and infrastructure for walking and biking are interrelated. APCSC believes that Asbury Park is working effectively on both.
“…access could improve even more as the city builds on its ambitious Minneapolis 2040 plan, a comprehensive effort to curb the influence of single-family zoning and add more housing density…protected infrastructure matters too. If people don’t feel safe on their bikes, they’re not going to take them.”
What Cities Are Getting Wrong About Public Transportation
ANDREW SMALL JAN 17, 2019
Cities could get more people walking, biking, and riding transit, according to a new report, if they just know where to look for improvement.
Despite the tireless efforts of transit planners, bike-lane boosters, and other actors in the mobility arena, the mode-share percentages don’t seem to budge much in the any given growing city as they add more people, despite massive investments in transit infrastructure.