Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

Think about it

Posted in America, Customer service, Infrastructure by Chairman Pip on 5 August 2011

I occasionally go back over the comments that have been left on here, as well as looking at old posts, and came across one that intrigued me. Back in December, I posted about the then upcoming A-Train in Denton, which led to the revalation (to me) that the nearby city of Arlington was the largest city in the United States that has no public transport system at all; no heavy or light rail, not so much as a single bus route. Reading through this again led me back to where I obtained a quote from that post that stated that it is “un-Texan” to use public transport. This was from a thread on a message board entitled “Why Doesn’t Arlington, TX Have Public Transportation?”, and had a response a bit further on that went thus:

because of the urban sprawl that has already been mentioned, if you want to get more than a few blocks on a city bus here, it will take you such a long time it becomes rather pointless. Who has 3 hours to get 4 transfers to go a distance that would take 20 minutes max by car?

While I might agree if you tried to implement a network that seems to be thoroughly unplanned, as London’s seems to be, what you need to remember is that London’s network has evolved over a significant period of time, and it’s likely that, if a city was planning a new public transport system from scratch, would probably go about it in a more planned way. This idea of having to make three or four changes to get to where you want to go to me seems unlikely to occur, thanks to thought about planning; having routes converge on nodes to avoid too many changes, whether the nodes are bus stations or railway stations. It shouldn’t be vastly difficult to do this. By linking these bus routes to a hub centred around a railway station that connected the city to both Dallas and Fort Worth, with a relatively frequent train service, using the railway line that is already there, and how many cars do you then take off the I-20 and I-30 during rush hour? This then allows those communities in and around Arlington to get linked to the other two in much the way that TrinityRailway Express already does, and at the same time provides an easier way into Arlington and the various attractions it has.

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