|It is convenient, but not very truthful, to treat the system reboot|
and the Third Bridge as wholly separate matters
Folks defend Cherriots and say that it doesn't make sense to run empty buses around the hills, and purely from an operations perspective that's right. But what's lacking is the structural vision for mobility in West Salem. If we are thinking about a giant bridge and highway, are there things we can do that are more cost-effective? Cherriots has ducked this one.
At the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in DC this week, folks from TransitMix used a Salem data set in their demo.
Transitmix Pro from Sam on Vimeo.
That's the 21 Rees Hill route in South Salem.
The pro version is enriched with demographic information that shows the number of riders within walking distance from a stop, as well as other bells and whistles. But the beta version publicly available does give some rudimentary costing information.
|6 lines @ 7 day service = $15 million / year|
via TransitMix beta
This has two crossing, north-south routes and four routes into downtown. Frequent service is every 10 minutes at morning and evening rush hours, and they are all 15 minute evening and weekend service. Don't think the north-south routes are useful? Change 'em to routes running just downtown. We're just looking for a swag, here no more precise than the planning level estimate of $430 million (or whatever) for the bridge and highway.
Either way that's full transit for one-third of the $45+ million in annual taxes, fees, and tolls for a new bridge.
(As a proportion of Cherriots total operations that's a big chunk, of course, but the question here is only whether this is a plausible way of achieving the mobility goals for at a lower cost.)
So then an interesting question is, does that service meet the "purpose and need" conceived for the bridge?
|2006 Purpose and Need Statement|
This is just a cocktail napkin sketch, but it's another way of looking at mobility across the river that shows just how thin and one-dimensional is the imagination of those pushing for the Third Bridge.
Well, whadya know, there's an N3B piece on costs in the paper today also!
|Op-Ed, January 15th|