Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I find it really shocking how dismissive Metro executives are about their terrible surveys.  (Once a year, on the Metrolink only.)  They are really clueless about the actual transit needs of their riders.

Without meaningful, accurate data, from a large representative group of patrons, no business or entity can make decisions or do planning.

It is only because Metro is not a completely private, for profit business that they can get away with this.  (And there is very little chance that any public transit agency is every going to be lucrative enough for a private company to want to own one.   All of these agencies are really just funnels for government funds to be used in "business development."  And to further political careers of CEO's and top executives. "Hey I mismanaged Metro's 350 million dollar budget, I can mismanage the state's budget just as well."  Um, yes, that was sarcasm.)

This article about Los Angeles' Metro's Blue Line is a real eye opener if you know how to read between the lines.


It was a big deal, perhaps even more so than the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (LACMTA) expected. Originally projected to have a daily ridership of 5,000, the Blue Line was carrying 32,000 riders a day by the end of 1990. As of last May, the system's oldest line has an average weekday ridership of 86,065.

THAT'S RIGHT! Expected versus actual ridership BEGAN at SIX TIMES the agency's estimate!  And is now, what? SEVENTEEN TIMES the estimate??? 

The Blue Line runs through South Central and down to Long Beach.  It definitely covers LA's most transit dependent areas. 

When public transit takes people where they need to go, in a timely manner, the sky is the limit.

You know, OPTINSTL's survey for Metro to use is modelled from the Los Angeles Metro's semi-annual survey. For an entire week, on every single bus and train, LA Metro has survey takers handing out and collecting lengthy, detailed questionnaires to every rider. 


St. Louis Metro relies on general population and employment statistics.  And those once a year, five question, Metrolink-only surveys.

Of course, business developers and local politicians don't really want Metro to provide good service to the people that need it the most.  St. Charles demonstrated that most blatantly when they shot down the proposed Metrolink ten years ago. 


What they want is bus service that will actually get a person to a low wage job, but not convenient enough for those workers to come spend their free time in the "nice areas". 

Incarceration by lack of decent public transit is a very effective way of cordoning off parts of the city using federal funds to do so.

If St. Louis Metro actually surveyed their riders, a north-south metrolink would be the obvious top-priority.  But then it would be easier and faster for transit riders to get around.

And that is exactly what they don't want.

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