Thursday, May 10, 2007

new census data - transit usage by state house district again

Some may remember when I estimated numbers for the prevalence of workers using public transit by state house district. Subsequent to that, the census has actually come out with their own data of the same. My data was an estimation. For the wonkish out there I indexed census block groups to state house geographies and it worked pretty well. But the census gets to use their raw data so they now have better, and definitive data out there. Given the transit rallies in the news I figure there is some interest in the new data. I have put online the entire transit usage table for all PA state house districts: click here.

PS. which says much that I wrote before. But there is now a definitive count for the lowest public transit usage in the state. District 84 in Lycoming county which somehow comes in at 0.04% public transit usage. I suspect that is some error. Could be a single census response where somebody filled out the form incorrectly. Might as well be zero public transit usage. Amazingly Representative Garth D. Everett who represents the district is on the urban affairs committee.

and with a few city council district races out there this might be of interest. I admit is clunky, but it does generally work. This web link below brings up a page that if you go to "information" and in the pull down boxes select "city council districts" and "census 2000 SF1" you will get options to pull data compiled by city council district.

Labels: , , ,


Blogger Schultz said...


Any chance we'll ever see them turn the east busway into light rail? I heard there was a proposal to do this years ago and I think it would be a great way to get more people on mass transit while also relieving some of that parkway east congestion.

This site mentions some prior attempts at turning the busway into light rail.

Thursday, May 10, 2007 7:39:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

That's a great history. Note the plan for a park and ride at the Eastland Mall which was finally razed to the ground just a couple months ago. and people think some of the PAT parking lots they actually built were bad ideas.. imagine if that had come to pass. although one wonders if the mall would have stayed open longer if they had extended the busway as was planned.

but ever is a long time. In that I don't see it on the current TIP the near term answer is no. I believe the EBA was built with the idea it could be converted at some point, but I bet the civil engineers would have other thoughts these days about whether that is still true or whether it would require being rebuilt.

The need to alleviate Parkway east congestion argument reminds me of how we once tried convince the maglev people that they ought to plan for an Oakland stop for their planned Greensberg-Monroeville-Downtown-Airport route. Not going to happen mind you, but it was a thought.

but this all raises the ultimate question of what will be the next major transit priority in the region? If MVE is not to proceed, and the NSC virtually out of the barn... If you want to see something like a Light rail EBA conversion or spine line in the the next decade (or two at this point) it has to be in planning now.

Thursday, May 10, 2007 9:42:00 PM  
Blogger Schultz said...

The path for the busway to light rail is arleady in place - no need to tear down building or homes for this plan. One positive out of the north shore tunnel is the possibility to extend the T further north someday. The east part of town needs rail now, but the northern towns are where the population growth is happening so a rail extended to the north will alleviate some of the congestion on 279N that is getting worse every year.

Thursday, May 10, 2007 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

I was talking about the foundation of the roadway itself.. but I agree, it is the path you would use.

I am loathe to have this become some ex post debate over the history of the NSC. I really think people have transferred all their frustrations pertaining to transit in the region onto the project. As a result it is such a misconstrued project at this point. People forget that it really was meant to be the initial path to the airport.. but absolutely.. transit to cranberry ought to be on someone's list and one way or the other you have to get across the river. the question is setting the priorities, each of these ideas are big and expensive and I am not sure what the real funding will be in coming decades.

Thursday, May 10, 2007 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

I realize that riding light rail is more pleasant than riding a bus, and I can imagine that it is cleaner, but is it actually more efficient? I don't think it's cheaper. It is much less flexible.

The dirty little secret of mass transit is that rail is often built in places where people won't otherwise use public transit, which is no doubt why we have it going to South Hills Village and not into the East End.

Bob O'Connor wanted a rail link from Downtown to Oakland, but we already have a lot of buses making that trip everyday. A lot of people won't take them because they are buses, and because they make stops in the Hill District.

Friday, May 11, 2007 8:17:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home