Friday, February 09, 2018

There is old, and there is old

Not exactly a new factoid, but just to document the obvious I guess.

Transportation/policy wonks know there is a lifetime of data in the National Transportation Database that is compiled by the Federal Transit Information. Usually this is the go-to source where you would find data on public transit ridership by mode itemized most of the public transit agencies in the United States. But there is also a lot of data on transit costs and what I just noticed, the average age of public transit fleets broken down by both agency and mode. So of course I had to go in search of some Pittsburgh exceptionalism, and it was not hard to find.

But across the board, here are the oldest public transit modes in the database. I guess the result is not surprising given that at least Monongahela Incline is billed as the United States' oldest continuously operating funicular. Seriously though, it has the San Francisco Cable Car beat by almost four decades.

The incline is so old that you have to wonder whether it's fair to keep counting its age in years. Sort of like Ship of Theseus, how much of the original incline is still there?