Let’s make buses more dangerous so people will ride them..

Alex Tabarrok has a point about making public transport more worthwhile for people. Make it more unsafe..

Jeff Kaufman writes:

Buses are much safer than cars, by about a factor of 67, but they’re not very popular. If you look at situations where people who can afford private transit take mass transit instead, speed is the main factor (ex: airplanes, subways).

So we should look at ways to make buses faster so more people will ride them, even if this means making them somewhat more dangerous.

Here are some ideas, roughly in order from “we should definitely do this” to “this is crazy, but it would probably still reduce deaths overall when you take into account that more people would ride the bus”:

  • Don’t require buses to stop and open their doors at railroad crossings.
  • Allow the driver to start while someone is still at the front paying.
  • Allow buses to drive 25mph on the shoulder of the highway in traffic jams where the main lanes are averaging below 10mph.
  • Higher speed limits for buses. Lets say 15mph over.
  • Leave (city) bus doors open, allow people to get on and off any time at their own risk.

Excellent recognition of tradeoffs. Pharmaceuticals should also be more dangerous.

Well, in India buses are also more unpopular as they remain mired in traffic jams. It is easier to move your smaller vehicles and navigate alternate routes in case of a jam..

2 Responses to “Let’s make buses more dangerous so people will ride them..”

  1. Sanya Says:

    Is there any research study that shows correlation between dangerous travel and uptake of public transport?

  2. Amol Agrawal Says:

    Hi Sanya…no clue on this…it might be interesting to look at such research..

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