Friday, January 17, 2014

Are van pools the future of public transportation in suburbia?

As we know, public transportation doesn't work quite as well in less dense suburban areas as it does in and around our urban core locations. In any metropolitan area's hinterlands, you will find commuters who would rather drive than use public transport. This is likely due to a catch-22. Aside from those who prefer the independence their cars bring, people would rather drive because of little public transit availability. At the same time, there is little public transit available due to the very auto-centric environment of our suburbs. The unfortunate thing about the lack of public transit is that there are many suburbanites who cannot afford a personal vehicle. These folks cannot travel between home and work or healthcare.

Could van pools possibly be the answer?

Van pools provide transportation access to those who do lack access and mobility to the transportation network without the high cost associated with fixed route systems. They also do not require the higher densities in order to be feasible and viable. Given the relatively light passenger load, they generally require the use of a small passenger van rather than the expensive full-sized buses.