Proof of Yesterday’s Entry

Yesterday, I gave a hypothetical example which showed why suburbanites might only see empty buses, and incorrectly assume that all buses are always empty.
It took exactly one day to prove the hypothetical.

This morning, I rode my bike to the bus stop at 38th and Medical Parkway intending to take the express bus into work as usual. However, I got there a bit early due to green lights, and the #3 bus showed up right as I pulled in. I thought I’d give it a whirl, since it ends up arriving up here at about the same time as the express bus, and has the added advantage of dropping off at Braker rather than Balcones Woods, which allowed me to more easily deposit some rent checks at the ATM.

There were 24 people on the bus, including me, when we pulled away from the bus stop. Note that this stop is about a quarter of the northbound length away from downtown, i.e., if you rode from the central point of the route to its far northern end, this stop is about 1/4 of the way up.

We puttered up Medical Parkway and Burnet, stopping at about 60% of the stops, usually to let people off; occasionally to pick people up. By the time we got to US 183 and Burnet, there were about 10 people still on the bus.

At Braker and Mopac, there were 4 people left, includng me.

At my stop on Braker between 183 and Jollyville, one other guy left the bus with me. That left 2 people to go to the end of the northbound route at the Arboretum (actually a loop end-point; it’s technically south of where I got off, but still before the layover point).
So if you had seen the bus between downtown and Burnet at 183, you would have thought: “that’s a pretty full bus” (nearly every seat was taken). If you had seen the bus at the Randall’s on Braker, on the other hand, you would have said “that bus is empty”.

And if you were as stupid as most suburbanites, that would be ammunition for you to run around and claim that Capital Metro wastes your money because all they do is run empty buses.

PS: The ride stunk. Bumpy and jerky. Hard to read. Not worth the 50 cent savings. I’ll wait for the express bus next time.



4 thoughts on “Proof of Yesterday’s Entry

  1. Great attitude. Nothing gets your point across better than angry tirades of a rude jerk. I ride the bus quite often and it’s as often empty as it is full. So I do partially agree with you. But the attitude just makes me want to tune you out.

  2. I live on the # 16 route…I see it inbound and outbound several times a day (commute times), guess what? They are virtually empty…maybe a dozen, tops.
    I work along the drag for UT…and with the exception of the “forty acre” busses…guess what?
    empty again.
    I have lived in austin since 1968 and maintain to this day it’s an issue of routes and connections.
    I have been jammed up by as many as 4 busses, obviously off schedule, some sitting killing time,some racing dangerously to catch up.
    Cap met sucks…never there when you need one and in your way when you don’t.
    No need for rail or any of the other bullshit money grab proposals…they just need to hire a competent navigator/statistician.

  3. Boy, a couple of winners today!
    In order:
    1. Angry tirades are what’s called for when people like Mike Levy and Jim Skaggs argue against not only bad rail (like ASG), but good rail, and even the maintenance of the bus system, claiming that empty buses show a lack of need.
    2. The #16 bus ain’t exactly a barn-burner like the #1 or #3. But it’s far from ’empty’. I live close enough to see it all the time – and I see people pouring on and off it at Hancock Center when I buy groceries. And 12 people on a bus IS a lot – that’s 12 cars worth of people.

  4. I’ve rode other city bus systems. Austin’s is the best. There is almost never a long wait. There are several different ways to get there.
    In most cities the buses can take two or three times the amount of transit time that it would take to drive there. Not so in Austin.
    I was amazed.

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