Ken Larsen's web site - March 7, 2017 DOLRT speech to BOCC by Paula Hammer


I’m Paula Hemmer.  I’m an environmental engineer.


I do use public transportation when I can.  It is so very limited.  I have a family, and it’s very difficult for me to take the bus.  I really want to take it, because I’m an environmental engineer.


I think that buses are such a flexible form of transportation compared to light rail.  We have a fixed group of people going to and from Durham, and I challenge those people to start taking the bus today instead of waiting until 2029 to take a train.


DOLRT is merely a sexy fixed line bus, and it’s a lot of money.  Make the buses more sexy.  Put a coffee machine on them. Have a “loud bus” where you play fun music. Have a “quiet bus” where everyone reads a book.  Seriously, think outside the box before we spend $ 2B.


I challenge you guys to create a ridership of a certain percentage of the train ridership that you expect, and when you meet that bus ridership, then you talk about a train.


One guy [Alex Cabanes] mentioned that Charlotte’s population keeps growing but fewer percentage per capita are taking the train.  That’s because there’s a fixed amount of people that transfer from cars to buses.  What we need to do is start building that base today, so that in 2029 we have people taking the train … if you’re going to spend that kind of money.  Maybe we don’t need to.  Maybe we end up with a bus system that really works fantastic instead.


Think outside the box.  For $ 2B let’s get some ideas.


Thank you.



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