In a previous post I plotted some transit statistics and waved my hands around at the apparent and obvious correlation without doing any math. I figured I should re-address this and do some minimal statistics (what? I'm lazy) to show that there is some relation between transit usage and how easy it is to get around by transit (a shocking assertion). Part of the reason I didn't bother with any deeper analysis last time was that I figured my claim was obvious. But, on reflection, there is a lot going on there that could be analyzed to death, and since I have nothing to do this afternoon...
Recently I've been posting about Edmonton Transit and drawing a lot of my data from the 2014 Edmonton Census. Well the 2016 census data is now available on the Edmonton Open Data Portal so I should take a peak and see what's changed.
Yesterday I put together some maps showing some results culled from google maps on how effective Edmonton Transit is vs driving in your own car. It looked pretty grim for the 'burbs, with average transit times being 20-30min longer than the equivalent trip by car (almost twice as long!). But I didn't really answer whether or not this any impact on actual transit ridership. Intuitively we think it should, but there are lots of other factors as well, such as economics. If you got no money you're still to take the bus (because it is cheaper than driving, slightly) even if it takes you hours.
I was having a conversation, the other day, about how much of a pain it is to take ETS to and from the 'burbs. I am a big fan of not driving as much as possible and I resisted owning and driving a car for years in Edmonton (notably when I lived downtown and either worked downtown or at the University) but no longer, I have a car. My particular breaking point was working in a business park that wasn't really transit accessible -- by bus, train, bus, and then walking my trip to work took over an hour each way, with a car that dropped to 20 minutes max. I figure this experience generalizes well and exlains why transit ridership is really low in Edmonton. Transit takes forever and it sucks, whereas everywhere is a 20-30min drive from everywhere else in this town.