Well, my second week at the new job seems to be going well. Folks there seem to think I am doing a good job which is good. I have some ideas for making things more efficient that I hope they will like. The commute remains terrible. Today I dropped off my Dad's car at the body shop and took the bus into work. That wasnt too bad. But coming home was a NIGHTMARE. It took me an hour and a half door to door. Yuck. Oh well. I guess I know what to expect tomorrow though.
I got to thinking about the economics of public transportation though. In the past week and a half, I have ridden on several AATA routes. The buses always have plenty of riders. This morning the #4 was so crowded, I wasnt sure anyone else would be able to get onto it. Granted, I am only riding the bus at rush hour but still... Anyways, it seems to me that one of the biggest costs for the bus is labor so I started thinking about ways that AATA could reduce labor costs while making people's commutes better too.
The answer is technology. I know this is a pipe dream but I wonder if the technology exists to build some kind of elevated light rail/monorail that doesnt need a person driving the train. And if so, I wonder how much it would cost to build such a thing. I imagine that it must cost a lot. And by "a lot" I mean an amount where the AATA wouldnt be able to recoup the costs quickly enough with whatever labor savings they might have. Still, it would be nice to have such a thing running between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. It seems to me that if one could get from Ypsi to Ann Arbor in 20 mins or so without getting stuck in traffic, more people would become mass transit riders.
Well, enough with the bus I guess...
Labor Day Weekend was really nice. I had people up to the lake on Saturday and Sunday. We had a blast. Shannon brought me a birthday cake on Sunday which was really nice. The weather was great. We swam a lot. It was all good.