Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Bones in the Water

Well, seems like discussion I posted here is more than just rumor and speculation.

I'll keep the discussion brief here, as I haven't had a chance to really digest the article, and ADN, apart from their stupid pay wall, aren't always the most accurate with their initial reports.

Cost per trip - 10 to 12 bucks round trip seems right. That would definitely place the per ride cost on-par with the Valley Mover.

Two trips in and out each day. Hey, that makes sense to me. If you can fit 480 people per trip you wouldn't need too much more than two runs each way.

Run September through May. While this makes sense on the one hand, as these are the times of year when folks generally don't want to drive due to road conditions, it seems like AKRR may be shooting themselves in the foot a bit. Mass transit succeeds out of habit. Riders have to be in the habit of using your service. Anything that disrupts that habit will lead your riders to another form of transport. And we all know that recapturing lost customers is multiple times harder than getting them the first time.

Another issue I see is the in-town transportation. For folks who do not work in the downtown core, it can be a challenge to get from the Valley Mover stop to work. Add another 3/4 mile slog up a fairly steep hill to get from the train depot to the transit center to catch a People Mover and you've just disinterested a lot of folks. Also, given the time of year they propose to run, those who might be interested in multi-modal approaches would also be less likely to give it a go. I might view it a bit differently if there were a bus stop near the train depot, but there isn't

In the ADN article, read the comments. They shed a lot of light on the type of arguments that the RR will need to overcome to be successful. They also show the type of misinformation that people have about the various transport opprotunities available.

And the guy who claims that the combined cost of the train and an in-town shuttle would be more than the cost of driving? Yeah, on the surface I'm sure it is. But just think of the wear and tear and maintenance required to be able to drive 70 or 80 miles a day year round. And the guy who thinks that it would require a 5 am to 8 pm day to allow for transport - Not so much. I leave the valley at 5:10 am and get home at 5:20 PM, because I work ~10 hour days. If I were to work 8 hour days I could be home by 3 every day.

Enough of that. Here, have some beardcicle pics - as they are making a comeback.



Christmas present saddle. 

And check out this post. Something he says really resonates with me. It involves ABC's Wild World of Sports and the Iditarod. I remember exactly where I was when I saw that episode. I also remember having a strong reaction to watching those men and their dogs in the wilderness. I can't say that I told myself then, at least consciously, that I would one day see that trail myself. Growing up that was not something that my mind could even fathom. Camping when I was growing up generally involved a pop up trailer, a huge cooler of foods we didn't eat at home, and as much comfort as possible. I call it the Ford method of camping. The idea of packing everything I would need to survive was just beyond my grasp. Hell, it still feels like it is, a bit.

That said, I hope to actually get out and ride a little bit of the trail this winter yet, get a first taste of it. And eventually, I would like to do the Iditarod Invitational. I have a lot of work to do to be able to, but I think it might be in the cards. Maybe.

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