Minnesotans Emulating Transit-names of Other Organizations

London Green Bus (Country Bus)
London Green Bus (Country Bus)

The Metoopolitan Council recently unveiled its name “Metro” for rail and BRT services. I don’t like the framing. How does this branding compare with other agencies? I looked up the top 10 US agencies (by bus ridership, which is more or less the top 10 ranking overall).

  • New York MTA
    • Bus and Subway (uses letters and numbers),
    • Commuter Rail lines (names): LIRR, Metro-North
  • Los Angeles LACMTA
    • Metro Local, Metro Express, Metro Rapid, Metro Rail (uses colors for BRT and Rail)
  • Chicago CTA
    • CTA, ‘L’
  • San Francisco
    • Muni (Bus, Rail=Metro, uses letters for rail lines)
    • BART (uses destinations for route names)
  • Philadelphia
    • SEPTA (color for rail lines)
    • PATCO
  • Washington WMATA
    • Metrobus,
    • Metrorail, (colors for rail lines)
  • Boston MBTA
    • The “T” (colors for rail lines)
  • Seattle
    • King County Metro (Bus, RapidRide BRT)
    • Sound Transit (names for rail lines)
  • Baltimore MTA Maryland
    • Bus,
    • Heavy Rail=Metro,
    • Light Rail (colors for Heavy and Light Rail),
    • Marc Commuter Rail (names)
  • Miami Miami-Dade Transit
    • Metrorail (colors for line names)
    • Metromover,
    • Metrobus

Minneapolis is actually 11th on the list, so we should look upwards, at least for information.

So what does “Metro” mean? It is part of a Commuter Rail name (NYC), it indicates all transit (LA, DC, Miami), Heavy Rail only (San Francisco-Muni, Baltimore), the Bus agency (Seattle). “Metropolitan” is also in the agency name in many places (NY, LA, DC, Seattle), as in the Twin Cities.

In general, the names are distinguished (if at all) by the technology.

I personally like the DC, LA, Miami convention of Metro-technology as a way of distinguishing between the various transit modes. The word “Metro” does not imply privilege as is currently proposed for the Twin Cities, just its metropolitan nature. We could easily have meTrorail (the LRT), meTrobus (local bus service), meTrorapid (BRT) and meTroexpress (commuter bus) or something like that. I have used inCase capitalization to emphasize the “T” logo. Surely that is in the works. (As to whether it should be Metro Rail, Metro-Rail, Metro-rail, or Metrorail I will leave to the grammarians).
Within systems, the naming of routes is also non-standard. Commuter rail tends to be named, heavy and light rail can be lettered (NY, SF-Muni), colored (LA, DC, Boston, Baltimore, Miami), named (Seattle), or place-based (SF-BART). In contrast with rail, for bus there is a standard, bus routes are almost uniformly numbered in large cities. Of course the numbering convention is localized. The use of colors for rail lines as proposed in the Twin Cities is much less awful than the Metro for rail only proposal.

Linklist: February 28, 2012

Brendon sends me to Property Management Insider: First Robotic Convenience Store at U.S. Apartment Community Debuts in Fort Worth .
Brendon says “Soon you’ll be able to drive your robot car to a robot convenience store.” In my view, it will drive itself there, and pick up groceries for me.

NYT: U.S. Rule Set for Cameras at C:

“However, in a preliminary version circulated for public comment, regulators predicted that adding the cameras and viewing screens will cost the auto industry as much as $2.7 billion a year, or $160 to $200 a vehicle. At least some of the cost is expected to be passed on to consumers through higher prices.
But regulators say that 95 to 112 deaths and as many as 8,374 injuries could be avoided each year by eliminating the wide blind spot behind a vehicle. Government statistics indicate that 228 people of all ages – 44 percent of whom are under age 5 – die every year in backover accidents involving passenger vehicles. About 17,000 people a year are injured in such accidents.
“In terms of absolute numbers of lives saved, it certainly isn’t the highest,” Mr. Ditlow said. “But in terms of emotional tragedy, backover deaths are some of the worst imaginable. When you have a parent that kills a child in an incident that’s utterly avoidable, they don’t ever forget it.””

$2.7 B/year for 100 lives a year gives a value of life of $27 million. Official US DOT Value of Statistical Life is about $5.8 million. We are losing ~300 lives per year that could otherwise be saved by doing this instead of using the same resources for the better thing. [This calculation is complicated by how injuries are dealt with among other issues]. Guilt is expensive, it is worth ~3 kids, but at least they are anonymous, and in this case the private sector is paying instead of the public.