Apropos the previous post on bus stops, the University of Minnesota has a new set of campus shuttle and connector signs. The distinguishing feature is the use of QR codes. I am not sure how I feel about this, QR codes seem faddish. Nevertheless, it would be interesting to get statistics on how many relatively tech-savvy UMN students use the QR codes daily, compared with the number who text, call, or go to the website get information.
More info here, including real-time moving buses.
Via JS: @ EconTalk | Library of Economics and Liberty: Frank and Roberts on Infrastructure :
“Robert Frank of Cornell University and EconTalk host Russ Roberts debate the merits of a large increase of infrastructure spending. In the summer of 2012, Frank and Roberts were interviewed by Alex Blumberg of NPR’s Planet Money. That interview was trimmed to ten minutes for a Planet Money podcast. This is the entire conversation. Frank argues that a trillion increase in infrastructure spending, where the projects are decided by a bipartisan commission, would put people back to work and repair a near-failing system at a time when it is cheap to repair it and cheap to fund those repairs. Roberts disagrees with virtually every piece of Frank’s argument. This lively conversation covers fundamental disagreements over fiscal policy, the proper role for government, and the political process.”
In my view Russ Roberts did slightly better in the debate, but both were surprisingly ill-informed about infrastructure policy in the US. Roberts was also disappointingly willing to concede roads and tracks to the government sector for a libertarian, even tracks that are currently privately owned, like freight.
Metro Transit is undertaking a Sign Test on routes 54 and 74. (Top Figure)
“Use the “Stop Number” at the bottom of the sign to access predicted real-time departures via NexTrip at metrotransit.org/mobile and metrotransit.org. By summer 2012, you’ll also be able to access information by Bus Stop Number at 612-373-3333.”
OK, better than not having the information (second figure), but the sign itself should convey information (third and fourth figures) about: (1) which routes serve the stop,
(2) where they go,
(3) how often they run,
(4) what time of day they run.
I am not always looking at a smartphone, (I may not even have one). I don’t want to have to look at a smartphone for basic information. The excuse I have heard is that it will be expensive to deploy the signs and make it more difficult to reschedule buses, since someone will have to go out and change the signs. Yes, of course that is true, but aren’t these the same people who tell me the value of LRT is its permanence rather than a bus’s flexibility? A small signal of permanence about bus routing might be warranted.