Monday, 19th July 2004
Cars should drive like blood flowing through vessels
Blood Public transport Cars
  1. Blood runs from lungs to cells and back.
  2. It flows continuously, non stop, extra fast during peaks.
  3. There are arteries and capillary vessels.
  1. Public transport in the Netherlands gets you everywhere, within walking distance
  2. It flows non stop throughout the day, with extra cars in peak hours
  3. Two types: on rails and asphalt.
  1. Mainly used for daily commuter traffic
  2. High density in rush hours, but extra slow
  3. Highways and dirt roads.
At first sight public transport should be as efficient as blood vessels. Taking a train from Gouda to Utrecht takes only 22 minutes, never traffic jammed. It is fast and efficient, just sit back and relax for a while and arrive at your destination.

Factor 3

Yet, when looking at the whole journey a car is much faster. Even during rush hours a car outspeeds public transport by a factor 2 or even 3. Going from train station to train station is fine. Most time is wasted on
  1. pre and post transport,
  2. waiting for connections,
  3. stops on route,
  4. the detour.
The example to the right show travel times for the stretch Gouda - De Meern.

The difference is ridiculous. Look at the return journey too. The daily travel time adds up to 150 minutes versus 50. It is a factor 3, way to much.

Public transport Travel time Waiting for connections Car
Walking home to bus stop 3 min - Door to door 25 min
Waiting for the bus - 3 min
Bus to the station 9 min -
Waiting for a connecting train - 7 min
Train to Utrecht 22 min -
Waiting for the bus - 15 min
Bus 15 min -
Walk to final destination 1 min -
Total 1:15 50 min 25 min Total 25 min

More efficient

How to make public transport more efficient, more like the bloodstream?
  1. Public transport should start small at home, with small, slow cars, comparable with the small streams in capillary vessels. Board at the doorstep and off you go. That still looks like driving a car.
  2. Where roads merge the small cars should merge into small trains, going a bit faster.
  3. Between cities, large, high speed inter city car trains should ride.
Small and big, slow and fast trains should drive with the same frequency. Every 30 seconds seems OK to me, increased to 5 seconds during peak hours. Make a connection with an maximum average delay of 15 seconds. That mean always a smooth connection, bye bye to waiting times.

What current transport lacks is a heart beat.

Till next nut,