Having it both ways, another example

MLewyn's picture

When listening to transit critics, I sometimes see the following arguments:

1. density doesn't increase transit ridership 

2.  My city/suburb just isn't dense enough for better transit.

I don't see how both arguments can be true. 

If density doesn't matter, we can just build transit anywhere (say, in the middle of the Mojave Desert), and people are equally likely to ride.  If density does matter, allowing more compact development means more transit riders.  (I am pretty sure the latter is true and not the former- otherwise it would just be a coincidence that Manhattan, with 50,000 people per square mile, just happens to have more transit ridership than anywhere else in North America).

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