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Saturday, March 8, 2014

FOUR WHEELS BAD: CAR LOSES AUSTIN RUSH HOUR RACE TO BIKE, BUS, PEDESTRIAN | Austin Post

It was a simple enough idea. Last Friday, five Austin Post reporters set off across the center of town around 5 p.m. to see how our city's transportation options stack up: just a little more than four miles through rush hour hell.
We avoided the parking lot that was I-35 and the river of cars known as Mopac. No, we were in the mood for a multi-modal race, and we also wanted to test the powers of the new MetroRapid bus. We chose Guadalupe as our race route because it traverses the living, breathing (if not always moving) heart of the city and can be traversed any way you like, short of water travel. And so: 38th and Guadalupe to South Congress and Monroe.
Five travelers, five modes:
  • MetroRapid Bus
  • Regular Bus
  • Car
  • Bike
  • On Foot
We assumed our pedestrian would come in last. Austin traffic might be horrendous, but there’s no way a not-particularly-athletic person can walk 4.5 miles faster than a car can drive it, right?
Well, you know what they say about assumptions: don’t make any when it comes to how bad Austin traffic can be. We'll let the results speak for themselves:
Yes, that graph is correct: the driver came in last place and took an hour and a half to get 4.5 miles through town. That’s half the time it takes to get to Dallas on a good day. The regular bus didn’t do much better, clocking in at just under 80 minutes. 

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