Saturday, August 21, 2004

In describing the framework of my bus fieldwork to an American audience yesterday (Seattle Intel Research lab) I used these comparative stats.

7 million people live in London
Just over a million people enter central London in the morning peak period (7-10am) everyday.
85% by public transport
12% by car
Bus patronage is rising at its fastest rate since the WWII
5.4 million passengers travel by bus every weekday
3 million passengers travel by tube everyday

According to the United States Dept of Transport and Federal Highways
Total number of workers in Seattle is 1.7million
71% of them travel into the city in single occupancy cars
12.8% in carpools
6.2% by public transport (buses and street cars)

And even more comparative data
US – overall only 7.5 % of people use public transport
Because the national average travel time by car is 24mins versus 47mins by public transportation.

These figures were useful in explaining why I was looking at public transport, why the bus is a unique field site for studying the interactions of a broad cross section of urban life and why London is an interesting location for studying the intersection of technology, mobility and place.

Only 13 more days until the No.73 routemaster is taken off the sad.