Monday, May 17, 2010

Transit mode share to ballparks

In a cute lede in a recent op-ed in the Boston Globe, New York and Boston sports fans were held up as examples of transit users.
Red Sox and Yankees fans can agree on one thing — how to get to the game. In New York, about 45 percent of ticketholders take public transportation. In Boston, more than 50 percent of ticketholders take the T — a percentage higher than any other professional sports franchise in any city in the country. Yet, even as hundreds of thousands pour into rail cars each season, most are unaware that the trains are running on empty.
That makes sense: parking in Boston is atrocious ($40 for a spot, and horrible traffic pre- and post-game) and in New York many fans come from The City, and those who don't face interminable waits to get off of and back on to the Major Deegan. (Google Maps imagery of Yankee Stadium, taken just before a ballgame, shows hordes of people getting off the subway, and traffic backed up from the stadium 3 miles north up 87, and across the Harlem River in to Manhattan towards the GW Bridge, although the CBE is pretty clear.)

This got me to thinking. I profiled Minneapolis's new stadium, Target Field, a few weeks ago, focusing in on how it was built in to a transit system which, when fully developed*, could see a 600-passenger crush load, three car light rail train leaving every three minutes in each direction. (I was biking through Minneapolis last week and saw them using three car trains after a Twins game.) I also went to Kansas City, where there is no transit service to the game, and everyone is forced to park in the huge lots surrounding Kauffman Stadium, setting up a nice little racket for the stadium owners.

I want the data. I want to plot ballpark transit mode share versus overall transit mode share. I'd love to see data on biking to the stadium. This mode is nonexistent in Boston or New York (where your bike is liable to be stolen if you aren't hit by a driver on the way to the game) but in Minneapolis there are hundreds of bike racks and they're full on game day (and the city is planning to complete a bike trail quite literally underneath the stadium which will enable off-street links from most directions). If anyone knows where I can get it (and, yes, I emailed the authors of that article) I'd love to know.

* The Central Corridor to the south and then east, the Southwest Corridor to the north and then southwest and the Bottineau Transitway to the north and then northwest, plus any additional commuter rail.

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