The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal

Informed but opinionated commentary and analysis on urban transportation topics from the Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal. Names have been omitted to protect the guilty.

Our Mission: Monkeywrench the Anti-Transit Forces

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Thursday, March 06, 2003

Wendell Cox Is Not Mediocre, But Sometimes, He's Dense -- 3

"It is the unfortunate destiny of the ridiculous to be subject to ridicule."
James Howard Kunstler

"Truth passes through three phases: 1) It is ridiculed. 2) It is violently opposed. 3) It is accepted as self-evident." Albert Schopenhouer. In the United States, rail is currently passing through Phase Two.

From the Cabalmaster:

In our last post, we elaborated on the difference between:

“Traffic density,” the number of passengers who travel over each mile of route.

“Boarding density,” the number of passengers who enter, or board vehicles, along each mile of route.

(One need only use “density” with reference to Wendell.)

Now we’ll begin presenting tables comparing various urban rail systems by “traffic density” and “boarding density,” aka “Wendell density.” We’ve also listed systems by world “traffic density rank” and world “Wendell rank.” We’ve used this label because, as we hope we’ve convinced you, anyone who would use “boarding density” as a surrogate for “traffic density” is “pulling a Wendell” (i.e. attempting to convince others that one knows more than one actually does, in the manner of, say, the good Mr. Fudge). We acknowledge that we started this project based on one of Wendell’s tables (see, adding, correcting and updating as needed.

“System Type” categories are those discussed previously.

See this page (PDF 4.0) for these data tables.

“TD,” Traffic density figures are based on annual ridership statistics, that is, pass-mi per mile of route per year.

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