This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
Andrew has the must-read rebuttal to Sims. Money graf:
For an example of how rail can more more people more cheaply, we need only look to Washington DC. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the operator of DC Metro, spends almost exactly the same amount of money as King Country Metro does, $560 million to $580 million. Except for that $560 million DC metro moves almost a million people a day on rail (three times what KC metro moves per day with its buses) and the WMATA agency provides buses that carry another 120,000! It’s only possible because of the investment put in place years ago, and residents there can reap the benefit of a reliable, traffic-separated transit system that’s relatively cheap.
And DC’s population density is roughly the same as Seattle’s, so it’s not like they’ve achieved this amazing transit ridership simply by crushing everyone into Manhattan-style apartments.