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I too do bus ridership math in my head, but of economic rather than geometric type. I can't help myself, I have a thing about venue attendance, assuming x paid for tickets per y customers, does it justify z cost of the event? In bus terms I get the added notion of traffic flow: a bus is three car lengths, so for it to save space on a bridge, at least three riders (not including the driver, who is 'working' and if not bus driving would otherwise be in an office or anyway not in a traffic location while driving) must be on the bus. But three may still be too little to pay for the gas mileage and wear and tear on the bus to cross the bridge daily. So it has to be made up in ridership earlier where there is more riders riding shorter distances.

Lots of assumed numbers I don't look up the actual costs and profitability for. Generally speaking the MTA is unprofitable at a deficit of about a billion dollars per year. But I can't help running the numbers I can observe from real life through my head for funsies or at least as a way of paying attention.

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