[identity profile] ikkeikke.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] dhlc
So I read a post about a column Dan Savage had written about buses. I haven't read the column (but you're welcome to), as it was summarized thusly in said post: "he bitched about being expected to take the bus, because it's inconvenient and you have to sit in pools of urine and the only people who take the bus when they don't have to are smug self-righteous bastards," and that doesn't sound like something I'd want to read.

Anyway, I was sheepishly commenting that despite my semi-serious attempts to live lightly, I actually really don't like the bus. In DC, where I didn't have a car, I walked a lot and took the Metro, but almost never took the bus. Writing this, I realized there are three basic reasons why I don't like the bus:
  1. Inconvenience (does not go from where I am to where I want to go, also schedule issues)

  2. Stop-Start (I can't read on a bus, whereas I read grad school texts on my subway commute)

  3. Outdoor Waiting Places (wait times may have been similar, but at bus stops you were still in the wind/rain/snow. Bus shelters alleviate this somewhat, but in my experience, there were only shelters at major stops, so they were always overfull and so I mostly didn't get much benefit)

It occurs to me that the last two would probably apply to light rail systems. That's kind of distressing. Subways for all, darnit.

Are these reasons common? Would public transit be better used if these issues were fixed, or is there some sort of classism/selfishness/image problem that will prevent more general adoption of it anyway?

Date: 2007-04-28 11:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mhaille.livejournal.com
It was a great deal easier when I was taking college buses to college courses, because to some extent the schedules were tailored to that possibility. But outside that rarified environment, buses really are hella inconvenient. I can't tell you how many times people have gone to HR with the "Look, if I can shift my schedule 5 minutes, I can do this on bus, but if not then I have to build in an extra hour of commute time on either side, most of which is wasted in standing at a stop or taking some ridiculously labrynthine route to and from work via the bus."
HR, being the delightful souls that they are, has generally told these people to go soak. There's a reason that low wage jobs will actually have a question on the application asking whether you own your own transportation.

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