Featured Articles

You All Hate Cars and Would Rather Take the Bus

Posted in auto industry, Commuter Cars, Fuel-efficient, General by Dustin Driver | March 31st, 2010 | 7 Responses |

That’s right, a new poll shows that most Americans want more public transportation and would rather take the bus than drive. The survey, commissioned by transportation advocacy group Transportation for America, found that 82 percent of Americans want more funding for public rail and buses. And 73 percent said they’d rather ride a bus to work.

From Wired:

Support for public transportation was strongest in urban areas and in the Northeast, but a full 58 percent nationwide said that more money should be spent on bus, rail and other public transit. Even in sparsely populated rural areas that may never see a bus or a train pass through, half of respondents said they’d support increased transportation funding.

“In small towns and big cities alike, Americans are saying loudly and clearly that their lives would be better, and their nation stronger, if we had world-class public transportation and more options for walking and bicycling,” said Geoff Anderson, T4 co-chair and CEO of Smart Growth America.

Makes sense to me. Nothing sucks the joy out of driving like a commute—cars crawling over asphalt, stale air oozing out of the dash, news radio squawking ceaselessly from the speakers. I love driving. But commuting is not driving. Given the option, I’d take a bus or train over a car every time. On a bus or train you can play games, read a book, or browse car blogs. You can stare out the window and wistfully dream of better days. Plus, buses and trains consume far less energy per passenger than cars. For a daily commute, you can’t beat mass transit.

I say save cars for fun, like track days or weekend trips to the beach. And if we start thinking of cars as fun again, rather than transportation appliances for the daily grind, maybe auto manufacturers will make them fun again. What do you think?

Source: Wired

Our Best Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

7 Responses

  1. Blix says:

    Agreed. If I have to live in an area plagued by traffic, I must have public transportation. I live near DC and in the few times I’ve had to drive to work (I usually Metro it in) it has taken me up to 1 1/2 hrs to go 8 miles. Nothing kills automotive fun like traffic.

  2. Metaliox says:

    Thats ok with me. All of you can take the bus so that leaves less idiots on the road that dont want to be there and no traffic for the people that actually care about the freedom of driving.

  3. Mad_Science says:

    Agreed, but personally I prefer rail. I recognize the flexibility of buses (less infrastructure, reconfigurable routes), but for some reason buses tend to be dirtier and sketchier than trains.

    There’s a corollary to this that gearheads should also be fans of hybrids and other fuel-efficient vehicles. In place of functional mass transit, wouldn’t you rather the people around you all be driving the most fuel efficient commuter appliances available? More gas and emissions for the rest of us to actually enjoy.

  4. Metaliox: There is no freedom in gridlock.

    Mad_Science: Yes yes, buses do seem to collect graffiti and unidentifiable gunk at a higher rate than trains. I have encountered the opposite, though. I live in the SF Bay Area, in Oakland. There’s a train and commuter buses to downtown SF. The train, BART, is stanky. The commuter buses—some of them, at least—are very posh. They even have Wi-Fi. It is an exception to the rule.

  5. Mad_Science says:

    Yeah, in LA, there’s basically an inverse relationship between length of trip and “atmosphere”.

    “Dash” buses: $0.25 fare, run short loops in-town, full of homeless people

    Normal “Route” buses: normal fare, run long routes but stop (what feels like) every 8 feet. Fully of people on their way to/from court, bail bond hearings, or liquor store runs.

    “Rapid” buses: articulating 100 passenger behemoths that only stop at major blocks. Street lights give them priorities. Mostly full of working class people and students on their way to/from respectable occupations.

    LA Subway (don’t laugh): Slightly nicer crowd than “Rapid” buses. People with visible laptops (not using them), people in business attire.

    Metrolink Commuter Trains: (when they’re not crashing) Very white-collar crowd. Laptops, work bags, business attire is the norm. Provided you’re not next to someone abnoxious, it’s genuinely enjoyable travel.

    My commute is 40ish miles each way, but it’s reversed (metro LA–>Valencia), so traffic’s not bad at all. There’s a train station by my house, but the one at the other end is far enough from work that I’d need to have a car or motorcycle parked at the station all week. That, and the more coarse reverse-commute train schedule pretty much kill my abilities to take the train…at least until gas is back around $5/gal.

  6. Sarah! says:

    I think taking the bus is FUN! And,it’s good for the environment.

  7. Sarah! says:

    Taking public transport is FUN!