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I found this article almost insanely insensitive to those who actually have to use public transport to get to work. I was living in London in the late 1990's and the head of the London Underground rode the tube. It was big news because it was the first time that this had occurred in the over hundred year history of the system. This author reminds of that and the horrible sense of powerlessness that one experiences as public transport rider having one's transportation system designed by people who couldn't be bothered to consider what the actual experiences of riders might be like. I have used public transport for years to get to work. And I know first hand that it doesn't matter how fast you get to work if your covered in vomit after an harrowing hour of being bounced around a double decker bus like paint in a paint can. In New Orleans I walked for literally miles to take the street car to work rather than be covered with a fellow rider's café au lait as the bus bounced across the streets. The trolley isn't just a smoother ride. It is the difference between arriving at work fit to work and not. If people are going to take public transport they have to arrive at work fit to work every single time. If speed were the answer why not us catapults, or giant rockets strapped to the hapless workers backs as they tremble upon roller stakes. Transit riders are real people. They are not just widgets that you can slam around town on the theory that slightly bending or scolding the odd one now an again in the end will average out. They are human beings who deserve to be transported to some minimum standard of safety and comfort. Whilst busses may be necessary as a transitional method or on temporary routes, until a bus can approach the consistent quality of light rail, as much public resources as can be brought to bear should be employed in the construction and operation light rail routes.
Toggle Commented Feb 16, 2014 on streetcars: an inconvenient truth at Human Transit
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Feb 15, 2014