Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Saturday, March 31, 2012

What We Could Do with Buses . . .

The following article by Will Doig in highlights how much good bus service could do for public transit in comparison to rail.  It is not an argument so much against rail as an argument that bus transit could do much more than it does. 

It’s time to love the bus

America needs to accept the fact that its most despised form of transport is also its hope for the future

The Guardian hailed it as “a stately vehicle” that conveys “a sense of privilege.” British car mag Autocar road-tested it and praised its “brilliant economy and an interior to die for.” It isn’t a Jag or a Rolls — it’s a London bus with a new set of curves, relaunched this week with the aim of lending municipal bus service a touch of class.
Whether more glamour will translate into more riders is yet to be seen. But one thing is certain: When it comes to improving mass transit, there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit on the humble city bus. The vital connective tissue of multi-modal transit systems, the bus could be an efficient — nay, elegant — solution to cities’ mobility woes if only we made it so.
And yet we rarely do. . . .
. . .  When people say they don’t like the bus but they do like the train, what they really mean is they like those perks the train offers. But there’s no reason bus systems can’t simply incorporate most of them. . . .
The article goes on to identify some of these "perks", including faster, more reliable, better designed, and more frequent buses, as well as better bus stops and terminals (including air conditioning!).  It notes Silicon Valley's Google offers bus service "equipped with Wi-Fi, electrical outlets, bicycle racks, and cellphone alerts that warn riders when they’ll be late."

Either click on the title above or click here for the full article.  Great if you're a bus buff!

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