Urban Fold

The Implications of Transit Lingo

What do you think of when you think of the word "route" in relation to transit? What about the word "line"? Jarrett Walker argues that the language used to describe transit can influence how people think about it.

Walker presents the idea that "routes" can be temporary and impermanent, while "lines" are more immutable:

"Lurking inside these two words, in short, is a profound difference in attitude about a transit service. Do you want to think of transit as something that's always there, that you can count on? If so, call it a line. We never speak of rail routes, always rail lines, and we do that because the rails are always there, suggesting a permanent and reliable thing."

Full Story: watching our words: route or line?

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