Addressing the Bus Stigma

"Buses should be cool!" transit advocates continue to yell into an uncaring oblivion.
February 15, 2017, 9am PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Hernán Piñera

Stacy Thompson of the Livable Streets Alliance wants buses not to feel "second class." While there are functional ways to accomplish that goal, like bus lanes and protected bus lanes, she is also interested in changing attitudes, "…giving the humble bus an image makeover in hopes of boosting its popularity and, perhaps, its perceived status," writes Nicole Dungca in the Boston Globe.

This is not a new idea. Many transit advocates have made similar observations about the way buses may be hampered by their status. Happy City's description of the tall red buses of Bogota is as adoring as an Apple fan boy's review of the latest iPhone. How much "cool" is a factor of sizzle and how much cool has to do with actual functionality is an open question, but it's hard to make buses feel first class in cities where their schedules are irregular and where they move more slowly than traffic.

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Published on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 in Boston Globe
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