Urban planners tout trains as the solution to urban transit woes. But trains require great capital expenditures and long, slow development times.
Buses, on the other hand, are relatively cheap to initiate. Beautiful infrastructure for buses already exists, and the vehicles themselves are much cheaper than train stock.
Unfortunately, buses suffer from unfavorable public perceptions. This has been called "bus shame" or busophobia. Could a little more money spent on route development, bus cleanliness, and marketing sell the public on buses?
Bus shame can be overcome; all kinds of fashionable New Yorkers ride out to the Hamptons on the various “jitneys” and “luxury liners” that to the naked eye look an awful lot like buses. But it’s important to understand that the train craze sweeping through the Obama administration, the ‘new urbanist’ movement and conventional green circles is more a fad grounded in irrational prejudices than a revolution in urban living.
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