Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I agree with this:

…most Americans have tremendous class bias against public transit, especially buses, and that's large reason that people won't use it. I actually don't think this is as true as people think, but in any case in places which have decent high frequency service the stereotype just isn't true.

Here in Springfield, the middle and upper classes would be entirely embarrassed to ever take a bus. Go to Chicago and there is no such bias, at least when it comes to getting around the city itself.

And it didn’t used to be that way here either. I remember in my lower middle class neighborhood on Springfield’s south side, my father taking the bus to work downtown. That ended when I was about 12 when he purchased and second (used) vehicle. But before that, I used to go to the bus stop with him to see him off during the summer where he, and other workers, would catch the bus. No shame, just a way to get to work.


JLogue said...

Is it really a class bias? I am sure there is a stigma attached to riding the bus in Springfield, but I have researched this several times for my own personal use. I've looked at the bus schedules and even talked to the SMTD. Unless you are going downtown to work or near downtown, it's not convenient or even cost-efficient. I explored using the bus from Toronto Road, but I would have had to transfer at least three times and it would have taken me over an hour, if I remember correctly.

To me it's not a class issue as much as it's convenience and the fact that Springfield is so spread out. I would wager you would help the environment more, save more money and spend less time by doing a share-a-ride system.

Dave said...

Well, the convenience factor may contribute to the attitude people have toward buses here, but I guarantee you even if there was a bus available to everyone that went from front door to work door, there would still be that stigma.

Allie said...

Dave, you are right, there is a stigma. But the lack of efficiency is an issue. I am a Chicago native, granted I have spent a lot of time in Springfield, I love riding the bus. In Springfield and Chicago.

Darla said...

I am not anti bus, just have no place to go on one here. My husband however is very negative towards them for illogical reasons. To him riding the bus seems like admitting failure or something. If I lived in Chicago I would so take public transportation.