Originally Posted by Drybrain
I agree, but I also think that no matter how much sense it makes, and no matter how much public education there is, some people will just not make buses part of their daily lives, but will use rail. The only cities I've lived in where transit doesn't have a bit of a "loser cruiser" reputation are those with some form of rail transport.
I think part of the disconnect here is that most studies focus on easily-measured benefits and tend to leave out the other stuff. Actually they even leave out some easily-measured stuff like variance in travel times and adherence to schedules.
There are a bunch of real things that transit riders care about that studies don't tend to pay much attention to:
- Are the vehicles clean, safe, and comfortable?
- How much work do I need to do to plan my trip? How reliable will my plans be?
- Is the transit service good enough for me to give up my car? If it's only good to use during commuting hours I'll still need to have a car for all the other stuff, so why bother paying for a transit pass as well? Also, what happens if I get rid of my vehicle and then service levels change?
I think the "loser cruiser" reputation is the effect, not the cause, of a lack of desirability, and the lack of desirability exists for real, practical reasons. It's not just some cultural quirk.