Good Bus, Bad Bus, Slow Bus, No Bus

7 thoughts on “Good Bus, Bad Bus, Slow Bus, No Bus”

  1. I like the article until the last paragraph kicking suburbanites in the teeth. Suburbs are, in my opinion, necessary and while I like this site and similar sites (such as LifeEdited), the pointed comments about how everyone would be better served by living in the city are short sighted at best.
    Could you imagine what would happen if all the suburbanites decided to more to a more dense setting? The working and/or lower class would be forced out of the cities further than they already are, possibly living in the suburbs which have been abandoned by the middle class.
    Transportation is the key – bridging the suburbs to the cities in an effective way has not been adequately explored by anyone. We are still riding the same transportation system built 50plus years ago.

    1. Actually, I understand the need for suburbs. Not everyone wants to live in a big city. Personally, I’m a Main Street small town kind of guy. I like little bungalows and a bit of garden. I just want them to exist in a walkable complete neighborhood. I don’t need skyscrapers or overprices condos.

      It wasn’t my intention to “kick suburbs in the teeth” with the last paragraph. I was stating a financial fact. The suburbs have overbuilt their road networks and they don’t have the funds to maintain what they already have. The gas tax and other fees don’t (and won’t) come close to covering these costs in the future. The states are broke. The feds are broke. So triage is inevitable. Suburbs can make a plan ahead of the curve and maintain the important roads while letting the cul-de-sacs revert to gravel (no harm there really since they’re essentially collective private driveways) or they can let the entire road system decline and crumble while they play whack-a-mole with the pot holes.

      1. Interesting – revert to gravel for smaller roads…good luck getting people to buy into that (even though it may be a solid idea). Too many people driving $60k luxury SUV’s to agree to that!
        I agree with the main street small town ideal and wish more growth would happen in this way.
        New to the site and am enjoying it, thanks for the fresh outlook.

        1. You’re assuming that road maintenance triage will be voluntary. I think it’s coming due to overwhelming financial need. Locals aren’t going to be willing to pay the real cost for the roads they want. The usual funding sources (state and federal money) are going away. At best there will be wealthy places that manage to skim funds through political power, but that just means some other poor schmucks in the next town over will have even worse roads from more draconian budget cuts… Kind of like the way schools and health care are currently rationed from district to district.

          1. There’s going to be a difference between rich suburbs and poor (formerly middle class) suburbs.

            The rich suburbs can always afford paved roads. They put in cobblestone before asphalt became cool. They don’t have multi-lane roads — they don’t want more than one lane in each direction. Keep it exclusive. They have large lots for privacy, and because they can afford it…

            These suburbs are mostly older — suburbs for the rich date back to the 1890s at least, and arguably date back to ancient times. But not always. Anyway, suburbs for the rich are not going anywhere.

            Suburbs for the middle classes are a novelty, and they’re the ones which are going to be reverting to gravel.

        2. As the economy begins to (inevitably) contract due to off-shoring, automation, debt, climate change, and (yes they are coming back) oil shocks, how many $60,000 SUV drivers will there be? And is providing smooth access to exurban paradises going to be the national priority suburbanites think it should be?

  2. Pretty much nailed it. You forgot the other place where mass transit is not just tolerated, but celebrated…Walt Disney World. In the middle of a state that hates anything to do with mass transit there is a system that is comprehensive, clean, and efficient. Never mind that its sole purpose is to get you to spend lots of money on plastic crap.

    Heck, it is even multi-modal encompassing bus, rail, and water transport.

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