Bus Riders Testify About the Necessity of Transit

Like New York and dozens of other American cities, Minneapolis is facing the prospect of higher transit fares and less service amid the economic downturn. To impress upon state lawmakers that their constituents depend on transit to meet basic needs, the St. Stephen’s Human Rights Campaign compiled this video of testimonials from bus riders (hat tip to Twin Cities Streets for People; see all the testimonials here). They asked a simple question: What do you use the bus for?

Watching the answers calls to mind all the reps in Albany who oppose funding transit through bridge tolls and fees on driving by invoking the plight of working-class New Yorkers. As if their transit riding constituents don’t need to get to work, make trips to the doctor, or take their kids to school. One wonders whether the Gang of Three would so shamelessly obstruct the rescue of our transit system if New York’s local TV crews asked bus and subway riders this question, instead of, say, putting the screws to Lee Sander about his morning routine.

  • Rhywun

    As if their transit riding constituents don’t need to get to work, make trips to the doctor, or take their kids to school.

    But transit riders are all elite Manhattanites. Or something.

  • Boris

    Seems strange that no “normal” people were interviewed that ride the bus. The only people interviewed were either poor or disabled.

    Many people ride transit not only because it is less expensive, but because it offers better quality of life, makes for walkable neighborhoods, and allows one to save “driving money” and direct it towards more enjoyable uses.


Mayoral Contenders Talk Transit, Part 1: Tom Allon

Election Day is more than a year away, but the race to become the next mayor of New York City is well-underway. In the last two issues of its magazine, Reclaim, Transportation Alternatives has been asking the would-be mayors for their thoughts on transit (in the more recent interviews, one question about cycling was added). […]

The “Choice” vs. “Captive” Transit Rider Dichotomy Is All Wrong

The conventional wisdom about transit often divides riders into two neat categories: “choice” riders — higher-income people with cars — and “captive” riders — lower-income people who must use transit because they don’t own cars. But this framework can undermine good transit, according to a new report from TransitCenter [PDF]. In the attempt to cater only to “choice” riders or “captive” […]