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Old 07-10-2012, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA (Sandy Springs)
3,548 posts, read 2,310,560 times
Reputation: 2778

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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
I'll have to admit my enthusiasm for the bus is limited to about 20-30 or minutes. If you have to sit there much longer than that and thing starts rambling through neighborhoods and making a zillion stops, it's just easier to drive.
Yes, the bus is just too slow for me that it gets annoying. Nothing to do with race, just easier to drive.
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Old 07-10-2012, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,406 posts, read 2,177,013 times
Reputation: 1268
Buses really have a lot of negatives. Just off the top of my head:

1. Buses get stuck in traffic! Many people think if going to be stuck in traffic they would rather be in their own cars, where they control the climate, music, etc. Rail addresses this problem b/c it has its own ROW. So maybe BRT solves this, but many people don't know what that is or realize the difference.

2. Bus stops are unpleasant. They are often just a sign, maybe a bench and/or small shelter. While you wait you have to deal with the weather and the fumes from the road. Rail stations are nice and protected from the elements.

3. Like it or not, buses have a negative connotation to a lot of people. In general riders on buses are lower on the socio-economic ladder.

4. Buses are able to go to a lot of places, and that is a positive, but the negative is that bus routes are hard to understand. They are usually quite complicated and when you look at a map it is just a jumble.

These problems are not insurmountable, but they just make it tougher to "sell" buses to higher income folks.
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:06 PM
 
36 posts, read 87,147 times
Reputation: 63
I hate riding the buses here in Atlanta because they take 2 hours it feels like to get you somewhere that would take 10 mins in a car here in Gwinnett County. I understand that they have to make a lot of stops, but when I worked at Gamestop over in Duluth my bus rides daily were 1.5 hours each way. If I drove it, it really was less than 15 minutes to get there.

If the buses maybe had better timing schedules there would be less issues with me personally riding them. Until then, I will just stick to riding the more reliable MARTA trains when I want to do things around this city, or drive where I must.
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:21 PM
 
Location: ITP - City of Atlanta Proper
7,797 posts, read 11,738,575 times
Reputation: 5394
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandyrod View Post
I hate riding the buses here in Atlanta because they take 2 hours it feels like to get you somewhere that would take 10 mins in a car here in Gwinnett County. I understand that they have to make a lot of stops, but when I worked at Gamestop over in Duluth my bus rides daily were 1.5 hours each way. If I drove it, it really was less than 15 minutes to get there.

If the buses maybe had better timing schedules there would be less issues with me personally riding them. Until then, I will just stick to riding the more reliable MARTA trains when I want to do things around this city, or drive where I must.
That's a Gwinnett County bus, not an Atlanta bus. Your experience shouldn't be pared with what MARTA is doing.

With that said, I understand why people wouldn't like taking buses on less used routes. They naturally have longer time tables. I've been fortunate enough to always live near a heavily used route with pretty fast schedules, so I can't complain. It's a really convenient way to get to the train on cold, super hot, and rainy days.

But don't let my endorsement of buses sway anyone. I like having at least a chance of getting a seat.
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,177 posts, read 16,180,310 times
Reputation: 4899
Quote:
1. Buses get stuck in traffic! Many people think if going to be stuck in traffic they would rather be in their own cars, where they control the climate, music, etc. Rail addresses this problem b/c it has its own ROW. So maybe BRT solves this, but many people don't know what that is or realize the difference.

2. Bus stops are unpleasant. They are often just a sign, maybe a bench and/or small shelter. While you wait you have to deal with the weather and the fumes from the road. Rail stations are nice and protected from the elements.

3. Like it or not, buses have a negative connotation to a lot of people. In general riders on buses are lower on the socio-economic ladder.

4. Buses are able to go to a lot of places, and that is a positive, but the negative is that bus routes are hard to understand. They are usually quite complicated and when you look at a map it is just a jumble.

These problems are not insurmountable, but they just make it tougher to "sell" buses to higher income folks.
1) This is true and why rail is proposed for the Clifton Corridor.
2) The popular stops have shelter. Many modern LRT and BRT stops are built the same with just a shelter.
3) People need to get over that. Its a media impression on society as they usual portray buses in movies and TV shows having poor people.
4) Routes are not hard, if people take the time to research the route. MARTA has a route planner that will tell a user the specific rail and bus routes to reach a destination. Also, Google maps has the times for every MARTA bus and rail stop on the system.
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Old 07-11-2012, 03:02 PM
 
Location: North Fulton
1,039 posts, read 1,961,262 times
Reputation: 599
OK, think about this: riding the greyhound bus long distance between cities was something some middle-class people did until airline ticket prices dropped significantly after Degregulation (late 1970s-80s) or so.

Now people associate long distance bus riding with poorer people, but this was not the case about 40-50 years ago. I am not old enough to remember the "old" days for this bus issue, but some others here could back me up on that, maybe. The bus prices are cheaper than plane tickets and most people who cannot afford a plane ticket will use other means to get where they need to.

The same thing can be said about public transportation, bus or not.

Automobile usage was not really widespread among the middle class until about the 1960s or so as people fled out to suburbs which were largely built around the convenient interstates.

Metro Atlanta was built up around the automobile, it would be hard to retrofit most suburbs with the current infrastructure now with affective transportation that a decent number of people would use. The job centers are now largely in suburbs, no longer in downtown Atlanta.

Based on what that person wrote in the article and some of the comments posted there: the same thing can be said about other means of public transportation, bus or not.

If people can afford another means of transportation, they would most likely not rely on buses. It doesn't matter what race they are. People want convenience unless gas gets really costly and by the time action is taken to improve public transportation, it can take many, many years to realize a big project.

Personally, I have ridden buses in different cities over the years, but I have to admit riding MARTA buses was awful for me on several occasions. The buses ran late and were very uncomfortable in the hot summer. They are notorious for not running on time. The subway is fine, but the MARTA buses, no. Buses elsewhere were OK from what I recall, but not here in Atlanta. The buses to the counties not in MARTA look comfortable to me, but I never lived close enough to one to take advantage to go to downtown. I knew several coworkers who used the regional buses from places like Canton and Buford and they tend to like riding them. Only time it was an issue is if they had an emergency and could not get home in the middle of the day.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,177 posts, read 16,180,310 times
Reputation: 4899
Quote:
Only time it was an issue is if they had an emergency and could not get home in the middle of the day.
GA Clean Air Campaign offers a free ride home grantee if you sign up.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:43 AM
 
Location: NYC by week; ATL by weekend
971 posts, read 1,467,045 times
Reputation: 541
Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
Whites commonly rode the bus both during segregation -- think Rosa Parks-- and afterwards. Take a look at a photo of Atlanta during the 1960s and 70s and you'll see tons of white riders.

I think the decline had more to do with the population (first whites and now blacks) moving to suburbs where there wasn't much bus service. For a while you were left with poverty concentrated intown and that led to the perception that bus riding was for the poor. Now, of course, poverty is being dispersed all over the metro area so perhaps some of that class stigma will die off.
Another good one ARJAY.

I agree with the highlighted statement fully. Its all about personal perception and what some think as cool. I grew up on public transportation and walking. But as I grew, of course I wanted a car to get around when I wanted to without having to be on someone elses schedule. I ride public transit now when I dont wanna drive and dont think twice about it. It is a form of transportation; a neccesity for those without personal transportation. As a poster stated earlier, those who look down on it or the people that use it have a bigger issue.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:52 AM
 
14,446 posts, read 7,112,538 times
Reputation: 7456
Quote:
Originally Posted by StAubin View Post
To some degree they do. I was in chicago earlier in June and i rode the busses there and they are AMAZING. I like marta, but CTA's service leval was on another leval. One bus that stood out to me, not just because of its service but because of its diversity, was the #2 express bus from Hyde Park to downtown. Hyde Park is, as a family member described to me "the only true intergrated middle to upper class neighborhood in Chicago" and the demographics of the bus showed.

P.S. Obama and Muhammed Ali live in Hyde Park.
They should check out Beverly in Chicago, it is very integrated and is actually deep on the southside in Chicago, it is more of a suburban feel though, but is middle to upper class and quiet. I considered moving to the neighborhood when we were thinking of moving to Chicago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by berkeleylake View Post
OK, think about this: riding the greyhound bus long distance between cities was something some middle-class people did until airline ticket prices dropped significantly after Degregulation (late 1970s-80s) or so.

Now people associate long distance bus riding with poorer people, but this was not the case about 40-50 years ago. I am not old enough to remember the "old" days for this bus issue, but some others here could back me up on that, maybe. The bus prices are cheaper than plane tickets and most people who cannot afford a plane ticket will use other means to get where they need to.

The same thing can be said about public transportation, bus or not.

Automobile usage was not really widespread among the middle class until about the 1960s or so as people fled out to suburbs which were largely built around the convenient interstates.

Metro Atlanta was built up around the automobile, it would be hard to retrofit most suburbs with the current infrastructure now with affective transportation that a decent number of people would use. The job centers are now largely in suburbs, no longer in downtown Atlanta.

Based on what that person wrote in the article and some of the comments posted there: the same thing can be said about other means of public transportation, bus or not.

If people can afford another means of transportation, they would most likely not rely on buses. It doesn't matter what race they are. People want convenience unless gas gets really costly and by the time action is taken to improve public transportation, it can take many, many years to realize a big project.

Personally, I have ridden buses in different cities over the years, but I have to admit riding MARTA buses was awful for me on several occasions. The buses ran late and were very uncomfortable in the hot summer. They are notorious for not running on time. The subway is fine, but the MARTA buses, no. Buses elsewhere were OK from what I recall, but not here in Atlanta. The buses to the counties not in MARTA look comfortable to me, but I never lived close enough to one to take advantage to go to downtown. I knew several coworkers who used the regional buses from places like Canton and Buford and they tend to like riding them. Only time it was an issue is if they had an emergency and could not get home in the middle of the day.

On the airline price versus bus, wanted to say that in todays day and age, most plane tickets are on par with Greyhound bus prices. Even as a poor college student, I would rather pay for a plane ticket than take the bus to my hometown in the midwest due to the fact that Greyhound was usually more expensive than Airtran, which at the time had true standby, meaning if they had a seat available, you could buy it for a cheap price (back in the late 90s, early 00s, it was only $29 for students through age 23 and you cannot beat that!). I usually still check bus and traing (Amtrak) prices for when I want to visit family but planes are usually cheaper and if they are not, driving is cheaper versus buying bus tickets for 4 people, the Amtrak is the most expensive, usually over $1000 for a family of 4 versus driving my own vehicle and spending only $200 on gas or driving a rented vehicle and spending about $450 total for rental fees and gas.

In regards to MARTA, I have never had such an experience riding on MARTA buses. I just had to take the bus last week because I am having work done on my vehicle. The buses are airconditioned and generally clean. I live in English Avenue, a neighborhood filled with poor black people and frequented by drug addicts. Bus 26 goes through the neighborhood and it was a 12 minute ride from North Avenue station to the closest bus stop to my home. A trip from the Airport to my house was only 33 minutes, which was a good time IMO as driving it would take less, but not much less time (maybe 10 minutes less as long as there isn't any traffic).

I also used to live on Buford Highway and took the bus every day when I was in college and afterwards for a total of 6 years (the bus came every 10 minutes in the morning back then and was usually packed on every single one but also air conditioned and heated properly most of the time). I could get from Buford Highway to the AUC in about 40 minutes and I had to take 2 buses and one train ride total. Because I was leaving during rush hour, driving would have taken just as long.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,177 posts, read 16,180,310 times
Reputation: 4899
All MARTA buses have air conditioning/heat, comfortable seats, and clean. They are effected by traffic and that is the reason why the Cilfton Corridor will be rail based.
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