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Old 07-10-2012, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,247 posts, read 16,294,250 times
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This article Race, Class, and the Stigma of Riding the Bus in America - Commute - The Atlantic Cities perfect portraits why more buses instead of LRT or HRT will not work in attracting middle to high income earners.
Quote:
When Atlanta launched its Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) system in the 1970s, some hissed that the acronym stood for "Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta."
Some white people feel too good to ride a bus and this is why transportation planners build streetcars and LRT instead of more buses, that and buses get caught in traffic congestion unless it has its own lane, then its a BRT. Middle to high income earners will ride rail-based transit.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:41 AM
 
727 posts, read 1,040,087 times
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I'm white and middle class and I ride marta buses all the time. Frankly, I'm kind of annoyed by the attitude many people have towards buses. If you don't want to ride a bus due to frequency or speed, I get it. If you don't want to ride a bus because its a bus, I have no respect for you.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,247 posts, read 16,294,250 times
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Originally Posted by StAubin View Post
I'm white and middle class and I ride marta buses all the time. Frankly, I'm kind of annoyed by the attitude many people have towards buses. If you don't want to ride a bus due to frequency or speed, I get it. If you don't want to ride a bus because its a bus, I have no respect for you.
I'm in that boat too. My wife and I ride MARTA bus from the house to the station everyday. Gotten to know the bus driver and the other riders. Its not bad at all, but when I tell people at work I ride the bus they give me this disgusting look. Oh well all of them live in the suburbs anyways and don't know the easy living of using mass transit.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:08 AM
 
28,213 posts, read 24,815,988 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
This article Race, Class, and the Stigma of Riding the Bus in America - Commute - The Atlantic Cities perfect portraits why more buses instead of LRT or HRT will not work in attracting middle to high income earners. Some white people feel too good to ride a bus and this is why transportation planners build streetcars and LRT instead of more buses, that and buses get caught in traffic congestion unless it has its own lane, then its a BRT. Middle to high income earners will ride rail-based transit.
I think the anti-bus thing is relatively new. A few generations ago whites road the bus all the time.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,247 posts, read 16,294,250 times
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I think the anti-bus thing is relatively new. A few generations ago whites road the bus all the time.
Before segregation and white flight. Those that had the means to escape segregation did and bought cars to commute to the city. I think this is when the tide turned, but I wonder if older, northern urban centers; NYC, Boston, Chicago have the same thought. Or is it a Sunbelt city stigma?
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:19 AM
 
727 posts, read 1,040,087 times
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Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
Before segregation and white flight. Those that had the means to escape segregation did and bought cars to commute to the city. I think this is when the tide turned, but I wonder if older, northern urban centers; NYC, Boston, Chicago have the same thought. Or is it a Sunbelt city stigma?
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.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:24 AM
 
28,213 posts, read 24,815,988 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
Before segregation and white flight. Those that had the means to escape segregation did and bought cars to commute to the city. I think this is when the tide turned, but I wonder if older, northern urban centers; NYC, Boston, Chicago have the same thought. Or is it a Sunbelt city stigma?
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.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Atlanta and St Simons Island, GA
21,156 posts, read 33,127,907 times
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My problem with buses in this city is that I don't see an advantage to them. They are subject to the whims of traffic flow, just like cars. It's why I am an advocate for rail.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,247 posts, read 16,294,250 times
Reputation: 4924
Quote:
My problem with buses in this city is that I don't see an advantage to them. They are subject to the whims of traffic flow, just like cars. It's why I am an advocate for rail.
Not if buses where given a dedicated lane and turned into BRT.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Atlanta and St Simons Island, GA
21,156 posts, read 33,127,907 times
Reputation: 12807
Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
Not if buses where given a dedicated lane and turned into BRT.
True...but let's not hold our breath.
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