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Old 04-04-2012, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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It seems that a lot of cities do have an association of public transit use with low-income people or people who don't own a car not "out of choice".

There are a few cities though where public transit use seems like it's "mainstream" and "used by most, rich or poor". Examples include NYC obviously, San Francisco's area with the BART, and some Canadian cities like Toronto. Of course then there are the Old World cities, though I've never been.

On the other hand there are many cities where there seems more stigma associated with taking the bus (for example, in LA).

Which cities or areas associate public transit users with poverty/low income and in which areas, are they seen as "mainstream, used by both rich and poor"?
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:20 PM
 
Location: Planet Earth
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I think LA actually has pretty good transit considering there's a stigma attached to it.

In any case, the crappier the transit, the more of a stigma there is probably attached to it. So in a lot of Southern cities like Jackson or Birmingham, they're all sprawled out, and so the service is infrequent and so I would imagine there's more of a stigma to using it.

I remember looking up a few random cities to see what their transit is like, and I was shocked at how many cities had no Sunday service (and of course, service for the rest of the week was infrequent). A lot of them were in the Montana/North Dakota/Idaho area (so areas like Boise, Helena, etc)

In Chicago and DC, I think it's pretty mainstream to use transit, and to a lesser extent in Miami, it's probably considered mainstream, since they have the MetroRail (and when I visited, I would say there was a decent mainstream crowd on the buses in the Downtown area, and those connecting Downtown and South Beach). In the Northeast, it's obviously mainstream (Philly, Boston, and probably to a lesser extent in Baltimore and Wilmington).
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Michigan
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It's definitely a stigma in Metro Detroit. The buses are divided between the city and the suburbs and since the 70s, the suburbs have slowly been reducing routes and service. At this rate, only city proper will have transit service unless there's a drastic shift in transit funding.
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:44 PM
 
Location: southern california
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its not a carload of victims of a judgemental and stereotyping society. its the sleazy express, its the dirt bag rag tag train. its the MTS trolley system. how hard is it to take a shower.
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:55 PM
 
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A lot depends on your level of comfort with people who don't look like you. A couple years ago I went to Los Angeles and took the bus--at some point I looked around and thought to myself, "I'm the only Caucasian on this bus, except for that transvestite over there." I thought it was kind of cool.
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:53 AM
 
Location: Canada
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It's very mainstream in Vancouver and in Montreal, Vancouver especially, really everyone rides it. Seems more stigmatized in the small Canadian cities where service is horrible, like Halifax and Regina, because who else but the very poor would ride the bus with service that bad?
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:09 AM
 
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Cleveland definitely has the stigma. I feel like thats not the case in Chicago.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:36 AM
 
Location: NYC
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We definitely have that stigma here in Baltimore despite having the seventh highest ridership in the us. Many I know have never set foot on a bus. I think the reason for this is the service quality is poor and every few years a violent incident occurs on a bus.

We have very few routes that are well thought out, no traffic signal priority for buses (not even for our light rail!!) and just a generally segregated society.

Meanwhile Down the pike in dc it's a totally different story.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:02 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Western Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
We have very few routes that are well thought out, no traffic signal priority for buses (not even for our light rail!!) and just a generally segregated society.
Boston's light rail (streetcar?) doesn't have signal priority at least the routes I've taken. One affluent town it passes through (Brookline) requested signal priority, but the transit agency said it was too expensive. Brookline has higher transit to work usage than Baltimore.

And no, I don't think signal priority hurts drivers much. Instead lights being on a schedule, have the lights change green when the street car gets close and turn red after a certain amount of time. Could set it so that it's green and red about the same amount of time as before
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:03 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Western Massachusetts
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Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
It's very mainstream in Vancouver and in Montreal, Vancouver especially, really everyone rides it. Seems more stigmatized in the small Canadian cities where service is horrible, like Halifax and Regina, because who else but the very poor would ride the bus with service that bad?
I assume in Calgary it's mainstream as well; at least for downtown commuters?
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