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Another Setback for Seattle Metro PR: The Beatings on Buses Continue

December 16th, 2010 · No Comments · Uncategorized


As someone who started riding Seattle Metro buses during the Nixon administration, and who even allows his own precious children to enjoy the joys of communal transport, I don’t want to overstate the danger presented by taking (or waiting for) the bus. If you look at the statistics, riding the bus in Seattle is no more dangerous than say, living in Belltown. On an annual basis, only a very, very small minority actually find themselves pummeled into unconsciousness.

That being said, I do feel compelled to present a counter-point to the breathless, well-funded and incessant evangelism for “transportation choices.” In other words, a reality-check to the steady drumbeat that demonizes highly effective and convenient packet-switched transportation (cars) in favor of a slower, odoriferous, circuit-switched system that lacks even the hint of romance that (heavy rail) trains can provide.

Bottom line. There’s a reason bus ridership continues on a downward trend. for most types of trips and riders, it’s just an inferior mode of transportation.

The latest example? See the surveillance video below. It reveals yet again why the vast majority of commuters prefer the “transportation choice” of their own four-wheels. This time, a 17-year old (pregnant!) young woman in Seattle has the audacity to protest the theft of her iPod — and gets a beating in return. Ahhh, the glories of liberating yourself from the oppressive shackles of the automobile…

Note the joys of standing room only commuting.

Regrettably for Metro, (and the taxpayers who funded it) much of the goodwill garnered from this award-winning (and expensive) ad campaign is now mitigated away. Thanks to the television coverage given the latest beatings, the real-world impression which is depicted by the image atop this post. Here’s an idea. Take the money spent on “selling” us on the bus system, and spend it instead on policing the bus system.

Or even better, end the policies that have created this regressive “mobility apartheid” and give the people what they really want — free parking, more lanes, and strict enforcement of the Growth Management Act.


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