Buses are for Bolsheviks

February 27th, 2007

Once again, best viagra ailment it seems some people won’t be happy until we’re all marching (or riding) in lockstep.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Gregory Stanford wrote an article that derides cars as being for the uncaring and lauds mass transit as being collectivist. He writes:

“The county exec’s dream aligns with an ideology too long in vogue. D.C. economist Jared Bernstein coined it YOYO (you’re on your own), discount viagra unhealthy as I noted in a previous column. What better symbolizes the YOYO’s individualistic approach than does the automobile, where each driver steers his or her own fate? The opposite philosophy is WITT (we’re in this together), which, by bringing people together in one conveyance, mass transit represents.”

Oddly enough, I completely agree with his assesment of cars versus mass transit… except that I come down firmly on the side of the cars.

Americans are an ornery and individualistic breed.

We LIKE being in control of our own lives. We want to be with the cowboys driving the herd, not with the cattle being driven. In other words, we don’t want to stand around waiting for the bus, we want to be behind the wheel ourselves.

With a bus or tram, you conform your schedule to it and if the vehicle doesn’t go where you want it to go, that’s just too bad for you.

A car on the other hand lets you go exactly where you want to go exactly when you want to go there.

On a bus you risk getting kicked in the head, sprayed with acid (as happened to a bus rider when I lived in Minneapolis), or blown up.

In a car, you travel in relative safety and comfort.

On a bus or train, there are no seat belts.

Most cars have seat belts and air bags (courtesy of many of the same folks who now insist we get our butts on the bus).

Sure, buses are great if you’re a collectivist who believes that people should sacrifice their freedom, comfort and safety for the greater good.

But I believe government exists to help me secure those things for me and my family, not force me to give them up as part of my duty to my fellow comrades and the State.

Entry Filed under: Milwaukee,Observations

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. folkbum  |  February 27th, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    In a car, you travel in relative safety and comfort.

    Buses, like planes, are statistically safer than cars. No, you won’t get kicked in the head in your car (depending on how badly you piss off the wife, of course), but according to the gumbint bean counters who keep track of this stuff, there are less than 5 fatalities per billion passenger miles in buses, about 6 on urban streets. I can’t remember the last MCTS fatality, but there were plenty in cars just this last weekend.

  • 2. Administrator  |  February 27th, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    Didn’t say that cars were safer than buses. I said you travel in relative safety and comfort. (I will admit that my implication was that cars are safer than buses. And I will concede that statistically buses are safer than cars (though my understanding is that trains are just as dangerous). On the other hand, you rarely hear about car-fulls of tourists going over cliffs in Mexico. What is it with buses going off cliffs, anyway?)

    You should just be happy that I forgot to mention that mass transit gives unions the opportunity to go on strike and keep you from going anywhere at all. I haven’t had a car go on strike on me yet. ;)

  • 3. DC  |  February 27th, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Be that as it may, I still think we need to take a serious look at light rail. My sister lives in Minneapolis and just bought a house on the light rail line. Property values on the line have been going up rapidly, in stark contrast to the rest of the country. Not only that, most commuters in Minneapolis (and I imagine, quite a few in Milwaukee) prefer 30 minutes on the train reading and relaxing to sitting in traffic on the highway burning gas. If we can make light rail and buses work together, we get less congestion, less pollution, fewer accidents, and fewer Ozone Action Days in the summer time. Not to mention the Minneapolis light rail is almost always on time, and runs frequently enough that it’s hardly an inconvenience for those who use it.

  • 4. PLM  |  February 28th, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    Here in good ol’ Portland Oregon, you use mass transit if you want to go east or west through downtown. In my case i need to go from the west side of town to the south side – about 16 miles. Since the closest bus is now three miles away (they discontinued the bus running two blocks away) I would have to drive to the light rail stop (10 minutes), jump on the train for downtown (45 minutes), then catch a bus heading south (20 minutes), or… I can drive it in 20 minutes.

    Last I heard around here, light rail actual costs per passenger trip were about $10 and the fare is about $1.50.

    Light rail does extend to the airport but you can’t leave your car parked overnight in a light rail station – it gets towed.

  • 5. Woodsprite  |  February 28th, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    PLM: “Last I heard around here, light rail actual costs per passenger trip were about $10 and the fare is about $1.50”

    It was actually $10 more than the fare. When I lived on the westside my commute went from 35 minutes by bus to 50+ minutes by light rail. And that was using the same transit station (four blocks from my house at the time). After I got fed up with Beaverton and moved to North Portland my bus commute went down to 23 minutes. When they put in the northbound light rail my commute went back up to 40 minutes (double that if there was a home Blazer game).

    Driving took seven minutes door to door. When I drove I never had to go without heat in 20 degree weather, I always got a seat, my AC worked in the summer, I never had to stand for a half hour in the rain, nobody ever threatened to put “a cap in my ass”, and nobody ever sat next to me and proceeded to wet themselves. All of which happened on light rail.

    Light rail is a fools dream. It is extremely expensive, always will operate at a huge loss, and has no capacity to change as a city’s population dynamics change.

  • 6. David  |  February 28th, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    “Relative safety” more that slightly implies, it outright states that a car is safter than a bus. You’re discussing busses, then you say in a car you travel in “relative safety.” Relative to what? Busses, obviously. But that’s not the case – in a car, you’re at constant danger of a fatal or crippling accident. Far more so than on a bus. So while you are, indeed, in comfort, you are in grave peril.

    That said, I never ride the bus. I like my car! I like my peril! (just a little peril? No! Far too perilous.)

  • 7. Administrator  |  February 28th, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    When I wrote “relative” I remember thinking that I was constrasting it to “absolutely” safe. Be that as it may, as I’ve already conceeded, buses are statistically safer than cars.

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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