Take the Bus?


I’d like to respond to the Letter to the Editor by Nathan Bousefield, published on April 18th under the title “Need to change how we work”. In it, Bousefield asserts that if, instead of spending money on improving road and freeway capacity, we spend the money on mass transit – trains and buses – we’ll see a more significant impact on relieving road and freeway congestion.

In his letter, he focuses on one sole aspect of traffic: commuting to and from work. That’s the fatal flaw in his position.

People drive all the time for all kinds of reasons, to go to many different places to do all kinds of things.

Who’s going to take a bus, or a train, to go get a pizza? Or pick up some home improvement materials? Or visit grandma? Or see a movie? Or go to a restaurant? Or hit the mall? Or visit Vasquez Rocks or the zoo? Or take their kids to school? Or go to the beach? Or the mountains? Or skiing? Or to go grocery shopping?

Ain’t gonna happen.

There’s a reason “rush hour” is an all-day condition, including outside of normal “commute” times. The only time the roads are clear is WAY deep at night, when people have finally gone home to sleep.

Mass transit works fine in some places, typically older cities that were designed and built in the era before personal transportation became available: NYC, Chicago, Boston, DC. But those cities that boomed after the personal car became common developed along a different paradigm, centered on a less structured and less centralized environment that exploited the freedom of movement afforded by cars, and a centralized mass transit system won’t work.

Why would I spend at least 45 minutes using a bus system – in addition to having to walk to a bus stop, not one of which is at all close to my house – to go to the mall, when I can hop in the car at my front door and be there in 10 minutes? And then have to reverse the process to go back home, lugging my purchases with me?

Further, this is Southern California, the epitome and birthplace of the “car culture”. You are what you drive. Who wants to be “that guy who uses the bus”?

Nope. As I said, this is just one more example of the socialist utopian fantasy of turning people into ant colonies. The same “logic” that’s brought us the not-so-bullet-train-to-nowhere boondoggle. It’s nonsense.


©Brian Baker 2017

(Also published today in The Signal)

17 comments on “Take the Bus?

  1. Hardnox says:

    Well stated Brian.

    The point is that the elitist snobs don’t want us little people enjoying the little escapes or luxuries in life. They want that only for themselves while the rest of us worker bees tend to the hive.

    Further, these dickheads always want to promote the Euro-Weenie model on America forgetting that this country is many times larger. Mass transit is well and good for commuting to work provided it is efficient and affordable… and AVAILABLE. That ship has sailed since much of our population are suburbanites. Of course, there’s the Agenda 21 model promoted by the globalist UN asshats that want all of us living in highrise stacked housing within a 2 minute walk to work, the butcher, the baker, etc. while they live out in their estates managing our activities from afar. Much like the Beijing and Tokyo models.

    I say, “flock them”, this is America.

    Lastly, the problem with a perpetual “rush” is the lack of planning foresight and political will. Again, that ship has sailed. The demolition of large tracts of housing to provide for mass transit will never happen. They tried that shit in the 60’s and 70’s only to be pummeled with cries of anguish as to why ghettos were being leveled to provide roads for crackers driving to work. I live in the hinterlands about 120 miles south of DC and unaffected by congestion BUT the metro area is in perpetual gridlock from 5 AM til 9 PM. Roads are built or widened to ease congestion only to have new development follow adding to the mess. It’s an endless cycle perpetuated by shitty planners and politicians much like in your neck of the woods.

    • BrianR says:

      Thanks, Nox.

      You illustrated the entire issue beautifully. You should write that as a piece at your own blog, pard.

      • Hardnox says:

        Thanks. I just might do that.

        What’s also interesting to observe is WHO supports transportation projects. In all cases it is developers, financial institutions, power companies, grocery chains, big boxes, and politicians… in other words, everyone that profits from the expansion and gridlock.

        The key to transit in my view is LEAVE IT ALONE. People will move to where they can afford. Businesses will move to where people live.

        Lastly, ya can’t fit 10 pounds of shit in a 9 pound bag.

      • BrianR says:

        All true.

        The sticking point is that we out here in Commiefornia are already being hit with taxes to pay for “transportation infrastructure”, the latest being a gas tax increase of 42% that JUST went into effect. So, nimrods like this Bousefield guy want to take that GAS tax money, hyped as being earmarked for ROAD improvements, and squander it on “mass transit” that’s a sheer waste of money.

        Libtards suffer from terminal cranial rectitis.

  2. garnet92 says:

    Take the Bus? What a crock! Mr. Bousefield’s letter is so short-sighted as to be ridiculous. Mass transit only works between areas of dense population and then it’s only purpose is to ferry people between a stop and work and back. Never mind that the stops themselves may require an automobile to reach them.

    ‘Nox makes some good points as well pointing out that Europe is much different than the U.S. Not only is our geographical area much larger, but ordinary destinations are spread out more. It’s simply not feasible here.

    We can see a microcosm of the transit problem here in the Dallas area where we don’t have mass transit, but do have light rail. To get into Dallas proper from the ‘burbs, you’ve got to get to one of the stations and park your car there. Needless to say, traffic around the park and ride stations is just as congested as the major highways around rush times.

    For those few who live near a mass transit station and work near another, it can be a reasonable solution, but that just doesn’t apply to the majority of our population here in the U.S. and most of us would still prefer to drive and have the convenience of where we lunch and the ability to pick up stuff on the way home (like a few bags of fertilizer, some brick pavers, or some plants for the landscape).

    As you say, our population centers aren’t designed to incorporate mass transit and I don’t think that most Americans would accept being forced to live in densely populated high rise buildings just to escape congestion on our highways. It’s a tradeoff and one that we have chosen to live with.

    We might bitch about traffic, but we still prefer that to mass transit.

  3. CW says:

    When I worked in Denver I took the bus for a while. On one of my last rides I was on one of those long benches and the 300-pound man next to me (RIGHT next to me) apparently had no muscle control. Any time the road curved to the right he would fall against me like a giant, sweaty slug. That was pretty much it for me.

    I wouldn’t have a problem with mass transit if it (1) truly solved all the ills it claims to solve; and (2) paid for itself; but the fact that mass transportation always has to be subsidized by taxpayers (non-riders, mostly) ought to tell us something. If you want to reduce traffic start by giving companies a tax break for letting workers work from home.

    • BrianR says:

      Back in the early ’70s I lived in Chicago for about a year and a half. For about half that time I didn’t even own a car, and really didn’t need one. But that was because Chicago is one of those “old-style” cities I mentioned in which public transportation made sense, and was well-designed and efficient.

      But here in SoCal? Or even most modern cities?

      There are plenty of reasons why pretty much the only people riding buses are those too poor to own cars.

      • CW says:

        The truth? I think everyone who votes for public transportation does so on the hope that EVERYONE ELSE will use it.

      • BrianR says:


        A “better for thee than for me” philosophy!

        You’re probably right.

  4. captbogus2 says:

    I once worked for the police department in a large Texas city. I had a pass to ride the bus to and from work every day and the bus stop was on the curb in front of my house. More often I drove the car or rode my bike rather then take the offered free transportation. Folks, like you said, not from New York or some other overcrowded area, don’t take public transportation very often.

  5. captbogus2 says:

    CW is right. Public transportation is just another version of “Bell the Cat”.

  6. vonmesser says:

    Nearest bus stop to my house is 4 miles. Bus goes south at 0630 and 1145. Notth at 0815 and 1700. Not so good for anything.

  7. Nee says:

    I got no dog in this fight…however, I did live in the suburbs of Chicago and I loved the ability to take the train or walk to our local spots. I miss that, but not anything else related. Sadly, I cannot afford to try to live in the remotest of small towns because it’s where everyone wants to be and I simply don’t have the means.

    • BrianR says:

      Yep, Nee, I lived in Chicago for a couple of years, too, and there the public transit was very viable. But the city was designed that way.

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