Out of Control Policy Blog

I would have to take two trains and two buses ... It just makes it very inconvenient for me to depend on the [transit] system on a regular basis.

Seems like the reason most anyone would give for not using transit. But what's interesting here is that this comment comes from a Washington, D.C. Metro transit board member.

In fact, it's worth having a look at the whole quotation:

"My travel, my destinations and my time frame make it very difficult for me to use the system," she said. "I would have to take two trains and two buses.... It just makes it very inconvenient for me to depend on the system on a regular basis."

Turns out, when asked by the Washington Post, only five out of 10 board members said they rode the system regularly (two others refused to talk, so it's probably safe to file them under "infrequent transit user"). Not one is a daily user, and most have either never ridden a Metro bus or can't remember the last time they did.

The Philadelphia Inquirer found similar results after questions SEPTA board members: Only four of 14 members interviewed use the system at least twice a week.

No wonder transit agencies so often pursue sexy but expensive projects that do little to improve transportation, and then fail to do the boring and cheap things that really would improve transit service.

Ted Balaker is Producer


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