How the 'Humble Bus' Can Save Transportation
A modern system could move the masses: Matthew Yglesias
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2013 11:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Light rail is the darling of city planners everywhere, but more cities should take a closer look at the "humble bus," writes Matthew Yglesias in Slate. A modern Bus Rapid Transit system could be a much cheaper and more efficient way of moving the masses, he argues. Lots of things would need to be fixed first—generally speaking, bus service is lousy at the moment, but it needn't be. Cities need better routes, better payment systems, and, trickiest of all, more roads dedicated to buses.

"Virtually every street in America dedicates the majority of its space to private cars, whether as travel lanes or parking lanes," writes Yglesias. "Far and away the cheapest way to speed the movement of people through congested space is to take some of those lanes away from cars and give them to buses." That will undoubtedly be unpopular. And it won't work in every city. But a sleek, efficient bus system "deserves much more widespread consideration as an affordable path to mass transit." Click for the full column. (Yglesias isn't the only bus enthusiast. Click for another.)

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Aug 7, 2013 8:08 PM CDT
Aug 7, 2013 5:55 PM CDT
If only the US had a fantastic N, S, E and W service throughout the US like Mexico has. The buses there are fantastic. Sleek, modern and absolutely spotless. The terminals are spotless. In 2004 I had a flight out of Charlotte, NC to Mexico City. I decided to bus it from SC to Charlotte and rent a car on my return in 2 weeks. The fare for the 3 hr. one way ride was about $26 bucks. In Mexico City I flew to Tuxtla Gutierrez then bused it to my destination San Cristobal de las Casas. A week later I took the overnight bus to Oaxaca. A roughly 13 hr. one way trip costing approx. $26. As I boarded with other passengers we were greeted by mgmt. who offered us coffee, tea or softdrinks, in addition to a coffee, beverage bar in the back (no alcohol).Movies played all night long. English and Spanish. The driver made stops so we could smoke and at each stop workers boarded the bus wiped down arm rests and cleared out any trash. I compared both rides today and busing it to Charlotte is now about 39 bucks and San Cristobal to Oaxaca is now 25 bucks. The buses in Mexico go everywhere from the largest cities to the smallest little towns in the south. And they are all immaculate. I'd take the bus here in the US if they were like that. Instead they are filthy and smelly and just plain disgusting. Greyhound, Trailways, Southeast Coach, none of the US bus services can hold a candle to those in Mexico.
Aug 7, 2013 3:31 PM CDT
I'll ride the bus just as soon as they get the gang bangers and those who don't shower off of them