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.)

  (Shutterstock)
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