Get on the Bus
D. J. Waldie writes about the perils of depending on the Metro bus system for transport.
One of the difficulties of public transit for the occasional user is not knowing – not knowing how long the ride will be, what stops the line makes, or through what unfamiliar neighborhoods the bus may pass before arriving somewhere near a destination. Getting this last wrong – getting off too soon or missing the stop – can mean a very long walk.
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There are metrics that will show you how good the Metro system is, but statistical averages conceal just how ragged some of parts of the system feels to those who must ride – a roughness sometimes made up by folklore, the kindness of strangers, and exquisite good luck, However consoling, these are not the means to run a transit system.
Waldie referenced a story by local columnist Ron Kaye about his wife’s travails when she was forced to depend on the Metro system. A too-rare reminder that life is ruggedly unpredictable for the millions of people who depend on the public transportation to get around town.