Last week, WW hopped on TriMet buses to ask riders how transit could be better ("What Bus Riders Want," Jan. 22, 2019). Regional governments and advocates are debating how big a bet to place on the bus: A $3 billion transportation measure includes spending to get buses out of traffic and increase their timeliness, but it won't expand the system with new bus lines traveling to more places. So we asked: What makes people want to ride the bus? Here's what readers had to say.
Renee Manseau, via Facebook: "Buses are great if you happen to live right by a stop that goes where you need it to, but 9 [out of] 10 times I've checked, a 15- to 20-minute drive is four hours round trip with several transfers, at least, on buses."
Eva, via wweek.com: "As the article says, those who use transit tend to like it. Double down on mass transit. This is the future, not armies of driverless Ubers or polluting cars with a single, frustrated driver."
LaurelAnn Boone, via Facebook: "I rode the No. 12 Sandy Boulevard bus for almost 20 years. I enjoyed riding and met some lovely neighbors and people. Nice to read, listen to music or just stare out the window."
Shira Newman, via Facebook: "If I never had to drive again, I would be happy."
Chris, via wweek.com: "If you want people to get out of their cars, you have to provide an alternative service that is remotely similar. It shouldn't be a choice between the privacy, comfort and safety of your own car and riding around in a garbage can on wheels."
BlackAvengeroftheSpanishMain, via wweek.com: "I am genuinely surprised you didn't manage to talk to a single person who spoke out for the need for 24-hour service."
Jeffrey Courion, via Facebook: "A bus has route flexibility that rail units do not. Bus routes can be easily adjusted to suit changing needs and demand use by riders minus the huge cost of rail infrastructure. Rails are great for macro-route transportation. Micro-routing is best handled by bus transport. We need more bus routes."
Jonathan Levy, via Facebook: "As a TriMet bus driver, I would love it if TriMet put more thought into the safety of their drivers and customers. I think providing training to us drivers in regards to working customers with mental health issues and substance abuse would be great."
Shelby Maentz, via Facebook: "I don't think it's realistic to have bus and MAX be free, but it should be half the current cost or less. It costs more to ride the bus than my own gas costs with a little extra to factor in the amount of wear and tear, insurance, etc."
Felipe Snipes, via Facebook: "Without TriMet, my life would have been so difficult. I appreciate them very much. Now I drive. Now I don't meet interesting people anymore."