Why We Should Stop Talking About ‘Bus Stigma’

By Jarrett Walker
Published: July 18, 2012

Years ago, when I was presenting my firm’s bus network redesign plan to the board of a suburban transit agency, a board member from an affluent suburb leaned slowly forward, cleared his throat, and asked me a simple question:

“So, Mr. Walker. If we adopt this plan of yours, does that mean I’m going to leave my BMW in the driveway?”

Years later, on my book tour, I was at dinner with some architects when the conversation slipped into one of those abstract rail versus bus debates. One woman, a leading architecture scholar, said: “But I simply wouldn’t ride a bus,” as though that settled the matter.
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