Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In

A Bus Rider’s Frustration With Transit Planners

Nick Magrino at Streets.mn describes what it's like to ride the bus in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area: Multiple transfers to get to a destination, waiting environments that seem to be designed to repel people -- it can feel like a series of small humiliations.

Riding the bus in Minneapolis can be a series of small humiliations, says Magrino. Image: ##http://www.streets.mn/2013/11/27/embarrassed-by-the-bus/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Streetsmn+%28streets.mn%29## Streets.mn##
A Route 4 bus stop in Minneapolis. Image: ##http://www.streets.mn/2013/11/27/embarrassed-by-the-bus/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Streetsmn+%28streets.mn%29##Streets.mn##
false

The people doing transit planning where he lives aren't paying attention to the basics, he says. And he thinks one reason is that they simply don't ride the bus:

I guess I would be very curious to know how many local policymakers and planners actually use transit on a daily basis. At the moment, the status quo is to do stuff like spend $1.2 billion $1.5 billion on a rail line that minimally improves mobility while at the same time ignoring basic, cheap user experience improvements. We’re making some progress with the trendiest things--lots of new bike facilities, fancy streetcar proposals, and the like. And a receptive Hennepin County looks to be serious about making Washington Avenue more than a car sewer, which is great considering where their transportation department is located.

What percentage of our region’s transit movers and shakers have waited for the Route 5 bus at Nicollet and 7th Street in Downtown Minneapolis on a cold, windy January day and taken it anywhere? Or, one time, given their own bus driver directions? Or stood at the Uptown Transit Station with their little sister, visiting from the suburban East Coast, for a transfer to a Route 6 bus that is never, ever on time? We should find out. The bus is the way that the vast majority of Twin Cities transit users experience the system, and while unabashedly unsexy, it’s important.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Green Caltrain breaks down the recent court decision invalidating the funding plan for California High-Speed Rail. The Oregonian's Hard Drive interviews new Portland transportation director Leah Treat. And Strong Towns compares street grids around the country, from Little Rock to San Francisco.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Los Angeles

Metro and Caltrans Expect to Complete Torrance 405 Freeway Widening Project Next Month

Metro and Caltrans are adding nearly two miles of new auxiliary freeway lanes, a new on-ramp, and widening adjacent streets including Crenshaw Boulevard and 182nd Street

July 19, 2024

Strategizing About Reduced Funding in the Active Transportation Program

Funding for Cycle 7 of the Active Transportation Program is less than $200 million, and already there have been requests for fifteen times the amount of available funding

July 18, 2024

Eyes on the Street: Hollywood Boulevard Bike Lanes are Open

The Hollywood bike lanes project, already very much in use, is also already being criticized by commenters at Nextdoor and other social media

July 17, 2024
See all posts