This morning in the office I discovered that several co-workers have opted to switch to Metrobus rather than Metrorail due to the recent fare increase. Though it wasn’t remotely a scientific poll, not only was it directly discussed in coffee break conversations but also randomly overheard in the hallways. For the most part, these were my twentysomething colleagues for whom the increase really does add up.
What struck me most was the surprise in their voices about their new experiences, that riding the bus could actually be comfortable and convenient. Now, I’ve been riding the 66/68 for the past seven years, and I’ve seen the demographic change dramatically. The bus is far more diverse now in the past two years, in both age and race, than it was in the first five years I rode it. But for most of that time, I was consistently struck by how many people were surprised, even shocked, when I said I rode the bus. I really had no idea that many people consider it a bad thing to do – and that they considered it not just dangerous bad, but class bad.
So, what’s the word? Are you a bus-hater? Do you think it says something negative about your socio-economic status to ride? Or are you positive? Are you changing your transportation habits from rail to bus because of the increase? From car to bus because of the environment? I’m curious…
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs