Take a Train – Buses are too Complicated?

Apparently, when it comes to making a mass transit choice between trains and buses when travelling around town, people should pick the train.

From the Congress for the New Urbanism blog:

Why Buses Are Inferior

Critics of rail often argue that buses are superior; they are cheaper, more flexible and (sometimes) run almost as fast.  But in a recent blog post, Houston planning student Maggie Colson explains why trains are better than buses, even if the train isn’t much faster:

The train system was much easier to maneuver than the bus system. I found the bus system to be more complicated because you had to find the correct bus stop with the bus number labeled on it. In addition, you could easily end up going in the wrong direction – the buses did not have the directions labeled like the trains. On the bus you also had to know where you needed to get off. Unlike the train system, the bus did not stop at every stop and instead you had to push a button to request for the bus to stop. While this is not necessarily an issue once you know the route, trying to navigate for the first time was stressful. Without the use of my smartphone, I would not have found or gotten off at the correct bus stops.

In other words, with buses you really have to know what you are doing.

Ignoring the recent rail disaster in London, are buses inferior to rail?

Comments (5)

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  1. CRS says:

    Is Maggie a Harvard graduate?

    • Lloyd Bentsen IV says:

      Maggie is an undergraduate research assistant at Houston Education Research Consortium.

      • Joe Barnett says:

        When a train (or subway or light rail or trolly) breaks down, all the vehicles along the route are delayed. Buses can just go around broken down vehicles.

      • Joe Barnett says:

        I feel Maggie’s pain: I got kicked off a New York City bus one time — because I didn’t know you must have the correct change! But how was I to know how much it cost? How was I to come with the change?

  2. Joe Barnett says:

    Anyone who can figure out a state lottery game can figure out a bus schedule.