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What is your attitude towards public transport?

A panellist on BBC Radio’s “Any Questions” on Friday talked about driving to Strasbourg (France) from the UK, instead of going by train, because it only took him seven hours instead of eight. This incurred the wrath of another panellist who was incensed at his disregard for the environmental damage he was doing.

I remember – years ago – that Prime Minister Thatcher said that only failures in life used public transport after the age of 30.

To me, these attitudes betray a certain turn of mind that I find difficult to accept. I always use public transport when I can, both because of seeking to preserve the environment and not being a snob.

It helps that there is an hourly bus service to town from the bus stop almost outside my house, plus the fact that I don’t own a car! However, I appreciate that not everyone is the same position.

It would be interesting to know if other people think the same way that I do.

  • Do you regularly use public transport (i.e. bus or train)?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you have easy access to public transport?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you take environmental factors on board when deciding how to travel?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you take the line that only failures in life use public transport?

    • Yes
    • No

What do you think?

21 points

Written by Indexer

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  1. In the Uk where you live, public transportation is much better than ours in Auckland. To be honest, I use my car, because our transportation here does not meet our needs, it is unreliable, breaks down and has constant interruptions.
    Also does not have facilities for disabled people like my husband.
    However, I like trains better than buses and our trains often get disrupted.

    I believe electric cars can be a good thing, no fossil fuel

    • There are constant threats to our local bus services, and some places are very poorly served. I had to give up work – a part-time evening job – when the timetable changed and took the late bus away.

      Should we lose our local bus, I am sorely tempted to invest in an electric car.

  2. I love public transport. I think public transport should be made available not just to people who live in major cities or urban areas, but also to people who live in suburban and rural areas. America is behind the eight ball on this. Europeans and Asians understand the need for reliable public transport and make more effort than the USA toward ensuring that people can move around and go places they need to go.

    Don’t get me started ranting about pitiful public transport systems. Every US city I move to I immediately try to figure out if public transportation can get me where I need to go. Hey! I drive a lot of used cars that break down on me. I need to know that I’ll have an alternative means of transport to be able to get around.

    • That’s interesting. I have only been to the United States once in my life, and only for a few days to attend a conference in Baltimore. On a free day I visited a museum, and walked there – about a mile each way from my hotel. There were no buses on that route, and everyone was apparently expected to get there by car. This became blindingly obvious at the museum, because the only entrance was from the car park – I had to crawl underneath a car park barrier in order to find a way into the museum!

  3. Living in Chicago I have great access to public transportation. I use it occasionally but, since I retired, I don’t go very many places that my wife isn’t accompanying me. She is disabled and it is extremely difficult for her to use it.

    • I appreciate the problem. I note, however, that most buses and their drivers in the UK go out of their way to help disabled passengers – buses have ramps that allow wheelchair access, and areas set aside for them inside the bus.

  4. I use either my two legs or a bus whenever I have to travel far. It helps that I do not even know how to drive and that just being in a car scares me a lot. I am a great believer in public transportation for the environment and also to decrease the congested highways and streets. And by the way I am not a loser or a failure. As much as I respect Thatcher, I think she dug a hole in my respect for her with that comment.

    • I was never a fan of the Blessed Margaret! The odd thing was that she did not come from a privileged background, but became snobbish and class-driven (on the wrong side) only when she became a prominent politician – and married Dennis.

  5. I wish the public transportation system is better in my country, hence more people can take the public transport and it’ll definitely be better for the environment. There are some places if we can easily take the public transports, especially the light railway train, we’ll drive to the station, park our car there and then take the LRT. It helps to save our hassles in traffic jam and finding for parking lot too. At the moment, there is a new LRT route development near where I stay. Hopefully it’ll be done and will operate very soon, then I might just take the LRT easily.

  6. That is the biggest problem here where I live in Florida, Sure the bus stop is practically in front of the house I live in, Problem is I hardly ever see the bus and I have a fear of taking a bus away from a familiar place to a distant place and then maybe not finding it to get back. So I walk where I can and order most things like groceries online and have everything delivered to me. That is what I miss about NYC you could go everywhere by public transport and I never felt isolated,

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