Manville on Steep Decline in Bus Ridership

The New York Times spoke to Associate Professor of Urban Planning Michael Manville for a piece on the trends behind the yearslong slide in bus ridership in many U.S. cities. In addition to demographic shifts and the changing nature of work, Manville pointed to the rise of Craigslist, which has made used cars easier to find and cheaper to buy. In California, he added, a state law granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants may have reduced the pool of transit riders. Manville recommended making the true costs of driving more pronounced by raising prices for gas, parking and driving on congested roads, while building a system that gives advantages to public transit. “At the end of the day, we may never know what is driving this decline,” Manville said. “But I guarantee you that if you took a lane of Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles and gave it only to the bus, ridership would go up.”

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