Taylor on Catering Bus Services to Transit Riders

A New York Times article about improving bus service cited a research report by Brian Taylor, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA Luskin. Bus systems across the country are underfunded, resulting in slow, inconvenient and unreliable service. Proper investment could transform city buses into a cheap, accessible and sustainable form of public transportation. However, many transit agencies do not identify serving the poor or minorities as a goal, and instead cater to more affluent voters who are less likely to actually ride public transit. Taylor’s report suggests that public policy goals are often not aligned with “the needs of transit riders themselves, particularly the poor and transit dependent,” who wield little political or economic clout. The article suggests that transit agencies have been given a valuable opportunity to invest in bus systems because of the way the COVID-19 pandemic has altered Americans’ commuting habits.


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