The bus is for everyone

Avital S. Barnea

This letter is in response to the Nov. 17 article âÄúA day in transit.âÄù As a graduate student studying transportation planning, I feel qualified to write that DownsâÄô article is in direct opposition to what our societyâÄôs ambitions for transit should be; the common need for public transportation systems should be free from stigma. The authorâÄôs obvious bias to only report about stereotypical population groups such as drug addicts, the homeless, the inebriated and general eccentric characters on the bus is nothing more than a scare tactic to discourage people from taking public transit. The authorâÄôs brief inclusion of the âÄúnormal,âÄù vulnerable, female University students who are all but forced to ride the bus simply works to perpetuate the misleading idea that transit is unsafe, undesirable and unwelcoming. The word âÄúbusâÄù comes from the Latin âÄúomnibus,âÄù meaning âÄúfor all.âÄù This indicates that the bus is and should be for everyone. This includes students, businesspeople, children, etc., not just the underclass and the targeted populations reported in the Daily article. It is true that each of these populations are present on many Metro Transit buses; however, the article purposefully fails to mention any bus riders from more mainstream categories that ride transit daily without event. Anyone with a predisposed agenda can set out to find a less than desirable set of interviewees within any large group. This type of biased reporting should have no place in a publication as widely read and respected as the Daily. Truthful, accurate reporting of public transit is what is needed to not only help support this vital service but to represent and help expand the growing number of choice riders who use public transportation every day. Avital S. Barnea University graduate student