Every weekday, approximately 35 million people in the U.S ride some form of public transportation. For those of us who aren't lucky enough to live in a major city with a modern subway system, that means riding the bus. Buses, suck. No shots to any bus drivers reading this, but even you guys have to admit that it's an unpleasant experience. People fighting for seats, random food containers filled with pork fried rice all over the place, kids with heavy runny noses, the slow travel time, etc. It blows, straight up and down. Most of us have accepted that riding a bus is an armpit level experience and tried to get on with our lives. That looks to change, however.
Cities across the country are ordering shiny new buses, equipped with things like Wi-Fi and overhead reading lights, to attract more affluent riders. On paper this sounds like a great idea. They already have them in cities like Cleveland and Kansas City, and are looking to bring these new buses to cities nationwide. I'm all about this idea, as long as they don't jack up the prices. Generally, when new technology like this is introduced and terms like "commuters" are mentioned, it's usually used in a certain context. What they really mean, is that they want to attract a more middle-class clientele, people who use the bus because they want to use it (not because they have to). These changes usually signal a bump in prices and if that’s the case then it's a mistake. The last thing that bus riders need are higher fares. There's a reason why they are on the bus in the first place and it’s not for the conversation.