This week's cartoon describes bus rapid transit (BRT) -- a system for improving public bus service so that it's faster, more efficient and more pleasant for users. As we discussed in this 2006 post, "BRT combines the efficiency and user-friendliness of light rail with the economy and flexibility of on-road vehicles."
Some cities, including Curitiba, Brazil and Mexico City have had great success with BRT systems. But we think it's important to remember that there are significant benefits to other mass transit strategies, also. That discussion is a main focus of our recent Worldchanging Interview: WRI on Bus Rapid Transit v. Light Rail.
Editor's note: This post is part of a series featuring Worldchanging ally Andy Lubershane's original graphics. While many of the issues covered in the comics have been discussed on Worldchanging in the past, we hope that you'll be able to use this new medium in a different way … whether it's in your classroom, on your office wall, or to help explain ideas to friends and family.
Andy Lubershane researches, writes and cartoons about sustainability from his home in Boston. Check out more of his illustrations here.
*I* like taking the bus, but...
Here is a my situation.
I live outside a City -- 70 miles away. I can take the bus to it for $50.00 (round trip). The nearest Rail (about a 20 minute drive by car) is $18.00 (round trip w/ parking fee). The nearest subway station (about 1.5 hours away) is $9.50 (with parking fee).
I did not calculate cost of driving, but one can see that driving into the City is cheaper. And that is the overriding reason why I generally drive.
Ironically, about 10 years ago the rail service all the way into my town was abandoned, with several miles of track actually removed -- at great expense -- for a "bike path" that goes, basically, nowhere.