|Not what buses in Austin look like.|
Alas, not every trip is downtown. Not every trip can be laissez faire, I'll-get-there-when-I-get-there. People who rely on transit need it to get them to work, to the doctor, to the supermarket, and back home again in a reasonable amount of time.
Unfortunately, there are stigmas attached to public transportation in much of the U.S., including here in Austin, which have contributed to people not riding, or lack of funds for transit agencies, or both. Even more unfortunately, as long as transit is seen as 'for poor people' or taking money away from other forms of transportation-- or both-- it will likely remain underutilized, underfunded, and under-useful.
So, why talk about it here? Because I think the stigmas are silly. I think the aversions are overblown. I think people who complain every day about having to sit in traffic without even bothering to research solutions maybe need a gentle reminder that if they take the bus instead, they can at least get some working or reading or listening to music done while someone else drives, which might get their workday off to a less stressful start.
I would love for public transportation to always show up on time and go all over the place, for the sake of those who have no choice and for those who do, so that it's the easy transportation choice when someone just doesn't want to hunt for a parking space. I don't know how we get there from here. But I wish we would.