Half of transit trips in America are made on buses.
But over the past several years, nearly every major US city has witnessed dramatic declines in bus ridership.
Some blame may go to low gas prices and new services like Uber. But transit advocates think bus service is declining because of longstanding policy neglect, and that something can and ought to be done about it. They’re pushing elected officials and transit agencies to apply changes like bus lanes, all-door boarding and traffic signal priority.
These kinds of policy changes require political attention and will, which will only be obtained through a groundswell of public support. To give voice to bus riders, a new generation of bus campaigners are now canvassing buses, bus stops and transit hubs to hear from and organize riders.
Buses are a relatively inexpensive and flexible form of transit that American cities could be making much better use of. Thanks to new advocacy campaigns, we think we’ll see buses turning around.