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I Like the Bus


Stashed in: Transportation!, Uber, Consumer Trends, Transportation, Bus!

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I like the bus too! This marks me as fatally not attuned to the values of the Uber generation, which are all about "optimizing" every last little minute in your impossibly hectic day... while corporations are busy trying to "optimize" every last little bit of profit they can squeeze out of you.

Taking a plane ride these days feels like a never-ending spiral of selfishness or at least self-centeredness: because of a few terrorists, we all have to take off our shoes and have our toothpaste inspected ad infinitum; it's not easy to bring a lunch and a book in the tightly-packed luggage required to fit under the seat so I don't have to fight those scary middle-aged ladies with gigantic roller bags; and despite the miracles of in-flight wifi and TV, the reality is that it's hardly possible to use a laptop while drinking a soda on those tiny tray-tables set at a precarious angle by the guy in front of you propping his seat all the way back. As the author points out, you just jump on the bus with whatever gigantic luggage you like -- last time I went to LA, I took an old backpack with camping gear lashed all over it plus a big-ass picnic lunch for the ride! -- and then just chill for the duration, except for a half-hour stop to use the bathroom and buy a cold drink.

And does more money really make things better? Remember, Ubers are sitting in exactly the same traffic as you on the bus -- maybe worse if you have dedicated bus lanes in your city. And you get to see all kinds of different people on transit, maybe people you don't have a lot of occasion to speak to normally. That kind of interaction used to be valued as an important part of public life and even cosmopolitanism... but it seems to be expressly the sort of thing that the Uberification of the world is designed to eliminate.

Okay, but you do seem to like the Lyft variation on a bus, right?

Ultimately the best transportation is the one that makes you happy.

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