APTA's recent edition of its newsletter, Public Transport, linked to a Montreal Gazette article that listed the top 10 reasons why people in the City of Windsor, right across the border from Detroit, take public transit.
No surprise that cost considerations topped the list and that the desire to be good environmental citizens appeared, but other reasons included my grandfather's favorite, napping on the bus or train, time to catch up on reading, and chore and errand preparation (writing up shopping lists are safely done on the bus). For me the surprises showed that public transit can attract everyone on the economic ladder, from the transportation-challenged to the folks with a Porsche parked in the driveway. Above environmental concerns were comfort and convenience, less stress than driving, and, ranking somewhat lower, the rare opportunity to do absolutely nothing.
Last on the list and therefore squeaking into the top 10? Exercise to and from the stop or station.
Speaking of making transit more attractive, the Fast Company post about designing bus stops is a must read for giving the public what it wants from transit, bus stops that are attractive and useful, with route and waiting information clearly posted.
I also could not resist a post that began: "Having grown up in New York in the '70s, public transportation holds a special place in my heart."