I have a love/hate relationship with public transit. I think of it as a dysfunctional marriage. As a whole, I’m unhappy with most aspects of it, but on a day-to-day basis, the alternative seems considerably less desirable.
Plus, in the digital age, figuring out how to get from point A to a new far-away point B is a lot easier than I imagine it must’ve been in the ancient times of the 20th century.
In all seriousness though, I truly believe in the power of public transit. It’s just that very few cities (e.g. NYC) have pulled it off effectively, and it seems that they are usually severely underfunded. If you were looking for the silver lining of $4 per gallon gas, it’s that maybe public transit will get a little more attention.
One or two years ago, the Philadelphia public transit authority SEPTA has changed the codifying (I like this word, so I’ll use it) of its regional rail lines from colors and numbers to the names of the destination stops. So, the line that went from Thorndale to Doylestown used to be called R5 (and was colored blue), but now is two lines called Thorndale and Doylestown respectively, both colored black like the vapid nihilistic nature of the reasoning behind the change. Why? According to SEPTA, tourists would get confused about the fact that R5 (and the other lines) went two ways. Apparently most tourists that come to Philadelphia expect their trains to run one way, much like the Soul Asylum’s Runaway Train:
I wrote this quick post to put my two (cynical) cents out there. I believe that saying and remembering colors and numbers is much easier than terminal stop names at least for people like me that don’t ride the regional rail more than once a month.