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Weird conversation

CoWorker 1: When’s your last day?

Me: Sunday, I start my new job on Monday.

CoWorker 1: Where are you going?

Me: To blahdiblah Co. It’s the downtown office.

CoWorker 2: Oh, I wouldn’t want to work down there.

Me: Why not?

CoWorker 2: I hate driving downtown.

Me: (laughing) I’m not going to drive. I’m taking the bus.

CoWorker 2: Why are you going to take the bus?  I would never take the bus.

Me: I don’t want to drive, I don’t like to sit in traffic. I can read when I’m on the bus. I don’t have to pay for parking. I love the bus.

CoWorker 2: {{blank look}} I would never take the bus.

Me: Why? You said you don’t want to drive downtown.

CoWorker 2: {{long pause}}  I like driving my own car.

Ok, this is stupid. I have talked to a lot of people in Pittsburgh who think the bus is a lowlife conveyance device. My experience is that a lot of younger educated people don’t want to drive. It’s expensive, it’s inconvenient, it’s time consuming. So, they are moving to more urban neighborhoods and riding their bikes and taking the buses. When I worked in Oakland, the buses were full of regular people who got off at the Whole Foods stop and read on their iPhones during the trip.

It is the older boomers who have this really negative attitude towards mass transit. They can’t figure out why a person would rather commute to work via a bus. It’s easy. You drive your car to the busway, park the car in FREE PARKING, get on the bus to your destination. Think of it like a shuttle. It extends the life of your car. You will avoid accidents. You will avoid parking fees. The busway makes it easy to drive your car to the store on the way home after you get off the bus.


I don’t know who is propagating all the negative mass transit propaganda around here (because I don’t watch the local news) but this is silly.  The bus system is one of the best things about Pittsburgh but someone has average older people convinced that its sole purpose is to import the ghetto to their neighborhoods. That kind of attitude is disgusting and deprives the rest of us of cheap, efficient transportation.

9 Responses

  1. Agreed, though I don’t personally do well on buses ’cause I get motion sickness in them. Otherwise I would use them more. But what is this about a new job?

    • It’s still not a real job. It’s just better than the one I had. I’ll be on another temp assignment.
      Still looking for a real job with real benefits. If you know of one, let me know. It seems like there are a lot of kind hearted hiring managers in Pittsburgh who would let me live in poverty rather than hire me at a decent salary for fear of insulting me. Apparently, I am overqualified for every position except the one I used to have that no longer exists in an industry that is not coming back in my lifetime. But they think if they offered me anything else, I might be offended and leave for greener pastures. Therefore, I am a permanent temp.

  2. The older boomers were infants and then children in the decade or so after WW2. They grew up in the world their young Greatest Generation parents built for them. And that Greatest Generation basically accepted the cultural and social lead of Corporate America, which was working to destroy every possible trace of mass transit everywhere in America, to make a fresh scorched-earth field for tens of millions of personal car sales. So the older boomers grew up in a time of disappearing trains/trolleys/streetcars and buses for looked-down-upon working class city people only. They were taught well and they grew up into exACTly what the Greatest Generation and its Corporate Style-setting social engineers raised them to be.

    Funeral by funeral, bus-hatred will recede.

    • Despite the continuing evidence of their dominion, the owners of Corporate Amurka still moan and groan and beeyotch because they don’t quite own all the rest of us as chattel yet. 🙄

      To listen to the propagandists of crapitalism, you would think FDR was some homegrown red-white-and-blue Stalin, instead of the guy who, more than any other one man, saved Amurkan crapitalism from its own blindly stupid greed.

      • I can’t remember FDR’s exact quote, but the paraquote of what he said one time goes like this . . . describing the Angry Upper Classes :
        ” they are like the man who was rescued from drowning but don’t thank the life guard; but instead condemn the life guard for not having rescued his hat as well.”

  3. Slightly off topic, but it does concern neo-feudalism. (Anime and manga aren’t the only things we talk about over on Lucky Star Shrine Forums.)


  4. My millenial nieces would rather die than take the bus. Every time anyone mentions it, they slap a big ‘L’ symbol on their foreheads. I think the kind of elitism that prevents people from busing isn’t ageist, it’s just stupid.

  5. I lived in the Pittsburgh area and took the bus back in the 1970s so I’m one of those old-timers. My mom used to take the streetcars and then later the bus from Duquesne to downtown to get to work. When we moved to the suburbs (Irwin) I grabbed a bus on Route 30 to get into the city to visit friends. I live in Atlanta now and find that the attitude you describe about public transportation holds true here as well – middle-class people will take the train to the airport or sporting events, but think the bus is for poor people. And of course there’s a racial component as well. It is the South.

    • I have heard/read that there are a lot of middle class black people and middle class aspirational black people in/around Greater Atlanta.
      Have I heard correctly? If I have, what is the attitude of these middle class and aspirational black people to taking the bus?

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