I’ll tell you honestly that I have been more tempted to jump on the bash-the-bus-system bandwagon than I actually have been to jump on the bus. That said, I love the idea in theory.
A bus system is a fantastic way to reduce harmful gas emissions by cutting down on the number of vehicles on the road. It helps eliminate some traffic problems, brings down the cost of travel for individuals and expands opportunities for those who don’t have a driver’s license or can’t afford their own personal transportation.
A month pass on the Liberty Transit is $30. I pay triple that in car insurance monthly for our two personal vehicles. Fiscally, it makes a lot of sense.
So what’s the problem? Why is everyone hating on a bus system that makes sound sense in theory? I have some ideas.
I think we’re comfortable. We live in Hinesville, not New York City. It’s not necessary for us to take the bus and often less convenient. For example, my daughter is only 8 months old and, of course, uses a car seat. While I’ve heard of people just holding their babies on buses and I’ve been forced to do so on a couple of occasions for airport shuttles, I don’t love the idea. When given the choice, I go for the Jeep sitting in my driveway with the car seat already installed in the backseat every single time.
It’s a matter of convenience.
For some people, a bus is more convenient. If you don’t own a vehicle and your destination is too far away to walk, the bus is a logical choice.
We’re people of convenience if nothing else. Very few of us search for the stairs when the elevator is right in front of us. That, to most of us, is the bus system — the hidden staircase around the corner from the convenient elevator.
Do I think Liberty Transit is doomed? No, I definitely do not think that. We are, after all, still one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation. I think Hinesville’s bus system will take off once it becomes more convenient. More routes and better bus stops (like they’re working on now) will entice people to ride. Of course, that all costs money. And we hate to spend money on something that’s not benefiting us right now.
It’s tough to say whether the transit system is a wise investment for the community when the community is too comfortable to give it a try, but I definitely like it in theory.