The well known motion picture title is “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles “. However, they forgot to mention the bus. The bus carries more people and at a cheaper cost per person mile than it’s direct competitor, the automobile. The bus doesn’t need the costly terminals and sometimes inconvenient locations of trains and airplanes. From a cost and accessibility perspective, and as long as there are streets, the bus will remain an important component of the urban transportation scheme. Furthermore, we will likely need the bus as an alternative pathway to get to urban areas as well.

A useful example is the use of buses in urban mall contexts. Just limit traffic on a stretch of street in a commercial area and run shuttle buses up and down that street and you have it at a reasonable cost with little planning and relatively low impact to existing transport systems. Or, can you imagine large subway systems like New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC without associated bus routes to enhance the overall transport matrix.