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Friday, October 09 2015 @ 06:40 AM UTC

Public Transit is Boring. Why Not Make It Fun?

Mass TransitFrom Deron Lovaas’s Blog

Unfortunately, it's generally hard to describe taking transit as "fun." As a co-worker says, a big reason to ride it is that traffic is even less enjoyable. But why shouldn't transit riders get a kick out of the experience?

Nordahl says auto designers "get" this, since their job is to "guarantee cars remain cool, chic and fun for the masses." I see this in my new car, which looks gorgeous on the outside while inside I get seat-warmers, satellite radio, GPS, a hookup for my iPod, settings for fuel-sipping "ecodrive" or a boost of speed for passing, and other features that make it fun to drive.

Transit should be such fun, so we feel attached to it emotionally as well as rationally. Now, to be clear as Nordahl is at the outset, you can't have "fun" without "funding." Transit needs, and deserves, more investment from municipalities, states and the feds. While money is necessary, however, it's not sufficient for transit to compete. And Nordahl points out that design can help with funding since "public transit alternatives that truly excite the public...tug our heartstrings while loosening our pursestrings."

The bottom line? It's high time we made public transportation as fun as driving.

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