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View Diary: MassTransit and Limousine Liberals (139 comments)

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  •  I live 4 miles from work (7+ / 0-)

    by freeway, 6 miles by surface streets.

    It is a 15 minute drive in heavy traffic, or a 45 minutes bus ride. What a waste of an hour a day.

    Guess I just ain't that good of a liberal.

    A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by notrouble on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 10:02:08 PM PST

    •  Please RTFD before posting hostile comments. (25+ / 0-)

      Diarist was not talking about people like you, but about people - and there are millions of them - whose transit commute is reasonable, yet they take their cars.

      In my case, btw, it is a 25-35 commute by bus - vs. who knows, probably double that by car. That's before factoring in the $$ cost.

      I'm sure that if you lobby your local government to improve the lousy transit in your town (by "you" I mean the plural you) - things can get better.

      And if you don't care for transit on principle - well, you can call yourself whatever you want, but you are pretty callous towards the future of our climate.

      •  You're sure? (12+ / 0-)

        I can understand the frustration of the person you're replying to.  I'm in a similar situation--short distance, maybe 10 minutes by car, but public transit would add God knows how much time on.

        The reason I say "you're sure"--well, honestly, I'm just bitter.  Years ago, they put Measure R on the ballot in LA County.  Half a cent sales tax for four years, which is not nothing in a place where sales tax is already so high, very close to 10%.  But I am a good liberal and I voted for it.  One good reason was that they were going to run the Gold Line out to my part of the county, the far eastern section (Claremont), so finally I was going to have a way to get to Pasadena and to the city.  So what if I wasn't going to get it until--2029?  

        Then they told us that, hard cheese, they were never going to run the Gold Line out to us.  Too far away.  You can drive to Azusa. That's good enough for the likes of you.  Serves you right for living in the 909 area code.  Now, how about making that half-cent sales tax permanent?  We sure could use help building our Subway to the Sea!  

        So much for local government will listen if you lobby.  Metro shot itself in the foot, because Claremont is filled with liberals who would be happy to help pay for decent light rail.  It's really too bad, because I didn't even learn to drive until I was 24.  I used to take public transit to NYC and get five dollar tickets to the opera.  I lived in London and took the tube everywhere.  But the car culture of Southern California becomes a feedback loop that's impossible to break.  

        •  Yes, the states and counties and municipalities (8+ / 0-)

          have been put under stress by a Congress that "regulates" the currency by rationing it, releasing dollars in dribs and drabs to promote their own interest in holding on to power.
          I don't think the import of a single currency that's manipulated to support political (power-grabbing) interests was really apparent until the countries in the euro zone adopted a single currency, which has practical advantages, and came face to face with the implacable demands of the banksters, who dumped them into recession when their demands for a guaranteed "cut" weren't met.

          In the U.S., a single currency has only been maintained since the Civil War. It wasn't just that the Confederacy issued its own currency as one of the first acts of breaking away; several of the states had their own currency before. What role did the fact that Confederate dollars were no longer honored by foreign nations have on the outcome of the conflict?

          We were all taught in school that gold was why there was never enough money to go around. So, what happened when Nixon cut the bands of gold once and for all? The bankers raised interest rates to call an artificial halt and then Congress stepped up to cut spending and collect more dollars, which also didn't get spent so Wall Street would need to be counted on to lend to "worthy" projects -- wherever the citizenry could be persuaded to cough up their surplus and commit themselves to decades of paying out dividends.
          The undermining of civilization was not a happenstance.

          Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

          by hannah on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 03:30:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  There is commuter rail from Claremont in to L.A. (0+ / 0-)

          http://mobile.metrolinktrains.com/...

          The trip to Union Station L.A. is 56 minutes in weekdays:

          http://mobile.metrolinktrains.com/...

          I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

          by tom 47 on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 09:30:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  And in "Liberal" Berkeley they just nixed (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jackson L Haveck, greengemini

          the Planed Bus Rapid Transit project. Lets not pretend like limousine liberals are a pretend thing. These are the Hollywood Dems that are all for "gay rights" but will give a movie an R rating for gay sexuality. There are plenty of places where it doesn't make sense to ride transit, which is why the diary pointed out exactly that. But people in that situation feel the need to pipe up every time instead of discussing the actual issue.

          As for taxes in CA, oh god, don't get me started. Getting rid of prop 13 is the only reasonable start to that problem.

          •  the Berkeley vote may have had more to do (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tofumagoo

            with the on-going argument between BRT partisans and the rail folks, which is a real progressive divide issue in the Bay Area.  Berkeley has a bus service that's pretty extensive.

            "It's too LATE to stop now!" - John Lee Hooker

            by Rolfyboy6 on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 11:07:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It had to do with businesses (0+ / 0-)

              and residents not wanting to lose their parking, primarily. And the bus service is pretty good, as well as having BART. Although their bike infrastructure is absolute crap. But the people the diary is talking about absolutely exist, I know a number of them in the bay area specifically.

          •  Liberals didn't ax this (0+ / 0-)

            I'm saying there are liberals out here that would use the service if West LA hadn't decided to use it for themselves.

            •  Liberals are a clear majority in Berkeley (0+ / 0-)

              at least judging by the fact that Berkeley has the most liberal representative in the country. There's no way this could have been killed without some group of liberals being involved in killing it.

      •  Unfortunately, there are too many regions (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cardinal, Lost and Found, notrouble

        set up like notrouble describes, including here in northeast Ohio. This is about long-term policies that need long-term reversal, not fake "limousine liberals" changing their evil ways.

        I don't know anyplace here in our area where going by bus would take you less time than going by car. Possibly the Rapid if you live right on the Rapid line and the place you want to get is downtown. But the Rapid is a train, not a bus.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

        by anastasia p on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 06:30:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You have to make a better argument (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Onomastic, notrouble

        for public transportation than just the environment.  I do take issue with this diary because it does not take into account the various factors accounting for why some use public transportation and other don't.

        As I stated below, in my town, unless you are a gluten for punishment or public transit options just don't work out for you, you would be a fool not to use public transportation.

        Yet there are folks who don't live near accessible and convenient public transportation.  Others work hours when public transportation is not available.  And many just do not wish to spend any more minutes per day in transit to and from work than they have to.

        If a person lives in a town where it takes 15 minutes or more to use public transportation than to drive, then they will drive -- especially if there are no other economic barriers that would prevent them from doing so.

        That's just the way it is.  Americans don't value public transportation because commuting by car and plane has been pushed by those industries, leaving public transportation behind the times of our European and Asian counterparts.  Overseas, parts of Asia are on their fifth generation magnetic-electric high speed rail system and we Americans can't even get high speed rail by Amtrak off the ground without major push back by politicians who don't see the value in it.  Airlines don't want the competition and freight railroads don't want to share their privately own tracks for any reason.  And Congress don't want to underwrite the billions of dollars it would take to build a standalone infrastructure.

        While climate change is a critically important factor, until you can find a way to translate that in measurable, in your face terms to the average commuter, then the way to go is to make public transit as economical and convenient as possible.  Those are measures that commuters see everyday.

        And that takes a major infrastructural investment by this country to make that happen.

    •  Ride your bike then! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Damnit Janet, No Exit, citisven, notrouble

      If you're able, that is.

      Biking not for everybody, but you're the perfect distance if the roads are safe.

      •  Some times I do (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        this is only a test

        Only between spring and fall for the most part because I don't like cycling in heavy traffic in the dark.

        I feel I've done my part to reduce fuel consumption. I moved to near where I work (while easy for me, that won't work for many.) I only drive about 5000 miles per year, less than half the average person in the western WA. The dealer service center always does a double take at my odometer. I bought it new in 2004 and at the last oil change it had 43,xxx miles on it. I ride my bicycle around 4000 miles a year, more for my health than to reduce driving, but it certainly reduces driving.

        I guess I just don't like being told to "take the bus."

        A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. Franklin D. Roosevelt

        by notrouble on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 05:19:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I live about 10 minutes from work (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYFM, bewild, tofumagoo, Russycle

      by freeway, 20 by surface streets, if I drive.

      I have a 45 minute commute (including walk to and from stops) if I take the bus -- and that's what I choose to do. I get to walk about a mile and half every work day and use the extra time on the bus or waiting at the stop to read. And think. And observe my fellow human beings and the rest of the natural world.

      When I drove to work every day I almost always spent an extra half hour doing errands on the way home anyway. Now I'm off the hook for that, and the rest of the family bears more of the responsibility; I also plan better for shopping and other needs, and get more done on days off.

      My city's public transit is far from perfect, but it works very well for lots of people. It could probably work well for even more, but folks have a notion in their heads that driving is always more convenient.

      I appreciate this diary for pointing out how what we assume isn't always the case. I think the jab at fellow liberals comes from the other public transit assumption, prevalent in all but a few large cities, that only poor people who can't afford cars would ever, should ever, take the bus. That's a very real attitude that can use some challenging.

      "I've had all I can stands, and I can't stands no more." - Popeye the Sailor Man

      by congenitalefty on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 09:04:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed on classism & public transit (0+ / 0-)

        I think this is some of the appeal of streetcars, light rail and other "sexier" public transportation options. Some folks who would never ride a bus can sometimes be coaxed onto light rail systems, which often have more cachet in their opinion. The greatest advantage of bus system expansion vs. a railed system is that buses are much more flexible in meeting changing conditions and demographics. Additionally, if there is demand, express bus routes with limited stops can be added, and these often reduce the time difference between driving oneself and riding the bus.

        •  Light rail... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tofumagoo

          Putting tracks in the road mostly makes transit more expensive and the roads less useable by cyclists. It also makes the public transportation system less flexible in responding to changing needs or local incidents (trains can't shift over a block or two.)

          A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. Franklin D. Roosevelt

          by notrouble on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 05:30:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is so very true (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            notrouble

            but there is the cachet of streetcars and other light rail that promotes commercial and residential development around stops/stations much more than a new bus route does. I'll leave the reasons behind that to the urban developers and social scientists.

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