From reader M1EK:
I continue, like many it seems, to be amazed at how often you feel the need to tell us we’re wrong about bus vs. rail in this country. Perhaps the fact that you need to keep telling us is itself telling?
I guess it depends on your view of international examples. Assuming the reference to “this country” means the USA, well, US culture is especially prone to exceptionalism, which we could define as a stubborn disinterest in innovations and experience from outside one’s borders. For example, the US is the only country where people often comment on international blogs without making clear that they’re talking about the US, a violation of the comment policy but in this case, an instructive one.
My own belief is that countries with similar economic situations should be eager to learn from one another, so when I encounter an interesting difference between how bus-rail issues are presented in the US and how they’re treated in Europe, I think it’s useful to point that out.
By now I hope it’s clear to regular readers that I am not an advocate for any transit technology. Rather I am interested in improving people’s mobility via transit, and tend to be interested in whatever tools (not just technologies but systems of branding and styles of operation) that seem to do that best. My point in this post, for example, was that buses are good for some kinds of mobility and trams are good for others, and that the Paris transit agency appears to see all its customers as deserving the same quality of infrastructure and amenity, regardless of whether they’re on a bus or a tram.