I’m going to say here what I said on the Urbanophile: it’s an uncritical fluff piece. The reality of SBS is that it’s a substandard product by European standards. The smoking gun is that during fare inspections on SBS, the bus has to stand still. The inspectors drive in and have to drive back, so the bus has to stay in one place until they get out.
If that’s true, it certainly isn’t consistent with the stated objectives of SBS, and must cause some serious disruptions. On the other hand, if refused to praise transit products because some aspect of them was compromised or at odds with the rest, I wouldn’t have much to talk about. (Note, for example, Strasbourg‘s reputation for broken
ticket machines, now codified by Lonely Planet’s French guide to the city.)
But I do try to note the compromise or failing when it’s apparent, and thank Alon for pointing this out.