The insulting and generally inaccurate term captive rider — for someone who supposedly has no choice but to use transit — still shows up in transit studies now and then, but it seems to be receding. I’ve certainly tried to do my part to drive the stake into it.
But sometimes the best way to undermine a misleading or prejudicial term is to promote an analogous term. So I loved this exchange:
— John Halverson (@hanzjalverson) October 4, 2016
Yes, much of my life I’ve been a captive driver, in that I’ve been forced to live and work in landscapes where there are no reasonable choices for how to get around.
One of the worst things about being a captive driver is having to drive when you know you really shouldn’t. I’m careful with alcohol, but there are times when I’m just tired, or irritable, and there’s no choice but to drive.
I know several older people who are captive drivers. They know they probably should stop driving soon, but their happiness and even sanity may require them to stay in the house and garden that they’ve known for decades, even though that’s a place where transit isn’t viable. (And they often lack the smartphone skills to use Uber or Lyft, or have disabilities that those companies can’t handle.)
Captive drivers are everywhere. Will they rise up to shake off their chains?