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Peak Oil Vignette 2 – Buses

People used to walk for pleasure, now they walk because it is too expensive to drive anywhere that you could reasonably walk. We’d all hoped that public transit buses would be able to keep up with the growing demand from the newly carless, but in time, the buses just became another victim of the rising cost of everything. Not enough had been invested in buses before they became necessary, (or too difficult to source), and as the demand across the continent for public transit grew, those communities with the money and population to support it got the buses. Our little town got one. This added to the aging, inefficient unit we already had, and even though it was on it’s last legs, it could hold fifty people, so we’ve just kept on using it.

We thought about buying more buses years ago, but everyone was so wrapped up in their cars, and even more so in replacing their gas-guzzlers with “hybrids” and hypermiling that they lost all focus on the bigger picture, and kept voting down any suggestion that we augment our meagre fleet.

There was also the ruckus with the school district over the use of the buses. We wanted to run the buses for everyone, and have more runs, but apparently it was a union issue, and all the buses went on strike, both the City’s and the School Districts. Even now, the school buses only run for the school kids and sit empty and unused for all but three hours a day. For a while, the mayor kept saying how he couldn’t understand why people weren’t more cooperative, I just think that everyone believes that this is a temporary situation and they don’t want to commit to something longterm.

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.