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Annals of Transit – 12: State of bus transit, gentrification impacts, Subaru ad

May 7, 2013

An occasional update on items from the Transit City.

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THE BRUTAL STATE OF TRANSIT IN THE STATES

As told here.  And has ramifications in our territory too:

Many bus drivers no longer work full time. And a loophole in federal law exempts intercity bus drivers from Fair Labor Standards Act overtime provisions, which, in essence, forces many of them to work second jobs during their “rest periods” to survive financially.

There were some 3,000 bus companies in the country four decades ago. Today there are 152,000. Most of these companies have only a few buses. Companies such as Fung Wah, with its $15 fares for trips between Boston and New York, often have no vehicle maintenance plans. They do not use central fuel depots, instead buying fuel on the highway so there is no record of their mileage. Fung Wah was pulled off the road in February after a series of crashes.

Public transportation is increasingly part of the underground economy. Working conditions are punishing and often unsafe. When Fung Wah’s fleet of 28 buses was finally grounded a few weeks ago, for example, it was revealed that three-quarters of the vehicles had cracks in the frames. Three times as many passengers and workers over the last five years were killed in bus accidents than plane crashes.

The driver for one Canadian bus company, Mi Joo Tour & Travel, crashed in Oregon last Dec. 30 after falling asleep at the wheel, killing nine people and injuring 39. The driver, it was discovered, had driven 92 hours in the seven days before the crash. These fly-by-night bus companies, union officials say, are little more than “sweatshops on wheels.”

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TRANSIT AND GENTRIFICATION IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Two hot topics.  A series in Transportation Nation, looks at How Transit Is Shaping the Gentrification of D.C.  Part 1 is here.  Part 2 is here.

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 SILLY SUBARU

Here is an ad that Subaru ran in Metro - the paper that is distributed to public transit users. Maybe this is from the same brilliant minds that brought us GM’s “Creeps and Weirdos” ad.

Subaru

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About these ads
One Comment leave one →
  1. Colin Brander permalink
    May 13, 2013 12:59 pm

    Here is a response I got from Subaru after complaining about the ad…

    Thank you for taking the time to contact Subaru Canada.

    As you know, Subaru Canada recently ran an ad poking fun at some of the general perceptions of the public transit experience. Our aim was to use the humour of everyday situations to reach Canadian consumers, but we did not intend to be insulting or offensive.

    Subaru gives all feedback serious consideration and we do our best to listen to our customers. We have stopped running the ad as an immediate, direct result of the feedback received. Please accept our sincere apologies for this misstep.

    At Subaru, we pride ourselves on offering vehicles that inspire confidence and peace of mind throughout the ownership experience. We hope to have the opportunity to prove to you, our valued customer, that our focus is on meeting your needs. Thank you again for communicating with us.

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