Transit AC: Aubin calls us soft
Henry Aubin says we’re getting soft if we can’t handle a bit of hot weather on public transit.
He may be right about the sad lack of physical fitness in the populace, but whatever the cause, this issue’s proving to be surprisingly persistent (although, want to bet, it’ll lose traction now that the heat wave has finally broken).
Aubin misses one of the stronger arguments, which is simply that refrigerating all our transit would be a big expense to cover a relatively small part of the year. Take a bus today and I promise you, you won’t feel any need for AC – in fact, odds are that we won’t face another heat wave now till sometime next May or June.
On the other hand, the Richard Bergeron argument – that you won’t persuade more drivers to switch to public transit unless you make it as comfy as a car – has some validity, although I don’t know if it has enough. I don’t drive, but as I understand it, the charm of your own vehicle includes:
1. you don’t have to walk to a station or a stop to use it
2. you don’t have to wait for it
3. you always get a seat
4. you don’t get jostled by strangers
5. you can choose your own ambient temperature and music
6. you go precisely where you’re going (depending on the vagaries of parking) so you don’t have to walk there from a stop or station
7. simplifies carrying supplies, children, etc.
The Bergeron argument is probably not the strongest one in that list. I have a feeling that #4 is highest for many people, although they might not be prepared to admit it.