Worth the Wait?
Waiting may be fun when it involves opening Christmas presents or paying off your credit cards, but waiting for the bus is a miserable experience pretty much any way you look at it.
Long waits are one of the most important — perhaps the most important — barriers deterring Americans from riding mass transit. A lot depends on what’s going on while you’re waiting, but overall riders find wait times about two to three times as onerous as in-vehicle times. So most people would much rather have a 25-minute ride than a 10-minute wait plus a 10-minute ride.
Leave it to the free enterprise system to liven up an otherwise glum experience. Check out Rindert Dalstra‘s collection of photos of ingenious ways that advertisers have transformed the drab city transit stop.
This kind of flair may not take all the sting out of standing at a dreary bus stop in the dead of night during a Chicago winter. But thanks to these clever admen at least you can dream about a cup of hot McDonald’s coffee while you shiver.
My colleagues at UCLA have done in-depth research on the psychology of waiting for transit, plus what riders want — and don’t want — in a transit stop. I could regale you with the findings right now — but wouldn’t it be more fun to wait?
Hat tip: John Mathews