“World Ends: Blacks And Women Most Affected”

Back in 2008, I went without a car for ten months, opting to save gas money and walk, bike, or (as a last resort) use transit to get around.

After ten months, I was in the best shape I’d been since college (thanks, biking!) – and agog at the amount of time I’d wasted waiting for late/absent buses, and sitting on buses clanking their stately, sluggish way down backstreets.

Transit – unless one is lucky enough to live, work, socialize, go to a doctor and churches that are all within a quarter-mile of train stops – is slooooooooow,  Wanting to get places fast on transit is like trying to shoot the weather along.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white; the bus is slow, unreliable and annoying for everyone.

But don’t tell the Strib.  They’re on a roll.

What’s In A Headline?  The headline in of this Strib story, unlike the hed of this posting, is not intended to be satire:

Report says transit times extra long for commuters of color

I saw the headline, and thought “What?  Does Metro Transit sandbag black and Latino commuters?  Do lines from North Minneapolis and the West Side and Frogtown run slower than white people buses?  Doesn’t #BlackTimeMatter?

So I read further (and added emphasis):

Twin Cities transit users of color spend almost 160 additional hours a year commuting when compared to whites who drive to work solo. That’s according to a report out Tuesday from four advocacy groups opposing cuts to public transportation funding. 

The report “It’s About Time: The Transit Time Penalty and Its Racial Implications” cited infrequent service, indirect routes, delays, overcrowded vehicles, and insufficient shelter at bus stops as factors that contribute to a transit time penalty that adds time and stress to each commute. For Blacks and Asians who used public transit, that totaled an extra 3.5 weeks a year and for Latinos it was 4 hours a year of additional time required to travel between two points by public transportation, compared with going by car.

That’s the lede.

You have to get to the final graf of the story to also see that “5 percent of whites and Minnesotans of Asian descent commute by public transit, 8 percent of Latinos, 10 percent of Blacks, and 29 percent of American Indians” use transit as their primary means of getting to work.

So why doesn’t the Strib report lead with “A Transit-Centered Life Wastes A Lot Of Time?” or “Cars Are More Time-Efficient?”  Do they think a white person who commutes doesn’t waste the same exact amount of time?  Because I’m here to testify.

It’s too much to expect the Strib to note that the report was gurgitated by Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, TakeAction Minnesota, ISAIAH and the Center for Popular Democracy – four groups that have been working for decades to make sure that poor people are warehoused in the inner city and forced to be even more dependent on the arrogant vagaries of transit than the rest of us – and the report seeks funding to provide cars to black families.

Just kidding.  They want more funding to spread more slow, unreliable transit to everyone else.

14 thoughts on ““World Ends: Blacks And Women Most Affected”

  1. It’s worth noting as well that transit pollutes more than driving does. Average passenger-miles per gallon of diesel fuel for transit is 25, which is equivalent only to about 17-18mpg in a gasoline powered vehicle. Rail is worse. Yes, In both cost and damage to the environment, you would do better to buy every rider a full sized SUV. And you cannot get much better, because you need to go outbound in the morning, inbound in the evening, and off peak. Buses and trains will be, with rare exceptions, an average of 75% empty.

    Which is why the Strib wants to make it into a racial issue. You can’t argue for transit on economic or environmental grounds, so what is left?

  2. It’s the inevitable consequence of running clean, new, efficient Whites Only busses every few seconds while the Minority Allowed busses are dirty, slow, inefficient and come every half-hour. We need to replace them all with trains.

  3. Also, you have to figure in the extra time it takes for Blacks sitting on the back of the bus to arrive where Whites disembark. That extra 50 feet of walking adds up.

  4. We have a cruel, regressive economy in an era of globalization. So let’s central plan MORE! Sure. Idiots.

  5. America, the land of the poor fat people. Free Obamaphones. Schools that serve you free breakfast and lunch, often 12 months a year. Where the poor live in houses and apartments with more square footage then the average middle class person in enlightened France. The scale of what constitutes suffering has changed since the 1930s. Or 60s for that matter.

  6. Why didn’t some editor ask the author (or him or her self) “why should this story occupy valuable newspaper space?” It’s basically a press release. Why not compare the commute times of minorities who drive personal vehicles with the commute times of whites who take public transport? The writer and his editor cannot tell shit from shinola.

  7. Apples compared to Oranges equals Lemons. Who’s bringing the Vodka?

  8. Small sample size here from personal experience. I commuted by bus from Edina to Hopkins for a job last year. Picked me up at 6:40 am and dropped off at work at 7:50 am for a drive that takes 10 minutes tops by car. I now commute from Edina to Vandais Heights by car during peak rush hour. Still takes less time than Edina to Hopkins by bus.

  9. Being a bit (but not too) serious here, I’ve got to wonder what is going on in the minds of people who are pushing transit on us. If you run the numbers, it costs more, pollutes more, is hugely inefficient at getting people where they want to go (even in transit-designed cities like Chicago). It is as if they want to clear streets for the motorcades of politicians and other “more equal than others” citizens.

    Could be that they’re just (like most liberals) unable to do the math, but it’s very striking how every factor lines up against transit, and they’re still pushing it like no one’s business.

  10. POD is correct.
    Liberals believe that all social problems are a result of freedom. They think that the reason the inner cities have problems is because the white middle class abandoned them in the post war years. This was greedy and selfish of the white middle class.
    To turn the clock back, they need to control where you live and where you work. The easiest way to do this is get rid of the private car — which is a planet-destroying juggarnaut — and replace it with rail. Once rail is set, the city planners can decide where you will ive, since it will be the only way to get around.
    Your freedom to improve your own life and the lives of your loved ones is their enemy.

  11. I’m from the government and I’m here to help is the scariest sentence in English

  12. It certainly is, but I would assume that at some point the light would shine and the left would realize they are watching the dead cart go by and they’re covered with excrement when they don’t need to be. It’s an amazing willful blindness, really.

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