Since Dow Constantine’s proposal to add a modest car tab fee to pay for buses is freaking some folks out (see, for example the comments to the linked article), I’m going to state the obvious: Many of the people (and many families) who own a car also use the bus system. We’ll hear a lot of the war on cars bullshit as this issue progresses.
But, there is no war on cars. Me riding the bus instead of taking my car makes the road a little less crowded than it would otherwise be. I don’t take the bus to unclog the roads, I take them because they’re convenient. Having a bus system helps me and everyone else on the road.
When I was growing up in the fairly close in suburbs there was a great freedom to be able to get on the bus. It meant I could go into the city any time I wanted. And it meant I was out of my parents’ hair for a few hours. While the 307 wasn’t the most convenient route (there was a long layover at the Northgate transit station, and it wasn’t particularly direct) it got me into the city long before I started driving, and my parents didn’t have to act as taxi drivers.
Also, plenty of people who drive most of the time take the bus occasionally, and it’s a nice thing to have. The last time my dad, who drives regularly, and I went to the Mariners’ game, he took the bus in. Saved the hassle of finding parking and fighting the rush hour traffic downtown.
The point of these examples isn’t that they’re comprehensive data, and it isn’t even to support the plan necessarily (I haven’t studied it enough, but like it in theory). The point is that the divide between “drivers” and “bus riders” is pretty artificial.