Dumb Phobias: Riding the Bus

What’s that? A giant, rectangular construction of steel and plastic ready to unleash evil and doom upon the world? A metal monster sent by the gods to wreak havoc upon organized society? Or, an electrically powered instrument of destruction bent on destroying all vehicles and people it encounters?

No, it’s a public bus. Miami-Dade Transit Route L, to be exact, on an old hybrid bus.

Why am I talking about a bus? Well, here’s a better question: why are you afraid of them?

Who am I talking to? People with a dumb phobia of riding the bus, or with a dumb phobia towards any other seemingly dangerous thing that really isn’t.

I mean, I understand how phobias work. You have a really bad experience at an early age usually, it scars you terribly, and for all eternity thereafter – for no logical reason – you avoid the related circumstances like the plague.

I think that’s what discourages some teens from using public transportation. Other teens may have parental blocks on usage of public transportation, but others (usually those who don’t have such blocks) simply refuse to use it. Why?

Well, one of my friends fell on a bus when he was little and broke his ankle because he put no effort into breaking his fall properly. Another friend of mine took the wrong bus into the wrong neighborhood with her mom at age 9. All these “horror stories” (which really aren’t) discouraged these kids from ever again utilizing a public bus.

It’s irrational, but what’s most inconvenient about it is that, unless you’re a kid whose personal or family infrastructure allows them to get a car and full license at the age of 16 or shortly thereafter, you’re bound to need to travel somewhere regardless. And, when your parents can’t take you and you can’t drive yourself; what, are you going to make up an excuse saying you’re sick or something and avoid going at all? What if it’s an important school event? A hot date? A good chance to hang out with your friends? A job? A career opportunity?

All these events would be insulted (if they could) if you were to pass them up just because you have an irrational fear of taking the bus to get somewhere. Public transportation forms the arteries of a society on the move, just like roads and cars do. What’s special about public transit, though, is that it enables those who can’t drive a car and would otherwise be unable to be part of that constantly moving society, to do so. Namely, the too young, the too old, the DUI’d, and the otherwise incapacitated.

It’s a beautiful thing.

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