How do traditions continue? Usually someone who is older teaches someone younger how to make something happen. Currently, there are a lot of questionable habits which have had disastrous consequences on the planet. Even amidst the poor circumstances, sometimes the beneficial patterns sneak their way back into the picture, and it happened in Seattle recently. When car companies are still trying to lure people to spend more, Seattle noticed that younger people are more interested in the bus.
True, younger people have worse finances and that has a lot to do with why they are forgoing cars for transit. However, many younger people use that money in other ways, such as paying back debt, building up savings, or enjoying experiences wherever they are. In a world of immediacy, transit is one of the few venues where people still have to plan, get used to patterns they cannot control, but still arrive more relaxed than people who drive.
Being involved in one public arena usually encourages people to get involved in others, and in a nation with historically low turnout, this can only be a better result. When routes are changed, people protest and become more vocal about the inaccessibility of some businesses. Transit agencies are also held to a higher standard when there are more riders; when more people choose not to have cars, the average salaries of riders increases, and unfortunately, that speaks to transit board when making choices. To expand on the use of transit, local entities will need more eyes and ears on the ground to acknowledge when some areas are served more than others.
Finally, being on transit makes people see others in the world: students, the homeless, single parents, all races–and everyone is traversing the city. No one is shielded by anything but the occasional headphone set, but everyone understands that the bus is for everyone. Seated next to each other, many riders learn and practice etiquette of public spaces while learning to respect personal space. There are routes that cross entire cities, and when local government encourages the use of transit, there is more exposure to all the types of lives that exist within great metropolitan areas.
If older people are the only ones riding buses, people will lose interest in maintaining good habits. If poor people are the only ones riding buses, the upper echelons will think transit is unimportant. The only method of dispensing with inequity is inclusion, and it is crucial to teach children and youth that everyone belongs within a city.