There’s a long and ignoble tradition of tone-deaf advertisements that portray buses as the domain of poor people and crazies. In many auto-dependent cities, the bus is often indeed a last resort for those unable to afford a car. In walkable cities like DC, on the other hand, while some people do perceive class distinctions in bus versus rail, the bus is the main mode of transportation for many people in many wonderful and desirable neighborhoods. Those residents seek not to dump transit for a car, but to improve their bus service even more.

The latest “Creeps & Weirdos” award goes to DeVry University, which is running this ad on bus shelters including the one for the northbound 42 bus at Connecticut and Q:

John doesn't need to take the bus anymore because he was just given a company car because he got a job with a big-time contractor because he studied game and simulation programming at DeVry University.


Do any big-time contractors give residents of DC company cars? Is that even what a resident of Mount Pleasant (where this bus goes) most wants? How about a nicer house instead? Or a college fund for the kids? It’s easy to take the cheap shot when putting an ad on a bus stop. But it denigrates the transit system that’s a big part of what makes the area great.

Tip: David G.

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Tagged: buses, transit

David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle.