Are Muni Riders Good for Business?
Photo by Brandon Doran
Are transit riders good or bad for business?
Some businesses in downtown Columbus claim that bus riders who transfer downtown don’t shop, and that “large numbers of people waiting for a transfer can be intimidating for someone walking down the sidewalk.”
StreetsBlog and the Columbus Dispatch rightly point out the class and race implications in these reports.
Having never been to Columbus myself, I can only guess that maybe the negative attitude toward transit riders comes from the city’s relationship with public transit. In San Francisco, Muni is a must, whereas in other cities it might be cast as some kind of “second-class” transportation. As one of the commenters observed, maybe the problem is with the businesses if these retailers don’t cater to the many people who pass by their storefronts — are they only selling stuff that car owners (and not transit riders) want to buy?
Maybe I am being naive, but I think we live in a town where easy transit access to your business is a good thing?