Recently, in Shanghai, when I am proposed two choices – bus and taxi, I started to prefer bus. At a glance, you may find taxi has all advantage over bus, except it is more expensive. For me, if we don’t consider cost factor, I still think bus is better.
After thinking hard about why I have the perception, I have the following findings.
Bus is easier
Although taxi is easier, it involves reading the meter, pay with cash or card, and collect the receipt for the ride. You also have to talk with the taxi driver, and tell him where you are going.
Bus, on the contrary is simpler. You don’t need to talk with the driver, or bus attendant – just swipe your wallet on the Transportation Card Reader. You don’t need to take care the bus route – you just decide where you go off. Everything is so predictable, that you don’t need to think. You just make one decision – when to get off.
Bus is more reliable
Although taxi is sometimes faster, bus is more reliable about arriving time. In rainy days, it is so far to get a cab. Sometimes you have to wait for half an hour to get a taxi, after all the hassle to race, compete, and be very smart on strategies… Even half an hour does not guarantee you a taxi.
Bus, on the other side, is pretty reliable about arriving time. It does not come very often, but it does has a schedule, and you are very sure you can get on board a bus in 10 minutes, or 15 minutes.
One happiness theory indicates people get happy when they have control. Buses are something you have more control than taxi.
There are much more to see on a bus
Bus is bigger, and you stand higher. You can see much more of the city on a bus in Shanghai. Meanwhile, there are always something happening on the bus – girls reading mobile phones, or old people carrying all kinds of bags… These stories put yourself into the heart of this city, and you feel you are still connected with others. This is really good.
So, I take much more buses than I did before, and I tried to avoid taxi when possible.
The problem is that as a tourist, I don’t know what the bus routes are. Even if I do know the routes, I wouldn’t know when to get off the bus.
As a tourist, I tend to use taxis.
Google’s new mobile map is wonderful. It is very handy to find out the right bus route to take.
yes, i agree with your first 2 points. I started to explore the bus services in Shanghai too.
and with the bus, you don’t have to worry that the taxi driver take you a ride go “merry-go-round” to make extra mileage.
I will say for short distance, bus is very very convenient.
Just found interesting solution for long commuting times for company workers.
Maybe a transport company could be created using that idea. Equip small buses with the necessary hardware: internet and laptop connections. ;-)