Who‚s afraid of the big bad bus? NIMBYISM and popular images of public transit

Rose Weitz

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The rise of global warming and the depletion of US oil and gas reserves have highlighted the need to decrease Americans' dependence on automobiles. This article presents a case study of one city's attempt to do so through a system of “neighborhood circulators”: mini-buses that link common destinations within small areas of the city. Content analysis of 736 comments regarding the circulators sent by residents to the City reveals several concerns, predicted by the “not in my back yard” (NIMBY) literature, that may lead individuals to actively oppose public transit: utility and cost, crime, risks to health and quality of life, and neighborhood deterioration and reduced property values. In addition, the data underscore three cultural themes–anti-urbanism, the “othering” of transit, and the essentialization of automobility–that specifically underlie popular images of public transit and opposition toward it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-172
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Urbanism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


  • Anti-urbanism
  • Buses
  • Circulators
  • Nimbyism
  • Public transportation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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