From Portland Afoot
A choice rider, in public transit jargon, is a transit rider who also owns, or could easily own, an automobile. It's sometimes contrasted with transit dependent riders, transit riders for whom automobiles are out of financial reach.
The term is sometimes criticized for two reasons:
- The double meaning of the word "choice" connotes a rider who is more desirable.
- It creates a false binary. All riders face multiple tradeoffs in their decision to ride public transit or to use some other mode, such as a bicycle or car.
Whatever the language, TriMet prides itself on its system's appeal to occasional riders and people who own automobiles. Its management's enthusiasm for light rail has been driven by substantial data suggesting that Portlanders of all economic stripes are likelier to ride MAX than buses.
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