A report by Jesse Sykes
We all know of the environmental benefits of taking public transportation. It takes cars off the road, reducing carbon emissions. But what about social capital?
I take the bus every week on Wednesday to my church to compensate for the fact that both my parents work late. From my experience, the social capital in public transportation is fairly low. The fact of the matter is that it's a huge bus and barely any people ride the bus. Everyone is in groups of one, save for the occasional two friends riding together. Sometimes there is someone sitting up front talking with the bus driver, but that is pretty much the limit of socialization on the bus. The closest thing to that is someone talking loudly on their cell phone.
Nevertheless, I think social capital would increase if more people took public transportation. If more and more people ride the bus, then more people would be forced to sit next to each other due to lack of seats. The introverts on the bus would probably be squeamish, but if the extroverts are social enough, they'll get the introverts to talk. Then there will be more socialization, increasing social capital.
So, when you get the chance, take some public transportation. It may just increase social capital.
-- Jesse Sykes
Done on a Mac :-)