Public Transportation Depicted Negatively

Table Of Contents

Main Description

Whether it be a bus packed to the brim with a bunch of sad-looking riders or a graffiti-ridden subway train with panhandlers walking up to every rider asking for money, public transportation is represented on TV and film as something any respectable person should stay far away from. In reality, public transportation is used by tens of millions of Americans every day regardless of their financial situation because it is often the most convenient and safest form of transportation available in major cities, but it is hardly ever depicted that way on screen.

Conservative Trope Examples

  • Long time New York City resident Oliver Putnam (Martin Short) exclaims, "Oh please God, not the subway" and they opt to drive instead which is not a thing with real life New Yorkers
  • Beckett and Castle are running away from mobsters late at night, but they discount the subway as an option to escape because Castle says it does not have a schedule. Beckett argues with Castle briefly, but his point is accepted that if the subway is *always* late, then it does not technically have a schedule.
    Staff Aside
    Subways, although not without issues like other transportation, have very reliable schedules especially in larger cities like NYC. And any delays experienced, in the long run are far better than dealing with traffic accidents and lane closures when driving instead.
  • Terrorists setup a situation where, "luckily" only a single -- instead of multiple -- buses is blown up killing scores of innocent people inside.
  • Islamic extremist terrorists blow up a bus with innocent people on board.
  • The Devils Advocate (1997) | Taking the Subway Depicted Negatively
    On the subway, a man turns to Al Pacino and asks him "what the fuck are you looking at?" and pulls a knife on him after telling him to get out of *his* subway car.
  • One city bus is blown up and another held hostage by a terrorist who will blow it up if it slows down below 55 MPH unless a ransom is paid. Also, during a confrontation on this bus, a man accidentally stabs the bus driver.
  • Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
    Chris (Elisabeth Shue) and the kids she's babysitting are riding in an empty L-Train cart in Chicago when rival gangs enter from opposing sides ready to fight with switchblade knives during which Brad (Keith Coogan) has a knife thrown into his foot which Chris then grabs to make their escape.