Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Public Transportation Needs

Behavioral scientists use Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a model to explain just about everything in life.  The theory goes something like this: a person’s most basic needs must be met (food and shelter) before they can afford the luxury of contemplating higher matters (does a career in actuarial science really satisfy their soul.)  This theory is handily summarized by a layered triangle image.  The most basic or minimal need is on the bottom tier, ranging to the most complex or optimal at the top.

Let’s apply the model to public transportation.

Riding a bus or train is a crap-shoot.  As anyone who takes public transportation regularly will tell you, the rider’s misery level is dependent on the seating options.

maslow5May all your journeys be at the top of the pyramid.

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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69 Responses to Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Public Transportation Needs

  1. Public transportation, for the most part, doesn’t even make it onto Maslow’s hierarchy upside down pyramid! Might as well call it ‘public flogging’…

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  2. We all must be in the traveling mood…dreading the misery? Have you seen the AIrbus proposal for a new plane shape? No windows, it’s triangle shape with people sitting in concentric circles and an elevator will load passengers into the middle…great. Another thing to freeze up or break. (
    Fun post. If you’re heading out, travel safe!

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    • pegoleg says:

      Something about THanksgiving gets people in the traveling mood. I didn’t even mention planes because most of us don’t do those all that frequently.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just thinking about airports gives me hives. I keep reading that airlines are adding more and more seats to planes…how? There wasn’t any leg room as it was.
        But I guess it’s all those memories of singing “Over the river and through the woods…” that makes people think of traveling

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  3. Love this – it is so true!!

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  4. It’s been quite a while since I’ve used public transportation, but yes, a row to oneself is the best ever.

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  5. And have you flown recently? Another hierarchy entirely is called for! And a hearty “top of the pyramid” to you too!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lisaspiral says:

    So very true. But what’s the paradigm for how late the transport is running?

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  7. I tell you, I feel like I win the lottery when I get a whole row to myself on a late night flight. Did you know those armrests between the seats come out if you push the side buttons and lift?

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  8. Haha, very true, public transport the world over! There’s maybe another later in between the strap or pole to hold onto and the seat between the annoying ones, which is ‘A strap or pole to hang onto without an armpit or mouthful of hair in your face’.

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  9. After my last flight to Orlando this spring, I refuse to board a plane unless I am the only one booked on the flight. I need my space.

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  10. joehoover says:

    In London I am on the bottom rung of the pyramid, desperately grabbing thin air in the hopes of catching a strap. You’d be surprised (though probably not) how many people don’t shower or clean their teeth of a morning. Or those who think nothing of breaking wind in a packed carriage. Evolving past needing a sense of smell wouldn’t be a bad thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. …but you can pick up some great blogging ideas from pieces of overheard conversations.

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  12. notquiteold says:

    For the commuter train to New York…. A forward facing seat is all I ask!

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  13. Where does not standing in gum fall in the pyramid? 😉

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  14. woolymewes says:

    Reblogged this on woolymewes and commented:
    Spot on!!

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  15. Elyse says:

    My colleagues at work who ride DC’s metro have a really long commute. In the last several weeks it has sometimes taken them as long as 3 hours to get to work. I hope at least they are at the top of the pyramid.

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    • pegoleg says:

      Yikes! I was really impressed with the DC subway when I was there a couple of years ago – it was so clean! I didn’t expect that, frankly.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Elyse says:

        It is very clean. But there have been constant mechanical problems lately. And these two friends literally go from the farthest point on one line to the farthest point on another. So i never grumble about my commute within their hearing. Which is charitable of me, don’t you agree?

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  16. franhunne4u says:

    I commute, too, but only for the odd 25 minutes one way. It depends on the time of my travel, but when I am unlucky enough to have to travel while the schoolkids do, it is usually the lowest layer .. Any other time I have either the pole-position or the row to myself. I hardly bother taking a seat someplace where somebody else sits, already …

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  17. Al says:

    Maslow left out a basic need, ergo, to kick the crap out of anyone next to you talking loudly on their cell.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I remember not-fondly the years I had to ride the buses in Chicago. Lucky to have a seat at all, and hoping the person standing next to you doesn’t share their germs. We won’t talk about wearing a suit and heels, carrying a briefcase and no AC on the bus in the summer. Talk about stinky situations!

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  19. HaHaHaHaHaHa and HaHa!!! Oh my beloved Pegoleg, your classic retort was spot on and made me laugh in remembrance of those lovely big shoulder pad sweaters.
    Sigh… Feel my pain.
    If I had saved those sweaters, I’d be oh so fashionable, with tights and fun boots.
    Oh yeah, need those, too. Practical is not so sexy. Sigh… 🙂

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  20. Mike says:

    Rocket-science advanced for it’s time – now you know how Tesla felt.

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  21. Pearl needs to see this! I think Maineiac has transcended the hierarchy.

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  22. Hahaha! I don’t commute anymore, but I DO remember!

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  23. I ride the subway every day, and let me tell you that on this evening’s commute home I was standing in front of a woman who was clipping her fingernails.
    Is it sad to say that I’ve been riding the subway so long, I nearly leaned down to tell her she’d missed a nail?

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  24. We finally got high-speed rail to my part of the Dallas metroplex. It only goes to some places though. I would love to be able to take it to work when I am in town rather than drive. I truly do not like driving. Flying on the other hand, gad what a nightmare.

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  25. Dana says:

    Hahaha– so true! We just navigated the public transit systems in San Diego, Orlando, and Calgary, so I can definitely attest to the accuracy of your pyramid. 🙂

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  26. amelie88 says:

    As a new resident to Manhattan, this pyramid describes the different levels of my morning and evening commute very well on the subway. I get excited when I get an entire pole to myself (even as a suburbanite I know an empty subway car always means bad news). Just this morning I was dreading it because I had to carry an extra backpack/canvas tote bag with my sweet potato pie I made to go home for Thanksgiving. I knew how much extra room those would take up during morning rush hour. I managed it but it was not fun. I was dreading the commute home to the suburbs on the train. But I guess most people cleared out/were on the road traveling because the train was nearly empty and I had room for all my crap! The sweet potato pie survived it all much to my surprise.

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  27. susielindau says:

    I’ll remember this when I’m on the gondola tomorrow!

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  28. cat9984 says:

    There is also the seat between two extremely large people and the seat next to the lady who has done all of her Christmas shopping and is trying to find room for various large bags. 🙂

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