Habitus and the loser cruiser: How low status deters bus use in a geographically limited field


Helen Fitt

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, ridership - behaviour, ridership - attitudes


status, bus, anti-bus disposition


Buses are often described as a low status mode of transport, or as a mode of transport of last resort. They are widely regarded to be the province of the most socially and economically disempowered members of society. What is unclear is whether the low status of buses deters wider bus use. This paper explores the interplay between status and habitus, suggesting that an anti-bus disposition (an ingrained feeling of incompatibility with bus use) deters bus use amongst a middle-class group of managers and professionals. Further, it proposes that this anti-bus disposition operates in a geographically limited field; that is, people who are deterred from bus use in one location may quite happily use buses in another. The paper concludes with brief recommendations on how to address an anti-bus disposition and encourage bus use.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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