To crash on the bus (or sit on needles and pins)? – buses and subways in teenage everyday geographies

Abstract

When young people travel, they are often very dependent on public transport or parents. This study uses interviews with 16–19 years old teenagers in Stockholm to investigate their everyday experiences of public transit. The paper explores the experiences of buses and subways, here conceptualized as mobile places, to understand how they shape teenagers’ daily life. Understanding teenagers’ experiences of public transportation is part of understanding their everyday life, struggles, and possibilities to be mobile and participate in society. It is also a step towards ensuring that they find public transportation inclusive, safe, and worth traveling with today and in the future. Conceptually, the analysis focuses on how these mobile places are experienced as providing weights or reliefs to the everyday and if, how and when they may be places of interaction or retreat, addressing two needs in teenagers’ personal being and development. The study shows how various experiences of traveling with buses and subways shape how the teenagers feel, and how they make strategic choices in relation to this. A quite manifold, varying, and complex picture of public transportation arises, with stories of wellbeing, comfort, discomfort, and exclusion, and with sharp differences between girls and boys, and between buses and subways. These nuances are essential in planning and evaluation of transport systems in regard to how, when, where, or for whom public transport can be a part of social sustainability, as public policies often assume. 

Section
Reviews and Essays
Published
Dec 31, 2019
How to Cite
Lagerqvist, M. (2019). To crash on the bus (or sit on needles and pins)? – buses and subways in teenage everyday geographies. Fennia - International Journal of Geography, 197(2), 280-294. https://doi.org/10.11143/fennia.83665