I think I follow what you are saying and I agree. Mass transit is just that, for the masses, so it needs to be planned to get the masses onto the thing.
The consultant that helped us craft the transit plan was very good at leading a discussion about coverage versus frequency, which I highly recommend anyone read if you don’t understand the concept. (link below)
Listen when people say, “I would never ride that” and you know what, that’s ok. It wasn’t built FOR YOU specifically. It was built for the masses and it was built to replace current trips rather than make you start using it to go to new places occasionally.
For me, I don’t use the bus normally but that’s because when I look at the trips I make the most, it doesn’t work logistically, the time spent driving vs riding is too drastic a difference. (like 3x) On the other side of the spectrum, I also walk to some destinations multiple times a week so taking the bus is silly.
That’s my story, and the transit plan serves my one-off trips on weekends or special trips during the week. It may be different for others and as we build that culture of ridership, we can start expanding routes and think about shiny trains in the future.
I still think the bus is the core foundation of the system and always has to be rock solid in what it does, serves the masses.