Bicycling enthusiasts across the country started shouting at General Motors on Monday over this ad in several college newspapers pitching GM discounts as a way to avoid the suckitude of biking places. Within hours, GM apologized and promised changes. Here's why it's so sensitive.
Transportation history buffs know General Motors' infamous role in replacing U.S. streetcar systems in dozens of cities with GM diesel buses in the middle of the 20th century. Since then, mass-transit and anti-car activists have questioned how many more people might have eschewed their own vehicles for People Movers had those systems survived.
So when GM's ad for college discounts showed a bicyclist hiding his face in shame and what appeared to be a bus rider getting splashed, along with taglines to "stop pedaling, start driving," the Twitter volume rose quickly.