Last night CBC launched my spirits, then dashed my hopes.
I was quite encouraged when the article titled “Five ways to make better use of your commute” popped into my inbox—something I’ve wanted to write on for some time now.
Then I read it.
What the author described as the allure of transit, I read as: transit is boring; you see them same thing every day; you have to ride with strangers; instead of spending time with friends and family, you are stuck on a bus; and what else is there to do but waste my time on social media; and so on. Needless to say, this article did little to impress me and I suspect it did less to entice drivers to take transit, which is disappointing to say the least.
Even the feature photo made it look like riders have to stand the whole way!
Despite evidence that shows transit riders experience less stress than drivers:
“A survey of New Jersey commuters found that train users experienced less stress and fewer negative moods than drivers making similar trips, indicating the reduced effort and greater predictability of train travel.” Wener, Evans, and Lutin, 2006
the only statistics presented in the article showed transit takes more time—how is THAT supposed to get people bussing it?!
Want to really show people what you can accomplish—when you aren’t in charge of your own safety and the safe passage of those around you; when you aren’t stuck in traffic without handsfree; when you are fretting about your gas gauge because gas is nearly $1.50/L?
Get on transit and
Talk to the executives reading briefs without being interrupted by office staff
Talk to the brokers reading the morning stock updates
Talk to the professors marking essays meant to be marked the night before but they watched the World Cup instead
Talk to the students who sleep in until the very last moment knowing they have some time to read over their notes before the exam
Talk to the musicians listening to their recordings, trying to hone their craft
Want to REALLY demonstrate the benefits of transit? Ask transit riders what the benefits of leaving the car at home (or not buying one at all).
Stop selling it for it’s scenery, it’s friendships, and it’s dreaminess—that’s for hippies!
Transit’s for real people with real lives who need real time to do real work so they can reduce their real stress.
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