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Friday, March 28, 2008

Mass Transit In Action

I know I've made reference to it a few times, but part of my footprint reduction is to take the bus as often as possible. It's been a little bit of a struggle initially, as I get used to the routes and their timing with respect to getting to work and class and then getting home at night. This week, I managed to leave my car at home four out of five work days. I'm starting to recognize faces on the bus, so there is definitely a healthy community of mass transit commuters.

The more I do in this footprint reduction lifestyle change, the more I realize that everything I do is about improving the quality of my life, not taking something away. By taking the bus, I know I'm doing something about taking a car off the road and the associated carbon emissions and waste from being a one-person in the car commuter. But that almost doesn't matter... I enjoy taking the bus, seeing new people, passively buzzing along without having to worry about icy road conditions (even now in late March!), deep axle snapping potholes, burning $30 of gas a week, or finding a parking spot!

I find have a bit more awake time before arriving at work and I'm able to use the time to plan my day, do a little bit of meditation, or just feel like a part of a bigger community. Did I mention that I'm saving about $30 a week in gas and reducing the associated CO2?

As a small-to-medium-sized city like Halifax continues to grow, improvements to this system are essential. There is no need to be considering additional bridges or tunnels into the downtown core when only about 10% of people use the available transit system. In fact, more people walk to work! How do we change the car culture when 75% or more of commuters use their cars to get to work daily?
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