Thursday, May 31, 2007

Day 1 Without a Car

If I were to succinctly describe today's experience I would use the word enlightening. Not enlightening as in I just found out that my date last night has some highly communicable disease, but enlightening as in I didn't know this could be so simple. Everything went as planned from my bus ride to Greg's neighborhood to our carpool to work and back. The only thing I will adjust tomorrow is that I will leave my house just a couple minutes earlier so I have a little time to gather myself before boarding the bus.

During the day I had my scheduled doctor appointment and as expected I walked there. It was a delightful walk through UCSD and the lovely zero carbon emission experience took about 15 minutes each way. This I consider to be very reasonable.

After Greg dropped me off at his house I walked across the street to Henrys to get some groceries. I limited myself to 1 bag full as I had my workbag with me and it all had to be schlepped around town. While I was waiting in the check out line I pulled out my bus schedule and realized that I had about 3 minutes before the next bus arrived and I had to make that bus or I would be late for Brad to pick me up for dinner. I may have broken a sweat even before I started running out of Henrys with my bag of groceries and my workbag. Just as I rounded the corner the bus was pulling up and I jumped on without a moment to spare.

Today I sent a link to my blog to several friends at work and there was only positive feedback, people are generally open to providing rides or making their vehicles available for me to use occasionally. It seems that Flex Car may become a great option as well. The nearest location for a car looks to be about a 15 minute walk which would be reasonable until a closer option is available. Tomorrow will likely be the first time I attempt to make my commute entirely by bus. This should take just under an hour but I will be able to read my new book "Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson. Today the commute to work took about 50 minutes while driving myself takes around 30 minutes. I know my time is valuable but so is my responsibility to be carbon conscious. As long as I utilize my additional travel time this is time well spent.

Utilizing public transit takes a fair amount of planning and this is something that I have not had to deal with while using my own car. Not having to think ahead can be convenient but living in this manner can lead to complacency. I’m glad for this bit of change in my life.


Greg said...

Great point about reclaiming your commute time for more fruitful activities, such as reading. Get your book on!

Mike said...

Very impressive that busses in SD actually follow the schedule!