Is taking the bus really for everyone? Isn’t it just for losers, the old and the poor?
This is often the way public transportation is portrayed in media. To make an example; in an episode of “the Simpsons”, Lisa goes on the bus to a museum. The system is overly complicated, the driver is unfriendly and the passengers are weird or totally unfriendly. This is the scenario of many, many tv-shows when public transportation is concerned. In such a car centered culture, both in Europe and America, as well as some parts of Asia, it is no wonder why public transportation seems to be down-prioritized in the transportation debate.
The bad reputation is also one reason why people don’t want to try it out. After all, why take the bus to work or downtown if it is simply more comfortable to drive? If you already have the notion that taking the bus is dirty, confusing, smelly, noisy and uncomfortable, what are the odds of you trying it out?
And it is a real shame. Our current lifestyle is not only killing our planet but us as well. The bed->kitchen->car->work->car->home routine don’t give enough exercise for a healthy life, especially when you take all the fastfood and snacks we eat in our daily lives. When you take the bus, you get a short walk to the bus stop, and you walk from the “your” transit point to work. It is not much, but it is more exercise then you get driving. Not only that but one bus can take almost 100 cars of the roads if it is full. Now that is a lot of CO2 ready to be saved.
Even better is of course to walk or bike to work. Zero emission kilometers or miles is of course the best for the environment AND for your health. Hands up if you are one of the thousands who promised to loose some weight this year! Why not keep the promise by riding a bike to work, or to the store. It is not particularly dangerous and while it does take some more time you get to sneak right by those pesky car cues. Not only that but you can spend the gym-card money on something more interesting. The gas money to by the way.
But the most important thing to realize is that being “green” doesn’t have to be difficult or involving huge sacrifices. Using public transportation twice/week takes away a great deal of CO2, saves money (how much depends on rates, gas prize etc) and may help in developing a healthier life. Riding the bike twice/week, which is reasonable up to distances of some 5-6 kilometers, reduces the commute emissions by a fantastic 40%…
So why don’t we all try to make the commute greener in 2011!
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