Public transportation not as bad as it seems
For my entire adult life I have clung to my car as if it is a basic necessity, refusing to step foot on a bus or go out of my way for the lightrail. I have always assumed that public transportation is exactly as stereotypes have made it out to be--dirty, inconvenient, unsafe. Well, in the last two weeks I have realized that those stereotypes are quite off-base.
I recently was in a car accident that left me using the bus and lightrail as my main means of transportation. I have to wake up early, walk to the bus, take that to the lightrail, and go from the lightrail to work. A lot of effort? Yes. A longer commute? Absolutely. Cheaper, semi-relaxing, and environmentally friendly? You know it!
The current gas rates combined with my new fear of crazy drivers has made the transition into public transportation actually quite easy. I pay a lot less every day than gas would cost me, and the entire way into work I can sit back and relax. Even nap if I want to! I have caught up on a lot of reading, and I find that the people around me are very friendly and not at all scary. While a couple weeks ago I was counting the days until I can get a new car, I now am putting off that purchase because there's really no need for it. Why pay for that when I can get some exercise walking to and from the bus stop and save money to boot? While I have yet to venture into the world of riding the bus at night (which I know from a friend's experience does get a little sketchy), for all immediate daytime purposes it works just fine.
Being the environmentally conscious person I always try to be, I am also quite proud that taking the lightrail every day reduces my carbon footprint. While I'm not thrilled at the fumes from the bus that gets me through the first leg of my trip, I know that using public transportation is still the most environmentally friendly way I can be getting to work (unless I rode my bike, which would take hours). So, at the end of the day I get home feeling actually proud that I have found a way to get to and from work that benefits both my life as well as the world I live in.
As I grow older and begin to have some real life experiences, it is becoming more obvious to me that stereotypes are rarely a good knowledge base to begin making judgements from. I feel a little silly that I am 25 years-old and just now beginning to learn that the public transit system is very beneficial, but had I remained close-minded about it, I never would have figured it out.