Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Traveling By Bus

Traveling By Bus, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.

Lately, when I see snow on the ground, I start making plans to make it to the bus depot on days when I have meetings at church. I'm beginning to think that this might be a good general practice. (At least when the meetings are happening late enough in the day that taking the bus makes sense.)

It's fairly inexpensive for travel. Seventy Five cents will get me from downtown to the church in about 30 minutes. (It takes me 20 minutes if I drive straight from my house). The downside to the travel is that I have to walk to the depot which also takes me about 20 minutes--but the upswing is that it's a good health practice to spend at least 20 minutes doing moderate exercise each day--like walking to the bus depot. While I am riding the bus, I can read, work on my computer, make phone calls, and even interact with other passengers if I so choose.

If I were still a student, this whole system would make even more sense because it's FREE (or at least the service is built into student fees). Personally, i would love to see more people taking advantage of this way to get around town (or at least for work/school commutes).

This all goes hand in hand with my lenten commitment of attempting to streamline/simplify my life. I've been trying to walk more to get places (in spite of snow and rain). I've also been trying to eat less (at least smaller portions).

I think in some ways we are addicted to our cars. They give us a sense of independence and autonomy that we lose in some ways when we ride a bus or carpool. In spite of escalating gas prices, people are more willing to drive separately than to carpool (especially if it means that someone else will be driving).

I think our society is suffering from this desire for autonomy, and it is probably a large reason why few people find their way into healthy community.

Who knew all of these thoughts would stem from a simple busride on a snowy day. If you can give it a whirl, I highly recommend riding a bus, or even just walking around town if you live in the city. It's a great way to save money, conserve resources, and maybe even get some exercise. And maybe, it can help open you up to the idea of sharing resources, needs, and possibly even life, with others.

1 comment:

esperanza said...

In unknown places and foreign countries, riding the bus can be a real adventure, too. Yesterday, I (in Bolivia right now) made it from the university to town (Cochabamba) by bus and back. We were actually three - a crazy Brasilian, a quiter guy from France and I, but none of us had a clue where we were and where we actually wanted to go. So we had fun walking around town, hopping on and of buses and taxis, going in the wrong direction and walking all the way back. Guess I'll have this kind of fun more often in the coming 5.5 months =)

Don't miss out on it! Going by bus can be frustrating (at least in Germany; that's why I prefer the bike in summer over there), but if you're in the right mood, it can be a lot of fun! Especially here in Bolivia where there are no bus schedules and stations. You just wait alongside the road and stop the bus you need. There are enough busses anyways. If everybody would use the bus system in our "western world", it would be just as easy as over here. Maybe one day... when gas becomes even more expensive...