Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Slow Transportation Movement

Have you heard of the slow food movement? Well I still like my food fast, but I'm gonna start the slow transportation movement. Walking, biking, bus riding.

I've been thinking tonight how much I value the bus compared to how most people value their automobile.

I don't value the acceleration or the upholstery or the styling or the handling. I value the time it gives me to slow down my life, and the lack of stress. Take last night's snow storm, for example. Stress levels were out of the stratosphere as folks spent 2-3 hours trying to get home from work. I, on the other hand, had the pleasure of going to class, going to the bar, and then a leisurely bus ride home.

Living in downtown St. Paul makes it pretty easy to get to a lot of local landmarks on the bus. Downtown Mpls (daily for work). Rosedale (my Dad lives a 10-minute walk away). Bars on Selby. Bars on Randolph. Bars on West 7th. Bars downtown Mpls.

So yeah. One great thing about the bus is that I can take it to bars. I can have a couple beers and get a chauffered ride home. Who wouldn't like that?

But I like it for other reasons, too. I like that it has helped instill in me a more peaceful, easy-going feeling. I'm in less of a rush to get places because I am comfortable on the bus. It gives me found time where I can read or listen to podcasts or music. If the bus driver of the 16 (you know who you are) decides to stop the bus and run into KFC for a big bucket o' chicken, I don't mind. Because I'm just biding my time and enjoying it in other ways.

Now this is probably easier for me, being single, than it might be for others. But for whatever reason, I appreciate how it helps slow my life down. I walk 10 minutes to the bus. Wait for 3 minutes. Ride the bus for 25 minutes. Walk for another 5-10 minutes to my destination. It's become a simple pleasure for me that I wish more of my peers could appreciate.

Of course, I'm sure my peers have things in their life that they wish I could appreciate. But this is my blog. And I didn't even mention the eco-friendly aspects of taking a bus (that's already going there) over driving.

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