I live in El Paso TX, a car town. Here, the fastest way to get from east to west or north to central is via car, hands down. The only transit system is the bus, something that frankly, most people here are terrified of. Most people who take the bus, do so because they have to. People who fall under the “masses that want to and can afford to be green” category that the green marketing machines are targeting are usually well off enough to own a car, do own a car, and would never fathom taking the bus. I’ve heard story after study about how slow, terrible, and inefficient the bus system here is.
So today. . . my last class to interpret for at work was cancelled, leaving me with a thought. . . “I don’t yet have a ride home today. . . .why don’t I take the bus!” And so, putting my fears aside, and striving to step forward from the masses, I googled the Sun Metro schedule, walked to a stop, and boarded my first El Pasoan bus.
The verdict? . . . why haven’t I done this before?! For 75 cents a 40 min (in traffic) car ride to my house took an hour and twenty min. including transfer time. The bus was clean and the people were friendly. When I was confused, the drivers came to my rescue. Sure going by car is twice as fast ha ha. However if you have the time, its a cheaper, greener, and a local economy boosting means of getting around. Another thing I found out was Utep students make up a huge number of passengers who came to to this conclusion a long time ago.
I’m not saying to sell your car. Realistically, most households that don’t live in a big city need to own one. However! Wherever you are, take advantage of whatever transit is in your community! My hope is that places like El Paso that have a less than par mass transit system will face an increase in demand. An increase that will in turn eventually lead to things like actual metros and bike lanes instead of desert landscaping! and who knows maybe this will spur North America as a whole to catch up with Europe and Asia’s genius railways and such! eh? eh!