Have You Taken the #TransitChallenge?
The #TransitChallenge started in Ottawa, Canada as a week-long pledge to leave the car at home and use public transit or an alternate method of transportation. In this article written by a Transportation Planner in Washington D.C., he explores the rider experience on board the buses in his county. He begins by highlighting the differences between simply trying public transit out for a week versus relying on it as a primary source of transportation. He recognizes that though he did not encounter any issues with his rides that week, there are many other days during the year when things go wrong and people have a reason to be upset. As an example, the mobile app he was using to track his bus displayed that the bus would not arrive for another 74 minutes, when it was in fact on time. He also makes note of the privilege of living in a transportation accessible neighborhood, which can make a massive difference in having a smooth experience compared to a tumultuous one.
The author of this article has been taking public transit as his default mode of transportation for several years, and he specifically chose a neighborhood that would allow him easy access to a bus line that he could take directly to work. Transfers make the rider experience more difficult, especially when they have children with them. Buses can break down, be running late, need maintenance, etc. which are all very real challenges public transit presents. There is also the issues of the set schedule that one must adhere to everyday in order to make it to the stop on time. The perks of taking public transit everyday include the ability to do other things (reading, work, hobbies) , not having to deal with the stress of traffic, and the sense of community on board the bus.
He encourages people to start trying to take public transit at least once a week instead of diving in head first and trying to utilize it all of the time. He envisions a future where people will be choosing to take transit, because it will be just as easy as driving.
Do you have a similar vision? How does your transit experience relate or differ?
Please read the full article here.