30 Day Fitness Experiment

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Beginner’s Guide to a Car-Less Commute: Public Transportation Edition

"Just use an open standard that already e...
Image by Todd Barnard via Flickr

This is Part 2 of the Beginner’s Guide to a Car-Less Commute. Read Part 1 here.

It’s National Train Day! Make plans to commute by train, bus, or subway. First of all, what are the advantages of using public transportation?

  • You don’t have to find a parking space.
  • You can read, work, knit, etc. while you commute.
  • You don’t have to pay for gas, insurance, or maintenance directly. One flat fee and you’re on your way.
  • You meet lots of interesting people.
  • Sharing the ride means fewer emissions and less pollution.

Tips to make the process flow:

  • Plan Ahead. Map out your route ahead of time, and then do a trial run. Figure out when you have to arrive at your destination and work backwards from there. This is especially helpful if your commute has multiple segments, like if you have to catch a bus and then a train. Try to do your trial run at a realistic time and day. If this is not possible, keep in mind that weekday rush hour is a lot more crowded than other times, and that trains, buses and ferries usually run less frequently on weekends.
  • Have a Backup Plan. If you plan on taking the train, keep a bus schedule with you, too. Become familiar with alternate routes. For example, in Washington DC, I’ve found the Yellow and Green lines to be much less busy than the red line at certain times of day. Know which trains or buses are going your way, and you’ll be able to quickly assess which one will get you there sooner or which one is less crowded.
  • What to Take With You: Take some reading, computer work, an iPod with an e-book, and some comfortable shoes. Trust me- you don’t want to be running around on stairs and escalators in high heels. Depending on your chosen method of transportation and the time of day, you may have to stand for chunks of time, and if you were planning on typing or knitting, you may be disappointed. So plan for something to do while standing, and something to do while sitting. You’ll also need water, hand sanitizer, deodorant and possibly a change of shoes. Keep in mind that restrooms may be few and far between.
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May 8, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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