Monday, July 8, 2013

Why Transit?

When I lived in my home town of Olympia, I drove to get most places. The only times I didn't drive were when traveling short distances. I prided myself on having found tricks to get around traffic when driving home from work.

Then I moved to Seattle, where I was working downtown. I knew there was no way I could afford to drive to work and pay for parking on an intern's salary, so I started taking the bus to save money. Before long I was no longer an intern, but I didn't stop using the bus. I was still saving money, and I realized there were other benefits to taking transit as well.

About 7 years after my arrival in Seattle, I'm as big a transit supporter as they come. I started this blog because I want to help people understand the benefits of using transit, and why we should support its expansion.

From my perspective, there are two primary reasons we should support transit.

First, because it is an effective means of moving a large number of people from place to place, particularly when at least one of those places is densely populated, like downtown Seattle - the largest job center in the state of Washington.

Second, because I believe that transit can improve peoples' lives. Saving money is just the beginning: there are other reasons, such as reduced stress, better health, and more liveable, human-scaled neighborhoods, which tend to arise from areas that are well-supported by transit.

All that being said, I do own a car and think that cars are an appropriate means of transportation for many trips (like my errands I ran the other day, for which there was no way I could have accomplished them on the bus). But I also think that our transportation infrastructure has been way too focused on cars, and that we need to shift our focus more toward transit if we really are going to build a city that's ready for our future growth.

My goal for this blog is to make the case for more transit infrastructure, and hopefully change a few minds on the subject of transit.

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