In our world today, transport plays a crucial role in our daily lives. We need to get from A to B and transport our families from C to D. Most of us drive our cars most of the time.
However times are changing, and we must change. We can't drive our cars everywhere, all the time. We need to start changing our travel modes if we want to live in a low-carbon economy and low-carbon world.
How many of us are conscious about reducing our environmental impact in the things we do every day eg shopping, recycling, yet mostly drive? Transportation contributes significantly to our carbon footprint, both individually and nationally, and its important to consider how to can change this.
I live in Napier where public transport is available. I always assumed that public transport options in my regional town would be limited and inconvenient. Today I decided to experiment to see if I could get to a meeting in town on time and stress-free by taking the bus.
Usually, my go-to mode of transportation for such meetings is to jump in the car, find parking close to my destination. However, I live just a few steps away from a bus stop, and I know there's a direct route to town, therefore my excuses are limited!
But why wasn't I taking the bus when it was right there?
The problem was I had unanswered questions, particularly about the bus timetable. However, these questions were relatively easy to address. What time would the bus pick me up? Would it arrive on time? Where would it drop me off? What about the journey back home? With just five minutes of research, I found the answers to those questions.
Long story short, I decided to jump on the bus. And while I was riding, I wanted to explore the benefits of choosing public transport over driving to town for a meeting. I hoped that by sharing my experience, it might encourage others to do the same. After all, I couldn't have done that while driving in a car!
1. Time Efficiency
One of the most significant advantages of taking the bus to town is the potential time savings. Traffic congestion during peak hours can be stressful and cause unnecessary delays. By opting for public transport, I could utilise my travel time more efficiently. Buses are equipped with comfortable seating, ample space for working on a laptop or reading documents, and I was able to write this as I sat. I could have also utilised this time to catch up on emails, prepare for the meeting, or simply relax and watch the world go by.
2. Cost Savings
It cost me $0.50 cents. $1 return. Even driving my hybrid car isn’t THAT cheap. Plus, there was no parking drama or cost. Driving to town comes with its fair share of expenses, including fuel, parking fees, and also maintenance costs. Some companies offer subsidised or discounted fares for using public transport to get to and from work. Find out if your company supports you in this way, and if not ask them to. This could be important if your company measures “Staff Commuting” for their Greenhouse Gas emissions inventory. Taking a public bus has a GHG emissions than driving your car to work.
3. Reduced Stress
Driving in traffic can be a stressful experience, especially during rush hours. Dealing with aggressive drivers, searching for parking spots, and facing unexpected delays can significantly impact your mood and overall well-being. By taking the bus, you can let someone else handle the driving and enjoy a stress-free journey. You can relax, read a book, or catch up on work without worrying about the road ahead.
4. Environmental Benefits
In an era of growing environmental consciousness, reducing our carbon footprint has become a priority. By choosing to take the bus instead of driving, you contribute to the reduction of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Buses generally have a higher occupancy rate compared to individual vehicles, resulting in fewer cars on the road. Public transportation plays a vital role in promoting sustainability and improving air quality in our city.
5. Increased Productivity
Public transport offers a unique opportunity to maximize your productivity. Instead of being preoccupied with navigating through traffic, you can focus on important tasks during your commute. Whether it's finalising a presentation, brainstorming ideas, or making phone calls, the bus provides a conducive environment for uninterrupted work. By the time you arrive at your destination, you'll be prepared and ready to make the most of your meeting.
6. Give it a go
Just give it a go. Take the bus. We need to get off our convenient high horse and start doing things differently. I've taken the bus once, and it worked. I will definitely take the bus again, especially now that I know the timetable and the route.
[Postscript note – I have taken the bus two more times since writing this.]
When it comes to attending a meeting in town, going shopping, or meeting a friend, taking the bus offered me benefits that made it a compelling choice. The biggest benefit was I could sit and write this - another thing I can't do while driving! It was also super cheap. The bus provided me with a convenient and sustainable alternative to driving. Once I got my head around the bus stops and the bus timetable, it was actually very easy.
By embracing public transport, you can make the most of your travel time and reduce your expenses.
Next time you have a meeting in town, shopping or meeting a friend, consider leaving the car behind and hopping on the bus for a rewarding journey.
When are YOU going to try?