I’ve ridden public transportation (or my bicycle) back and forth to the jobs I’ve held for 19 of the past 20 years. And the one year where I had to drive to my job at an ad agency in the ‘burbs, I hate-hate-haaaaated the daily commute. White-knuckle wheel gripping, getting stuck in rush hour logjams on I-75, watching all manner of reckless driving (and mind you this was two decades ago… texting has take distracted driving to an entirely new level).

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Riding the bus is so much less stressful. I’m blissfully unaware of traffic as soon as I take a seat, put on my headphones and bury my nose in a magazine or book. It’s not a bus, it’s a chauffeur-driven limo. It’s my Uber, only cheaper.

public-transportation

When people try to guess my age, they usually guess quite a few years lower than I actually am. Some of that is genetics (none of it is Just For Men, I swear), but I think some of it can also be attributed to the fact that my daily commute has been considerably less stressful.

Because I’m a tree-hugger, I also like the fact that public transportation is also better for the environment.

Because I’m a cheapskate, I like the fact that riding the bus saves me cash on gas, parking, insurance and wear and tear on our cars.

Because I grew up in Arkansas, where snow was a rarity, I feel much safer riding inside a ten-ton machine instead of driving a puny car when winter weather hits.

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But retired police officer turned urban living/mass transit advocate Derek Bauman brought up an interesting point that I’d never considered about public transportation: it also saves lives. Please read his great CityBeat article here (a quick excerpt is below). It’s written about Cincinnati, where we just added a streetcar to our public transportation options, but it applies in any major metropolitan area.

Buses and trains have fatality rates far below cars and trucks. A 2013 study in Research in Transportation Economics titled “Comparing the Fatality Risks in United States Transportation Across Modes and Over Time” found that busses and trains have a fatality rate of between .11 and .15 per billion passenger miles, while cars and light trucks have a fatality rate of 7.3 per billion passenger miles. 

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