54F #3: Mass Transit
How's your 5 for Footprint going? It's almost been a month, have you been able to get one non-driving day in. Maybe you rolled out of bed and did all your conference calls in your pajamas. Maybe you made a carpool buddy and took the fast lane on the freeways. Still need some ideas?
I just got back from NYC, which is top of the heap in the U.S. for ease of Mass Transit. An aging by reliable subway system with really cool artwork. My newest favorite being Tom Otterness's Life Underground and a full picture set is available here. Mass transit here in the Bay Area (which arguably is the top of the heap for California mass transit options) is not so easy. But it is possible.
511.org Is an excellent website that provides routes for you get from one place to another. I will admit sometimes plugging in the numbers can be very depressing as what should be a very short trip can take forever. But computers aren't perfect so be sure to use 511.org as a means of finding what's possible.
For the Chardonnay set, CalTrain is probably the most utilized way for hip city dwellers unlike myself to get from San Francisco to their Techie jobs in Silicon Valley. During rush hour the frequency is sufficient, but miss that window and you may have to call a cab. Companies in Silicon Valley are running their own transit systems. Yahoo and Google both have buses for their employees.
Some tips to make your Mass Transit commute more effective.
1) Use your time to do things you normally would do. Checking email, reading the paper, etc. If you do work, see if your boss will let you count your mass transit time as part of your day.
2) Have a sense of humor. Our ability to deal with other people is a function of how much practice we get, well most of the time. You will see a larger swath of humanity than you will in a car. Observe, roll with it, realize the richness of our society in all the senses.
3) Be prepared for failure, a connection will be missed. Get over it. It happens.
I hope you'll consider taking mass transit once in awhile, be it to get to the airport, to work, to some sporting event (the buses to Candlestick are a god send). The more mass transit is used, the more it gets better.