Chapter 79: Public Transportation is Important

Public transportation is important for the environment.

It’s simple math. Ten people taking ten cars to work creates more air pollution than the same ten taking a common vehicle. Regardless whether you ‘subscribe’ to the idea that increased carbon dioxide emissions are a large component of global warming, it isn’t reasonable to argue that vehicle pollution doesn’t cause smog.

Public transportation is important for your health.

When you drive to work you deal with construction, accidents and idiots. You’re around 80 times safer taking public transportation than driving yourself, and knowing that has to help the nerves. I also have anecdotal evidence that letting your mind wander results in a longer, happier life.

Public transportation is important for drunks.

When it comes to the problem of finding your way home after having one or six too many drinks, your options are limited. You could:

  • hang out with people who don’t drink
  • empty your wallet on a cab
  • try to drive and risk killing a family
  • take public transportation

The winner in this situation should be clear to anyone without a party plate. Public transportation is also the only option which lets you practice your acoustic karaoke in front of a captive audience.

Public transportation is important for your soul.

Take a quick scan of the subway car. There’s Yuppie McMakesalot, standing next to Jose Minimumwagez, who just got out of his seat so that Minnie Nevausacondom can sit down with her two year old and newborn. Step onto the bus or the subway and you step out of your comfort zone and into the real world.

Not everyone works at your job or goes to the places you go to for lunch. Not everyone lives in your posh apartment or goes to the same bars you do. The best thing about public transportation is that, when done right, EVERYONE is there. Rich, poor, young, old, happy, sad, sane, otherwise, they’re all there and they’re real. Healthcare reform might not matter to someone whose world is populated solely by 22-30 year old male engineers, but when you see the kind old man with a cane struggle up the steps into the bus you might change your mind.

I might walk to work everyday, but if I didn’t you could bet I’d be taking public transportation.

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