Pledge to use Public Transportation

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    Jun 17, 2010 3:26 PM GMT
    Hey Everybody! I've got a captive audience here with realjock and I think we should all step back and appreciate this little community of (relatively speaking) like-minded men and the power that comes with being able to exchange information in this way.
    **At the outset of this discussion I would like to say that I do not own a television. Law School and volunteering keeps me extremely busy and I simply don't have time to watch television. When I need information, I actively seek it out on the internet. So I apologize for those of you who are simply tired of hearing about the oil spill - the media hasn't had a chance in 2 years to oversaturate me with any kind of information icon_exclaim.gif so sorry!**
    Turning to the events currently unfolding only miles away from my current location in Uptown New Orleans, Louisiana, the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill; I am making a request of all of you for whom this is possible and/or practical. I ask today that each of you who read this take it upon yourselves to reply to this thread with a personal promise to use your local public transit system at least once a week. It can be the day of the week that you only need to go to work and back. Or on your day off when you only need to go to the grocery store. But I would like for each person who reads this to set aside one day and park their car or truck and (plan ahead!) take the bus, streetcar, subway, train to get everywhere that they need to go that day. After your day on public transit, and especially for those of you who have never set foot on any type of public transportation, reply to your original post pledging to do this with any experince you had -- were you surprised at how crowded it was? did you meet somebody interesting? did you see a hot young guy you wanted to lock up with? (hahaha) anything at all just respond with your experience.
    I understand that notevery locality in the world will this exercise be practical, or even possible. But in the interest of reducing our global use of gasoline, and making a general statement to the oil companies that we are not a bunch of careless and wasteful human beings (not to mention the exercise you will get from walking a few blocks) take it upon yourself as a responsible human being to take public transit one day please!
    Just a little history and trivia for you, I take the St. Charles streetcar line to class every single day (I have a jeep wrangler, but she's parked right now -- only gets like 8 miles per gallon). The 'Desire' car, used in the film adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play "A Streetcar Named Desire", is car 922 on St. Charles Ave. in the Garden District of New Orleans is STILL RUNNING; the streetcar line began in 1835, and the current cars are from the 900 series which was produced in the 20's -- that's 90 years! -- find a Honda or Toyota that's 90 years old and still running!

    THANKS! icon_smile.gif
    -Justin
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    Jun 17, 2010 3:47 PM GMT
    in some areas this is totally impossible. However, everyone can combine journeys: get your shopping on the way home from the gym or whatever. Don´t make pointless journeys.
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    Jun 17, 2010 5:00 PM GMT
    Lostboy saidin some areas this is totally impossible. However, everyone can combine journeys: get your shopping on the way home from the gym or whatever. Don´t make pointless journeys.


    I didn't think about that, but YES that is perfect. That definitely reduces consumption, saves time, etc. Thanks!
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    Jun 17, 2010 5:15 PM GMT
    Takes planning, that´s all, and a little self discipline for those times when you don´t feel like it. However, it saves time and money too, so is worth the minor hassle.
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    Jun 17, 2010 5:21 PM GMT
    Here's what we do:

    - Drive a 4-cyclinder economy car, that gets 38 mpg on the highway, and near 30 in heavy local traffic.
    - I ride my bicycle for local solo trips. No fuel consumed at all.
    - Both of us have handicapped passes for local busses, that cut our fare in half. We don't use them too often, but have, especially when one of us has the car and the other needs to go somewhere else. Often I combine the bus ride with my bike, since buses here have bike racks on front. Unfortunately they're limited to 2 bikes, and I sometimes find them full.
    - I rode my 70-mpg Vespa until last year, but my declining health has made that risky. Even the bicycle is pushing it, but I figure if I crash on the bike the damage will be survivable with a helmet, and I'm unlikely to seriously hurt others.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Jun 17, 2010 6:15 PM GMT
    legaljock/justin, i'm looking forward to the day when the rampart/st claude street car line is extended all the way down st claude to my house in bywater!

    being able to take a cheap ride to/from the french quarter and not have to worry about parking, finding where i parked after more than a few drinks, not running the risk of a DUI/DWI ticket will be wonderfull! icon_wink.gif
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    Jun 17, 2010 6:20 PM GMT
    There are very very few places that have reliable public transportation, especially if you work on call at a job that demands a fast response when called.

    As for other ways to conserve, I usually walk most places I need to go: bank,
    grocery store, restaurants, bars, etc...all within a half mile of my home.

    But when I wanna go somewhere that would be over a couple hours drive, I'll take one of the company planes and pay for fuel. icon_wink.gif
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    Jun 17, 2010 8:45 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidThere are very very few places that have reliable public transportation, especially if you work on call at a job that demands a fast response when called.

    As for other ways to conserve, I usually walk most places I need to go: bank,
    grocery store, restaurants, bars, etc...all within a half mile of my home.

    But when I wanna go somewhere that would be over a couple hours drive, I'll take one of the company planes and pay for fuel. icon_wink.gif


    Okay, Notice I said "for all of you who public transportation is practical/possible" this was to avoid the initial response to this post as being "public transportation sucks/it's not reliable" so shame on you, paulflexes, for apparently not being able to read, due to your fixation on bicep muscles no doubt. And the "I'll just take the company plane and pay for the gas" makes me want to squeeze your Jeffrey Skilling/Ken Lay-esque head in my bicep til it pops (and not the way you would enjoy).

    As to your blanket statement, here is a quote from this website regarding your hometown (as it appears on your profile): http://www.macholmiami.com/south_florida.htm#Hollywood

    "You do not need to rent a car in order to explore Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Both counties have extensive bus systems. Buses start running between 5AM-6AM and may run till 10PM in Broward, and 1AM in Miami-Dade. Both counties, as well as Palm Beach County to the north, are connected by the Tri-Rail train line. Tri-Rail links with Metrorail, the main rail line in Miami-Dade. Metrorail, in turn, connects with the Metromover, an unusual, unmanned monorail line which runs around downtown Miami on elevated tracks. Tri-Rail trains depart before 5AM and run as late as 8PM. Metrorail starts operations around 5AM and runs as late as 11:30PM, and later on weekends.

    The website of the Miami Dade Transit, with bus, Metrorail and Metromover schedules and maps is at ww.co.miami-dade.fl.us/transit or call 305-770-3131. The Broward County Transit website is at www.broward.org/bct or call 954-357-8400. In addition to schedules and maps it also includes a listing of attractions in the greater Fort Lauderdale area, and how to get to them by bus. The Tri-Rail website is at www.tri-rail.com or call 1-800-874-7245 (1-800-Tri-Rail). It includes an excellent list of attractions in all three counties, and information on how to get to them by public transportation. Please check the websites for accurate time-table information."

    Being so negative and making such a blanket statement like "there are very very few places that have reliable public transportation" -- I would like one specific instance of two different localities you have been two in which the public transportation was unreliable. Otherwise, don't make a statement like that without some sort of substantiation.

    So far, only two posters besides myself, Wilton and rnch, are able to read and comprehend this forum post, and to them I say "Thank You Boys!". I did not intend for this to slam public transportation ESPECIALLY for people who have never taken it before and therefore only have the pervasive social myth that its unreliable. The next time you stay in a hotel room (which, from your overcompensatory "plane"-gesturing paulflexes, probably charges hourly rates), and the bed is clean, I would like you to think about just how notoriously unreliable public transportation is. Likely the housekeeper who is barely making enough to support her family found public transportation sufficiently reliable to make it to work on time to clean the room for your sleazy ass.

    Good day icon_smile.gif
    -Justin
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    Jun 17, 2010 8:53 PM GMT
    I use the great bus system here, bike, walk or in extreme cases, carpool! As a single man in a decently large city, why do I need a car?
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    Jun 17, 2010 10:58 PM GMT
    Hey Justin,

    I like your passion. When public transportation is not always practical, such as in Southern California (large area compared to few routes) we need to emphasize different ways to conserve. My daily car is a Prius and I use a bike when I can.

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    Jun 17, 2010 11:06 PM GMT
    I only use PB(no j) because I'm poor. I only need to catch one bus to get to the few places that I go to, which passes often, and when I'm going somewhere else I'm usually with someone else- so it's not a big deal.

    So... YOU CAN COUNT ON ME!

    What costs me $1.50 costs others $10 (sometimes more) -round trip-
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    Jun 17, 2010 11:08 PM GMT
    legaljock said...And the "I'll just take the company plane and pay for the gas" makes me want to squeeze your Jeffrey Skilling/Ken Lay-esque head in my bicep til it pops (and not the way you would enjoy).

    I assumed he was making a joke. You do know that paulflexes is a pilot, and flies those little single-engine bi-planes that tow aerial advertisements along the Florida beaches? And even if he can borrow one of those planes for a short trip (you wouldn't want to take one coast-to-coast), it's not exactly with the regularity of a daily commute, and he IS reducing road congestion, after all... icon_wink.gif
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    Jun 17, 2010 11:25 PM GMT
    Lmoa@ this cause I've been carless, cycleless, and busbound for ten years. It's been a lifestyle choice since high school. Sure, I was a grandioso loser at the time, but now that I've got years of carless experience under my feet, it's no biggy. You don't have to have any political or financial motive behind choosing public transportation. If want to save gas than go on the bus. Easy as that, or just have someone drive you; whatever mentality you want to have about it at the time.
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    Jun 17, 2010 11:39 PM GMT
    Already done...I use streetcars and the subway several times a day to get wherever I'm going, and I love it. But then, downtown Toronto is probably one of the easiest places in North America to live a car-free lifestyle -- one of the main reasons why I moved here. I realize that transit is not as convenient in most places (but even in those places, I bet there are still lots of people who *could* be well-served by transit, but who just won't use it).
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    Jun 17, 2010 11:44 PM GMT
    legaljock said shame on you, paulflexes, for apparently not being able to read, due to your fixation on bicep muscles no doubt. And the "I'll just take the company plane and pay for the gas" makes me want to squeeze your Jeffrey Skilling/Ken Lay-esque head in my bicep til it pops (and not the way you would enjoy).

    Scolding and condescension won't motivate anybody to use public transportation. This attitude will simply confirm the image of riding the bus as some sort of sour self-flagellating penance. Try to find a way to convey how people can benefit, without being sanctimonious about it, and they might be less skeptical.
    And I say this as someone who would never drive a car in any city with a subway system.
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    Jun 18, 2010 12:09 AM GMT
    MNrunner2003 saidObviously biking to work seems all well and good, but if you are replacing those extra calories spent with meat or dairy that is factory farmed you are doing more harm to the environment than good.

    You make the assumption that biking invariably involves burning extra calories. But if we are exercising already anyway, for good health, then biking is just one of the ways we exercise. It's true for me, that time spent on my bicycle means less time spent in the gym, where my calories would be expended in place, without reducing my car use.

    And it's also known that a fit body tends to utilize less calories than an out-of-shape body, due to greater metabolic efficiencies, among other reasons. So I'm really not sure how much regular biking would result in a caloric consumption change sufficient to result in detrimental energy & pollution effects because of food production technologies.

    But I can believe that some methods of food production may result in more pollution than others, and that would apply no matter how many calories we eat. After all, we're all gonna eat something. So I see that as a potential issue, but not necessarily one tied to bike use.
  • AnDerRew

    Posts: 18

    Jun 18, 2010 12:41 AM GMT
    I always take transit or bike wherever I'm going. When I was younger I always wanted a car, but now I never want to own a car unless absolutely necessary. The transit system in Toronto is good compared to other North American cities, and it is ok to bike in aswell. There is no need for a car in a big city with good transit. They are a waste of space and money and the environment. Taking transit and biking is so much more interesting than sitting in traffic on the way to work, school etc.

    As for biking, many people assume they need all this biking gear and biking clothes whatever. In my mind, biking clothes are your normal clothes. You don't need to wear those spandex shorts and things, you can wear what you would normally wear anyday. If your worried about sweat etc. just dont go so fast. You're not racing to wherever, just go at a nice pace that can get you to where you're going without sweating all over the place. In places where biking is the main mode of transport (cities in denmark, netherlands etc.), you don't see people wearing spandex. They bike to work in their suits and are as fasionable as they would be if they walked/drove/transited to their destination.
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    Jun 18, 2010 1:03 AM GMT
    I make a car payment and pay insurance for a reason so therfore i will be driving my car or truck. Thank you. Besides, there are too many dirty freaks on public transportation. No thanks!
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    Jun 18, 2010 1:07 AM GMT
    This is southern cali, public transport is a joke here. An unfeasible joke. Twas nice when I lived in Chicago.
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    Jun 18, 2010 2:57 AM GMT
    I take my bike to go wherever I want.Welcome to Montreal.
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    Jun 18, 2010 3:14 AM GMT
    MNrunner2003 saidI am not talking about pollution.

    One of your links begins with this: The environmental effects of meat production [u]include pollution and the use of resources such as fossil fuels, water, and land. This article discusses the environmental effects of livestock and poultry farming.[/u] [My underlined emphasis]

    It's difficult to know what you're "not talking about" when you post something that makes the statement above. And frankly, having heard your argument again, and read the link, I reject the idea that "If you are making small changes like biking instead of driving or taking public transportation one day a week, you easily negate any positive effect if you eat factory farmed beef and dairy.... especially if you are consuming more calories to replenish calories burned during biking."

    I would need to see comparison studies between the amount of gasoline saved by riding a bike instead of a car, versus the exact amount of additional food eaten to support that bike riding, in turn translated into the problems with the food sources you cite.

    Aside from your contention that riding a bike does indeed result in greater food consumption (that I separately questioned in my post above), who says those calories would be likely to come from farmed beef and dairy? None of this sounds very scientific to me, more like unfounded speculation.
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    Jun 18, 2010 3:30 AM GMT
    I only bike/walk. I haven't owned a car for... nearly three years now.

    Kinda sucks in the freezing Nebraska winters, but you get used to it.
  • UIUCIllini23

    Posts: 36

    Jun 18, 2010 3:35 AM GMT
    I don't even own a car. I'm on the "L" here in Chicago at least 4x every day (to work and back, to the gym and back). I love living in a city with a decent public transit system :-)
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    Jun 18, 2010 3:50 AM GMT
    Sometimes I would love to live in a place with public transportation, or in a small city or town where everything was in walking or biking distance. Other times I want to live in solitude in the middle of nowhere. Hmmm. Decisions, decisions!
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    Jun 18, 2010 7:24 AM GMT
    legaljock said
    paulflexes saidThere are very very few places that have reliable public transportation, especially if you work on call at a job that demands a fast response when called.

    As for other ways to conserve, I usually walk most places I need to go: bank,
    grocery store, restaurants, bars, etc...all within a half mile of my home.

    But when I wanna go somewhere that would be over a couple hours drive, I'll take one of the company planes and pay for fuel. icon_wink.gif


    Okay, Notice I said "for all of you who public transportation is practical/possible" this was to avoid the initial response to this post as being "public transportation sucks/it's not reliable" so shame on you, paulflexes, for apparently not being able to read, due to your fixation on bicep muscles no doubt. And the "I'll just take the company plane and pay for the gas" makes me want to squeeze your Jeffrey Skilling/Ken Lay-esque head in my bicep til it pops (and not the way you would enjoy).

    As to your blanket statement, here is a quote from this website regarding your hometown (as it appears on your profile): http://www.macholmiami.com/south_florida.htm#Hollywood

    "You do not need to rent a car in order to explore Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Both counties have extensive bus systems. Buses start running between 5AM-6AM and may run till 10PM in Broward, and 1AM in Miami-Dade. Both counties, as well as Palm Beach County to the north, are connected by the Tri-Rail train line. Tri-Rail links with Metrorail, the main rail line in Miami-Dade. Metrorail, in turn, connects with the Metromover, an unusual, unmanned monorail line which runs around downtown Miami on elevated tracks. Tri-Rail trains depart before 5AM and run as late as 8PM. Metrorail starts operations around 5AM and runs as late as 11:30PM, and later on weekends.

    The website of the Miami Dade Transit, with bus, Metrorail and Metromover schedules and maps is at ww.co.miami-dade.fl.us/transit or call 305-770-3131. The Broward County Transit website is at www.broward.org/bct or call 954-357-8400. In addition to schedules and maps it also includes a listing of attractions in the greater Fort Lauderdale area, and how to get to them by bus. The Tri-Rail website is at www.tri-rail.com or call 1-800-874-7245 (1-800-Tri-Rail). It includes an excellent list of attractions in all three counties, and information on how to get to them by public transportation. Please check the websites for accurate time-table information."

    Being so negative and making such a blanket statement like "there are very very few places that have reliable public transportation" -- I would like one specific instance of two different localities you have been two in which the public transportation was unreliable. Otherwise, don't make a statement like that without some sort of substantiation.

    So far, only two posters besides myself, Wilton and rnch, are able to read and comprehend this forum post, and to them I say "Thank You Boys!". I did not intend for this to slam public transportation ESPECIALLY for people who have never taken it before and therefore only have the pervasive social myth that its unreliable. The next time you stay in a hotel room (which, from your overcompensatory "plane"-gesturing paulflexes, probably charges hourly rates), and the bed is clean, I would like you to think about just how notoriously unreliable public transportation is. Likely the housekeeper who is barely making enough to support her family found public transportation sufficiently reliable to make it to work on time to clean the room for your sleazy ass.

    Good day icon_smile.gif
    -Justin
    You've obviously never been to South Florida. That article you listed was for tourists...not residents.

    The public transportation system there is so unreliable that if you put that on your job application as your primary transportation, very few employers will hire you. Simple fact is: If you have no vehicle in South Florida, you're not getting a job...at least not one that will pay the bills.

    Oh and I'm currently staying in a hotel all summer, working out of state. Only one of the room service people speak English. I have no idea how they get to work, but considering there's no public transportation in this small town other than cabs, I'd be willing to bet they either drive or have a ride.

    PS. I didn't read the entire OP nor your entire reply, so catching things I missed is useless. If I wanted to read a book, I'd go to the library. icon_wink.gif