Monday, November 14, 2011

Public Transportation Will Never Replace My Car

This past week, I had the opportunity to attend a traffic safety conference in San Francisco with my brother and a colleague. I've always loved the Bay Area but had somewhat of a sticker shock when I found out it would cost $45 a day to park a car at our hotel on Fisherman's Wharf. Adding that to the cost of a rental car equated to us choosing to make our own adventure experience. Enter in Bay Area Rapid Transit. I actually like figuring out how I can get from point A to point B in a new city. It's like a game to me. I win if we arrive when we're supposed to. I won big on our first day when my plan to get us from the airport to the Alcatraz tour worked seamlessly.

BART is a fantastic system of trains that took us directly from the airport into downtown San Francisco. All for the low low price of $6.80.  The trains and stations were clean (no food or drink allowed), schedules were convenient and no one looked scary. I brought my infant with me and each time we rode there was at least one person offered me a seat when it was crowded. Being a visitor, BART was a tremendous asset to me. But if I lived there, I know I'd never give up my car.

Top 5 Reasons Why Public Transportation 
Will Never Replace My Car

1. Family Un-Friendly. Public transportation is innately not family-friendly. My baby was the one of 5 children I saw during my five train, three bus and one trolley rides. From the crowds of people to the hurry up and get on "I don't have time to wait for you" departures, keeping my brood together is extremely difficult at the grocery store. I'm pretty sure I'd end up leaving one at a station somewhere if I didn't have them strapped to me.

2. Passenger Safety. Why is it that taxis, school and city busses and other modes of public transportation don't require seat belts? It just doesn't make sense. Especially with cab drivers. Those guys drive crazy. And no, we didn't tell them why we were in town. 

3. Transfers. It seems like there are very few places that you can go that are on only one line. We usually had to transfer at least once (sometimes twice) to get to where we wanted to go...and we were centrally located. It would have been so much worse if we'd been off the beaten track.

4. Time. It takes a lot of time to get somewhere when there are multiple stops before arriving at a destination. For trolleys and busses, our route time was doubled. I have to mentally put myself into a slower mindset to be okay with this. I told myself I was sightseeing as I watched the Occupy San Francisco group march down the street.

5. Convenience. I like having stuff with me. Just in case I need it. In my pockets. In my car. Where ever I am. While traveling I had to make several down-sizing adjustments to effectively manage my travel. It's okay to do once in a while. But for the majority of the time, I feel way more comfortable surrounded by my stuff.


  1. I agree with all of these. I would also add being in the comfort of my own car as another reason. In my own car, I don't have to sit by strangers, I know there will always be a seat for me, I can listen to my own music, I can talk/sing as loud as I want to, I can eat when I want to, I can stop when I want to, and I can have the temperature just the way I like it.

  2. Ooh, those are all good. Make it Top 6 Reasons and add in Passenger Comfort for the title. :o)And on cold mornings I actually get my seats heated in my car.

  3. Public Transportation unable to match up with our own car, we can have a fully personalized experiences, from driving, speed, A/c, music, Time and i can reach any corner of city without any issues on time, etc... they are many benefits, but Public transportation will save some money, give us more time to work on something else than just driving, introduce new friends, at last it's reduce some of the traffic and pollution from the city.

  4. Public Transport and Private car transport are two different things which have their own advantages
    If you take Public transport:
    1) This can reduce no. of vehicles on road (less traffic jams)
    2) Reduce the emissions.
    3) We get some time to do things while traveling like talking on phone, using laptop, email, making new friends etc..

    If we can car:
    1) We can go as per our requirements (we can use short routes, skip heavy traffic areas, speed up as per requirement etc.
    2) We can on our own audio
    3) Stop where ever we want
    4) We can carry some items or children with comfortable etc..

    Use both of the transport systems which ever comfortable for particular task. try to go as green as you can.


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