The last month I’ve been temping in Boston. To get there I’ve been taking the bus from Concord. In order to get there by 9a I have to take the 6a bus. Usually I get to Boston about an hour before my shift starts. Why am I taking such an early bus? The traffic.
You see, just because I’m commuting greenly, the bus still has to contend with Boston’s early commute. And it sucks. I’ve tried taking the 7a bus but I didn’t get into the office until 10a on two different occasions. Because I like getting a paycheck I can’t be an hour late.
Regardless of the time I’m on the bus, as it sits in traffic I increasingly see hybrid cars on the road. While I think it’s great people are buying cars that use less gas I do find it a little troubling for a couple reasons. First, while the cars may be good on gas it still takes a lot of resources to build a new car and a lot of money to buy a new car. Second, just because someone buy a hybrid doesn’t mean the traffic is easing. Rather, the gridlock is still the same because a gas guzzling car is replaced by a hybrid.
To me the solution is simple: get more people on public transportation. But what will it take to do so? Well, first, in the Northeast at least, a better system of public transportation needs to be created and the existing needs to be expanded. I wrote about this on The Greenists last month. To repeat myself, I believe expanding the existing lines and upgrading/rebuilding dilapidated lines will create jobs and ease transportation burdens. Getting cars off the road — gas or hybrid — will make commuting much easier for those who have long commutes and will cut down on carbon emissions, etc.
This nation was created by trains. Why not go back to a proven method of transportation? Making the rails more environmentally friendly is a challenge many will enjoy.