The Psychic Derailleur Podcast #3

I didn’t remember to clear the memory card in the video camera, so this one is audio only. I talk to my friend Kevin Whited about bicycle advocacy, mass transit and his current job with the city of Carmel.

You can listen with the player below, or on iTunes.  

Thanks!

 

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Moving the Masses

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I rode the city bus quite a bit when I was a kid.  The stop was at the end of my street.  It cost 25 cents.  I would either ride it downtown to the music store, or out to the mall.  It was long before I could drive a car.  At that age it provided an almost unbelievable amount of freedom.

I traveled to Minneapolis a couple of years ago, and wanted to visit a local store during some of my free time.  I asked the concierge at the hotel about a taxi.  He responded with “why not just take the bus?”  I will admit I blanched a bit at the proposal.  He assured me that their buses were very efficient and would cost much less than taking a taxi.  I thought, well I am in Minneapolis if they’re known for anything it’s their public transportation (and near manic devotion to bicycles).  The experience was pleasant, the bus stopped a mere block from where I wanted to go and it was terribly affordable.

The experience got me thinking.  I wondered if I could go 30 days without using my car.  I would ride my bicycle when I could, and use buses when I couldn’t.  The bus company has a Twitter page that posts the current status of individual buses.  After monitoring that for a couple of weeks, and seeing how often they were delayed, I gave up on the idea.  It is still something I circle back to from time to time.

The city of Indianapolis does not have a vibrant mass transit system.  The city itself is very spread out.  Logistically this can make using mass transit here challenging.  There are plans for a better, faster and more efficient system.  I think that would be a benefit to many people.  I also think that to be a modern city that appeals to the younger folk, you gotta have a public transportation that works.

What are your thoughts on mass transit?  Do you use it?  If not why?