What I’ve learned in seven months of not having my car…
1. I really miss driving. I miss both the convenience of having a car and the actual act of driving around. I find it relaxing. I keep thinking about getting a car so I can have my freedom back.
2. Despite my whining, public transport is actually wonderful some days. I like when the bus flies down the bus lane, past stopped traffic in the mornings, or when you want to go out and have a few drinks and don’t need to worry about driving home. The ferry ride from Manly to the city is beautiful. I ultimately save money and never have to look for parking. These are all times that I’m happy being car-less.
3. Sydney buses don’t follow the time schedule. They not only come late (which I would expect) they often leave early or just never show up. I can’t stand when my morning bus the E50 leaves early because it’s mostly commuters who show up the same time every day. It irks me.
4. Technology does assist in making public transport better. There is an iPhone app called TripView that quickly helps you to plan trips in Sydney on trains, buses or ferries. It’s been a huge time saver and great tool since I found out about it. Free Wi-Fi on the ferry ride is another little modern day bonus that makes me smile (when it’s working).
5. Relying on public transport has helped me achieve my goal of daily self-reflection. Last year, Artie Isaac put the idea of taking 30 minutes each day for silent reflection. Thanks to my commute to work I practically have no choice now. I get about two hours each day, if I want it (assuming I’m awake for the morning bus ride). I spent a lot of time in silent thought.
Moral of the story is that I miss driving but it’s not the end of the world and I’ve gotten more and more used to it. I’ll probably move closer to the city (by the trains) at some point and feel even less inclined to make a vehicle purchase. Until then, I’ll see you at Manly Wharf kids.
What lessons have you learned from taking public transport or are you car dependent, like me?