Reaching Into the Universe Dedicated to creating an enlightened world: spiritually fulfilling, physically healthy, socially just, and environmentally sustainable.

17May/110

Rant: price of gas + crappy public transit

Muni/car crash"If the price of gas is hurting you, you are too dependent on driving." — yours truly

What started as a snarky but serious comment on Facebook inspired this rant not just on fossil fuel dependence but also the San Francisco public transit system (MUNI).

I have to admit, MUNI is inexorably making me hate it. I do not find it to be quick, easy, on time, useful, personable, or even reasonably priced anymore given the preceding. I do find it to be embarrassing (we're a tourist town), frustrating, underfunded, poorly managed, and frankly unacceptable anymore.

Apparently if you take exotic scenic bus routes it's fine. But try riding the underground out of Castro station... anymore the trains are so crowded that I don't want to ride them, assuming I can even push my way onto one. I've taken to driving to a twice-weekly appointment because it costs the same, takes less time, and is WAY better for my health and mood. Also, because I can no longer read on MUNI (because I can no longer get a seat), I don't feel like I'm losing out.

Nonetheless, if the price of gas is hurting you, you are too dependent on cars, whether directly in the case of pumping gas or indirectly in the rising price of food and goods.

If you choose to live in a sprawling city with even worse public transit than San Francisco's, you are still too dependent on cars. Doesn't matter the reason. Our entire country is.

Time to think about options: buy a Leaf, move closer to work, get a new job closer to home, or just threaten to quit as leverage to demand your company let you telecommute more often (why aren't you doing that anyway, unless the very nature of your job prevents it?), storm city hall and demand change, something, anything.

Anything except complain that gas should be cheaper. For gods sake let's not have any whining that a precious finite resource is "too expensive" when the truth is we're too wasteful and too resistant to change.