Sunday, March 6, 2011

on the fringes of human transportation

While I'm admittedly somewhat bicycle-crazy, my overarching goal is actually to create and live a lifestyle that includes a variety of transportation methods. Embracing a mix means, to me....

1) From an environmental perspective, balancing low-impact methods frequently with high-impact methods infrequently but when necessary.

2) Being a happier person by avoiding the boredom of the same routes and methods. "Variety is the spice of life", right? It's good for our brains.

3) Taking a little bit longer ... but enjoying those extra moments. I think of them as a "bonus", not a cost, and perhaps spend less time surfing the internet randomly and more time being a part of the world.

Everyone likes to talk about public transit, cycling, and walking as the primary alternatives to private cars. Carpooling and car share also get talked about a lot. While I do use all of those, I want to keep my eyes on the fringe, too (and not that Fringe, although I am a fan) and explore even more options. Small ones, silly ones, sometimes impractical ones on a large scale. I want to ask: how else do we move ourselves?

I'll start with this little gem. It's perfect for me and completely irrelevant for many. Whenever I want to travel from my home in the West End to Granville Island but don't want to ride, I take a False Creek Ferry. It's $3.25 from the Aquatic Centre to the Island, runs probably at least every 15 minutes (I've never had to wait longer, even in the winter) and takes about 5 minutes to make the crossing. While 75 cents more expensive than a bus ticket, I avoid a transfer, a bridge, a few intersections, and plenty of traffic.

I get to see my city from a different perspective.

...and when you debark on the far side, perhaps you'll be serenaded by a sweet voiced Willie Nelson/Bob Dylan-playing busker on the wharf above.

If you're lucky.

How about you? Do you ever use any alterna-alternative transportation methods to move through your world?

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