Why I Love Transit

I Love Transit eek logoIt’s I Love Transit Week in Vancouver!  This week (July 11-17th) The Buzzer Blog and Translink are celebrating what people love about transit in Metro Vancouver.

Throughout the week The Buzzer Blog is featuring feature essays, stories, and submitted photos from Vancouver transit riders. In addition, this Thursday (July 14th), transit enthusiasts can attend a meetup between 6:00 to 9:00pm at Bamboo Café, across from Joyce Collingwood SkyTrain station [map]

In honor of this week, local blogger Miss 604 (aka Rebecca Bollwitt)  is running a fun contest soliciting reader feedback on why they love transit.  You can find out more on Rebecca’s site.

Her is what I submitted:

Why I Love Transit

After living in Phoenix for almost 5 years, I am so glad to be back in a city with a decent transit system. Some argue that cars give you freedom, but they are kidding themselves most of the time. When you drive you have to concentrate on driving, deal with the stress of bad drivers, find parking and all the rest.  Sure you may save a few minutes getting there, but at the cost of added stress. And then there is the money saved on gas, parking, maintenance and loan payments.

However, the real reason I LOVE TRANSIT isn’t the stress or money I save, but the experiences I gain.

Vancouver’s transit system is a major reason the city is constantly ranked as the world’s most livable city. Transit allows for an amenity-rich city, with many destinations close together and not separated by seas of parking lots.  This enables  for a denser urban fabric that increases the vibrancy and vitality of our city. It also allows a variety of businesses, large and small to thrive.

VPSN pirates good-naturedly took over the SeaBus in 2008.

You never know what you'll see taking transit! Photo by JMV.

Moreover, transit is a great place to people watch! There are always interesting people to watch and listen to—or better yet—talk to.  If you take the same routes, you soon recognize ‘regulars’ and form a ‘commuter community.’ Every so often you run into a neighbor or friend and can spend your trip catching up.

When there isn’t anybody interesting to connect with, transit gives you some enforced leisure time.   You can read a book, play a game, listen to music, or catch up with your friend via texting or Twitter. If you’ve had a long day you can even catch a little nap.  Moreover, as transit includes a bit more walking and standing it also makes you exercise more. This means less time spent in a gym and a little more fresh air.

Most importantly, transit connects me to my city. It allows you to meeting and seeing a variety of interesting people from different neighborhoods and walks of life. Its slightly slower pace allows more time to absorb the city around you. This gives you the chance to notice new businesses, interesting intersections and just generally absorb the sights and sounds of this great city!

This is why I love transit.  What are your reasons?

Yuri Artibise

Yuri Artibise is an experienced policy analyst, community engagement practitioner and social media specialist. I have a Master of Public Administration degree with over 10 years of public policy research, analysis, and advocacy experience.