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An Earth Day Challenge

I took some time out today to enjoy the weather and our great urban forest… and some delicious Indian food. It’s nice to be back in Sac for a weekend. The last two weekends I was in San Francisco and Dallas, part of the reason my postings have been a little more sparse this month.

Sunday, April 22nd is Earth Day. I want to invite everyone to take an Earth Day (Weekend) challenge: Try using a mode of transportation (other than car or truck) that you don’t normally use for one of your trips this weekend. Say, if you normally drive your car to a restaurant, try taking a bus or train. Or, if you normally take a bus somewhere, trying biking there instead. You might be pleasantly (or unpleasantly) surprised at what you discover. If you do try something different, please let us know in the comments below.

I’ll share my story from this morning. Today, I got a ride by car to East Sacramento for my physical therapy appointment for my ankle. I actually forgot to check out how to get back downtown, but I just went to the bus shelter on J Street in front of the building and read the map. I was able to catch the 30 bus downtown to L Street in front of the State Capitol. The ride was quick and efficient, however, like most times I ride the bus in Sacramento, it was not the most pleasant experience.

I am a staunch advocate for transit, but I find that on most bus rides I’ve taken in Sacramento, the people that ride the buses have little etiquette and blatantly disregard other passengers’ privacy. It’s no wonder to me why so few people ride the buses in Sacramento. Now, I’m not saying that these individuals shouldn’t be allowed on the buses—there just needs to be some education on proper transit etiquette and maybe some enforcement of rules. Some of that could be solved by simply having more ridership on the buses and trains. The Sacramento Regional Transit agency is planning to roll out an etiquette program for transit riders. I’m hopeful that this will solve some of the current problems with the system. I love riding transit in many cities, but other than some light rail trips, my experiences here have been unpleasant.

Please share your experiences below. I know that I only had “half” an experience, but you can excuse me since I have a broken ankle, right? I’m sure I’ll make plenty of non-car trips this weekend.

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